Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet expectations of alignment. The Kindergarten instructional materials meet expectations for Gateway 1. Texts are worthy of students' time and attention. Materials support students building their ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. The materials support students' literacy development with foundational skills. The instructional materials for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Materials partially meet the criteria that texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and there is support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Materials meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Materials meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
53
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
24
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the expectations for text quality and alignment to the standards. The instructional materials meet expectations that texts that are appropriately complex, providing opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. The materials partially meet the criteria that materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills. The materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
17/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, consider a range of student interests, and meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Materials meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Materials partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. Materials meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading. Materials provide opportunities for students to engage with a range and volume of texts (through listening and reading) in order to achieve grade-level reading proficiency. In both the Making Meaning and Being a Writer, students are introduced to new texts and a variety of disciplines and genres.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared-reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) being of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading/listening, and consider a range of student interests.

The Kindergarten materials reviewed meet the criteria for anchor texts that are of publishable quality, relatable to students’ interests, and worthy of careful listening and reading by and to students. Many of the texts are written by award-winning authors such as Eve Bunting and Ezra Jack Keats. In all three curriculum components are found publishable texts that are familiar to many adults and students. Texts throughout the school year are well-crafted, rich in language, provide opportunities for both academic and content language, have rich characters, and are artistically and visually appealing to engage and hold student interest.

The Making Meaning component contains the read-alouds, with many well-known, award-winning texts by well-known authors. These include:

  • Flower Garden by Eve Bunting (Unit 1, Week 4): This text written by well-known children’s author is about a girl creating a surprise garden for her mother. The text will hold students’ interests.
  • If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff (Unit 1, Week 2): This is a well-known text about a mouse that gets a cookie but keeps asking for more has won numerous awards. Its repetitive structure will engage students.
  • Cat’s Colors by Jane Cabrera (Unit 1, Week 3 & Unit 4, Week 1): This text is about a cat who describes ten colors and tells his favorite. The text and its bright illustrations will engage Kindergarten students.
  • When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang (Unit 2, Week 1): This winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award in 2000 is about a girl who has her stuffed gorilla taken away by her sister. This text is relatable to Kindergarten students.
  • Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola (Unit 3, Week 3): This well-known author has written many stories, and this story is about a sheep herder who makes himself a coat to keep warm while tending sheep. The text’s main character provides a rich character for students.
  • On the Go by Ann Morris (Unit 6, Week 3): This text, full of photographs, is visually appealing and includes content specific vocabulary.

In the Being a Writer component there are additional texts that are of publishable quality or are published. Some of these texts include:

  • Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young poems selected by Jack Prelutsky (Unit 1, Week 1 & Unit 5): This poetry text includes 200 poems, including some poems by well-known poets. This text has been selected as a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades K-1 Poetry) in Appendix B.
  • When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer (Unit 1, Week 4): This text has the familiar character, Little Critter, who dreams of all the things he can do when he gets bigger. Students will find this text relatable.
  • Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward (Unit 3, Week 3): This published story is about there being no time to rest for a mischievous cat; it includes rich, visually-appealing texts.

In the Being a Reader component, many of the shared-reading texts are written by well-known authors, are published, and some are award winners. Some examples of these texts include:

  • The Alphabet by Monique Felix (Week 2): This alphabet text, written about two mice who bite the letters of the alphabet out of the text and and work to put them in order, is visually appealing to young students.
  • Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson (Week 6): This big book was published and is a rhyming text that describes some ways children use their hands to explore the world. The rich and repetitive language will engage students.
  • Gossie by Olivier Dunrea (Week 8): This big book text has been published and is about how Gossie loses her red boots, and who by searching for them, makes new friends. This text includes a rich character whom students will relate to and be interested in.
  • Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming (Week 12): This published big book is about a goose that chases a butterfly around a farm. It encounters animals as well as the animals' banter along the way. This text includes rich language.
  • Red Sled by Lisa Judge (Week 15): This almost-wordless picture book is about a bear and some animal friends that go on a wild sled ride. This text’s illustrations are artistically and visually appealing.
  • Fish Eyes by Louis Ehlert (Week 22): This counting book includes shapes, fun illustrations, and rhyming text that will interest and engage Kindergarten students.


Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The curriculum includes a mix of literary and informational text types across all three components. There is both classic and contemporary literature, and the informational texts include a range of subjects from body parts to transportation. Each component includes a mix of literary and informational texts.

In the Making Meaning component students hear both types of texts, and the genres within the text types vary as well. Some examples of this include:

Literary

  • My Friends by Taro Gomi (Unit 1, Week 1)
  • I was so Mad by Mercer Mayer (Unit 2, Week 2)
  • Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington (Unit 3, Week 1)
  • Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward (Unit 4, Week 2)
  • A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats (Unit 5, Week 2)
  • A Porcupine Named Fluffy by Helen Lester (Unit 9, Week 1A)

Informational

  • Friends at School by Rochelle Bennett (Unit 1, Week 5)
  • "Umbrellas" by Lilian Moore - informational poetry (Unit 4, Week 3)
  • Brave Norman: A True Story by Andrew Clements (Unit 5, Week 2)
  • Doctors Help by Dee Ready (Unit 6, Week 1)
  • A Baby Penguin Story by Martha E. H. Rustad (Unit 7, Week 1A)
  • The Sun by Charlotte Guillain (Unit 8, Week 3)

Students also hear a mix of literary and informational texts in the Being a Writer component. These texts are used as models for students. Some texts include:

Literary

  • When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer (Unit 1, Week 4)
  • Lunch by Denise Fleming (Unit 2, Week 7)
  • Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward (Unit 3, Week 3)
  • "Alligators are Unfriendly" by Jack Prelutsky (Unit 6, Week 1)

Informational

  • City Signs by Zoran Milich (Unit 2, Week 1)
  • I Have Feelings by Bobbie Kalman (Unit 2, Week 10)
  • What Happens at an Airport by Amy Hutchings (Unit 4, Week 1)

The Being a Reader Component in Kindergarten includes both shared-reading texts and texts for small- group lessons. The texts for small-group lessons are based on students’ reading level and can be used in Kindergarten, Grade 1, or Grade 2. Below are examples of informational and literary texts in this component:

Literary

  • I Went Walking by Sue Williams, Jr. (Week 4)
  • Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming (Week 12)
  • Five Little Ducks by Penny Ives (Week 26)

Informational

  • Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson (Week 6)
  • What is Round by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Week 7)
  • Here are my Hands by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault (Week 26)


Indicator 1c

Texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

The majority of the texts in the materials are at the appropriate complexity level for a read-aloud in Kindergarten.

Examples of grade-level read-alouds include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students hear the text, My Friends, which has a Lexile of 470L. The text is slightly complex in sentence structure. It contains a repetitive structure of “I learned….” The vocabulary is slightly complex with mainly contemporary words.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students hear the text, I Was So Mad, which has a Lexile of AD430L. The text has very complex illustrations because the illustrations extend the printed text. The knowledge demands are slightly complex because the experiences portrayed are common to students. The sentence structure is moderately complex with both compound and simple sentences.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students hear the text, Charlie Needs a Cloak, which has a Lexile of AD500L. The text is moderately complex, especially in the areas of knowledge and vocabulary. Examples of vocabulary included in the text: cloak, shepherd, crook, and frock.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, students hear the text, On the Go, which has a Lexile of AD550L. The organization of the text is simple; however, the vocabulary is complex with words such as monorail, trolley, and cargo.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade-level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

The materials for Kindergarten provide some opportunities for students’ literacy skills (comprehension) to grow throughout the year. The comprehension strategies and discussion questions increase in complexity as students engage with the texts over the course of several days as well as throughout the year. Students progress from sharing what they visualize about the text to comparing the text features in two nonfiction texts. However, the organization/placement of texts in general do not promote students encountering opportunities for building grade-level skills as outlined by the standards themselves. Texts are organized thematically without a focus on building knowledge. There is a focus on a progression of stand-alone skills.

In the Making Meaning component, the comprehension strategies presented in the units increase in complexity throughout the year. However, the texts themselves are not always organized in a way that increases students' comprehension skills. In Unit 1, students make text-to-self connections and answering questions about key details in the text. In Unit 3, students begin to retell and sequence story events. Lessons in Unit 4 further comprehension of complex texts by teaching students how to visualize what they read. During Unit 6, students explore the differences between fiction and nonfiction, and begin comparing books on the same topic. Toward the end of the year, in Unit 8, students use all of the reading comprehension skills that they have learned throughout the year as well as using text features.

There are opportunities throughout the units for students to respond to texts by drawing or writing. These Write about Reading activities begin in Unit 2 of Making Meaning. The tasks increase in complexity from just drawing and writing, to writing sentences, and then supporting with reasons. For example, in Unit 3, Week 3, Day 2, students draw and write about their favorite part of the text, Charlie Needs a New Cloak. In Unit 7, Day 3, Day 2, students write a few sentences about what they learned about baby animals from the texts, A Tiger Cub Grows Up and A Baby Penguin Story. Then by Unit 8, Week 4, Day 2, students write their own opinions about which type of book they like better, fiction or nonfiction. Students need to include at least one reason to support the opinion.

As students progress throughout the units, there is appropriate modeling and scaffolds for the teacher and students. Another component of the program is that of Individual Daily Reading conferences with the teacher. These one-on-one conferences give the teacher information about how students are growing as readers. Supports for conducting these conferences are included for teachers. It is suggested that students read books on their level. However, there is not a focus on students reaching grade-level proficiency.

The activities within the Being a Reader component support students’ independence in reading through shared reading and building comprehension. Students read the same text several days in a row, and the tasks increase in complexity. For example, in Week 2, students hear the book the alphabet. On the first day, the teacher reads the text aloud and then asks students one thing they liked about the story. On Day 2, students hear the story again and are asked questions such as, What is something you noticed differently this time?" On Day 3, students hear the story again, and students have to identify what is happening in specific parts of the story based on the illustrations.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The Kindergarten materials do not include a complete text-complexity analysis for the texts that accompany the lessons in Making Meaning, Being A Reader, or Being a Writer. There is a general rationale statement explaining the purpose of all of the whole-class shared reads and small-group texts for grades K-6. The publisher provides a short rationale of genres and text summaries included for the Making Meaning module. The Shared Reading component of Being a Reader does provide a brief synopsis of the book as well as an academic focus and social development focus. Lexiles and Fountas and Pinnell levels are given for Small Group Reading beginning in Set 6, although there are many titles listed afterwards without an identifying qualitative marker. The publisher also provides a overall review of the titles chosen to depict the vast array of genres the texts cover.

For the Making Meaning component, a short rationale, including the genre of texts by grade level and a listing of the trade books with a short summary is provided by the publisher. With each unit, an overview of focus skills and specific reading strategies for that unit is provided in relation to the book title. No evidence of why the specific text was chosen or text complexity indicators are provided.

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, the Teacher’s Manual includes the following synopsis for the text Flower Garden: “A young girl prepares a flower garden with the help of her father as a birthday surprise for her mother.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud, I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Little Critter is angry because the adults in his family won’t let him do what he wants to do.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 2, the teacher reads aloud Charlie Needs a New Cloak by Tomie dePaola. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Charlie is a shepherd who makes himself a new cloak.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud Cat’s Colors by Jane Cabrera (also utilized in Unit 1, Week 3). The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “A cat describes ten different colors and tells which one is its favorite.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, the Teacher’s Manual includes the following explanation for the use of the text Brave Bear for Read-aloud/Strategy Lesson: “Focus: Hearing and discussing a story. Wondering about the story. Answering questions to understand key details in the story.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, the teacher reads aloud On the Go by Ann Morris. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Readers learn about different ways people around the world move and travel.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, with the expository, nonfiction book A Baby Penguin Story, and the Teacher’s Manual includes the following synopsis: “From egg to ocean, this book tells how baby penguins grow up.”

For the Being a Reader component, the texts include a general rationale in how the book relates to the skill, including a list of the texts with a short description. However, no information is included on text complexity or why the specific text was chosen to teach the skill for the week. The text selections do not have a compelling connection to independent work time or handwriting time. The selected texts in Being a Reader do not necessarily correlate with texts or skills in the Making Meaning or Being a Writer components of the materials.

  • In Week 1, the teacher reads aloud the alphabet by Monique Felix with the goal of identifying letters throughout the book inside the illustrations as the book contains no actual words. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Two curious mice bite the letters of the alphabet out of the book and work together to put them in order.” Students use this book as a resource to identify letters in classmates’ names. No specific rationale or text complexity analysis is included. The text is not connected to independent work time or handwriting time.
  • In Week 4, the teacher reads aloud, I Went Walking (big book version) by Sue Williams. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “In this rhyming text, a young boy goes for a walk and tells what he sees.”
  • In Week 8, the teacher reads aloud Gossie by Olivier Dunrea. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Gossie loses her beloved red boots, and when she searches for them, they lead her to a new friend.”
  • In Week 12, the teacher reads aloud Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “A goose chases a butterfly around a farm and encounters animals and their banter along the way.”
  • In Week 15, the teacher reads aloud red sled (big book version) by Lita Judge. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “A bear and some animal friends go on a wild sled ride.”
  • In Week 18, the teacher reads aloud Walking Through the Jungle (big book version) by Julie Lacome. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “In this story, a boy sees as many animals as he moves through the jungle.”
  • In Week 25, the teacher reads aloud Five Little Ducks (big book version) by Penny Ives. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “In this traditional counting rhyme, five little ducks go on an adventure.”
  • Texts for Small Group Reading include information about the purpose of the text such as in Set 3, for the story, The Jug of Water. The purpose is for students to use illustrations to confirm what they read. Beginning with Set 6 of these texts, a quantitative Lexile measure range is provided. For example, in Set 6, the Lexile level is between 430 and 510, the Fountas and Pinnell Level is I-J, and the DRA level is 16-17, but the individual levels of the texts are not provided.

For the Being a Writer component, there is a list of trade books provided by the publisher, but no rationale for why the texts were used. Each lesson has a writing focus and a social development focus. The writing focus and social development focus provided, are not directly correlated to the text that was chosen.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud I Love School! by Philemon Sturges. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Kindergarteners tell about an exciting day at school.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, the teacher reads aloud, When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry... by Molly Bang. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “When Sophie and her sister have a disagreement, Sophie gets very angry.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud poetry Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young selected by Jack Prelutzky. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, “Animals, bugs, and other topics are all presented in rhyme.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud “Alligators are Unfriendly” by Jack Prelutzky. The publisher provides a synopsis of the poem, “In this humorous poem, the poet offers the opinion that alligators are unfriendly and would not make good pets.”

An additional resource, Lexile Overview: Read-aloud Texts and Small-group Reading Texts, is available from the publisher. This resource includes a Lexile overview as information on genres, format, Lexile levels, and Fountas and Pinnell levels. The document states that qualitative measures were used in choosing texts, but does not provide qualitative analysis.

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

The Kindergarten materials provide numerous opportunities for students to engage with (through listening and reading) a range and volume of texts in order to achieve grade level reading proficiency. In every component (Being a Reader, Making Meaning, and Being a Writer) of the program, students are introduced to new texts and a variety of disciplines and genres. The texts are shared with students through read alouds, shared reading, independent reading, and small-group reading instruction. Students are consistently exposed to a variety of text.

In the Making Meaning module, students listen to read-alouds on various topics and genres, such as literary, poetry, expository, and narrative informational.

Students engage in both Small Group Reading and Shared Reading in the Being a Reader component. For example:

  • An example of a Small Group Reading text is “Where is Mom” in Set 3.
  • In Set 9, students read “A Goldfish Story.” On the first day, the students read the story by themselves. On the second day, the story is read and discussed, and then the students participate in an echo reading. ON Day 3, students hear a part of the book read fluently.
  • An example of shared reading in Being a Reader is in Week 4, Days 1 and 3, where students participate in shared reading with “I Went Walking,” a big book. It is used for choral reading on Day 1 and then reread on Day 3 so students can identify high frequency words in the text. Another example of a shared-reading experience is in Week 6, Day 1 of “Hands Can” which is a nonliterary text.

In the Being a Writer module, students listen to various read-alouds for ideas and as a model for writing. For example, in Unit 2, Week 9, students hear “My Favorite Bear” as the students prepare to write about animals.

Students begin engaging in Individualized Daily Reading starting in Unit 1, Week 5, where they read independently. Initially, the books are teacher-selected. In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, students are introduced to book bins.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
14/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly. There are some sequences of high-quality, text-dependent/specific questions, activities, and tasks that scaffold students’ understanding of a text that build to a culminating task. Throughout the school year and each lesson, the application of speaking and listening instruction is frequently applied in each program component. Students engage in Turn and Talks, Think-Pair-Shares, and whole-group discussions. Materials meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Throughout the course of the school year, students engage with multiple genres and modes of writing in both Making Meaning and Being a Writer. Materials meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. Students are continuously asked to support analyses and claims with clear information and evidence during discussion. Materials meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

Throughout each text that is read or read aloud to the students, students are asked text-based questions to discuss with a partner or the whole group. Students recall information from the text or retell the story. There are usually 2-3 questions related to the text for each reading.

The Making Meaning component contains lessons with text-based questions.

  • In Unit 2, students listen to the story, When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang. In Week 1, Day 1, students answer: “What does Sophie do to calm down?” In Week 1, Day 2, students are asked: “What do you remember about the story?” and “Have you ever acted like Sophie?”
  • In Unit 3, students listen to Maisy’s Pool. In Week 2, Day 1, students are asked: “What problem does Maisy have?”
  • In Unit 5, students listen to Brave Normal: A True Story by Andrew Clements and are asked questions such as, “Why is Norman a hero?"
  • In Unit 6, students listen to "In Doctor’s Help."Students are asked, “What are some of the homes you learned about? How are the homes alike? How are the homes different?”
  • In the Writing About Meaning section of Making Meaning in Unit 7, students listen to A Tiger Cub Grows Up and A Baby Penguin Story and are asked to write a few sentences about what they learned about baby animals.
  • In Unit 9, students listen to A Porcupine Named Fluffy. In Week 1, students are asked to answer questions such as “Why is Fluffy unhappy?” “Why isn’t Fluffy happy with his name?” and "What do Fluffy and Hippo have in common?”
  • In the Writing about Reading component, which is a component of Making Meaning, students write about a text using evidence.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students hear the story What Happens at an Airport and the teacher pauses at page 8 to ask the students what they have learned so far about the book. The same question is asked again after the teacher reads page 14.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 1, the teacher reads the poem Mice and asks the students what the poet says about mice.
  • In the Being a Reader component, students answer text-based questions.
  • In Week 2, Day 1, students are asked to recall one thing they liked about the story after reading the story We Can’t See in the small group instruction, set one.
  • In Week 4 of small group instruction, students read the book It Can Sit and discuss what the book talks about and what surprised them as they read.
  • In Week 15, students engage in the shared reading of Red Sled and are asked questions during the week long shared reading such as “What happens so far in this story?” and “What did you like most about this book?” after the students finish the book.


Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).

In the three components of this series, Making Meaning, Being a Reader, and Being a Writer, there is an inconsistency in regards to a culminating task that integrates skills based on a high-quality sequence of text-based questions. The tasks that are identified aren’t culminating, but rather activities to support text. Within each Unit there are a number of weeks of instruction. Each week remains secular and concludes with an activity that may or may not directly correlate to the skill of the week. The one thing that remains the same for the week is the text selection. In addition, the tasks that could potentially be identified as somewhat of a culminating activity are lacking the rigor and objective correlation that is typical with culminating activities from other curriculums.

  • In Making Meaning, there is a "Write about Reading" section that allows the student to write about the text after going through whole-group discussion questions.
  • In Being a Writer, the students go through the writing process, but do not build to a culminating task that demonstrates understanding of texts.
  • The Being a Reader component does not provide text-based writing or a culminating task since these tasks require students to write about their own topics. While there are daily formative assessments such as one-on-one reading conferences, these do not build to a culminating task.
  • In Being a Reader, Week 4, Shared Reading, Day 3 students have the opportunity to complete an extension activity of creating a class book with the same pattern as the poem for the week’s shared text, I Went Walking.
  • In Being a Reader, Week 11, Shared Reading, Day 3 students review a big book that was read in a previous lesson, Gossie. The teacher stops periodically and asks, “ Did you notice anything new about the book?” The teacher turns back to page 3 and echo reads the page with the class. The teacher has the sentences on strips already and cuts them apart. The teacher directs students to focus in on the words this and is. Students work together to reconstruct the sentence. At the end the teacher asks, “What did you learn about revisiting books this week during Shared Reading?”
  • In Being a Reader, Week 28, Shared Reading, Day 3 students have the opportunity to complete an extension activity. On Day 1, while reading My Favorite Bear, students were asked questions to prompt them about bears (What is something the book tells us they eat? What is something the book tells us they do?) On Day 2, the teacher prompts, “What did you learn about the polar bear from this paragraph?” On Day 3, students can choose a bear that they would like to learn more about. The program directs the teacher to find age appropriate books for research.

Beginning in Unit 2 of Making Meaning, students have opportunities to write about what they read in the “Writing about Reading” sections. Students have opportunities to write their opinion of a book, make a connection to it, or respond to the book in other ways; however, these activities are optional and can be done at the end of the lesson or at another time. Again, these activities are inconsistent. Some tasks integrate skills to demonstrate understanding, others do not. For example:

  • Some of these writing prompts are not text-specific. For example, in Unit 2, Week 1, after hearing the story Sophie gets Really, Really Angry, students write about a time when they got really angry.
  • Some of the “Writing about Reading” prompts require students to integrate knowledge of two texts after hearing and discussing them over the course of several days. For example, in Making Meaning, Unit 5, Week 2, students have to draw and write which story they liked best and why after hearing Whistle for Willie and A Letter to Amy, both written by Ezra Jack Keats. Another example is in Unit 8, Week 1, when students have to write a few sentences about what they learned about the baby animals from the texts A Baby Duck Story and A Baby Penguin Story, both by Martha E.H. Rustad.
  • In Unit 5, Weeks 1-3 do not build upon each other. A different text is presented each week and students are asked to “wonder”, but there is not culminating activity at the end as each week only has 2 days of instruction.

In Being a Writer, activities and tasks are also inconsistent. While some activities integrate skills to demonstrate understanding, many activities do not and are condensed into a few days rather than a longer culminating project. . For example:

  • Unit 2 of Being a Writer, students begin by reading City Signs. Students help create classroom signs after hearing the text, and during free write they are encouraged to draw the classroom and label areas. On Days 2 and 3, students free write about a place they would like to go visit, which is not text-dependent.
  • Unit 2, Week 4, the teacher models how to create a list of things he/she loves about themselves. Students brainstorm things they love about themselves using the mentor text I Love My Hair! and share their thoughts with a partner thru a think, pair, share activity. On Day 2, students generate their own sentence and illustration about one thing they love about themselves. They are encouraged to add details to their sentence/illustration as they share their writing with a peer.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students are exploring the components of non-fiction thru the book What Happens at the Airport. On Day 2, students translate what they learned about facts to writing facts about their classroom.
  • Unit 4 Unit Assessment is a consideration checklist and does not include specific examples or extensions.
  • Unit 4, Week 3 questions are basic including, “What foods would you like to examine so you can write about them?” (lesson 1) “What do you know or think you know about grapes?” (lesson 2) “What did you find out about the grapes from your partner’s book?” (lesson 3)
  • At the end of Unit 6, students brainstorm a list of ideas for an end-of-year celebration, pick an activity that they would like the best, and write an opinion letter to the teacher. These activities are not text-based and do not integrate skills to demonstrate understanding.
  • In Unit 6, students hear the poem, “Alligators are Unfriendly” by Jack Prelutsky. In Week 1, they share an opinion about an animal that they think would not make a good pet. Then in Week 2, they write about the activity they did during the year that they thought was the most fun.


Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small-group, peer-to-peer, whole-class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials in Kindergarten provide opportunities for students to share their thinking about texts in each lesson through Think-Pair-Shares and Turn and Talks. They are engaged in this type of discussion frequently and are required to talk about the reading and/or their writing. Guidance and modeling are provided. The Making Meaning Component has a Vocabulary Teaching Guide which utilizes vocabulary words from the stories students have been reading. The vocabulary teaching guide provides multiple opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year's scope of instructional materials. Peer discussion is emphasized and encouraged, and there are independent lessons within the modules of teaching of the text that give students time to use academic vocabulary and syntax each week.

At the beginning of each Making Meaning unit, students are provided a new Turn and Talk partner. Students are provided direct instruction and opportunities to practice this structure prior to practicing it with texts.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students are introduced to the "Turn to Your Partner Strategy." In the teacher edition, there are explicit directions for the teacher to do this, including modeling, explaining, and practicing. Students discuss questions such as, "What is your favorite color?" and "What is your favorite book?" in the initial lesson.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students are introduced to Think-Pair-Share. The teacher explains that the difference between these two structures is that the students have to think by themselves before they talk in pairs. There is modeling done before students practice. Students practice with the question, “What do you like to eat for breakfast?” The materials include video clips and prompts to support teachers.

Students are provided opportunities throughout each lesson to share their thinking with their partner and the class. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Being a Writer, students are asked to discuss with their partner what they notice about the text, City Signs.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, while discussing the story Charlie Needs a Cloak in the Making Meaning component, the students discuss with their partner: “Why does Charlie need a new cloak?”
  • In Unit 5, Being a Writer, students are asked: “What words did you hear that tell how a food sounds or looks?” Students turn to their partner and discuss the vocabulary that they learned while reading the poem.

Academic vocabulary is taught and revisited throughout the Making Meaning component, so students can practice using the words in discussions. There are 30 weeks of instruction and ongoing review activities in which students review previously taught words. For example, in Week 1 of the Vocabulary Teaching Guide, the focus words are as follows: creature, imitate, companion, and explore. After the students review the read aloud, My Friends, they are asked what "creature they see" and then are expected to respond with the prompt: “The creature I see....”

Syntax is modeled and discussed in discussions. For example, in Being a Reader, Week 8, Day 2, students work on reviewing the inflectional ending -s. The teacher asks the students, “Which would we say, 'The boy decide which book he wants to read,' or 'The boy decides which book he wants to read?'” Students share their thinking with the class. In the Being a Reader component, students have opportunities to discuss with a partner what they drew or wrote.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Students are provided with a variety of opportunities to discuss with a partner their understanding of texts read aloud to them or about the shared writing projects they are completing. They are given multiple opportunities to listen and discuss with peers what they are reading, writing, and listening to, as well as with the whole class. Follow-up questions and supports for speaking and listening are found throughout the materials. There are times throughout the year where the teacher is explicitly told to model proper speaking and listening, and students discuss what they see and hear.

In the Making Meaning component of the materials, students are given multiple opportunities to turn to a partner to discuss what they read, supporting both their listening and speaking. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 2, students are asked to turn to a partner after hearing the story Cat’s Colors to discuss what colors the cat talks about in the part of the story the students just heard.
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 1, students hear the story Friends at School and turn to their partner to discuss what part of the story they liked best.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students listen to the story Pumpkin, Pumpkin and discuss the story with a partner. Students are given a mini-lesson on active listening and speaking. The teacher models speaking loudly enough to be heard and then asks the students what they heard about the teacher's voice. The teacher also asks, “What will you do to be a good listener when your partner or something else is talking?” Then students discuss with their partner what happened to the pumpkin seed so far in the story as well as what they think Jamie will do with the pumpkin.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students discuss questions such as, “Why are doctors important to the community” with their partner after listening to Doctors Help.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 1, after hearing the story A Harbor Seal Pup Grows Up, students turn to a partner and discuss what they are still wondering about Sidney, the harbor seal pup. The teacher offers further support by asking additional questions such as, "Who is wondering something that is different from what {_____} shared?" and ‘What other things are you wondering about Sidney?"

In the Being a Writer component of the materials, students engage in shared-writing projects after hearing a text. This allows them to continue practicing speaking and listening skills as well.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, after hearing When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer, students are instructed to turn to a partner and discuss something that they want to do when they get bigger. Then students discuss something they could draw or write that would show what they want to do.
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, students hear the story I went Walking. Before beginning, the teacher asks students what they will do to be a good partner to help students remember good speaking and listening skills.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students discuss with their partners what they can add to their drawing to tell more in their story. During this component, students discuss how to be a good speaker or listener by being asked questions such as: “What will you do to be a good listener during sharing today?” and “How will you sit? What will you do with your eyes? Your hands?”

In the Being a Reader component of the materials, students are regularly required to speak and listen about the shared reading. Students have opportunities to demonstrate listening carefully as well as reflect on what they did to be a good listener.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing), and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

The Kindergarten materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing as well as grade-appropriate, short, focused projects. The writing in Kindergarten includes a mix of writing and drawing during both the reading and writing lessons. There is a mix of on-demand writing, typically after the read aloud as well as focused-writing tasks that take several days to complete, including opportunities for shared writing. The longer writing tasks give opportunities for students to go back to revise and add more detail. Digital resources such as blogging and technological connections are also included.

Students are frequently given opportunities for on-demand writing. One example of this is in Making Meaning in Unit 2, Week 4, Day 2, when students draw and write about things they love about themselves. Similarly, in Making Meaning Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, students watch the teacher model thinking aloud and drawing and writing about how the story Maisy’s Pool reminds them of a time when they had a problem that they solved. The students then draw and write about a problem they had and how they solved it. Another example of this in Making Meaning is in Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2, after listening to both A Baby Duck Story and A Baby Penguin Story, the teacher models and then the students write a few sentences about what they learned about baby animals from both books. Another example is in Unit 7, Week 2, after hearing A Duck Story and Harbor Seal, when students write sentences and then draw pictures to make a timeline directly related to the Harbor Seal growing up. One example of a shared writing is in Unit 5, Week 2, when students contribute to a shared poem about animals before writing their own.

There are also opportunities for students to engage in process writing. In Unit 3, students begin rereading and adding to stories. For example, in Unit 3, Week 4, after listening to and discussing When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry, students visualize, share orally, and then write about a time when they got really angry. Then, on the second day of the lesson, they go back and look at the words the author uses and use that to reread their own story and add details. Another example of process writing is in Unit 4 where students hear and discuss nonfiction books and write nonfiction as a class and individually in the Being a Writer section. Students gather information for their own nonfiction writing through interviews and observations and add details to their writing throughout. They review spellings and explore punctuation. They also share their writing in pairs and with the class from the Author’s Chair. For this three-week unit, the first day of each week the students explore nonfiction, the second day they write about nonfiction, and then the third day they write and share about their nonfiction. In Unit 4 of Becoming a Writer, students write about food. They begin by creating a list of vegetables, fruits and other foods that the students like to eat and might want to examine. They use this to then spend several days to write a nonfiction book about the food of their choice.

Technology is utilized, as well. After several of the lessons, students can create digital stories using a digital storytelling tool. This tool allows students to choose characters, settings, and events to create their own stories. They can record their stories into the tool or retell their stories orally. Another opportunity for writing using digital resources is where is an option for the teacher to create a class blog where the students can share with their families what they have been taught through reading and discussions. As a class, students choose a read aloud to write about. The students can add a few sentences about what the class enjoyed about the text and the comprehension strategies practiced using this text. Families have the opportunity to respond to the blogs. Both technology pieces are optional for teachers.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Writing materials include a balance of narrative, informational, and opinion writing lessons and opportunities for students, primarily in the Being a Writer component of the program. There are a variety of prompts, models, anchor pieces, and supports throughout the year within the Being a Writer component that includes the three types of writing. In the Making Meaning component, students are exposed to expository writing because they are often required to respond to a text after hearing it.

In Being a Writer, narrative writing is found in Units 1-3. Kindergarteners write about true stories from their own lives. For example, in Unit 2, students generate writing ideas through hearing and discussing read-aloud books, visualizing, observing the world around them, and making lists. They rehearse their writing by telling stories orally, and they practice writing letters, words, and sentences. On Week 5 of this unit, students draw a picture and write one or more letters, words, or sentences to tell what they like to eat. Similarly, in the Making Meaning component, students have some opportunities to write personal narratives such as in Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, students have to write about a problem they have had and how they solved it.

In Being a Writer, expository writing is found in Unit 4. The unit focuses on writing observations and facts about a topic and explore text features such as table of contents and labels. After hearing read alouds, students engage in the “Writing About Reading” section of the Making Meaning component. For example, in Unit 6, Week 2, students have to write about tools from the book Tools and A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper and then draw a picture.

Opinion writing is found in Unit 6 of Being a Writer. Students write personal opinions and use reasons to support opinions. During this two-week unit, the students hear and discuss examples of opinion writing. They learn what an opinion is, generate opinions about topics, explore clearly stated opinions, and provide reasons to support their thinking.

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level. Evidence-based writing is present in the modules. There are opportunities for this type of writing in Being a Writer and Making Meaning; however, only the Write about Reading activities require students to refer back to the text that was read aloud. Most written prompts in Being a Writer do not require text evidence.

In the Writing about Reading sections of Making Meaning, students are asked to refer back to the text and respond in writing or drawing. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students read the book City Signs by Zoran Milich. During Shared Writing, students help create classroom signs. During Free Writing, students are encouraged to draw the classroom and label the areas. Students revisit the test read and the text-based question is, “What are some places we saw in City Signs?” Students then visualize about a place they would like to go and share about the place with a partner.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 1, students write a few sentences based on what they learned about tools from the books Tools and A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2, students have to make text-to-text connections about A Baby Penguin Story and A Baby Duck Story. After discussing both texts, students write about what they learned from the books.

Not all writing opportunities require evidence from the text. For example:

  • In Making Meaning, Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, students are asked to make text-to-self connections using Maisy’s Pool by Lucy Cousins. After listening to the story on Day 1, students are asked to write about a problem they have had on Day 2. They are provided the following prompt : “When have you had a problem? What did you do to solve it?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, students write a shared story about a Monday activity. Students are given the following prompt: “ What is an activity that our class usually does on Monday?” Students are then given an opportunity to turn and talk to a partner. Later the class writes a shared story using the students’ suggestions. Although the book Cookie’s Week is by Cindy Ward is used as a model, students are not using evidence from the story to write their responses to the prompt

In Being a Writer, students are given some prompts to share their opinions about the read alouds and recall important information about the text. However, in other lessons, the text is simply used as a model of the writing genre or technique. For example:

  • In Genre Opinion Writing, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud “Alligators are Unfriendly.” The text is used as a model for students to see what opinion writing is. With the teacher, the students generate a list of animals that would not make good pets. With the teacher, the students write a shared opinion piece about a different animal that would not make a good pet. For independent writing time, students select an animal that they think would not make a good pet and write about an opinion sentence about why the animal would not make a good pet.


Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Language standards are addressed throughout lessons within Being a Reader, Being a Writer, and Vocabulary Teacher Guide (Making Meaning). The instructional strategies of the lessons include teacher modeling, Think-Pair-Share, and Turn to Your Partner. Students are supported in their acquisition of grade-level grammar and convention standards through teacher questioning and the students having opportunities to speak with a partner before recording their responses. Students use Handwriting Notebooks to record their handwriting lessons. Students also are presented with visual materials to help aid in language and convention standards acquisition such as sentence strips, note cards, and vocabulary picture cards.

Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level, and instruction is provided in increasingly sophisticated contexts.

Students have frequent opportunities to print upper and lowercase letters. In Being a Reader, the first five weeks of handwriting lessons include hand-strengthening finger games and songs as well as stretches and gross-motor activities that address posture and pencil grip in an active and engaging way. Establishing good posture and appropriate pencil grip is essential to handwriting success, and developing these skills early in the year sets a foundation for the letter formation instruction that begins in Week 7. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Week 2, students learn hand-strengthening finger games and songs.
  • In Being a Reader, Week 3, students do stretches, posture activities, and gross-motor movements.
  • In Being a Reader, Week 4, students learn and practice the pincer and pencil grip. Actual letter formation instruction begins in Week 7.
  • In Being a Reader, Independent Work, Week 7, students practice writing the capital letters T, I, and L. “Practice T, I, and L Independently. Distribute the Handwriting Notebooks to the students. Ask a student to model how to use the correct pencil grip and use good posture. Then have the students complete pages 5–7 in their notebooks. As the students work, walk around and observe, assisting them as needed.”
  • In Being a Reader, Week 8, students are learning the letters H, F, and E. The instructions are as follows: “H, Pull down straight. Lift. Up to the top and over. Pull down straight. Lift. Go to the middle and slide.”

Students have the opportunity to use frequently-occurring nouns and verbs. The opportunities occur in Read Alouds. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 26, Day 3, students practice using nouns and verbs by creating a sentence that names a body part and describes how it is used, following the same pattern from the shared reading. “Remind the students that each page of Here Are My Hands introduces a part of the body and describes how it is used. Explain that now the class will think of parts of the body that are not mentioned in the book, and then you will use their ideas to write sentences that follow the same pattern as the book.”

Students have the opportunity to learn how to form regular plural nouns orally by adding -s or -es. For example:

  • In Being a Writer, Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, during Open Days the teacher directions state: “As you model, look for opportunities for adding -s or -es to form plural nouns.”

Students have the opportunity to understand and use question words about texts when the teacher asks specific questions referring back to the text. For example:

  • In Being a Writer, Unit 4, Week 2, students answer questions about chefs, such as: “Who do chefs cook for?" "What do chefs cook?" and "Where do chefs work?” Afterwards, teachers review question words that were used. After reading a book about chefs, students and the teacher discuss which questions about chefs were answered through their reading. Students also observe an interview with a class guest and practice asking that guest questions. In this same unit, students practice interviewing and writing about a classmate.

Students have the opportunity to practice using frequently-occurring prepositions. For example:

  • In Being a Writer, Unit 3 Week 2, the teacher reviews common prepositions with students and discusses with students how to make the sentence, “The cat ran,” more interesting by telling where the cat ran.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 4, Week 2, the teacher writes on the board: "The cat ran." As students give ideas to make the sentence more interesting, the teacher points out prepositions such as up and under.

Students have the opportunity to produce and expand complete sentences. For example:

  • In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 5, Day 1, students generate a class list of things they like using the sentence frame: “I like _______.”
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 6, Week 1, Day 3, students make a class book titled “The Reasons I Like Chocolate,” using the sentence frame: “The reason I like _______ is _______.”

Students have the opportunity to capitalize the first word in a sentence and use ending punctuation. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Week 6, Day 3, students practice capitalizing at the beginning of a sentence during Guided Spelling with the following sentence: "Are plums good?"
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 17, Day 3, students learn about end punctuation, using a sentence from the shared reading story. “What punctuation mark do you see at the end of this sentence? If necessary, remind the students that the punctuation mark is called a period, and review that sentences sometimes end with periods.”

Students have the opportunity to recognize and name punctuation. Over the course of the year thirty-two lessons provide opportunities for students to recognize and name punctuation. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week, 17, Day 2, the teacher reads page 9 of Millions of Snowflakes, identifying the period at the end of the sentence, “I eat them up.” Teachers then point to the exclamation points after the words, “Yum! Yum! Yum!” and tell the students that these marks are called exclamation points. The teacher explains how an author uses periods and exclamation points and how they can be used by the reader.

Students have the opportunity to write letter(s) for most consonant and short-vowel sounds. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Week 5, Day 2, students listen to a sentence (See this yak.), and then students write the sentence.

Students have the opportunity to spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of letter-sound relationships. For example:

  • In Being a Writer, Unit 6, Week 7, Day 2, the teacher displays the writing/drawing chart and asks students to watch as they model writing a two- or three-sentence story about a food s/he likes to eat. As the teacher writes, students are engaged in thinking about how to spell some unfamiliar words. The teacher is to try to select single-syllable words with letter–sound combinations the students have learned. The teacher asks the following questions and write the letters as the students suggest them.
    • “Eat starts with the [/e/] sound. What letter is that?”
    • “What’s the [next/last] sound? What letter is that?”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Week 5, Day 1, students are guided through spelling the following decodable words: fit, tan, yes.

Students have the opportunity to determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on Kindergarten reading and content. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Vocabulary, Week 11, Day 1, students are introduced to unfamiliar words (antonyms) in context and out of context using the story, Maisy’s Pool and word cards. “In this lesson, the students are introduced to antonyms—words with opposite meanings—through the words uncomfortable and comfortable. (Although you may choose to introduce it, we do not formally teach the term antonym to the students.) Discussing a word and its opposite requires students to think about the critical attributes of the words and helps them understand and remember the words.”

Students have the opportunity to explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings with support and guidance. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Independent Work, students engage in picture or word sort as a part of every lesson. "Every week after the students start Small Group Reading, they do a picture or word sort from their small groups in the reading area during independent work rotations.”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 14, Day 1, students listen to the poem read aloud and act out the poem. “Explain that now you will read the entire poem aloud and that as you read, the students will act out the poem together. Ask: How can we act out jumping?”

Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in and out of context. For example:

  • In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, students have the opportunity to practice writing letters in context. During the Guided Writing Practice, the teacher states: “Lips starts with the /l/ sound. What letter is that? Write the letter l with me on your wipe-off boards. What sound do you hear next in liiips? What letter spells that sound? Write the letter i with me next to the letter l.”
  • In Being a Writer, Extension component, Unit 6, Week 2, Day 1, students have the opportunity to explore capitalizing the pronoun I. “Show the cover of the book I Love School! And read the title aloud. Point to the word I in the title, and remind the students that when you are writing about yourself you use the word I.”
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 4, students have the opportunity to practice understanding and using question words, and students have the opportunity to answer questions the teacher asks about the text. Students also answer questions about the classroom in order to make a Facts About Our Classroom class book.
  • In Being a Reader, Week 26, Day 3, students have the opportunity to practice using frequently-occurring nouns and verbs based on the read aloud, Here are My Hands. Students change out nouns and verbs for other nouns and verbs.


Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
22/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks that directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context. The materials meet the criteria that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). The materials meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. The lessons within Being a Reader and Making Meaning are structured to provide students will application of foundational skills and provide additional support for teachers to guide students towards mastery of foundational skills. The materials meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills. The materials provide high quality lessons in foundational skills throughout the school year.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relations, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context.

Foundational skills are presented to explicitly address phonological awareness, phonics, and word recognition. Phonemic awareness is taught explicitly in the Shared Reading lessons in the Being a Reader Teacher Manual. In addition, foundational skills and differentiated instruction that includes phonics and decoding are incorporated in the Small-group Reading sets of the Being a Reader materials. These skills are taught in a logical progression that increases in difficulty throughout the year.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to learn and understand phonemes (e.g. produce rhyming words, segment syllables, blend onsets and rimes, pronounce vowels in CVC words, and substitute sounds to make new words). For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 6, Day 2, students are introduced to rhyming words from the read aloud and practice identifying rhyming words in context. “Tell the students that now they will find other rhyming words in Hands Can. Explain that you will read part of the book again, two sentences at a time, and the students will read aloud after you. Ask the students to listen for rhyming words as you read. Read aloud the sentences on pages 3–5; then have the students read them aloud. Ask, “What two words rhyme (sound the same at the end) in these sentences?”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 13, Day 2, students review syllables by first clapping their names, then students clap and determine how many syllables are in the highlighted words from their shared reading of the poem, “Windshield Wipers.” Next, students sort words by number of syllables. “Show the students the card for the word windshield. Read the word aloud and then have the students repeat the word and clap on the syllables. Ask, How many syllables do you hear in windshield?”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 3, Week 5, Day 2, students identify rhyming during the Sound Sort: “What sounds do you hear at the end of hat? Does hat rhyme with cat or with fan?”

Lessons and activities provide students adequate opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words (e.g. one-to-one correspondences, long and short sounds with common spellings, and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters). For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 1, Week 1, students are introduced to the vowel sound /o/ and its associated letter name. Students also practice tracing the letter name on their tables and say the sound /o/. “Explain that today’s sound is /ŏ/, and have the students say the sound. Point to the alphabet wall card for Oo. Explain that the picture of the octopus will help them remember the sound /ŏ/ because the word octopus begins with the sound /ŏ/. Write o on your wipe-off board, point to the spelling, and say the letter name. Tell the students that the letter o stands for the sound /ŏ/. Have the students repeat the sound as you point to the spelling. Then have the students each trace the letter o on the table in front of them with one finger as they say /ŏ/.”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 1, Week 3, Day 1, students learn the spelling-sound a /a/. For example, the teacher materials state: “Point to the alphabet wall card for Aa. Explain that the picture of the apple will help them remember the sound /a/ because the word apple begins with the sound /a/. Write a on your wipe-off board, point to the spelling, and say the letter name. Tell the students that the letter a stands for the sound /a/. Have students repeat the sound as you point to the spelling. Then have the students trace the letter a on the table in front of them with one finger as the say /a/.”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 2, Week 8, Day 1, “Some students are confused by the different pronunciations of say and says because their spellings are similar. You may wish to display the words side by side. Direct the students’ attention to the ending -s and the change in pronunciation. Then have them chorally read both words several times as you point to them.”

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonological awareness instruction to build toward application. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, students learn phonological awareness. In Set 1, students learn beginning sounds such as /s/, /n/, /m/. In Set 1, 2 and 3, students learn middles sounds. In Set 1 and Set 2, students learn ending sounds. Students blend onsets and rimes in Set 2 and Set 3.

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, students start by learning single consonants and short vowels with CVC in Set 1 and 2. By Sets 3-4, students apply their learning of single consonants and short vowels.
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Sets 1-5, each lesson introduces a new high frequency word and also reviews previous words from prior lessons. “Introduce the High-frequency Word here “We are all here in the classroom.” Introduce here by saying the word as you show the word card to the students. Use the word in a sentence. Have the students read it and spell it twice, and then read it a third time. Review High-frequency Words Review the previously introduced high-frequency words by showing each word in the review deck and having the students read it, spell it, and read it again.


Indicator 1p

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acqusition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).

The Kindergarten materials provided resources for teachers to use to teach students about print concepts. The Shared Reading lessons provided teacher directed modeling, guided practice and independent practice for students to master these skills. Books that were used during the Shared Read alouds were revisited throughout the week, and students continued to work on skills associated with the books. Text functions such as directionality of text and spacing were taught through whole group choral reading.

Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities for students to learn how to identify and produce letters. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 1, Guided Spelling Week 1, students learn to identify and write letters. For example, students learn to identify and write the letter s. “Explain that today the students will write the letter s, which stands for the sound /s/. Hope up your wipe-off board and demonstrate how to form the lowercase letter s as you say /s/. Then have the students write the letter s on the lined side of their wipe-off boards as they say /s/.”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 2, Day 2, the teacher rereads the text, The Alphabet, from the previous day’s lesson. Afterwards, the class reads alphabet cards together. Each student then receives a letter and the class works together to put the alphabet in order. Students also go through a routine where they practice learning their classmates names when the teacher pulls out a name card from an envelope one letter at a time and discussing the letters/sounds as the names are revealed.
  • In Being a Reader, Appendix E, Letter-Name Instruction shares the research used in creating the Small-Group letter name instruction that combines discovery-based learning, direct instruction, and facilitated practice. The appendix provides different activities such as Name Strips, Card Decks and Alphabet Mats that can be used in Small-Group instruction. It also provides independent activities for example, alphabet puzzles, tracing letters, and matching capital and lowercase letter cards.

Materials include frequent and adequate tasks and questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g. follow words left to right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing, upper- and lowercase letters). For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 3, Days 1-3, students participate in a choral reading of, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the teacher uses a pointer to show reading from left to right and sweeping. “Explain that now the students will chorally read “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and you will use the pointer to point under each word. Ask them to watch carefully where the pointer moves when it reaches the end of each line of the song. Chorally read the song and stop at the end of line 7. Ask: Where do I need to move the pointer now? Why do you think that?”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 1 Day 3, after reading aloud the text Gossie, the teacher discusses the spaces between words with students. “Tell the students that now they will look at some words in the story. Turn to page 3 and echo read it one sentence at a time. Point under each word as it is read. Remind the students that written words are separated by spaces. Point under the first word on page 3 - This - and read it aloud. Point to the space after This and tell the students that this space separates the word This from the next word in the sentence - is…”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 11, Day 3, the teacher models how to read a poem with a partner and how to read the poem by pointing to the words as the student reads. “Also point out that each of you used a finger to point under the words as you read, and explain that pointing under each word is important because it helps you and your partner read the same words at the same time.”


Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Students have multiple opportunities over the course of the year to read emergent texts within Being a Reader: Independent Work, Shared Reading, Small Group Reading, and Making Meaning. The instructional core materials also provide opportunities for students to practice automaticity and accuracy of grade level decodable words through choral reading, echo reading, sound sorts, and the sound cards. Students also have multiple opportunities to practice high-frequency words during shared reading and in small group reading.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read emergent-reader texts. For example:

  • Every week, after the students start small-group reading, students read emergent-level texts from their small groups in the reading area during independent work rotations.
  • Appendix C of Being a Reader Teacher’s Manual provides the title of the texts read during Shared Reading lessons. An example of some of the texts are: Barnyard Banter, I Went Walking, I Love Bugs and Here are My Hands.
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 1, Week 2, Day 2, Emergent Reader Text, We Can’t See!, the teacher starts by introducing the text and some of the words students will come across in the text. “Tell the students that this story is about two children who are waiting for something exciting. They cannot see, because there are a lot of people in the way. Show the students the crowd in the picture on the cover. Open to page 2, and ask the students to find today’s new word, isn’t. Then point to page 3 and ask students to find the new word can’t. Write the word here on your wipe-off board and read it for the students. Have the students say the word. Tell the students that they will see this word in today’s book.”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 4, Week 3, Day 1, students reread the book Life in a Plains Tribe, Part I in a quiet voice. The teacher monitors and supports students who are struggling to read the book.

Materials support students’ development of automaticity and accuracy of grade-level decodable words over the course of the year. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 1, Week 3, Day 1, students practice blending decodable words. The teacher models how to blend sounds to read the word at. The teacher has students write the following words on their wipe-off boards: Nan, tan, mat, man, Sam, sat. “Point to the left of Nan. Then point to each letter as the students say the sounds. Point back to the beginning of the word and sweep under it as the students read it.”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 7, Day 3, students are introduced to “Read the Word Cards” and practice sorting words from the shared reading texts by first letters. Students also practice chorally reading the words. “Introduce and Read the Word Cards. Explain that you wrote the names of some of the round objects in the book on index cards. Show the students the first word card, read it aloud, and have the students read it aloud with you. Show the second word card, read it aloud, and have the students read it with you. Use this procedure to have the class read all of the words.

Students have opportunities to read and practice high-frequency words.

  • High-Frequency Words: A repertoire of high-frequency words supports students’ automaticity in reading connected text. After you introduce each word, the students read and spell it, which focuses the students’ attention on the left-to-right sequence of letters. High-frequency words are reviewed daily and are added cumulatively to the weekly books. Word cards that can be added to the class word wall are provided, as well as a “Word Bank” that the students can use for reference. (From Being a Reader, Small Group Reading, Elements of Instruction)
  • In Being a Reader, Set 2, Week 8, Day 1, “Some students are confused by the different pronunciations of say and says because their spellings are similar. You may wish to display the words side by side. Direct the students’ attentions to the ending -s and the change in pronunciation. Then have them chorally read both words several times as you point to them.”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 4, Week 6, Day 2, students learn the high-frequency word, too. The teacher introduces the word too by showing the word card with too and then using too in a sentence: “I like watching movies and I like reading books, too.” Students read it and spell it twice. Then students read the word a third time.


Indicator 1r

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

In Kindergarten, word analysis skills are explicitly taught across writing and reading tasks. When working in whole group writing tasks, the teacher models sounding out words with students and has students follow along, writing the words on their whiteboards. Letter/sound correspondence was also discussed in the Being a Reader small group sets. High-frequency words and the use of a word wall is also referenced and utilized in the Being a Reader small group sets, in the Being a Reader shared read-alouds and in the Being a Writer teacher’s manual, which provides lots of practice for students with these words.

Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g. one-to-one correspondences, syllable segmentation, rime and onset recognition, long and short sounds with common spellings and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters) in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 11, Day 3, students echo read Hands On and review rhyming words in context. “Which two words rhyme in these sentences?” Then students play a rhyming game with words in the pocket chart. “Do [row] and [hold] rhyme? How do you know?”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 13, Day 1, students echo read a poem and figure out alliterative words. “Explain that now the students will echo read the title and the first two lines of the poem and highlight any words that are near each other and start with the sound /w/. Echo read the title as you point under each word. Then ask: “Do you hear any words in this line that start with the /w/ sound? What are they?”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group Reading, Set 1, Week 1, Day 2, students practice one-to-one correspondence. “Explain to the students that when they read their books, they will start on the first page and point to each word on the page as they read it. Tell them that if they finish reading the book, they will turn back to the first page and read it again.”

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read high-frequency words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 1, Week 4, Day 2, students read It Can Sit!, which contains the high-frequency word yes. The word yes was taught earlier in the lesson.
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 2, Week 7, students read Fish for Max, which contains the high-frequency word out. Students learned out earlier in the lesson.

Lessons and activities provide students many opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 24, Day 1, students discuss rhyme and repetition of a poem called “I’m a Yellow-billed Duck.” “What do you notice about the words in the part of the poem we just read?”
  • In Being a Reader, Shared Reading, Week 27, Day 3, students chorally read I Love Bugs! And then students clap syllables in bug names from the text.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 4, Day 2, when making a class list together the teacher encourages students to think about the sounds that they hear in the words they are writing.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 5, Day 1, the word wall is introduced. In the teacher instructions, teachers are informed that for Unit 2 they will be provided words to add to the wall each week, but beyond that unit, it is the teacher’s judgement which words to add to the wall.


Indicator 1s

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meantingful differentiantion of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials supporting ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the school year to assess where a student is in relation to foundational skills. The beginning level mastery tests provide opportunities to assess students’ skills in letter sounds and blending. Sight word knowledge is also assessed. The assessments are to be completed every 2-3 weeks throughout the school year, which provides teachers with relevant assessment data over the course of the school year. Whole group assessments are provided for teachers in the K-2 Assessment Manual. Based on how students perform on the assessments, teachers are often provided with instructional suggestions to support students who are struggling.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills. For example:

  • Mastery Tests for Small-group Reading Sets 1-5, a Mastery Test Assessment Note occurs once every four weeks in Small-group Reading Sets 1-5. This test assesses how well individual students are learning the spelling-sounds and high-frequency words taught in Small-group Reading Sets 1-5. For example, in Mastery Test 1, the teacher assesses students’ spelling-sounds knowledge of s, n, m, t, a and high frequency words: he, she, can’t, isn’t, to, get
  • In Being a Writer, there are weekly Class Assessment Records that are used to assess the class progress in specific skills. For example, In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2 the Class Assessment Record includes the questions: “Are they writing letters? Words? Letter-like symbols that stand for writing?” In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2 the Class Assessment Record includes the questions: “Are they using letters, words, or letter-like symbols to label their drawings? Are they using the letter-sound relationships from their phonics instruction in their writing?”
  • The Individual Reading Observation for Small-group Reading includes the following suggestions for supporting readers:
    • If the student struggles with a word for more than a few seconds, read the word for the student.
    • If the student struggles to read a particular type of word (e.g., high-frequency words, polysyllabic words, words with inflectional endings), you may want to address this during an individual conference at another time.
    • If the student incorrectly reads a word and does not self-correct, ask the student to reread the sentence.
    • If the student incorrectly reads a sentence or a passage aloud and does not recognize the error, you may want to stop the student and ask, “Does that make sense?” You may need to paraphrase what was read aloud. Encourage the student to go back and reread.
    • If the student struggles to reads fluently, you may want to address this during a Small-group Reading lesson on fluency or during an individual conference.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. For example:

  • Placement assessments help identify students’ reading levels for small-group reading instruction. Assessment of students is suggested to take place the third or fourth week of school. The Placement Assessments for Small-group Reading Sets 1-5 measure each student’s use of spelling-sound correspondences to read decodable words and each student’s knowledge of letters and high-frequency words.
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group Reading, Week 2, Day 3, Group Progress Assessment GA1, student’s progress is assessed with the following question: “Is the group mastering the high-frequency words taught in the lessons?” The teacher is to mark a check in one of the following columns- All or most students, About half of the students, Only a few students.

Materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. For example:

  • In Being a Reader, Small Group Reading, Set 1, Week 1, Day 3, the Teacher Note column provides the teachers with opportunities to make instructional adjustments for print awareness to support students in mastery of grade level foundation skills. “Teacher Note- Observe the students’ reading behavior. Support students who struggle with directionality or with pointing under each word as they read.”
  • In Being a Reader, Small Group Reading, Week 2, Day 3, Group Progress Assessment GA1, the student’s progress is assessed with the following question: “Is the group mastering the high-frequency words taught in the lessons?” The teacher is to mark a check in one of the following columns- All or most students, About half of the students, Only a few students- the following suggestion is given at the bottom of the assessment: Support struggling students with a reteach of the content: see “Reteach with The Pet” at the end of Set 2, Week 2.
  • After administering the Placement Assessment, in the Being a Reader Teacher Manual instructions are provided for how to form small groups based on student performance.Forming Small Groups: “You will form differentiated small groups after finishing beginning-of-the-year placement assessments and setting the foundation for independent work. In kindergarten, it is likely that some students will be ready for small-group instruction earlier in the year than other students. For students who are not ready for reading instruction, use the suggestions in Appendix E, “Letter-name Instruction,” in your grade-level whole-class Being a Reader Teacher’s Manual to teach letter names.”


Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

The materials provide high quality lessons in foundational skills throughout the school year. This is done through Being a Reader and Making Meaning The materials provide teachers with opportunities for differentiation through small group reading sets. Teachers are also provided with guidance and support for each lesson in the teacher column of the lesson plan. Skills are also repeated numerous times throughout the school year to help students build mastery and independence in foundational skills.

Materials provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills. For example:

In Being a Reader, the lessons provide the teacher with suggestions for scaffolding, as well as a lesson plan that is structured the same week to week. The students are provided with multi-sensory approaches to work toward mastery of foundational skills such as clapping, picture cards, and using their fingers to trace letters on their desks. The lessons allow students to practice and apply what they learned from the Read Aloud and allow time for teachers to informally monitor and reflect on student progress.

In Being a Reader, Week 2, Day 2, teachers are provided with a segmenting support note in the margins that states, “For segmenting activities, draw out continuous sounds and leave a very short pause between sounds (/ss/ /ăă/ /mm/, not /ssăămm/).”

In Being a Reader, Small Group Reading, the lessons are structured the same from week to week and provide teachers with guidance for scaffolding support in the Teacher Note column/sidebar. Students are introduced to new high frequency words each lesson and review the words from the previous lesson. Students are introduced to phonological awareness, sound-spelling, and frequency words before reading their decodable reader for that lesson. Students also participate in Guided Spelling at the end of each lesson.

In Being a Reader, Set 1, Week 1, Day 1, teachers are informed, “In this lesson, the students: Practice oral blending, Learn the spelling-sounds s /s/, Identify beginning sounds, Learn the procedure for the sound sort, Learn the high-frequency word he, Review high-frequency words.”

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs. For example:

In Being a Reader, Set 1, Week 1, Day , when students are working on identifying beginning sounds, the teacher is provided with ideas to support students who are struggling with segmenting, “If the students struggle to identify the first sound, you might use a visual aid. Draw three blanks side by side on a wipe-off board and point to each blank as you say the sounds. Then ask the students to say the word slowly as you point to each blank. Finally, point to the first blank and ask the students to identify the first sound.”

In Being a Reader, Small Group, Set 2, students have the opportunity to continue to practice skills taught in the previous set. Students are taught spelling-sounds b /b/,p /p/,l /l/,g /g/, short e,w /w/, th/th/, th/TH/,y /y/,v /v/,sh /sh/,x /ks/,ch -tch /ch/,z /z/,j -dge /j/. In Set 3, the students participate in guided spelling of words that contain these spelling-sounds (which, when, whiz, mush, test, bag, shut).

In Being a Reader, Week 17, Day 1, teachers are advised to “Page through Millions of Snowflakes and tell the students the word for each place the snowflakes land in the story (nose, eyes, tongue, chin, hand, house, tree, ground, me). Invite the students to share how to say each of those words in their primary language.”

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery. For example:

Students first begin with a placement test that allows for differentiation of foundational skills. Students are then placed in small group readers depending on their placement tests. Opportunities for additional support of foundational skills are provided in the Being a Reader, Small Group Reading.

In Being a Reader, Set 1, Week 7, Day 3, Identifying Middle Sounds, “Tell the students that today they will listen for the sound they hear in the middle of a word. Explain that you will say a word, and they will say the middle sound. Practice, using the word not. First day the word once normally, then say the word twice, emphasizing the middle sound.” Some of the words that students identify the middle sound in include: sun, hat, dim, fun, Dan, miss. This skill is again repeated in Set 1, Week 3, Day 2. “Tell students that today they will listen for the sound they hear in the middle of a word. Explain that you will say a word, and they will say the middle sound. Practice, using the word pet. First say the word once normally, then say the word twice, emphasizing the middle sound.” Students also identify the middle sound in the following words: whip, job, zip, whiz, zap, jet.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Materials partially meet the criteria that texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and there is support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Materials partially meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Materials meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component.

Criterion 2a - 2h

24/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students' knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Within the units of Making Meaning the instructional materials are organized around literary and informational texts and the teaching of reading comprehension strategies. Texts are not consistently organized by topic and students have limited opportunities to build knowledge and vocabulary about topics consistently. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, the title of the unit is Making Connections: Fiction. Students listen to the texts When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang, I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer, and Say Hello by Jack Foreman. Students focus on the skills of making text-to-self connections, identifying key details and important ideas in a story, compare and contrast characters in a story, answer questions to understand the story.
  • In Unit 3, the title of the unit is Retelling: Fiction. Students listen to the texts Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington (wordless picture book), Maisy’s Pool by Lucy Cousins, and “Charlie Needs a Cloak” by Tomie dePaola. Students focus on the skills of making text-to-self connections, retell the sequence of events in a story, and answer questions to understand the story. While this text work may support story comprehension, these texts do not provide access to support students in building knowledge about a topic.
  • In Unit 5, the title of the unit is Wondering: Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction. Students listen to Brave Bear by Kathy Mallat, A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats, and Brave Norman: A True Story by Andrew Clements. Students focus on the skills of using wondering to help them understand a story and retell part of a story.
  • In Unit 8, the title of the unit is Using Text Features: Expository Nonfiction. Students listen to Getting Around By Plane by Cassie Mayer, The Moon by Martha E.H. Rustad, The Sun by Charlotte Guillain, and Dolphins by Kate Riggs. Students focus on the skills of using text features to better understand expository nonfiction, identify the main topic and retell key details in a nonfiction book, make connections to help them understand the nonfiction book, use wondering to help them understand a nonfiction book, and explore text features of expository nonfiction. Students will have practice with these text features, but these texts do not collectively support students’ growing knowledge of a topic during the unit.

In Being a Writer, the units are focused on the writing process and writing genres. In the Writing Community, students hear texts about growing up. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Week 2, one is a text about attending kindergarten called I Love School!
  • In Week 3, students hear a text about outshining siblings called Titch.
  • In Week 4, they hear a text about getting bigger called When I Get Bigger.

Though these texts are somewhat connected, they do not work together to build knowledge of a topic.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Most texts include evidence-based questions that focus on identifying key ideas and details, but few questions focus on analyzing key ideas, details, language, craft, and text structure. The majority of questions asked are ones that require the student to think critically about the text and how it applies to their life and/or surroundings. The questions do not become more complex as the year goes on. However, within a short unit there was minimal evidence to show an expansion of knowledge. The concepts that are covered are big picture concepts such as inferencing/wondering, key ideas, but the curriculum lacks more detailed concepts such as looking at the craft, structure, or the why behind the text. Most questions are recall questions that do not become more complex as the year progresses and rarely require analysis. These components are not embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly, and teachers are not given the opportunity to know from student work if students understand the definitions and concepts of the components in each unit (i.e., compare and contrast, illustrations within a text, etc.).

In Unit 2, Week 3, Making Meaning, The teacher reads aloud Say Hello. The teacher is instructed to stop at key points to ask, “What has happened in the story so far?” and “What do you think will happen next?” After reading, students work on selecting a book to read. The focus of the text was making text to self connections, but no questions were asked prompting students to think about their daily lives and how it relates to the text.

In Unit 5, Week 2, Making Meaning, The teacher reads aloud A Letter to Amy. After reading a portion of the story the teacher is prompted to stop and ask, “What has happened in the story so far?” After the story, the teacher’s questions become a little more complex “Why do you think Peter doesn’t want Amy to see the letter?” and “What did you wonder as you listened to the story?” No modeling in regards to the skill of wondering was evident within this lesson (this is the 3rd lesson in) and that was the only question that focused around the targeted skill for the unit of wondering.

In Unit 8, Week 4, Making Meaning, The teacher reads aloud Dolphins stopping at key points to inquire, “What have you learned about dolphins so far?” One the story was complete, the teacher prompts, “What did you learn about dolphins that surprised you?” and concluding with “What are you still wondering about dolphins?” A brief mini lesson on the glossary sums up the lesson with the teacher modeling how to locate one word and the students locating another. The questions provided in this lesson did not increase with complexity and no direct teaching of non-fiction skills embedded into the text were evident as students were only taught how to find one word in the glossary that was not directly derived from a text conversation, but rather after the fact.

In Making Meaning, the majority of the questions ask students to recall basic ideas and details from the story. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Day 1, while listening to Whistle for Willie students are asked, "What has happened so far in the story?" and "What do you think will happen next?"
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, while listening to Maisy’s Pool students are asked what had just happened in certain parts of the story.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 2, students are asked what they learned about zookeepers after hearing the book A Day in the Life of a ZooKeeper.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 1, students are asked why Fluffy doesn't mind being named Fluffy anymore, which requires the students to analyze the details.

In Being a Reader, the students are often asked to recall what they remember about the story. For example in Week 4, Day 3 of the shared reading of I Went Walking, the teacher asks, "What do you remember about the story?"

In Being a Writer, students are asked key detail questions such as "What do you know about Titch and his brother and sister after hearing the story Titch?" in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1. Similarly, in Unit 1, Week 4, Day 2, students are asked to answer the question, “What does Little Critter want to do when he gets bigger?”

Students are asked some questions about craft and structure in Making Meaning, but the questions are not text-dependent:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, Day 1, the teacher shows the cover of Flower Garden and asks the students what the author of a story does and what an illustrator of a story does. However, the actual book is not used to answer this question.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 1, after listening to the poem “Umbrellas,” the teacher asks the students “In what ways is the poem ‘Umbrellas’ different from a story?’”
  • In Unit 8, Week 4, Day 1, when preparing to listen to the text Dolphins, the teacher asks the students what information is included on the title page.

In Being a Reader, the author and illustrator are pointed out. For example, in Week 2 of shared reading, it says to “Point to the author’s name and read it aloud. Remind the students that an author is the person who writes a story and an illustrator is the person who draws the picture.”

In terms of analyzing words and phrases as well as author’s word choice, the majority of the types of questions ask students what they are visualizing. For example, in Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, after listening to Cat’s Colors in Making Meaning, the teacher asks what did they picture in their mind and what did the beach look like. The other examples for analyzing word choice comes from the vocabulary sections of the program, instead of asking questions about the text. For example, in Week 5, students hear the story Friends at School and are introduced to the word, enjoy, and are then asked what they enjoy doing at school and at home.

Towards the end of the program, there are a few opportunities for students to integrate ideas. For example, in Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2 of Making Meaning, students discuss the similarities and differences between A Baby Duck Story and A Baby Penguin Story.

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The materials in Kindergarten contain text-dependent questions and tasks; however, they do not consistently require students to integrate knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Many of the questions are retell questions but there is minimal analysis that requires the students to identify and describe characters, settings, and events for instance. After almost every story, students are asked, “What is happening in the story.” There is also little guidance or modeling around using the text to support answers that are asked. The process for each week is almost identical to the previous lesson, but with different text. Without adequate teacher supports to guide the conversation, analysis could easily be very superficial as the questions that are to be asked are extremely vague and not purposeful to the text that is being read aloud. There are few examples of students having to compare and contrast characters’ experiences as well; however, many of these are optional and occur at the every end of the year.

In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, Making Meaning, the teacher reads aloud When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry and stops periodically to ask, “What has happened in the story so far?” On day 2, text to self connections are established by asking, “When have you acted or felt like Sophie?” “What are some things that make you feel better when you’re angry?” and “ Why is it important to calm down when you are angry?” Students participate in a writing activity on day 2 that has them write about a time where they were angry like Sophie in the book.

In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, Making Meaning, prior to reading Brave Norman: A True Story, the teacher asks, “What do you wonder about the story?” As the teacher reads, they are prompted to stop and ask, “What has happened in the story so far?” At the end the selected text the program prompts the teacher to ask three questions one including, “ Why do you think the family kept Norman?” On Day 2, students participate in a retell of the text selection from day 1. The only question that teachers are prompted to ask is, “What happens next?” No specifics about character elements are presented.

In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 1, Making Meaning, after reading A Harbor Seal Pup Grows Up the teacher asks, “What did you learn from the words and the pictures about Sidney’s first weeks of life?” and then follows up with, “What did you learn from the words and pictures about how Sidney is nursed back to health, or made to feel better?” On Day 2, the teacher asks students to compare/contrast A Harbor Seal Pup Grows Up and A Baby Duck Story by asking, “In what ways are these two books alike?” and “In what ways are these two books different?” One extension activity asks students to read other books about baby seals and compare/contrast by asking themselves how they are alike and different. While the example does ask them to compare/contrast multiple texts, the questions remain basic and no supports are in place for the teacher if the students are unaware on how to answer the question.

In Making Meaning, there are some examples of students integrating knowledge and ideas in texts:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, students listen to the story Flower Garden and are asked some analysis questions such as “How do you think the girl feels and what in this picture makes you think that?”.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students hear the story Doctor’s Help, and are asked to answer questions such as, Why are doctors important to the community and How do veterinarians and zookeepers work together, both of which require analysis.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students listen to the story A Harbor Seal Grows Up. One of the questions students have to answer is “What did you learn from the words and pictures about how Sidney is nursed back to health, or made to feel better?”. This question requires the students to go back to what they hear and think about what they learned from the text.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3 students have to share what they learned about the sun after hearing the story The Sun.

In later Units in Making Meaning, students are given opportunities to integrate ideas between two texts:

  • In Unit 7, students read the texts A Baby Penguin Story and A Baby Duck Story and they have to write about what they learned about baby animals from the two texts. At the end of Unit 7, students Think, Pair, Share what they learned about baby animals in all four books in the unit.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2 and 3, students read the stories The Sun and The Moon and after hearing both, students write a few sentences about what they learned about the solar system from the two books.

There are some optional activities that do require analysis of two texts; however, teachers may not do these extension activities. For example, in Unit 1, Week 2, after working with If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, they teacher can read If you Take a Mouse to School, and then ask how the two stories are alike and different; however, this is an extension and not all students will participate in this integration of ideas.

However, there are many instances in Making Meaning where students only have to retell what was happening without any analysis or integration of ideas. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, after hearing If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, students are asked “What has happened so far in the story?” and “Do you think this is a funny story?”
  • In Unit 1, Week 3 when, after hearing Cat’s Colors, students have to answer questions such as “What is Cat’s favorite color?” and “What do you remember about the part of the story you just heard?"
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students hear the story Pumpkin, Pumpkin and students are asked “What has happened to the pumpkin seed so far?” while listening to the story, which is not an example of analyzing information.

In the Being a Writer component of the materials, there are some instances of students answering a sequence of text-dependent questions to integrate knowledge and ideas. In Unit 1, Week 3, students hear the story Titch. Students are asked “What do you know about Titch and his brother and sister” which does require them to analyze the text; however, the next day they are asked what they remember about the book. However there are many questions that do not do this. For example, in Unit 1, Week 2, students hear I Love School and answer the question such as “What do these children like to do at school?”.

In the Being a Reader component of the materials, the majority of the shared reading texts focus on the text, verse the meaning of the story. For example, in Week 3, when students engage in a Shared Reading of “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” students are asked to predict the end of the line and there is a focus on high frequency words.

In the Being a Reader component of the materials, many questions about the text do not require analysis. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Week 1, students have to share what has happened so far in the story after hearing Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom.
  • In Week 2, students participate in the shared reading of The Alphabet and are asked “What is happening in this part of the story” for example, with no analysis or integration of ideas.

One example of analysis in Being a Reader is in Week 4, when students are asked how the boy feels after hearing I Went Walking.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom  Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

In the Making Meaning section Writing About Reading activities, discussions, and writing pieces for students require students to demonstrate knowledge of a topic or skill, which requires students to integrate reading and writing, but this is only one component of the program and is not always about the text or the topic from the read-aloud. Learning for the week is consistently secular from week to week. Writing tasks are suggested throughout the curriculum as an extension, but if not utilized, very little writing is embedded in the program. The program is very systematic, so much so, that the only opportunities for students to respond orally is thru single response answers or thru the many think, pair, share opportunities provided. No other strategies are utilized to extend student’s oral language development, as this is a missed opportunity especially during read aloud when vocabulary is introduced. Information on how to intentionally integrate speaking and listening throughout is not evident in the teacher’s resources, so unless the teacher is aware of specific teaching strategies, no supports are available. Earlier questions and discussions will give the teacher usable information about student's readiness to complete the Writing about Reading section.

In Unit 1, Lesson 6, On Day 1, the teacher reads aloud Whistle for Willie stopping periodically to ask basic comprehension questions. At the end the teacher facilitates a think, pair, share asking partners to discuss, “What was your favorite part of the story?” and “What is Peter’s problem in the story?” On day 2, the teacher utilizes picture cards to model retelling the story. He/she invites them to participate in the oral retelling.

In Unit 4, Week 1, On Day 1, the teacher reviews the book Cat’s Colors that was previously read in the school year. Students use a think, pair, share to practice the skill of visualizing. The teacher was instructed to reread a page in the book, students closed their eyes, and the teacher is to prompt their thinking with a suggestion such as, “Picture the beach.” “Picture what the cat is doing on the beach.” “Picture the cat looking up into the sky.” Students are then prompted to turn and talk to their neighbor after the question, “What did you picture in your mind?” In this instance the teacher integrates reading to some extent, listening and speaking. However, the explicit prompts tell scholars exactly what to visualize. Minimal usage of reading and speaking were evident and no writing tasks were included.

In Unit 8, Week 1, On Day 1, the teacher reads a portion of Getting Around by Plane. After page 7, the teacher stops and asks, “What did you learn about planes from the words and the photograph?” After the book is finished, the teacher facilitates a brief discussion with the following questions, “According to the book, what do planes carry?”, “According to the book, where do planes fly?” and “What else did you learn about planes in this book?” While there was integration of reading and speaking, the questions that were asked were eliciting single responses.

Students have some opportunities throughout the Making Meaning component, as well as Being a Writer component to respond to literature and use skills that they have learned; however, these tasks usually are about a single text or skill and are not the culmination of learning involving multiple standards or more than a week of instruction. According to the publisher, "the Writing about Reading activities provide multiple opportunities to analyze a single text in response to a sequence of questions presented by the teacher, and then {students} write a response to the literature using text evidence to support opinions or conclusions". Throughout the entire program, the tasks are isolated using one text verse integrating all of the skills and not all of the activities require the students to use text evidence. Some examples as well as non-examples of this include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Being a Writer: In this lesson, the students hear the story Titch and spend a few days writing about things they like to do with their family. In the Writing about Reading activity, students have to write a few sentences about what they like to do for fun with their family. This is asking students to write a self to text connection instead of providing text evidence to support an opinion or conclusion.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, Making Meaning: Students listen to Maisy's Pool and are asked to make a text to self connection after reading and discussing the text. Specifically, students are asked to draw and write about a problem they had and how they solved it.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 2, Being a Writer: After hearing Vegetables, students are asked to write their opinions about the text, which helps to evaluate students’ ability to write an opinion piece, but not the ability to integrate knowledge of a topic based on a text.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Making Meaning: After hearing A Baby Duck Story and A Baby Penguin story, students are first asked to discuss, 'In what ways are these two books alike?". Then students write a text to text connection about what they learned about baby animals from these books. In this activity, the students are writing about what they learned from the stories and integrating knowledge.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 3, Making Meaning: After students have listened to The Moon and The Sun, they need to write a few sentences about what they learned about the solar system from the two books, which is one example of integrating knowledge on a topic.


Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Tier 2 vocabulary words and concept words are highlighted for each Read Aloud lesson. Students are provided with explicit vocabulary instruction. Words are first introduced in context. Then students are provided a student-friendly definition of the word and examples of the way it is used. Students engage actively with the word in meaningful ways when they first encounter it, such as by applying it to their own experiences. Students practice using the word through engaging activities. Students are provided with multiple exposures to the word over an extended period of time. Teachers teach strategies that students can use to learn words independently, such as recognizing synonyms, antonyms, and words with multiple meanings, and using context to determine word meanings.

In Kindergarten, students are provided with a systematic approach to vocabulary. In the Making Meaning Module, most lessons within each unit contain a list of "suggested vocabulary" as well as ELL words for English Language Learners. In addition, there are 30 weeks of explicit vocabulary instruction that include words found in or relating to the read-aloud texts, known as "concept words" in the Vocabulary Teaching Guide. During the three days of vocabulary instruction, students are reintroduced to the words learned in the read aloud and new words that are essential for understanding the text. There are four to six words per week, and lessons are 15-20 minutes. The materials include digital word cards and digital word and picture cards. Student-friendly definitions are included. Students use these words in a variety of ways, make real-life connections, and discuss them with partners and as a whole class. Also, within this vocabulary instruction is guidance for ongoing review for students to review and practice words that have been learned previously. The vocabulary teaching guide prompts teachers to teach the vocabulary lesson one week after the students were exposed to the reading containing the words. The words are reviewed in following weeks.

In Making Meaning, there are suggested words to teach for each read aloud:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3 the suggested words are swoop, soar, snooze, and tangle for the story Cat's Colors. Students also review previously-taught words.

As teachers are doing the read aloud, it is suggested that they stop and explain the definition of words that will be taught in the following week in the Vocabulary Teaching Guide:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students hear the story My Friends, and teachers are told to clarify the word explore by defining it, rereading the sentence, and then continuing.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, the suggested vocabulary words are colony, preens, krill, and flippers. This process is used throughout the Making Meaning component as well as the Being a Writer component, and further activities are done in future weeks in the Vocabulary Teaching Guide.

In the Vocabulary Teaching Guide, there are many ongoing activities for students to acquire language. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Week 5, students review the words eager, explore, nuisance, pedestrian, and soar. Ongoing practice activities occur throughout the week including a game called "Imagine That," where the teacher describes a scene and the students make pictures in their minds about what they see. Students have to use the words that they learned to talk about the picture.
  • In Week 6, students learn the words whirl, scramble, determined, proud, and review the words drowsy, generous, gooey, passenger, and tangled. During this week, one activity students do is the "Act Out the Words" game where a word is given and students have to act it out, and then the whole class discusses what they saw.
  • In Week 7, students learn the words snatch, furious, comfort, and welcome. The word, furious, is introduced and defined, and students take turns discussing times when they were furious. The Appendix of the Vocabulary Teaching Guide provides an all-inclusive list of the words and their student-friendly definitions. For example, the student-friendly definition of creature is animal (Week 1, Day 3).

Concept words are taught in addition to words found in the read aloud. Concept words are words that represent a concept or idea that is important to the story. Sometimes, these concept words are included to introduce or review an important word-learning strategy such as learning antonyms.

Teacher guidance and support include both print and digital components, including interactive whiteboard activities, assessment forms, reproducible word cards, family letters and other reproducibles, and professional development media.

Indicator 2f

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials contain a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

The materials for writing instruction cover a year-long plan that supports students in building and communicating a substantive understanding of topics and texts. In Being a Writer, there are seven units that span the school year for a total of 27 weeks of instruction, covering narratives, informative writing, and opinion writing. Students also write poems. In Making Meaning, students are given opportunities to write about the texts that they have read. Teachers are given protocols for teaching the lessons, and students are given models through guided writing and shared writing. The writing instruction supports students' growth in writing skills over the course of the school year. Instructional materials include a variety of well-designed lesson plans, models, and protocols for teachers to implement and monitor students' writing development. The skills taught become increasingly challenging throughout the school year. Students begin the year by watching the writing process modeled by the teacher, then participate in shared writing, before completing individual pieces.

In Being a Writer, students spend several days on one writing topic and typically use the read-aloud text as a model. According to page xvx of the Being a Writer manual, skills are introduced in the first three units and practiced in subsequent units:

  • In Unit 1, the skill taught is drawing pictures to tell stories.
  • In Unit 2, nine skills are taught, which include telling stories orally before writing, labeling pictures using letters or words, writing left to right and top to bottom, using a word wall to spell high-frequency words, using spaces between words, writing sentences, capitalizing the first letter in sentences, using periods at the end of sentences, and approximating spellings using letter-sound correspondences.
  • In Unit 3, using frequently occurring prepositions and adding -s or -es to form plurals are the skills that are taught.
  • In Unit 4, understanding and using question words is taught.

Some examples of these lessons are included as follows:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, students listen to When I Get Bigger. On the first day, the students choose one thing they want to do when they get bigger and draw or write a story about it. On Day 2, students write one new thing they want to do when they get bigger.
  • In Unit 2, Week 5, students listen to Freight Train. On Day 1, students participate in guided writing to create a "Things We Like" chart. On Day 2, students participate in a class-shared writing about something they like and then independently complete the same writing prompt.
  • In Unit 2, Week 7, students generate ideas about food and write and draw about foods they like, which helps support opinion writing.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, students listen to When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry and on Day 1, students orally share a time they get mad like Sophie and then write and illustrate their story. On Day 2, students revise their story, and on Day 3, students share.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, students listen to Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young and spend several days generating descriptive and movement words about animals to write poems.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students continue with more opinion writing and write opinion pieces about which animals would make good pets.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, students listen to I Love School and as a class, generate a list of "Fun Things" that they have done at school this year. Then, students write opinion sentences on what was the most fun. On Day 2, students generate ideas for a class celebration and write a letter about which celebration the class should choose. Students have the option this day to write an opinion letter to the publisher of the book, giving their opinion of the book and one to two reasons supporting their opinions.

In the Making Meaning component, students have the opportunity to write about the text. For example, in Unit 7, Week 1, students have listened to A Baby Penguin Story and A Baby Duck Story and write a few sentences about what they have learned about baby animals from these two texts.

Assessments are primarily provided in the form of writing samples, and beginning and end-of-year writing samples are optional. Teachers are provided with samples of writing for each stage of early writing (pages xxi - xvi). Teachers are also provided with a checklist to determine students' stage of writing development. Teachers are expected to conference with students in every unit and record their observations. Forms for record-keeping are provided.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

The majority of the shared research and writing projects in Kindergarten are shared writing projects. They also provide opportunities for short, skill-building projects throughout the year.

In the document "CCC Kindergarten CCSS Correlations," the standards W.K.7 and W.K.8 are listed in the following units and lessons:

  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 2 of Being a Writer, students listen to I Went Walking and write a shared story about something in the classroom.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Days 1 - 3 of Being a Writer, students interview their partners to garner research. Students then write those researched facts about their partners.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3 Days 1 and 2 of Being a Writer, students listen to Vegetables. On Day 1, students listen to the story and generate a list of foods to examine and write about. On Day 2, students observe grapes and write things that they notice about them. The teacher models writing a page about grapes, Students then write their own pages about grapes.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Days 2 and 3 of Being a Writer, students listen to Alligators are Unfriendly and generate a list of animals that would not make a good pet. Students then write a shared-opinion piece.

In Unit 2, Week 9 of Being a Writer: on an "Open Day," the teacher can work with individual students to provide additional support, and others can work on activities. One activity is to read additional books about animals and write about what they learn. Another activity is to have each student write a sentence about what they know about bears and then compile them in a class book. The final activity is to create a class animal book about what they know about animals, which delves into focused, shared research.

In Unit 4, Week 1 of Being a Writer: on an "Open Day," one activity is to have students think of their favorite meal and create a shopping list of the ingredients needed to make the meal. Another activity is to interview another classmate. The final activity is to have students pick a job that they know about and write about it. Student writings could be compiled into a class book, so that they can share this information with one another.

There are numerous opportunities within the units for students to share information and participate in shared writings:

  • In Unit 2, Weeks 1 - 4 of Being a Writer, shared writing is used to generate ideas for a list of things, such as in Week 2 to generate a list of things that are red.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students participate in a shared writing about their Monday activities after listening to Cookie's Week.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, after listening to I Want to be a Chef, students participate in a shared writing where they generate a list of people to learn and write about from their school community. On Days 2 and 3, students interview and write about their partners.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1 of Being a Writer, students participate in shared writings to generate a list of animal words and then write a poem about an animal.


Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The materials in Kindergarten provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component. Independent Daily Reading (IDR) is included in all lessons, and gives the students opportunities to practice the reading skills they have learned, build stamina, and foster a love of reading. Students begin the year reading up to 5 minutes independently and gradually progress up to 15 minutes by the end of the year. Guidance with reading conferences is included and helps hold the students accountable for their reading, as well as give the teacher an opportunity to assess each student’s reading progress. A Family Letter is included at the end of each unit to highlight the skills that have been taught and to give information to parents as to how they can support their child's reading life at home. Also included is a proposed schedule for independent reading and a tracking system, which may include a student component.

In Kindergarten, Independent Daily Reading begins in Unit 1, Week 5. Students spend up to 15 minutes per day reading books on their own independent reading level. In Unit 1, students learn the procedures for IDR, learn different ways to read a book, and read teacher-selected texts. Beginning in Unit 2, students select books of their interest on their own levels from book bins in the classroom. Conferring begins informally in this unit with the teacher and student discussing their reading lives. Formal conferring and discussions about the books they are reading begins in Unit 3, with checklists (IDR Conference Notes) and supports (Resource Sheet for IDR Conferences) for the teacher to monitor student progress. In Unit 4, students beginning reading independently for up to 10 minutes and practice visualizing while reading.

In each Lesson, there is specific instruction each day on what students and teachers should focus. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 1, students need to continue reading their nonfiction book and to think about what they are learning from the book, and they need to be prepared to share with the class. For conferencing, teachers use the Resource Sheet for IDR found in the Assessment Resource Book on page 79 to help guide their questioning. Teachers should document observations on each student on the IDR Conference Notes record sheet, found on page 82 of the Assessment Resource Book.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 2, where the students read for 15 minutes in their nonfiction book, are prepared to share one thing they learned, and are prepared to ask one question about their book.

A Family Letter is sent home at the end of each unit to provide families ways to support their child's growth as a reader. Some examples from the Unit 1 Family Letter include making weekly trips to the local library to borrow books, setting time aside to read together everyday, discussing how the books they are reading remind them of their own lives, and modeling good listening by paying attention to their child when the two of them discuss a story.

In order to foster independence, the small-group reading portion of Being a Reader provides targeted, differentiated reading instruction at each student’s individual reading levels. The small-group instruction is organized around a range of texts that increase with sophistication and complexity as the students progress as readers.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3e

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
N/A

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
N/A

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
N/A

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
N/A

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
N/A

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
N/A

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
N/A

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
N/A

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
N/A

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
N/A

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
N/A

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
N/A
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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 05/15/2019

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-397-8 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-772-3 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2015
Being a Reader Assessment Resource Book 978-1-61003-826-3 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Reader Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-840-9 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Digital Assessment Resource Book 978-1-68246-251-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
Kipper?s A to Z 978-1-68246-313-0 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
Learning Letter Names (Letter Cards) 978-1-68246-315-4 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
Learning Letter Names (Capital and Lowercase Letter Cards) 978-1-68246-316-1 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
Learning Letter Names (Letter Cards) 978-1-68246-317-8 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
Learning Letter Names (Capital and Lowercase Letter Cards) 978-1-68246-318-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
Being a Reader: Learning Letter Names Teacher?s Manual 978-1-68246-319-2 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017

About Publishers Responses

All publishers are invited to provide an orientation to the educator-led team that will be reviewing their materials. The review teams also can ask publishers clarifying questions about their programs throughout the review process.

Once a review is complete, publishers have the opportunity to post a 1,500-word response to the educator report and a 1,500-word document that includes any background information or research on the instructional materials.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review tools, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports.org review tool and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team PLCs to ensure that the tool is being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

Rubric Design

The EdReports.org’s rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?
  • Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

ELA K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA review rubrics identify the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubrics support a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence
  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the rubrics by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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