Alignment: Overall Summary

Core Knowledge Language Arts Grade 2 instructional materials meet expectations of alignment to the standards. Texts included with the materials are of quality and consistently demonstrate appropriate and growing complexity for the students and related tasks. Texts are organized and bolstered with evidence-based questions and tasks to support students’ growing literacy skills. These evidence-based questions and tasks build students’ knowledge on topics while engaging them in rich, rigorous discussions, grounded in evidence and providing meaningful opportunities for academic vocabulary practice. The materials fully engage students in the development of their foundational skills. Writing instruction over the course of the school year is consistent and organized to support students’ development of different types of writing as outlined in the standards. The materials provide practical opportunities for students to demonstrate both growth and proficiency at grade level in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
56
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
30
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
33
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 for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Gateway 1. Texts are appropriately rigorous and organized in a manner to support students' skill development. Texts are of high quality and are engaging with rich language. The materials provide many opportunities for text-based questions and tasks and writing instruction that encompasses the standards. Discussion includes modeling and practice of academic vocabulary. The materials support teachers to teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction.

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.
18/20

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that 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. It is clear that the majority of the texts are of publishable quality. Domain 1 consists of fairy tales and tall tales. Included in Domain 1 are “The Fisherman and his Wife,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Other domains have some texts that are published, such as in Domain 2, where the famous folktale, “The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal” is included. Domain 4 contains famous Greek myths, including “Prometheus and Pandora,” “Arachne the Weaver,” and “Daedalus and Icarus.”

In other domains, it is not clear that the texts have been previously published, but the content is rich. The texts are of publishable quality and include topics interesting to students at Grade 2. For example, in Domain 3, according to CKLA, “Students will learn about the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, the city-states of Sparta and Athens, and the philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. They will learn about the first Olympic Games held in honor of Zeus, the significance of the battles of Marathon and Thermopylae, and the conquests of Alexander the Great” (page 2). In Domain 5, the topic focuses on the War of 1812, and again the content is complex, the vocabulary is rich, and the images and illustrations are accurate. It should be noted that there are no acknowledgements or references available for the writers or for the development of the information.

While some texts do not appear to be previously published, they do appear to be of publishable quality due to the engaging vocabulary in each of the texts. Some examples of these texts include “Broad Stripes and Bright Stars” (Domain 5, Lesson 6), “The Trail of Tears” (Domain 7, Lesson 5), and “A Mosaic of Immigrants” (Domain 11, Lesson 7). Vocabulary words are defined within the texts to help students better understand the content.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectations that texts reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. There are a variety of text types and genres including literature, literary nonfiction, informational texts, folktales, and poems in the Grade 2 domains. Each domain is organized around a topic, and the read-aloud texts within the domains include literature and informational texts; most of them contain informational texts. Some domains are specifically literary or informational. It should be noted, however, that the last six domains contain all informational texts. Of the 12 domains, only two are dedicated to literary/fictional topics. Of the 95 texts in this series, only 21 are literary.

Domain 1 covers fairy tales and tall tales. Domain 4 is dedicated to Greek myths. The rest of the domains are focused on either a science topic or a social studies topic, although some of the domains include literary texts and informational texts. For example, while the majority of Domains 2, 3, and 6 contain informational texts, some literary texts are found in those domains. Other domains contain only informational text, including Domains 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. There is not an equal distribution of literary and informational in the Grade 2 curriculum. It should be noted that according to the K-2 Program Guide, “The amount of nonfiction gradually increases, reaching the 50-50 balance of fiction and nonfiction by third grade.” The Program Guide also states that the balance is achieved throughout the day, not just in the language arts block, and teachers should have students read literature and informational texts in all subjects.

Below is each domain with the text types within:

  • Domain 1: Fairy Tales and Tall Tales
    • This domain contains 8 stories, including popular folktales such as “The Fisherman and His Wife” and “Beauty and the Beast” and folktales such as “Paul Bunyan” and “Pecos Bill.”
  • Domain 2: Early Asian Civilizations
    • This domain contains 3 stories, including “The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal” and “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” It contains 11 informational texts about ancient China and India, including original fiction from ancient India.
  • Domain 3: The Ancient Greek Civilizations
    • This domain contains 3 literary texts, including one about a boy who lived in Sparta and how on his seventh birthday, his life changed forever. There are 9 informational texts.
  • Domain 4: Greek Myths
    • This domain contains 10 literary texts, including “The Twelve Gods of Mount Olympus” and “Theseus and the Minotaur.”
  • Domain 5: The War of 1812
    • This domain has 8 informational texts, including literary nonfiction such as a story of a grandfather telling his grandchildren about the War of 1812.
  • Domain 6: Cycles in Nature
    • This domain has 1 poem and 8 informational texts such as “The Reasons for Seasons” and “The Water Cycle.”
  • Domain 7: Westward Expansion
    • This domain has 9 informational texts, including a journal entry.
  • Domain 8: Insects
    • This domain contains 8 informational texts. “Each of the read-alouds in this domain is narrated by a different character. Lessons 1 through 7 are narrated by an insect character, and Lesson 8 is narrated by an entomologist” (page 2).
  • Domain 9: The U.S. Civil War
    • This domain has 11 informational texts, including “Abraham Lincoln” and “Clara Barton.”
  • Domain 10: Human Body: Building Blocks of Nutrition
    • This domain has 9 informational texts. A nutritionist character reinforces the basic facts students learn throughout the domain.
  • Domain 11: Immigration
    • This domain has 10 informational texts, including “E Pluribus Unum” and “Gold Mountain.”
  • Domain 12: Fighting for a Cause
    • This domain contains 9 informational texts such as “Mary McLeod Bethune: A Dedicated Teacher” and “Cesar Chavez: Protector of Workers’ Rights.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations that texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task.

For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 8, the read-aloud text, “The Yellow and the Yangtze Rivers,” has a Lexile of 940. The knowledge demands are moderately to very complex, because students need to remember other rivers they have read about that support ancient cultures. There are many academic vocabulary words, but understanding of the words comes from the teacher questioning students or defining the word while reading the text.

One example of a read-aloud text being complex for Grade 2 students is in Domain 3, Lesson 5 “All for Sparta.” The Lexile is a 1070, and the qualitative features are very complex. The language features are very complex because of the complex sentences and the difficulty of identifying who is speaking at times in the text. The meaning is also very complex because the theme is implicit. There are supports built within the lesson, such as defining words in the text. For example, on page 69 it says, “The Spartans fought a long war of conquest against this city. That means they forcefully took over the city."

“Arachne, the Weaver” is a complex read-aloud text in Domain 4, Lesson 4, with a Lexile of 940. While the text structure is only slightly complex due to the single story line, the language features are moderately complex due to its complex vocabulary words. Many of the complex vocabulary words are defined or discussed. The knowledge demands are moderately complex, because the students need to have knowledge of other Greek myths and gods. The task for this story is for students in groups to create a tapestry that retells this story.

In Domain 5, Lesson 7, the read-aloud text, “The Battle After the War,” is also appropriately complex. It has a Lexile of 910, and the qualitative features are moderately to very complex. For example, the majority of the sentences are complex sentences with some archaic vocabulary words. Supports are provided throughout the lesson to help students complete the task of explaining why the War of 1812 is often called America’s second war for independence. One such support is using Flip Book images from Lesson 6 to help students remember the events in chronological order.

In Domain 6, Lesson 3, “Four Seasons in One Year” is also complex with a Lexile of 1000. There are complex sentences and complex vocabulary such as migrate, absorbed, and minimum, but these words are defined for students by the teacher. This text requires different knowledge demands, depending on where the student is located. If the student is familiar with the four seasons the text is less complex, compared to if the student is not familiar with the four seasons. However, the teacher's guide says that if this is the case, the teacher should show additional images of seasons that students may not know.

In Domain 7, Lesson 3, the read-aloud text, “The Journey of a Twelve-Year-Old on the Erie Canal” has a Lexile of 1250. However, the qualitative features are only slightly to moderately complex, making it accessible as a read aloud. The task is for students to compare and contrast the events described in the story with the lyrics of “The Erie Canal.”

Another example of a read-aloud text being appropriately complex for Grade 2 students is in Domain 8, Lesson 1, “Insects Everywhere!” The Lexile is 830, and the qualitative measures range from slightly to very complex. The language features are very complex: “Harder to spot is the tiny leafhopper, but this wedge-shaped insect can slow down the host plant’s growth, turning the plant brown as it sucks nutrition from it” (page 14). The task connected to this lesson is not text-dependent. However, the task’s complexity depends on the individual student since it asks the student to describe a past experience with an insect.

In Domain 10, Lesson 1, the read-aloud text, “The Amazing Human Body,” has a Lexile of 810. Similar to the read-aloud text in Domain 8, the language features in this text are very complex: “You can’t see them, but they tell your brain what is touching your skin, and your brain reacts to the touch. Some touches, like petting a dog, can be very positive, while others, like touching a hot stove, can be quite painful” (page 10). The task is to write an entry in the My Human Body Journal, which describes the five senses.

The very first read-aloud text of the instructional materials in Domain 1, Lesson 1, “The Fisherman and his Wife,” is not complex for students in Grade 2. The Lexile of 540 falls within the 2-3 grade band for students to read independently. This is not appropriate as a read-aloud. Fairy tales are introduced in the Kindergarten year of this program, so those who have received CKLA instruction since Kindergarten will engage with some prior knowledge.

Another example of a less complex read-aloud text is in Domain 2, Lesson 4. The read-aloud text, “The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal,” has a Lexile of 670. In this read-aloud text, there are some complicated vocabulary words; however, the words are used frequently and defined often. In addition, similar to the text in Domain 1, this is also a folktale, so students who are accustomed to CKLA will be familiar with this text structure.

Another example of a read-aloud text having a low Lexile measure where students could read it on their own, especially toward the end of the year, is in Domain 12, Lesson 3. The text, “Eleanor Roosevelt: A Voice for Human Rights,” has a Lexile of 740. While the language features are very complex, the text structure and purpose are only moderately complex.

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).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that the materials support students’ literacy skills over the course of the school year. The domains and units build upon each other with increasing demand and application as the students progress through each lesson throughout the year. In addition, the length and structures of the texts increase in complexity in Grade 2. By the end of the school year, the Readers are over 130 pages long.

In the Knowledge Strand, which has the anchor texts, the complexity of knowledge does increase significantly throughout the year. The beginning domains include folktales (a familiar genre for students), while later domains include more complicated and novel topics such as Greek myths. For example, in Domain 12, Lesson 3, there is a text with a Lexile of 740 (“Eleanor Roosevelt: A Voice for Human Rights”). This is the last domain of the year, and the majority of the other texts in the materials before this domain are more complex. Also, this complexity level is one that Grade 2 students could read on their own according to the Common Core Lexile Band for grades 2-3. Some of the read-alouds are below the complexity level for a read aloud, such as a Lexile of 540 in Domain 1 and a 670 Lexile in Domain 2. Each of the texts contain questions to help students become more proficient at comprehension, and there is a greater focus on evaluative and inferential questions rather than on literal questions.

The Skills Strand has more materials and opportunities to support students’ literacy skills. The first four units contain 100% decodable texts for students to read. Beginning in Unit 3, there are close reading lessons incorporated into the daily plans, with roughly one lesson per week. As the Teacher Guide states, the close reading lessons will intensify in each unit as the units progress. In Unit 5, the texts have a decrease in the number of individual words and spelling reviewed in isolation for decoding purposes before students read the story. This is to help students assume ever increasing responsibility and independence in reading texts. In addition, beginning in Unit 5, not all of the words in the story are decodable, providing appropriate challenge.

In most instances, the Skills Strand and the Knowledge Strand do not correlate to further help students develop independence of grade level skills; however in Unit 6, students read “The War of 1812,” which this topic was already covered in an earlier domain. This Reader also has a glossary which is a new text feature to help students with domain-specific vocabulary.

Some of the lessons also contain supports that will help students develop independence in grade level skills. One example of it occurs in Unit 4, Lesson 2, where the materials suggest that the teacher creates a chart in the classroom describing the text features and how to refer to it to better visualize the setting. In Unit 6, Lesson 3, it is suggested that the teacher ask probing questions about text features or information in the text that will help guide student thinking.

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 for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations 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. Although text complexity analysis information is available for the Grade 2 texts as a whole, and rationales for purpose and placement of texts are found at the beginning of each unit, this information is not provided for individual texts. To assist teachers in identifying and attending to students' growing literacy abilities in Grade 2, the teacher would need to do an independent study to implement appropriate strategies and differentiation support for all students.

Beginning on page 74 of the K-2 Program Guide (PG), there is prose describing the quantitative measures, qualitative features, and reader characteristics and task demands that were considered when selecting and creating texts for the program. According to the Program Guide, the Read Aloud texts fall within the 780-1060L band, and the texts within the Skills Section fall within the 430-660L band. Lexile information is not provided for individual texts.

The beginning of each Grade 2 reading unit includes an introduction that describes why the texts were chosen for the program. For example, in Unit 3, "Ancient Greek Civilizations,” students read texts that will teach them about “the gods and goddesses of ancient Greeks, the city-states of Sparta and Athens, and the philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. This domain is important because it lays the foundation for further study of the ancient Greek civilization in future grades. Unit 9, “U.S. Civil War,” introduces students to the controversy over slavery between the North and the South which eventually led to the U.S. Civil War. As in many other domains, it specifies which domains in previous grades will help students understand the material. For this domain the Kindergarten domain, “Presidents and American Symbols,” and the Grade 1 domain, “A New Nation: American Independence,” provide background information to help students with this domain.

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency. Students work with a wide range of topics covered throughout the read alouds. There are few structured times for students to engage with a wide variety of texts in additional to the read alouds and the Readers. Pacing guides are provided and found in the K-2 Program Guide, starting on page 136. There is a read aloud lesson provided for all 180 school days.

The Knowledge Strand domains are centered around complex narrative and informational read aloud texts that include some poetry, such as in Domain 2, Lesson 5 “The Blind Man and the Elephant” and “Bed in Summer,” by Robert Louis Stevenson (Domain 6, Lesson 2) and “Bee! I’m Expecting You!” by Emily Dickinson (Domain 6, Pausing Point). Some of the literature texts include folktales such as “The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal” in Domain 2, Lesson 4 and biographies such as “Confucius” (Domain 2, Lesson 13). During the read-alouds, there are Flip Books with no texts which students see while the teacher reads the words from the Teacher Guide.

Students engage with the Readers in multiple ways including whole group reading, partner reader, chapters to read at home, and close reading. The purpose of close reading is for students to focus on the text itself and what meanings can be derived from close examination of each reader. In some lessons students are asked to read and work with a partner, such as “The Chicken Nugget” (Unit 1, Lesson 13). A few times throughout the instructional materials, students are asked to work independently, such as in “The Catfish,” when students read the text, answer multiple choice questions, and short answer questions (Unit 1, Lesson 22). This activity is used as an assessment. There are also opportunities for small group time. It is suggested that the teacher works with students who are struggling instead of making a plan to see each student at least once per week.

The curriculum suggests additional opportunities for students to read, but the texts are not included, nor is the time scripted. In the Knowledge Strand materials it is suggested, “You should consider various times throughout the day when you might infuse the curriculum with authentic domain-related literature. If you are able to do so, you may recommend students select books from the Recommended Resources list. In addition, if you recommend that families read aloud with their child each night, you may wish to suggest that they choose titles from this list to reinforce the concepts covered in this unit.” The directions to the teacher suggest teachers create a classroom lending library.

Other directions in the instructional materials suggest additional times for students to read; however, it is not explicitly stated that students have to engage in these types of texts or activities. For example, in many of the Pausing Points, it is suggested: “Read a trade book to review a particular event, person, or concept. Refer to the books listed in the Recommended Resources.” However, it is not clear who is doing the reading nor if this is required.

To determine if students are achieving grade level reading proficiency, there are points in the instructional materials that allow for progress monitoring. It is suggested that portfolios be used throughout the year; however, this is mentioned only in the K-2 Program Guide (page 109), not in the Teacher Guide. This could result in teachers not doing portfolios or not knowing what or when to include student work. Many of the other tasks to monitor progress are regarding the foundational skills. However, teachers have the option of using an observation record and story question activity pages, which are found at the back of the Teacher Guides. At the end of Unit 5, there is a group and individual Student Performance Assessment where, among other things, students read and answer questions about a story from the Reader.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the requirements of Alignment to Standards. There are several places in each lesson that require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support their answers, and questions and tasks are linked to assessments that show a culmination of learning. Speaking and listening is supported in protocol as well as practice with academic vocabulary and attention to citing source material. The materials provide writing instruction that supports students' development to grow written communication skills. Language/grammar skills instruction is present but inconsistenly aligned to the standards for the grade.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of most questions, tasks, and assignments being text-based. There are several places in each lesson that require students to answer using evidence from the text.

Examples in the materials that meet the indicator are the Check for Understanding questions which occur during the daily text and are also used the following day to review the text. These questions assure students understand the story on a literal basis and sometimes an evaluative basis. Some examples include:

  • In Domain 7, Lesson 9, “With your partner, discuss how Westward Expansion in the United States affected the bison.”
  • In Domain 10, Lesson 1, “Why did the author call the human body ‘the human machine’?”

In addition, each read aloud has an interactive component. In the read-alouds there are suggested stopping places for each image projected with questions either about the image or about the text the students just heard. At the end of each read aloud there are comprehension questions that include a mix of literal and inferential questions, as well as some evaluative questions.

Examples of literal questions are:

  • “What do the swindlers do to make the emperor believe he had new clothes?” (Domain 1, Lesson 2)
  • “What was the name of the religious festival, or sacred celebration, that people from all directions traveled to see and compete in, and where was it held?” (Domain 3, Lesson 4)
  • “According to Greek mythology, who made the first mortal creatures?” (Domain 4, Lesson 2)

Examples of inferential questions are:

  • “How does the mother hen help her chicks grow inside the eggs?” (Domain 6, Lesson 6)
  • “What difficulties did the Morgans face on their trip?” (Domain 7, Lesson 1)
  • “Why is it important to have clean blood?” (Domain 10, Lesson 5)
  • “The author of this read aloud made the statement that ants are social insects. What reasons, or facts, did the author give to support his statement?” (Domain 8, Lesson 5)

Some of the questions contain both text-based and opinion-based responses, such as in Domain 5, Lesson 2, when the teacher asks, “Have you ever had two friends who were upset with each other? How did you feel? Whose side did you take? How do you think the United States felt in the early 1800s when France and Great Britain were at war?” There are some non text dependent questions as well, such as “In what hemisphere do you live?" (Domain 6, Lesson 2)

Some lessons have an Exit Pass that is text-based. Some examples of this include:

  • In Domain 4, Lesson 4, “Write one to two sentences to answer the following question: What lesson do you think Arachne learns in this story?”
  • In Domain 9, Lesson 6, “Students will identify at least two reasons the author gives for why the Civil War was longer and bloodier than the North thought it would be.”

Finally, there are assessments interspersed in the text which require that the students draw upon texts they have heard to answer questions.

There are also some text-to-world and text-to-self questions included in the lessons that would not require students to revisit the text and that students with background knowledge of the topics would have more access to answering the questions. For example, in Domain 6, Lesson 3, a question is, “How do people adapt to winter and summer?” While this could be answered from reading the text, this could also be answered by students with background knowledge, especially if they live in an area with the seasons. In addition, during the read-alouds there are questions to help the students understand the text better, but at times these are also questions with connections. For example, in Domain 10, Lesson 9, one of the text questions is, “What kinds of exercise do you enjoy?” In addition, prior to each read aloud there is background information for teachers to share with students. This background knowledge helps to prepare the students and set a purpose for listening.

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).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 2 meet expectations that 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. There are culminating assessments and optional culminating tasks that serve as remediation or enrichment for the students. The purpose of the tasks, according to the materials, is to enliven their experiences with domain concepts.

At the end of each domain there are assessments. The assessments include a vocabulary component as well as two or three components that address the content targeted in the domain. For example, in Domain 2, there are 15 vocabulary questions such as “Is the Indus River an important river in ancient Egypt?” As part of the core content assessment component, students need to label the mountains, rivers, and countries from the domain on a map. Previously in the domain, students answered questions about the Himalayas and Indus River. Another example to demonstrate core content knowledge is in Domain 7. Students have to write complete sentences to answer a question, such as “Why did many pioneer families choose to move to the West in the 1800s?”

There are also Mid-Domain assessments in some of the units. For example, in Domain 2, students need to cut and paste images related to early Indian Civilizations into the correct rows for classification purposes. Previously, students answered questions in Lesson 7 about Hinduism and Buddhism. In Domain 6, students answer, “Would it be easier for you to observe the complete life cycle of a sunflower plant or a tree?” Then in the Mid-Domain assessment, students cut out images of the sunflower life cycle and put them in the correct order.

The purpose of the culminating activities is for remediation and for enrichment. The suggested remediation activities are constant throughout each of the domains. They include revisiting lessons and rereading selected stories. The enrichment activities vary, based on the domain. In Domain 1, students make simple puppets of the characters from a particular tall tale and then use them to retell the story. An example of an enrichment activity in Domain 2 is reading related trade books. In Domain 6, students can draw a life cycle or compare and contrast the life cycles of different animals. Previously in Domain 6, students answer questions about animal life cycles, such as “What does a growing chick use for food before it hatches?” and “How are the chicken and frog’s life cycles similar?” Domain 7 is the first domain that requires students to build on what they learn in each lesson to complete a task. They make quilts to help them remember important things they learned about westward expansion in each lesson. In addition, they begin making a timeline starting in Lesson 1 that will help them remember the events of westward expansion.

Some of the culminating tasks are not text-based and do not integrate the skills learned in the domain. One example is in Domain 1: the teacher plans a tall tale breakfast with maple syrup, bacon, and blueberries, because maple syrup and blueberries are from Maine (from where Paul Bunyan comes). Another example is in Domain 2: some of the tasks include inviting in guest speakers or holding a Chinese New Year celebration. In Domain 3, one suggested activity is having an Olympic Games day.

Also, some of the purposes for learning stated in the beginning of the domains are not evaluated in the end. The intention for a culminating writing piece is evident; however, it is not always clear or sequenced in a way that is easy for the teacher or student to navigate or to understand. For example, in Domain 3 students draft an opinion about what city-state they would have preferred to live in (Sparta or Athens). Leading up to the opinion writing, students answered questions about Sparta and Athens. In Domain 5, after learning how to plan, draft, and present a persuasive speech, the teacher is expected to use the persuasive speech rubric to assess the students’ persuasive speeches.

In addition to the end of domain assessments or activities, some of the lessons have individual culminating writing activities. For example, in the Skills Section in Unit 4, Lesson 4, students engage in a close reading activity of the book, “Drummer’s Grove,” and students answer “What is Drummer’s Grove?” and “What did the drummer tell Kurt about his hands?” After the Close Reading, the teacher can engage “students in a culminating writing activity completed independently, if possible.” In Lesson 8 of the same unit, students end up writing a summary of what Kurt learned about diners in the story “The Diner.” In Lesson 8, students answer who and what questions about the details in “The Diner.”

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 Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (e.g., small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. There are opportunities for students to turn and talk or answer questions orally in a whole group setting, a few opportunities for small group discussion, and there are some protocols for evidence-based discussion. In addition, there is modeling of speaking with correct syntax and academic vocabulary.

There are think-pair-share or a turn and talk questions in the majority of the lessons. For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 1, students turn to a partner to discuss some features of Indus River communities that were common among ancient civilizations. They also formulate their own questions for their partner, such as in Domain 2, Lesson 4: “Think of a question you can ask your neighbor about the read-aloud that starts with the word who. Turn to your neighbor, and ask your who question. Listen to your neighbor’s response. Then your neighbor will ask a new question, and you will get a chance to respond.” In Domain 4, Lesson 3, students have to describe with a partner why Hades returns Persephone to her mother, but only for part of the year. In Domain 6, Lesson 8, students work with a partner to describe the life cycle of a butterfly. In Domain 9, Lesson 6, students work with a partner to retell how Robert E. Lee came to be the commander of the Confederate Army.

For the majority of the Think-Pair-Share questions, as well as the comprehension questions after each read-aloud that are done orally in whole group settings, there are supports in place to scaffold speaking and listening skills for students within the lessons to include emerging, expanding, and bridging skills. For example, in Domain 3, Lesson 4, students who are emerging will have the question reframed as a simple yes/no question, while the expanding students will be provided with a specific sentence frame, and the bridging students will be encouraged to use key details in complete sentences.

There are also small group discussions and activities. For example, in Domain 4, Lesson 4, the teacher splits the class into five groups. Each group will make one part of a tapestry. They need to discuss and create illustrations. The teacher is encouraged to help the students use richer and more complex language including, if possible, vocabulary from the read aloud. In Domain 7, Lesson 9. students are put into groups to discuss any positive changes caused by the inventions and events during the time of westward expansion as well as any negative changes caused by the inventions and events in the time of westward expansion.

In the Skills Section of the materials, students begin engaging in close reading of texts in Unit 4. For the majority of these lessons, students read the text in pairs, answer text-based questions, and discuss Tier 2 Vocabulary. For this, teachers identify and discuss the vocabulary. In the Skills Section of Unit 6, Lesson 12, students discuss sections of the text that might pose difficulty due to complex syntax, dense information, challenging transition, or that require making inferences.

In a few instances, there are evidence-based discussions that encourage the use of academic vocabulary. For example, in Domain 4, Lesson 5, students have to turn and talk to think of a word to describe King Minos and to think of a word to describe Daedalus. In Domain 6, Lesson 9, students turn to a partner to discuss why precipitation (an academic vocabulary word) is important. In Domain 7, Lesson 8, students discuss with a partner why the transcontinental railroad was so important. In Domain 7, Lesson 9, students discuss with a partner how westward expansion affected Native American tribes living in the United States, using at least 6 words to describe how they were affected.

In some lessons, there are syntactic activities. These activities provide students with modeling, exposure, and practice expanding sentences using details from the text that they are reading. In these activities, teachers are expected to restate students’ sentences so that the sentences are grammatically correct. One example of this is two partners will be making up different kinds of sentences based on what they see in the picture in as descriptive a way as possible. It states that they should make up a question that Disa asks Lysander from the read-aloud in Domain 3, Lesson 5.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that 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. They are asked roughly five comprehension questions about the text and have to share their answers orally. Many of the activities also use Think-Pair-Share as a way for students to express and share ideas. There are supports in every lesson that offer scaffolds labeled as emerging, expanding, and bridging support.

In each lesson there is an objective that tells the teacher the purpose of the read aloud, and there is also a purpose for listening which is read/told to the students. For example, the purpose of Domain 4, Lesson 4 is to “Find out what animal is an arachnid and to find out what this myth explains about nature.” In Domain 6, Lesson 7, students hear about the life cycle of a frog. They need to listen and watch carefully to learn all about the frog's transformation during the main topic of the read-aloud. In Domain 11, Lesson 8, the purpose is to “Find out what it means to be a citizen and how immigrants can become citizens of the United States.”

In the majority of the lessons there are different supports for three types of learners to be able to listen to and comprehend the read aloud, as well as speak about it. For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 6, the supports include reframing a question to make it a simple yes/no question, providing students with a simple sentence frame, or encouraging students to use key details in complete sentences. Similarly, in Domain 7, Lesson 6, students present information in formal presentations. Some students will plan a very brief presentation, choosing one setting, one or two characters, and one situation. Other students will plan a brief presentation, choosing one to two settings, two or three characters, and one or two situations. Students can also plan a longer presentation, choosing two or three settings, two or three characters, and two or three situations.

Throughout the domains, the end of every read aloud includes activities that involve speaking and listening in addition to comprehension questions. For example, in Domain 4, Lesson 4, small groups of students will illustrate one event from “Arachne the Weaver” to create a class summary. In Domain 5, Lesson 5, students ask their neighbor a question about the read aloud, using the word what. Then the neighbor will ask a different question with the same guideline.

Think-Pair-Share is also used throughout the knowledge domains to support students’ speaking and listening skills. For example, in Domain 3, Lesson 2, the directions are: “Choose a god or goddess from the story, but don’t tell your partner who you have chosen. Describe him/her to your partner using adjectives, and see if your partner can guess which god or goddess you are describing.” Turn and Talk is another support used throughout the domains. For example, in Domain 5, Lesson 2: “Turn to your partner and share one reason the War Hawks wanted to go to war with Great Britain. Then have your partner turn to you and share one reason many merchants did not want to go to war with Great Britain.” During the read-alouds there are also Check for Understanding Questions, where the teacher stops reading, and students answer a question with a partner, such as, “What are some of the similarities between the song and the boy’s journal entry?” (Domain 7, Lesson 3) “Within your group, discuss the various settings, characters, and situations in the read aloud.” (Domain 7, Lesson 4) Another example is: “Think of a word or phrase that describes immigrants’ experiences in United States cities in the 1880s and 1920s." (Domain 11, Lesson 5)

In addition to the lessons in the Knowledge section, there are additional supports for speaking and listening in the Skills Section. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 4, when students read “Drummer’s Drove,” students discuss the text, especially the difficult sections due to complex syntax, dense information, challenging transitions, or that require inferences. In Unit 4, Lesson 15, students engage in a Think-Pair-Share after reading “The Daydream.” They describe the plot of this story as well as what they like to daydream about. In Unit 4, Lesson 16, the teacher has students answer questions in complete sentences orally, citing the part of the story that guided their answer.

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 Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Materials include short and longer writing tasks and projects, and there are opportunities for students to revise and edit. In addition, the writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade level standards.

Within the Grade 2 materials, there are multiple opportunities for students to produce on-demand writing. They work on note-taking with charts and graphic organizers, opinion and persuasive pieces, as well as narratives. For example, in Domain 1, students work independently to rewrite a fairy tale by changing one element of “The Fisherman and his Wife,” Also in Domain 1, there is a pausing point where students complete the sentence: “When the emperor realized he could not see the magic clothes, he should have....” In Domain 3, students write a short opinion on whether they would prefer to live in Athens or Sparta. Another example is found in Domain 4, where students write a brief summary of a Greek myth in preparation for their own Greek myth later in the domain. In Domain 7, students write short informational texts after hearing the read aloud to answer questions, such as how steamboats affected westward expansion and why Sequoyah thought it was important to invent a writing system for the Cherokee language (Lessons 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9). In Domain 9, students write entries into a Civil War journal, detailing various events and people associated with the Civil War (Lessons 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11). In Lesson 6, they have exit passes that include writing at least two reasons that the author gave in the read aloud for the Civil War being longer and bloodier than the North thought it would be. In Lesson 7, students write two or three sentences about General Robert E. Lee and the role he played in the U.S. Civil War. In Domain 11, students write short summaries about what they have learned about immigration.

The Grade 2 materials also have multiple opportunities for students to produce process writing. There is repetition, review, and practice with the steps of the writing processes, including drafts and edits, presented to ensure understanding of foundations of writing. Formal writing instruction designed to address the standards for writing starts in Unit 2. Students receive instruction using a four-step writing process that includes planning, drafting, editing, and publishing. In the Skills Section, Unit 2, students write a book report on “The Hare and Hedgehog,” and students are taught how to plan, draft, and edit. They use an editing checklist with a peer and produce a final copy, by copying the edited draft on a clean sheet of paper. In the Knowledge section in Domain 2, Lesson 6, students write a brief description of an image of a Diwali celebration, receive peer feedback, and incorporate that feedback in their writing. Another example is in the Unit 3 Skills Section when students begin to explore the genre of fiction writing. They establish a character and incorporate facts about ancient Greece into a fictional piece of writing. During this project, they engage in the writing process. In Domain 5, students plan, draft, and present a persuasive speech. In Domain 4, students use a planning template to brainstorm ideas for a new persuasive argument, use these ideas to write a draft of a persuasive letter, and use an editing checklist to review the draft. In Unit 6 of the Skills Section, students learn how to write a report. They use the same three step process, but there are additional steps for the report. They spend several days drafting the two paragraphs and editing them.

There is also evidence that supports that students engage in focused projects that incorporate digital resources where appropriate. For example, in Domain 4, it is suggested that students use a word processing program to prepare their letters for display or publication. Another example is in Domain 7: the culminating activity is a research project on westward expansion. Students are encouraged to use internet resources to conduct research.

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 for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials provide opportunities for students to address the different texts types of writing (year long), that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Students write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events. In the beginning of the year in Domain 1, Lesson 1, the students create their own version of a story by changing one element of the story, “The Fisherman and his Wife.” They also retell one of four tall tales by brainstorming the beginning, middle, and end of the story in Lesson 8. In Domain 3, they also write fictional narratives. They are taught how to establish characters and then incorporate facts about ancient Greece into a fictional writing piece. In Domain 4, students write a brief summary of a Greek myth in preparation for writing their own Greek myth later in the domain. In Domain 11, students explore the genre of letter writing. They plan and draft a letter as a fictional immigrant to a family member or friend in the country from which they emigrated. In each domain, there are also pausing points to give the teacher additional opportunities to practice skills. There are writing prompts that will help students with narrative writing such as in Domain 1, where students can respond to the prompts: “If a magic fish could grant me a wish I would wish for….” or “When the emperor realized he could not see the magic clothes, he should have….” In addition, the Skills Section also has lessons involving narrative writing. For example, in Unit 1, students are taught how to write a personal narrative in Lesson 15, by drawing and coloring a self portrait and then writing a short story about the things they do with a pal. In Unit 3, students practice writing their own personal narrative. The direct instruction begins in Lesson 22 and ends in Lesson 24. Unit 5 involves direct, explicit instruction on narrative writing (Lessons 17, 18, and 19).

In addition, students write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement. In Domain 2, students are first taught to collect and synthesize information and then write one to three sentences in response to read alouds. They also publish an informational book about writing in ancient China. In Domain 3, students collect and synthesize information by using note taking tools such as charts and graphic organizers. They do this beginning in Lesson 1, using a notebook. In Domain 5, students make portraits to help them remember some of the important people and places connected to the War of 1812 (Lesson 1), and they also write a short speech from the point of view of either a War Hawk or a merchant in America in 1812 (Lesson 2). In Domain 6, students complete a shared research project by recording observations of scientific phenomena and practicing summarizing of knowledge about cycles in order to write an informational paragraph summarizing the life cycle of a frog. In Domain 7, students write informational text in the format of a Westward Expansion Quilt. In Domain 8, students write about a past experience with an insect. In Domain 9, students write entries into a Civil War journal, describing various events and people associated with the Civil War (Lessons 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11). In Domain 10, Lesson 1, students begin to write entries in their Human Body Journal, where they describe their five senses. In Domain 11, the students collect and synthesize information by using note-taking tools, and they write short summaries of what they have learned about immigration. Lastly, students write a free verse poem in Domain 12. In the Skills Section, students create a paragraph by writing three sentences that follow a short topic sentence (Lesson 6) and use that paragraph to help write a report on the National Anthem (beginning in Lesson 29).

Finally, students also write opinion pieces in which they introduce an opinion of a topic or book, supply reasons that support their opinion, and provide a concluding statement. In Domain 3, students write a short opinion on whether they would prefer to live in Athens or Sparta. In Domain 4, students plan, draft, and present a persuasive speech in Lessons 2, 3, 4, and Pausing Points. They will present arguments either for or against going to war with Great Britain in 1812. In Unit 4 of the Skills Section, students begin a series of lessons on writing a persuasive letter to the principal. Students state their opinion and provide reasons that support their opinion.

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level. There are multiple opportunities for students to use evidence based writing to detail comparisons of characters, provide opinions of stories, complete note-taking based on informational charts and materials, provide important details based on stories, and present specific details of places, people, and events in the materials being presented.

In each domain, there are multiple opportunities for students to complete evidence-based writing. For example, in Domain 1, students have to decide on which scene they enjoy the most from “Beauty and the Beast” and write two or three sentences to describe the scene. In addition, in the Pausing Point, students write their own book that is a retelling of one of the fairy tales from the domain. In Domain 2, Lesson 2, students write one to three facts about Moenjodaro that indicate it was part of civilization. In Domain 3, students write one sentence describing the city-state of Sparta in ancient Greece. In Domain 4, Lesson 2, students record information about a character’s point of view from the Greek myth, "Prometheus and Pandora,” as a formative assessment. In Domain 5, Lesson 5, students sequence events from the War of 1812, using time-order words. Students write and illustrate key information about the life cycle of a chicken in Domain 6, Lesson 6. In Domain 7, students write an informational text in the format of a Westward Expansion Quilt in Lessons 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9. In Domain 9, students write entries into a Civil War journal, detailing various events and people associated with the Civil War in Lessons 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11. In Domain 10, students are asked to use Activity page 2.1 and write three sentences about Anton van Leeuwenhoek. In Domain 11, students work independently throughout the domain to write short summaries of what they have learned about immigration. Each of these activities requires students to write, using evidence from texts to support their answers.

In addition to the Knowledge section, there are multiple opportunities for the students to write with evidence after reading a story in order to answer questions specific to a text. In Unit 1, for example, students are asked, “What did the cat bandit do when he jumped off the shed in ‘Milk’?” In Unit 2, students are asked, “Why did Mike make a face in ‘Mike’s Bedtime’?” In Unit 3, students are asked, “How old are the spellers in the spelling bee in ‘Spelling Bee’?” In Unit 4, students are asked to turn to Activity 8.2 and summarize what Kurt learned about diners.

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 for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level, as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Grammar and conventions are taught in a sequence consistent with the demands of the standards and are integrated with the reading and writing instruction in both explicit sections and embedded into the curriculum. Students are provided opportunities to grow their skills with these standards through practice and application. Students have multiple practice opportunities to integrate the grammar expectations into their learning. The introduction of skills in a sequential manner allows for students to utilize skills taught in a manner that builds. The opportunities are built in and out of context for learning and applying grammar. Grammar is taught predominantly in the Skills Section.

In Skills Unit 1, students first learn concepts and practice them orally, and then they are reinforced in written text. There are grammar teaching opportunities in demonstration stories as well as daily warm ups. Instruction begins in Lesson 12 of this unit. One example of a lesson including students editing incorrectly written sentences is reviewing capitalization of the first word in a sentence and also properly using a question mark at the end of an interrogative sentence (Lesson 12). There are also activities for Pausing Points involving capitalization and punctuation.

In Skills Unit 2, students work on end punctuation and quotation marks as well as capitalizing the first word in a sentence. Some examples of this in Lesson 4 include students recognizing that quotation marks are used for dialogue and writing quotation marks around dialogue in written sentences. In Lesson 11. students use commas and quotation marks to designate dialogue in written text and apply proper capitalization and punctuation in written sentences.

In Skills Unit 3, students continue to focus on capitalization, quotation marks, and ending punctuation, as well as new instruction on common and proper nouns, antonyms, synonyms, and verbs. In Lesson 12, students distinguish between common and proper nouns in word pairs and identify both types of nouns in short written sentences. In Lesson 22, students identify action verbs in oral and written sentences.

In Skills Unit 4, students review singular and plural regular nouns, as well as common and proper nouns. They also review synonyms, antonyms, contractions, and quotations. In addition, students learn the formation of irregular plurals, the use of apostrophe -s with nouns to indicate possession, and the use of titles such as Mr., Mrs., and Ms.. Students also continue to work on verbs, reviewing action verbs (Lesson 4), learning about ‘to be’ verbs, and working with verb tenses. In Lesson 7, the students learn that some singular nouns are exceptions to the general rule about adding the ending -s or -es to create the plural form. In Lesson 9, students read short sentences, identify nouns and action verbs in those sentences, and orally provide proper nouns to replace the common nouns. In Lesson 13, students correct and rewrite sentences, adding appropriate capitalization and punctuation to all proper nouns, including periods at the end of abbreviated titles and apostrophes to show possession.

In Skills Unit 5, students review previously taught grammar skills including capitalization and punctuation and are taught adjectives as a new part of speech and the concept of verb tenses and the components of a sentence, subject, and predicate. Some examples of this include students identifying the adjectives and the nouns (Lesson 3). Students identify the subject and predicate in sentences and complete fill-in-the-blank sentences with a noun, verb, and adjectives (Lesson 7), and students complete a chart with the correct present, past, and future tense verb forms for respective pronouns (Lesson 23).

In Skills Unit 6, students continue to review grammar skills introduced in previous units. The focus of this unit is on the sentence as a unit. They learn to identify complete versus incomplete sentences. They will also learn to identify run-on sentences as well as ways to correct these sentences. In Lesson 7, students learn that an adverb is a word that describes a verb, and will identify adverbs, nouns, and verbs in oral sentences. In Lesson 12, students will distinguish between complete and incomplete sentences, will correct run-on sentences by rewriting each as two sentences, using correct capitalization and punctuation, and will combine the ideas of a run-on sentence to create one scene.

In addition to Skills Lessons, there is some focus on grammar in the Knowledge section; however, this primarily deals with figurative language. For example, in Domain 1, Lesson 4, students analyze the statement, “better late than never.” In Domain 1, Pausing Point, they also discuss the statement “don't judge a book by its cover.” They also learn various prefixes and suffixes. For example, in Domain 1, Lesson 1, students are taught that the prefix dis- often makes a word have opposite meaning, and in Lesson 3 they learn that the prefix mis- often also makes the word have opposite meaning. In Domain 5, Lesson 5, students learn that the suffix -less means without. Lastly, the lesson's focus is on words that students can use in their writing to make it more descriptive. In Domain 4, Lesson 6, students use adjectives to describe images. In Domain 3, Lesson 5, students are asked to use other words and adjectives to describe life in Sparta.

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 Grade 2 fully meet the expectations of Foundational Skills criteria. The materials support teachers to 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 demonstrates a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context. The program provides explicit instruction and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), and structures and features of text (1-2). Instructional opportunities are frequently built in to provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. The materials support ongoing and frequent assessments 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. Each unit provides multiple opportunities for teachers to monitor student understanding and offers suggestions and methods for re-teaching as well as scaffolding supports.

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 Grade 2 meet the expectation that 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 with opportunities for application both in and out of context. While the first three Units are all review, new phonics patterns are introduced in Units 4, 5, and 6, such as /i/ as y, /ee/ as y and ey, and /f/ as ph. According to the program, by Grade 2 “students who have mastered the letter-sound correspondences taught in CKLA up to this point have learned most of the important letter-sound correspondences they need to read English writing." Most students will be able to decode the occasional unusual spelling by using the puzzling strategies that have been taught. Units 1-4 include 100% decodable texts, but in Unit 5 the texts are not 100% decodable. Students are expected to use strategies such as segmenting in order to read challenging, unfamiliar words.

Beginning in Unit 4, alternative spellings for vowel sounds are introduced such as /er/ for her in Lesson 2 and /ie/ for y as in try in Lesson 4. Unit 6 also includes several new spelling alternatives and consonant sounds such as /k/ for ch as in school. In Unit 6, Lesson 2, students begin reading words with alternative spellings such as the /n/ sound spelled either with ‘n’ or ‘kn’ and the /r/ sound spelled either with ‘wr’ or ‘r'.

Some of the review activities in the beginning of the materials include chaining, which is included in Unit 1, Lesson 3. In Unit 1, Lesson 11, students segment, blend, and then spell a variety of one- and two- syllable short vowel words. In Unit 3, Lesson 6, students engage in a word sort of words that make the /oe/ sound based on the spellings of o_e, o, oe, and oa. Distinguishing between long and short vowels is reviewed in Unit 2, such as reading a word with a short vowel sound, adding an ending -e, and then reading the new word. Students also continue practicing reading words with inflectional endings, such as in Unit 3, Lesson 10, when students read the root word and then add the -ed and read the new word.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts for including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). The majority of the instruction reinforces print concepts that were taught in Kindergarten and Grade 1.

Lessons about text structure focus more on genre than structure. In Unit 6, Lesson 2, students are explicitly taught the difference between fiction and nonfiction texts. Students create a T-chart to identify the differences and use previously read stories to gather evidence in a whole group. There is a missed opportunity for students to identify text structure such as main idea and details, but the Teacher’s Guide provides this information for the teacher. For example in Unit 4, Lesson 17, it states, “The main idea of the story is the continuing job hunt, this time, at a bakery. Key details of the text include Kim asking about positions and being given paperwork to fill out, and eating a muffin and deciding he wanted to be a baker when he grows up.” In another example, the students are told that the story is a trickster tale, verses the students identifying this on their own (Unit 2, Lesson 5).

There are some lessons that involve text features such as in Unit 1, Lesson 1, the teacher points to the title of the story and reminds the students the title provides an idea of what the story is about. In Unit 5, students are provided multiple opportunities to use information from the illustrations and texts that they read to demonstrate understanding of the text. In Unit 6, Lesson 3, students have to identify the table of contents and the glossary in the story.

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 instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that 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 through Grade 2.

There are multiple opportunities for students to read on-level texts throughout the year. In each unit, students are provided a decodable reader which contains all decodable words in Units 1-4 and almost all decodable words afterwards. In addition, students engage in close reading of these texts once a week.

There are opportunities for students to improve their accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level texts and grade-level decodable words. There is a separate Fluency Packet that is available for download at ckla.amplify.com which includes poems, informational pieces, a Reader’s Theater, realistic fiction, and a science and social studies selection. The selections are grouped by unit and the selected topics relate to the content of the respective unit in the Decodable Readers. Most lessons throughout the year have an objective that states, “Practice reading with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression” such as Unit 1, Lesson 11. Some lessons have students read with different voices for different characters to support expression (Unit 2, Lesson 4 and 5).

Students are provided opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. Sight words are identified in each lesson such as in Unit 2, Lesson 2: my, by, and have and in Unit 2, Lesson 10: they and their. In Unit 4, tricky words are also included such as people, walk, grownup (Lesson 3), and building (Lesson 16).

There are some supports to teach reading strategies, especially rereading. For example in Lesson 3 and 7 of Unit 2, students are expected to reread with a partner. In addition, as students come across words that are not decodable, they are encouraged to use their “puzzling skills” such as chunking words into syllables, referring to their Individual Code Chart, or using the context where they encounter these words (Unit 6).

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 instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. In the beginning of the units, many of the skills are review such as vowel teams, but in later units alternative spellings are taught. According to CKLA, students who have mastered the letter-sound correspondences taught in CKLA up to this point have learned most of the important letter-sound correspondences they need to read English and students are encouraged to select books that interest them. The Decodable texts in Units 1-4 are 100% decodable, meaning that all of the words in the texts have been taught, but beginning in Unit 5, not all of the words are decodable. Students are expected to use strategies taught such as chunking or segmentation in order to read unknown words.

The back of each unit’s decodable lists the core knowledge that students will have already mastered before reading as well as the core knowledge gradually added to the reader for students to practice. Prior to each text, the teacher is expected to preview some of the words with the spelling patterns taught or reviewed in the lesson. For example, in Unit 1 students read words with the letter 'a' pronounced as /a/ versus the alternatives for this letter. Students are also introduced to more multisyllable words, and these words are present more in the decodables. In Unit 2, Lesson 13, words previewed have either 'ar', 'er', or 'or' spelling patterns or are two-syllable words. Beginning in Unit 6, students read the text first before instruction as a way to prepare them for CKLA Grade 3. It is suggested that teachers also preview tricky words before reading chapters such as in Unit 6, Lesson 5, where the teacher is supposed to preview Great Britain, Europe, native, Americans, war, and signature.

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 instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials support ongoing and frequent assessments 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. The multitude of formative and summative assessments enable the teacher to determine who needs more support, and suggestions on how to provide that support are given in many instances.

In each Skills Unit there are formative assessments clearly marked for monitoring individual student performance. Teachers can implement various Additional Support Activities found at the end of each lesson, based on each student's needs. There are places where the materials say to collect the Activity Page in order to analyze the work, as in Unit 3, Lesson 15, where the teacher analyzes the student’s dictation ability. An analysis is included to determine weaknesses as well as what remediation the individual student or groups of students need.

The weekly spelling tests in Grade 2 align to the phonics pattern of the week. Teachers are expected to analyze each student's performance on spelling assessments to gain insight into specific gaps in knowledge. Each spelling test comes with a spelling analysis chart and directions to summarize the errors to determine next steps. In many cases the spelling assessment states, “If the student makes more than six mistakes, he or she is having problems with word recognition and may need additional practice decoding specific spelling (Unit 2). Spelling assessments and analyses come every five days.

Similarly, there are fluency assessments embedded in the curriculum where the teacher takes a running record and records errors as well as rate. If a student's results fall below the 50th percentile, it is suggested that this may be an area of concern, and additional fluency practice should be included.

At the beginning of the curriculum there is a Placement Overview which helps “inform decisions as to whether students are ready to continue with Grade 2, Unit 2 instruction or whether other instruction is needed to ensure mastery of skills taught in CKLA at the Grade 1 level” (p. 104). The curriculum specifically says that it is important to stop and work on any knowledge gaps with phonics versus pushing through the CKLA Grade 2 materials. At the End of Unit Assessment, there is an ability to do additional follow-up assessments. There is also a scoring and analysis section for the Word Reading in Isolation Assessment. Because this is an end of unit assessment, there is no direction for the teacher to provide additional instruction; however, it is recommended that the teacher give the analysis record to the following year's teacher. There is a summary sheet provided for the teacher to complete and give to the Grade 3 teachers with the students' assessment information.

In each Skills Unit, there are also Pausing Points. It is suggested that teachers stop and spend four to five days in each unit to provide targeted remediation for individuals or groups of students in the areas in which they performed poorly on the end of unit assessment, as well as enrichment activities for students who performed well.

Lastly, there is a separate publication called the Assessment and Remediation Guide that is online. It provides further guidance in assessing, analyzing, and remediating specific skills.

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 instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.

At the end of each unit, there is a Pausing Point section where teachers can determine which activities students need to complete over the course of several days, based on their strengths and weaknesses. This allows for targeted remediation for individuals or groups of students in any areas in which they performed poorly on the end of unit assessment. Some of the activities address vowel digraphs, two-syllable words, and sight words.

In some of the individual lessons there are suggested supports and challenges for students that teachers can choose to implement. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 8, one such support is: “As you complete the chain, remind students that vowel digraphs are made up of two letters; however, since they stand for one sound they will count as one change when chaining.” In the same lesson, a challenge for students is “Have pairs of students hunt for words in a teacher-selected book for exceptions to the a_e and i_e rule. The students then write the words on paper and sort them into piles, separating the a_e and i_e words.” Another example of a support is in Unit 6, Lesson 11, where it is suggested that the teacher use syllable division strategies to scaffold reading of multisyllabic words. In Lesson 13, teachers can remind students that ‘i’ is also a tricky spelling, as students have previously learned ‘i’ as /i/ and as /ie/.

At the back of each lesson there is also an additional support section, which provides teachers with activities for students who need remediation on the skill taught. Some examples are in Unit 2, which include more assistance with splitting digraphs (Lesson 2) and having students practice reading phrases, sentences, and short stories that include the Tricky Words, were and some (Lesson 6).

Some lessons contain small group work, so teachers can provide more targeted instruction. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 15, one group works with the teacher to complete Activity Page 15.2 as the other students work with a partner. It is suggested that “homogenous groupings for Skills instruction is the most efficient and effective way to differentiate instruction and meet students’ needs when teaching phonics skills,” and students who are lagging in specific skills should be receiving extra practice. Teachers are expected to collect the Activity Sheets periodically to analyze work and plan for remediation. One example of this is Unit 3, Lesson 15, where the teacher is instructed to use the Midpoint Dictation Identification Analysis located in the Teacher Resources to analyze student errors and determine what remediation individual students or groups of students may need. Another example of this is Unit 6, Lesson 17, where teachers should analyze the work; students who did not correctly identify words by their parts of speech may benefit from additional practice identifying words by their parts of speech at a later time.

For students who are having success with the Skills, it is suggested that these students read trade books and text books written at an appropriate level, which is another form of differentiation.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The materials reviewed meet the Gateway 2 expectations of building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Materials are organized in topics to build students' knowledge and to support academic vocabulary development. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks that support students. The materials support the integration of skills and of considering ideas and content across and within texts. Independent reading supports to grow reading beyond structured in-class activities are less prominent.

Criterion 2a - 2h

30/32

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for 2nd grade meet the expectations for texts organized around topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. All of the domains created in K-2 revolve around a topic through a set of texts rather than an anchor text. The Program Guide states, “In the Knowledge Strand, students spend several weeks at a time learning about a topic in science, social studies, history, literature, etc." (CKLA, Program Guide, page 45). The purpose of the domains is to immerse students in a topic for several weeks. “Children gain deep exposure to topics such as nursery rhymes and fables; seasons and weather; and presidents and American symbols” (CKLA Program Guide page 30). The topics also build on each other through each year.

All of the domains in the Grade 2 curriculum are centered around a topic. The topics are as follows: Fairy Tales and Tall Tales, Early Asian Civilizations, Ancient Greek Civilizations, Greek Myths, War of 1812, Cycles in Nature, Westward Expansion, Insects, U.S. Civil War, Human Body: Building Blocks of Nutrition, Immigration, and Fighting for a Cause.

Texts included in each domain support the building knowledge about the topic. A specific example is in Domain 3, The Ancient Greek Civilization. Topics in the texts include Ancient Greeks, Mount Olympus, the Olympic Games, Sparta, Athens and the Olive Tree, Athens, the Birthplace of Democracy, the Marathon, Thermopylae, Persians Strike Again, the Great Thinkers of Greece, and Alexander the Great. Another example is in Domain 10, Human Body: Building Blocks and Nutrition. Topics in the texts include Anton van Leeuwenhoek, cells and tissues, organs, the digestive system, the excretory system, nutrients, a well-balanced diet, and a healthy human body.

These topics will help students develop their knowledge of both social studies and science content.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The curriculum materials in Grade 2 meet the expectations 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 in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics. The materials contain many opportunities for students to look at key ideas and details.

Some examples of questions that show students being required to analyze include those found in Domain 3, Lesson 5. “Why do you think it was important to Lysander to look brave in front of Platon when he was leading them away from his family?” To engage this question, students need to have comprehension of the text as well as a grasp of the main ideas and relationships between characters.

In some of the skills lessons, there are close reading lessons that include analysis of the text. One example is in Skills, Unit 2, Lesson 3, where the question is, “As she went, she was the king of the cash she would get from selling the milk. What does this mean?” Another example is, “In the second paragraph of page 56, reread the parts of the story that let us know if this is fiction.” (Unit 2, Lesson 12) The materials support the teacher guiding students to re-read and to identify details at both the explicit and implicit levels.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials in Grade 2 meet the requirement that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-based questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

At the end of each read aloud the teacher asks the students comprehension questions that range from literal recall questions, to inferential questions, to evaluative questions. For example, in Domain 3, Lesson 7, students have to answer the literal question, "How did the city-state Athens get its name?" and the inferential question, "What were all the benefits of the olive tree that Athena went on to describe?” Similarly, in that same lesson, examples of a literal question and an evaluative question are, “What two main city-states have you learned about? How are they similar? How were they different?” An example of a question that is both literal and evaluative is in Domain 5, Lesson 1, when students have to answer the question, “After the Revolutionary War, what was the type of government formed in the United States, and how was it different from a government ruled by a king?"

In some lessons, students have to compare characters and knowledge across more than one text. This helps them to build knowledge and integrate ideas across multiple texts. For example, in Domain 1, Lesson 6, students have to compare and contrast other elements of "Pecos Bill" and "Paul Bunyan". In Lesson 8 of that domain, student complete a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the characters in "John Henry" and "Casey Jones".

Before each lesson, students also have to review what they previously read and answer questions about what they read. This helps to integrate the knowledge across each text that the students read in the Domain. For example, in Domain 8, lesson 3, students begin by reviewing the characteristics of insects. Then the teacher asks questions about information that they read previously such as “What is a life cycle?” and “What are the stages of a human being’s life cycle?” This type of previewing to support the building of background knowledge as well as questioning to integrate the knowledge is seen in each lesson. Another example is in Domain 12, Lesson 7, where students first have to answer recall-type comprehension questions about what they have read so far, including “What were some of the causes for which Eleanor Roosevelt fought?" and “How would you describe Jackie Robinson’s achievements?”

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).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials in Grade 2 meet the requirements of this indicator. Students demonstrate knowledge through multiple standards through the Pausing Points activities and through the Assessments (both mid-domain and end of domain), which provide ample opportunities for the teacher to identify students' knowledge and skills development.

Some of the culminating activities at the end of Domains are optional and geared towards students who do not require remediation after the culminating assessment, although teacher notes provide explicit suggestions for deploying them. For example, in Domain 1, students make their own book retelling one of the fables they heard. In Domain 3, students form five groups, and each group is assigned to one component of ancient Greek civilization that they draw a picture about and write a sentence explaining the image. In Domain 5, students pretend they were at one of the important events during the War of 1812 and describe what they saw and heard. In Domain 8, students search through trade books in the classroom to look up answers about insects. They journal their information, which integrates reading and writing and knowledge from texts read and heard. In the Student Performance Task Assessment for this domain, students label a visual of an insect with academic vocabulary from a provided word bank (Instructional Master page 1). Each of these tasks demonstrate knowledge gained from texts in the Domain.

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 Grade 2 meet the requirements that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary is repeated both in context and across multiple texts. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Each Knowledge lesson has the introduction of the vocabulary, use of the vocabulary in the application section, key vocabulary brainstorming in the Domain review, and a vocabulary assessment. The end of domain Vocabulary Assessment is used to determine students’ understanding of the vocabulary words in context. The assessment evaluates each student’s retention of domain and academic vocabulary words.

In each Domain Unit, four to six words are introduced with each new word read aloud. These words show up in either the pre-reading activities that help to build the background knowledge or during the read aloud itself. Some examples include: in Domain 8, Lesson 5, the words are aggressive, chambers, destructive, emit, nurseries, and in Domain 9, Lesson 9, the words are abolished, cabinet, emancipation, proclamation, scroll and in Domain 10, Lesson 4, the words are collapse, kidneys, liver, nourish, transplant, and in Domain 12, Lesson 6, the words are assigned boycott, disrupted, injustice, and segregation. In each word list, there is one word that is in bold, which is explained in more depth to the students. The students engage in an activity with these words, including hearing a variety of sentences and deciding if a sentence describes the word or not. For example, in Domain 1, Lesson 5, the word is admiration, and the students describe someone for whom they have admiration. At the end of each Domain, there is also an assessment that evaluates students’ retention of domain and academic vocabulary words.

In the Skills Strand, before a new chapter is read the teacher previews and discusses vocabulary. In the close reading lessons, there are questions focusing on the vocabulary words.

Students are also taught formal dictionary skills in Grade 2. According to the Program Guide, the students “should be encouraged to apply the formal morphology knowledge to deciphering the meaning of new words in new contexts."

Throughout the lessons there are supports and challenges embedded. In Domain 9, a challenge is for students to explain the meaning of the phrase, "her body and mind cried out for sleep," and a support is to review the meaning of the word value.

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 Grade 2 meet the expectations of materials containing writing tasks and instruction which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. Across both sections, a four step plan is used that helps students plan, draft, revise, and publish.

In both the Domain and Skills Sections, the writing lessons cover narrative, informative, and opinion writing. Formal writing instruction begins in Unit 2 of the Skills Section with lessons on narrative writing. They begin by retelling a fable in writing, and they later complete a book report. In both cases, students go through the writing process. They revisit narrative writing in Skills, Unit 3. In Unit 6, students engage in report writing. They learn to take notes to complete the report, and they write a multi-paragraph essay.

A further connection between the Skills Section and the Knowledge section is evidenced in the persuasive letter writing in Skills, Unit 4, and the persuasive speech writing in Domain 5, which both revolve around the War of 1812. In Domain 5, students deliver a written persuasive speech, while in Skills, Unit 4, students are required to take what they read about the War of 1812 and write a persuasive letter. They practice the skills of persuasive letter writing in Lesson 14 and 15 and then start the process independently in Lesson 16. The persuasive speech is from the point of view of either a War Hawk or a merchant in America, and the students need to convince James Madison to either go to war with Britain or not to go to war with Britain.

While no formal evaluation tool is used in this curriculum, a writing portfolio is suggested. There are specific items that are suggested to be included in the portfolio. Writing is also used to determine if students understand information. For example, in Domain 3, Lesson 7, students write a paragraph explaining why they would rather live in the city-state of Sparta or Athens.

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 Grade 2 meet the expectations of materials including 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 structure of units focusing on one topic each does support enhanced student understanding and knowledge development around the unit materials. Students engaging with the materials are writing, reading, and seeking out new information as well as beginning to synthesize information for research, developing presentations, and sharing their work in the class.

Students are provided with background information in each lesson that is intended to give the students the information they need for the text being covered. There is some guidance for teachers to build students' independent study and researching skills. Some of these components are optional and come as part of the Pausing Points and/or domain reviews and assessments, although the directions to the teacher identify the focus.


Examples of how the Grade 2 materials support students' growing research skills include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • In Domain 1, students can conduct online research to find out where specific statues, monuments, or museums are located. Using multimedia in identifying/classifying specific information and quality sources is key to further research understanding.
  • In Domain 5, student prepare individual research papers related to the War of 1812 after small groups research about people and events. This work includes speaking and listening, collaboration, reading different modes of text, taking notes, classifying information, and preparing a written culminating project.
  • In Domain 6, students practice collecting and synthesizing information by using note-taking tools such as charts and graphic organizers. The class participates in a shared research project by recording observations of scientific phenomena. There are also suggestions for students who need a challenge to research outside of the domain's additional facts as suggested in Lessons 5 and 6.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet expectations for providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Students do have opportunities during some lessons to read independently from the student reader and answer questions or complete activities assigned by the teacher. Much in-class independent reading only requires student to read short passages, typically only a page or two at a time. Some independent reading Activity Book pages are assigned as take-home with instructions to read aloud to an adult, but there are no apparent follow-up activities to assess completion of the reading.

There is no support for how to organize independent reading in the lessons and how to provide guidance to foster independence. The teacher will have to identify a tracking system for independent reading. The materials do state, “You should consider various times throughout the day when you might infuse the curriculum with authentic, domain-related literature. If you are able to do so, you may recommend students select books from the Recommended Resources list. If you recommend that families read aloud with their child each night, you may wish to suggest that they choose titles from this list to reinforce the concepts covered in this unit.” In addition, every unit also says, “You might also consider creating a classroom lending library, allowing students to borrow domain-related books to read at home with families. The Recommended Resources list, which also includes online resources, can be found online.”

The program guide does suggest “a flexible amount (we suggest a minimum of 20 minutes a few times a week) of additional independent or group reading time.” However, again this is optional and does not provide a system for accountability on the students or the teacher.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

Criterion 3a - 3e

7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Teachers and students can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, however the pacing may not allow adequate time for review, re-teaching, enhancing and/or extending student learning for maximum understanding. Student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, explanations, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.). Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The visual design is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The materials are designed to immerse students in all areas of the standards and provide explicit lesson structure with embedded teacher direction as well as recommendations for supporting all learners. The Teacher Guides clearly instruct the teacher throughout each lesson on its implementation before, during, and after the readings and activities, as well as recommendations for scaffolded support throughout.

The materials for K-2 include two strands of instruction; Skills and Knowledge Domains. The program guide states, “The Skills Strand provides comprehensive instruction in foundational reading skills, such as phonological awareness, phonics, word recognition, language skills (including conventions of English, spelling, and grammar), reading comprehension, and writing instruction. The Knowledge Strand teaches background knowledge, comprehension, vocabulary, analysis of complex text, and speaking and listening.”

Each strand is designed for a 60-minute lesson totaling 120 minutes of instruction daily.

Every lesson is effectively broken down into time frames for coverage of material. At the beginning of each lesson there is a “Lesson at a Glance” that maps out the skill being covered, grouping suggestions for students, the time each skill section should take, and the materials that will be needed.

For example, in the Knowledge Strand of Domain 4, the Lesson 3 at a Glance shows the 60 minute lesson breakdown as “Introducing the Read Aloud” (10 minutes), “Read Aloud” (30 minutes), and “Application” (20 minutes). An example of this in the Skills Strand from Unit 3 shows the 60 minute Lesson 11 Foundational Skill warm-up, using a Board Sort (10 minutes), Spelling Trees (15 minutes), and Practice Skills (10 minutes). Next is reading, with five minutes to introduce the story and 15 minutes for the close read. Then, there is Language (a spelling introduction) for five minutes.

The Contents page of each unit states the topic of each lesson, the skills to be addressed in that lesson (reading, writing, speaking/listening, language, etc.), and the time allotted for each.

Materials include a curriculum map located in the Program Guide that tracks the “Knowledge Domains” that students will be working in through each grade. In each unit, students are immersed in a domain topic that centers on science, social studies, or literature. The Program Guide states, “In the Knowledge Strand, students spend several weeks at a time learning about a topic in science, social studies, history, literature, etc.”

Also included within the materials is a research guide for the Skills Strand available as an “Online companion to the Program Guide” that details the rationale for its approach to decoding/encoding, letter/sound correspondences, systematic phonics, and focus on phonemes.

Out of the 12 Domains (units) in grade 2, three are based in science, seven in social studies, and two in literature. The Skills Strands contain decodable texts, and all six units contain literary stories with controlled text.

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year. The pacing may not allow adequate enough time for review, re-teaching, or enhancing, and/or extending student learning for maximum understanding.

The Knowledge Domains are made up of 12 units and, depending on the unit, are designed for 12-18 instructional days including one to three “Pausing Points” for further instruction. The Skills Strand is made up of six units with anywhere from 16-36 instructional days per unit, and four to six Pausing Point days for a total of 180-186 instructional days.

The Pausing Points are times for teachers to re-teach and/or enhance understanding of the curriculum with embedded enrichment activities. The Teacher Guide states, “Teachers may choose from a variety of recommended activities designed to reinforce domain content and skills on Pausing Point days.” While these are built into the pacing of the curriculum, they only allow for two-three days in each unit, which may not provide enough time for re-teaching, enhancing, and/or enriching the curriculum.

The Pausing Point within the Knowledge Domain Unit 1 states, “You should pause here and spend one day reviewing, reinforcing, or extending the material taught thus far. You may have students do any combination of the activities listed below, but it is highly recommended that you use the Mid-Domain Student Performance Task Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of fairy tales. The other activities may be done in any order. You may also choose to do an activity with the whole class or with a small group of students who would benefit from the particular activity.”

The Pausing Point within the Skills Strand Unit 1 states, “You should pause here and spend additional time reviewing the material taught in Unit 1 as needed. Students can do any combination of the exercises listed below, in any order. The exercises are listed by unit objectives. Exercises that were part of the lessons are listed here only by name with a reference to their respective lessons. All other exercises have full descriptions. You may find that different students need extra practice with different objectives. It can be helpful to have students focus on specific exercises in small groups.”

Given the importance of practicing and solidifying skills, the current design may not allow for completion within a year.

Also, there are additional supports and assessments provided for teachers to implement that are not included in the pace of instruction. For example, of the additional supports, the Program Guide states, “These provide thirty minutes of additional instruction on new skills at the end of each Skills lesson.” And of the Assessment and Remediation Guide: “This can be used for additional lessons that support students who need extra practice or remediation on foundational skills and comprehension.”

Again, this may make it difficult to complete the content using the resources available in a year.

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.).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials include but are not limited to photos, captions, glossaries, charts, diagrams, illustrations, sentence strips, graphic organizers, rubrics, digital images, labeled supports, activity pages, timing reminders, tiered vocabulary charts, notes to teachers, image cards, chaining charts, writing prompts and journals.

In Knowledge Domain 4, Lesson 3, the Teacher Guide states, “Show image 3A-4: Demeter searching for Persephone. How does Demeter feel when she realizes Persephone is missing, and how do you know?”

Skills Unit 1, Lesson 12 states, “Copy the sentences for the Sentence Capitalization and Punctuation activity (Digital Component 12.1) on to the board/chart paper or prepare to display the digital version.”

Teacher and student resources include clear directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included throughout the lessons. Suggestions for grouping, additional supports, challenge ideas, and direct instruction are clearly defined, explained, and embedded throughout. Each lesson provides the ‘primary focus’ and 'advance preparation’ of the lesson, the ‘formative assessment(s),’ ‘lesson at a glance,’ ‘recommendations for universal access,’ and a ‘check for understanding’ section. Activity pages correspond correctly to the Teacher Guide and make finding information seamless and efficient.

An Additional Support example from Skills Unit 3, Lesson 11 states, “Make a copy of the Swim to the Finish game board (Activity Page TR 11.1) for each group of up to four students. Copy and cut out one set of Swim to the Finish word cards (Activity Page TR 11.2) for each group.”

The Primary Focus in Lesson 3 of Knowledge Domain 1 states, “Students will compare and contrast aspects of “The Fisherman and His Wife” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Reference aids including vocabulary charts, lessons at a glance, visual resources such as images, illustrations, and digitally presented graphics, correlating activity pages, and rubrics are clearly and correctly labeled throughout the Teacher Guide, activity book, and image cards. For example;

  • The formative assessment for Knowledge Domain 7, Lesson 3 provides corresponding Activity Book page 3.1 “Layers of the Earth: Students will color code and label the layers of the earth.”

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Alignment to the CCSS is documented in multiple places throughout the curriculum. The alignment chart for the CCSS standards are documented in the K-2 Program Guide and in the contents pages of each unit. At the beginning of every lesson under ‘Primary Focus of the lesson” the standards being addressed are clearly stated as well as within the formative assessments for what is being measured. The same is true for the unit assessments in which the standards being measured are also found under the “primary focus” and formative assessments given through the activity pages. Within the sidebars of the Teacher Guide there are standards listed within the scaffolding of the lesson for “emerging/expanding/extending” the learning.

For example, the Primary Focus in Knowledge Domain 4, Lesson 4 states, “Reading: Students will evaluate what “Arachne the Weaver” explains about nature and the lesson it teaches. [RL.2.2; ELD.PI.2.6] Language: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Tier 2 word flattered and generate related words. [L.2.5; ELD.PI.2.12b]

An example of alignment provided for formative assessments can be seen in Skills Unit 1, Lesson 13, “Suffix Spelling Patterns [RF.2.3a,d; L.2.2d; ELD.PIII.Phonics and Word Recognition] Anecdotal Reading Record 'The Chicken Nugget' (Group 1) [RF.2.4a–c; ELD.PIII.Fluency]”

An example of standards listed within the scaffolding sidebars in Knowledge Domain 4, Lesson 3, “Writing (ELD.PI.2.10): Emerging—Have students dictate facts using familiar vocabulary to a teacher to be recorded; Expanding—Have students write phrases using familiar vocabulary to a peer to be recorded; Bridging—Have students independently write facts using familiar vocabulary."

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The design of the materials throughout the curriculum supports students' learning through graphics, tables, charts, illustrations, digital images, pictures and consistent font. The Teacher Guide, student reader, and activity book present material in appropriate, easy-to-read font with bold and italicized words used to enhance understanding for teachers and students. There are often pictures and images of real life examples for expository/informational text as well as colorful illustrations to accompany stories and narratives throughout.

Digital resources are also available to display media to students to enhance lessons throughout the units. Within the Skills Strand there are models of the pocket chart images and letter set-ups to assist the teacher prior to instruction as well as visual images to support oral segmenting activities using fingers. There are no distracting images, and all space appears to be appropriately designed for the most beneficial use. Activity book directions are clear and suitable for student understanding. Illustrations and pictures for activities are appropriate, and Illustrations are designed to enhance understanding of the information being presented.

In Knowledge Domain 12, Lesson 1 states, “Prepare and display a Main Idea/Details Web similar to the one below. Alternatively, you may find a digital version in the digital components for this domain..”

Skills Unit 3, Lesson 12 states, “The spellings can be found on the following pages in the Vowel Code Flip Book and in students’ Individual Code Charts. Turn to Vowel Code Flip Book page 10 and put the Spelling Card for ‘ie’ on the appropriate space. Discuss the power bar.”

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials containing 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. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials containing 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. Materials meet the criteria for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Materials meet the criteria for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. 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.

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.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials containing teacher editions with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning. Materials provide support for instructional planning in multiple ways.

The Teacher Guide gives clear annotations and suggestions on how to present content. At the beginning a unit, teachers are encouraged to read the introduction, alignment chart, assessments, and to review the pausing points for the lessons. At the beginning of each lesson, teachers are encouraged to use the Lesson at a Glance to review the primary focus and formative assessments. There is also an Advance Preparation section included in the Universal Access section that helps to support teachers. Throughout the lessons, sidebars are included to support teachers in how to present materials to both support and challenge student learning.

There are also Additional Support activities within and/or at the end of lessons that provide assessment and remediation for skills lessons. Teachers are directed to consider whether additional activities in the Assessment and Remediation Guide or Decoding and Encoding Supplement should be utilized for students who may need additional support. Teachers are also instructed to review Language Studio content for English Language Learner students.

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.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials containing 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. The introduction section of each Teacher Guide fully explains the primary purpose and goals of the unit including readers, writing, vocabulary, and beginning-of-year assessments where applicable. The Teacher Guide for the Skills Strand also includes guidance for how to implement basic skill instruction. There are also teacher resources at the end of each unit that assist with the implementation and direct instruction of the lessons including, but not limited to, dialogue starters, rubrics, checklists, image cards, activity book answer keys, and code charts. Teacher guidance throughout every step of the lesson is clear and explicit. Within Unit 1 there are also appendices that offer understanding of more advanced literacy concepts for teachers to improve their knowledge of the subject, although the scripted explanations for the students' understanding is clear.

An example in the Skills Strand Teacher Guide for Unit 2 states, “These lessons are carefully crafted to focus students on the text itself and precisely what meanings can be derived from close examination of said text. If you wish to read more about close reading or compose some close reading lessons of your own, please visit this web site: achievethecore.org.”

Another example in the introduction in Skills Unit 2 states, “When introducing this word, be sure to draw attention to the parts read (and spelled) just as students would expect, based on what they have learned so far. Also, identify the tricky parts of the word.”

Appendix A in the Unit 1 Skills Strand offers information about the program and philosophy behind its design. For example, the appendix states, “CKLA does place the initial emphasis on reading regular words. But that does not mean high-frequency sight words are not being learned. In fact, as noted above, many sight words are completely regular and become decodable as students learn letter-sound correspondences. This means that CKLA is a very effective program for teaching sight words.”

Another example from Skills Unit 1 Appendix A states, “A much better strategy is to introduce the English spelling code explicitly, beginning with the easiest, least ambiguous, and most frequently used parts of the code and then adding complexity gradually. That is the central strategy on which this program is based.”

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.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The Program Guide for grades K-2 contains explicit instruction on the role of the standards in the overall curriculum. It details the qualitative and quantitative text complexity of each unit, the balance of literary and informational texts, the basis of foundational skill instruction, the complexity and task demands of units, as well as the language demands on student understanding by topics and grade. The appendices in Unit 1 also provide the Scope and Sequence of Foundational Skills.

The Program Guide states, “The knowledge sequence, which underpins the Knowledge Strand, introduces consecutively more complex topics through its domains. Knowledge domains build within and across grade levels to build a broad foundation of knowledge so that as students reach the upper elementary grades, they already possess the foundation to understand increasingly complex texts.”

Knowledge Demands are explained in the Program Guide, stating, “Both the length and structure of texts increase in complexity during K–2. Students start Skills instruction with simple Big Books, before progressing to increasingly long decodable Readers.”

The Program Guide also states, "CKLA CA is designed to provide a steady gradient of text complexity and task demand as students progress through the grades. For example, students in Kindergarten will focus mostly on literal understanding of text, while by Grade 2 inferential and evaluative questions are core to both the Knowledge and Skills Strands. Similarly, the writing demands move from simple phrase or one-word answers to questions, to multi-paragraph essays and writing over multiple sittings and lessons.”

Also, the materials explain the purpose behind the quantitative text complexity providing decodable and above grade-level text; “One of the unique features of CKLA CA is the intensity of its use of read-aloud text, because of the compelling research about the difference between listening and reading comprehension throughout elementary grade levels.”

The Program Guide also states, “By Grade 2, students are encountering much less familiar literary topics in the Knowledge Strand. Greek myths require an understanding of a different context and time, as well as surrounding background knowledge. The experiences of the characters vary wildly from students’ own. The morals are often complex. Within Skills, students are reading about much more sophisticated themes.”

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. A Research Guide: The CKLA CA Curriculum: Links to Research on Teaching and Learning serves as a companion to the CKLA CA Program Guide: K–2. The guide discusses the research in English Language Arts instruction including, but not limited to, print and phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, reading fluency, prosody, vocabulary, and background knowledge.

The Program Guide also includes footnotes to research as they are explaining their educational approaches. Also, during the English Language Learner section of the Program guide, teachers are provided with a Research Base: Why this Matters Explanation for instructional approaches.

The Appendices in Skills Unit 1 also provide insight into the research behind and instructional approaches for phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing.

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.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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. Students are given a Take Home Letter that reinforces main lesson objectives and demonstrates vocabulary and knowledge content. Parents are also encouraged to read to their children to continue providing additional content knowledge that falls within the categories of the domains and skills. Lists of specific resources are found on the website, and parents are also encouraged to use the internet and public library to gain access to further information. Short lists are provided to parents in take-home letters in the Knowledge Strand of the unit. Students are encouraged to return to the classroom to engage in small group or classroom discussions about new information that they have learned at home.

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Materials meet the criteria for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized. Materials reviewed meet the criteria for assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. Assessment keys are provided, as well as multiple suggestions and protocols for teachers to provide feedback. Materials meet the criteria for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. Each lesson includes a formative assessment that is highlighted at the start of the lesson. These assessments are used to track student mastery of objectives. While recommendations are made, there was no accountability for students to track or log their reading or to complete it independently to build stamina and/or confidence in their reading skills.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Assessments include Checks for Understanding, Formative Assessments, Content and Mid-Unit Assessments, and Unit Placement and Assessments Benchmark Tests. Some are designed to be held weekly and others are at the middle and/or end of a unit. Many assessments include instruction for implementation as well as analysis of errors, charts, and records for marking student progress.

Checks for Understanding are designed to allow teachers to amend instruction within the context of the lesson. Formative assessments range from in-the-moment adaption to opportunities for individual, small group, and whole class reteach and review. Checks for Understanding and Formative Assessments also provide information to decide whether additional supports and practice (found at the end of the lesson and in the additional guides) are appropriate. Mid-unit, end-of-unit, and benchmark assessments should be used to direct remediation, Pausing Point days, and to enhance and/or differentiate instruction.

The Program Guide states, “There is a range of formal assessment opportunities found within units, including but not limited to: Spelling Assessments, Word Recognition Assessments, Story Comprehension Assessments, [and] Fluency Assessments.”

Within the Skills Strand, students complete assessments throughout the year, which may drive differentiation based on student performance. The Program Guide states, “Flow charts and placement planning and tracking sheets are provided with the benchmark assessments to support teacher recording of student standard and progress.”

Ongoing tracking for student progress includes student progress records and anecdotal reading records.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
0/0

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized. There are multiple ways that students are assessed throughout each unit, including formative assessments, mid-unit assessments, pausing points, and end-unit assessments. Within each form of assessment, it is clear what standards are being addressed.

Examples of formative assessments and the standards that are being emphasized in them are as follows:

  • In Skills Unit 3, Lesson 20, “Students will read one- and two-syllable words with the sound/ spelling /aw/ > ‘augh,’ and will add words to the /aw/ Spelling Tree that feature /aw/ > ‘aw,’ ‘au,’ and ‘augh.’ [RF.2.3b; ELD.PIII.Phonics and Word Recognition]”
  • Formative Assessments in each Knowledge Domain Lesson also contain the standards that are being emphasized. For example:
    • Knowledge Domain Unit 4, Lesson 4 states, “What’s the Lesson? Students will write about the lesson they believe Arachne learns in the myth. [RL.2.2; ELD.PI.2.6]”
    • Knowledge Domain Unit 12, Lesson 4 formative assessment states, “Students will write a free verse poem in which they express an opinion about Mary McLeod Bethune’s achievements. [W.2.1; ELD.PI.2.10]”
  • Skills Unit 1, Lesson Overview states, “Taking this time to assess students is crucial to ensure their success as readers. The assessments will help you determine which students have the knowledge and skills they need to profit from Grade 2 Skills instruction and which students need to be regrouped to an earlier point in the Skills program.”

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

Assessment keys are provided, as well as multiple suggestions and protocols for teachers to provide feedback such as:

  • Teacher questioning to check for misconceptions.
  • Wrap-Up questions and Checks for Understanding to check for comprehension.
  • Student work to monitor students’ mastery of skills.
  • Peer-to-peer feedback to provide immediate feedback on student performance.

There are a number of other tools that support teachers in providing specific feedback to students and monitoring and tracking student progress over time.

Portfolios and journals also allow for feedback. The Program Guide states, “There are a number of other tools that support teachers in providing specific feedback to students and monitoring and tracking student progress over time. These tools can be used broadly and flexibly across grades or very specifically for targeted instruction purposes.”

Knowledge Domain 1, Assessment Unit states, “Taking this time to assess students is crucial to ensure their success as readers. The assessments will help you determine which students have the knowledge and skills they need to profit from Grade 2 skills instruction and which students need to be regrouped to an earlier point in the Skills program”

The Domain 4 Pausing Point states, “You should pause here and spend two days reviewing, reinforcing, or extending the material taught thus far. You may have students do any combination of the activities listed in this section, but it is highly recommended you use the Mid-Domain Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of Greek myths.”

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Each lesson includes a formative assessment that is highlighted at the start of the lesson. These assessments are used to track student mastery of objectives.

For example, in Knowledge Domain 7, Lesson, 4, the formative assessment states, “Venn Diagram: Students will compare and contrast volcanoes and geysers. [RI.1.3; ELD.PI.1.6]”

There are also Checks for Understanding throughout the lessons to be used by the teacher to determine if students are ready to move on to the next part of the lesson. The Check for Understanding questions are meant for quick formative assessments that happen during instruction to assess if students have mastered the key content and skills in the lesson.

In Knowledge Domain 4, Lesson 5 an example of Check for Understanding is, “Recall: Complete the row describing “Arachne the Weaver” by prompting students with the following questions: Which Greek god or goddess is a character in the myth “Arachne the Weaver?” (Athena) What from nature does the myth explain? (how the first spider was created) What lesson does this myth teach? (to not be too proud or boastful)”

The Skills Strand also uses observational student records to track student performance. For example, Skills Unit 3, Lesson 19 states, “Call on a different student to answer each question. Note student performance in the Discussion Questions Observation Record, noting whether the question answered was literal, inferential, or evaluative, and whether the student answered in a complete sentence and/or cited evidence from the text.”

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials do not indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The introduction of each Domain Unit states, “You should consider various times throughout the day when you might infuse the curriculum with authentic domain-related literature. If you are able to do so, you may recommend students select books from the Recommended Resources list. In addition, if you recommend that families read aloud with their child each night, you may wish to suggest that they choose titles from this list to reinforce the concepts covered in this unit.”

They go on to state, “You might also consider creating a classroom lending library, allowing students to borrow domain-related books to read at home with their families. The Recommended Resources list, which also includes online resources, can be found online in the digital components for this domain at CoreKnowledge.org/CKLA-files and at CKLA.Amplify.com.”

While these recommendations are made, there was no accountability for students to track or log their reading, or to complete it independently to build stamina and/or confidence in their reading skills.

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.
10/10
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials providing 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. Materials provide modeling, formative assessments, language and visual supports, and background knowledge in each lesson to ensure student understanding. Materials meet the criteria for regularly providing 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. All students engage with grade-level text. Materials meet the criteria for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Materials provide multiple opportunities for challenge and enrichment. Materials meet the criteria for providing opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

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.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials providing 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. Materials provide modeling, formative assessments, language and visual supports, and background knowledge in each lesson to ensure student understanding. Materials also provide universal access recommendations within the lessons as well as an “Assessment and Remediation Guide” for students who need review, re-teaching and/or remediation of foundational and comprehension skills.

Materials include sidebar notes that include suggestions for emerging, expanding, and bridging students. The sidebars also include access, support, and challenge notes that provide strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners.

Examples of sidebar strategies seen in Knowledge Domain Unit 5, Lesson 8 are:

  • “Support: Have a few students provide examples of a controversy they experienced.”
  • “Challenge: Have students explain why enslaved Africans, attempting to gain their freedom, would have to encode messages in songs.”
  • “Emerging: Have students use one or two academic words when discussing the economy."
  • "Expanding: Have students use three or four academic words when discussing the economy."
  • "Bridging: Have students use five or more academic words when discussing the economy.”

Universal Access instruction can be found in the Advance Preparation section of each lesson. For example, in Knowledge Domain Unit 1, Lesson 5, the Universal Access recommendation states, “Students will hear about several U.S. landmarks in this read aloud, including the Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, Mississippi River, and Grand Canyon. You may wish to highlight these landmarks on a U.S. map.”

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.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for regularly providing 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. All students engage with grade-level text. Side bar supports are provided to ensure that students are supported during lessons. The Universal Access for each lesson provides additional supports for students who read, write, speak or listen below grade level. Lessons also include Pausing Points which provide additional instruction on new skills at the end of each unit for small group work, reteaching, and differentiated instruction. Assessment and Remediation Guide/Encoding and Decoding Supplements can be used for additional lessons that support students who need extra practice or remediation on foundational skills and comprehension.

Materials include a Language Studio resource which provides lessons that focus on reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar to advance English Language Learner proficiency levels. The activities in Language Studio help teachers guide students in constructing meaning through interaction with the text and with each other. Such instruction supports ELs of all proficiency levels by helping them access grade-level content knowledge, make meaning, and develop academic English and effective expression across the disciplines.

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Materials provide multiple opportunities for challenge and enrichment, including:

Challenge sidebars throughout the lesson provide stretching questions and activities. For example, Knowledge Domain 9, Lesson 3 states, “Have students record the information from the Class North and South T-Chart on Activity Page 3.1.” And a Domain 9, Lesson 7 Challenge states, “Why might President Lincoln have said 'easier said than done' after the first battle of the Civil War?” Challenges are also in the Skills Strand as seen in Unit 1, Lesson 2: “Students who participated in Core Knowledge Language Arts in Grade 1 should remember emperors from Early American Civilizations. Ask students what they remember about emperors from that domain.”

Pausing Point days include additional activities that can extend and enhance student learning. Knowledge Domain 9, Pausing Point states, “You should pause here and spend two days reviewing, reinforcing, or extending the material taught so far. You may have students do any combination of the activities listed below, but it is highly recommended that you use the Mid-Domain Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of plants, their parts, and their life cycles. The other activities may be done in any order. You may also choose to do an activity with the whole class or with a small group of students who would benefit from the particular activity.”

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for providing opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Students are grouped in partners, small groups, and as a whole class. Every lesson contains a “Lesson at a Glance” which states the grouping size for each activity and provide for differing partner opportunities based on need or structure of the lesson.

The lessons also provide opportunities for students to collaborate and communicate about the topic and tasks at hand. The Program Guide states, “The wide range of whole-class tasks, but also the multiple opportunities for small group and partner work, are designed to help students become productive collaborators.”

There are also opportunities for peers to work together and assist in their learning, often using Think-Pair-Shares. The Program Guide states, “Peer-review activities involve students asking each other questions and providing feedback to each other that strengthens their knowledge. Peer review is conducted in one-on-one, small group, or full class discussions.”

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 2 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms. The Digital Components Portal contains digital documents of materials. These digital components are mostly platform neutral, with some specific interface issues. They do provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. There is some opportunity for customization, although the program is designed for minimal disruption of the main scope and sequence.

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.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructions materials reviewed for Grade 2 include digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) that 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.

Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox 45.02 or Safari. On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version 1511, everything was accessible using Chrome version 49.0.2623.112. The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version 45.0.2, but the texts could not be accessed. Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed. On an HTC Android phone Chrome version 50.0.2661.89 everything was accessible, including texts, but it was difficult to move around the pages and see the full content on the program.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Digital Components Portal contains digital documents of the Teacher Guides, Activity Books, Readers, Image Card Sets, Spelling Cards, Language Studio, Amplify Virtual ebook Library, Quest for the Core Apps, and Resource Site. The Resource Site includes Projectable Media Files for use during lessons, Assessment Remediation Guides, Decoding and Encoding Supplements designed to be used to provide targeted remedial instruction to students who are struggling with foundational skills. Also included in the digital section are Fluency Packets Multimedia support for each unit.

The Teacher Guide includes references of when digital components are available and how they can be used within a lesson.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
0/0

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 include digital materials that provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Digital materials include a digital planning guide that provides step-by-step lesson plans and online materials that include additional support in differentiated instruction. Unit quests combine reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a digital environment that engage students. There are also digital guides for assessment, remediation and supplemental materials to personalize learning for students.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed may be customized for local use; however, the program states that texts should be taught in the order they are presented to support implementation. Customization may occur in scaffolding and in opting for digital or print materials use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as is appropriate for students.

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.).
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials include some technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 04/08/2017

Report Edition: 2015

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Skills Unit 1 Reader 9781617002076 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Reader 9781617002083 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Reader 9781617002090 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Reader 9781617002106 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Reader 9781617002113 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Reader 9781617002120 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Teacher Guide 9781681611495 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Teacher Guide 9781681611501 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Teacher Guide 9781681611518 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Teacher Guide 9781681611525 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Teacher Guide 9781681611532 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Teacher Guide 9781681611549 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Teacher Guide 9781681611556 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Teacher Guide 9781681611563 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Teacher Guide 9781681611570 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Teacher Guide 9781681611587 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Teacher Guide 9781681611594 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 12 Teacher Guide 9781681611600 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Flip Book 9781681611617 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Flip Book 9781681611624 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Flip Book 9781681611631 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Flip Book 9781681611648 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Flip Book 9781681611655 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Flip Book 9781681611662 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Flip Book 9781681611679 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Flip Book 9781681611686 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Flip Book 9781681611693 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Flip Book 9781681611709 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Flip Book 9781681611716 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 12 Flip Book 9781681611723 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Image Cards 9781681611884 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Image Cards 9781681611891 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Image Cards 9781681611907 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Image Cards 9781681611914 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Image Cards 9781681611921 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Image Cards 9781681611938 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Image Cards 9781681611945 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Image Cards 9781681611952 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Image Cards 9781681611969 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Image Cards 9781681611976 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 12 Image Cards 9781681611983 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Teacher Guide 9781681611990 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Teacher Guide 9781681612003 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Teacher Guide 9781681612010 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Teacher Guide 9781681612027 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Teacher Guide 9781681612034 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Teacher Guide 9781681612041 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Activity Book 9781681612058 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Activity Book 9781681612065 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Activity Book 9781681612072 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Activity Book 9781681612089 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Activity Book 9781681612096 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Activity Book 9781681612102 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Time Line Cards 9781681612775 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 1 9781681612867 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 2 9781681612874 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 1 9781681612881 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 2 9781681612898 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 3 9781681617800 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 3 9781681617817 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015

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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