Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning does not meet expectations. The materials include three-dimensional learning opportunities but miss opportunities for student sensemaking with the three dimensions. Three-dimensional objectives are consistently present at the unit level, but not at the lesson level. The summative assessments do not consistently measure the three dimensions for their respective objectives. The formative assessments are not consistently three dimensional, nor do they provide guidance to support the instructional process. Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning does not meet expectations. Phenomena and problems are present; are presented to students as directly as possible and are consistently connected to DCIs in life, physical, or earth/space science. The materials consistently elicit student prior knowledge and experience related to the problems present but do not leverage it. Phenomena and problems are not consistently present in this grade and do not consistently drive learning and use of the three dimensions.

Alignment

|

Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Designed for NGSS

0
14
24
28
9
24-28
Meets Expectations
15-23
Partially Meets Expectations
0-14
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Coherence and Scope

0
16
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
17-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-16
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
30
50
59
N/A
50-59
Meets Expectations
31-49
Partially Meets Expectations
0-30
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Designed for NGSS

Does Not Meet Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations for Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning does not meet expectations and Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning does not meet expectations.

Criterion 1a - 1c

Materials are designed for three-dimensional learning and assessment.
4/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations for Criterion 1a-1c: Three-Dimensional Learning. The materials consistently include integration of the three dimensions in at least one learning opportunity per learning sequence. While the three dimensions are consistently integrated, the materials miss the opportunity to engage students in sensemaking with the three dimensions across the learning sequence. The materials do not consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the lesson level and do not provide teacher guidance to support the instructional process. Additionally, in the few instances where lesson-level three-dimensional objectives are present, they do not consistently formatively assess to reveal student knowledge and use of those three dimensions.  Three-dimensional objectives are present at the unit level but the corresponding summative assessments are not consistently three-dimensional and do not address all of the three dimensions of the objectives.

Indicator 1a

Materials are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) into student learning.
Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 1a.i

Materials consistently integrate the three dimensions in student learning opportunities.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that they are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) into student learning opportunities. Throughout the grade, all learning sequences include three dimensions and consistently integrate SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs in student learning opportunities.

Within the eight learning sequences in Grade 1, all include at least one lesson where all three dimensions are integrated. Most often, the three dimensions were integrated within the Think Like a Scientist or Think Like an Engineer lessons; students engage in a learning opportunity with the DCI and SEP then look at their learning through the lens of the CCC. In the Investigate lessons, students engage in a hands-on activity. Typically, these lessons include two dimensions and occasionally all three dimensions. Several lessons within the lesson sequence only connect to the DCI. 

Examples of learning opportunities within a learning sequence that integrate all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 4: Investigate Plants and Light, students observe how plants respond to light. In this lesson, students observe what happens to plants when they respond to light, thereby building the understanding of how and why plants respond to their environment by growing toward light (DCI-LS1.D-P1). An investigation is set up in which a plant is placed in a closed box with only a small hole for light to shine through. Students observe and draw what they see over the course of four days; they use this data as a basis for discussion. Students compare data with other groups to see how the plants respond (SEP-INV-P4). They discuss the role that each of the plant parts plays in the life of the plant, and how different plants will grow better in different environments because of their structure (CCC-SF-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 23: Think Like an Engineer: Compare Solutions, students design a device that protects them from harm. Students learn about how animals have body parts that protect them from harm, like a turtle’s shell protects a turtle. Students look at different pictures of turtles and tortoises and then think about their animals that have body parts that protect them (DCI-LS1.A-P1). As a class, students discuss how the shape and stability of structures of natural objects are related to their functions. Students then ask questions about their observations in the natural world (SEP-AQDP-P1) and discuss how the structure of the turtle shells has a function and how other animals have structures that have a function to protect the animal (CCC-SF-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 3, Lesson 29: Think Like a Scientist: Look for Patterns, students conduct research and look for patterns about how animals help their offspring survive. Students use texts and media to research animal behaviors and draw conclusions about patterns (SEP-INFO-P1, CCC-PAT-P1) as they identify behaviors related to animals helping their offspring survive (DCI-LS1.B-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 4: Investigate the Sun, students observe the sun’s position in the sky every two hours to see how the sun appears to move in the sky (DCI-ESS1.A-P1). Students use their observations to describe patterns in the natural world (SEP-DATA-P3), and they describe patterns they observed from the data they collected about the way the sun moves across the sky (CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations students read the lesson and discuss that Sheena notices the amount of light changes at the same time of day at different times of the year. Students collect data on the amount of daylight at different times throughout the year (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). Students collect data for at least three different times throughout the year, examine their data, and compare the change in sunrise and sunset times to the amount of daylight in a day (SEP-DATA-P3). Students discuss patterns they observe in the natural world and observations they made from their data (CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 2: Investigate Sound, students stretch a rubber band around a box and predict what will happen when they pluck the rubber band. Students use a simple test to gather evidence of their predictions when they pluck the rubber band (CCC-CE-P1). Students learn two truths: 1-how vibrations can make sound or 2-sound causes things to vibrate by using the rubber band to observe the vibrations and listen to the sound it makes (DCI-PS4.A-P1). Students use different sizes of rubber bands for comparison of data between two separate investigations and record information on a chart (SEP-INV-P4). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 9: Investigate Light and Dark, students complete an investigation that shows objects can only be seen when illuminated with light. Students place an object in a box and close it, then try to see what object is inside the dark box through a viewing hole.  They then record their observations. Next, they shine a flashlight on the object and record their observations (CCC-CE-P1). Students share their observations (SEP-INV-E3) and conclude that objects need to be illuminated with light in order to see them (DCI-PS4.B-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 3, Lesson 15: People Communicate-Science in a Snap, students complete an investigation that shows people can communicate over long distances with devices. Students discuss ways they can complete a simple test to determine the cause and effect relationship of how things work, then compare their predictions with what actually happened (CCC-CE-P1). Students use flashlights to communicate with each other over a distance, then discuss their observations and other ways they could communicate over a distance without talking (DCI-PS4.C-P1, SEP-CEDS-E2).

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations that they consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions. Across this grade, the materials are not designed for SEPs and CCCs to meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions.

Of the seven units, two lesson sequences engage students in sensemaking with all three dimensions, and two lesson sequences engage students in two-dimensional sensemaking. Most lesson sequences begin with students learning about the DCI. This is typically followed by an Investigate or Think Like a Scientist lesson, where students confirm what they have already learned about the DCI. While these lessons may include opportunities for students to engage with all three dimensions, they do not consistently present opportunities for students to use the SEP or CCC for sensemaking. Additionally, multiple Think Like a Scientist and Think Like an Engineer lessons focus on learning a specific SEP or CCC, rather than using the SEP or CCC to make sense of the DCI.

Examples of lesson sequence where SEPs and CCCs do not meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 3, students learn about patterns that occur between parent animals and young animals, primarily through teacher-led discussion and reading the text. While students learn about the patterns that occur when parent animals protect the young (DCI-LS1.B-P1, CCC-PAT-P1), these lessons are teacher directed and point students to the exact places to find  information, missing the opportunity for student sensemaking. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science Lesson Sequence 1, students make observations and draw the position of the sun at different points of the day. In Lesson 4, Investigate the Sun, students observe the sun in the sky every two hours to see how the sun moves in the sky (DCI-ESS1.A-P1). Students record their observations (SEP-DATA-P3) and describe the patterns they observed in the data (CCC-PAT-P1), but there is a missed opportunity for students to use this data for sensemaking of the DCI. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 9: Investigate Light and Dark, students explore ways that light interacts with various materials and learn that light is necessary for vision. Students observe objects in a box with a flashlight on and off and record their observations (SEP-INV-P4). They use their observations to reinforce the concepts of darkness and illumination (DCI-PS4.B-P1). They also use the investigation to isolate one variable to be certain of the effect light (cause) had on the darkness. Students participate in teacher-led discussions that help them understand how the simple test of turning a light off and on proves what causes us to be able to see the object, since that was the only thing changed between the two tests (CCC-CE-P1). This discussion of cause and effect helps students confirm that objects can only be seen when illuminated. While all three dimensions are present and integrated, students only confirm information that was already provided; there is a missed opportunity for students to use the investigation to make sense of the DCI.

Examples of lesson sequence where SEPs or CCCs do not meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science Lesson Sequence 2, students learn that animals have body parts that protect them from harm. Students look at different pictures of turtles and tortoises and then think about other animals that have body parts that protect them (DCI-LS1.A-P1). In Lesson 23, students design a device that protects them from harm, like a turtle shell protects a turtle. As a class, students discuss how the shape and stability of structures of natural objects are related to their functions. Students discuss how the structure of the turtle shells has a function and also how other animals have structures that have a function to protect the animal (CCC-SF-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science Lesson Sequence 2, students learn how the length of daylight changes during each session. In the Think Like a Scientist lessons, students watch a timelapse video and observe that Sheena notices the amount of light changes at the same time of day at different times of the year. Students collect data on the different times of sunrise and sunset at three different times throughout the year (SEP-DATA-P3). After the data is collected for three different seasons, students look at their data and think about what the change in sunrise and sunset times will mean to the amount of daylight in a day (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). 

Examples of lesson sequence where SEPs and CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 5: Investigate Root Growth, students observe and describe how the roots of a plant respond to gravity. Students observe what happens to plant roots when they are turned sideways or upside-down and make sense of how the different plants’ roots respond to their environment (SEP-INV-P4, DCI-LS1.D-P1). They discuss the role that roots play in the life of the plant, and determine why it is necessary for roots to grow downward (CCC-SF-P1). In this and the previous lesson, students use their observations to figure out why a plant grows towards the light, and why a plant’s roots grow towards the ground.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 1, students learn about and observe how vibrating matter makes sound. Students watch a video and perform a simple test to observe that vibrating matter produces sound (CCC-CE-P1). They investigate rubber bands vibrating and making sound, plan and conduct an investigation on their own about vibrating materials (SEP-INV-P4, SEP-INV-P2), and design a drum and investigate further the connection between vibrating materials and sound (DCI-PS4.A-P1). Students use the results of their investigations as evidence that vibrating matter makes sound.

Indicator 1b

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.

Most lessons have one or more objectives; while each of these objectives may include one or two dimensions, the objectives are not individually three dimensional. Many of the lessons within the units were one dimensional and connected to the DCI. A few lessons include a three- dimensional learning objective; these are generally the Think Like a Scientist or Think Like an Engineer lessons and/or a performance expectation is used as the lesson level objective. 

Formative assessment opportunities include the Wrap it Up questions at the end of every lesson; the rubrics that are included with the Investigate, Think Like a Scientist, and Think Like an Engineer lessons; Checkpoint Quizzes; and some of the Elaborate sections within the lesson. The Wrap it Up questions often assess the one dimension included in the learning objective. The Checkpoint quizzes assess several lessons and connect to the DCIs from those lessons, but rarely assess the SEP or CCCs from within the lesson. The Think Like a Scientist, Think Like an Engineer, and the Investigate lessons include a rubric and Wrap it Up questions. The Wrap it Up questions typically assess the DCI but rarely assess the SEP or CCC. In some instances, the rubrics use the exact language from the Performance Expectation and provide three-dimensional assessment. 

The materials miss opportunities to provide guidance to teachers for using the formative assessment data to support the instructional process or provide next steps to take if a student is demonstrating little or no understanding of the content. The rubrics ask teachers to consider some important ideas; however, they do not provide teachers with a high quality student answer. The sample student responses in the Wrap it Up questions often only address the DCI of the lessons.  

Examples of lessons that do not have three-dimensional objectives, the formative assessment task(s) do not assess student knowledge of all (three) dimensions in the learning objective, and do not provide guidance to support the instructional process.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science,  Lesson 4: Investigate: Plants and Light, the learning objective is to “observe and describe how a plant responds to light in its environment.” This learning objective is not three dimensional. The formative assessments include a student and teacher rubric and Wrap It Up questions. The rubric asks teachers to determine if students make predictions, record observations of plant growth (SEP-INV-P4), articulate ideas about plant structure, use prior knowledge to infer the reason plants grow toward the light (DCI-LS1.D-P1), and include evidence about plant structure and function. The Wrap it Up question asks students to describe the plant’s appearance after one day in the box and then after one week, and explain their predictions of the cause of the plants growing this way. The Wrap it Up questions assess the SEP and DCI in the learning objective. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective of the lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 13: Animals See and Hear, the learning objective is to “explain that animals use their body parts in different ways to see and hear.” This objective is not three dimensional. The formative assessment is the Wrap it Up questions.  These questions  ask students to name the parts that allow these animals to see and hear, answer whether all animals see and hear in the same way, comment on use of their eyes and ears, and provide what animals need to see and hear. The formative assessment questions assess the student's understanding of ways animals use their body parts to see and hear (DCI-LS1.A-P1). The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objectives for this lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 29: Think Like a Scientist: Look for Patterns there is one learning objective: “determine patterns in the behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.” This objective is not three dimensional. The formative assessments include the student and teacher rubrics and the Wrap It Up questions at the end of the lesson that asks questions about how adult animals and their young work together to survive. The students identify that young animals work together with adult animals to help the young survive (DCI-LS1.B-P1). The formative assessment questions assess the objective but do not assess elements from all three dimensions. The teacher materials do not provide information about the follow-up  with the assessment data. There are, however, instructions to use the student and teacher rubrics to guide the teacher’s assessment of the students’ work. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 1: The Sun, there is one learning objective:  “describe the sun.” The objective is not three dimensional. The formative assessment is the Wrap It Up questions at the end of the lesson, which asks students to answer what is the sun, to describe the sun, and to identify what the sun gives off. The formative assessment questions assess the objective but do not assess elements from all three dimensions. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  •  In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 9: Stars, there are two learning objectives: “describe when you can observe the stars” and “explain why you can see stars only at night.” These learning objectives are not three dimensional. The formative assessment is the Wrap it Up questions, which ask students to answer when they can observe the stars and the reason they are not visible during the day.  The formative assessment tasks assess the objectives but do not assess elements from all three dimensions. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objectives for this lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, STEM Engineering Project: Design a Sundial, there are four learning objectives: “identify the engineering problem they need to solve,” “describe and build a prototype of sundial using only the materials provided,” “test the prototype and analyze their results to determine how well it works,” and “use their observations to make a prediction and then test the prediction.” These learning objectives are not three dimensional. The formative assessments include the teacher rubric and Wrap it Up questions. The teacher rubric assesses the learning objectives that ask students to complete steps of the engineering design process: define the problem, describe how the sundial will solve the problem, compare solutions and chose the one that best addresses the design problem, work collaboratively with team members to build a design, gather data and record their observations, analyze results and used them to suggest improvements to the design, communicate how the design works and the results, use evidence to support conclusions, and make and test a prediction based on previous observations. The Wrap it Up questions asked students to identify the patterns observed as the sun appears to move across the sky, answer why the sun appears to move across the sky, and identify the part of day if objects make long shadows that point to the East. These questions assess beyond the learning objectives for this lesson and focus on understanding the relationship between the apparent motion of the sun (DCI-ESS1.A-P1) and the operation of a sundial. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations, there are two learning objectives: “observe and record when sunrise and sunset occur at different times of year” and “compare data to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year.” These objectives are not three dimensional. The formative assessments include the teacher rubric and the Wrap it Up questions. The teacher rubric asks students to identify and describe the purpose of the investigation, describe data resulting from observations of relative length of the day, describe how observations could reveal the pattern between the amount of daylight and the time of year (SEP-DATA-P3), describe how the relative length of the day was determined, and record observations about the relative length of the day in different seasons and make relative comparisons between the amount of daylight at different times of year. The Wrap it Up questions ask students to compare how the amount of daylight changes from winter to spring and determine when they noticed the fewest hours of daylight. This assesses student understanding of the relative length of day (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). The teacher materials provide no guidance or modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 2: Investigate: Sound, the learning objective is to “demonstrate that vibrating matter can make sound.” The objective is not three dimensional, although the assessment is three dimensional. Students conduct an investigation and complete a table with predictions and observations about rubber bands vibrating and making sounds (SEP-INV-P4). Students complete a rubric about their learning. Students draw cartoons depicting the playing of music and peoples’ reactions. Students answer questions at the end of the lesson about vibrations and sound. Students describe and compare rubber bands vibrating to make sound (DCI-PS4.A-P1, CCC-CE-P2). The teacher materials do not provide information about follow-up actions with the assessment data. There are, however, instructions to use the student and teacher rubrics to guide the teacher’s assessment of the students’ work. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, STEM Engineering Project: Design a Drum, there are four learning objectives: “identify the engineering problem they need to solve,” “design and build a prototype of a drum using only the materials provided,” “test the prototypes ability to make objects on plastic wrap jump due to the sound it produces,” and“use their results to suggest ways to improve the prototype.”  These objectives are not three dimensional. The formative assessments include the student and teacher rubric and the Wrap it Up questions. The teacher evaluates students on the engineering design criteria listed in the rubric. The Wrap it Up questions ask students to explain causes and effects and how sound causes matter to vibrate. The teacher materials provide no guidance or modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 17: Investigate: Communicating with Light and Sound, the learning objective is to “observe and record evidence that information can be communicated using devices.” The objective is not three dimensional. The formative assessments include the student observation chart (SEP-DATA-P1), student and teacher rubrics, and the Wrap it Up questions at the end of the lesson. Students record observations about messages sent through a device then share and explain their findings. Then they draw a cartoon of people using their design for communicating, complete a rubric about their learning, and finally answer the Wrap it Up questions about communicating. The assessments are not three dimensional. Students use what they know about sound to explain how they were able to hear a message due to vibration (DCI-PS4.C-P1). The materials do not provide information about follow-up actions with the assessment data. There are, however, instructions to use the student and teacher rubrics to guide the teacher’s assessment of the students’ work. 

Examples of lessons that have three-dimensional objectives, the formative assessment task(s) do not assess student knowledge of all (three) dimensions in the learning objective, and do not provide guidance to support the instructional process.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 33: Think Like a Scientist, there are two learning objectives: “plan and conduct an investigation in order to make and record observations to show that young animals are like but not exactly like their parents” and “use evidence from their observations to explain their results.” At least one objective is three dimensional. The formative assessment includes the student and teacher rubric and the Wrap it Up questions. Students are asked about similarities and differences between adult pigs and their young. The assessment is three dimensional; students plan and conduct and investigation, record observations of patterns they identify about adult and young animals, and identify similarities and differences between adult and young pigs (DCI-LS3.A-P1, DCI-LS3.B-P1, CCC-PAT-P1, SEP-INV-E3). The teacher materials do not provide information about follow-up actions with the assessment data. There are, however, student and teacher rubrics that guide the teachers assessment of the students’ work. 

  • In Grade 1 Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 4: Investigate The Sun, there are two learning objectives: “observe the pattern of the sun in the sky” and “use of observations of the sun as evidence to predict the future pattern of the sun in the sky.” At least one objective is three dimensional. The formative assessments include the student and teacher rubric and the Wrap it Up questions.  They ask students about their observations about the sun in the morning and at noon, whether their prediction matched what they saw in the afternoon, and to use the pattern they saw to predict how the sun will move tomorrow. The teacher rubric checks whether students can use a graphical display to organize data from observations of the sun’s position, identify and describe a pattern in data showing that the sun is shown at differing positions in the sky at different times of the day, and use the identified pattern of the motion of the sun to provide evidence that future appearances of the sun can be predicted. The formative assessments assess the elements in the learning objectives (DCI-ESS1.A-P1, SEP-DATA-P3, CCC-PAT-P1). The rubric asks checklist questions about whether the student has completed the activity. The materials do not provide the teacher with an example of high quality answers. The Wrap it Up questions do not assess the learning objectives. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 18 Think Like and Engineer: Design a Device the learning objectives are three dimensional. There are three learning objectives: “use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance,” “test and revise the prototype device based on results and feedback,” and “use the device to explain how people can use sound or light to communicate.” Collectively, these learning objectives are three dimensional. The formative assessment tasks include student and teacher rubrics, an observation chart, and the Wrap it Up questions at the end of the lesson. The rubrics assess how students solve a problem to communicate using light (DCI-PS4.C-P1, SEP-CEDS-P2). The observation chart asks students to record observations about messages sent through a device without sound and then explain their findings. The Wrap it Up questions ask students to answer questions about communicating without sound. The teacher materials do not provide information about follow-up actions with the assessment data. There are, however, instructions to use the student and teacher rubrics to guide the teacher’s assessment of the students’ work.

Indicator 1c

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Each unit consists of two or three lesson sequences that include bundles of performance expectations (PEs) as the objectives for each; therefore, all units had three-dimensional learning objectives. 

The summative assessments for each unit include a Unit Test, Unit Performance Task, and an ExamView Test Bank of questions. The Unit Test includes questions in the ExamView Test Bank and typically assesses the DCIs embedded within the objectives (PEs). In some multiple choice questions, students use an image or diagram to respond to questions, but no questions within the Unit Test or ExamView bank were three dimensional, and SEPs and CCCs were not typically assessed. Other question types include fill-in-the-blank and matching questions; however, these also assessed only the targeted DCIs and often focused on vocabulary. Constructed response questions provide limited opportunities to assess two dimensions within the objectives. However, because teachers have the flexibility of selecting the items, not all students may answer the same questions.

The Unit Performance Task provides opportunities to assess student understanding and use of SEP and/or CCC elements; however, typically only one SEP and/or CCC per unit is assessed, missing opportunities to assess each element within the unit objectives. In addition, the unit assessments do not fully assess the ETS performance expectations, when present.

Examples of units that have three-dimensional objectives; the summative assessment tasks do not assess student knowledge of all (three) dimensions in the learning objectives.

  • In Grade 1 Unit 1: Life Science, the objectives for this unit include five performance expectations: 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1, K-2-ETS1-1, and K-2-ETS1-2. The objectives for this unit are three dimensional. The unit objectives are partially assessed. The assessments for this unit include the Unit Test, which includes five multiple choice questions, five constructed response items, and a Unit Performance Assessment. The assessments address most of the targeted DCIs when students are asked multiple questions about different structures found on animals and how those structures and different behaviors are used for survival. These questions also assess student understanding that the shape of certain body structures is related to their functions (CCC-SF-P1). Additional questions assess student understanding of plants and plant structures.The Performance Task asks students to draw or describe a tool that is similar to an animal part. Then they use an animal part as an idea for a tool, drawing both the animal part and tool design. Multiple elements within the ETS objectives are not assessed. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, the objectives for this unit include two performance expectations: 1-ESS1-1 and 1-ESS1-2. The objectives for this unit are three dimensional. The unit objectives are partially assessed. The Unit Test includes 16 questions, consisting of multiple choice and constructed response questions. Student understanding of seasonal patterns is assessed (DCI-ESS1.B-P1) and other questions are asked about the sky (“When is the sky usually darkest?”), but these questions missed opportunities to assess student understanding of how patterns of the sun, moon, and stars can be observed, described and predicted (DCI-ESS1.A-P1). The Unit Performance Task assesses seasonal patterns (DCI-ESS1.B-P1, CCC-PAT-P1). One DCI element and two SEP elements within the unit objectives are not assessed. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, the objectives for this unit include six performance expectations: 1-PS4-1, 1-PS4-2, 1-PS4-3, 1-PS4-4, K-2-ETS1-1, and K-2-ETS1-3. The objectives for this unit are three dimensional. The unit objectives are partially assessed. The Unit Test includes multiple choice and constructed response questions that assess student understanding of vibrations, sound, light, and shadows. Students show understanding of how light is needed in order to see objects (DCI-PS4.B-P1), how sound causes vibrations and vibrations cause sound (DCI-PS4.A-P1), and how different types of materials are affected by light  (DCI-PS4.B-P2). In the Unit Performance Task, students design an instrument and a shadow play, then write an explanation to demonstrate show understanding of how an instrument can be made to make noise due to vibrations and how light and objects can create shadows (DCI-PS4.A-P1, DCI-PS4.B-P2).Multiple CCC, DCI, and SEP elements within the unit objectives are not assessed.

Criterion 1d - 1i

Materials leverage science phenomena and engineering problems in the context of driving learning and student performance.
5/12
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials include phenomena in 8% of the lessons and problems in 1% of the lessons. Of the phenomena and problems present, they consistently connect to grade-level appropriate DCIs and are consistently presented to students as directly as possible. The materials consistently elicit but do not leverage student prior knowledge and experience related to the phenomena and problems present. Phenomena or problems are neither consistently present nor do they drive learning and use of the three dimensions, at the lesson or the unit level.

Indicator 1d

Phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs). When present in the materials, phenomena and/or problems consistently connect to appropriate grade-level DCIs in life, physical, or earth and space science.

The materials include three units: Life, Earth, and Physical Science. The Life Science unit has 33 lessons and the Earth and Physical Science units each have between 17-19 lessons.  Each unit includes several DCI or content-focused lessons, Investigate lessons, and Think Like an Engineer or Think Like a Scientist lessons. 

Examples of phenomena or problems that connect to grade-level DCIs or their elements:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 2: Roots, Stems and Leaves, the phenomenon is when celery stalks are placed in colored water, the colored water will travel up the celery stalk. Students read about the parts of the plant and their functions (DCI-LS1.A-P1). Students role play discussing the parts of the tree and their functions. In groups, students complete a chart about each part of the plant and its functions. Students observe the celery stalk again then explain how the different parts allow the colored water to move (DCI-LS1.A-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 4: Investigate: Plants and Light, the phenomenon is an image of bean sprouts growing toward light on their sides rather than directly above it. Students observe plants’ responses to light building the understanding that the plant parts respond to and grow toward the light (DCI-LS1.D-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 5: Investigate Root Growth, the phenomenon is that plant roots grow down into the soil. Students watch a time-lapse video of roots growing and think about what makes the plant grow that way. Students discuss their ideas with a partner. Students conduct an investigation in which they observe what happens to roots when the cup they are growing in is turned on its side. To explain the phenomenon, students discuss why the roots changed directions to grow toward the ground. Students continue to switch the position of the cups, then infer how the roots’ response to a change in direction helps the plant survive (DCI-LS1.D-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 13: Investigate the Night Sky, the phenomenon is that stars move in an arched pattern across the night sky. Students investigate how Cepheus appears to move using the night sky model. To explain the phenomenon, students describe how stars appear to move (DCI-ESS1.A-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 15: Light and the Seasons, the phenomenon is that the amount of daylight changes for each season. Students talk about their prior experiences and which seasons have the most daylight. Students read and interact with a chart about the amount of daylight in each season. They use their bodies to visualize the seasons and the amount of daylight associated with each season (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations, the phenomenon is that the sun does not always rise and set at the same time. To explain this phenomenon, students use their collected evidence to explain that the time of sunrise and sunset can change and the ways they can change. Students use their evidence to explain how the amount of sunlight changes from winter to spring, and that seasonal patterns of sunrise and sunset can be observed, described and predicted (DCI-ESS1.B-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 18: Design a Device, the challenge is to figure a way to communicate with a partner. Students design, build and test a device that allows them to communicate with a partner. Students describe how they solved the communication problem and then explain how the device they built allowed them to communicate using light and/or sound over a long distance (DCI-PS4.C-P1).

Indicator 1e

Phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible. Phenomena and problems in the materials are consistently presented as directly as possible.

Most problems are presented through hands-on observations or videos or pictures when students would not be able to experience or observe the introduction to the problem in person due to impractical conditions.The materials provide suggestions on the use of videos to introduce problems to students; however, not all videos are linked in the materials.

Examples of phenomena and/or problems presented to students as directly as possible:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 2: Roots, Stems and Leaves, the phenomenon that placing celery stalks in colored water results in the colored water traveling up the celery stalk is presented as directly as possible. Students observe first-hand a stalk of celery in a cup of colored water. This phenomenon provides students with a common way to experience the phenomenon before investigating it. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1, Lesson 4: Investigate: Plants and Light, the phenomenon of bean sprouts growing toward light on its side rather than directly above it is presented as directly as possible. Students observe an image of a plant growing near a window, and the plant is growing directly towards the light from the window. The images provide a direct way to present this phenomenon where time and resources may not have allowed for students to observe this phenomenon first-hand. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 5: Investigate Root Growth, the phenomenon that plant roots grow down into the soil is presented as directly as possible. Students observe a time-lapse video of roots growing down into soil. The video provides a direct way to present this phenomenon in an expedient way to observe root growth. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 13: Investigate the Night Sky, the phenomenon that the stars move in an arched pattern across the night sky is presented as directly as possible. Students watching a time-lapse video of the stars moving across the night sky. The video provides a direct way to present this phenomenon in an expedient way during class time and daylight hours. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 15: Light and the Seasons, the phenomenon that the amount of daylight changes for each season is presented as directly as possible. Students watch a time-lapse video showing sunrise, the passing day, and sunset of the same place in two different seasons. The video provides a direct way to present this phenomenon in an expedient way, since direct observations across this timeframe would not be practical. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations, the phenomenon that the sun does not always rise and set at the same time is presented as directly as possible. Students watch a time-lapse video and  observe photos and times (used in a previous lesson). The video and other information provide a direct way to present this phenomenon in an expedient way, since direct observations across this timeframe would not be practical. 

Example of a problem that is not presented to students as directly as possible:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 18: Design a Device, the challenge to figure a way to communicate with a partner is not presented as directly as possible. Students observe a video of Humpback Whales communicating with each other. Then they are asked to design a device to communicate with a partner and are told they can use light or sound to aid in the communication. While the video shows one way that whales communicate with each other using sound, it does not directly provide a common entry point to understanding this challenge.

Indicator 1f

Phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions. Across the grade, phenomena and problems are presented in seven of the 74 lessons. In these seven lessons, the phenomenon or problem drives the learning, and students engage with all three dimensions to explain the phenomenon or solve the problem. 

In the remaining lessons in the grade, questions related to science concepts or topics are often the focus of the learning instead of a driving phenomenon or problem; additionally, students typically only engage in  one or two dimensions within each lesson. Lessons focus on having students explain the concept or idea, build vocabulary, and/or answer a topical question.

Examples of lessons that do not use phenomena and/or problems to drive student learning:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 18: Stories in Science: Meet a Spider Woman, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on a video story of Cheryl Hayashi and her work with spiders. Students learn about Cheryl and how she studies spiders. Students talk with the teacher about spiders. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 21-22 Think Like an Engineer: Case Study: A Better Train, the lessons are not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the question, “How can engineers use ideas from the natural world to solve problems?” Students read about a train that was fast but noisy. Students answer text-based questions about the train and how the train engineer used something from nature to fix the noisiness of the train. This lesson helps students understand that engineers can solve problems that people want to change (DCI-ETS1.A-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 4: Investigate: The Sun, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the concept that the motion of the sun can be observed and predicted. Students view pictures showing the positions of the Sun in the sky then look at an image of a model of the sun, the planets, and their relative sizes. Students engage in an activity to understand the connection between distance and the size objects appear to be. Students sketch the location of the sun at different times of the day, based on the information in the lesson and their observations. Throughout this lesson, students observe the location of the sun at different times of the day to make predictions and track patterns of the sun in the sky (DCI-ESS1.A-M1, CCC-PAT-P1). Students use their observations to share their findings of patterns with their classmates (SEP-DATA-P3).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 1: Vibrate and Make Sound, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the topic that vibrations make sound (DCI-PS4-A-P1). Students watch a guitar string video and then read text about the guitar string vibrating to make a sound. Students feel their throats and make sounds, describing what they feel when they talk. Students watch a video that tells them about light and sound then define the term, vibrate and identify other objects that vibrate to make sounds.  

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 2: Investigate Sound, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the question, “How is sound made?” Students stretch a rubber band around a box then share ideas about what will happen when they pluck the rubber band. Students pluck the rubber band, using a hand lens to observe the rubber band. Students use different thickness and size rubber bands to see if there is a difference in the sound and record information on a chart (SEP-DATA-P3). Students conclude that vibrations can make sound or sound causes things to vibrate (CCC-CE-P1, DCI-PS4-A-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 9, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the concept that light is needed for objects to be seen. Students look at objects in a box, turning a flashlight on and off, and record what they see (DCI-PS4.B-P1, SEP-INV-P1). Then they discuss the cause and effect relationship between what was visible when the light was on compared to when the light was in the off position (CCC-CE-P1) . 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 12, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the concept that some materials block all light. Students look at photographs then read about what happens when light is blocked. They then confirm what they read by investigating blocked light by using a flashlight to make shadows (SEP-INV-P4). Students learn that some materials block all the light (DCI-PS4.B-P2). 

Examples of phenomena that drive student learning at the lesson or activity level using the three dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 2: Roots, Stems, and Leaves, the phenomenon is when celery stalks are placed in colored water, the colored water will travel up the celery stalk. Students read about the parts of the plant and their functions. Students role play, discussing the parts of the tree and their functions. In groups, students complete a chart about each part of the plant and what it does (CCC-SF-P1, DCI-LS1.A-P1). Students are given colored water and the celery stalk then observe the colored water traveling up the celery stalk (SEP-INV-P4). They then explain how the parts of a plant and their functions (CCC-SF-P1, DCI-LS1.A-P1) allow the water to move up the stalk.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 4: Investigate: Plants and Light, the phenomenon that bean sprouts grow towards the light drives the lesson. Students observe a photograph of a plant growing toward a light source that is to the side of the plant, not directly above. Students sketch their ideas about the occurrence. Students conduct an investigation where they observe and draw their observations for over four days (SEP-INV-P1). They discuss the role that each of the plant parts plays in the life of the plant and how different plants will grow better in different environments because of their structure (CCC-SF-P1). Students observe what happens to plants then use the understanding that plant parts respond to the light to explain their observations of this phenomenon (DCI-LS1.D-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 5: Investigate Root Growth, the phenomenon that as seeds sprout, their roots grow down into the ground drives learning. Students watch a time-lapse video of roots growing, think about what makes the plant grow that way, and then discuss their ideas. Students observe what happens to roots when the cup they are growing in is turned on its side (SEP-INV-P1). Students discuss plant structures and their functions (CCC-SF-P1). Students switch the position of the cups to show that the roots’ response to a change in direction helps the plant survive (DCI-LS1.D-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 13: Investigate the Night Sky, the phenomenon of stars moving in an arched pattern across the night sky drives learning. Students watch and discuss a time-lapse video then investigate how Cepheus appears to move using the night sky. To explain the phenomenon, students use a model of Cepheus to describe how stars appear to move (DCI-ESS1.A-P1). They use the model to describe the pattern all stars follow (SEP-DATA-P3). The materials explicitly address how scientists use patterns like these to understand the phenomenon of apparent motion of stars (CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 15: Light and the Seasons, the phenomenon that the amount of daylight changes for each season drives the learning. Students talk about their prior experiences and which seasons have the most daylight. Students read and interact with a chart about the amount of daylight in each season (SEP-DATA-P3) then use their bodies to visualize the seasons and the amount of daylight associated with each season. Students watch the time-lapse video of sunrise during two different seasons in order to understand seasonal patterns of sunrise and sunset (DCI-ESS1.B-P1, CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations, the phenomenon that the sun does not always rise and set at the same time drives learning. Students sketch the same scene at 6:00 pm in summer and winter. They use these observations as evidence to explain that the time of sunrise and sunset can change. Later, students observe and record sunrise and sunset times in order to note patterns about seasonal differences (SEP-DATA-P3), repeating this at a different time of year.  Students use this data to make comparisons (SEP-INV-P4) between the seasons to determine that seasonal patterns of sunrise and sunset exist (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). The materials revisit the concept of patterns throughout the lesson, and teach it explicitly at the conclusion of the investigation to help students make meaning of their findings (CCC-PAT-P1). Students then extend their research to determine if the same patterns are true in other places.

Indicator 1g

Materials are designed to include both phenomena and problems.
Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 are designed for students to solve problems in 1% (1/74) of the lessons. Throughout the materials 8% (6/74) of the lessons focus on explaining phenomena. The materials include three phenomena in each of Life Science and Earth Science units and one problem in the Physical Science unit. Three of the six lessons with the phenomena were Investigate lessons, one was a Think Like a Scientist Lesson, and the other two lessons were the content-focused lessons.

In the materials, one design challenge is presented in a Think Like an Engineer activity. This activity typically provides students with a design challenge where they discuss their ideas with a partner and draw a model of their ideas  and then build, test, and share their solutions. Frequently, students test and refine their solutions. At times, however, the materials provide very detailed design instructions and at other times allow students to work through the design process to develop their own ideas. 

Example of a problem in in the series:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3, Physical Science, Lesson 18: Design a Device, the challenge is to communicate with a partner by designing a device that uses light or sound. Students design, build, and test a device that allows them to communicate with a partner. They then have an opportunity to rethink their design to make it even better, and then they test again. Students describe how they solved the communication problem and then explain how the device they built allowed them to communicate using light and/or sound. 

Examples of phenomena in the series:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 2: Roots, Stems and Leaves, the phenomenon is that colored water travels up the celery stalks when they are placed in the colored water. Throughout the lesson, students collect evidence by observing the changes in the celery stalk and discuss the differences before and after the celery stalk is placed. To explain the phenomenon, students identify that structures in the stem bring the colored water up the stem and into the leaves. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 4: Investigate Plants and Light, the phenomenon is that bean sprouts bend towards a window as they grow, rather than growing straight. Throughout the lesson, students observe how a plant responds to light as it grows over multiple days. To explain this phenomenon, students construct an explanation of the relationship between plant growth and light.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 5: Investigate Root Growth, the phenomenon is as seeds sprout, their roots grow down into the ground. Students watch a rapid growth video showing how plants grow. Students recall the investigation in Life Science, Lesson 4 to explain what they remember about how plants grow toward sunlight. Students expand this idea by investigating the direction roots grow. To investigate the phenomenon, students have two clear cups, Cup A and Cup B in which they plant a seed using paper towels so they can observe the root growth.  One cup is placed on its side, and the other cup is standing upright. Students create a table, observe, and record root growth over a seven day period. To explain the phenomenon, students share their data and explain their thinking by answering the questions “How did the root in Cup A change when the cup was on its side?” and “How do roots respond to a change in direction? How might this help the plant survive?” 

  • First Grade, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 13: Investigate the Night Sky, the phenomenon is the stars moving in an arched pattern across the night sky. Students view a time-lapse video and discuss how the stars appear to move. They figure out the phenomenon by answering a series of “whys” about the stars to determine if they are really moving. Students investigate how Cepheus appears to move using the night sky model. To explain the phenomenon, students describe how stars appear to move across the sky, and predict how stars will follow a pattern of movement so they can predict where a star will be.

  • In 1st grade, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 15: Light and the Seasons, the phenomenon is that the amount of daylight changes for each season. Students discuss their prior experiences and which seasons have the most daylight. Students read and interact with a chart about the amount of daylight in each season. They use their bodies to visualize the seasons and the amount of daylight associated with each season. Students interact with the virtual lab .To explain this phenomenon, students explain which season has the most daylight. Students explain which two seasons have the most similar hours of daylight, and they make a prediction about the relative time of sunrise on two consecutive days

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations, the phenomenon is the sun does not always rise and set at the same time. Students create a plan to answer the question, “Could the time of sunrise and sunset change?”  Students conduct the investigation and track observations. Students use their collected evidence to explain that the time of sunrise and sunset can change and in what ways they change. To explain this phenomenon, students analyze their data to answer questions, “Could the time of sunrise and sunset change?” and “What evidence did you record that helps you answer the investigation question?”

Indicator 1h

Materials intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations that they intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.

In most cases, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge of phenomena and problems but do not leverage students’ prior knowledge. There are missed opportunities for students to connect what they already know to problems and/or phenomena. The materials do not provide guidance as to how to refer back to the earlier student prior knowledge conversations. 

Examples where the materials elicit, but do not leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 2: Roots, Stems and Leaves, the phenomenon is when celery stalks are placed in colored water, the colored water travels up the celery stalk. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon by asking students to think about using a straw to drink and describe how the straw works. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 4: Investigate: Plants and Light, the phenomenon is that bean sprouts bend towards a window as they grow, rather than growing straight up. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon by asking them to sketch why plants might grow in different directions and then share with partners experiences about plants they have seen growing. They are then asked if they have seen plants growing like the one shown in the photograph. Students review how leaves help a plant grow and survive and also how other factors might help plants grow and survive. Students investigate plants growing toward light, make predictions, and compare their investigation to the initial phenomenon of bean sprouts growing toward light. The materials elicit student prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon by asking students what they already knew about leaves. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon. 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 5: Investigate Root Growth, the phenomenon is that as seeds sprout, their roots grow down into the ground. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences by asking if they have seen roots on a plant and where they grow. Students consider how roots help a plant grow and survive. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 15: Light and the Seasons, the phenomenon is that the amount of daylight changes for each season. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences when students share their experiences with the number of hours of daylight in different seasons. They think about how this difference affects their activities. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 17: Think Like a Scientist: Make Observations, the phenomenon is that the sun does not always rise and set at the same time. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon by asking them how the length of days affects them. Students sketch two different pictures and compare them with their classmates’ drawings. Students read from text and complete a data chart of observations of sunrise and sunset times. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the phenomenon.

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science Lesson 18 Design a Device, the challenge is to figure a way to communicate with a partner. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experience of the problem by asking them to recall what they have learned about communication. They are asked about possible ways people communicate. They are asked to reflect on a previous lesson and answer how they communicated using light and sound. Students proceed to read a lesson and design devices to communicate and then test and refine their designs. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the challenge.

Example where the materials do not elicit or leverage students’ prior knowledge and experience related to a phenomenon:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 13: Investigate the Night Sky, the phenomenon is the movement of stars in an arched pattern across the night sky. Students watch a video of a night sky then are asked, “When you see stars in the sky, do you see them moving?” The answer is not dependent on prior knowledge or experiences students brought with them and therefore does not elicit students’ prior knowledge or experience.

Indicator 1i

Materials embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet expectations that they embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions. While some phenomena and problems in the grade drive learning of individual lessons or activities, they do not drive learning across multiple lessons in a lesson sequence or across the unit. 

The materials consist of three content-focused units, which are further organized into two or three lesson sequences, resulting in eight lesson sequences across the grade. While some units included an image or picture that could be referenced throughout the unit, this helped connect learning but did not drive the learning. Instead, each lesson sequence focuses on learning a specific science concept or topic. 

Examples of lesson sequences where student learning is not driven by a phenomenon or problem across multiple lessons, but the materials engage students with all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 1, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on the topic of how plants and animals grow to survive (DCI-LS1.D-P1, DCI-LS1.A-P1). In Lessons 2, 4, and 5, students learn about plant growth and survival. In Lesson 11 students investigate plants, however, the remainder of the lessons in this sequence are focused on topics of animal parts and how they use those parts for survival. Within this sequence, students compare data with other groups to see how the plants respond (SEP-INV-P4). They discuss the role that each of the plant parts plays in the life of the plant, and how different plants will grow better in different environments because of their structure (CCC-SF-P1). 

  •  In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 2, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on how different animal parts function and help survival. Students develop understanding of this topic across several lessons; they watch videos, look at pictures, and discuss the parts and functions of animals and how they help them survive (DCI-LS1.A-P1, DCI-LS1.D-P1). Students research underwater animals and share with their classmates what they learned (SEP-INFO-P3). Students conduct an investigation and plan a solution to protect an animal from danger. Then they share their results with classmates.  Students ask questions about their observations in the natural world (SEP-AQDP-P1) and discuss how the structure of the turtle shells has a function and how other animals have structures that have a function to protect the animal (CCC-SF-P1).  

  • In Grade 1, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 3, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on the behaviors of parents and their offspring that help young animals survive (DCI-LS1.B-P1, DCI-LS3.A-P1, and DCI-LS3.B-P1). Students use texts and media to research animal behaviors and draw conclusions about patterns (SEP-INFO-P1, CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 1, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on understanding patterns of the sun and the moon. Across several lessons, students learn about the patterns they can observe related to the position of the sun and the moon in the sky. Students watch videos, look at pictures, and discuss the patterns of the sun and the moon in the sky at different times of day and night (CCC-PAT-P1, DCI-ESS1.A-P1). Students observe the sun in the sky at different times of the day and draw a representation of their observations (SEP-DATA-P3). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 2, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on the topic of seasons (DCI-ESS1.B-P1). Across the five lessons in this sequence, students collected data for different times throughout the year, examine their data, and think about how the change in sunrise and sunset time relate to the amount of daylight in a day (SEP-DATA-P3). Students discuss patterns they observe in the natural world and observations they made from their data (CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 1, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on light, sound, and their influences in communication. In this sequence of lessons, students learn about light and sound through the text, which they then confirm through investigations (DCI-PS4.B-P1, SEP-INV-P1).  Students make observations (SEP-INV-P1) then plan and conduct student-developed investigations around sound and light (SEP-INV-P2). Students use a simple test to gather evidence of what happens when they pluck the rubber band (CCC-CE-P1). Students learn about how vibrations can make sound or how sound causes things to vibrate.  They learn this by using the rubber band to observe the vibrations and listen to the sound it makes (DCI-PS4.A-P1).

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 2, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on the concept that light is necessary for vision. Students read about light then collect information on how light works by shining light through transparent materials, materials that block some light, materials that block all light, and materials that reflect light (CCC-CE-P1). Students share their observations (SEP-INV-E3) and conclude that objects need to be illuminated with light in order to see them (DCI-PS4.B-P1). 

  • In Grade 1, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 3, a phenomenon or problem does not drive the learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on ideas about how light and sound can be used to communicate. In this lesson sequence, students learn about ways people communicate then explore ways to communicate with light and sound.  Students discuss ways they can conduct a simple test to determine the cause and effect relationship of how things work, then compare their initial ideas with what actually happened.(CCC-CE-P1). Students use flashlights to communicate with each other over a distance (DCI-PS4.B-P2, SEP-INV-P1), then discuss their observations and other ways they could communicate over a distance without talking. Students then design a device that allows them to send messages using sound and/or light (DCI-PS4.C-P1, DCI-ETS1.B-P1).

Gateway Two

Coherence and Scope

Not Rated

Criterion 2a - 2g

Materials are coherent in design, scientifically accurate, and support grade-level and grade-band endpoints of all three dimensions.

Indicator 2a

Materials are designed for students to build and connect their knowledge and use of the three dimensions across the series.
N/A

Indicator 2a.i

Students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from unit to unit.
N/A

Indicator 2a.ii

Materials have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication.
N/A

Indicator 2b

Materials present Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) in a way that is scientifically accurate.*
N/A

Indicator 2c

Materials do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.*
N/A

Indicator 2d

Materials incorporate all grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
N/A

Indicator 2d.i

Physical Sciences
N/A

Indicator 2d.ii

Life Sciences
N/A

Indicator 2d.iii

Earth and Space Sciences
N/A

Indicator 2d.iv

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
N/A

Indicator 2e

Materials incorporate all grade-band Science and Engineering Practices.
N/A

Indicator 2e.i

Materials incorporate grade-level appropriate SEPs within each grade.
N/A

Indicator 2e.ii

Materials incorporate all SEPs across the grade band.
N/A

Indicator 2f

Materials incorporate all grade-band Crosscutting Concepts.
N/A

Indicator 2f.i

Materials incorporate grade-level appropriate CCCs within each grade.
N/A

Indicator 2f.ii

Materials incorporate all CCCs across the grade band.
N/A

Indicator 2g

Materials incorporate NGSS Connections to Nature of Science and Engineering
N/A

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3d

Materials are designed to support teachers not only in using the materials, but also in understanding the expectations of the standards.

Indicator 3a

Materials include background information to help teachers support students in using the three dimensions to explain phenomena and solve problems (also see indicators 3b and 3l).
N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials provide guidance that supports teachers in planning and providing effective learning experiences to engage students in figuring out phenomena and solving problems.
N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials contain teacher guidance with sufficient and useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 3d

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

Criterion 3e - 3k

Materials are designed to support all students in learning.

Indicator 3e

Materials are designed to leverage diverse cultural and social backgrounds of students.
N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide appropriate support, accommodations, and/or modifications for numerous special populations that will support their regular and active participation in learning science and engineering.
N/A

Indicator 3g

Materials provide multiple access points for students at varying ability levels and backgrounds to make sense of phenomena and design solutions to problems.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials include opportunities for students to share their thinking and apply their understanding in a variety of ways.
N/A

Indicator 3i

Materials include a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.
N/A

Indicator 3j

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

Indicator 3k

Materials are made accessible to students by providing appropriate supports for different reading levels.
N/A

Criterion 3l - 3s

Materials are designed to be usable and also to support teachers in using the materials and understanding how the materials are designed.

Indicator 3l

The teacher materials provide a rationale for how units across the series are intentionally sequenced to build coherence and student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to NGSS.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to English/Language Arts and Math Common Core State Standards, including the standards for mathematical practice.
N/A

Indicator 3n.i

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to English/Language Arts Common Core State Standards.
N/A

Indicator 3n.ii

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to Math Common Core State Standards, including the standards for mathematical practice.
N/A

Indicator 3o

Resources (whether in print or digital) are clear and free of errors.
N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials include a comprehensive list of materials needed.
N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials embed clear science safety guidelines for teacher and students across the instructional materials.
N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials designated for each grade level are feasible and flexible for one school year.
N/A

Indicator 3s

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

Criterion 3t - 3y

Materials are designed to assess students and support the interpretation of the assessment results.

Indicator 3t

Assessments include a variety of modalities and measures.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Assessments offer ways for individual student progress to be measured over time.
N/A

Indicator 3v

Materials provide opportunities and guidance for oral and/or written peer and teacher feedback and self reflection, allowing students to monitor and move their own learning.
N/A

Indicator 3w

Tools are provided for scoring assessment items (e.g., sample student responses, rubrics, scoring guidelines, and open-ended feedback).
N/A

Indicator 3x

Guidance is provided for interpreting the range of student understanding (e.g., determining what high and low scores mean for students) for relevant Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
N/A

Indicator 3y

Assessments are accessible to diverse learners regardless of gender identification, language, learning exceptionality, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
N/A

Criterion 3aa - 3z

Materials are designed to include and support the use of digital technologies.

Indicator 3aa

Digital materials are web based and compatible with multiple internet browsers. In addition, materials are “platform neutral,” are compatible with multiple operating systems and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
N/A

Indicator 3ab

Materials include opportunities to assess three-dimensional learning using digital technology.
N/A

Indicator 3ac

Materials can be customized for individual learners, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3ad

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

Indicator 3z

Materials integrate digital technology and interactive tools (data collection tools, simulations, modeling), when appropriate, in ways that support student engagement in the three dimensions of science.
N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/04/15

Report Edition: 2019

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Exploring Science 1: Student Book 9781337911641
Exploring Science 1: Teacher's Edition 9781337915625

Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

Science K-5 Review Tool

The science review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports a sequential review process that reflects the importance of alignment to the standards then considers other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For science, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning

  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning

  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions

  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The Evidence Guides complement the review criteria 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.

To best read our reports we recommend utilizing the Codes for NGSS Elements document that provides the code and description of elements cited as evidence in each report.

The EdReports rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of alignment to college and career ready standards and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum, such as usability and design, as recommended by educators.

Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators (gateway 1) to move to the other gateways. 

Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment to the standards. 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).

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, 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.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, 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.

For all content areas, usability ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for effective practices (as outlined in the evaluation tool) for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, differentiated instruction, and effective technology use.

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations