Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 are not present in this grade. Problems are present and presented to students as directly as possible, but do not consistently connect to DCIs in life, physical, or earth/space science. The materials elicit student prior knowledge and experience related to the problems present in some instances 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
7
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 Kindergarten 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
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten 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 five learning sequences in Kindergarten, 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 included 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 Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 6: Think Like a Scientist: Observe, students observe pictures of plants and animals to identify patterns in how they meet their needs. In groups, students look at pictures of animals and plants (birds, pandas, zebras, daffodils, etc.) They discuss how the plant’s or animal’s needs are met (DCI-LS1.C-P1, DCI-ESS3.A-P1). Then, the students observe the pictures again and begin to look for similarities between them which leads to an explicit discussion about how scientists use observations to describe and interpret patterns in the natural world (CCC-PAT-P1, SEP-DATA-P3). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 10: Think Like a Scientist: Explain Change, students observe pictures of plants and animals to identify patterns in how they change the environment. In groups, students examine pictures of animals and plants changing their environments (tree roots change the ground, prairie dogs dig holes, birds use materials to make nests). They discuss how the pictures show plants and animals changing their environment, and how the change helps meet a need (DCI-ESS2.E-P1). Students work together to find similarities among the changes; they identify patterns in the data they recorded that describe how and why living things change their environment (CCC-PAT-P1, SEP-DATA-P3). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 3: Think Like an Engineer, students design a structure that keeps things cool by providing shade. Students discuss the previous investigation where they collect data on the change of temperature of objects in the sun (DCI-PS3.B-P1). Students go outside and make shadows and explore more with the idea that material in the shade is cooler. Students design a structure that will keep objects cool in the shade. They test out their structure by collecting temperature evidence of material in the shade and then redesign their structure if needed. Students then explain their solution to the problem of designing a structure to keep things cool in the shade (SEP-CEDS-P2). After they have built their structure, students describe what events caused an observable pattern after they complete their structure (CCC-CE-P2). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 14, the students carry out a hands-on investigation where they track weather for a week and make observations. Students create a data table with different types of weather (for example, temperature, clouds, wind, rain) and then observe their local weather for a week, tracking their observations in their data chart (DCI-ESS2.D-P1). Students then analyze their data, tracking any patterns they observe (CCC-PAT-P1) and then share their observations with classmates, citing evidence from their data chart (SEP-DATA-P3). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson 13: Think Like a Scientist, students determine how soft and hard pushes and pulls can move an object. Students discuss how soft and hard pulls and pushes can help move an object. Students select an object and determine what force and motion is needed to move that object (DCI-PS2.A-P1, SEP-INV-P1). Students collect evidence on moving their object and what type of force (push or pull) will help move their object. Students make a prediction and then describe what they observe (CCC-CE-P1).

Indicator 1a.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 six units in Kindergarten, two lesson sequences engage students in sensemaking with all three dimensions, and one lesson sequence engages 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 sequences where SEPs and CCCs do not meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 2, students learn how plants and animals change the environment around them. Multiple lessons focus on learning about plants and animals and how they change the environment (DCI-ESS2.E-P1). In Lesson 11, students collect data from pictures or text then discuss patterns (CCC-PAT-P1); however, there is a missed opportunity for students to use this information for further sensemaking of the DCI. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science Lesson Sequence 1, students learn about light and shade. In Lesson 3, students design and build a structure that will keep something cool in the shade. Students go outside and observe their shadows and discuss a previous investigation that demonstrated how the sunlight warmed the earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1). During this lesson sequence, students use the engineering design process to design a shade structure (SEP-CEDS-P2). Students also answer a question about the cause and effect (CCC-CE-P2). However, there is a missed opportunity for students to use what they learned from their design project to make sense of the DCI.  

Example of a lesson sequence where SEPs or CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson Sequence 1, students explore ways that pushes and pulls of various strengths can change the motion of an object. This lesson sequence provides students with multiple opportunities to investigate and make sense of the ways things move (DCI-PS2.A-P1, DCI-PS2.A-P2, SEP-INV-P1). Students use balls and simple toys to investigate pushes and pulls, starting and stopping, changing direction, and changing speed. The two-dimensional sensemaking continues throughout the lesson sequence. 

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

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson Sequence 1, Lesson STEM: Design a Model Animal Home, students explore what plants and animals need to survive. Students begin the lesson by viewing media (books and/or video) to begin thinking about how, why, and what materials animals use to build their homes. Across multiple lessons, students learn what animals need and how they affect the environment to get what they need. Students then build a three-dimensional model (SEP-MOD-P3) of an animal home to demonstrate understanding of what the animal needs in the area it lives (DCI-ESS3.A-P). Students also analyze how the home’s structure helps the animal survive (CCC-SF-P1). The materials ask students to consider “How is the shape or location of the animal home related to how it helps the animal survive?” 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson Sequence 2, Lesson 14: Investigate Weather Patterns, students track weather for a week to make a weather report. Students create a data table with different types of weather (for example, temperature, clouds, wind, rain) and then observe their local weather for a week, tracking their observations in their data chart. Students then analyze their data, tracking any patterns they observe (DCI-ESS2.D-P1, CCC-PAT-P1), then share their observations with classmates, citing evidence from their data chart as if they were submitting a weather report to a meteorologist (SEP-DATA-P3). This lesson helps students make sense of the weather they learned about in previous lessons and apply their understanding to a real-life application.

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 Kindergarten 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 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 what a high quality student answer might be. 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 Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 2: Plants are Living Things, there are three learning objectives: “identify plants as living things,” “explain that plants need water and light to live and grow,” and “explain that living things live in places that have the things they need to survive.” These learning objectives are not three dimensional. There are two opportunities for formative assessments in this lesson. In the Elaborate section of the lesson, students draw a plant and what it needs. Students share and describe how the plant gets what it needs. Additionally, one Wrap it Up question serves as a formative assessment for this lesson by assessing  students’ understanding of what a plant needs to grow (DCI-LS1.C-P1). The formative assessment questions 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 objective for this lesson. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 8: Investigate: Make a Model Nest, there are two learning objectives: “work with a group to design and build a model nest that will protect model eggs” and “test and revise the model based on results and feedback.” These are not three-dimensional learning objectives. There are two opportunities for formative assessment in this lesson. One Wrap it Up question asks students to reflect on how their nest design kept the eggs safe. Additionally, student and teacher rubrics evaluate students on their lesson performance. The formative assessment provides an opportunity to show student understanding of the learning objectives and whether an object works as intended (SEP-DATA-P5). The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 2: Investigate Warmth from the Sun there is one learning objective: “evaluate the effect of sunlight on soil, sand, rocks, and water.” This is not a three-dimensional learning objective. A rubric is included in the lesson resources. The Wrap it Up Question asks students about the change in sunlight, the cups’ holdings, and their understanding that sunlight warms Earth’s surface (DCI-PS3.B-P1). The formative assessment tasks 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 Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 8: Investigate Weather, there is one learning objective: “observe local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.”  This is not a three-dimensional learning objective. A rubric is provided to evaluate the students' understanding of the patterns within their collected weather data (SEP-INV-P4, CCC-PAT-P1). The formative assessment tasks 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 the lesson.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, STEM Research Project: Research the Weather for a Camping Trip, there are three learning objectives: “find information about the weather at a particular place,”  “determine the items appropriate to take on a camping trip in a particular place,” and “describe findings about the weather and conclusions about items to take on a camping trip.” These learning objectives are not three dimensional. In the formative assessment questions, students answer questions to identify the three types of weather, ways the weather can change, and how rainy days and snowy days are alike. This assessment does not measure student understanding of the learning objectives; instead, they assess student understanding of weather (DCI-ESS2.D-P1). The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 2: Hard Push, Soft Push, there are two learning objectives: “identify that pushes can have different strengths and directions” and “explain that a bigger push makes things speed up or slow down quickly.” These learning objectives are not three dimensional. The formative assessment in the Wrap it Up section asks students to answer how they can make a ball move fast and far. The formative assessment question is related to the learning objective and assesses student understanding that a strong push is needed to make a ball move fast and far (DCI-PS3.C-P1) but does not directly measure the learning objective. The objective references that pushes of different strengths and directions can impact movement, and the formative assessment only assesses how to make a ball move fast and far. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 5: Investigate: Weak and Strong Pulls, there are two learning objectives: “observe and record how the strength of a pull can change motion” and “observe that a stronger pull makes things speed up or slow down quickly.” These objectives are not three dimensional. The formative assessments in this lesson include a student rubric, a teacher rubric, and the Wrap it Up questions. During the lesson the teacher uses the rubric to question students about making and recording predictions and how the observations were organized in a graphical way. In the Wrap it Up assessment, students are asked to answer whether a car slowed more quickly when given a hard pull or a soft pull, and what caused the cars to move in different ways. During the investigation students complete data sheets about the strength of the pulls (SEP-DATA-P2, DCI-PS3.C-P1, DCI-PS2.A-P1); they make and record predictions when a toy car will slow more quickly when given a hard pull or when given a soft pull (SEP-INV-P4). Student work is assessed using the teacher rubric. In the Wrap it Up, students describe the causes of the car moving in different ways. The formative assessment tasks 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 Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 11: Investigate Changing Speed, there is one learning objective: “observe and record how pushing or pulling on an object can change the speed of its motion.” This learning objective is not three dimensional. The formative assessments in this lesson include the student and teacher rubrics, Elaborate  and a Wrap it Up section. In the Wrap it Up, students are asked how the speed of the toy car changed. The learning objectives are assessed when students engage in an investigation where they make predictions about how the speed of the car would change, make and record observations of how the speed of the car would change when rolled down different ramps (SEP-INV-P4, DCI-PS2.A-P2), and when students use their observations to describe relative change in the speed of the toy car (SEP-CEDS-P1). The formative assessment tasks 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.

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 Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 11: Think Like a Scientist: Explain Change, the learning objective is “to construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.” This is a three-dimensional learning objective. There are two opportunities for formative assessment in this lesson. Two Wrap it Up questions serve as formative assessment for this lesson. Students are asked how the bear changes where it lives, to identify the animals that change where they live to find food, and to explain how these animals are changing their environment to meet their needs. Student and teacher rubrics evaluate students on their lesson performance. The lesson rubric assesses part of the learning objective, as students discuss how animals can change their environments (DCI-ESS2.E-P1). Teachers use the rubric to assess students' ability to make and support a claim (SEP-ARG-P6). The CCC associated with this objective is not assessed. There is no support for teachers to guide their instructional process in response to the formative assessment

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, STEM Engineering Project, there are four learning objectives:“identify the engineering problem they need to solve,” “design and build a model of an animal home using only the materials provided,” “revise the model as necessary to improve it,” and “present the model to the class and explain how it helps the animal survive.” Individually, each objective is not three dimensional, but collectively they are for the lesson. There are two opportunities for formative assessment in this lesson. Three Wrap it Up questions serve as formative assessments that ask students to identify natural materials animals use to make their homes, determine the reason why animals make homes, and answer why different types of animals make different types of homes. Additionally, there are student and teacher rubrics to evaluate students on their lesson performance. The formative assessments partially assess the learning objectives; the rubric does not assess whether students designed and built a model using only the materials provided or how the home helps the animal survive. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for this lesson. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 13: Think Like a Scientist: Plan and Conduct an Investigation, the learning objective is to “plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.” This objective is three dimensional. The formative assessment includes a teacher and student rubric. Teachers evaluate if students worked with peers to predict the effect of different pushes and worked with others to develop a plan to investigate the relationship between the strength and direction of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object. Students work with others to observe and record the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls.  The student works with others to compare observations and describe ideas. The Wrap it Up question asks students to identify similarities and differences when using hard and soft pushes to make the object move, determine how to make objects move forward, and determine what would happen if a ball was given a strong push at one end of a table. The Wrap it Up questions assess student understanding of pushes and pulls (DCI-PS2.A-P1) but do not directly assess student understanding of the SEP (SEP-INV-P2) or the CCC (CCC-CE-P1). The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for the lesson. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 14: Think Like an Engineer: Analyze Data, the learning objective is to “analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull. This objective is three dimensional. The formative assessment includes a student and teacher rubric. Teachers observe if students can describe the design solution goal to make a marble roll across the floor, change directions and knock down cups; if students can develop a plan to solve the problem; work with a partner to test ideas and record observations; and analyze data and revise what did not work. The Wrap it Up question asks students to describe how they can make a moving marble change direction, possible happenings to the cups if the marble is not moving quickly, and explanations of why a marble is a good object to use to test motion. The Wrap it Up question assesses student understanding of pushes and pulls (DCI-PS2.A-P1) but does not assess the understanding of the targeted SEP (SEP-DATA-P5) or CCC (CCC-CE-P1) associated with this objective. The teacher materials provide no guidance for modifying instruction if students do not meet the objective for the lesson.

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 one or two 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.

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 Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science the objectives for this unit include five performance expectations: K-LS1-1, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-3, and  K-2-ETS1-1. The objectives for this unit are three dimensional. The objectives are partially assessed by the end of the Unit Test and the Unit Performance Task.  There are three questions in the Unit Test. Question 1 does not assess the objective, Question 2 assesses part of DCI-LS2.C-P1, when students are asked to circle the picture of one animal eating another as food. Question 3 partially assesses the objective when students are asked to draw a picture of how an animal can change its environment (DCI-ESS2.E-P1, SEP-MOD-P3). Question 1 of the Performance Task partially assesses the objective when it asks students to draw a model of what is happening as a tree changes the land to meet its needs (DCI-ESS3.A-P1, SEP-MOD-P3, SEP-ARG-P6). Question 2 partially assesses the objective when students draw a picture to show how an animal changes the land to meet its needs (DCI-1-ESS2.E-P1. SEP-ARG-P6). Multiple CCC, DCI, and SEP elements within the unit objectives are not assessed. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, the objectives for this unit include three performance expectations: K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, and K-2-ETS1-2. The objectives for this unit are three dimensional. The unit objectives are partially assessed. The Unit Test has seven content questions, but none of the questions assess the targeted DCI, CCC, or SEP within this PE. The Unit Performance Task does not assess the SEP or CCC from the Unit. The Performance Task assesses students’ understanding that sunlight warms Earth’s surface (DCI-PS3.B-P1). Multiple CCC, DCI, and SEP elements within the unit objectives are not assessed. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, the objectives for this unit include three performance expectations: K-PS2-1, K-PS2-2, and K-2-ETS1-3.The objectives for this unit are three dimensional. The unit objectives are partially assessed.  The Unit Test includes questions that assess student understanding that pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions (DCI-PS2.A-P1) and how they can change the speed or direction (DCI-PS2.A-P2). In addition they provide an opportunity for students to use observations to support their explanation (SEP-CEDS-P1).  Students also answer questions about a ball changing direction after a bat and ball collide (DCI-PS2.B-P1).  During the Performance Task, students examine materials and decide how to set up a ramp to make one car go farther than another. They draw a model of their ramp for the first car, explain how they built the ramp,  and describe the actions of Car A. Students explain their plan as to how they will make Car B go farther than Car A using different strength pushes, and then they respond to questions about whether Car A went faster than Car B. They are encouraged to keep trying until they are successful. Then they write a final explanation of their actions (DCI-PS2.A-P1, SEP-INV-P1). 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.
3/12
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials include phenomena in 0% of the lessons and problems in 8% of the lessons. Of the problems present, they do not consistently connect to grade-level appropriate DCIs, however they are consistently presented to students as directly as possible. The materials elicit prior knowledge in some instances but do not leverage student prior knowledge and experience related to the 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.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs). There are no phenomena, and problems are not consistently connected to grade-level DCIs.

The materials include three units: Life, Earth, and Physical Science. Each unit has approximately 15 lessons, including several DCI or content-focused lessons, Investigate lessons, and Think Like an Engineer or Think Like a Scientist lessons. 

Problems presented in the materials are not consistently connected to elements of appropriate grade-level DCIs. In some instances, problems and/or design challenges engage students in elements of the ETS DCIs but do not consistently connect learning to any grade-level DCI in life, physical, earth, or space science, or associated element. In two instances, problems connect to elements of the DCIs outside the Kindergarten grade band. 

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

  • In Kindergarten Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 15: Think Like an Engineer: Share Solutions, the problem is there is too much trash in the world. To solve the problem, students identify solutions to reduce waste. Students think of a way to reuse something at home that they would typically only use once. Students draw and share their ideas for reusing objects in a new way as a strategy for reducing total waste (DCI-ESS3.C-P1). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 14: Think Like an Engineer: Analyze Data, the challenge is to design and test a way to make a marble roll across the floor, change direction, and knock down cups. Students first observe dominoes in a line knocking each other down and discuss their observations, including the initial push that started the motion (DCI-PS2.A-P2, DCI-PS2.B-P1). Students draw their plans, then build and test their ideas, recording multiple trials and the results for each criterion. As they test their designs, they consider what is needed to change the speed or direction of the marble’s motion (DCI-PS2.A-P2) and how that motion changes when objects touch or collide (DCI-PS2.B-P1). Students refine their idea and test again, then share their results. 

Examples of problems that do not connect to grade-level DCIs or their elements:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 3: Think Like an Engineer: Design a Structure, the challenge is to design a structure that uses shade to keep things cool. Students make a plan for a shade structure by drawing pictures of their ideas (DCI-ETS1.B-P1) and discussing with their group. Students test out their ideas to see if they provide the shade that they were attempting to create. There is a missed opportunity for students to apply or build knowledge of how the sun warms the Earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1) to solve the problem.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, STEM Space Station Project: Design a Roller Coaster Loop, the challenge is to design, build, and compare two model roller coaster loops. Students watch a video and observe photos of roller coasters then discuss how the features affect the cars’ speed. Students draw their building plans and discuss how they will test the design. Students then create and test their designs, tracking their results in a table. Students design and test another roller coaster. There is a missed opportunity for students to apply knowledge of forces while designing their roller coasters. After completing the challenge, students later compare and contrast the two roller coaster loops to explain that the marble moved faster when the hill was higher and that the marble could travel around a loop because it was moving fast (DCI-PS2.A-E2).

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that problems are presented to students as directly as possible. No phenomena are presented in Kindergarten and problems are consistently presented as directly as possible.

Most problems are presented through videos or pictures, even when opportunities for direct experiences are possible after safety and materials consideration. The problems are presented in the most direct way possible in a few instances as 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 problems presented to students as directly as possible. 

  • In Kindergarten Unit 1, Lesson 15: Think Like an Engineer: Share Solutions, the problem is there is too much trash in the world. This is presented to students through images of a massive landfill followed by a litter walk. Students are then asked to find ways to reduce waste, and figure out what to do with all the trash. The images combined with the litter walk present the problem as directly as possible.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, STEM Space Station Project: Design a Roller Coaster Loop, the challenge to design and build two model roller coaster loops is presented to students through a video of a roller coaster with cars going through a loop and up and down hills. Because it would not be practical for students to observe the roller coaster first-hand, the video provides a direct access point to this challenge.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 3: Think Like an Engineer: Design a Structure, the challenge to design a structure that uses shade to keep things cool is presented to students through images of a slanted shade structure and beach umbrellas, along with the question, "How can you use shade to keep things cool?" Prior to receiving this question, students observe their shadows and engage in a teacher-guided discussion. These help students make the connection that shadows create shade. Students then discuss a previous investigation (materials in sunny spots got warm and those in shady spots stayed cool) before identifying spots on the beach in sun or shade. This activity helps students to think about shade and what it does to objects and is a direct way to introduce students to designing their own structure.

Examples of problems are not presented to students as directly as possible:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 14: Think Like an Engineer: Analyze Data, the challenge is to design and test a way to make a marble roll across the floor, change direction, and knock down cups. The challenge is presented after watching dominoes fall and discussing obstacle courses. Students read the introduction to the lesson. Students are then invited to look at a picture of marbles and then introduced to the challenge. This problem does not provide all students with a common conceptual context, and it is not presented as directly as possible.

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 Kindergarten do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions.

Across the grade, problems are present in four of the 49 lessons. In four lessons, a problem drives the learning; however, students engage with all three dimensions to solve the problem in only one of them. These problems are found in the Think Like an Engineer lessons. 

In the remaining lessons, 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 did not use phenomena and/or problems to drive student learning:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 1: Living Things, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the topic of living vs. non-living things. This lesson focuses on identifying living things. Students look at living and non-living objects and pictures and identify whether they are living or not. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 6: Think Like a Scientist: Observe, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the question, “How do scientists observe animals?” Students look at four pictures and identify what the animals in the picture need. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1 : Life Science, Lesson 9: Think Like a Scientist, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the topic of what a deer needs to survive in a meadow. Students draw a picture of a deer in a meadow then draw what the deer and plants need. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 1: The Sun Warms Earth, this lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the question, “If we don’t look at the sun, how can we tell that it is shining?” To find evidence that the sun is shining, students go on a “sun walk.” In order to answer the guiding question, students read information, engage in a class discussion, and conduct an investigation that melts crayon shavings to learn that the sun warms the Earth  (DCI-PS3.B-P1). The materials explicitly teach patterns (CCC-PAT-P1) but miss the opportunity to connect this cross-cutting concept to learning about the warmth of the sun. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 2: Investigate Warmth From the Sun, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on an investigation of how various materials and surfaces warm. Students conduct an investigation to discover things that get hot on a sunny day. Students learn that the sun warms the Earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1). They collect data to make comparisons between how various materials heat (SEP-INV-P4 ). The materials explicitly teach students that events have causes that produce patterns they can observe, such as the warming materials from the investigation (CCC-CE-P2). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 3: Investigate Hard and Soft Pushes, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on an investigation to determine how the strength of a push changes motion. Students conduct an investigation to push balls down a ramp in order to determine if the strength of the push affects how the balls move. Students learn that pushes and pulls have different strengths, and that the strength of that push or pull can affect motion (DCI-PS2.A-P1; DCI-PS3.C-P1). They make predictions and collect data to make comparisons between the pushes and the results (SEP-INV-P4 ). The materials explicitly teach students that events have causes that produce patterns they can observe, such as the changing speed of the balls (CCC-CE-P2).

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 4, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the concept of pulling forces. Students look at pictures, read, and talk about pulling (forces). Students act out the task of pulling and describe strong and weak pulls (DCI-PS2.A-P1).

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 11, the lesson is not driven by a phenomenon or problem; instead, the focus of the learning is on the concept that different amounts of force can change the speed of a moving object. Students investigate how the amount of force can change the speed of the moving object. Students build a ramp of different heights and make predictions of what will happen and roll a toy car down the ramp (SEP-INV-P1, DCI-PS2.A-P2), before answering  questions about what they tested, predicted, and what happened in the test (CCC-CE-P1).

Examples of problems that drive student learning at the lesson level but do not engage students with all three dimensions:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 3: Think Like an Engineer: Design a Structure, the challenge is to design a structure that protects things from the sun and keeps things cool drives learning. Students plan their structure and the materials they will need to construct it. They build and test their structure to see if it keeps the shaded area cooler. Students revise their structure and share results. Students use tools to solve a problem and explicitly discuss how engineers also use tools to solve problems (SEP-CEDS-P2). In order to solve the problem presented by the design challenge, students do not need to understand or apply the knowledge that the sun warms the Earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1) After completing the challenge, students discuss patterns of change, but there is a missed opportunity for students to apply this crosscutting concept to solving their design challenge.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 14: Think Like an Engineer: Analyze Data, the challenge to design and test a way to make a marble roll across the floor, change direction, and knock down some cups drives learning. Students first observe dominoes in a line knocking each other down and discuss their observations, including the initial push that started the motion (DCI-PS2.A-P2, DCI-PS2.B-P1). Students use this knowledge to design their marble run. Students plan how they will make the marble roll across the floor, change direction, and knock down some cups. They decide materials they will need (SEP-INV-P1). They build and test their idea three times, recording the results. Students revise their design and share results. However, there is a missed opportunity for students to engage with cross-cutting concepts as they solve the design problem.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, STEM Space Station Project: Design a Roller Coaster Loop, the challenge to design and build two model roller coaster loops in which the marble does not fall out drives the learning. Students plan the design of their roller coaster loop  and the materials they will need for the model.  They build and test their roller coaster to see if the marble stays on the track. Students revise their roller coaster and share their results, then indicate whether their design worked as intended (SEP-DATA-P5). Students explain that the marble moved faster when the hill was higher, and the marble could travel around a loop because it was moving fast (CCC-CE-P1). However, there is a missed opportunity to apply physical science DCIs or their elements to the design process or their explanation. 

Example of a problem that drives student learning at the lesson level using all three dimensions:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science, Lesson 15: Think Like an Engineer: Share Solutions, the problem there is so much trash in the world drives learning. Students observe images of recycling centers and large amounts of trash. Students then go on a litter walk to look for trash. Students think about things at home that they would typically only use once or a resource (like water) that they use too freely. Students draw a picture of their idea then share their idea with a partner. Students discuss events that cause the effects they see, including how trash on the ground can change the place they live (CCC-CE-P2) and how they can reduce the negative impacts (DCI-ESS3.C-P1). Students think about a new way to use a resource, discuss their ideas, and draw a picture of their idea. Students revise their ideas based on partner feedback and share their ideas again (SEP-INFO-P4).

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten are designed for students to solve problems in 8% (4/49) of the lessons. Throughout the materials 0% (0/49) of the lessons focus on explaining phenomena. The materials include three units: Life, Earth, and Physical Science. Each unit has approximately 15 lessons, including several content-focused lessons, Investigate lessons, and Think Like an Engineer or Think Like a Scientist lessons. 

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

Examples of problems in the series:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1, Earth Science, Lesson 15: Think Like an Engineer: Share Solutions, the problem is  there is too much trash in the world. Within the lesson, students discuss something at home that they would typically only use once or a resource that they use too much of then think of a new way to use that resource again. To solve the problem, students brainstorm different recyclable material that can be dropped off at a recycling station and choose a material to research. They research ways it can be reused or the different things it can be made into to reduce the amount of trash in the world. The students share how their researched material can help reduce the amount of trash in the world. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 3: Think Like an Engineer: Design a Structure, the challenge is to design a structure that uses shade to keep things cool. During the lesson, students use their understanding of how materials provide shade to keep things cool. Students observe and record relative temperatures of the area under their structure and the area that is not covered by the structure. Students then compare these observations after they have recorded the temperature to determine if their structure was successful in solving their problem. Students then redesign their structure and try again if their structure did not keep things cooler than the area not covered by the structure.To solve the challenge, students share their results with the class and the materials they used that protected things from the sun and kept things cool. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 14: Think Like an Engineer: Analyze Data, the challenge is to design and test a way to make a marble roll across the floor, change direction, and knock down cups. To solve this challenge students brainstorm ideas on how to solve the challenge, draw a picture of a plan to test, build and test their design using materials provided, and record results in a table. Students then redesign their original idea, build and test again, and record results in a table. Students share what they created to make the marble roll across the floor and how they made the marble change direction and knock down cups. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, STEM Space Station Project: Design a Roller Coaster Loop, the design challenge is to design, build, and compare two different roller coaster loops. During the lesson, students observe a video and photos of roller coasters and discuss the features that affect the coasters’ speed. To complete this challenge, students design, test, and revise a roller coaster tracking their results in a table. To solve the design problem, students compare and contrast the two models and the resulting motion of the marble and explain that the marble moved faster when the hill was higher and that the marble could travel around a loop because it was moving fast.

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 Kindergarten partially meet expectations that they intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems. Across the grade, the materials include four problems and no phenomena. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to two of the problems in the grade. In these lessons, students are asked questions that helped them to think about the problem and how they might solve it. 

The materials frequently ask students questions in the “Tap Prior Knowledge” section of each lesson. In some instances these questions are based on the topic of the design challenge but do not support students in solving the problem. There are missed opportunities for the materials to leverage students’ prior knowledge or experiences.

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

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, Lesson 14: Think Like an Engineer: Analyze Data, the challenge is to design and test a way to make a marble roll across the floor, change direction, and knock down some cups. Prior knowledge is elicited when students are asked if they have ever built an obstacle course, either for themselves or for a small toy, such as a marble. Students share their experiences and discuss how certain obstacles require more speed than others. As students design and test their plans, prior knowledge and experience about building and/or going through an obstacle is not leveraged. However, there is a missed opportunity for students to connect their prior experiences to the solution of this challenge.

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Earth Science, Lesson 3: Think Like an Engineer: Design a Structure, the challenge is to design a structure that protects things from the sun and keeps things cool. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experience by asking them to describe what it feels like to stand in the sun and in the shade, and then how shade is made. However, there is a missed opportunity to leverage student prior knowledge and experience of the challenge. 

Examples where the materials do not elicit or leverage students’ prior knowledge and experience related to problems:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, STEM Space Station Project: Design a Roller Coaster Loop, the challenge is to design and build two model roller coaster loops. Students discuss how their learning connects to something they have read. However, there is a missed opportunity for the materials to elicit prior knowledge and experience that will help them solve the problem. 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life Science Lesson 15: Think Like an Engineer: Share Solutions, the problem is there is too much trash in the world. Students are asked if they have ever seen people do things to change the place they live, like cut down trees, build buildings or roads, etc. This does not elicit prior knowledge and experience related to the problem.

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 Kindergarten do not meet the expectations that they embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions. While some 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 one or two lesson sequences, resulting in five 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 Kindergarten, Unit 1: Life science, Lesson Sequence 1, a phenomenon or a problem does not drive learning across multiple lessons. Instead, this lesson sequence focuses on the topic of what plants and animals need to survive. Students learn that plants need water and light to survive and grow, and animals need food and water to grow. Students watch videos and look at pictures and discuss the needs of plants and animals to survive and grow (DCI-LS1.C-P1, DCI-ESS3.A-P1). Students make observations and interpret patterns among plants’ and animals’ needs (CCC-PAT-E3, SEP-DATA-P3). Students learn that systems in the natural world have parts that work together (CCC-SYS-P2). 

  • In Kindergarten, 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 the idea that plants and animals change the places they live to meet their needs. Students learn how living things change where they live and how people use resources (DCI-ESS3.A-P1, DCI-ESS2.E-P1). Students work together to find similarities among the changes. They identify patterns in the data they recorded that describe how and why living things change their environment (CCC-PAT-P1, SEP-DATA-P3). 

  • In Kindergarten, 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 two weather concepts. Lessons 1-3 focus on the concept that the sun warms the Earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1). In Lesson 1, students build content knowledge around this concept that the sun warms the Earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1) by reading text, discussing what they read, and observing melting crayon shavings. While the materials explicitly teach students that events have causes that produce patterns they can observe, such as the warming materials from the investigation (CCC-CE-P2), students do not transfer this to the concept of the sun’s warmth. In Lesson 2, students collect data to make comparisons between how various materials heat (SEP-INV-P4 ). In Lesson 3, students use tools to solve a problem of building a shade structure and explicitly discuss how engineers also use tools to solve problems (SEP-CEDS-P2). Lessons 4-7 focus on the concept that weather varies in different places and times of year. These four lessons do not build on one another; rather, they each explore a unique type of weather; each lesson is an example of how weather varies. 

  • In Kindergarten, 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 how severe weather is predicted (DCI-ESS2.D-P1; DCI-ESS3.B-P1). Students begin Lesson 8 by observing and recording local weather patterns over an extended period of time (DCI-ESS2.D-P1, SEP-DATA-P3). They apply this understanding on content knowledge by researching and planning for a camping trip. Lessons 9-14 are focused mainly on developing content knowledge about severe weather (DCI-ESS3.B-P1). Throughout multiple lessons, students look for patterns to make sense of the weather around them and in other places (CCC-PAT-P1). 

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Physical Science, a phenomenon or problem does not drive learning across multiple lessons; instead, this lesson sequence focuses on the concepts of pushing and pulling and how objects can change speed or direction (DCI-PS2.A-P1).  In Lessons 3, 5, and 7, students make observations and collect data to better understand how objects can change speed or direction (SEP-DATA-P1, DCI-PS2.B-P1).Students make a prediction and then describe what they observe (CCC-CE-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 K: Big Book Set - One copy each of Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Let's Do Science Big Books 9780357073384
Exploring Science K: Teacher's Edition 9781337915670

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