Alignment: Overall Summary

The Fishtank ELA K-2 materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards. High-quality texts are paired with strong social studies and science content to provide students with opportunities to read, write, and communicate with others effectively and with increasing sophistication.

**The materials reviewed do not include a formal foundational skills component and instead recommend pairing the materials with a high-quality foundational skills program.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
32
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
17
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The Fishtank Grade 2 materials include high-quality, appropriately-leveled texts worthy of careful reading. Texts provide support for students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the year. While the materials provide for a range of reading, there is a lack of information to support the teacher in selecting additional texts to support a volume of reading beyond the core texts.

Text-based questions, tasks, and assignments (including those in writing and oral language) engage students directly to the texts and build to culminating tasks that designed to demonstrate both content knowledge and skills.

Materials do not include explicit instruction and practice in grammar.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students’ time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading.
19/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The Fishtank Grade 2 materials include high-quality texts worthy of careful reading and include a variety of folktales, historical fiction, realistic fiction, biographies, and poetry. Texts are at the appropriate level of complexity, incorporate disciplinary vocabulary (where appropriate), and provide support for students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the year. A text complexity analysis accompanies the materials to provide information about the levels of the texts and why they were selected for inclusion in the units.

The materials provide for a range of reading, however, beyond the core texts, there is a lack of information to support the teacher in selecting additional texts to support a volume of reading.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for anchor texts are of publishable quality, worthy of careful reading/listening, and consider a range of student interests. The texts across Literature, Science and Social Studies materials address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for students. Unit texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including, but not limited to traditional fairy and folklore tales, biographies, realistic fiction, historical texts, nonfiction, animals, and cultural texts. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts as well as enriching illustrations to help build knowledge.

Throughout the program, the anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. Many are written by well-known published authors. Examples of this in Literature include: 

  • In Literature Unit 1, the text Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe is a Caldecott Honor and Reading Rainbow book, that presents the fairy tale of Cinderella to students using the history, culture, and geography of the African nation of Zimbabwe.
  • Literature Unit 2 features multiple texts by James Howe including Pinky and Rex, Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee, and Pinky and Rex Go to Camp which are highly engaging for students and contain character development and rich vocabulary that are easy for students to relate to.
  • In Literature Unit 4, students are presented with the award-winning author Judy Blume’s book Freckle Juice which is a beginning chapter book that contains relatable text and is engaging for the grade level. 
  • The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper serves as an anchor text in Literature Unit 6 with rich engaging folk tales from Liberia and Ghana.
  • In Literature Unit 7, students explore the tragedy of natural disasters with the text, I Survived Hurricane Katrina by Lauren Tarshis. This text is highly engaging with realistic action and adventure.

Similar to Literature, the anchor texts in Science and Social Studies are also publishable and feature informational texts. These include:

  • In Science and Social Studies Unit 2, The Life Cycle of a Honeybee by Bobby Kalman and The Life Cycle of an Ant by Kalman and Hadley Dyer present students with informational text with quality illustrations, diagrams, and rich academic language.
  • In Science and Social Studies Unit 4, an anchor text My Diary from Here to There by award-winning author Amada Irma Perez engages the students with a relatable topic, rich vocabulary and appealing illustrations. 
  • In Science and Social Studies Unit 5, one text, Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull, is an award-winning text that has an engaging storyline and uses illustrations to further captivate and build the knowledge of students.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Students engage with a wide array of literary and informational texts throughout thematic units using read-alouds, shared reading, and independent reading. Texts types include folktales, historical fiction, realistic fiction, adventure, biographies, and poetry.

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Literature Unit 1, The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story by Rebecca Hickox
  • Literature Unit 1, In Search of Cinderella by Shel Silverstein
  • Literature Unit 2, Pinkey and Rex by James Howe
  • Literature Unit 2, Pinky and Rex Go to Camp by James Howe
  • Literature Unit 3, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Offby Jacqueline Jules
  • Literature Unit 3, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs Into Action by Jacqueline Jules
  • Literature Unit 4, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson
  • Literature Unit 4, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
  • Literature Unit 5, Ballpark Mysteries #1: The Fenway Foul-Up by David A. Kelly
  • Literature Unit 5, F is for Fenway: America’s Oldest Major League Ballpark by Jerry Pallotta
  • Literature Unit 6, The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktalesby Joyce Cooper Arkhurst

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Science and Social Studies Unit 1, A Desert Habitat by Bobbie Kalman and Kelley Macaulay
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 1, A Forest Habitat by Bobbie Kalman and Kelley Macaulay
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 2, Insect Bodies by Bobbie Kalman and Molly Aloian
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 2, The Life Cycle of a Honeybee by Bobbie Kalman
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 3, Good Enough to Eat, A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 3, Sugar, Sugar, Everywhere by Susan Lennox
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Haiti Is My Home by Katherine Follett
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Brothers in Hope, The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 5, Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 5, Honda: The Boy who Dreamed of Cars by Mark Weston
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 6, Growing Up in Ancient Greece by Chris Chelepi
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 6, The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 7, How Things Are Different –by Katherine Follett

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

Quantitatively, the texts range in complexity from 470-1020 which are presented as a combination of read-aloud texts well above those that students could read independently, shared reading texts at the instructional level for Grade 2 students reading on-grade-level, and anchor texts that are suggested for possible independent reading. Qualitatively, the texts present complex ideas, vocabulary, and themes that allow students to acquire knowledge and delve into rich discussions and analysis of complex texts and how they relate to each thematic unit. Most unit overviews provide the publisher’s rationale for text selection as evidence that consideration was given to all aspects of text complexity when choosing texts for the units.

In Unit 1, students read A Desert Habitat by Bobbie Kalman and Kelley, which has a quantitative measure of 470L. Qualitatively, students are asked to explain how plants and animals in the desert survive by asking and answering questions about key details in the text. Students also read The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, which has a quantitative measure of 810L. This complex text asks students to explain the significance of the falcon and how it makes this version of Cinderella different from others by analyzing details in a text to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.

In Unit 2, students read Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee by James Howe, which has a quantitative measure of 580L. This text is place at grade level and has students complete discussion questions, writing tasks, and activities appropriate to their grade level. Students also read Awesome Ants by Rus Buyok, which has a quantitative measure of 650L. This falls within the grade level band and students are asked to use text features to explain why the author describes ants as awesome and identify and explain the main idea of each section using key details and text features.

In Unit 3, students read Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs Into Action by Jacqueline Jules, which has a quantitative measure of 650L. In this grade level text, students explain how Freddie Ramos shows confidence by using details to describe characters and how characters respond to major events and challenges. Students also read Inside Your Body by Kira Freed, which has a quantitative measure of 634L. This text has students identify and explain the different systems found in the human body and why each system is important by identifying the main topic of sections of the text.

In Unit 4, students read Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson, which has a quantitative measure of 620. Students use this grade level text over 16 lessons and slowly build knowledge and understanding through activities and tasks that are text-dependent and grade appropriate such as discussing, debating, analyzing, and writing. Students also read Brothers in Hope, The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams, which has a quantitative measure of 610. Students are asked to identify reasons that the author gives to describe points in the text.

In Unit 5, students read Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet, which has a quantitative measure of AD1000L. This complex text has students explain why Tony’s first puppets did not work and what solutions Tony dreamed up by describing the connection between a series of events. Students also read F is for Fenway: America’s Oldest Major League Ballpark by Jerry Pallotta, which has a quantitative measure of 1020L. This text requires students describe three baseball-specific words and why they are important to the game by determining the meaning of words in a story and explaining how they are connected.

In Unit 6, students read Growing Up in Ancient Greece by Chris Chelep, which has a quantitative measure of 600L. Qualitatively this text asks students to compare and analyze information in this text and another text to build on information from each other. Students also read The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst, which has a quantitative measure of 710L. This text slowly builds students’ knowledge and understanding through activities and tasks that are text-dependent and grade appropriate such as defend, explain, describe, write, compare, and contrast various aspects of the story.

In Unit 7, students read I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis, which has a quantitative measure of 590L. This grade level text is used throughout the unit and has students analyze chapters of the book with the recurring vocabulary of ‘resilience’ and ‘brave’ making connections and detailing events throughout the unit.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

Throughout Grade 2, the units are designed to build upon one another with increasing demands for knowledge and application as the student progresses through each thematic unit and lesson.  Anchor texts are listed within every unit and provide quantitative measures as well as a text selection rationale. Students engage in texts of varying levels and complexity within each unit, but the expectations and rationales are clear to the purpose of the instruction and how to prepare for each lesson prior to its start.In the beginning of the year, students begin to transition from read-alouds to predominantly shared and independent reading.  By the middle of the year, students are moving from engaging in the reading of early chapter books that have an equal balance of pictures and words to chapter books with fewer illustrations and picture supports. By the end of Grade Two, students are reading chapter books that move toward more complex questions and expectations for analyzing text.

Literature Unit 1 features mainly read aloud texts such as Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci and Cinderella: An Islamic Tale by Fawzia Gilani. Students are exposed to multiple versions of a classic fairytale to determine how setting influences the plot of a story as well as developing an understanding of the components of a fairy tale. The writing focus in this unit is the establishment of regular writing routines to respond in writing to a text with significant amounts of modeling to help students build their writing skills.

In Literature Unit 2 there is a shift from read aloud texts to students participating in shared reading or independent reading of texts. In addition to the shift to more independent reading, students read multiple texts in a series including Pinky and Rex by James Howe, Pinky and Rex and the Bully by James Howe , and Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee by James Howe to develop an understanding of how an author builds a character over multiple texts. The writing focus deepens to include specific evidence from the text to support points in writing. Students are also expected to use complete sentences and proper capitalization.

In Literature Unit 4 there is a shift from picture books where the illustrations helped the reader determine the story to chapter books with less reliance on pictures including texts such as Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. Students begin to develop the stamina to read longer texts independently as well as a deeper understanding of characters including motivations and relationships. In writing, students begin to include inferential thinking or reasoning to respond to text rather than relying strictly on literal answers derived explicitly from text. 

In Literature Unit 6 students deepen their understanding of characters by looking at how an author uses figurative language to show character feelings and traits in The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst. Students also begin to learn how authors structure stories, especially short stories.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade Two meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. The Core Texts for each grade level are listed in the Unit Summaries and each text is aligned with a Text Selection Rationale that indicates both the Quantitative and Qualitative reasoning for their placement within the materials.  This includes both the Literature materials as well as the Science and Social Studies materials. 

  • In Unit 2, The Text Selection Rationale for the selected core texts, in part, states, “With a Lexile range of 490L to 590L the quantitative measures place all of the texts in the second grade band level, although at the high end of what is appropriate for independent reading at this grade level.”
  • In Unit 4, The Text Selection Rationale for the selected core texts, in part, states, “The text is written as a collection of journal entries told from the point of view of a second grader. A reader needs to be able to track the time and date of each entry in order to understand the progression of the story, especially because some of the plot events are slightly more nuanced. This makes the text structure slightly unconventional for a text at this level.”
  • In Unit 6, The Text Selection Rationale for the selected core texts, in part, states, “All of the short-stories within the collection follow a conventional structure, with clear plot events that unfold in a chronological and somewhat predictable fashion. Therefore, despite the higher Lexile level, the simple level of meaning and text structure make the text accessible.”

Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

The anchor texts are clearly listed in each unit and include a quantitative measure as well as a text rationale for why it was selected.  At this grade level, the texts included in the units are presented as read alouds, shared reading and independent reading. There is a broad range in lexile and volume that students are exposed to covering a myriad of text types including fiction, non-fiction, folktales, poetry, historical fiction, and biographies. The teacher materials also allow a plan for shared, guided, and independent reading however, specific texts, leveled texts and/or supporting texts are not included within the materials. Opportunities to meet differentiated student needs were not clearly evident and it was unclear how proficiency would be formatively and/or summatively measured throughout the year.

In Unit 1 of the Science and Social Studies materials, the quantitative measures fall within the second to third grade band 470-520L making them appropriate for shared, and/or independent reading.   The rationale provided for the text selection (in part) states, “Due to the Lexile levels and text demands these texts are appropriate for primarily shared or independent reading. The qualitative measures of the texts, particularly the text structure and illustrations, graphics and page layout matched with the tasks for the unit make the unit texts appropriate for this unit.”

In Unit 3 of the Literature materials, the quantitative measures fall within the high end of the second grade band 640-650L. The rationale provided for the text selection (in part) states, “The qualitative measures, particularly the levels of meaning and conventionality, matched with the task demands, however, support the placement of the texts as part of the unit.”

In Unit 5 of the Science and Social Studies materials, the quantitative measures fall within the high second to third grade band, or in the fourth to fifth grade band level 590-1000L making them appropriate for read aloud.  The rationale provided for the text selection (in part) states, “The qualitative measures, particularly the text structure and knowledge demands, matched with the tasks demands support the placement of the read aloud texts as part of this unit. Many of the biographies found in the unit use a variety of text structures; including sequential, causes and effect, and problem and solution which make it more challenging for a reader to easily understand the text, therefore making the texts moderately complex.”

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
13/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The Fishtank Grade 2 materials employ the use of text-based questions, tasks, and assignments that require students to engage directly with texts to support their comprehension, content knowledge, and vocabulary. These questions, tasks, and assignments build to culminating tasks that require students to demonstrate their understanding of the topics they have been studying through drawing, dictating, writing, and speaking. Students engage in evidence-based discussions about the texts they are reading (or having read to them) and are supported with specific protocols included with the program to participate in a variety of discussions with peers. Materials do not include explicit instruction and practice in grammar.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Second Grade meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

Throughout the units, students are asked to answer a variety of questions related to the texts being read and discussion is embedded into each lesson that supports students in drawing on textual evidence to support their learning of explicit and inferential information. Text-based questions and tasks sometimes require readers to produce evidence from texts to support opinions or statements when writing and speaking. Questions draw the reader back into the text and support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. 

Examples of evidence - based questions and tasks in Literature include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 6, after reading Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci, students are asked (to):
    • Describe the narrator. Where does she live? How does she spend her time? How did she meet Cendrillon?
    • The author describes that ‘nothing was easy for Cendrillon at home.’ Explain why.
    • Why was Cendrillon so miserable? What promise does the narrator make? Why?
    • How did the narrator and Cendrillon feel at the party? Why?
    • Why did Cendrillon not want any more spells? What does this show about her?
    • Describe Cendrillon's exit. 
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, after reading, Pinky and Rex (Chapter 8) by James Howe, students are asked:
    • How does Pinky feel about his name being Billy? What details from pp. 26 and 27 help you know how he feels?
    • What rules for being a boy did Pinky share with Mrs. Morgan? How does she respond?
    • What story does Mrs. Morgan tell Pinky? Why does she tell him this story?
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, after reading Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs Into Action (Chapter 4) by Jacqueline Jules, students are asked:
    • Why does the author start with the sentence ‘I’m not the most patient guy’? What does that show about Freddie?
    • Why did Freddie say that keeping his super speed a secret was taking a lot of brainwork?
    • Why did Freddie say that talking to Gio made him feel like a detective?
    • What does Freddie see in the toolshed? Why is he conflicted about what to do?
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 5, after reading Freckle Juice by Judy Blume, students are asked:
    • What does Andrew do on page 48? Why? 
    • On page 51 what does Miss Kelly do? Say? Why does she do that? What does it show about her?
    • The author said that ‘her voice was low, so low that the class couldn’t hear.’ Why do you think she kept her voice low?
    • Why does Miss Kelly help Andrew?
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 3, after reading Ballpark Mysteries #1: The Fenway Foul - Up (Chapter 1) by David A. Kelly, students are asked (to):
    • Describe Mike. How does the author show how Mike feels about baseball?
    • Why did Kate and Mike meet at Fenway Park? Why are they allowed to wander around themselves?
    • Who is Big D? What makes Big D special?
    • Describe Big D’s bat. What happened when he tried to use a different bat?
    • Who is Wally? Describe the commotion Wally caused. 
  • In Unit 6, lesson 6, after reading The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst, students are asked:
    • Why did Spider put his hat on his head? What happened when he did? Why?
    • Why does Spider say he is going to the ‘hat-shaking festival’?
    • What does the description ‘as bald as an egg’ mean as used on p. 30?
    • What does it mean to be ashamed? Why was Spider ashamed?
  • In Unit 7, Lesson 13, after reading I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis, students are asked:
    • What description does the author include to show what the wind is like? Why does the author include those details?
    • How does Barry’s dad help Barry feel calm? Why is this important?
    • What happens at the end of the chapter? How might this impact Barry and his family?
    • Why did Barry’s parents decide to stay at home? Did they have another choice?

Examples of evidence based questions and tasks in Science and Social Studies include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 12, after reading Water Habitats by Bobbie Kalman and Molly Aloian, students are asked:
    • What is a shore?
    • What types of animals live at the shore?
    • What is a lake?
    • What type of life is found in a lake?
    • What is a pond?
    • What type of life is found in a pond?
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 14, after reading Dragonflies! By Cheryl Reifsnyder students are asked:
    • What is the main topic of each section of Dragonflies! How do you know?
  • In Unit 3, lesson 2, after reading Inside Your Body by Kira Freed, students are asked:
    • What is a system?
    • What is the skeletal system made of? Why is the skeletal system important?
    • What is the muscular system? Why is it important?
    • What is the nervous system? Why is it important
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 7, after reading Anca’s Journey by Ruth Silburt, students are asked:
    • Where were Anca and her mother going? Why?
    • Why do you think Mrs. Becker says, ‘Lucky we arrive tomorrow’ on p. 5?
    • Why do you think Anca keeps reading and rereading her brother’s letter? How does the letter make her feel? Why?
    • How does Ilsa feel about going to America?
    • What happened after Anca leapt from her bunk? What problem does this cause?
    • What do the characters do to help Anca with her problem?
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, after reading Sonia Joins the Supreme Court by Cynthia Kennedy Hanzel, students are asked:
    • How and why did Sonia Sotomayor’s dreams change over the years? Explain.
  •  In Unit 6, Lesson 3, after reading Ancient Greece and the Olympics, Magic Tree House Fact Tracker by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, students are asked (to):
    • What information does the author give the reader about Zeus? 
    • How does the picture deepen understanding?”
    • Read the sentence from the text, Zeus rewarded people who pleased him. What does the word 'pleased' mean as used in the sentence? What does it show about Zeus?
  • In Unit 7, Lesson 2, after reading How Things are Different by Katherine Follett, students are asked:
    • How does the shape of things help it do what it was made to do?
    • How does the color of things help it do what it was made to do?
    • What are other properties of matter? Why are they important?

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials for Second Grade meet the criteria for materials that contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills for students to demonstrate understanding. Although not labeled as a culminating task, units contain a final lesson that brings together the information and skills learned throughout the unit. The final tasks incorporate a combination of skills including writing and speaking. 

  • Literature Unit 1, Lesson 20, includes a final task: "Debate and analyze what lessons we can learn from the characters in traditional fairy tales and folktales and how these lessons translate to our lives by citing evidence from the entire unit to support an idea." Students prepare for this task by activities including but not limited to: 
    • Literature Unit 1, Lesson 2, Cinderella by Marcia Brown has students describe Cinderella, her stepmother, and her stepsisters, and how they act toward people who treat them poorly by describing characters and how they respond to events. Teachers are provided the additional instruction: This is the first interaction with Cinderella. The focus of this day is making sure that scholars know and can retell the classic version of the story. It is also important that scholars have deep understanding of the characters and their traits so they can compare and contrast in later lessons. In this lesson scholars also need to understand and explain the fairy tale genre and what makes a story a fairy tale/fantasy. Do a quick preview of French culture before reading this text.
    • Unit 1, Lesson 6, Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci students are asked:  The morning after the ball Cendrillon says, “You gave me this night. That is enough.” Why does she say that? What can we learn from her?
    • Unit 1, Lesson 9, Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie students describe Yeh-Shen’s relationship with the fish and why it is important by analyzing details in a text to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.
    • Unit 1, Lesson 12, Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci, Cinderella by Marcia Brown, Cinderella: An Islamic Tale by Fawzia Gilani, The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo students compare and contrast two versions of Cinderella by describing how the setting impacts the characters and plot of a story and analyzing the different lessons learned.
    • Unit 1, Lesson 15, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe students analyze how the author uses character traits to demonstrate the lesson or moral of the story by analyzing details that describe character traits and the lesson.
    • Unit 1, Lesson 19, The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin students analyze how the author uses character traits to demonstrate the lesson or moral of the story by analyzing details that describe character traits and the lesson.
  • Literature Unit 4 has two major final tasks that combine the lessons and information learned within the unit. In Lesson 22, students discuss and debate unit essential questions by stating a claim and supporting the claim with evidence and details from the entire unit. The essential questions are provided in the unit overview and include: "What does it mean to be honest? Why is it important to show honesty in our everyday lives? How do other people influence the decisions you make in your life? How can peer pressure be both positive and negative? What does it mean to forgive someone? How can we learn from our mistakes?" In Lesson 23, students then write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating a claim and supporting the claim with details from the text and personal connections. Activities throughout the unit preparing for these final tasks include but are not limited to: 
    • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 5, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume students explain what role Miss Kelly plays in the solution to Andrew’s problem by identifying and describing roles between characters.
    • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 8, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson students explain why Keena’s mom thinks a journal is a good idea by drawing conclusions about character motivation and relationships.
    • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 10, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson students describe the relationship between Keena and her father by identifying and describing evidence that shows character relationships and feelings. The Notes section of the lesson explains “For this target task scholars need to reference the conversation that Keena and her father have about the fact that she and Eric are in different classes. This conversation shows that he is supportive and that he tries to offer guidance and advice even if he isn't around all the time.”
    • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 12, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson students describe what “mess” Keena gets herself into and what she decides to do by identifying evidence that shows character conflict and perspective.
    • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 14, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson students describe the conflicting feelings that Keena has by identifying and explaining evidence that shows character feelings and perspective.
    • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 16, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson students describe how Miss Campbell reacts to Keena’s lies and what this tells us about Miss Campbell by identifying and explaining evidence that shows character feeling and perspective.
  • Literature Unit 7 has a major final tasks that combines the lessons and information learned within the unit. In Lesson 28 students discuss and debate unit essential questions by stating a claim and supporting the claim with evidence and details from the entire unit. The essential questions are provided in the unit overview and include: "Does surviving a disaster change who you are? Or, does it force you to look inside yourself to discover what was there all along? What does it mean to be resilient and brave? Why was Hurricane Katrina a disaster that left a mark on history? How does the setting of a story influence the plot of the story?"
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 3, A True Book: Hurricane Katrina by Peter Benoit has students describe the build-up to Hurricane Katrina by using details and illustrations to describe the connection between a series of events.
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 4, A True Book: Hurricane Katrina by Peter Benoit has students describe the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina by using details and illustrations to describe the connection between a series of events.
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 6, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis has students describe what happens to the narrator on Monday, August 29th at 7:00 and why the author chose to start the book this way by describing how characters in stories respond to major events.
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 11, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis students write a journal entry about Barry’s experience so far by using a strong organizational structure and description to retell events from a story.
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 13, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis students explain what details the author includes to show how the setting is changing and why by identifying and analyzing details that show the setting.
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 19, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis students explain Barry’s relationship with Cruz and what might have happened if he hadn’t found Cruz by identifying and analyzing details that describe character and character motivations and feelings.
    • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 21, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis students explain why Barry thinks he isn’t acting brave and if you think he is or isn’t a brave soul by identifying and analyzing details that describe character and character motivations and feelings.
  • In Unit 1 of the Science and Social Studies materials, the Unit Assessment states, “Write a paragraph explaining how plants and animals in a wetland habitat depend on their surroundings and depend on other living things to meet their needs.”
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 24 of the Literature materials, the Teacher Guide states, “Model turning Cinderella into a narrator's script by filling in the graphic organizer.  As scholars finish writing, regroup. Explain that scholars should pick one person to be the narrator and assign character roles to the others. The narrator will read their script aloud while the other characters act it out.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 5 of the Literature materials, the students are asked to, “Describe Pinky, Rex, and Amanda and how each character responds to major events and challenges by stating a claim and then providing supporting evidence from the entire text.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 9 of the Literature materials, the Teacher Guide states, “Scholars should first retell and chart the plot of the story. Then scholars should look for evidence that describes Freddi and MR. Vaslov, particularly in connection with key plot events.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 17 of the Science and Social Studies Units, students are asked to, “Gather a lot of grocery store circulars so that scholars have a wide variety of images and foods to pick from. Then have scholars create place mats that show a balanced meal. Have scholars plan a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner and explain WHY they are balanced meals."
  • In Unit 4 of the Literature materials, Lessons 13, 17, and 23 contain a culminating task surrounding different stories about Keena Ford asking students to, “Write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating a claim and supporting the claim with details from the text and personal connections."
  • In Unit 5 of the Literature materials, the Unit 5 Project states, “After reading mystery stories, scholars will be presented with a mystery and be asked to collect clues, interview witnesses, and interrogate suspects in order to solve it.”

Indicator 1i

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

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

The materials provide opportunities for students to use speaking and listening skills to apply their knowledge using evidence based discussion in smaller groups and within the larger class.  The protocols for evidence based discussions are included in the ancillary teacher materials and outline recommendations and frameworks to plan and use within the lessons. Rigorous Discussion Guidelines detail how to prepare and lead effective classroom discussions as well as recommendations for how to maximize learning after the instruction.  It includes a 3 level rubric for student led discussions that measures students’ skills in speaking and listening, advancement of discussion, analysis, preparation and providing evidence. The Intellectual Prep section of the units have teachers determine the focus for habits of discussion that aligns with target speaking and listening standards, based on the classroom needs. Teachers then create a plan for how to teach and reinforce the discussion habits over the course of the unit during daily partner and whole-group discussions. 

The Rigorous Discussion Guidelines in the Publisher’s Supporting Documents for Teachers explains strategies and structures to teachers in a step by step guide. Some lessons explicitly refer to these strategies and structures as an option for the lesson, but the teacher has the discretion of when to use them. There is a detailed document providing steps and guidelines to prepare for, lead, and follow up with a rigorous discussion. To prepare for a discussion some teacher guidance includes setting up the classroom space, articulating a question, and anticipating student misconceptions. To lead a discussion, some guidance is provided for modeling note taking for students, providing scaffolding, and tracking data from the discussion. After the discussion, there is guidance on how to use the data to inform future classes, which, also includes a rubric for evaluating student discussion. Examples from the Rigorous Discussion Guidelines protocols include but are not limited to:

  • Design pre-work/mini-lesson that provides necessary context needed to start forming an informed opinion of a particular content goal
  • Model and practice facilitation of an effective discussion when initially introducing rigorous discussion
  • Skillfully facilitates discussion using a variety of strategies 

The Publisher’s Documents also contain an Instructional Strategies Guide that highlights different ways for students to engage in an evidence based discussion. These include:

  • Turn and Talk which is a language strategy that provides scaffolded opportunities for all students to formulate and build upon each other’s ideas. It is suggested that teachers use this when there is more than one right answer or for a meaty part of the text that is worth discussion and analysis.
  • Discussion, which helps increase student thinking by challenging one to test out their own ideas, build on those of their peers, and ultimately lead a persuasive discussion. It should be used to evaluate or test theories as well as synthesize a lesson. 

Match Mini Protocols that illustrate various protocols include:

  • Part 1: Illustrates discussion protocols 
  • Part 2: Provides a protocol for the classroom discussion. This part assists the teacher with evidence-based discussions using the text-based questions and vocabulary. 

Examples from the Lesson Frameworks include, but are not limited to:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 20, students debate and analyze what lessons they can learn from the characters in traditional fairy tales and folktales and how these lessons translate to their lives by citing evidence from the entire unit to support an idea.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students create a visual representation of a forest habit that shows how plants and animals depend on their surroundings and other living things to meet their needs. Before creating the post, students engage in a deep discussion of how different things depend on each other within the environment. It is suggested that 20 minutes of class is spent on the discussion and 40 minutes is spent on the visual creation. 
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lesson 22, students turn and talk to share who their favorite character is from the Pinky and Rex series and explain why. Then students complete an independent project on their favorite character. At the end of the project,  students engage in a class discussion on how the characters change over the series. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 19, students explain how insects are both helpful and harmful by using text features and key details to ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students engage in a book preview by looking at the back of the book, the pictures on the cover and back of book, and reading the table of contents. Then students make predictions about what will happen in the book using something they have seen or read in the preview. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, Lesson 18, students engage in a rigorous class discussion on the digestive system and nutrition. 
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 6, after reading Freckle Juice by Judy Blume, students  explain how other people influence the decisions that Andrew made and what they can learn from him to make their lives better by identifying and interpreting key details that support the main lesson of the text. Before engaging in the discussion, students create a plot map as a way of synthesizing and identifying the key events of the story. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, Lesson 8, students write an informational text that explains what life was like at Ellis Island, but begin the lesson by engaging in a discussion to prepare them for the writing. 
  • In Literature, Unit 5, Lesson 18, students analyze and discuss the unit essential questions. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 5, Lesson 11, students engage in a discussion on all of the people from the first half of the unit. The goal is to push students to deeper understanding of each of the different people, what influenced them, and how they made the world a better place. 
  • In Literature, Unit 6, Lesson 14, students read the script together as a class and discuss the features of drama. Then they talk about how certain parts might be acted out based on what they know about Anansi.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 20, students explain why the author says, ‘When the winners returned home, they were treated like heroes,’ by analyzing and describing how the reasons from the entire text support specific points the author makes in a text by engaging in a deep dive discussion. 
  • In Literature, Unit 7, Lesson 27, the teacher leads students in a discussion to push students to connect what they have learned from the unit with the world using the text, A True Book: Hurricane Katrina by Peter Benoit and a quote from Nelson Mandela. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 7, Lesson 3, students complete a project where they classify objects based on properties and then analyze the data to describe how the different properties help a material meet its desired purpose. After completing the project, students engage in a turn and talk where they think about what properties all of the materials share and which properties were the most in common.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials in Grade 2 support speaking and listening about the text through group learning activities and class discussions. There are some examples in the lesson frames and teaching notes, where the word discussion is used explicitly to indicate to the teacher that discussion should be taking place in class. In addition, every lesson has a set of Key Questions, and while it does not always explicitly state to discuss, these provide opportunities to discuss and the Notes section of the lesson frame frequently indicates that a discussion should occur.  These series of questions often progress from discussion to drawing or writing. Students have multiple opportunities to present their work and share with their peers in a group or whole class settings. Resource documents provide assistance for teachers in choosing class structures. Intellectual Prep is provided for each unit that specifies the discussions that will be included throughout the lessons. 

Examples of opportunities for students to practice their listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching in Literature and Social Studies and Science include but are not limited to these examples.  Some activities in the Lesson Objectives or Notes section of the Lesson Frames specifically require a discussion to be held by students and provide text dependent questions to be answered by students. Teachers can use their discretion to decide if it is whole group, partner, or small group discussion.

  •  In Social Studies and Science Unit 1, Lesson 4, A Forest Habitat (Introducing Habitats) by Bobbie Kalman and Kelley Macaulay, the lesson states, “Before having scholars make the poster, lead them in a DEEP discussion of how different things depend on each other within the environment. The posters are not just a RECALL of facts from the text, they have to show analysis."
  •  In Literature Unit 2, Lesson 20, students are asked to, “Debate two essential questions by participating in a class discussion by stating a claim and providing evidence from the unit.”
  •  In Literature Unit 3, Lesson 9, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off by Jacqueline Jules, students are asked to, “Describe Freddie and Mr. Vaslov and what motivates them both by preparing for and participating in a class discussion using evidence from the entire text.”
  • In Literature Unit 4, Lesson 25, Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson, “Scholars will reflect on a few instances where Keena Ford made mistakes in the text. Then they will work in groups to create skits showing what she should have done instead.
  •  In Literature Unit 5, Lesson 14, Ballpark Mysteries #1: The Fenway Foul-Up by David A. Kelly, students are asked to, “Debate if Mike and Kate have solved the mystery and why by describing how characters respond to major events.”
  •  In Literature Unit 6, Lesson 14, “Anansi’s Feast: An African Trickster Tale”  the lesson states, “The project calls for students to act out “Anansi’s Feast” by using expression, dialogue, and knowledge of the characters to accurately portray events in a story.
  •  In Literature Unit 7, Lesson 28, the lesson states, “Pick two or three essential questions from the unit to debate and analyze. Push students to use details from the entire unit and text to deepen their understanding of the content."

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

The instructional materials reviewed partially meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. The unit materials provide opportunities for students to complete narrative, informational, and opinion writing. The Instructional Strategies guidelines, available in the ancillary materials detail Stop & Jot’s in which students respond to questions in writing, and are designed to be incorporated into each lesson using the Planning a Lesson protocol and lesson plan template. Also, the Literacy Block guide denotes a Writer’s Workshop for 45 minutes daily in which, “The majority of language standards are taught and reinforced”.

  • Literature Unit 1, Lesson 13, students write their own Cinderella poem, and in Lesson 22, “Write a letter to the third grader explaining what you can learn from Cinderella stories and how they do connect to our own lives.”
  •  Science and Social Studies Unit 2, Lesson 5, students “Write an informational report that explains what an insect is. They should include labels, headings, and three or four facts about insects.”
  •  Science and Social Studies Unit 3, Lesson 9, students “Write an informational book and create a poster that shows what happens after the food has been eaten and as it is going through the digestive system. Make sure to include specific details and diagrams to support your explanation.” 
  • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 15, students “Write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating a claim and supporting the claim with details from the text and personal connections.
  •  Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Lesson 27, students  “Interview an immigrant and write a news report either promoting opportunities or identifying hardships.”
  •  Literature Unit 5, Lessons 6, 10, 13, and 16, using the text, F is for Fenway: America’s Oldest Major League Ballpark by Jerry Pallotta, students “Write a newspaper article detailing what has been happening at Fenway Park by retelling key details and characters’ perspectives on events.”
  •  Science and Social Studies Unit 5, Lesson 11, students “Write an informational report describing how a person made the world a better place by stating a claim and including supporting details from the text."
  •  Science and Social Studies Unit 6, Lesson 6, students “Use their note-taking templates from lessons 3 and 4 to write a biography of one of the gods they read about in both texts.” 
  •  Literature Unit 7, Lessons 11, 17, and 24, using the text, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis, students write several narrative journal entries detailing, “Barry’s experience so far by using a strong organizational structure and description to retell events from a story.”

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Within the instructional materials, students have opportunities for writing that address opinion, narrative and informative text types, but they do not reflect the distribution by the standards. Informational writing is in all of the units in Science and Social Studies, and opinion writing is in all of the Literature units, but narrative writing is only taught in one unit in Science and Social Studies, and one unit in Literature. The narrative writing prompts involve journal writing or a letter. 

Some examples of narrative writing lessons and prompts include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, Lesson 21, students write a letter from the perspective of a recent immigrant by identifying hardships and opportunities. 
  • In Literature, Unit 5, Lessons 6, 10, 13, and 16,  students imagine that they are a sports reporter following Kate and Mike. They write a newspaper article explaining what has been happening at Fenway Park and they must include details about the events and how different characters felt.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 12, students write a journal entry describing what life would be like in ancient Greece by using a narrative structure to retell important events and ideas about life in ancient Greece. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 19, students describe what happens during an Olympic event by using a narrative structure to retell important events and ideas about the early Olympics. 
  • In Literature, Unit 7, Lessons 11, 17, and 24, students write a journal entry about Barry’s experience so far by using a strong organizational structure and description to retell events from a story. 

Some examples of informational writing lessons and prompts include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 1, Lessons 5, 9, 15, and 20, students write an informational book all about how plants and animals in the forest depend on their surroundings and other living things to meet their needs in the places they live.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 5, students describe what classifies something as an insect by participating in a class discussion and then writing an informational text that uses facts, images, and definitions to explain what they learned. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, Lesson 12, students explain what an insect’s life cycle is and if all insects have the same life cycle by participating in a class discussion and then writing an informational text that uses facts, images, and definitions to explain what they had learned. 
  • In Literature, Unit 3, Lessons 9 and 17, students describe Freddie and Mr. Vaslov and what motivates them both by preparing for and participating in a class discussion using evidence from the entire text. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, Lesson 9, students write an informational book and create a poster that shows what happens after food has been eaten and as it is going through the digestive system by including specific details and diagrams to support the explanation.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, Lesson 13, students describe carbohydrates, protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals and why they are important for keeping their bodies healthy by describing the connection between a series of scientific ideas and concepts. 
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lesson 6, students explain how other people influenced the decisions that Andrew made and what they can learn from him to make their lives better by identifying and interpreting key details that support the main lesson of a text.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, Lesson 8, students are asked write an informational text that explains what life was like at Ellis Island by stating a claim and supporting it with evidence from the text.
  • In Literature, Unit 5, Lesson 17, students describe how David A. Kelly uses elements of mystery to develop the plot of the story by describing the overall structure of a story and how elements of mystery help drive the plot of a story. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 5, Lessons 11 and 25, students write an informational report describing how a person made the world a better place by stating a claim and including supporting details from the text.
  • In Literature, Unit 6, Lesson 13, students describe spider and what we can learn from Spider about what it means to be a good person by using evidence from multiple stories to describe characters and what they learn. 
  • In Literature, Unit 6, Lesson 15, students compare and contrast the drama version of Anansi with what they already know about Anansi from The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales by comparing and contrasting two or more versions of a story with similar characters.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 6, students write a biography of one of the Greek gods by using facts and details from the text to write an informational text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and a conclusion.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 11, students explain what life was like in ancient Greece by writing an informational text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and a conclusion. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 26, students describe how the Olympic Games have changed by writing an information text with a strong introduction, details from the text, and a conclusion. 
  • In Literature, Unit 7, Lesson 5, using the text A True Book: Hurricane Katrina by Peter Benoit, students write a newspaper article describing what happened during Hurricane Katrina by stating a claim and then supporting it with facts and details from the texts.
  • In Literature, Unit 7, Lesson 24, students analyze how the setting of I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 influenced the plot of the story by describing and analyzing key details from the text that describe the setting. 

Some examples of opinion writing lessons and prompts include: 

  • In Literature, Unit 1, Lesson 22, students write a letter to a third grader explaining what they can learn from Cinderella stories and how they connect to their daily lives by stating a claim and providing supporting evidence from the unit. 
  • In Literature, Unit 2, Lessons 5, 10, 14, and 18, students describe Pinky, Rex, and Amanda and how each character responds to major events and challenges by stating a claim and then providing supporting evidence from the entire text.
  • In Literature, Unit 4, Lessons 13, 17, and 23, students write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating a claim and supporting the claim with details from the text and personal connections. 
  • In Literature, Unit 6, Lessons 4, 8, 12, students write a persuasive letter to Spider explaining how he could have done something differently and why by stating an opinion and giving reasons from the text to support the opinion. 

Indicator 1m

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

The materials provide students the opportunity to learn, practice and apply evidence based writing. Students are required to recall relevant information and details in their application of the lessons including, but not limited to, informational and opinion responses. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Unit summaries often state that students should be writing daily in response to the text. 

Examples of evidence - based writing found in Literature include:

  • In Unit 1, students begin to write responses to questions that include a claim and details from the text that support the claim. In Lesson 13, they have to write their own Cinderella poems, drawing conclusions based on details from multiple texts. 
  • The purpose of Unit 2 is to write longer responses to the text, with a focus on stating a claim that answers the question and including evidence from the text.
  • In Unit 2 Lesson 5, students describe Pinky, Rex, and Amanda and how each character responds to major events and challenges by stating a claim and then providing supporting evidence from the entire text.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 9, students do a deep character dive and retell the plot of the story and then use evidence to describe Freddie and Mr. Vaslow.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 17, students describe Freddie and Mr. Vaslow and what motivates them and how do they show friendship. 
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 23, students write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating a claim and supporting the claim with details from the text and personal connections after reading Keena Ford.Students must include two or three things that they learned from the book in the letter.  
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 10, students write a newspaper article detailing what has been happening at Fenway Park. 
  • In Unit 7, students write journal entries about Barry’s experience during Hurricane Katrina after reading, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005. This begins in Lesson 11. Specific examples include Lesson 17, where students have to write a journal entry about his family’s experience so far and include information about how characters respond to events. 

Examples of evidenced-based writing found in Science and Social Studies include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, students write a page in an informational book, after reading A Forest Habitat,  that explains how plants and animals depend on their surroundings and other living things to meet their needs in the places they live. They are expected to write in complete sentences and use key details from the text.  
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 17, students participate in a class discussion about what they have learned about insects. Then they write an informational text that uses facts, images, and definitions to explain what they learned. 
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, the students write a book that describes what happens with fluids in the body. Students must include specific details from the book First Human Body Encyclopedia to support their explanation. Students are required to synthesize everything they have learned so far and teach it back. 
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, students describe carbohydrates, proteins, fat, and vitamins and minerals, and why they are important for keeping a body healthy. 
  • In Unit 4, there are three lessons with a writing focus that are Lesson 8, 15, and 24. The objectives include stating a claim and using details from sources to support the claim. The culminating task on Lesson 27 has students write a persuasive news segment that uses information from all of the texts in the unit. 
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 11, students write an informational report describing how one of the scientists they have read about has made the world a better place by stating a claim and including supporting details from the text.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 11, the students write two pages in their informational journal using text evidence about what life was like in ancient Greece.
  • In Unit 7, Lesson 14, students discuss the essentially questions and then write an answer for one of the questions using details from the text.

Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Materials do not include instruction in language and grammar conventions. There was no evidence of students receiving explicit instruction and opportunities to apply learning both in and out of context.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The Fishtank Grade 2 materials provide a variety of texts throughout the units organized around specific topics and including a wide range of literary and informational texts to build students’ knowledge and vocabulary. Students engage in text analysis throughout all units that allow them to understand the language, structure, key ideas, and craft of individual texts. Text-dependent questions guide students as they interact with the texts and help them to integrate knowledge and ideas within and across texts. Culminating tasks, including a progression of focused, shared research projects within the materials are supported by strong questions and activities that build knowledge of the topic at hand and requires students to demonstrate their learning through a combination of writing and speaking. An intentional plan for developing content-area vocabulary is also present in the materials.

While the materials provide frequent opportunities for text-based writing, there is a lack of structured, direct instruction of writing.

The materials support students with suggestions and plans to integrate independent reading.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
30/20
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Criterion Rating Details

The Fishtank Grade 2 materials provide a variety of texts throughout the units organized around specific topics and including a wide range of literary and informational texts to build students’ knowledge and vocabulary. Students engage in text analysis throughout all units that allow them to understand the language, structure, key ideas, and craft of individual texts. Text-dependent questions guide students as they interact with the texts and help them to integrate knowledge and ideas within and across texts. Culminating tasks, including a progression of focused, shared research projects within the materials are supported by strong questions and activities that build knowledge of the topic at hand and requires students to demonstrate their learning through a combination of writing and speaking. An intentional plan for developing content-area vocabulary is also present in the materials.

While the materials provide frequent opportunities for text-based writing, there is a lack of structured, direct instruction of writing.

The materials support students with suggestions and plans to integrate independent reading.

Indicator 2a

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

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

The materials reviewed for Grade Two provide a variety of texts throughout the units which are organized around specific topics that include a wide range of literary and expository texts to build students’ knowledge and vocabulary. Literary topics include Fairytales, Mysteries as well as culturally diverse fictionSocial Studies units include Biographies of Famous Leaders, and Immigration using historical and realistic fiction.  Science topics include Habitats, Insects and the Human Body.   In addition to gaining content knowledge, vocabulary is embedded throughout including literary terms, as well as targeted vocabulary to enhance understanding.   

  • Literature Unit 1 is organized around the topic Cinderella stories.
  • Literature Unit 2 is organized around the topic Pinky and Rex stories.
  • Literature Unit 3 is organized around the topic Zapato Power and friends.
  • Literature Unit 4 is organized around the theme making mistakes, honesty, and the power of forgiveness.
  • Literature Unit 5 is organized around the topic of baseball.
  • Literature Unit 6 is organized around Anansi the Spider stories.
  • Literature Unit 7 is organized around I Survived stories.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 1 is organized around the topic of habitats.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 2 is organized around the topic of insects.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 3 is organized around the topic of the human body.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 4 is organized around the topic of immigration.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 5 is organized around the topic of biographies of famous Americans. 
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 6 is organized around the topic of Ancient Greece.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 7 is organized around the topic of properties of matter.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts.  They are provided multiple opportunities to analyze language in stories and passages, identify key ideas and details, and examine the structure of passages, pictures and texts as they relate to the unit topic.  Scaffolding is provided to students and the rigor of the material increases over the course of the year. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include, but are not limited to the following:

  • In Literature Unit 1, Lesson 1, What is Culture? by Bobbie Kalman, students are asked, “What is culture? What are ways that cultures can be similar? What are some ways that cultures can be different?”
  • In Literature Unit 2, Lesson 8, Pinky and the Bully by James Howe, students are asked, “'If you were a boy like me, you’d know that you’re not supposed to be friends with girls.' Why does Pinky think this? Is it true? Explain why.”
  • In Literature Unit 3, Lesson 6, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off by Jacqueline Jules, students are asked, “What does Freddie decide he is going to do with his superpower? Why?” and, “Why does the author say that 'his feet hummed like water rushing through pipes'? What does this show?”
  • In Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Lesson 17, The Storyteller's Candle by Lucia Gonzalez students are asked, “Why was the Pura Belpre award created? What does it signify?” and, “What is Ms. Belpre’s plan to celebrate Three Kings Day? Why is it so important?”
  • In Science and Social Studies Unit 5, Lesson 5, The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet, students are asked what the authors mean by the statement, “So that today, whenever you need it, you can still find THE RIGHT WORD” and, “How did Peter’s actions make this possible?”
  • In Literature Unit 6, Lesson 15, “Compare and contrast the drama version of Anansi with what they already know about Anansi from The Adventures of Spider.
  • In Literatre Unit 7, Lesson 3, A True Book: Hurricane Katrina by Peter Benoit, students are asked, “What happened when Hurricane Katrina hit Florida? At that point, was it a serious hurricane? Defend why or why not.”  And, “How can the Hurricane Wind Scale help people plan for possible hurricanes? Why is this important?”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-based questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade Two meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.  The Literature and Science and Social Studies Units center on a topic or theme with embedded text dependent questions throughout. Students work with individual and multiple texts throughout the materials that require them to analyze information, build knowledge and demonstrate understanding of material, often using discussion, graphic organizers, projects, and illustrations that draw upon textual evidence by identifying key details, comparing and contrasting texts.

  • Literature Unit 1, Lesson 7, students are asked to, “Compare and contrast two versions of Cinderella by describing how the setting impacts the characters and plot of a story.”
  • Literature Unit 3, Lesson 8, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off by Jacqueline Jules students are asked to, “Explain why the chapter is titled 'I Solve the Final Mystery' by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.”
  • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 4, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume students are asked to, “Describe Andrew’s feelings toward Sharon by making inferences based on evidence that shows a character’s perspective on another character.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Lesson 1, Coming to America, The Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro students are asked, “Even though times were rough for new immigrants, they continued to come. Defend why.”
  • Literature Unit 5, Lesson 5, students are asked to, “What did Mike and Kate notice scattered around the infield dirt? Why is this important?  Read the sentence from page 27. Do you think he took the bat?”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 6, Lesson 1, Ancient Greece and the Olympics, Magic Tree House Fact Tracker by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, students are asked to, “Describe Athens and Sparta and what was similar and different about the two city-states by identifying the main focus of specific paragraphs within a text.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 7, Lesson 7, of the Science and Social Studies materials, students are asked, “How and why are reeds used to build cob cottages in Ireland?” and, “Describe the properties of adobe houses. Are absorbency and hardness important? Why?”

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening). Within the materials, there are opportunities for students to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks.  In many instances, students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking and listening) at the appropriate grade level.

  • Literature Unit 1, Lesson 24, includes a project where “Scholars will work in a group to create a story map of each version of Cinderella that was read in the unit. These story maps then become a narrator’s script for the groups to act out their stories. At the conclusion, the class will have the opportunity to discuss how the changing setting changed the story for each play. This allows scholars to understand the unit essential question of how setting impacts the characters and plot of a story through the intrapersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, and verbal-linguistic intelligences.”
  • Literature Unit 2, Lesson 22 includes a project where “Scholars will create a Facebook page for one of the main characters from the Pinky and Rex series to demonstrate their understanding of character traits and relationships between characters. This project allows scholars to demonstrate their understanding of the unit texts as well as their ability to engage with the unit essential skill of tracking character change through the visual-spatial, intrapersonal, and verbal-linguistic intelligences.”
  • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 25 includes a project where “Scholars will reflect on a few instances where Keena Ford made mistakes in the text. Then they will work in groups to create skits showing what she should have done instead. This lesson directly piggy backs on the previous day’s letter writing activity and allows scholars to engage with the unit essential questions of why is it important to show honesty and how can we learn from our mistakes through the interpersonal, verbal-linguistic, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences.”
  • Literature Unit 5, Lesson 21 includes a project where “Scholars will be presented with a mystery and be asked to collect clues, interview witnesses, and interrogate suspects in order to solve it. This allows scholars to engage with the unit essential questions of what are the elements of a mystery and what makes a good detective through the interpersonal and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences.”
  • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 30 includes a project where “Have students practice and perform the I Survived Hurricane Katrina play. How to structure these four days of the unit is entirely up to teacher and class discretion.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 2, Lesson 23 includes a project where “Scholars will decide whether their designed insect (from lessons 4 and 11) will be beneficial and destructive and how. They will then create a flyer to inform the public about their insect and present the information to the class. This project allows scholars to engage with the unit essential question of how can insects be both beneficial and destructive through the verbal-linguistic and visual-spatial intelligences. This project builds on previous presentations by asking them to present independently as opposed to in groups.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Lesson 27 includes a project where “Scholars will work as a class to interview either a staff member or a students’ family member who is an immigrant. They will then compare the hardships of immigration to the opportunities it affords. Scholars will then write a news report either promoting the opportunities provided by immigration or identifying the hardships it causes. They will then record their news reports and listen to them as a class. This project pushes scholars to debate the pros and cons of immigration and to understand life as a newcomer to America through the verbal-linguistic and interpersonal intelligences.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 6, Lesson 29 includes a project where “Scholars will self-select one of four research topics on Ancient Greece: myths, theater, architecture, or the Olympics. Scholars in each group will do research, independently write about their research, and create either a visual or kinesthetic representation that they will then present to the class. 
    • This project allows scholars to engage with the following essential questions: 
      • How did Ancient Greece influence and contribute to society today? 
      • Why were the gods an important part of ancient Greek society? 
      • What was daily life like in ancient Greece? 
      • How is it different from daily life today? 
    • Scholars are able to connect with this content through the intrapersonal, visual, bodily-kinesthetic, and verbal-linguistic intelligences. This project builds on previous presentations by asking scholars to combine all presentation skills from the year, including working in groups, doing research, and providing visual aides to enhance their presentations.”

Indicator 2e

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

The materials reviewed for Grade Two meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. There are established routines for teaching vocabulary including a seven step process that includes repetition, definition, part of speech, examples in context as well as other word concept knowledge. Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words and definitions are provided in student-friendly language. Word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts. Every unit provides instruction in literary terms as well as text based content vocabulary. Strategies for teaching students how to understand meanings of unknown words are also embedded and include using context, word parts, literal and figurative language as well as traditional classroom resources.

  • Science and Social Studies Unit 1, Habitats, the content vocabulary is embedded throughout the text, A Desert Habitat by Bobbie Kalman and Kelley Macaulay.
  • Literature Unit 3, Lesson 12, students are asked to, “Explain why the chapter is titled 'Inventions Take Time' by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges, using key vocabulary words.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 3, students are asked to, “Use the vocabulary words to describe what happens in the urinary system by describing the connection between a series of scientific ideas or concepts.”
  • Literature Unit 4, Lesson 1, students are asked to, “Describe Sharon by making inferences based on the words and phrases Judy Blume uses to characterize and describe Sharon.”
  • Literature Unit 5, Lesson 10, students are asked to, “review all vocabulary from the unit up to this point and engage in writing a newspaper article detailing what has been happening at Fenway Park by retelling key details and characters’ perspectives on events.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 6, in the Unit Assessment students are asked, “What does the phrase 'slow as a turtle' show about the beetle?”
  • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 17, students are asked to, “Review all vocabulary and write a journal entry about Barry’s experience so far by using a strong organizational structure and description to retell events from a story.”

Indicator 2f

Materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details


Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

The materials reviewed for Grade Two contain a progression of research and writing projects that allow for students to develop knowledge and understanding a topic using various texts and source materials. At the end of many units, there are projects that require students to review, analyze and synthesize their understanding of specific topics culminating into a final project or activity.  Throughout the units there is a progression of tasks that build student knowledge using reading, writing, and speaking/listening skills. Examples of culminating activities include but are not limited to varied oral and dramatic presentations, reports, interviews, and labs. 

  •  Literature Unit 1, Lesson 24, students “Identify how changing the setting impacts the Cinderella story by acting out the unit texts.”
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 1, Lesson 24, students “Design a zoo habitat for a given animal using their knowledge of plant and animal relationships and habitat features from the unit.”
  • Literature Unit 2, Lesson 22, students “Create a Facebook page for one of the main characters from the Pinky and Rex series to demonstrate their understanding of character traits and relationships between characters.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 2, Lesson 12, students “Explain what an insect’s life cycle is and if all insects have the same life cycle by participating in a class discussion and then writing an informational text that uses facts, images, and definitions to explain what they learned.”
  • Literature Unit 3, Lesson 21, students “Identify actions that make someone a superhero by referencing specific examples from the unit texts and explaining what they can do to be superheroes.”
  •  Science and Social Studies Unit 3, Lesson 17, students “Plan a healthy and well-balanced meal by synthesizing everything learned about digestion and nutrition” over a 2 day project.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 4, Lesson 8, students “Write an informational text that explains what life was like at Ellis Island by stating a claim and supporting it with evidence from the text.”
  • Literature Unit 5, Lesson 21, students “Apply knowledge of elements of a mystery in order to solve a classroom mystery.”
  • Literature Unit 6, Lesson 14, students, “Spend 3 days acting out  Anansi’s Feast by using expression, dialogue, and knowledge of the characters to accurately portray events in a story.”  
  • Literature Unit 7, Lesson 30, students, “Practice and perform the I Survived Hurricane Katrina play” over a four day project. 

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The Text Consumption Guidance document provides the rationale for independent reading and explains that during independent reading, students gain independence by reading a text on their own that requires them to use all of the strategies learned in class. During independent reading, students actively annotate and make meaning of the text with limited support from the teacher or peers. The materials suggest that independent reading can be used at the end of the lesson as independent practice, on days when the majority of the text is accessible and/or there are features of the text students need to practice accessing independently, or at the beginning of the lesson to allow time for independent analysis before a close-read or a discussion.

Gateway Three

Usability

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The materials for Grade 2 do not meet expectations for use and design that facilitates student learning. Because the materials are designed as more of a detailed information is not present for all aspects of lesson planning and support. In order to meet expectations for knowledge-building, the science and social studies units that must be taught alongside the English language arts units may present a challenge for completion within a typical school year. Materials lack a set of student materials that provide support for the lessons.

The materials provide an alignment document to delineate the standards met in each unit.

Criterion 3a - 3e

Use and design facilitate student learning: Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
3/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Grade 2 do not meet expectations for use and design that facilitates student learning. Because the materials are designed as more of a detailed information is not present for all aspects of lesson planning and support. In order to meet expectations for knowledge-building, the science and social studies units that must be taught alongside the English language arts units may present a challenge for completion within a typical school year. Materials lack a set of student materials that provide support for the lessons.

The materials provide an alignment document to delineate the standards met in each unit.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The instructional materials in Kindergarten provide a framework for lesson planning instead of a detailed lesson plan for most of the lessons. These frameworks provide guidance for the teacher in what material to teach and key questions to ask, but do not provide pacing for individual lesson for the teacher. These Frameworks, when combined with the Publisher’s Document on Planning an Effective Lesson allow the teacher to have the materials to effectively structure lessons with appropriate pacing in his/her classroom. Additionally, a limited number of lessons have suggested lesson plans, that include pacing and a structure that serve as an example of how a teacher can develop the lesson frames into step-by-step lessons for use in the classroom. Grade 2 instruction is broken up into blocks of 45 minutes of Literacy, 45 minutes of social studies, 30 minutes of Word Study, and 45 minutes of Writer’s Workshop.  In addition to those blocks, there is a 60 minute Guided Reading block for targeted reading instruction in comprehension, fluency, and word-work based on student needs. Time is also set aside for Independent Reading for 45 minutes a day by the end of the year.  

According to the Publisher, the lessons are meant to be frameworks. While the lessons provide the main components of the lessons, the detailed planning is left up to the teachers. The goal is for teachers to internalize the content and adapt it to meet the needs of the students. The Publisher suggests that teachers take the following steps when planning a lesson:

  • Look at the lesson objective, target task, and standards. Write an exemplar student response to the target task.
  • Pick a focus for the lesson
  • Decide on class structures
  • Determine how to launch the text, including what background knowledge students need
  • Determine how to engage with the text while reading
  • Figure out what structures will be in place to help students make sense with what they have learned
  • Plan for feedback and how to gather data
  • Determine all accommodations and modifications

Lesson objective, reading materials required for the lesson, standards covered, target task, vocabulary, key questions, criteria for success, mastery response, and notes provide the basic framework for teachers. These lessons do not provide any suggested timing or pacing for the lesson, but they allow for flexibility to meet the meets of the individual classroom. For example, in Unit 5, Lesson 14, the objective states that students will debate if Mike and Kate have solved the mystery and why by describing how characters respond to major events. This connects with the target task of have Mike and Kate solved the mystery, which includes the mastery response.

Indicator 3b

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

Due to scheduling constraints, the total number of lessons in both Literature and Science and Social Studies may be more than can be planned or completed in a typical 180 day school year in a traditional school setting. The lesson framework provides the outline for core instruction; however, many of the lessons within the framework need to be developed through teacher design. In addition to pacing, the daily schedule sample, which is found in the Literary Blocks description in the Publisher’s Document has an eight hour school day, which is not the norm in every school and may change the actual number of days needed for instruction. 

The Literature Units have approximately 154 lessons and 166 days of instruction and the Science and Social Studies Units have approximately 165 lessons and 185 days of instruction days of instruction. According to the Publisher’s Document, classroom instruction while using this program should include 60-90 minutes of Literature, 60-90 minutes of Science and Social Studies, 45-60 minutes of independent reading, and 60 minutes of guided reading.

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.)

The lesson frameworks do not supply student materials or reference aids. The books that students use are purchased individually for the students to annotate throughout the year.

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Standards are included for each lesson. There is an overview in each unit summary that lists all of the standards covered in the unit. This overview is not separated by lesson, which does not allow the teacher to easily locate specific standards and when/where they are taught in the lesson framework. Both the Literature and Social Studies and Science Units provide a Standards Map within the Unit Overview that indicates which standards are taught within each unit. In this course overview, each unit is labeled and the literature, informational, writing, speaking & listening, and language standards are identified for each unit they are in. 

Unit Summaries list out the standards for the entire unit, but do not specify which lessons, questions, or tasks. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards are identified. Lessons list the individual standards covered; however, in some lessons, all standards are not identified. 

While questions and tasks are not labeled by standard, assessment questions are labeled by the standards. For example, in Literature Unit 6, students read a story and then are asked which statement best describes the beetle in the story which is aligned to RL2.3. In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, students read a passage and then are asked several questions including how does diagram 2 contribute to our understanding of the text. This is tagged to RI2.7. 

Indicator 3e

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

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

There is no material provided for student consumption except individual books. Therefore, no rating can be assigned. The online framework is designed for teacher use and the only materials suggested for student use are published texts.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Teacher planning and learning for success with CCSS: Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
5/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials partially support teacher planning and learning for success with the standards. While support is provided for some pieces of the learning process (e.g., guides for writing, guidelines for teaching vocabulary), there is a lack of explicit and lesson-specific support for some lessons. There is also limited support to link teachers to research on best practices for the ELA classroom and the research base that the program. There is limited guidance for communications with families to provide a home/school partnership to support the standards within and across units.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. While there is no traditional “Teacher’s Edition” within the materials, the online framework lays out every Grade Level with a Course Summary and Course Map and every Unit with a Unit Summary as well as standards, unit preparation, and lessons.Each Lesson contains an objective, specific text(s) needed, standards covered, target task, key questions, and in some lessons notes for the educator.Although each lesson is not scripted, there are publisher materials that provide guidance for teachers on how to present content to students. For example there are guidelines for teaching vocabulary and giving feedback. There is also a guide to informational writing, literary analysis writing, and narrative writing. These explain how to present the content. However, these guidelines are not for specific units or specific vocabulary words, and the teachers need to create the lessons based on the guidelines. There are also Match Minis, which provide further assistance for teachers on how to present material and use techniques to develop lessons.

While there is a myriad of materials to assist and guide the teacher to develop well-structured lessons, this design could be challenging for new or inexperienced educators to navigate without targeted professional development.Also, there is limited evidence of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning. 

  • Planning a Lesson Guideline specifically states that the intent is to provide a “skinny” framework that provides frameworks rather than detailed lesson plans. It further explains that the main components of the lessons are provided but that detailed planning is left up to the individual teacher.
  • Literature Unit 3, Intellectual Prep, Building Background Knowledge makes the teacher responsible for determining what foundational skills need to be taught and how to teach them:
    • Determine a fluency teaching focus based on targeted foundational reading standards. Create a plan for how to introduce and reinforce the habit over the course of the unit.
  • Science and Social Studies Unit 3, Intellectual Prep, Internalizing the Text and Standards requires teachers to determine and plan information for building student background:
    • Plan book introductions that build the necessary background knowledge needed to deeply interact with the texts.

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary. The materials do not contain a traditional teacher’s edition, however their online instructional guide provides teachers with a framework for teaching thematic units and lessons. Publisher documents provide guidance for teachers to design instruction and prepare lessons including explanations of some of the literacy concepts utilized in the program. Within the units, the Intellectual Prep contains a Content Knowledge and Connections section which provides further guidance for teachers. In some units this section provides guidance in a literacy concept such as poetry or mythology however in others it is more connected to understanding a thematic concept such as bullying. 


  • Feedback as a Teaching Tool provides detailed explanations of the approach to writing instruction and examples of how to implement the literacy concept of revising writing. Some examples include:
    • Students ​need ​help ​with ​revision, ​and ​thus ​feedback ​from ​teachers ​or ​peers ​is ​essential. Ways ​to ​provide ​writing ​feedback ​are:
      •  Have ​students ​do ​multiple ​drafts ​of ​written ​responses ​to ​questions ​while ​applying ​feedback 
      • Share ​exemplary ​work ​with ​students ​and ​help ​them ​identify ​key ​features ​to ​replicate 
      • Share ​examples ​of ​student ​work ​with ​common ​errors ​and ​collectively ​correct ​them ​before all ​students ​revise ​their ​writing ​to ​address ​similar ​errors 
  • Rigorous Discussion Guidelines informs the teacher: Rigorous discussion explicitly increases student thinking by challenging students to test out their ideas, build on those of their peers and craft persuasive arguments. The length and format of a rigorous discussion can and should vary, however, a rigorous discussion should always require students to evaluate and test their initial thinking by considering the ideas and evidence presented by others. A well executed discussion leads students to a deeper and more nuanced understanding of a single task and its application to other tasks. Further, rigorous discussion engages the entire class for an extended period of time. During the discussion the teacher’s voice is not central and there is clear evidence of academic ownership by students. The following guidelines explain what a teacher can do to use discussions effectively to promote learning. Teachers are not expected to use all these strategies at once but will tailor their activities based on the focus of the discussion and the grade level of the students. 

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. While there is not a traditional Teacher’s Edition included with this program, Fishtank ELA K-2 includes an electronic overview of the curriculum which includes standards charts and unit progressions. The Publisher’s Document entitled K2 Literature Overview provides a direct explanation of how the standards are tied to the lessons in the unit.

  •  K2 Literature Overview Publisher’s Document, Second Grade Literature explains the role of the standards in the course. It statesThe key standards-based comprehension focuses and strategies for First Grade Literature are:
    • Describing how characters respond to major events and challenges
    • Determining the central message, lesson, or moral 
    • Developing an understanding of plot.

The document explicitly states that: Asking and answering questions, using context clues, and illustrations are strategies that spiral from year to year as text-demands increase. Therefore, they are not priority standards but should still be introduced and reinforced over the course of the year. 

    • Connections to the overall curriculum are included within the same document explaining:
      • The focus on describing how characters respond to events and challenges both meets the Grade 2 standards and prepares students for third grade standards. 
      • The focus on identifying dialogue helps to meet the standards of understanding characters and perspective.
      • An introduction to identifying the central message helps students build on the skills learned in Grade 1 and builds the skills that will be required to meet the third grade standards. 
      • A focus on understanding the plot of a story builds the skills to meet the standard of identifying the structure of text.

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade Two partially meet the criteria that materials contain a explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies. The publisher materials include a document specifically dedicated to the explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and when they should be implemented. Some of the strategies included are, Think Aloud, Mini Lesson, Turn & Talk, Stop & Jot, Annotation, Discussion, Vocabulary, and Writing about Reading.While there is a clear explanation of instructional approaches, what appears to be lacking is an overview of the research that led to the design of those instructional strategies.

 Examples of the Instructional Strategies explained include but are not limited to

    • Think Aloud, “The purpose of a think-aloud is to give scholars a glimpse into the teacher’s brain so that scholars can visualize the types of behaviors good readers engage in while reading.”
    • Turn and Talk: “Turn and Talks are a low-risk oral language strategy that provide scaffolded opportunities for all students to formulate and build upon each other's ideas."
    • Mini-lessons: “Short lessons, between five and ten minutes, that have a narrow focus on a strategy or skill that students need in order to access the text or target task question.”

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

There is a program overview provided publicly for consumers and it explains the approach to curriculum that Fishtank ELA K-2 uses as well as information about the program, however, there is limited to no evidence about the role that parents/guardians should play to support student growth and success.

The About Match link on the publisher’s website states, “Our curriculum is widely relevant to teachers across the US, particularly those who share our commitment to rigorous, standards-driven and college-ready instruction.”

  • The Approach to Curriculum link on the publisher’s website states, “We think teachers should spend more time planning how to teach — with the unique learning needs of their students in mind—and less time worrying about the basics of what to teach. Good baseline curriculum and assessments free teachers to do just that.”

The ELA Program Overview states, “Through our ELA curriculum we seek to develop voracious readers who are eager to grapple with complex texts [and] prepare our students for academic and life success by building their background and core knowledge.”

Criterion 3k - 3n

Assessment: Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
4/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials offer regular assessments that allow teachers to accurately assess student progress and to determine how students are progressing in their mastery of the standards and other content. However, there is limited support to guide teachers in their interpretation of assessment results to redirect, reteach, and support students who have not reached mastery and minimal guidance for monitoring of student progress.

The materials provide a systematic approach to supporting students in reading independently and assuring that students are achieving a volume of reading both at school and at home.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Each unit contains a Unit Assessment that assesses focus standards for the unit with most also containing an extended response that assesses both literature standards and writing standards. Assessments at times include reading a text that has not been studied to analyze the transfer of skills. 

Included within lessons are Target Tasks, which are often writing prompts that focus on the lesson objective. Target Tasks can be utilized as formative assessments to regularly measure student progress. Some lessons include key questions, which provide an opportunity for assessing student mastery. Additional lessons include projects and writing that function as assessments of student mastery of both content and literary standards. Examples of formative assessments opportunities include:

  • In Literature Unit 4, Lesson 8, the Target Task asks students why Keena’s mom thinks a journal is a good idea. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 3, Lesson 5, key questions are asked including what are the key characteristics of vertebrates and what are the key characteristics of amphibians. 

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Assessments included with each unit specify the standard being assessed. Each question on the assessment is labeled with the coordinating standard number(s).

Examples of assessment questions and the corresponding labeled standards include:

  • In Literature, Unit 1, students are asked to pick three of the vocabulary words from the box and draw a picture that shows what the word means and use the word in a sentence, which is labeled L.2.6. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 2, students are asked to write five questions they have after reading “Bedbugs Bite!”, which is labeled RI.2.1. 
  • In Literature, Unit 3, students are asked to read a sentence from page 5 and explain what got Freddie’s superhero radar going and why, which is labeled RL.2.3 and L.2.4. 
  • In Science and Social Studies Unit 4, students are asked to write the three details that the author includes to support the idea that school was challenging for immigrants, which is labeled RI.2.8. 
  • In Literature, Unit 5, students are asked what Kate and Mike overhear at the stadium and how they each respond, which is labeled RL.2.3 and RL.2.6.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. Although some of the Literature Unit Assessments provide,“answer keys," they do not include guidance for interpreting student performance and/or suggestions for follow up. Most of the Science and Social Studies Assessments do not provide scoring guidelines or answer keys and there is no guidance given for interpreting student performance and/or offering suggestions for follow up.

Indicator 3m

Materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Although a limited number of lessons provide guidance within the lesson on developing routines and guidance for monitoring student progress through the collection of data, the publisher provides multiple documents that include both general and specific routines and protocols for gathering information on student progress to drive instruction and adjust, as needed. These documents provide the teacher with the rationale on why gathering data is essential and the process by which to gather data. They explain that the teachers use the information gathered to make individual classroom decisions to maximize instruction. 

The Teacher Feedback as a Teaching Tool provides guidance on collecting information in a variety of teaching areas. For example, the information to gather in reading includes:

  • Ask questions to help students make connections, revisit misunderstandings and uncover deeper meaning of text
  • Listen to students read aloud or whisper read in a group to identify moments for correction
  • Conference with students to provide guidance on specific reading skills
  • Monitor annotations to ensure students are noticing key moments
  • Use short comprehension questions mid - reading to monitor comprehension
  • Point out moments of misanalysis or misunderstanding and ask students to re-read

The Planning a Lesson Document includes a place for teachers to plan for feedback and gather data. However, it does not provide a specific protocol for doing so. Suggestions for ways to gather the data are included within this guidance. It tells teachers to plan for how to give feedback and gather student data. It also gives questions to consider such as how will the teacher circulate to give feedback and check for understanding and what type of data will be gathered. However, no answers are provided.

In the Rigorous Discussion Guide there is information on how data should be gathered to drive instruction. This includes:

  • Tracking data from the discussion such as actively monitoring individual student readiness to transition to the written synthesis task
  • Using data to inform current class including celebrating multiple strategies used by students to arrive at the same outcome
  • Steps to take after the discussion including using data to inform future classes, though no specifics on how to do this is provided. 

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The Teacher Tools link on the website provides an English Language Arts Guides specifically titled, “Our Approach to Independent Reading.”  This guide provides a template for “Independent Weekly Planning” as well as a suggested independent reading list by grade level, parent/guardian letter to explain the purpose of independent reading for 20 minutes each night at home and an independent reading log for students to keep track of their reading.  There are also options for independent conferencing.

The publisher states, “We believe students need to engage in a volume of reading inside and outside of class.  Students need opportunities to read independently in order to access a large volume of complex texts, build knowledge, and develop a love of reading.”  In order to achieve this, it is recommended that students have independent reading assigned daily for homework in addition to 45-60 minutes of an independent reading block scheduled in class.  The guide states, “Both of these additional opportunities for independent reading are crucial components of student literacy development, and should be facilitated alongside our core Literature and Science and Social Studies curriculum.”

Criterion 3o - 3r

Differentiated instruction: Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
5/10
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials do not meet expectations for providing support for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learners. While generalized support and suggestions for grouping strategies for students with disabilities, students for whom English is a second language, and students performing above grade level is described in supporting documents, specific supports within each lesson or unit are not provided.

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meets, the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet, the expectation that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The publisher document for Instructional Strategies states that, “The manner in which skills and strategies are introduced, practiced, and reinforced depends on the demands of the text, the target task, the scope of the week, and student needs. Each day there is a Guided Reading Block that provides the opportunity for targeted comprehension, fluency, or vocabulary instruction based upon student needs. The materials also include a guide for Supporting ​Students ​in ​ELA ​Instruction that provides instructional methods for all types of supports from standard to intensive. Although the lesson frameworks are written in one manner with material for all learners, Publisher’s Documents explain the approach to meeting the needs of diverse learners and provide strategies for meeting these students needs. The Supporting Student Needs in ELA instruction provides specific guidance in how to meet the needs of learners while still requiring students to meet the standards. The document explains specifically the publisher’s practice of supporting learners while still requiring students to perform at grade-level standards: “While ​the ​curriculum requires ​a ​lot ​from ​our ​students, ​the ​teacher ​has ​an ​important ​role ​to ​play ​in ​supporting students ​when ​they ​struggle ​and ​ensuring ​that ​students ​don’t ​struggle ​unproductively. Teachers ​need ​to ​provide ​supports ​that ​never ​remove ​the ​most ​important ​thinking ​and meaning-making, ​while ​ensuring ​that ​students ​can ​access ​those ​thinking ​tasks.” Examples include:

  • Publisher’s Document, “Supporting Student Needs in ELA Instruction”
    • Supports for all students:
      • Build ​excitement ​and ​enthusiasm ​for ​the ​text ​and ​task 
      • Build ​strong ​reading ​and ​writing ​habits 
      • Preview ​genre ​knowledge 
      • Circulate ​and ​provide ​feedback ​during ​reading ​and ​writing ​for ​individuals and ​the ​group 
      • Identify ​and/or ​pre-teach ​~2 ​key ​vocabulary ​words 
      • Provide ​essential ​background ​knowledge ​via ​other ​texts ​or ​preview
    • Least Intensive support for many students
      • Check ​in ​with ​the ​student ​more ​frequently ​to ​ensure ​they ​are ​reading and/or ​writing ​appropriately ​during ​independent ​work 
      • Preview ​the ​most ​important ​~3 ​polysemous ​words ​or ​Tier ​2 ​words ​from ​the text ​individually ​or ​in ​a ​small ​group ​with ​quick ​connotative ​definitions ​and example ​sentences 
      • Teach ​the ​student ​additional ​literal ​comprehension ​annotation ​strategies to ​use ​during ​homework ​and/or ​independent ​reading 
      • Prompt ​the ​student ​to ​verbally ​share ​a ​plan ​for ​writing ​before ​writing
    • More Intensive supports for some students:
      • Create ​additional ​stopping ​points ​to ​pause ​the ​student’s’ ​reading ​and ​ask questions ​to ​build ​comprehension 
      • Create ​an ​opportunity, ​in ​a ​small ​group ​or ​individually, ​for ​the ​student ​to read ​the ​text ​and ​build ​comprehension ​before ​the ​lesson 
      • Provide ​an ​accommodated ​copy ​of ​the ​text ​that ​includes ​definitions, pictures, ​or ​synonyms ​for ​key ​vocabulary ​and/or ​idioms ​(ELs ​at ​ELD ​level 1-2, ​sometimes ​level ​3) 
      • Provide ​a ​chance ​for ​the ​student ​to ​orally ​plan ​with ​a ​teacher ​or ​peer before ​writing 
      • Provide ​check-lists ​and/or ​exemplar ​texts ​for ​reference ​while ​writing 
      • Segment ​the ​text ​based ​on ​importance ​and ​guide ​the ​student ​to ​read some ​parts ​more ​closely ​than ​others 
    • Most Intensive supports for a few students:
      • Provide ​a ​read-aloud ​support ​to ​the ​student ​before ​the ​lesson ​for independently ​read ​sections ​of ​texts, ​either ​by ​reading ​together ​before ​the lesson ​or ​sending ​home ​a ​read-aloud ​resource 
      • Provide ​a ​graphic ​organizer ​for ​the ​student ​to ​organize ​their ​written responses 
      • Shorten ​the ​section ​of ​text ​the ​student ​is ​expected ​to ​read
    • Supports that should rarely be used unless specified by an IEP
      • Modify ​the ​lesson’s ​key ​or ​guiding ​question ​to ​make ​easier 
      • Excuse ​the ​student ​from ​some ​or ​all ​of ​a ​challenging ​assignment 
      • Scribe ​the ​student’s ​written ​responses ​(in ​early ​childhood ​this ​is ​more common)
    • Additional supports are suggested to use in helping students gain maximum understanding:
      • Provide ​students ​with ​cues ​to ​help ​them ​engage ​in ​productive ​struggle. Example:
        • When ​else: ​Ask ​questions ​that ​point ​students ​towards ​a ​known ​piece ​of ​knowledge ​or ​skill they ​can ​employ ​to ​begin ​the ​task. ​For ​example, ​“When ​else ​have ​you ​seen ​an ​author ​use clues ​to ​show ​us ​how ​the ​character ​is ​feeling? ​How ​could ​we ​use ​that ​here?”
      • Probe ​for ​and ​uncover ​student ​thinking ​errors ​to ​clarify ​what ​needs ​to ​be ​retaught. Example: 
        • Compare ​two ​responses: ​Ask ​a ​question ​that ​prompts ​students ​to ​compare ​two ​possible answers ​in ​order ​to ​elicit ​more ​precise ​understanding ​or ​to ​push ​their ​skills ​to ​the ​next ​level. For ​example, ​“Tara ​said ​the ​narrator ​is ​reliable ​because ​he ​was ​there, ​but ​Noah ​said ​the narrator ​is ​unreliable ​because ​he ​is ​a ​small ​child; ​who ​is ​correct?”
      • Prompt ​students ​to ​correct ​their ​own ​errors ​or ​refine ​thinking. Examples:
        • Provide ​a ​rule ​and ​toss ​it ​back: ​Ask ​students ​to ​take ​a ​rule ​and ​use ​it ​to ​refine ​thinking ​to ​be more ​precise ​or ​accurate. ​For ​example, ​“In ​addition ​to ​the ​beginning ​of ​sentences, ​we ​also use ​capitals ​for ​proper ​names ​of ​people, ​places, ​ideas ​and ​specific ​things. ​Given ​that, ​are there ​any ​other ​places ​we ​need ​a ​capital ​letter ​in ​our ​writing?
      • Remediate ​student ​error ​without ​doing ​all ​the ​thinking 
        •  Eliminate ​a ​false ​choice: Ask ​a ​question ​that ​rules ​out ​an ​easily ​eliminated ​false ​choice ​in order ​to ​help ​students ​focus ​their ​thinking ​on ​the ​more ​important ​moment ​of understanding, ​“We ​know ​this ​character ​is ​not ​called ​Cinderella, ​but ​that ​was ​true ​in

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectation that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Publisher’s Document explicitly states that the teachers need to provide supports that never remove the most important thinking and meaning-making, while ensuring that students can access those thinking tasks. It explains that the goal is to support students while still requiring students to perform at grade-level standards. Teachers can use the supports outlined in this document to help students who are English Language Learners work with the grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension and/or advanced learning opportunities were not evident within the materials. There was little to no guidance for students who quickly master content and could benefit from challenging experiences to expand their learning. 

There are no extensions or advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. The materials allow for a multitude of grouping strategies including shared reading, partner reading, small group reading, and guided reading groups. 

  • Examples of grouping strategies include:
    • Examples of grouping strategies:
      • In Shared Reading, “Every student has a copy of the text or can see the text and a fluent reader (teacher or student) reads the text aloud and students read along at the same time, stopping periodically to monitor comprehension.”
      •  In Partner Reading, “Partner reading is a cooperative learning strategy in which two or more students work together in a structured manner to read and engage with a text.”
      • In Small Group Reading, “Small-group reading is done when a teacher pulls a sub-set of students during class to re-teach or review a targeted concept.”

In Guided Reading, “Students are placed into groups using data from the STEP reading assessment. Teachers plan group rotation and adjust frequency based on individual data.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The materials do not meet overall expectations for technology use. While the materials and platform are teacher-friendly and easily navigated, there is no support in the materials themselves to support or teacher use of technology, including digital collaboration, local customization, and personalization of learning.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials are web-based and digital. They are compatible with Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Firefox. The materials are also Platform Neutral, working on Apple products, Android phones, and a Windows based computer.

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. 

The materials include minimal use of technology for student learning. Some lessons provide links to some materials used as texts in the units; however, all of these texts can be printed. Some lessons do require the use of technology. These include:

  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 4, Lesson 27, students write newspaper articles and record themselves. 
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 14, students watch a video before creating a Greek vase.
  • In Science and Social Studies, Unit 6, Lesson 29, students work in groups to research and present on specific aspects of Ancient Greek society. Each group is given a computer with preloaded websites to do the research on.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. 

The digital materials are for teachers, and are not able to be personalized for students or teachers. Teachers can download materials including assessments, lesson frames, and sample lessons, but they cannot be edited.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials can be easily customized for local use. 

The materials can be used by teachers across the country, and schools can customize as needed for local use. Teachers are given choice in how to teach the daily objectives, teachers can customize the lessons for their classroom. The framework provided to plan lessons allows local schools and teachers to customize the program for individual use.

Indicator 3v

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)

There are no opportunities in the materials that allow teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other. There are no websites, discussion groups, or webinars that allow teachers and/or students to interact electronically.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 02/24/2020

Report Edition: 2018

https://www.matchfishtank.org/curriculum/elementary-ela-edreports/

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA K-2 (No Foundational Skills) Rubric and Evidence Guides

** These review tools are intended to be used for comprehensive programs that do not contain a foundational skills component and are instead designed to be implemented with a supplement.**

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

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

This product is an open educational resource and therefore does not have ISBNs. Please visit the publisher site for more information: https://www.matchfishtank.org/curriculum/elementary-ela-edreports.

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.

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

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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