Alignment: Overall Summary

The materials for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom Grade 3 do not meet the expectations for alignment to the standards. Texts are of high quality but do not reflect the balance of text types called for in the standards. Texts partially meet the expectations for text complexity, though students may never grapple with grade-level text during the year. Texts may not demonstrate a progression in text complexity with appropriate scaffolds over the course of the year due to the variability of what is implemented. 

Questions and tasks, including speaking and writing tasks, used throughout the program, include some text-based options, however many do not require a return to the text to support answers in oral or written responses. Additionally, many of the discussion activities are labeled as optional and may be eliminated at the teacher’s discretion, thus reducing the volume of writing, speaking, and listening practice. 

Students have opportunities to engage in all writing types called for by the standards, however, there may be a span of several months between opportunities to engage in a particular writing type. Because of this, students do not have opportunities for robust evidence-based writing activities as called for in the standards. There is very limited grammar instruction provided in the program, and many of the standards are not addressed. The materials provide suggested activities with vocabulary instruction, but there is no explicit instruction of academic vocabulary and its usage after being introduced.

Materials contain limited explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis consistently over the course of the year. Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year; however, assessments do not clearly inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students progress toward mastery, and many assessments are optional.

Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. However, materials recommend that foundational skills lessons occur for 10 minutes each day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive explicit instruction to work towards mastery of newly learned foundational skills. Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.

While some Guided Reading lessons include fluency, there is no guarantee that all students will have an opportunity to receive these lessons since they are not a part of core instruction. A fluency rubric is included, but there is not sufficient support for the use of the rubric, nor is there support for instructional adjustments to help students progress toward mastery of fluency. There is no evidence of students receiving instruction on using self-correction while reading.

Alignment

|

Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality and Complexity

0
20
37
42
17
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
N/A
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
15
23
25
N/A
23-25
Meets Expectations
16-22
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality and Complexity and Alignment to the Standards with Tasks and Questions Grounded in Evidence

Does Not Meet Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The materials for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom Grade 3 do not meet the expectations for Gateway 1. Texts are of high quality but do not reflect the 50/50 balance of text types called for in the standards. Texts partially meet the expectations for text complexity as all anchor texts are read aloud to the students as a part of the Interactive Read-Alouds, therefore students may never grapple with grade-level text during the year. Texts may not demonstrate a progression in text complexity with appropriate scaffolds over the course of the year due to the variability of what is implemented. Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a variety and volume of reading over the course of the year. The materials provide some support for independent reading tracking and accountability. 

Questions and tasks used throughout the program include some text-based questions and prompts, including opportunities for evidence-based discussions, some may not require a return to the text to support answers in oral or written responses. Additionally, many of the discussion activities are labeled as optional and may be eliminated at the teacher’s discretion, thus reducing the volume of speaking and listening practice. While the materials provide some protocols for speaking and listening, they are largely focused on behavior and affective interchanges between students and may not provide a strong support system for evidence-based discussions. 

Students have opportunities to engage in all writing types called for by the standards, however, these types are not distributed across the school year and there may be a span of several months between opportunities to engage in a particular writing type. Because of this, students do not have opportunities for robust evidence-based writing activities as called for in the standards. There is very limited grammar instruction provided in the program, and many of the standards are not addressed. The materials provide suggested activities with vocabulary instruction, but there is no explicit instruction of academic vocabulary and its usage after being introduced. 

Materials contain limited explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis consistently over the course of the year. Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year; however, assessments do not clearly inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students progress toward mastery, and many assessments are optional.

Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. However, materials recommend that foundational skills lessons occur for 10 minutes each day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive explicit instruction to work towards mastery of newly learned foundational skills. Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.

While some Guided Reading lessons include fluency, there is no guarantee that all students will have an opportunity to receive these lessons since they are not a part of core instruction. A fluency rubric is included, but there is not sufficient support for the use of the rubric, nor is there support for instructional adjustments to help students progress toward mastery of fluency. There is no evidence of students receiving instruction on using self-correction while reading.

Criterion 1a - 1e

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.

7/18
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Fountas and Pinnell Classroom Grade 3 do not meet the expectations of Criterion 1.1. Texts are of high quality, including many by published and award-winning authors, however, the text types included in the program do not reflect the 50/50 balance of text types called for in the standards. While the materials may include texts at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level, all anchor texts are read aloud to the students as a part of the Interactive Read-Alouds, therefore students may never grapple with grade-level text during the year. Texts may not increase in complexity across the year as the design of the program does not provide for appropriately complex grade-level anchor texts that assure students see a progression in text complexity with appropriate scaffolds over the course of the year. Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a variety and volume of reading over the course of the year. The materials provide some support for independent reading tracking and accountability.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for Indicator 1a. 

The Grade 3 materials include a variety of informational and literary texts that are of publishable quality. Anchor texts are found in the Interactive Read-Alouds and Shared Readings. Materials include full-length, high-quality texts, including many published by award winning authors. Many texts include engaging pictures, colorful illustrations, character relationships and motives, and rich vocabulary. The range of topics are appealing and engaging to Grade 3 students. 

Anchor texts are of high-quality and consider a range of student interests, are well-crafted, content rich, and engage students at their grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Realistic Fiction, students read Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. Students can identify with the realistic fiction story that has rich language and dialogue.

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Expository Nonfiction, students read Hottest Coldest Highest Deepest by Steve Jenkins. The text includes content specific vocabulary, maps and globes, and illustrations with captions.

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Fables, students read Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. The fable includes similes and vibrant illustrations.

  • In the Reading Minilessons, Umbrella 25, students read Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki. This is a high interest text with colorful illustration and an engaging story with a multi-cultural aspect that will appeal to many readers. 

  • In the Reading Minilessons, Umbrella 4, students read Amber Brown is Feeling Blue by Paula Danziger. This text is a highly relatable book from students with believable characters and real world problems. The character relationships provide opportunities for student discussion. 

  • In the Reading Minilessons, Umbrella 10, students read Energy Island by Allan Drummond, which contains strong academic vocabulary and relevant scientific content. The illustrations are colorful and add to the content. The text is centered around a high interest topic of renewable energy.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1b. 

The Grade 3 materials include Interactive Read-Aloud and Shared Reading that function as anchor texts, and these do not reflect a 50/50 balance of literary to informational texts. The Interactive Read-Aloud texts are disproportionately literary and the Shared Reading are predominately informational. When considered together, they do not reflect a balance between informational and literary texts required by the standards

Materials partially reflect the distribution of text types/genres required by the grade level standards. Examples include:

  • Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Poetry, Splish Splash by Joan Bransfield Graham

  • Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Fables, The Grasshopper & the Ants by Jerry Pinkney 

  • Interactive Read-Alouds, Text Set: Fractured Fairy Tales, Earthquack! by Margie Palatini

  • Shared Reading, A Meerkat Day, no author, informational text

Anchor texts do not fully reflect a 50/50 balance of informational and literary texts. Examples include:

  • Interactive Read-Aloud: 70% literary, 30% information - 83 literary and 34 informational. Five texts are considered both literary and informational. 

  • Shared Reading: 13% literary, 87% informational - one literary and seven informational. 

  • Total: 67% literary, 33% informational

Indicator 1c

Core/Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation should also include rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

The Grade 3 materials include suggested anchor texts that do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The only core texts outlined are the Interactive Read-Alouds, which are read-aloud by the teacher and never read independently by students; therefore, it is possible for students to go through the year without ever independently reading a complex, grade-level text. Minilessons are tied to Interactive Read-Alouds and the skills acquired in those lessons are practiced using the students’ Independent Reading books. Additionally, due to the low complexity of the associated tasks, the texts are not sufficiently complex for Grade 3 students. 

Quantitative levels are not provided for the Interactive Read-Aloud texts. Quantitative information is only provided for Independent Reading and Guided Reading texts. Materials include their own leveling system (The Fountas and Pinnell System), however, the levels are not included on the texts or lesson plans for the Interactive Read-Alouds. The Interactive Read-Aloud Lesson Folders include a qualitative rationale for each book in a section titled, About This Book, but it does not include a quantitative text complexity. The section includes the genre focus, how the book works, and important characteristics to notice or important text characteristics. The section does give additional information about the text characteristics, but does not provide text analysis. 

There are no formal qualitative rubrics present in the materials. There is no explanation of how the texts are associated with student tasks and no rationale for the purpose or placement of the texts at this grade level. Although not explicitly stated on the Interactive-Read Aloud cards, the materials direct teachers to refer to the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum to select appropriate learning goals for students. 

The methodology for placing students in texts for independent reading or for group instruction does not ensure students are reading complex text and may not provide adequate support for students to ensure adequate growth towards mastery of the standards for their grade level.

Most texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Examples include:

  • In the Reading Minilessons, no specific texts are provided. Teacher guidance from Reading Minilesson, LA.U16.RML2, states that teachers are to use a familiar nonfiction text (not provided with the materials) to teach a lesson on sidebars. After showing students the example sidebars, teachers direct students to “choose a nonfiction book to read'' in their independent reading. Students read and identify if it has sidebars. If the text has sidebars, then they apply the learning to interpreting what was learned from the sidebars. There is no guidance on what books students should choose to ensure the book has sidebars. 

  • Examples of texts that mostly fall within the appropriate quantitative complexity range are found in various Interactive Read-Alouds. While students listen to multiple texts, they do not have the opportunity to read the anchor texts independently. Additionally, the majority of associated tasks are low to moderate complexity and not consistently aligned to grade-level standards. Examples include but are not limited to: 

    • Knots on a Counting Rope (480L) is moderately complex. The text includes simple language, but provides students the opportunity to examine dialogue, metaphors, symbolism, and mythical elements. Tasks associated with the text include a choice of writing a paragraph about a part of the book that made them feel a strong emotion, finding five facts about the Navajo from a selection of books, or to write a paragraph about a landform and illustrate it. The tasks that accompany the texts vary from low complexity to moderately complex for the grade. 

    • Mooncakes (540L) includes both first- and third-person narration, Tier 2 words, symbolism, and varied sentence structure. Tasks that accompany the text include a choice of writing a paragraph about their favorite part of the Moon Festival, researching and explaining the history of the festival, or making Chinese lanterns. The tasks vary from low complexity to moderately complex.

    • Storm in the Night (550L) contains Tier 2 vocabulary, personification, and varied sentence structure, including dialogue that is sometimes unattributed, providing students the opportunity to listen and discuss the text. Tasks that accompany the texts include a choice of writing about how Thomas’s feelings change from the beginning of the end of the story, Reading aloud dialogue from the text as a Readers’ Theater, and discussing what images the author could have used as the cover art for the book. Two of the choices from which teachers choose projects are of low complexity while one is moderately complex.

    • In My Momma’s Kitchen (650L) includes longer, complex sentences and a different text structure with “episodes”.  Teacher choices of tasks include a shared writing of a story map, drawing a picture of a happy time students have had with their family, and role-playing an episode of the book. The tasks are of low complexity.

    • Sitti’s Secrets (650L) contains linear past-tense narrative with reflections at the beginning and end of the story, figurative language, and moderate sentence complexity with some embedded clauses. Teacher choices of tasks include a shared writing, using a bilingual dictionary and writing words for grandmother and illustrating with favorite activities with grandmothers, or looking for Palestinian recipes using ingredients mentioned in the book. The tasks are of low complexity.

  • Examples of texts that are not at the appropriate complexity level are found in various Interactive Read-Alouds. While students listen to multiple texts, they do not have the opportunity to read the anchor texts independently. Examples include but are not limited to:

    • I Love Guinea Pigs (340L) is written in first person and provides factual information on guinea pigs. The vocabulary is mainly Tier 1 with some domain-specific vocabulary relating to animals in general and specifically guinea pigs. The text contains complex sentences with connecting words such as but and as. This text falls below the text complexity stretch Lexile band for Grades 2-3. Teacher choices of tasks include a shared writing summarizing facts and opinions, writing five pieces of advice for the care of a guinea pig after researching the topic, or independently writing and painting about a favorite pet. The tasks range from low complexity to moderately complex.

    • Deep in the Sahara (890L) is told in the second person-using “you” to allow the reader to feel like the main character. The story is a narrative made up of a series of episodes that follow a predictable, repeated pattern. Most words in common oral vocabulary for children (Tier 1) and a few Hassaniyan words that are defined in the texa and in a glossary following the story. There are vibrant full-page illustrations that convey important aspects of the West African setting and Muslim culture. This text falls above the text complexity stretch Lexile band for Grades 2-3. Teacher choice of tasks include a pair writing, creating a story map, comparing illustrations from the Internet with images in the text, and discussing ideas and creating ideas for cover art the author could have chosen for the book. The tasks are moderately complex

    • North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration (920L) is a third-person narration with words arranged on the page as if they were poetry. There are some interesting words that may be new. The text contains the use of figurative language such as similes. There is descriptive language that conveys sharp images. There is informative print outside the body of the text that includes information about the Arctic region along with a glossary, index, and map. This text falls above the text complexity stretch Lexile band for Grades 2-3. Teacher choice of tasks include an independent writing on why the author chose the title, researching an animal and writing five facts, tracing the whales migration route on a globe, or drawing a picture of an animal migrating. The tasks vary from low complexity to moderately complex.

Anchor/Core texts and series of texts connected to them are not accompanied by an accurate text complexity analysis and a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

Indicator 1d

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year.

0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

The Grade 3 materials provide suggested titles for Interactive Read-Aloud texts; however, very few of the Interactive Read-Aloud texts are above grade level complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The teacher has the option to use the suggested text as an anchor text or “use books that have similar characteristics.” The System Guide includes a suggested sequence of texts within text sets according to complexity levels by month. However, the System Guide also indicates that the Interactive Read-Aloud texts can be presented in a different order or mixed and matched to create new collections, meaning students may not be exposed to more complex texts as the year progresses. Additionally, materials do not include grade-level anchor texts that provide all students opportunities to read independently, therefore, text complexity across the year will vary widely depending on the texts selected by the teacher and students according to their independent reading level. 

Materials provide scaffolds in the Teacher Edition within lessons throughout the year, though scaffolds stay the same for all text sets and at times do not match the complexity of the text. The associated tasks include many of the same question stems at the end of the year that are modelled at the beginning of the year. The program suggests teachers use their preferred benchmark assessment to determine if students can move up in complexity levels in independent reading books, which does not guarantee that students will be at grade-level proficiency by the end of the year. 

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

The complexity of anchor texts students read/listen to do not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, and may not provide an entire year’s worth of growth. 

  • In the System Guide, the teacher directions state that the Interactive Read-Aloud texts can be presented in a different order or even mix and match to create new collections. Since the Reading Minilessons are connected to the Interactive Read-Aloud texts, the questions and tasks within the minilessons can be sequenced in whatever way the teacher chooses. This does not support growth in complexity across the year. 

  • In the Reading Minilessons book, teacher directions state that in many Minilessons teachers will use books from several different text sets and they will see the same books used in more than one Umbrella: “Use these suggested mentor texts as examples in the minilessons in this umbrella or use books that have similar characteristics.” This does not show growth in complexity over the course of the year. Another example states that the Minilessons “in month eight, might draw on texts introduced earlier in the year.”

  • Students listen to and read a variety of texts throughout the year ranging in text complexity that are organized by theme and do not appear to be sequenced in a way that attends to growth in complexity over the course of the school year. Very few Interactive Read-Aloud Texts are above grade level complexity, despite being read aloud to students. The suggested sequence for Grade 3 is:

    • The texts provided in Months 1-2 include, Text Set: The Importance of Kindness: Enemy Pie (550L), Sophie’s Masterpiece: A Spider’s Tale (600L), Last Day Blues (620L), Under the Lemon Moon (520l), and The Can Man (630L). The complexity ranges from low to moderate complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate. 

    • The texts provided in Months 3-4 include, Text Set: Janell Cannon, Author/Illustrator Study: Stellaluna (550L), Verdi (620L), Crickwing (820L), and Pinduli (680L). The complexity ranges from low to high complexity. Associated tasks are low to high.

    • The texts provided in Months 5-6 include, Text Set: The Passage of Time: The Quilt Story (490L), And Still the Turtle Watched (400L), Our Seasons (840L), The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins (590L). The complexity ranges from low to moderate complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate.

    • The texts provided in Months 7-8 include, Text Set: Jerry Pinkney, Illustrator Study: 840 Home Place (840L), 550 Back Home (550L), 850 Puss in Boots (850L). The complexity ranges from low to moderate complexity. Associated tasks are low to moderate.

As texts become more complex, appropriate scaffolds and/or materials are not provided in the Teacher Edition (i.e., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings, skill lessons).

  • In various lessons, the teacher is prompted to provide the same strategies to support students throughout the year, such as “turn and talk” and “tell what you noticed.” For example, in Reading Minilesson LA.U1.RML3, students “turn and talk” about a book with a partner and, in LA.U19.RML2, students “turn and talk” about how a text fits the definition of a folktale. Since texts do not consistently become more complex over the course of the year, more advanced scaffolds are not included and the same “turn and talk” strategy is used with no variation over the course of the year. 

  • In Reading Minilessons throughout the year, skills do not repeat; therefore, a gradual release of responsibility of a skill cannot be measured. 

  • In Reading Minilessons, the format is the same from the beginning of the year to the final Minilesson. Advanced scaffolds are not introduced, even with more complex texts. The Minilesson format includes: 

    • The teacher uses a previously read text and presents the skill. 

    • The teacher records the student observations on a chart. 

    • Students talk with a partner about the skill. 

    • The teacher summarizes the learning and directs the students to pay attention to determine if the skill is applicable in their Independent Reading for the day. 

    • After Independent Reading, the teacher asks students to share if the skill was present in their independent reading for the day.

Indicator 1e

Materials 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, including accountability structures for independent reading.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.

The Grade 3 materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a variety and volume of reading; however, teacher guidance and protocols to foster independence are limited. There is no provision to ensure that students are regularly engaged in reading grade-level text. While students do have access to a wide range and volume of texts, structures to establish and foster independence are not evident throughout the materials. Students listen to texts, read aloud together in groups, and read independently throughout the program. Students listen to texts in the Interactive Read-Alouds and Reading Minilessons. Students read independently in the Independent Reading program and Book Clubs. 

Accountability and tracking is limited to a downloadable reading log listing the title and author of the book and a check box to indicate completion of the text. No other method of accountability is present. Texts are not organized with built-in supports/scaffolds to foster independence because students and teachers can choose what to read within their assessed level at any time.

Instructional materials provide opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and genres to become independent readers at the grade level. Examples include: 

  • Interactive Read-Alouds: In the System Guide, Suggested Time Frame for Literacy Opportunities, directions state that teachers read aloud to students each day from an Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set. The Interactive Read-Aloud text sets include four to six texts that are read aloud to the students. There are 25 text sets for Grade 3 for a total of 120 books, including both fiction and nonfiction genres.

  • Guided Reading: In the System Guide, Suggested Time Frames for Literacy Opportunities, directions state that the teacher meets with three to four Guided Reading groups each day. Each Guided Reading group is composed of students reading at approximately the same level. There are 200 guided reading titles available for Grade 3 spanning F&P Levels I-S. 

  • In Book Clubs, each student has read or listened to the same book prior to taking part in literature circle conversations about the book. Teacher guidance suggests that most students will be able to read the books independently, but that some students may need to have it facilitated by audio recording or another student reading it aloud. Book Clubs are suggested to be held once a month for 20-30 minute.

Instructional materials identify some opportunities and supports for students to engage in a volume of reading. Examples include:

  • The Interactive Read-Aloud Session lasts approximately 15 minutes at the start of the literacy block. There are 120 texts included that comprise 25 Interactive Read-Aloud Text Sets,

  • The Reading Minilessons last approximately 5-15 minutes. 

  • During the next 60-minute block of instructional time, students are engaged in one or more of the following:

    • Teacher-led Guided Reading Groups (20-25 minutes each). There are 200 Guided Reading Text titles included in the program. 

    • Book Clubs (20-25 minutes each) include 32 text titles organized into eight text sets. 

    • Individual conferences (3-5 minutes each). 

    • Students not involved in these groups take part in independent reading or write in a Reader’s Notebook. The lesson ends with a five minute Group Share.

  • The proposed schedule of independent reading is 45 minutes daily while the teacher conferences with students using Conferring Cards. There is not a set number of texts a student will read during independent reading due to the flexible nature of how leveled texts are assigned to students. There are no recommendations regarding the suggested number of texts students should be reading across each unit or the year as a whole. 

Teacher guidance is limited to foster independence for all readers (e.g., independent reading procedures, proposed schedule, tracking system for independent reading). Examples include:

  • In the System Guide, a general plan is provided for how to implement independent reading, but not a specific lesson plan. Directions suggest that teachers introduce students to independent reading through book talks, listen while individual students read a portion of a book, observe student’s control over their reading, and confer individually with students. The directions do not state how often these should take place. 

  • In Reading Minilesson 2, LA.U1.RML2, Share, directions state how independent reading is woven into lessons: “following independent reading time, gather students together in the meeting area to talk about their reading.”

  • In the Reading Minilessons, Management Umbrella 3, Getting Started with Independent Reading, the following lessons are included: 

    • MGT.U3.RML1 focuses on how to work during independent reading time where students are provided guidance on how they will mostly read silently during silent reading time with some time spent conferencing and some spent writing. Writing about what they read is an optional activity. Suggestions are provided for students on how they might take notes on their thoughts as they read.

    • MGT.U3.RML2 focuses on different approaches students might use to choose a book to read.

    • MGT.U3.RML3 focuses on how students can determine if a book is on an appropriate level for them to read.

    • MGT.U3.RML4 focuses on reasons students may have for abandoning a book and when it is appropriate to do so.

    • MGT.U3.RML5 focuses on helping students understand how to keep their independent reading books and materials organized. 

  • Each Independent Reading book has a Conferring Card on different genres of fiction texts. They provide a brief introduction of the book, a summary for teachers who may not have read the book, and key characteristics of the book that the teacher may wish to focus on, general prompts that can be used with fiction texts, and academic vocabulary for teachers to begin using in conferring with students to build student experience with the academic language. Suggestions are provided in the System Guide to extend thinking beyond the book with a notation that it is optional and can be modified: "Occasionally you may want to encourage students to expand their thinking about the book through writing or drawing. Choose or modify a Writing About Reading prompt that would best support and extend a student's understanding of the text." 

  • In the System Guide, directions are provided for individual conferences and state that the teacher can have “brief conversations, between a young reader and an expert reader, [that] help you expand a student’s thinking about what makes a ‘good’ book.” Teachers use Conferring Cards during the conferences.

  • In the System Guide, directions state that when students discover a book they like, “point them to similar books in your classroom or school library to encourage more independent reading.” It also states that students should be allowed to choose books by topic of interest, not reading level: “Students read books of their choosing. Minilessons, brief conferences, and opportunities to share ideas support students’ learning.”

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

6/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Questions and tasks used throughout the program include some text-based questions and prompts, some may not require a return to the text to support answers in oral or written responses. While the materials provide some protocols for speaking and listening, they are largely focused on behavior and affective interchanges between students and may not provide a strong support system for evidence-based discussions. While there are frequent opportunities for evidence based discussions, there is little variety in the groupings utilized and nearly all discussion opportunities are labeled as optional within the program, therefore the classroom teacher may elect to eliminate or reduce time for students discussions. 

The bulk of writing tasks in the program are connected to reading response activities. Students have opportunities to engage in all writing types called for by the standards, however, these types are not distributed across the school year and there may be a span of several months between opportunities to engage in a particular writing type. Because of this, students do not have opportunities for robust evidence-based writing activities as called for in the standards. There is very limited grammar instruction provided in the program, and many of the standards are not addressed. The materials provide suggested activities with vocabulary instruction, but there is no explicit instruction of academic vocabulary and its usage after being introduced.

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, 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).

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1f. 

The Grade 3 materials provide questions that are text-specific and text-dependent; however, the questions do not require students to return to the text to answer them, nor are the students required to provide text evidence to support their responses. The materials provide inconsistent support for students in making meaning of the topics being studied through teacher supports accompanying the Interactive Read Alouds. There are some general pieces of instruction for teachers but not specific directions to assist students. Some questions that serve as writing prompts provide sample student answers but do not include any specificity in what students should be providing in their answers. In the Interactive Read Alouds, teachers are provided with some support for planning and implementation of text-based questions and tasks through the inquiry task cards and the lesson folder.

Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks provide some support for students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied; however, students are not consistently required to return to the texts to provide support for their responses. Examples include:

  • In the Interactive Read Aloud, Text Set: Genre Study: Biography, students listen to Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown and verbally answer: “How would you describe Albert? Why do you think Albert’s teacher says he would ‘never get anywhere in life?’ Did Albert stick to his work so closely so he could win a big prize and make money or because he loved it? What’s the difference?” Students are not directed to return to the text to support their responses.

  • In Book Clubs, Text Set 3: Exploring Memory Stories, students read Here We All Are by Tomie dePaola and verbally answer: “Tomie finds out on page 9 that he is going to be a big brother. I wonder what he feels about that. What do you think? Tomie really stays busy while waiting for the new baby to come. Talk about some of the activities that Tomie enjoys. Who has an example? On page 64, Tomie says ‘Nana, I’ll be a good boy. Let’s be friends!’ Why do you think his feelings changed about Nana Fall-River?”

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U8.RML2, students verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “Is this book fiction or nonfiction? How do you know? What did you learn about from this book?” Students can answer these questions without having to depend on the text nor provide text evidence. Students also complete an optional assignment where they discuss the specific ways that authors convey and organize information in informational texts. Since this is an optional assignment, the teacher may choose not to have students complete it. 

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U14.RML1, students verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “How does the author feel about guinea pigs? What is his opinion? How do you know?” Students are not directed to return to the text to support their responses.

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U19.RML7, students listen to Conejito by Margaret Read MacDonald and verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “How did Conejito and Tia Monica solve the problem? How is cleverness rewarded at the end of the story?” Students are not directed to return to the text to support their responses.

Teacher materials provide limited support for planning and implementation of text-based questions, tasks, and assignments. Examples include:

  • In the Interactive Read Aloud, students listen to Grandma’s Records, then complete a Discuss the Text task. Students verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “Why is music so important to Grandma? Let’s look for some examples of words and illustrations that help show that.” Teacher instructions then tell the teacher to go through the book and invite students to suggest examples. 

  • In the Interactive Read Aloud, teacher instructions on the inquiry task cards state: “Think about the essential question and big ideas on the previous page in order to formulate some questions that will help guide students in identifying projects for further exploration of the essential question.” In the lesson folders, the teacher instructions state: “Invite students to share their thinking about the book.”

  • In the Interactive Read Aloud, teacher instructions before reading A Friend from Lakota states: “Invite thinking and a brief conversation. Students may turn and talk in pairs.” These are suggested courses of action. No additional information is provided on the focus of the thinking or brief conversation. 

  • In Book Clubs, teacher instructions are provided for discussions. In Prepare for Discussion subheading, the teacher instructions state: “Tell children when you will be meeting. To prepare for the book club, read or listen to the book and think about what you want to say about it. Use a sticky note to make one or two pages that you want to talk about.” In the Discuss the Book subheading, teacher instructions state: “Invite children to talk about the book, building on each other’s ideas and providing a variety of perspectives. Remind them to demonstrate respectful listening behavior.” No support for what this should look or sound like is provided.

Indicator 1g

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1g. 

The Grade 3 materials provide some opportunities and behavioral protocols for students to engage in speaking and listening activities; however, materials do not provide strong protocols for a variety of evidence-based speaking and listening opportunities across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Speaking and listening instruction may not be applied frequently over the course of the school year. It does not include facilitation, monitoring, or instructional supports for teachers. The development of speaking and listening skills are not prioritized and teacher guidance on how these discussions are to be structured are not apparent throughout the materials. 

The Reading Minilessons provide nine lessons on setting up Book Clubs that include establishing protocols for speaking and listening in these activities; this is the only instruction on speaking and listening in the program. Teacher guidance also indicates that the Minilessons can be omitted at the teacher’s discretion. 

Materials provide limited protocols to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Examples include:

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U1.RML2, teachers create a chart to help students remember the guidelines for Turn and Talk conversations:

    • Turn your body toward your partner.

    • Look at your partner.

    • Use a soft indoor voice.

    • Take turns telling your thinking.

    • Be silent and listen carefully while your partner speaks.

    • Say whether you agree or disagree with your partner or add on to what he said.

    • Give reasons for your thinking.

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U5.RML1, materials provide tips for students during Book Clubs:

    • Give a book talk about a book you have read and liked.

    • Include the title.

    • Include the author.

    • Keep it short.

    • Tell just a little about the book.

    • Don’t tell too much.

    • Talk about why others should read it.

    • Sound excited.

  • In the Reading Minilessons, the recommended teaching schedule for Umbrella 4: Getting Started with Book Clubs may be taught in Month 2. The nine lessons that teach speaking and listening protocols are scattered in the Minilessons. Examples include:

    • In Reading Minilesson LA.U3.RML2, teachers provide an inquiry-based lesson to help students understand possible ways to begin and end Book Club discussions.

    • In Reading Minilesson LA.U3.RML4, teachers provide an interactive lesson on ways that students can prepare for and give a good book talk during Book Clubs.

    • In Reading Minilesson LA.U4.RML3, students are instructed to turn and talk with a partner about their Book Club discussion ideas but no guidance or protocols are provided.

    • In Reading Minilesson LA.U4.RML4, students engage in a fishbowl discussion and then discuss their observations on respectful behaviors during a discussion. The students and teacher work together to create a chart together that shows their observations and establishes protocols for respectful book club discussions.  No teacher instruction or protocol is provided for how to implement a fishbowl discussion or lead the post-fishbowl conversation.

    • In Reading Minilessons LA.U4.RML5, LA.U4.RML6, and LA.U4.RML7, students continue conversations and reflections to develop guidelines for Book Clubs and how to hold conversations.

  • In Interactive Read-Alouds, Independent Reading, and Book Clubs, protocols for speaking and listening are not varied across the academic school year. The same directions are provided to teachers for the protocols in each section:

    • In Interactive Read-Alouds, all lesson folders tell teachers to “invite students to share their thinking about the books. Stop a few times to invite thinking and a brief conversation. Students may turn and talk in pairs or threes. Some stopping points and quick comments are suggested below.”

    • In Independent Reading, all conferring prompts suggest that teachers “may want to select from the prompts below to check in on the student’s enjoyment and understanding of the book, and to answer any questions. Sample and support the student’s oral reading and discuss writing in the Reader’s Notebook.”

    • In Book Clubs, all Conferring Cards tell teachers to “invite students to talk about the book. Remind them to take the group to places in the book they have marked and want to talk about. Facilitate the discussion by guiding students to think about the big ideas in the text.”

Speaking and listening instruction includes limited facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. This includes discussions during Interactive Read-Alouds, Independent Reading, and Book Clubs. Specific speaking and listening support provided is for students who are English Language Learners (ELLs).

  • In the Interactive Reading Text Set: Honoring Traditions, teacher instructions state: “Invite people from within students’ families, or the school community or larger community, to share with the class traditions or customs from their culture. Visitors might want to share traditional stories, clothing, music, or food, or demonstrate a traditional skill or practice. Invite students to prepare questions ahead of time, and after each presentation, talk as a class about any new ideas or personal connections students made as a result of the presentation. Students can write short thank-you notes to each presenter.”

  • In the Word Study Lessons Book, Group Share (Reading), teachers are provided guidance that “[n]ot every student needs to share something every day. Also, you can have students share with a partner or in threes.” There is no specific guidance on how students should share or what form the conversations should take. 

  • In Book Clubs, Discuss the Book, teacher guidance states: “Invite children to talk about the book, building on each other’s ideas and providing a variety of perspectives. Remind them to use evidence to support statements about the text. If needed, select from the following prompts to support thinking and talking.” There is no specific evidence on how to teach students to build on each other’s ideas or how to use evidence.

Indicator 1h

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

The Grade 3 materials include opportunities for students to engage in speaking and listening work to demonstrate what they are reading, however, the majority of the opportunities are a partnered turn-and-talk or large group discussion. Many questions require students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources. However, due to the structure of the lesson plans, speaking and listening opportunities are nearly always presented as suggestions. Student discussions are incorporated in the Book Clubs and Interactive Read-Alouds; however, these can be modified or not completed if the teacher chooses. 

Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading, however there is little variation in the speaking and listening opportunities. The speaking and listening opportunities presented do not align to grade-level standards. Examples include:

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Nonfiction/Expository, students participate in a whole class discussion. They listen to A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “After page 20, turn and talk with a partner about some things you are finding interesting about seeds. Has anything surprised you?”

  • In Reading Minilessons, LA.U12.RML3, students participate in a turn and talk. Materials state: “Look at this biography, Wangari Maathai by Franck Prévot. Turn and talk about what you notice about who wrote the book and who the book is about.”

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U6.RML1, students turn and talk with a partner about a fiction book they have read recently and decide where it fits onto a genre chart of different types of fiction. 

Speaking and listening work requires students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources. Examples include:

  • In the Interactive Read-Alouds, Discuss the Text section, students listen to a text and the teacher asks text-based questions about the texts. Teacher-directed questions include:

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Exploring Memory Stories, students listen to My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother and verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “At the beginning of the story, Tricia hates her older brother. She says he does terrible things to her. She wishes on a star that she could do one thing better than him. What happens? How is her wish answered? Is the problem solved in the way she thought it would be?”

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Animal Journeys, students listen to Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog and verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “Hachiko is not the only one in the book to show loyalty. Who else in the story is loyal? How does Kentaro show his loyalty?”

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Author Illustrator Study: Janell Cannon, students listen to Stellaluna and verbally answer teacher-directed questions: “Mama Bird gets really angry when her babies try to hang like a bat. Why do you think that is? Why does she make Stellaluna promise to follow the rules of the nest?”

  • In the Book Clubs: Discuss the Book section section, teacher guidance states: “Invite children to talk about the book, building on each others’ ideas and providing a variety of perspectives. Remind them to use evidence to support statements about the text. If needed, select from the following prompts to support thinking and talking.” Prompts include:

  • In the Book Club Text Set 2: Sharing Our World: Animals, students read Dog Finds Lost Dolphins! and verbally answer: “Why is Cloud, a Labrador retriever, a good type of dog for finding dolphins? Could other types of dogs be trained to find dolphins too?”

  • In the Book Club Text Set 5: Exploring Expository Nonfiction, students read Crocodile Encounters! and verbally answer: “In the third story, ‘Draining the Lake,’ did you have an idea about where Brady and Juan would find the missing crocodiles? Which part gave you a clue about where the crocodiles might be hiding?”

  • In the Book Club Text Set 1: Caring for Each Other: Family, students read Friend or Fiend? with the Pain and the Great One and verbally answer: “Did you think it was funny when Jake used the word ‘fiend’ instead of the word ‘friend’ in his story? How do you think Jake felt when his classmates laughed at him?”

Indicator 1i

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

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

The Grade 3 materials include no process writing instruction, tasks, and there are limited opportunities for students to edit and revise. Though there are numerous opportunities for on-demand writing to support a year’s worth of instruction, many of the assignments are optional. Interactive Read-Alouds, Minilessons, and Book Clubs all feature what may be considered as on-demand writings, though no instructions are given on how students write their responses or if some should be over longer periods of time. While all students complete Minilesson writing activities, the Interactive Read-Alouds and Book Club writing tasks depend on which text sets the teacher chooses. The writing prompts in the Interactive Read-Alouds are one of multiple optional activities from which teachers may choose; other activities such as drawing or speaking about the readings are available. In Reading Minilessons, Writing About Reading sections introduce the Reader’s Notebook where students reflect on and respond to prompts about what they read. Within the other types of Reading Minilessons, the Extend the Lesson sections offer optional activities for extending the learning through writing over time or in other contexts. In many of the Minilesson Umbrellas, the Link to Writing section offers suggestions for writing or drawing about reading in a Reader’s Notebook. The materials do not include opportunities for students to write using digital resources where appropriate. 

Materials include some on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. The majority of optional on-demand writing tasks are not standards-based and can be answered without using the text. Examples of optional on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction include but are not limited to:

  • In Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Genre Study: Expository Nonfiction, students listen to A Day and Night in the Desert. One possible Respond to the Text activity is an independent paragraph. Teacher directions state: “Have students recall their discussion about why the book was organized by time of day. What is it like in the desert during the day? How is the desert different at night? Have students write a paragraph in the reader’s notebook about either daytime or nighttime in the desert. Tell them to describe what it would be like to be in the desert during the day or at night.”

  • In Reading MInilesson LA.U2.RML8, Link to Writing, students are encouraged to write in a Reader’s Notebook about ways in which the Book Club discussion has enhanced and deepened their understanding.

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U4.RML4, Link to Writing, teachers are directed to “provide students with time on writing their own graphic texts. Remind them to include text features.”

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U14.RML2, Extend the Lesson, Writing About Reading, teacher directions state: “Have students write in a reader’s notebook about why the topic of a particular nonfiction book is important.” This task is an optional activity.

  • In Reading Minilesson WAR.U5.RML5, Writing about Reading, students use the text, I Love Guinea Pigs, and the teacher models how to make an all-about book which includes creating a book that has a title, author’s name, and an illustration; each page has facts about the topic; facts that go together are on the same page; and the illustrations are related to the facts on the page. Students make their all-about book when they are ready and share it with a partner. This task is an optional activity.

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U12.RML3, Extend the Lesson, Writing About Reading, teacher directions state: “Assist students with finding information from the library or online about a famous person. Then have them write a biography about that person and share their biographies with other students in class. Add to the chart, asking students to tell you how to fill in the columns. Have students use a reader’s notebook to write about the research an author had to do before writing a book. The book can be fiction or nonfiction.” This task is an optional activity.

  • Materials do not include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. There are limited opportunities for students to revise and edit writing. For example: 

    • In Reading Minilesson WAR.U3.RML4, Writing About Reading, the rationale states that students learn how to reread their writing to confirm that it makes sense. The teacher models how to mark the letter for revisions. Students reread their letters using the Guidelines for Checking Your Writing. Students reread with the expectation to mark revisions, but there are no directions for how to revise their writing. In the next lesson, WAR.U3.RML5, the goal is for students to reread letters to check for appropriate spelling, capitals, and punctuation; the assumption is that students have already written their second letters. The teacher helps students by asking questions about how they started the sentence, if the right punctuation was used, and if they see any misspelled words. Students then try to correct a letter from the teacher to see if anything needs to be checked or fixed. Students share what they think needs to be fixed.

Materials include a limited number of digital resources to support student writing.

  • Graphic organizers are available online to print to assist students with planning writing. Otherwise, there are no digital resources for students to use online to produce or publish writing.

Indicator 1j

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

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j.

The Grade 3 materials include many opportunities for students to complete a variety of writing tasks that reflect the distribution required by the standards; however, the genres are not evenly distributed nor offered throughout the school year, nor is explicit instruction offered in any of the required genres. Each umbrella includes writing tasks in the culminating lesson, but the tasks do not represent an even distribution across the genres. Optional writing tasks are listed on many of the Interactive Read-Aloud cards; however, the writing opportunity is a recommendation and is not required. Typically, three other tasks are offered on each card that are not related to writing, such as an art project, a math connection, a geography connection, or another discipline. Book Club cards also feature writing prompts; however, since the Book Club texts are optional, there is no guarantee which genres of writing a student may experience. While students do have the option to complete opinion, informative, explanatory, and narrative writing, there are fewer informative and narrative writing task options available throughout the program. 

Materials do not provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. There is no explicit instruction of the writing modes called for in the standards. Students have the option to respond to reading with writing, but are not required to do so and do not receive any instruction on the writing mode.

Different genres/modes/types of writing are not evenly distributed throughout the school year. Nearly all writing tasks are connected to a text that has been read to students; however, the writing tasks are frequently presented as one of a few options, therefore students may not choose to engage with these tasks. 

  • Examples of optional informative/explanatory writing tasks include but are not limited to:

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Nonfiction/Narrative, students listen to A Friend for Lakota. One possible Respond to the Text activity is a shared writing assignment. Teacher directions state: “Ask students to recall their conversation about wolf and human behavior. You may wish to reread parts of the book as a reminder of the wolves’ behavior. Tell students you will work together to write a paragraph that answers the questions: How are wolves the same as people? On chart paper, record students’ ideas and examples from the book. Then have them dictate a paragraph answering the question.”

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Meteor!, one possible Respond to the Text activity is for students to write a short news story where they imagine they are a reporter for a local newspaper telling about the meteor falling to the Earth at Gaw Farm. The teacher tells students that a good news story gives basic facts that answer the questions who, what, where, how, and when.

    • In Book Clubs, Text Set: Exploring Expository Nonfiction, students read Spies. The Extend the Discussion: Further Response activity is for students to “write about one of the gadgets in a spy’s toolkit using details from the book. Write about how you would create your own gadget to use as a spy.”

  • Examples of optional narrative writing tasks include but are not limited to:

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Exploring Memory Stories, students listen to Saturdays and Teacakes. One possible Respond to the Text activity is to think about a special time that they remember and write a story of what happened using repetition, sound words, and/or dialogue to help readers hear the setting.

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: The Importance of Determination, teachers listen to The Paperboy. One possible Respond to the Text activity is an independent writing assignment. Teacher directions state: “Discuss how Dav Pilkey’s words and paintings in The Paperboy created a feeling of peace and happiness. Look back through the book with students, rereading a few pages and discussing the illustrations. Ask students to imagine themselves as the paperboy. What do you see? What do you feel? What is it like to be a paperboy? Then have students write about what it would be like to deliver papers early in the morning. Have students record their paragraphs in the reader’s notebook.”

  • Examples of optional opinion writing tasks include but are not limited to:

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Author/Illustrator Study: Patricia Polacco, students listen to The Bee Tree. One possible Respond to the Text activity is to write a letter to the author telling which of her books they liked best and why.

    • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Honoring Traditions, students listen to Crane Boy. One possible Respond to the Text activity is an independent writing assignment. Teacher directions state: “Ask students what they liked about the story Crane Boy. What did you like about the story? What, if anything, did you dislike? Is there anything you didn’t understand or want to know more about? Then have students write simple reviews of the book and recommend whether or not they think others should read it. Have them write their reviews in the reader’s notebook.”

Indicator 1k

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

The Grade 3 materials include writing opportunities that are focused on analyzing texts and developing claims from close reading; however, none of the writing tasks are required. Students may write in the Reader’s Notebook or other response activities that require them to practice and apply writing using evidence from texts and sources; however, there is little instruction on how to write using claims despite having many prompts across the year. 

On the Interactive Read-Alouds and Book Club cards, writing prompts require students to respond to a text and most require using evidence to support an idea. However, on the Interactive Read-Alouds cards, the writing prompts are one of four choices in the Respond to the Text sections; the other options are non-writing tasks. The Book Club cards include a writing prompt for each book in the optional Extend the Discussion: Further Response section. The Independent Reading Conferring Cards: Writing About Reading Prompts also include evidence-based writing activities, however, these prompts do not show a progression of skills throughout the school year. Across the year, students “write a sentence” or “write a few sentences” about the given texts; the expectation does not change. As all of the prompts in different sections are not required, it can not be assured that students would have an opportunity to write on a regular basis. 

Materials provide limited opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. The majority of writing opportunities are optional. Examples include:

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Honoring Traditions, students listen to Crane Boy. One of the possible Respond to the Text tasks is an independent writing where they write a review of the book: “What did you like about the story? What, if anything, did you dislike? Is there anything you don’t understand or want to know more about?” 

  • In Reading Minilesson LA.U6.RML2 , the teacher encourages students to write in the Reader’s Notebook about a poem they have read, including how the poem fits the class definition of poetry. This is an optional task and doesn’t necessarily require evidence from the text. 

  • On the Independent Reading Conferring Card for The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery from History, in the Writing About Reading section, Thinking Within the Text, students think about what happened when the Dei Gratia crew found the Mary Celeste and to write a few sentences telling what happened. Throughout the year, students write a few sentences in each of these activities.

  • In Book Clubs, Text Set: Illustrator: Janet Stevens, students read Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems and may complete an optional writing activity: “Write a letter from the cat known as The Queen to Mr. Mutt apologizing for your behavior. Be sure to use specific examples from the book.”

  • In Book Clubs, Text Set: Exploring Folktales, students read How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend and complete an optional activity: “Write to tell what happened in the beginning, the middle, and the end of the book using details from the text and the illustrations.”

 Writing opportunities are rarely focused on students’ careful analysis and claims developed from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources. Examples include:

  • In Interactive Read Aloud Text Set Sharing Our World: Animals, students listen to Moon Bear. One possible task is to write using analysis and claims developed from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources. Teacher directions state: “Engage the class in a discussion of the author’s message in Moon Bear. Prompt students with questions about how the author uses language to give each pair of pages a certain feeling, and how these feelings in turn influence the reader’s attitudes toward moon bears. Have students write a paragraph in their Reader’s Notebooks to answer the questions: How does the author want you to feel about moon bears? What does she want you to do? Tell them to support their ideas with evidence from the main story and the author’s note.”

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Text Set: Connecting Across Generations: Family, students listen to Storm in the Night and may answer an optional writing prompt. Teacher directions state: “Talk about how Thomas’ feelings change from the beginning at the end of the story. Then ask students to write a paragraph in the reader’s notebook telling why Thomas’ feelings change. Tell them to include some details from the story that show how Thomas felt at the beginning of the story and how he felt at the end, and give some evidence for why he changed.”

  • On the Independent Reading Conferring Card for Mummies, Writing About Reading, Thinking Within the Text, students write a few sentences explaining which mummy was the most interesting to read about. Students use evidence from the text. Throughout the year, students write a few sentences in each of these activities.

Indicator 1l

Materials include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for application in context.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations of Indicator 1l.

The materials include limited explicit instruction in grammar standards. There was no evidence for the explicit instruction in teacher materials for multiple standards such as, explain the function of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, form and use regular and irregular verbs, and identify abstract nouns. Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate the application of some skills in context. However, materials do not have authentic opportunities for students to apply newly learned skills to their writing. Students apply skills in the “Apply,” “Read,” and “Interactive and Independent Writing” sections of student activities. The materials include optional activities for students to engage in the application of skills in their writing found at the end of the guided reading books. 

Materials include limited explicit instruction of some grammar and usage standards for the grade level. Evidence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Letter-Sound Relationships, Card 17, students find words that are capitalized and discuss which words should be capitalized, such as the first word in a sentence, words that are specific person, place, or thing, and the pronoun I. The word “pronoun” is the only speech part that is specifically mentioned.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure Lesson 20, Online Resources, the teacher writes words on chart paper and asks students to identify what they notice. The manual states that some students might notice they are nouns. The teacher then explains to students that when a word ends in e, you add an r to create the name of a person or thing that does something. 

  • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Card 14, the teacher writes the following words on a chart: dress, bush, box, wrench, and buzz. Then the teacher adds -es to the words to make them plurals.

    • In Fountas &Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Lesson 15, the teacher writes the words city, cities, trophy, trophies, party, and parties on chart paper. The teacher asks students what they notice. Then the teacher has students notice that the words on the left end in y.

  • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).

    • No evidence was found.

  • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.

    • No evidence was found.

  • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Card 12, using a pocket chart, the teacher displays three columns for the ending sounds for -ed (/d/, /ed/, and /t/). The teacher displays the words turned, painted, and asked. The teacher asks students to identify what they notice about the words. The teacher has students identify that sometimes -ed makes different sounds and sometimes it makes a syllable. 

  • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.

    • No evidence was found.

  • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Card 19, the teacher models adding suffixes -er and -est to words to form comparatives and superlatives, such as tall, taller, tallest thin, thinner, and thinnest.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure 19, the teacher states the principle “Add -er to the end of a word when comparing two things. Add -est to the end of a word when comparing three or more things.” The rest of the lesson is focused on teaching how to spell words when adding the suffixes -er and -est. The teacher gives the students the words to use during the practice activity. There are suggestions provided on page 417 for practicing reading or writing of comparatives and superlatives in shared reading, guided reading, shared writing, and independent writing. 

  • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

    • No evidence was found.

  • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Meaning/Vocabulary, Lesson 15, students pick homophone word cards. They write and illustrate sentences with the words on the word cards. 

  • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.

    • No evidence found

  • Use commas in addresses.

    • No evidence found

  • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.

    • No evidence found

  • Form and use possessives.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Lesson 14, Online Resources, the teacher writes a word list on chart paper, such as dress, bush, and box. The teacher then asks students how they would make the word plural. 

  • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Card 5, under Considerations, it states that students should know affixes (inflectional suffixes -ing and -ed.)

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Meaning/Vocabulary, Lesson 22, the teacher writes words with the -ful ending on chart paper. The teacher then explains that a suffix changes the noun color to an adjective. The teacher explains to students that the suffix may help them determine the meaning of the word. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Card 5, the teacher guides students to understand the principle that when the letter before y is a consonant, change the y to i and add -es. Students are to write the singular and plural of words that fit this pattern. Students use words given to them by the teacher. 

  • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Card 6, using magnetic letters, the teacher makes the word unfair. The students figure the word out using syllable patterns.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Lesson 21, during shared writing, the teacher encourages students to talk about how the prefix re- is used in writing. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Contents-Spelling Patterns, page v, there are 16 lessons on recognizing and using various phonogram patterns to read and write words. 

  • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Solving Actions, Card 9, the teacher introduces dictionary use, and then students explore dictionaries.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Meaning/Vocabulary, Lesson 20, in the “Apply” section, the manual states that students may need to consult a dictionary to find example phrases and sentences that students might find helpful when completing the literal/figurative language work. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word-Solving Actions, Card 9, the focus of this lesson is to look up words in a dictionary, understand the information presented in the entry (i.e., pronunciation and number of syllables), and write definitions of chosen words. 

  • Choose words and phrases for effect.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Meaning Vocabulary, Card 21, the teacher gives examples of literal and figurative language.

  • Recognize and observe differences between the conventions of spoken and written standard English.

    • No evidence found

Materials include limited opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills in context, including applying grammar and convention skills to writing. Evidence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Lesson 22, during independent writing, while conferring with the students, the teacher draws the students’ attention to words with prefixes un-, in-, dis-, and non- in them.

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Lesson 12, Online Resources, students say and sort word cards into a three-way sort between different -ed words. The students read the words to their partners as they write them. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary, Word Structure, Lesson 20, in the “Apply” section, the manual states that the teacher should prompt students to refer to the student dictionary to confirm spellings. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading Minilessons Book, Writing About Reading, Umbrella 3, RML 5, pages 520-521, the teacher shows a sample letter and demonstrates how to reread the first paragraph to check for grammar and convention errors. Students practice with a partner to reread and correct the rest of the letter. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading Minilessons Book, Write about Reading, Umbrella 3, RML 2, pages 514-515, the teacher explains that students are to write a letter each week about their reading for that week.

Indicator 1m

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

The Grade 3 materials include some teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component. There is limited attention paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words. The materials provide suggested activities with vocabulary instruction, but there is no explicit instruction of academic vocabulary and its usage after being introduced. Vocabulary instruction is included in the Word Study program and selected vocabulary is included in the lesson goals for Interactive Read-Alouds, Book Club selections, and Reading Minilessons. In Reading Minilessons, words are identified as being academic vocabulary that students need to understand, but there is no protocol or guidance for how to teach the words nor are definitions included for the words that students encounter in texts. In Book Clubs and Interactive Read-Alouds, vocabulary words are not identified prior to the lesson but are included in teacher-led discussion questions to understand the text. Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are not identified. 

Materials provide some teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component. Examples include:

  • In the Comprehensive Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Guide, a plan for word meaning/vocabulary is included for grades PreK-8 that includes lessons related to figurative language, concept words, combined, and created words. These lessons do not provide support for growing students’ knowledge and application of academic vocabulary. 

  • In the Word Study Lessons: Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Book, teacher guidance states: “Lessons should be conversational. In most lessons, it is appropriate for students to derive the principle through inquiry and example, and you can state it at the end of the lesson and again at the end of the share time. Be sure to say the principle the same way each time. Your tone will be that of I’m going to show you something interesting about how words work or What do you notice about these words? Invite students to make connections to their names and words they know. Invite them to contribute further examples, and recognize their thinking even if the examples don’t quite fit.” 

Vocabulary is not repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts. Examples include:

  • In the Classroom System Guide, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher guidance states: “Students learn to solve words ‘on the run’ while reading for meaning and writing to communicate. As teachers work alongside readers and writers, they demonstrate effective behaviors, draw attention to important information, and prompt students to use their knowledge.” Teacher guidance recommends balancing explicit teaching of vocabulary and implicit teaching embedded in the processes of reading and writing. There is no specific information given in this guidance on how to teach effective behaviors or how students use their knowledge.

  • In Reading Minilessons, some academic vocabulary is repeated in multiple lessons, such as author, illustrator, craft, and style. There is no context provided for these words nor a protocol for teaching the vocabulary to students.

Limited attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words (e.g., words that might appear in other contexts/content areas). Examples include:

  • The Classroom System Guide does not include a plan for the instruction of Tier 2 and Tier 3 academic vocabulary words in context during reading and associated activities to help students build their knowledge in this area. 

  • In the Reading Minilessons, while specific academic language and/or important vocabulary is identified for teachers, there is no specific protocol provided for introducing these words to students nor any support for students who may struggle to understand the words. 

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Humorous Texts, students listen to Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin. Teacher directions state: “Reread page 16. Encourage students to use the context to figure out what the word delicate means. If necessary, explain that delicate means ‘easily broken or damaged’.” 

  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud, Text Set: Sharing Our World: Animals, students listen to Moon Bear by Brenda Z. Guiberson, and answer the following questions related to the vocabulary in the selection: “Reread page 6. The word shoots on this page has nothing to do with shooting a basket. What do you think a bamboo shoot is? What words in the sentence give you clues?” Teacher directions state: “Reread page 21. Gorging means eating in a particular way. Have students use prior knowledge and the word gulps on the page to derive the meaning of gorging. Because Moon Bear is a short text with some challenging vocabulary, consider rereading the text on pages 1-28 and encouraging students to ask questions to clarify the words they do not understand.”

Criterion 1n - 1p

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.

4/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials contain limited explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis consistently over the course of the year. Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year; however, assessments do not clearly inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students progress toward mastery, and many assessments are optional.

Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. However, materials recommend that foundational skills lessons occur for 10 minutes each day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive explicit instruction to work towards mastery of newly learned foundational skills. Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.

While some Guided Reading lessons include fluency, there is no guarantee that all students will have an opportunity to receive these lessons since they are not a part of core instruction. A fluency rubric is included, but there is not sufficient support for the use of the rubric, nor is there support for instructional adjustments to help students progress toward mastery of fluency. There is no evidence of students receiving instruction on using self-correction while reading.

Indicator 1n

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level foundational skills by providing explicit instruction in phonics, word analysis, and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.

The materials provide lessons on plurals, superlative and comparative suffixes, suffixes to form nouns, the suffixes -ful, -less and -ly, and the prefixes re-, mis-, pre-, dis-, im- non-, and un-. There are limited lessons provided about decoding words with common Latin suffixes. No evidence was found for students to read irregularly spelled words. All tasks and questions are not sequenced to the application of grade-level work. Several optional assessments are provided in the BAS2 Kit, including assessments that evaluate students’ overall progress in phonics and word analysis, along with assessments for books at Levels L-Z. There is no guidance concerning how to determine which assessments to use or when to use them. In addition, running records are suggested at the end of each guided reading lesson, but there is no guidance about how often running records should be completed. 

Materials contain limited explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis consistently over the course of the year. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Meaning/Vocabulary Lesson 22, page 334, the teacher writes a list of words with the suffixes -ful, -less, -ly, and -ment. The teacher asks students what they notice about the words, and students read the words out loud with the teacher. The teacher points out to students that each word ends in -ful in the first column. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Recognize and Use the Prefix re-, Meaning “again”, page 423, the teacher uses the re- cards and base word cards to make the words remake, refill, and repack in the pocket chart. The teacher explains that a prefix changes the meaning of the words. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Meaning Vocabulary, Card 22, the teacher writes the following words with derivational suffixes on a chart: colorful, hopeless, nicely, excitement. The teacher leads a class discussion about the meaning of the suffixes and adds other words to the chart.

  • Decode words with common Latin suffixes.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Meaning/Vocabulary, Lesson 22, page 334, the teacher writes a list of words with the suffix -ment. The teacher asks students what they notice about the word. Students clap the syllables, and the teacher reminds students that it is easier to read words when you break them apart.

  • Decode multisyllable words.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word-Solving Actions 5, page 450, the teacher tells students that when they see words with more than one syllable, they should take them apart to read the word. The teacher then writes multisyllable words with spaces between the syllables and asks students what they notice or recognize about the parts of the words to be able to read it. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Solving Action, Card 5, the teacher starts the lesson by writing kind, unkind, and unkindly on a whiteboard. The students help to break the words into syllables. Then they break apart more multisyllabic words such as cantaloupe.

  • Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

    • No evidence was found.

Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year; however, assessments do not clearly inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students progress toward mastery, and many assessments are optional. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, Online Resources, BAS2, 3rd Edition, Optional Assessments, there are several optional assessments provided in Fluency and Phrasing, Phonics and Word Analysis, Vocabulary, and Vocabulary in Context. There is only one assessment specifically geared toward Grade 3, The Grade 3 Word Features Test. The test assesses phonics and word analysis. Students read a list of 30 words. The teacher is advised to record which words students read correctly and notice the word features students can and cannot read correctly. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, Online Resources, BAS2, 3rd Edition, Recording Forms, an assessment form is provided for each of two books beginning at Level L and continuing until Level Z. There is one fiction and one nonfiction book at each level. The recording form includes oral reading, fluency, comprehension questions, and an optional writing prompt. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, Online Resources, Guided Reading Collection Guide, page 20, on the back of the guided reading lesson plans, there is an assessment section that suggests that teachers refer to the corresponding level in the Literacy Continuum and make notes of the behaviors and understandings the readers in the group control or need to control. The teacher should note what students have learned to control or what they need to learn how to control. In addition, this section also advises teachers to use the Recording Form to take a running record. After coding the reading, teachers are to select an immediate teaching point. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Spelling Patterns, Lesson 3, page 163, in the “Assess” section, the teacher reads the text and prompts students to notice how efficiently they solve the reading pattern VCe in text. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Letter-Sound Assessment B, Identifying and Writing Ending Consonant Clusters in Words, the materials instruct the teacher to notice whether students can hear and accurately represent the sounds of consonant clusters at the ends of words. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Structure Assessment F, the materials state that the assessment is designed to see if students understand that a suffix changes the meaning of a word. There are three things mentioned that a teacher should notice: the number of suffixes that children can read, the speed at which they read them, and particular words and suffixes that students know. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Letter-Sound Relationships, Lesson 1, in the “Assess” portion of the lesson, the teacher has students write 10 to 12 words with consonant clusters that they have been taught. The teacher is to observe students’ progress.

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Structure, Lesson 4, in the “Assess” portion of the lesson, the teacher dictates four to six words with double consonants in the middle. The teacher instructs students to write the words and draw a line in the middle to divide between syllables. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Lessons, Grade 3, Word Structure, Lesson 21, the manual suggests that the teacher may want to use Word Structure Assessment G or M. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading Minilessons Book, Section 2, Umbrella 2, Assessments, teachers observe students as they talk and write about their reading after teaching mini lessons in this umbrella. There are questions to guide teachers in these observations. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, BAS 2, Online Resources, Optional Assessments, Phonics and Word Analysis, there are optional assessments in which students read words with prefixes, suffixes, and compound words.

Indicator 1o

Materials include opportunities for students to practice and apply grade-level phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.i.

Materials have lessons that provide the teachers with instruction and repeated modeling of grade-level phonics standards. The teacher models listening, speaking, writing, and reading phonics skills. The teacher uses magnetic letters during the whole group teaching for students to get systematic and repeated modeling of the skills. However, foundational skills lessons are recommended for 10 minutes a day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive daily explicit instruction to work towards mastery of foundational skills. 

Foundational skills lessons are recommended for 10 minutes a day.

Examples include but are not limited to:

Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level phonics standards. However, materials recommend that foundational skills lessons occur for 10 minutes each day, which may not provide sufficient time for students to receive explicit instruction to work towards mastery of newly learned foundational skills. 

  • Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, Letter-Sound Relationships Lesson 8, page 108, the teacher uses a pocket chart to display the words class and wave. The teacher asks students to identify what they notice and what is different about the words. The teacher might need to prompt students about the difference in vowel sounds. 

  • Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, online resources, Letter-Sound Relationships Lesson 18, page 148, the teacher has long /a/, /e/, and /o/ words displayed in the pocket chart. The teacher asks students what they notice about the words wait, keep, and road. The teacher states that the letters a and i together stand for the long /a/ sound. 

  • Decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels.

    • Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, Word Structure 4, pages 324-325, the teacher shows a list of words such as toothbrush, haircut, and railroad. The teacher states, “If you don’t know what compound words mean, sometimes you can find hints in the meaning of the smaller words. What is the first smaller word in this compound word?” 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, Word Structure 26, page 412, the teacher displays two-syllable words such as baby, motor, tiny, open, and secret. The teacher writes each word that shows each syllable. Students say baby and clap the two syllables. The teacher helps students to recognize that the first syllable in each word ends with a vowel letter. The teacher states, “When a syllable ends with a single vowel, the vowel sound is usually long.”

  • Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell The Reading Minilessons Book, Grade 2, page 391, the teacher tells students to listen as they break apart the word inside. The teacher tells students to use word parts to help them read words they don’t know. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, Word Structure 21, page 392, the teacher uses magnetic letters to form the words play, plays, played, cry, cries, and cried on the magnetic word board. The teacher reads the words and students listen to the list. 

  • Identify words with inconsistent but common spelling-sound correspondences.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, Word Structure 13, page 360, the teacher builds words with -ed on the magnetic whiteboard. The teacher has students read the words and asks them about what they notice about the ending sounds. The teacher guides students to recognize that -ed sounds like /d/ /ed/ and /t/ depending on the word.

Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade-level phonics pattern.

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, online resources, Letter-Sound Relationships Lesson 9, page 112, the students sort letter y words in columns of words that make the long /e/ or long /i/ sound. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, online resources, Letter-Sound Relationships Lesson 18, page 149, students put /ai/ and /ay/ words in columns, and then they read the list of words to a partner. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study Lessons, Grade 2, Word Structure 28, page 420, the teacher shows happy in magnetic letters. The teacher adds the prefix un- to happy. The teacher engages students in a discussion about how un- changes the meaning of the word.

Indicator 1p

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in order to read with purpose and understanding.

1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1p.

Materials include six reading minilessons focused on maintaining fluency, though there are no lessons that include successive readings. Additionally, the minilessons lack explicit instruction in accuracy, rate, and expression. While some Guided Reading lessons include fluency, there is no guarantee that all students will have an opportunity to receive these lessons since they are not a part of core instruction. There is a fluency rubric teachers can use when students are reading; however, materials do not include guidance for how often teachers should use this rubric. In addition, when using the BAS2, it states to assess fluency. Neither the rubric nor the BAS2 assessment provides teachers with instructional adjustments to help students progress toward mastery of fluency. There is no evidence of students receiving instruction on using self-correction while reading. 

Limited opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. Evidence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell, Shared Reading, Grade 3, Far Above Earth, one of the goals for this lesson is to help students understand they read with the integration of fluency, including pausing, phrasing, and word stress. 

Materials provide limited support for reading of prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. Evidence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell, Shared Reading, Grade 3, in the interactive read-aloud text Flicker Flash, students are prompted to be guided by the rhythm of the language as they read. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading Minilessons Book, Section 3, Umbrella 3, RML 3, pages 464-465, the teacher reads a page from a book, reading so that the sentences are fluent and sound like natural speech. The teacher talks about the principles of reading fluently and adds students’ ideas about what the principles mean. Students read the sentences on a displayed page with a partner and are reminded to put their words together to sound like they are talking. 

    • In Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading Minilessons Book, Section 3, Umbrella 3, RML 4, pages 466-467, the teacher reads a page from a book, emphasizing stress and intonation so that students notice louder and softer voice, as well as rising and falling on certain words. The teacher invites students to reread the same page the same way the teacher read it. Students read a page and practice making their reading sound interesting with a partner. 

Materials do not support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). Evidence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

    • In Fountas & Pinnell, The Reading Minilessons Book, Section 3, Umbrella 1, RML 1, pages 428-429, the teacher covers words in a book that could potentially have a couple of meaningful options. The teacher reads a page and pauses at the covered word. Students predict what the word to be and justify their choice. The teacher uncovers the word and, if students predicted a different word, reminds students to check to make sure the word makes sense, sounds right, and looks right while reading. 

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with limited information of students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with limited instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency. Evidence includes but is not limited to the following:

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, Online Resources, BAS2, Optional Assessments, Assessing Fluency and Phrasing, a Six Dimensions Fluency Rubric is provided for teachers to assess students as they read a Benchmark Assessment book or another appropriate book. Teachers score the students on phrasing, pausing, stress, intonation, rate, and integration on a four-point scale for each to determine how much if any, teaching on fluency is necessary. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, Online Resources, BAS2, The New Girl, Recording Sheet, page 4, after taking a running record of a section of this book, the teacher calculates the accuracy rate, records the number of self-corrections, and rates the student’s fluency on a four-point scale. There is a section for calculating the reading rate, though this is marked as optional. 

  • In Fountas & Pinnell, Benchmark Assessment System 2, Levels L-Z, allows teachers to give a running record to determine students’ fluency, including rate and accuracy, and what level they are reading.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Not Rated

Criterion 2a - 2f

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

N/A

Indicator 2b

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality questions and tasks.

N/A

Indicator 2c

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks.

N/A

Indicator 2d

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit's topic(s)/theme(s) through integrated literacy skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

N/A

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year.

N/A

Indicator 2f

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

N/A

Criterion 2g - 2h

Materials promote mastery of grade-level standards by the end of the year.

Indicator 2g

Materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments.

N/A

Indicator 2h

Materials regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards.

N/A

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content.

Indicator 3a

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials, with specific attention to engaging students in order to guide their literacy development.

N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials contain adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade/course-level concepts and concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject.

N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials include standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series.

N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials provide strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

N/A

Indicator 3e

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities.

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

The program includes a system of assessments identifying how materials provide tools, guidance, and support for teachers to collect, interpret, and act on data about student progress towards the standards.

Indicator 3i

Assessment information is included in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed.

N/A

Indicator 3j

Assessment system provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade, course, and/or series to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

N/A

Indicator 3k

Assessments include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level/course-level standards and practices across the series.

N/A

Indicator 3l

Assessments offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

The program includes materials designed for each child’s regular and active participation in grade-level/grade-band/series content.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards that will support their regular and active participation in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials regularly provide extensions to engage with literacy content and concepts at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

N/A

Indicator 3o

Materials provide varied approaches to learning tasks over time and variety in how students are expected to demonstrate their learning with opportunities for for students to monitor their learning.

N/A

Indicator 3p

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

N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards to regularly participate in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.

N/A

Indicator 3s

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

The program includes a visual design that is engaging and references or integrates digital technology (when applicable) with guidance for teachers.

Indicator 3w

Materials integrate technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic software in ways that engage students in the grade-level/series standards, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3x

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3y

The visual design (whether in print or digital) supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

N/A

Indicator 3z

Materials provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable.

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/11/09

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum, Expanded Edition 978‑0‑325‑06078‑1 Heinemann 2016
Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades, Second Edition 978‑0‑325‑08684‑2 2016
Guided Reading Collection, Grade 3 978‑0‑325‑10811‑7 Heinemann 2018
Book Clubs Collection, Grade 3 978‑0‑325‑10819‑3 Heinemann 2018
Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ System, Grade 3 (Includes: Interactive Read-Aloud Collection, Shared Reading Collection (30 titles), Independent Reading Collection, Word Study System, The Reading Minilessons Book, and the FPC Grade 3 System Guide) 978‑0‑325‑13567‑0 Heinemann 2018

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

ELA 3-8 Review Tool

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports 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 review criteria evaluates 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 review criteria by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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

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

Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment to the standards. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?

Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. 

In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

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

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

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

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

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations