Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the expectations of alignment. Rigorous, engaging texts are high quality and are organized to be the central focus of lessons while supporting students’ knowledge building. The materials support student growth in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and developing language skills over the course of the school year, with attention to close reading and analysis of texts, topics, and themes. The materials also meet the expectations for instructional supports and usability, with guidance for differentiation and program design for implementation.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

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

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
32
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the expectations for high-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Texts are worthy of students’ time and attention, are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade, although there are missed opportunities to address instructional goals in below level and stretch texts. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading and provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
12/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criterion for texts are worthy of students’ time and attention, are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading.  Anchor texts are of publishable quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests, and the materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. While text sets represent a broad range of complexities, from well below the band and into the stretch level, there is a variance in the opportunities to address instructional goals in texts that fall below grade level in comparison to stretch texts. Although the materials represent a variety of modes, genres, and complexities to support students’ literacy skill development, there is no staircase of complexity.  Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level and students have the opportunity to read a diverse range of texts and genres throughout the school year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading. Texts range in a variety of topics and student interests.

Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. This memoir deals with the Iranian Revolution and the secret ways Iranian women defy the regime. The text is considered a classic of Western Literature that provides insights into current international events. 
  • “The Price of Freedom” by Noreen Riols. This essay is based on her service with The Special Operations Executive, a volunteer fighting force created by Winston Churchill to go behind German lines in Europe and blow up trains, bridges, and factories.
  • Night by Eli Wiesel. This is a classic text dealing with survival of the Holocaust. The memoir portrays a first person experience of surviving the brutality of the Nazi regime. 
  • Excerpt from The Odyssey by Homer; translated by Robert Fitzgerald.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The Grade 9 materials include a distribution of text types and genres that is appropriate. There are slightly more literary than informational texts students encounter over the course of the year. 

The following are examples of literature found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1--“Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer
  • Unit 2--Excerpt from Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • Unit 3--“The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket” by Yasunari Kawabata
  • Unit 4--The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Unit 5--“The End and the Beginning” by Wislawa Szymborska
  • Unit 6--“The Journey” by Mary Oliver

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

  • Unit 1 --"The Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln
  • Unit 2--Interview with John Lewis by National Public Radio
  • Unit 3--“Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect” by Frans de Waal
  • Unit 4--“The Price of Freedom” by Noreen Riols
  • Unit 5--From The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
  • Unit 6--“Archaeology’s Tech Revolution Since Indiana Jones” by Jeremy Hsu

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis.  

The entire text set for the unit, including those in the independent reading section, represent a broad range of complexities from well below the band to reach into the stretch level.

All texts address the topic and essential question, but some of the texts that fall below grade level provide only superficial opportunities to address the instructional goals while the stretch texts are well supported with appropriate strategies for whole class and small group study; specifically, the mentor texts are well below the lexile grade band, and texts that students must model should be on lexile or above lexile.

Examples of texts and associated tasks that support grade-level expectations include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 2, students listen to “Interview with John Lewis” NPR Podcast. This NPR Podcast represents the Essential Question well and serves as another text format for Unit 2. While there is no lexile provided for the podcast, students can evaluate and analyze the interview. This podcast also ties back to other canonical texts within the unit as is evidenced by the “Summaries” section within the Teacher's Edition, located in the “Plan” section: “In a 2009 radio interview, civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis speaks about encounters with discrimination and oppression during his youth in the segregated South…”
  • In Unit 3, students read “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket”, 1060L. The lexile level is in the low end of the stretch range of the grade band; however, it is supported with Notice & Note strategies and contains many supports and resources for student success which makes it appropriate for this grade level.

Examples of texts and associated tasks that do not support grade-level expectations include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 5, students read a passage from Night by Elie Wiesel, 440L. The text is excerpted with only one passage presented. The language is simple to understand and the story is presented in chronological order. There are only five whole-class texts in the unit and two fall below grade level. A third is a poem. As a set, the texts do not fully meet the expectations of Grade 9 reading. 
  • In Unit 5, students read a passage from The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman, 910L. The text is excerpted with only one passage presented. The language is simple to understand and the story is presented in chronological order. 

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

The grade 9 materials represent a variety of modes, genres, and complexities to support students’ literacy skill development, but do not provide a staircase of complexity. Instead, each of the six units includes a broad variety of texts supported by consistent and regular instruction and practice. Each unit begins with a lesson about Notice & Note strategies which help students recognize elements of both literary and informational texts that author’s use regularly.

Each unit includes a text set read and discussed as a whole class, a text set read and discussed in small groups, a text set for independent reading from which students can select texts, and an optional novel. Each unit is organized around an essential question and all texts are related to the topics necessary to respond to the essential question. 

Overall, the six units do not present a continuous progression of text complexities, but each unit does represent development of grade level literacy skills with texts that represent a variety of complexities, from below to above the recommended grade band. 

In the beginning of the year, Unit 1, the students read a complex text, Anna Quindlen’s essay “A Quilt of a Country,” and begin applying Notice & Note strategies. The mentor text for the unit, “Unusual Normality” by Ishmael Beah, is far less complex. The other texts in this set are quite complex, above the grade band reading expectation, and include works such as “the Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln and “Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer. Students also view a film clip from Saving Lincoln. Each is supported by continued applications of Notice & Note strategies. During reading students are prompted with margin notes to analyze specific elements of the text such as voice, tone, evidence, or reasoning. At the end of each text, students are asked questions that help them pull the various elements together to reflect on the text as a whole. The independent reading set represents very complex texts such as a blog by Eboo Patel entitled “Making the Future Better, Together” and a speech by Bill Clinton, “Oklahoma Bombing Memorial Address.” The suggested novel for the unit is far less complex than texts in the rest of the unit: Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. 

In the middle of the year, Unit 3, students continue applying Notice & Note strategies to most texts in the unit. Unit 3 texts are mostly within grade band complexity and are supported by prompts in the margin to continue annotating text for appropriate elements such as voice, tone, diction, syntax, and other details. The mentor text, “Loser” by Aimee Bender, is less complex than other texts in the set. The suggested novel for the unit, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, is much less complex than other texts in the set, and provides another experience to respond to the essential question for the unit, how do we form and maintain our connections with others?

By end of year, Unit 6, students are able to engage with complex texts in exactly the same way they were expected to with the first text in the grade. The mentor text for this unit, “Archaeology’s Tech Revolution Since Indiana Jones” by Jeremy Hsu,  is far more complex than most mentor texts across the school year. Students begin by reading three books from The Odyssey by Homer, noticing appropriate signposts. The unit is brief, with only four texts in the whole class text set. Independent reading includes a repeat of the same three books from The Odyssey as well as well as six others. The suggested novel for the unit is The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

Within each of the six units in grade 9, students read a variety of complex texts and apply consistent strategies. While the texts and strategies represent grade level expectations, there is not evidence of a progression across the entire year.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

There is a clear rationale for the purpose and placement of the texts chosen. Within the Teacher's Edition, before every single text taught, there is a “Plan” section. Within this section instructors are given a text complexity analysis with quantitative and qualitative measures. This section also includes information on genre elements, learning objectives, and summaries that act as the rationale. The “Instructional Overview and Resources” before every unit also identifies the placement of each text in relation to the section. For example, within the “Analyze & Apply” section, “Collaborate & Compare” section, and “Independent Reading” section, all texts are listed with lexile levels, connection to Notice & Note, Instructional Focus, Online Ed Resources, English Learner Support, and Differentiated Instruction. The “Instructional Overview and Resources” provides a more holistic view of the placement of texts, while the "Plan" section before every text provides more of a breakdown for each text with both qualitative and quantitative measures in consideration, while also providing the rational through the genre elements, learning objectives, and summaries.

Examples demonstrating this information:

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, students read the mentor text, an excerpt from Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. All of the following can be found in the “Plan” section. The lexile level provided is 1140L, and the qualitative measures are as follows: 
    • “Ideas Presented: Mostly explicit, but some key ideas are left implied.”
    • “Structures Used: Text features help guide reading; narrative events are mostly in chronological order interspersed with information shared via cause-and-effect and main idea and details order.” 
    • “Language Used: Mostly Tier II with some Tier III words that are specific to the areas of law or government and aircraft engineering.”
    • “Knowledge Required: Most of the background knowledge need to understand the text is provided prior to the text or embedded within the narrative.”
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 6, students read the mentor text, “Archaeology’s Tech Revolution since Indiana Jones,” an informational text by Jeremy Hsu. All of the following can be found in the “Plan” section. The lexile level provided is 1330L and the qualitative measures are as follows: 
    • “Ideas Presented: Mostly requires weighing of different perspectives.”
    • “Structures Used: Text features such as headings and captioned images guide the reading.” 
    • “Language Used: Mostly complex sentence structure including expository and quoted content.”
    • “Knowledge Required: Cultural, scientific, and historical references.”

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 include mentor and supporting texts that allow for students to engage in a range and volume of texts in order to achieve grade level reading. There are six units that revolve around an essential question for students and provide multiple texts..

Throughout the year, students are exposed to a wide variety of texts in both print and multimedia formats which are identified in the table of contents for each unit. Each unit begins with an Analyze and Apply section that uses one text as a “Notice and Note reading model” along with another text which serves as a mentor text followed by other supporting texts. The next group of texts, "Collaborate and Compare", provide a comparative analysis of two different selections, both of which connect to the essential question/topic but which may be different in “genre, craft, or focus.” In addition, there are independent reading selections which can be accessed with the digital edition. Finally, there are suggested texts provided which can give educators even more options for text selection.

  • In Teacher's Edition, Unit 2: The Struggle for Freedom, the following texts are provided: 
    • Notice & Note reading model: “I have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (speech)
    • Mentor Text: from Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (history writing)
    • Supporting Texts:
      • Podcast: from Interview with John Lewis  
      • Short Story: “The Censors” by Luisa Valenzuela  
      • Poem: "Booker T. and W.E.B" by Dudley Randall  
    • Collaborate and Compare texts: 
      • from Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
      • from Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi 
    • Independent Reading Texts: 
      • Poem: “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar 
      • Short Story: “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” by Bessie Head
      • History writing: "Reforming the World from America’s Women" by Gail Collins
      • Autobiography: from Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela  
      • Speech: "Eulogy for Martin Luther King Jr." by Robert F. Kennedy  
    • Suggested Nonfiction Connection: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela 
  • In Student Edition, Unit 4: Sweet Sorrow, whole class reading includes:
      • Personal essay: “The Price of Freedom” by Noreen Riols
      • Essay: “Love’s Vocabulary” from A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman. (mentor text)
      • Poem and video: My Shakespeare by Kate Tempest
      • Drama: The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
      • Sonnet: “Having It Both Ways” by Elizabeth Jennings
      • Sonnet: “Superheart” by Marion Shore
    • Independent reading includes:
      • Myth: “Pyramus and Thisbe” from the Metamorphoses by Ovid
      • Sonnet: “Sonnet 71” by Pablo Neruda
      • Science writing: from Why Love Literally Hurts by Eric Jaffe
      • Short story: “The  Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant” by W.D. Wetherell
    • Suggested novel: Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criterion for materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly, while sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills. The materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax, while also supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. The materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. The materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards and include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. The materials also include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and conventions standards as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

The instructional materials include questions and tasks that require careful reading over the course of a school year. The majority of questions are text dependent and require students read closely for content and author’s craft, such as word choice. Students are required to reinforce their responses and answers to questions using evidence from specific texts that students are required to read. Each unit includes a mentor text with annotation and reflection tasks focused on the primary learning goal of the unit writing task.  Within each of the six units, students experience recurring sections, such as Analyze & Apply and Collaborate & Compare; these sections reinforce concepts, theories, ideas, and critical thinking directly related to each text read. Also, throughout each text, students experience a sidebar on the page that support student annotations to assist in going back to the text for future tasks that require students to re-engage with said text, and are presented with questions that push them to infer, analyze, predict, summarize, among other skills, which directly relate to the passage(s) the sidebar note is next to. The text is linked throughout the units, requiring students to draw evidence from what they have read, as well as inviting them to make inferences.

Examples of how the materials use text dependent questions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Student Edition, Unit 1, students read the text “A Quilt of a Country” by Anna Quindlen. Within Analyze & Apply, Lesson Argument, at the side bar, students are presented a “Contrasts and Contradictions” section that requires them to infer: “Why did the author include this contrast? How does it support her claim?” Students are asked to mark the two noun clauses beginning with that in the fifth sentence in paragraph 2. "How do these noun clauses reveal the contradictions in American society?" Also, at the close of the reading, students are presented with a Check Your Understanding section that asks the following multiple choice questions:
    • "1. Which of these best describes the purpose of the selection?"
    • "2. What can the reader conclude from paragraph 2?" 
  • In Student Edition, Unit 2, Analyze Arguments, Notice & Note, students learn how to take notes to garner understanding from the text.
    • What dose King mean by “the whirlwinds of revolt?”
      • "Write a response to specific questions about 'I have a Dream'"
      • Discuss with a small group: "Have each group member share and discuss the impact of the recording on their understanding of the speech and how it affected them personally to hear King deliver the speech. All students should listen closely and respectfully before asking questions or making comments."
      • "How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression?"
  • In Student Edition, Unit 3, Analyze & Apply, students listen to a Public Service Announcement (PSA) by The Corporation for National and Community Service, “Americorps NCCC: Be the Greater Good.” Within the Analyze Media section, students must support their “answers with evidence from the video” using the following prompts:
    • "1. Summarize: In your own words, describe jobs that a volunteer for AmeriCorps NCCC might perform."
    • "2. Infer: How does AmeriCorps NCCC want the audience to feel about volunteering as part of a team? What audio and visuals in the PSA help communicate this? Cite specific words, scenes or images in your response." 
    • "5. Critique: Think about the purpose of the PSA. Consider the hook, the call to action, and the techniques used to present information. Do you think “Be the Greater Good” is an effective PSA? Why or why not?"
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 4, students are asked to read two poems, “Having it Both Ways” by Elizabeth Jennings and “Superheart” by Marion Shore. Following their reading, in the Collaborate and Compare section, students are asked to complete the chart to closely examine the poems. It also asks students to “support their ideas with text evidence”. The chart asks students to compare the two poems in the areas of: Theme, or message about life/Tone/Mood/Use of Language.  
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, students need to read the short story “The Leap” by Louise Erdrich. At the end of the text, students have to answer questions in the section Analyze the Text which specifically ask them to answer with evidence. The questions are:
    • “In paragraph 9, Anna decides to reach for the hot braided metal rather than her husband as he falls. What does this reveal about her character?”
    • “Identify the leaps in the story. What leaps are literal? Which are figurative?"
    • “Reread paragraph 26. What does the narrator learn? What inferences can you make about the story’s theme or themes?"
    • “Compare the description of the trapeze accident with the description of the house fire. What do these descriptions reveal about the mother’s character?”
  • In Student Edition, Unit 6, Collaborate & Compare, students read “The Journey,” a poem, by Mary Oliver. Within the Analyze the Text section, students must respond to the following question which references Notice & Note: “In the last line the speaker expresses determination to ‘save / the only life you could save.’ How does this expand on the speaker’s Aha Moment that a change had to be made?”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of sequences of text-dependent/text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

Each unit is organized around an essential question and a mentor text to guide students’ thinking around a topic. Close reading of the mentor text focuses on topic development and writer’s craft. Within each individual lesson, after every reading assignment, students are presented with various sections to complete to represent their understanding of the text and how their understandings and empathizing connects to the outside, “real” world. These tasks that build up to the cumulative tasks at the end of the unit consist of, but are not limited to, the following: Analyze the Text, Create and Discuss, Analyze Podcasts, Research, Create and Present, and Collaborate & Compare. The lessons include sequences of text-dependent questions that guide their understanding of the selections in the unit and build to the culminating writing task. Lessons leading up to culminating tasks require the demonstration of various skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, students must write a research paper: “This unit focuses on how people find freedom in a society that oppresses them. For this writing task, you will write a research report. For a research report, you gather information from a number of different, valid sources about a specific topic and write about what you have discovered. For an example of a well-written research report you can use as mentor text, review the selection ‘Hidden Figures.’ As you write your report, you will want to look at the notes you made in your Response Log after reading the texts in this unit. Include words and terms you learned from your research.” The prompt is: “Write a research report about one event, or a person or group of people connected to the struggle of freedom.” Students will complete the following sections: Plan, Develop a Draft, Revise, Edit, and Publish. There is also a Create a Podcast section where students must adapt their research paper as a podcast. 
    • Students read Martin Luther King’s iconic speech, I Have a Dream. Within the Create and Discuss section students must write a response and discuss with a small group. For the response question, students must “Listen to a recording or watch a video of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Write a short response to describe how listening to the speech enhances your understanding of the topic.” And for the discussion section, students must “Have a panel discussion sharing personal thoughts and feelings about the speech.” 
    • Students watch and listen to the NPR podcast from the Interview with John Lewis. Students complete the Analyze Podcasts section, and an example of a sequenced question that follows Bloom’s Taxonomy is question three regarding drawing conclusions: “What factors motivated John Lewis to fight for voting rights? Explain why Lewis felt that the risks were worth taking to change the society he lived in.” 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2, the unit tasks are to write a research report about an event, person, or group of people connected to the struggle for freedom and create a podcast from the adapted report. The mentor text for the unit is an excerpt from Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. 
    • Students study the genre of historical writing by analyzing the text structure, making predictions as they read to reflect critical thinking and evaluation of evidence, and understand the cause-and-effect structure of the text.
    • After reading, students research the participation of African American women in several organizations that supported efforts in WWII. 
    • Students then write a blog post about the African American female mathematicians at Langley. 
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, students are asked to write a formal argument as the culminating writing task. The specific instructions ask students to “look back at the texts you read, and think about the events that place the people and characters in danger and what their reactions are. Then, decide for yourself whether the desire for survival can be selfish. Write an argument that explains your position, using evidence from at least two texts in this unit”.  

There are several tasks and questions throughout the unit that support this culminating writing task: 

  • After students read the short story, “The Leap,” the question under the heading Infer reads, “In paragraph 9, Anna decides to reach for the hot braided metal rather than for her husband as he falls. What does this reveal about her character?
  • On page 437, students are asked to read the argument, “Is Survival Selfish?” Students are asked several focused questions relating to the question which directly connects to the unit objectives as well as argumentative writing. One example under the heading Notice & Note explains that “in the final paragraph, Wallace writes that there can be ‘a fine line between smart and selfish’ and that ‘sometimes there’s no fine line at all between the two. What does she mean by this apparent contradiction? How does her conclusion restate her claim?”
  • On page 455, students are asked to reflect on the unit essential question: What does it take to survive in a crisis? The instructions explain that students should review their notes throughout the unit and think about “what it is like to live in the aftermath of war”.  
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 6, the unit tasks are to write an explanatory essay about how an activity described in one of the unit selections meets the human need for challenge and participate in a collaborative discussion. The mentor text for the unit is “Archaeology’s Tech Revolution Since Indiana Jones” by Jeremy Hsu. Students are directed to pay attention to examples the author gives to build the central idea and pay attention in particular to technical terms. Other selections in the unit include an excerpt from The Odyssey by Homer, an excerpt from The Cruelest Journey: 600 Miles to Timbuktu by Kira Salak, and “The Journey” by Mary Oliver. Independent reading includes more from The Odyssey and The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. 
    • After the first Odyssey experience, students write an episode from another character’s point of view.
    • Students read about a journey then create, give, receive, and discuss directions. 
    • Students read a poem then create a visual response. 
    • Each text in the unit depicts a challenge, or a series of challenges, and how each is overcome. Reflections provide students various opportunities to explore author’s craft and topic development across the unit. 

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are frequent opportunities where students are expected to participate in evidence-based discussions. After reading assignments, there are small group or one on one interactions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Specifically, within the online materials, students and instructors are presented with the Speaking & Listening Studio, where additional discussion supports are in place. Also, within the Teacher's Edition, at the beginning of most texts, when instructors are setting up the lesson, instructors are presented with two grouping strategies to support discussion titled Small-Group Options.  These opportunities can also be found in Respond sections after texts, where students are encouraged to work with a panel to discuss what they have learned from the text, as well as modeling the style of the reading assigned. This can also be seen in Critical Vocabulary sections in Respond at the end of a text, allowing students to model the language and syntax, as well as work with a peer. Speaking and listening instruction occurs frequently throughout the year and is supported through teacher resources and materials. 

Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 1, students read the mentor text “Unusual Normality,” a personal essay by Ishmael Beah. Teachers are presented with Small-Group Options, and one of these options is as follows:
    • “Four Corners: Write on the board: ‘No matter where people grow up, they have similar childhood experiences.’ Display possible responses to the statement, one each in four different classroom corners: ‘Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree.’ Read aloud the statement. Have students choose a response by moving to one of the corners. In each corner, have students form a group to discuss their reasons for choosing that response. Then, invite volunteers from each group to summarize the group’s ideas.”
  • In Student Edition,  Unit 3, students read “At Dusk,” a poem by Natasha Trethewey. Within the Create and Present section, students are paired in an already determined group, and students must hold a poetry reading with their group; students have the creative freedom to choose “At Dusk,” or they may choose another poem “discovered during [their] research.” Students must discuss in their small groups: 
    • Students must read their poem aloud to their group.
    • “Listen carefully as the members of your group read their poems...Take notes on the critique form given to you by your teacher. Answer any questions your classmates have about the poem’s diction or meaning.”
    • “After everyone has read, exchange information from your critique form with group members. Discuss how you gain a sense of the poet’s voice, mood, and tone from hearing the poems read aloud.”
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, Analyze and Apply, students read “The End and the Beginning” by Wislawa Szymborska.  In order to make sure students understand tone, imagery, diction, and syntax, they:
    • During reading, ask questions including:
      • What do the author’s word choices reveal about her attitude toward the subject? What words might describe this attitude - the tone of the poem?
      • What are the most striking images in the poem? How do they make the reader feel?
      • How does the arrangement of words and ideas convey the author’s attitude, or tone?

Examples of provided protocols  include, but are not limited to:

  • The online materials, Speaking & Listening Studio, where teachers and students are presented with interactive lessons regarding discussions:
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Overview
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Introduction
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Preparing for Discussion
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Establishing and Following Procedure
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Speaking Constructively
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Listening and Responding
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Wrapping Up Your Discussion
    • Participating in Collaborative Discussions: Credits

Evidence of the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax is found: 

  • In Student Edition, Unit 1, Collaborate & Compare, Analyze Rhetorical Devices: repetition, parallelism, understatement. Demonstrate understanding of this academic vocabulary when engaging in each ensuing task:
    • "Deliver an oral critique evaluating the effectiveness of “The Gettysburg Address.” Prepare for presentation in a small group discussion to refine the presentation using criteria for the task to seek and share feedback from peers."
    • "Review the presentation of “The Gettysburg Address,” by Abraham Lincoln as it is portrayed in the film, Saving Lincoln. Hold a panel discussion to share ideas about the effectiveness of the film’s interpretation and presentation of the speech." 
    • "In a small group, use a framework provided to listen and share ideas, then come to a consensus and construct a single statement about the purpose, meaning, and impact of the “The Gettysburg Address.” 

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Materials in the Grade 9 curriculum provide ample opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions about texts to build strong literacy skills. All discussions encountered required students to go directly back to the text, reference evidence, or repeated reading and analysis; and in many cases, instructors are presented possible student responses for additional support. Sections where questions and supports are seen within the Student and Teacher's Editions are: Reflect on the Unit, Introduce the Selection and Quick Start, the Revise section within all major cumulative writing tasks, Create & Discuss, Applying Academic Vocabulary and Collaborate and Present.  The Speaking and Listening Studio is a digital resource that provides a quick reference for students to address specific speaking and listening actions. The margin notes remind students to use the Speaking and Listening Studio for more information about the task. The Speaking and Listening Studio also provides an opportunity for targeted instruction and supports teachers to help guide students in speaking and listening areas.

Evidence that supports this rationale includes, but is not limited to: 

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 3, students read Natasha Trethewey’s poem, “At Dusk.” In the Teacher's Edition, instructors are presented with two sections: Introduce the Selection and Quick Start. Within the Quick Start section, instructors pair students together where they must “discuss the mood and emotions that dusk evokes.” Students are presented with the following questions:
    • "What colors are in the sky at dusk?"
    • "How do city streets change at that time?"
    • "What sights and sounds of nature appear at dusk?"
    • "What activities do you associate with that time of day?"
    • "Does your energy level change at dusk--and, if so, how?"

This references the Introduce the Selection where students will discuss observations: “Provide frames like the following to allow students to practice using the terms: Today I made an observation about ___. ___ makes me imagine ___. Sometimes I wonder about ___.

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2, “I Have a Dream,” by Martin Luther King Jr.:
    • Discuss with a small group: have a panel discussion to share personal thoughts and feelings about the speech.
      • Have each member share and discuss the impact of the recording on their understanding of the speech and how it affected them personally to hear King deliver the speech. All students should listen closely and respectfully before asking questions or making comments. 

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

For every text that students read or view, there is a writing task that either clarifies and deepens understanding of the text, explores the essential question, or helps prepare the student for the end of unit writing task. These are both long assignments with multiple drafts, short assignments for in class responses, focused projects, and other short answer responses. These can be found both before and after a reading assignment within each unit.  At the end of every unit, students must complete a cumulative writing task that emulates one of the following: short story, personal narrative, explanatory essay, literary analysis, argumentative essay, and research essay. These process writing tasks have multiple layers for support. On-demand writing assignments, including shorter, more focused writing projects, are found throughout all six units.

Evidence of on-demand writing includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Student Edition, Unit 1, students read Abraham Lincoln’s iconic speech, “The Gettysburg Address,” and watch a film clip from Saving Lincoln. In the Collaborate & Compare section under Discuss and Present, students must complete questions one through three, and question one states, “1. Synthesize Ideas: Review the different interpretations of the speech that you have studied--the transcript of the speech and the excerpt from the film as well as any performances or recordings you found online. How was the speech presented? How did each interpretation add to your understanding of the speech’s purpose, meaning, and impact, as well as its audience?” A framework is provided to assist students in synthesizing their thoughts and understandings between the two.
  • In Student Edition, Unit 2, on the first page of the unit, students are asked an essential question: "How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression?" On the following page, students are asked to revisit the essential question as they read and then gather their ideas in a response log. Then it reminds them that “at the end of the unit, you will have the opportunity to write a research report about the difficulties people have as they struggle for freedom”.

Examples of process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Student Edition, Unit 4, students must compose a literary analysis. The directions are as follows: “This unit explores the many facets of love--joy, pain, passion, and conflict--to name just a few. For this writing task, you will write a literary analysis on a topic based on this idea. Look back at the texts in the unit and consider the aspects or characteristics of love that are represented in each text. Synthesize your ideas by writing a literary analysis. For an example of a well-written analytical text you can use as a mentor text, review the essay ‘Love’s Vocabulary.’ You can also use the notes you made in your Response Log after reading the texts in this unit.” The prompt is: “Write a literary analysis comparing two selections in this unit. Explain how the portrayal of love is similar and different in each text.” There are multiple steps in this process writing assignment:
    • 1. Plan
    • 2. Develop a Draft
    • 3. Revise
    • 4. Edit
    • 5. Publish
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, once students read “The Leap,” a short story by Louise Erdrich, students are to complete the Create and Discuss section. In this section, students must compose a research summary: “Write a four-to-five-paragraph summary of your research results.” And students are given the following support reminders: “Introduce the topic and share the goals of your research; decide on an organizational strategy, then in your two to three body paragraphs, share what your questions were and the details of what you learned; in your final paragraph, state your conclusion about the use of circus imagery in ‘The Leap.’” Students will then discuss with their group after completing the initial on-demand writing task. And, located within the sidebar, there are further supports:
    • “Go to the Writing Studio for more on writing a research summary.”
    • And, “Go to the Speaking and Listening Studio for help having a group discussion.”

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. (Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.)

The text types students must compose that reflect the standards are short story, personal narrative, explanatory essay, literary analysis, argumentative essay, and research essay.  Students write after each reading or viewing experience. Most writing experiences are elements of the writing process and may be completed as a stand-alone product or part of a larger task or learning experience. Digital application is expected and some writing tasks are specifically designed for digital media. A few of the writing tasks are primarily visual, supporting learning about an element of written and spoken presentation: the graphic representation of an idea. Across the entire school year, students write six process essays that reflect deep understanding of the unit’s essential question and of the genre study within each unit.  

Examples of the different types of writing that reflect the distribution of the standards include, but are not limited to:

  • In Student Edition, Unit 1, end of unit writing task: Write a personal essay (W2).
  • In Student Edition, Unit 2, end of unit writing task: Write a research report; create a podcast (W2).
  • In Student Edition, Unit 3, end of unit writing task: Write a short story (W3).
  • In Student Edition, Unit 4, end of unit writing task: Write a literary analysis (W1).
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, end of unit writing task: Write an argument; present and respond to an argument (W1).
  • In Student Edition, Unit 6, end of unit writing task: Write an explanatory essay (W2).

A representative example of how students engage with the different writing types is found here: 

In Student Edition, Unit 4, in-unit writing tasks:

  • “The Price of Freedom” by Noreen Riols: write a professional letter.
  • “Love’s Vocabulary” by Diane Ackerman: discuss the author’s statement.
  • “My Shakespeare: by Kate Tempest: write a poem.
  • The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: write a journal entry; write a eulogy.
  • From The Odyssey by Homer: write a narrative.
  • “Archeology’s Tech Revolution Since Indiana Jones” by Jeremy Hsu: write a summary.
  • From The Cruelest Journey: 600 Miles to Timbuktu by Kira Salak: create directions.
  • “The Journey” by Mary Oliver: create a visual response.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

Each unit contains multiple opportunities for students to compose and refine research-based and evidence-based writing. Students are offered opportunities to evaluate and support claims both in formal assignments and informal in-class assignments. This can be seen in the Respond section of readings, where students have opportunities in both Research and Create and Present. In some texts, there are also opportunities to research and analyze in Respond to the Essential Question. This asks students to review annotations and notes to develop support for specific questions. The Teacher's Edition provides  a road map of the year which is presented in six units. Each text - or sometimes pair of texts - in the unit is followed by both a brief research prompt and a writing assignment informed by the research. The on-demand writing tasks reflect development of skills necessary to complete the end of unit writing task.

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, students are asked to read the article “A Quilt of a Country” by Anna Quindlen. After students read the text, they are asked to research a cultural group and record what they learned in a chart that is provided. Following that, they meet with a partner “to compare the results of your research.” Students then write a breakdown of their data and share that research with their class. The instructions for the sharing say to “introduce the cultural group you have chosen and where they are located”. After that they “discuss similarities and differences between your cultural group and the one your partner chose.” Finally they are asked to “state a conclusion about these two cultural groups and how Quindlen’s claim relates to your conclusion.” 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 3, students read “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect” by Frans de Waal. After reading the text, they brainstorm at least three questions about the topic. Once they have brainstormed questions, they “put a star by the question that interests you most, then research its answer.” Finally, they need to write down any additional questions that occur to them during their research. 
  • In Student Edition, Unit 4, students are asked to read two sonnets: “Having it Both Ways” by Elizabeth Jennings and “Superheart” by Marion Shore. After they have completed both texts, they read three additional sonnets. They read them aloud several times, paying attention to various techniques and then briefly describe the theme of each one. 

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

Before reading most of the texts, there is a section titled Language Conventions which provides students with a grammatical mini-lesson and gives students something grammatical to look for as they read. 

Each (written) text includes a Language Conventions section at the beginning of the reading that provides information about a convention relative to the text, and directions for what to look for while reading. Texts often include prompts in the margin notes to annotate and respond to the convention identified. After reading, students extend the learning with direct instruction of the language convention and practice by applying what they have learned. In the Create and Apply section, there is another heading labeled Language Conventions which provides additional instruction to students in that grammatical category as well as a Practice and Apply formative assessment in which students can demonstrate their understanding in that particular category. The Grammar Studio is a digital resources that provides students with additional information and practice about specific components of the grammar standards. Students explore spelling, punctuation, parts of speech, clauses, and more throughout the Studio. Teachers can assign specific lessons for students to study independently or in small groups. Teachers can also assign module assessments to track student progress with the topic/standard.

    • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, students read “The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln. 
      • "Before reading: Language conventions: one grammatical feature that makes Abraham Lincoln’s rhetoric so effective is his use of parallel structure, or the repetition of grammatical forms within a sentence. The repetition can occur at the word, phrase, or clause level. Lincoln uses parallel structure as a rhetorical device to express and connect ideas that are related or equal in importance, and to create rhythm and evoke emotions."
      • While reading: (prompt in margin notes) "Annotate: Mark the phrases 'of the people, by the people, for the people.' Respond: What does Lincoln’s use of parallel structure say about the importance of people's participation in government?"
      • After reading: "With a partner, look back at "The Gettysburg Address' and identify additional examples of parallel structure. Then imagine you were at Gettysburg on the day President Lincoln delivered the speech. Write a brief letter to Lincoln explaining how you were affected by his remarks. Use parallel structure at least twice in your letter." 
    • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 1, students read “Unusual Normality” by Ishmael Beah, a personal essay. Students are presented with two sections that equate to the conventions and language standards:
    • In the Language Conventions section, active and passive voice are discussed explicitly, and direct examples are provided. In the sidebar of the TE, instructors are supported with explanations and direct instruction regarding active and passive voice before students delve into the reading selection to best prepare them for the text they’ll encounter. Also, within the sidebar, instructors are given the following support: “Encourage students to note examples of the author’s use of active and passive voice, and how each influences the reader’s understanding.”
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, students read an excerpt from Azar Nafisi’s memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran. In the sidebar of the text, that students can see within the Student Edition, there is a language conventions response expectation where students must first annotate, “Underline examples of present tense verbs” directly in the text, and then they must respond, “How do the present tense verbs help you understand the current living conditions of the women?” There is also another sidebar support that students can see within the SE dealing with rhetorical devices. Students must first annotate, “Mark the rhetorical questions in paragraph 5.” Students then must respond: “What is the effect of these questions?”
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 3, students read several texts, including:
    • “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket” by Yasunari Kawabata, translated by Lane Dunlop and J. Martin Holman
      • Before reading: In this lesson, you will learn that a sentence may have a single-word verb or a verb phrase. A verb phrase consists of a main verb and one or more helping verbs. Helping verbs can also be used to indicate ability or permission. 
      • While reading: (prompt in margin notes) Annotate: Mark the verb phrase that uses a form of the helping verb have in paragraph 21. Connect: What is the effect of this verb phrase? What subtle shift in time does the verb phrase help express?
      • After reading: With a partner, review the letters you created in response to the selections Create and Discuss assignment. Note the use of verb phrases in your letters. Help each other revise verb phrases to make your writing more effective in showing shifts in time, or work together to create sentences that contain verb phrases. 

Within the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition, there are supports for instructors to assist students in reaching understanding: “Have volunteers read the rules and then discuss the examples that appear in the chart. Review the use of lowercase prepositions and conjunctions within titles…” There is also an online platform to assist students: “Go to Proper Nouns and Adjectives, People and Places, and Titles in the Grammar Studio to learn more about capitalization.”

  • In Teacher's Edition, Unit 5, students are asked to read the argument “Is Survival Selfish?” by Lane Wallace. Before reading the text on page 438, students are given a grammar mini-lesson under the heading Language Conventions. This passage discusses commas and their purposes. In the teacher sidebar, it explains that teachers should “discuss how the first three clauses in the sentence list ways in which people responded to the explosion. Point out that the author could have used a comma to separate the third clause from the coordinating conjunction, but the ellipsis signals that the examples are an incomplete list of people’s reactions.” 
  • End of unit writing task: write an argument. 
    • Edit: Language conventions.
      • Look for places in your argument where you can use transition words, also known as connecting words, to link ideas, events, or reasons. 
        • Contrast: Connection words and phrases can also show that two ideas are being contrasted. Some examples include but, on the one hand, conversely, however, but then, nonetheless, in spite of, in contrast to
        • Sequence: Connection words and phrases can also show time relationships between ideas. Some examples include then, when, first, second, next, last, finally. Dates are also sequence connectors.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the expectations for materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The materials build students’ knowledge across topics and content areas; however, academic vocabulary instruction is not intentionally and coherently sequenced to consistently build students’ vocabulary. Questions and tasks build in rigor and complexity to culminating tasks that demonstrate students’ ability to analyze components of text and topics. Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills are taught and practiced in an integrated manner.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
32/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.

The materials for Grade 9 are organized around topics or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend texts proficiently.  Every unit revolves around an Essential Question (EQ), or multiple EQ’s. Throughout all units, students read fiction and nonfiction texts that relate to the essential questions and overall topic of the unit. Instructors are presented with additional supports for whole-class instruction in preparing students to think critically, metacognitively, and with empathy towards the EQ’s and their outcomes.  Additionally, students display their knowledge in the completion of end of unit tasks that always include writing and often presenting in mixed media. 

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, the title of the unit is The Struggle for Freedom, and the Essential Question (EQ) is “How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression?” By the end of Unit 2, students must be able to compose a research report. The mentor text for this unit is an excerpt from Margot Lee Shetterly’s history writing Hidden Figures. All texts within Unit 2 revolve around the following concept found within the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition: “Ask a volunteer to read aloud the Essential Question. Then allow students to reflect on the question for a moment. Have them discuss whether people in various communities might view what it means to be free or oppressed differently.” Throughout the unit, students read fiction and nonfiction texts that relate to the essential question. The culminating writing and speaking/listening task directly relates back to the essential question and mentor text: “This unit focuses on how people find freedom in a society that oppresses them. For this writing task, you will write a research report. For a research report, you gather information from a number of different, valid sources about a specific topic and write about what you have discovered. For an example of a well-written research report you can use as a mentor text, review the selection ‘Hidden Figures.’” Students also end Unit 2 with a reflection task that directly requires them to revisit the EQ, reflect on their reading throughout the whole unit, and their cumulative writing task. 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2: The Struggle for Freedom, the essential question is “How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression?”. Also, in the key learning objectives written for the unit it says that students will “analyze rhetorical devices, text structure, literary devices, setting and theme, poetic language, setting and purpose and multi-modal texts.” Throughout the unit, students read several kinds of texts to answer the essential question and achieve the learning objectives. For example, they will read “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. and a podcast from John Lewis as well as the short story “The Censors” by Luisa Valenzuela, a poem about Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois by Dudley Randall, and a comparison between an excerpt from Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi. The mentor text for the unit is an excerpt from Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and the culminating writing tasks ask students to write a research report and create a podcast which connects to the texts previously mentioned.
  • In Teacher's Edition, Unit 5, the title of the unit is A Matter of Life or Death, and the Essential Question (EQ) is “What does it take to survive in a crisis?” By the end of Unit 5, students must be able to compose an argument. The mentor text for this unit is an argument by Lane Wallace, titled “Is Survival Selfish?” All texts within Unit 5 revolve around the following concept found within the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition: “Ask a volunteer to read aloud the Essential Question. Have students pause to reflect. Prompt them for examples of recent environmental crises they’ve seen in the news, such as hurricanes, wildfires, or tornadoes. How did people endure those events? What might it take to survive a crisis of a different nature?” Throughout the unit, students read fiction and nonfiction texts that relate to the essential question. The culminating writing and speaking/listening task directly relates back to the essential question and mentor text: “This unit explores the idea of survival and what it takes to endure an extreme situation. Look back at the texts you read, and think about the events that place the people and characters in danger and what their reactions are. Then decide for yourself whether the desire for survival can be selfish. Write an argument that explains your position, using evidence from at least two texts in this unit. For an example of a well-written argumentative text you can use as a mentor text, review Lane Wallace’s ‘Is Survival Selfish?’” Students also end Unit 5 with a reflection task that directly requires them to revisit the EQ, reflect on their reading throughout the whole unit, and their cumulative writing task. 

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

At the beginning of each unit, there are four essential questions for students to consider as they read the selections. At the close of every unit, students compose a cumulative writing task that requires students to address the essential question; students must also reflect on the unit within the Reflect on the Unit section, specifically Reflect on the Essential Question. Students make meaning and build understanding around the essential question, which is the topic. Within Analyze the Text, there are a variety of question types that require students to look not only at the initial structure but to make inferences about word choice, narrative voice, and structure. The questions and prompts in Analyze the Text provide a variety of complexities from DOK 1 through DOK 4. Students experience questions and tasks within the sidebar that require higher order thinking that occur after an annotation or margin note is made; by students directly touching and rereading the text and reflecting, they may then more adequately analyze, compare and contrast, synthesize, critique, and evaluate.

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, after reading, students are asked to:
    • 1.  Reflect on the Unit page 81
    • Reflect on the Essential Question
    • Reflect on your Reading
    • Reflect on the Writing Task
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2, students read an excerpt from Reading Lolita in Tehran, a memoir, by Azar Nafisi, and an excerpt from the graphic novel, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, by Marjane Satrapi. Within the Unit 2 directory, the textbook notes that these two texts and tasks and assignments within the section, part of Compare Across Genres, occur after the Analyze & Apply section of the unit. Within the Collaborate and Compare section, under Analyze the Texts, students answer four questions that address various levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, in order: Connect, Compare, Analyze, and Synthesize. The questions are as follows:
    • "1. Connect: How is the way the authors communicate with readers similar and different in the texts?"
    • "2. Compare: What information is presented in both texts?"
    • "3. Analyze: What is the effect of using language only, as opposed to combining language and images? Are any aspects of the story gained by using images and/or lost by using fewer words in a graphic novel?"
    • "4. Synthesize: What have you learned from these sources together about the status of women in Iran since the Iranian Revolution?"
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2, students are asked to read the historical writing from the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Before reading under the heading Quick Start students think about “what do you know about opportunities that were once closed off to African Americans, women, or other minorities? Name some jobs a woman or an African American might not have been able to apply for in the past.” As students are reading in the sidebar titled Contrasts and Contradictions, it asks to students to “mark parts of the text in paragraphs 15-17 that show a contrast or contradiction between how much the African American female mathematicians were needed and how they were treated.”   
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 3, students read the informational text, “With Friends Like These…” by Dorothy Rowe. Within the sidebar students are presented with a Summarize and Paraphrase Texts section. Students must complete two tasks within this section: “Annotate: Mark a sentence that you find long or confusing in paragraphs 1-3.” And, “Interpret: Paraphrase the sentence. How does the sentence you chose relate to the ideas in the first three paragraphs? Explain your answer.”
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 5, students read the mentor text, “Is Survival Selfish?” by Lane Wallace. Within the Analyze the Text section, students respond to the following questions:
    • "3. Critique: Review the list of rhetorical devices in the Get Ready Section of this selection. Identify at least two that Wallace uses in her argument. Are they effective in advancing her argument? Explain."
    • "4. Evaluate: Reread paragraph 12. As evidence for Wallace’s claim, is this paragraph valid and relevant? Explain." 
    • "5. Notice & Note: In the final paragraph, Wallace writes that there can be “a fine line between smart and selfish,” and that “sometimes there’s no line at all between the two.” What does she mean by this apparent contradiction? How does her conclusion restate her claim? Note the sentence at the beginning of the selection that states this claim." 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 6, students are presented with the following Essential Question (EQ): What drives us to take on a challenge? This EQ is also represented in the Teacher's Edition to reinforce instructors to connect all texts back to the EQ: “Homer’s The Odyssey can be read from many different perspectives. One is as a study of what drives the hero Odysseus to take on challenges…” In the Teacher's Edition, this occurs at the start of every text. Students must connect the text, tasks and assignments completed throughout, back to the EQ at the close of every reading. For example: “Review your annotations and notes on the selection from The Odyssey. Then, add relevant information to your Response Log. As you determine which information to include, think about: Odysseus’ motivations as he takes on challenges; flaws that hold Odysseus back on his quest to return home; how cultures might influence what people take on as challenges. At the end of the unit, use your notes to help you write an explanatory essay.” The explanatory essay prompt that follows all texts and tasks in Unit 6 is as follows: “Write an explanatory essay about how an activity described in one of the unit selections meets the human need for challenge.”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

Every single unit for the Grade 9 text includes an Essential Question (EQ) that students must track throughout each unit. All EQ’s are represented throughout each text and within all materials and tasks. Also, within every single unit, students must complete a Collaborate & Compare section, which requires students to individually evaluate, analyze, synthesize, etc. both texts, and students do this as they compare and contrast texts as well. Within the Collaborate & Present section, students complete small group work to better synthesize what they have learned across the two texts, while also utilizing previously gained skills throughout the unit and previous units. Within each Collaborate & Compare section, there are the following sections: Compare, Analyze, and Collaborate. Each of these section titles may vary depending upon the texts and text types, such as Compare Themes and Collaborate and Present. Students also build knowledge and integrate ideas across every individual text within the unit; students also usually compare texts further within the culminating task at the close of the unit. 

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, within the Collaborate & Compare section, students read and compare the following excerpts of texts: Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi, and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, by Marjane Satrapi, translated by Anjali Singh. For each text, students complete a Get Ready section, Check Your Understanding section, Analyze the Text section, Research section, Create and Present section, and Respond to the Essential Question section. At the beginning of each text, before students are expected to read, there is also a Prepare to Compare section that will set students up for success in providing reminders, helpful tips, and suggestions while reading the text to be successful overall in the collaboration of both readings. 

Once students read both individual texts, and complete necessary tasks associated with both, individual, texts, students then must complete the Collaborate and Compare tasks, located within the Collaborate & Compare section. In small groups, students must “discuss the common elements in the two selections. Take notes in the [chart] about the author's purpose, message, and use of language. On your own, write a few sentences describing your personal reactions to reading about the same general topic in the two genres. Which genre did you prefer? Why?”  

Students will then complete the Analyze the Texts within the Collaborate and Compare section:

  • “Connect: How is the way the authors communicate with readers similar and different in the texts?”
  • “Compare: What information is presented in both texts?”
  • “Analyze: What is the effect of using language only, as opposed to combining language and images?...”
  • “Synthesize: What have you learned from the sources together about the status of women in Iran since the Iranian Revolution?”

Students then complete the Collaborate and Present section, where students must get in groups and “continue exploring the ideas in these texts by collaborating to create a graphic novel version of the excerpt from Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Students are given specific steps to follow as support. 

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 3, the essential question is: How do we form and maintain our connections with others? Students read:
    • “With Friends Like These...” by Dorothy Rowe
      • "Notice and Note: What phrase indicates the author is introducing contrasting details in paragraph 5? Mark it in the text. How does the contrast in this paragraph illustrate the importance of validation?
      • In paragraph 10, circle an example of how a friendship can be risky. Underline one example of how a friendship can be helpful. How can the contrasting examples you marked be expressed as a key idea?"
      • Analyze the Text:
        • "DOK 4: In paragraph 12, the author discusses people’s capacity to accept change. Why does she introduce these ideas immediately before the section “Falling Out?”
        • DOK 4: What information challenged, changed, or confirmed what you already knew about friendship? Paraphrase key ideas and details from the text in your answer." 
    • “Loser” by Aimee Bender (mentor text)
      • "Notice and Note: Mark identical or similar words and phrases that repeat in the last two paragraphs. What do the words and phrases tell you about the young man’s thoughts?
      • Mark verbs that signal a flashback. How does the author use these flashbacks to connect to the young man’s talent?"
      • Analyze the Text:
        • "DOK 2: In fiction, a foil is a character whose personality and attitude contrast sharply with those of another character. How does the character of Leonard act as a foil for the young man?
        • DOK 4: Do you think the author has created a complex character in the young man? Is he a believable character, even with his unusual gift?"
    • Culminating task: Write a short story about an event that reveals something about how we connect with each other.
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 4, within the Collaborate & Compare section, students read and compare the following poems: “Having It Both Ways,” a sonnet by Elizabeth Jennings, and “Superheart,” a sonnet by Marion Shore. For each text, student complete a Get Ready section and Check Your Understanding section; however, for Shore’s sonnet a Research section, Analyze the Text section, Create and Discuss section, and Respond to the Essential Question section are included. At the beginning of each text, before students are expected to read, there is also a Prepare to Compare section that will set students up for success in providing reminders, helpful tips, and suggestions while reading the text to be successful overall in the collaboration of both readings. 

Once students read both individual texts, and complete necessary tasks associated with both, individual, texts, students then must complete the Collaborate and Compare tasks, located within the Collaborate & Compare section. Students must “Complete the chart below to examine the two poems. Be sure to support your ideas with text evidence,” within the Compare Poems section. Students will fill in sections regarding “Theme, or Message about Life,” “Tone,” “Mood,” and “Use of Language.”

Students will then complete the Analyze the Texts within the Collaborate and Compare section in groups, where they will discuss the questions below:

  • “Compare: ...Compare the mood, the feeling or atmosphere created; and the tone, or attitude each writer takes toward the topic of love. In what ways are they similar or different?”
  • “Interpret: What is the theme of each poem? Try to state each theme in one sentence. Cite text evidence in your discussion.”
  • “Critique: ...Which poem do you think uses language more effectively? Why? Use text evidence to support your opinion.”
  • “Evaluate: Does one poem tell the ‘truth’ about love better than the other? Discuss using text evidence as well as what you have observed or read about love.”

Students then complete the Collaborate and Present section, where students must get in groups and “continue exploring the ideas in these texts by collaborating on a sonnet.” Students are given specific steps to follow as support.

  • In Teacher's Edition, Unit 5, the essential question is: What does it take to survive a crisis? Students read:
    • “The Leap” by Louise Erdrich
      • Notice and Note: What mementos from her past life does the narrator’s mother keep? Why do you think this might be the case?
      • In paragraph 6, mark lines that reveal the daughter’s feelings about her mother. What does she admire about her mother?
      • Analyze the Text:
        • DOK 2: Reread paragraph 26. What does the narrator learn? What inferences can you make about the story’s theme or themes?
        • DOK 3: Compare the description of the trapeze accident with the description of the house fire. What do these descriptions reveal about the mother’s character?
    • “Is Survival Selfish?” by Lane Wallace (mentor text) 
      • Notice and Note: Mark the sentence in paragraph 10 that shows something unexpected happened. Does this unexpected event support or refute the author’s claim?
      • In paragraph 3, underline a statement the author can build on to create a full claim. How do the rhetorical devices in the questions that precede the statement set up the author’s claim?
    • Analyze the text: 
        • DOK 4: Wallace writes that “the number one determining factor for survival is simply whether people hold it together in a crisis or fall apart.” Is this an example of a claim, a reason, or evidence? Explain with an example from the text. 
        • DOK 4: Reread paragraph 12. As evidence for Wallace’s claim, is this paragraph valid and relevant? Explain. 
    • Culminating task: Write an argument stating your position on the question “Does survival require selfishness?”
  • In Teacher's Edition, Unit 6, within the Collaborate & Compare section, students read and compare the following texts: “The Journey,” by Mary Oliver, and an excerpt from The Cruelest Journey: 600 Miles to Timbuktu by Kira Salak. For each text, student complete a Get Ready section and Check Your Understanding section; however, for Salak’s excerpt, a Research section, Analyze the Text section, Create and Discuss section, and Respond to the Essential Question section are included. At the beginning of each text, before students are expected to read, there is also a Prepare to Compare section that will set students up for success in providing reminders, helpful tips, and suggestions while reading the text to be successful overall in the collaboration of both readings. 

Once students read both individual texts, and complete necessary tasks associated with both, individual, texts, students then must complete the Collaborate and Compare tasks, located within the Collaborate & Compare section. Students must “Review both selections and consider how you might answer the questions. To develop your response, complete the graphic organizer below.” The organizer includes the following: “Purpose,” “Message,” “Text Structure,” “Language,” and “Personal Connection.” 

Students will then complete the Analyze the Texts within the Collaborate and Compare section in groups, where they will discuss the questions below:

  • “Connect: What similarities do you see between the journey described by Salak and the journey discussed in the poem?”
  • “Compare and Contrast: How would you describe each writer’s purpose? How are Salak’s and Oliver’s purposes similar and different?”
  • “Infer: How does each author use language to effectively convey her point?”
  • “Synthesize: What have you learned from these sources together about how to take on a challenge?”

Students then complete the Collaborate and Present section, where students must get in groups and “continue exploring the ideas in these texts by collaborating on a response to the text.” Students are given specific steps to follow as support.

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

In the 9th grade text, there are many opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. This can be a combination of reading, writing, speaking and listening. This can be found in Writing Tasks, Respond, Notice & Note, and other exercises throughout each reading assignment. These are meant to build upon the text and allow students to complete culminating tasks. Every unit is comprised of one or multiple Essential Questions. While the titles of the units hint at what each unit consists of, all readings, assignments, tasks, and culminating tasks are centered around the Essential Questions. Within the Grade 9 and 10 textbook, students are presented with one essential question to focus on throughout the entirety of each unit.

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, questions and tasks that support the student’s ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills include:
    • Write a personal essay
      • "Write a personal essay about how differences between people can be opportunities rather than obstacles. Be sure to:
        • Write an introduction that catches the reader’s attention and presents the topic of the essay
        • Write about an event from your own life or something you’ve noticed in the world around you
        • Use transitions to connect related ideas
        • Use appropriate register, vocabulary, tone and voice
        • End by sharing your insights about the value of diversity in a school, community or a country"
    • Create and Debate - Booker T. and W.E.B. Du Bois
      • "Assess the viewpoints: Expand on the chart you used in the research activity to define the pros and cons of each man’s position on the issues listed.
        • In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each man’s position on the issues of education, life goals, and civil rights/political power?
        • How do you think each man would feel about the same issues if he were alive today?
        • Conduct additional research as necessary."
      • "Conduct a debate; Work with your classmates to conduct a team debate on the ideas of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Use the ideas and information you gathered and conduct additional research to prepare your arguments. Then, hold your debate in front of your class. 
        • Speak in a loud, clear voice so everyone can hear and understand you. Use a formal tone and appropriate vocabulary.
        • Stand up straight and make eye contact with your opponents and your audience. Use facial expressions and natural gestures to add emphasis to your words.
        • Use evidence from your research to support your arguments. Adjust your views in light of persuasive evidence from your classmates.
        • Listen actively while others are speaking and don’t interrupt.
        • Evaluate your preparation for and participation in the debate." 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, students are presented with one essential question, and the unit title “The Struggle for Freedom.” Based on the Teacher's Edition, within the sidebar, instructors must connect to the essential question: “Ask a volunteer to read aloud the Essential Question. Then allow students to reflect on the question for a moment. Have them discuss whether people in various communities might view what it means to be free or oppressed differently. Prompt them to give examples of past events where an oppressed group achieved freedom. Can freedom be reached the same way each time? Have them consider why that may or may not be possible” The EQ is as follows:
    • How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression?
    • In Unit 2, students are presented with a culminating writing task where they must compose a research report; they are also responsible for creating a podcast. The learning objectives can be found within the “Plan” section of the Teacher's Edition. For the writing task, the learning objectives are as follows in a bullet-pointed list, but not limited to: “Write a research report about an event or person(s) connected to the struggle for freedom; Develop a focused, structured draft of a research report. Use the Mentor Text as a model for a thesis statement and precise, vivid details; Publish writing to share it with an audience.” The learning objectives for the speaking task are as follows in a bullet-pointed list, but not limited to: “Adapt a research report into a podcast; Present a research report podcast to an audience; Listen actively to a multimedia presentation.” Students will complete the following sections for the writing task, as well: Plan, Develop a Draft, Revise, Edit, and Publish. 
    • Within the same section of the Teacher's Edition, “Unit 2 Tasks,” students must reflect on the Essential Questions once both culminating tasks are complete: “As you were planning your research report, you reviewed your thoughts about the reading you have done in this unit. Now is a good time to reflect on what you have learned.” Some of the questions posed in the “Reflect on the Unit” section are as follows: “How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression? How has your answer to this question changed since you first considered it when you started this unit?”, “What are some examples from the texts you’ve read that show how people find freedom?”, “From which selection did you learn the most about finding freedom in the midst of oppression?”, “What improvements did you make to your report as you were revising?”, and “What changes did you need to make to your report to make it work as a podcast?”
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2: The Struggle for Freedom, the essential question is: How do people find freedom in the midst of oppression? The learning objective for this unit is to analyze the structure of an argument and the rhetorical devices that make it more persuasive.
  • At the end of the unit, students are asked to write a research report. Specifically they are asked to “gather information from a number of different, valid sources about a specific topic and write about what you discovered.” The general topic is “Throughout history, people in many societies have fought for the freedom and equality they were denied.” Students are instructed to use the mentor text for the unit, from Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly to aid in their thinking. In addition to this assignment, students are asked to adapt their research report into a podcast that their classmates can listen and respond to. 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 4, the essential question is: How can love bring both joy and pain? At the end of the unit, students are asked to write a literary analysis based on the essential question. Specifically, the context for the analysis reads, “Love is an emotion that is easy to feel but sometimes difficult to endure.” Further directions explain that students should:
    • provide an introduction…
    • develop a comparison using examples from the texts
    • organize central ideas in a logically structured body
    • use appropriate register, vocabulary, tone and voice
    • use transitions to create connections between sections of your analysis
    • end by summarizing ideas or drawing an overall conclusion
    • Besides the mentor text, students are told to use the notes made in their response  log throughout the unit and to “look back at the texts in the unit and consider the aspects or characteristics of love that are represented in each text.”
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, students are asked to write an argument. Specifically, the directions ask students to “look back at the texts you read and think about the events that place the people and characters in danger and what their reactions are. Then decide for yourself whether the desire for survival can be selfish. Write an argument that explains your position using at least two texts from the unit. For an example of a well-written argumentative text review Lane Wallace’s ‘Is Survival Selfish?’” Following that assignment, students are also asked to prepare to deliver their argument as an oral presentation.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/language in context.

At the beginning of every unit, students are presented with the Academic Vocabulary section, where students must complete a Word Network chart for five academic terms utilized and practiced throughout the entire unit, with most texts, and reinforced at the close of the unit within the culminating task. Also, before students read almost every single text, students are presented with the Critical Vocabulary section that presents five to ten words that are extremely important to the overall understanding of the text selection; students are required to practice these terms, just as they have with the Academic Vocabulary, by answering questions before and after reading the text. Students also experience a sidebar and footnotes per reading selection where they are further supported with unfamiliar vocabulary within the text being read. Within each unit, students are presented with the Collaborate & Compare section--where they must read two texts and compare--and vocabulary is also presented within this section and the tasks that follow. Another Critical Vocabulary section follows the reading and is used to check for understanding after reading. These tasks may be cloze sentences, using the words another way, answering questions containing the words, or other assessments.  Supports for English Learners in the Teacher’s Edition include notes about especially challenging words, phrases, or concepts that may need further explanation for language learners. 

  • In Teacher's Edition, Unit 1, students are presented with academic vocabulary titled Academic Vocabulary. Students practice and learn five words: enforce, entity, internal, presume, and resolve. The directions are as follows: “Discuss the completed Word Network with a partner, making sure to talk through all of the boxes until you both understand the word, its synonyms, antonyms, and related forms. Then, fill out a Word Network for each of the four remaining words. Use a dictionary or online resource to help you complete the activity.” Within the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition, instructors are presented with the literal definitions of all five words and further support instructions.Students also reuse these unit vocabulary words within the cumulative task at the close of the unit.
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2: The Struggle for Freedom, on the first page of the unit, students are asked to look at a specific word under the heading Academic Vocabulary. For this unit, the word in the instructions is decline (the other four words are provided but not explained). The instructions tell students to “study the word network to learn more about the word decline. Then they are given its definition, synonyms, antonyms, the word root, related words and a clarifying example. Following that, they are given a prompt which says “discuss the completed word network with a partner, making sure to talk through all of the boxes until you both understand the word, its synonyms, antonyms and related forms. Then, fill out a word network for each of the four remaining words. Use a dictionary or online resource to help you complete the activity.” 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 2, students read “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. The Critical Vocabulary section presents the following words: default, desolate, degenerate, inextricably, redemptive. Students complete a cloze activity for each word. For example: If you _____ on a loan, your personal credit rating will be affected. While reading, these five words are presented in bold and defined in the margin. After reading, students respond to questions featuring the target vocabulary. “Look back at paragraph 5. Why does King say that American has defaulted on its promise?” Following this section is a vocabulary strategy: Antonyms. The strategy is explained. Students find an antonym for each of the vocabulary words then write a sentence to demonstrate understanding. 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 3, students read Yasunari Kawabata’s short story “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket.” Students are presented with critical vocabulary in the section titled Critical Vocabulary. The words in this section are as follows: lozenge, loiter, emanate, sheepish, discernible. The directions are as follows: “To see how many Critical Vocabulary words you already know, use them to complete the sentences.” Students are given five sentences to complete, and instructors are presented the answer key within the Teacher's Edition sidebar. There is also an English Learner Support section within the Teacher's Edition sidebar: “Tell students that two of the Critical Vocabulary words have Spanish cognates: discernible/discernible and emanate/emanar.”
  • In Student Edition, Unit 4, students read “The Price of Freedom” by Noreen Riols. The Critical Vocabulary section presents the following words: seductive, demented, hordes, sabotage, infiltration, decoy, adulate, annihilate. Students demonstrate understanding of the words before reading by responding to questions using these words. For example: "How would pretending to adulate help infiltration?" While reading, these eight words are presented in bold and defined in the margin. After reading, students respond to questions featuring the target vocabulary. “Which of the following could be described as seductive? Danger or sadness.” Following this section is a vocabulary strategy: Foreign Words. The strategy is explained. Students apply the strategy by identifying foreign words or phrases in a sentence then writing a new sentence with that word.  For example: "Alone, away from all others, the two lovebirds had a tete-a-tete with their heads held close to each other to listen to every word." 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 5, students read Louise Erdrich’s short story, “The Leap.” Students are presented with critical vocabulary in the section titled Critical Vocabulary. The words in this section are as follows: encroach, extricate, constrict, comply, tentative. The directions are as follows: “Answer the questions, using a dictionary or thesaurus as needed. Make sure answers reflect understanding of each Critical Vocabulary word’s meaning.” Students are given five sentences to complete, and instructors are presented the answer key within the Teacher's Edition sidebar. There is also an English Learner Support section within the Teacher's Edition sidebar: “Model pronouncing the vocabulary words, telling students to listen carefully to the consonant clusters cr, str, and pl…”
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 6, students are asked to read the epic poem The Odessey by Homer. In the sidebar at the bottom there is a box titled “When Students Struggle.” The mini-lesson is on the pronunciation of Greek names. It explains to students that they should organize into groups of four, write the character names on the cards and then quiz each other on the pronunciation. 
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 6, students read “Archaeology’s Tech Revolution Since Indiana Jones” by Jeremy Hsu. The Critical Vocabulary section presents the following words: innovation, GPS, artifact, infrared, forensic analysis. Students complete a cloze activity for each word. For example: The _____ camera produced high-contrast photographs. While reading, these five words are presented in bold and defined in the margin. After reading, students respond to questions featuring the target vocabulary. “The automobile was once an innovation. Is it still?” Following this section is a vocabulary strategy: Use References. The strategy is explained. Students apply the strategy by using a reference to define or explain topics referenced in the article such as curator, isotopes, and Google Earth.

Indicator 2f

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and practice which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. 

Students develop substantive understanding of a central topic and of all texts in each unit through writing which is used throughout each unit to help students learn as well as show students’ understanding of the texts. Writing assignments are scaffolded so students will develop a sense of understanding of what they are reading before they begin writing. Within each text, students will complete smaller writing assignments such as answering questions in the section Analyze the Text or responding to the essential question. At the close of every single text read, students must compose a short response, short essay, or respond to questions regarding the reading; every reading is directly related to an Essential Question (EQ). For Grades 9 - 10, there is one EQ per unit. After each text, students complete a more in-depth assignment under the heading Create and Discuss, which can have students complete an essay, respond to a writing prompt, or write in preparation for a discussion. There are several learning tools to help students develop more substantial writing habits which are included in the Language Conventions section. Finally, at the end of each unit, students are asked to complete a culminating writing task that synthesizes student understanding. This is a multi-step assignment that is carefully scaffolded for student success. In addition, students can write in response to the reflection questions at the end. 

For each end of unit writing assessment, there is a revision guide which reflects building skill of writing and of exploring a topic. The six revision guides provide evidence of the progression of writing skills. 

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1 revision guide, the end of unit writing task is to write a personal essay that responds to the essential question. In unit one, students evaluate the use of the active and passive voices to determine effective use. They also evaluate the point of view the author uses to develop a story or perspective. To require students to practice these skills they have learned through reading, the revision guide includes questions to ask with tips and techniques for revising. 
    • "Have I told an event from my life in a clear, coherent way?
      • Underline time clues. 
      • Add words and phrases that make the time order clear." 
    • "Have I used the active voice whenever possible?
      • Note any use of passive voice.
      • Change passive to active voice if the active voice would be more effective." 
    • "Is the first-person point of view used consistently?
      • Note anywhere the point of view changes.
      • Change third-person pronouns to first-person pronouns as necessary." 
  • In Student Edition, Unit 2 revision guide, the end of unit writing task is to write a research report about one event, or a person or group of people, connected to the struggle for freedom. In unit two, students evaluate arguments and text structures.  The revision guide includes questions to ask with tips and techniques for revising the help students focus on using the skills they have evaluated in the reading throughout the unit. 
    • "Does my introduction clearly state the thesis?
      • Underline the thesis statement. 
      • Reword the thesis statement to make it clearer. If necessary, narrow the topic."
    • "Are my main ideas organized in a clear and logical way? 
      • Highlight each main idea. Underline transitions.
      • Reorder ideas so that each one flows easily to the next. Add appropriate transitions to connect ideas and clarify the organization."
    • "Do I support each main idea with relevant details?
      • Underline each supporting fact, definition, example, or quotation.
      • Add facts, details, examples, or quotations to support ideas."
  • In the Student Edition Unit 4, after reading the poems “Having it Both Ways” and “Superheart” by Elizabeth Jennings, students are asked to compare the two. Then, on page 405 students are asked to write a sonnet. The instructions ask them to decide on a topic, freewrite about it, develop a plan, plan the sonnet and then compose one, making sure to stay true to the sonnet form. 
  • In Student Edition, Unit 5, students compose an argument. The directions are: “This unit explores the idea of survival and what it takes to endure an extreme situation. Look back at the texts you read, and think about the events that took place and people and characters in danger and what their reactions are. Then decide for yourself whether the desire for survival can be selfish. Write an argument that explains your position, using evidence from at least two texts in this unit. For an example of a well-written argumentative text you can use as a mentor text, review Lane Wallace’s ‘Is Survival Selfish?’ As you write your argument, you will want to look at the notes you made in your Response Log.” The prompt is: “Write an argument stating your position on the question ‘Does survival require selfishness?’” There are additional supports listed regarding citations and evidence collection, narrowing the research topic, and organization among other aspects. There are multiple steps in this process writing assignment:
    • 1. Plan
    • 2. Develop a Draft
    • 3. Revise
    • 4. Edit
    • 5. Publish
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 6 revision guide, the end of unit writing task is to write an explanatory essay about how an activity described in one of the unit selections meets the human need for challenge. In unit six, students analyze the epic hero, technical texts, and language.  The revision guide includes questions to ask with tips and techniques for revising. 
    • "Does the text evidence support the ideas in each paragraph?
      • Underline each supporting fact, definition, example, or quotation.
      • Add facts, details, examples, or quotations to support ideas."
    • "Does the conclusion effectively summarize ideas?
      • Underline the restated thesis or summary of ideas in the conclusion.
      • Add a restatement of the thesis or summary of the essay’s ideas."
    • "Is the style appropriately formal, including domain-specific vocabulary?
      • Notes slang or informal word choices. Underline domain-specific terms. 
      • Replace informal language. Add scientific or academic language as appropriate."

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

After each individual text is presented within each unit, students must complete the “Research” section that requires students to branch outside of the text, within the specific topic posed by the Essential Question. The purpose is for students to further research the elements discussed or introduced within or surrounding specific texts. Also located within the “Research” section are “Connect” and “Extend” tasks that reinforce synthesis and additional research. And, throughout each grade level textbook, at least one culminating activity between the six units requires students to compose an extensive research report.

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, after reading the short story “Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer, students are asked under the heading “Research” to “Research and read a few well-known fairy tales, and write a summary for each fairy tale.
    •  Record what you learn in the chart, citing your sources. Then share your findings with a partner and discuss the structure and characteristics of each fairy tale. 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 2, students are presented with the “Research” section: “It’s one thing to read a speech, but it’s even better to listen to it or to be an audience member. Find a version of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, in audio or video form. On the chart, explain what you noticed in the audio or video version, and how that is different from what you noticed in the text.” 
    • Students are given a chart that indicates differences between the text version and audio/video version, with “What I Noticed” and “Impact on Me.”
    • There is a “Research Tip” provided in the sidebar of the Student Edition: “The best search terms are very specific. Along with King’s name, include the name of his speech and the form you want, such as text, image, or video, in order to find exactly what you are looking for.” 
    • There is also a “Connect” question presented within the “Research” section: “In paragraph 9. Dr. King says that people ask civil rights activists, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ Reread the paragraph and write a response about how this main idea in that part of the speech applies today. Share your response with a small group. 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 4, students are presented with the “Research” section: “Several intelligence agencies formed in the United States and Great Britain during and after World War II. For example, in 1942 the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was established in the United States. Research the jobs people did at these agencies. Record what you learn in the chart.” 
    • Students are given a chart that indicates “World War II Agencies” and “Jobs Employees Performed.”
    • There is a “Research Tip” provided in the sidebar of the Student Edition: “Be careful when choosing sources for your research. Make sure the websites you use are reliable and relevant to your search.”
    • There is also an “Extend” task presented within the “Research” section: “In 1954, the Soviet Union formed its own security agency, the KGB. With a partner, research how KGB agents operated against intelligence agents from other countries during the Cold War.”
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 6, students read an excerpt from The Odyssey and are presented with the “Research” section: “Like other classic epic poems, The Odyssey was spoken before it was written. This great adventure was passed down orally from generation to generation. Find two audio recordings of The Odyssey and listen to the parts you have read in this unit. Pay attention to elements of prosody--timing, phrasing, emphasis, and intonation--the readers use. Use the chart below to make notes about how the audio version makes the action and/or the characters more vivid; and how it helps you better understand the text.” 
    • Students are given a chart that indicates differences between the audio version 1 and audio version 2, with “How It Increases My Enjoyment of the Text” and “How It Helps Me Understand the Text.”
    • There is a “Research Tip” provided in the sidebar of the Student Edition: “When researching audio recordings, keep in mind that some readings may be of higher quality than others. A classic such as [the text] has been recorded by several organizations and actors with varying success. Look for audio recordings with positive reviews or those that have received awards.” 
    • There is also an “Extend” task presented within the “Research” section: “With a small group, create your own audio recording of the selections from The Odyssey in this unit. When planning your own recording, integrate the qualities you appreciated the most about the two recordings you researched. Play your recording for the class.”

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Students are presented with an “Independent Reading” section within the Grade 9 textbook where they are required to use their understanding of the Notice & Note Signposts to aide in their reading, analysis, and deconstruction of their self selected independent reading texts. Within the “Independent Reading” section of the Teacher's Edition instructors are presented with English Learner Support and “When Students Struggle…” sections, as well as lexile levels to help instructors make a more quantitatively conscientious choice for students that struggle to select texts. Also, at the close of the paper copy of the textbook, students also must complete a “Collaborate and Share” section that requires students to discuss a summary of the text(s), signposts seen throughout, what they enjoyed, and a recommendation to a fellow student or group of students. 

In addition, the online portal offers assessments after students have read each individual text that include text-reference based questions at the close of every independent reading; and the assessments include the Notice & Note Signpost skills and skills learned throughout the entire unit. And, each unit is centered around an Essential Question that is part of the design of the “Independent Reading” section of the textbook, as all texts in some way revolve around the concepts of the EQ(s). Also, each unit includes the “Suggested Novel Connection” novel that can be incorporated within the  whole class model. Students can read this text independently, and unlike the shorter independent reading selections, the suggested novel is generally less complex than the whole class texts. Most students will be able to tackle this text independently, on their own. 

In addition to the response log and annotations, each text in the independent reading collection is followed by an assessment which the teacher can assign. The assessment begins with selected response items and includes a short constructed response prompt as well as an extended response prompt. Questions in the assessment are primarily text-based items. 

The texts in the independent reading collection represent a variety of modes, genres, and complexities which provides students the opportunity to build stamina through a volume of independent reading or to build strength by reading stretch-level texts.

  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, students are given the choice of reading “Oklahoma Bombing Address” a speech by Bill Clinton. 
    • Students are given the following prompt before they begin the piece: As you read, think about the purpose of President Clinton's speech. Make an inference from the first paragraph about the audience he is addressing; and how his audience would have shaped the president's message.
  • In the Student Edition, Unit 1, students are given the choice of reading the poem “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes. 
    • Before reading the text, students are asked the following: “As you read, pay attention to how the speaker describes himself; and what he thinks about his relationship to white people.”
  • In the Student Edition ED Online, Unit 1 Independent Reading: 
    • Poem: “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa
    • Blog:  “Making the Future Better, Together" by Eboo Patel
    • Speech: “Oklahoma Bombing Memorial Address” by Bill Clinton
    • Short Story: “Night Calls” by Lisa Fugard
    • Poem: “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes
    • Suggested novel: Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
  • Within the Teacher's Edition, Unit 4, The independent reading selections are as follows:
    • Myth: “Pyramus and Thisbe” an excerpt from The Metamorphoses by Ovid
    • Sonnet: Sonnet 71 by Pablo Neruda
    • Science Writing: An excerpt from Why Love Literally Hurts by Eric Jaffe
    • Short Story: “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant” by W.D. Wetherell
    • Suggested Novel Connection: Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper
  • In the Student Edition, ED Online, Unit 5 Independent Reading:
    • Article: “Adventures Change, Danger Does Not.” by Alan Cowell
    • Memoir: from An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina
    • Poem: “Who Understands Me But Me” by Jimmy Santiago Baca
    • Speech: “Truth at All Costs” by Marie Colvin
    • Informational text: from Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales
    • Suggested novel: Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the expectations for instructional supports and usability indicators.  The materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards, as well as offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Teachers are provided with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, and digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.

Criterion 3a - 3e

Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
7/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criterion for materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids. The materials include a publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The visual design is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. 

The materials in Grade 9 contain six different units which are all designed around an essential question. The units are titled: Finding Common Ground, The Struggle for Freedom, The Bonds Between Us, Sweet Sorrow, A Matter of Life or Death, and Heroes and Quests. Each unit contains a section called “Analyze and Apply” with a variety of different text genres to explore the question, a section titled “Collaborate and Compare” which has students comparing two pieces, a selection of independent reading and a culminating writing task. Within each unit there is also one text that is designated as a “Notice and Note Reading Model” and another that is identified as the “Mentor Text” for that unit. At the beginning of each unit in the Teacher's Edition there is a page titled “Instructional Overview and Resources”. On this page there is the suggested pacing for the unit along with the pacing for each text and the culminating writing task. Each unit launches with an explanation of the essential question and a specific quotation that connects to this point as well. After the unit begins, teachers are able to guide their students through each text which is followed by a “Check Your Understanding” activity that asks students multiple choice questions on the text, “Analyze the Text” which asks students more thoughtful questions on the passage, a “Research” section that asks students to research something in connection with the text and “Create and Present” which asks students to apply what they have learned. 

  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 1: Finding Common Ground, students are asked to read “A Quilt of a Country”  by Anna Quindlen. Before reading the text, the instructions on page 7 ask students to “look for how the author uses an extended metaphor to convince readers of her claim, or argument”. After students read the text, they answer three questions that “check for understanding” followed by five analysis questions. Then, they research cultural groups found in America before comparing their research with a partner and then discussing their responses in a small group. 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 3: The Bonds Between Us, students are asked to read the informational text “With Friends Like These...” by Dorothy Rowe. Before reading the text, the instructions say “as you read, pay attention to whether the author appears to be drawing on scientific studies or personal experience to support her ideas”. After reading the text, students are asked to complete “Check for Understanding” as well as five analysis questions. Then, they are asked to think about the topic of the text, friendship based on research by neuroscientists, and find another article on this topic. Then, they have to freewrite on what that article discusses. After that, students are asked to write a personal essay using their notes on both the text and their research and then finally present a scene that is a moment in which “two teenagers meet and discover the ideal friend”. 
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 5: A Matter of Life or Death, students are asked to read the argument “Is Survival Selfish?” by Lane Wallace. Before reading the text, students are asked to “think about how you would react in a life-threatening situation. Would you save yourself? Or would you save others, and risk your own life? After reading the text, students are asked to “Check for Understanding” and complete five analysis questions. Then, they are asked to research stories of other survivors and record notes about what they find. Next, they are asked to prepare for a discussion focusing on whether or not they find these survivors’ actions to be selfish. Finally, the discussion is executed and assessed.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

Within the textbook, there are six units of study. Per unit, the suggested pacing is thirty days, and the days allotted to certain lessons, for pacing, depend upon the text, text type, tasks, etc. required of students. Larger texts such as Shakespearean plays, novels, excerpts from novels, epic poems, and larger short stories are text selections with tasks that instructors will need to spend more time with their students on, and this is reflected in the pacing guide. The “Collaborate & Compare” section, where students are comparing two texts, usually require the longest time period of focus; this is so that each text and task allows students to gain the maximum understanding of content. For Grades 11 and 12, students experience two “Collaborate & Compare” sections where each are three to five days--totaling similarly with Grades 9 and 10. What stays consistent in terms of pacing, regardless, is the Independent Reading and End of Unit sections--two and three days. The Unit Introduction also is consistent totalling one day. The suggested pacing and overview of unit can be found in the “Instructional Overview and Resources” section. 

Within Unit 1, the texts are consistent with the following days: 

  • Unit Introduction: 1 day
  • “A Quilt of a Country”: 4 days
  • “Unusual Normality”: 4 days
  • “Once Upon a Time”: 4 days
  • “The Vietnam Wall”: 3 days
  • The Gettysburg Address / from Saving Lincoln: 9 days
  • Independent Reading: 2 days
  • End of Unit (task): 3 days

Within Unit 2, the texts are consistent with the following days: 

  • Unit Introduction: 1 day
  • I Have a Dream: 4 days
  • “Interview with John Lewis”: 3 days
  • From Hidden Figures: 5 days
  • “The Censors”: 3 days
  • “Booker T. and W.E.B.”: 2 days
  • From Reading Lolita in Tehran / from Persepolis 2: 7 days
  • Independent Reading: 2 days
  • End of Unit (task): 3 days

Within Unit 3, the texts are consistent with the following days: 

  • Unit Introduction: 1 day
  • “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket”: 5 days
  • “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect”: 5 days
  • “With Friends Like These…”: 4 days
  • “AmeriCorps NCCC: Be the Greater Good”: 2 days
  • “Loser” / “At Dusk”: 8 days
  • Independent Reading: 2 days
  • End of Unit (task): 3 days

Within Unit 4, the texts are consistent with the following days: 

  • Unit Introduction: 1 day
  • “The Price of Freedom”: 4 days
  • “Love’s Vocabulary”: 4 days
  • “My Shakespeare”: 2 days
  • The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet: 10 days
  • “Having It Both Ways” / “Superheart”: 4 days
  • Independent Reading: 2 days
  • End of Unit (task): 3 days

Within Unit 5, the texts are consistent with the following days: 

  • Unit Introduction: 1 day
  • “The Leap”: 6 days
  • “Is Survival Selfish?”: 6 days
  • “The End and the Beginning”: 3 days
  • From Night / from The Pianist: 9 days
  • Independent Reading: 2 days
  • End of Unit (task): 3 days

Within Unit 6, the texts are consistent with the following days: 

  • Unit Introduction: 1 day
  • From The Odyssey: 10 days
  • “Archaeology’s Tech Revolution Since Indiana Jones”: 5 days
  • From The Cruelest Journey: 600 Miles to Timbuktu / “The Journey”: 9 days
  • Independent Reading: 2 days

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.)

The grade 9 materials are organized into a consistent structure with careful attention to lesson design. Students move from an introduction to the essential question and focus elements of the text instructions into a close reading with significant scaffolding and support included, to post-reading instruction to deepen knowledge and develop skills. The textbook, whether print or digital, includes prompts or live links to an accompanying digital resource that provides an opportunity for independent learning or intervention instruction. This can be selected by the student or assigned by the teacher. 

Each unit in grade 9 begins with an introduction to the essential question for the unit, an introduction to the essential academic vocabulary, and a brief lesson about how to use Notice & Note strategies while reading in the unit. Each text is structured similarly. 

  • Get Ready provides students with a Quick Start to connect prior knowledge, instructions for analyzing the mode or genre of text, a preview of critical vocabulary within the text, and an opportunity to focus on language conventions demonstrated within the text. 
  • While reading, students are prompted in the margins to annotate the text including elements of Notice & Note strategies, use of selected conventions, elements of the essential focus of analysis. Critical vocabulary is also defined in the margins. 
  • After reading, students respond to constructed response prompts in the Analyze The Text section. Research suggests areas to explore further. Create and Present asks students to write and present analysis, research, and synthesis of ideas from across the text or multiple texts. Critical Vocabulary and Language Conventions are also reviewed at the end of the reading.
  • Students with access to the digital texts are prompted to visit the appropriate Studio (i.e. the Vocabulary Studio or Writing Studio) for specific support including explanation of a topic with examples and practice. This may be suggested in a margin note in the printed text or with a live link in the digital text.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

The publisher does provide a Standards Correlation resource that lists each standard and the page number of the student resource or related Studio where the standard is addressed or assessed. The pages indicated include a specific set of questions, tasks, or assessment items. While the user will not see a specific item assigned to a standard (i.e. "RL.9.3 is found on page 12 and page 12 includes directions for annotating text and inference recorded in a reading log"), the items on the page may represent a variety of applications.

However, the standards are not called out specifically in a consistent manner within the Teacher's Edition or Student Edition to make these connections explicit and reinforce the skills they are learning.

The Common Core State Standards document includes each standard and the page where instruction and assessment can be found in the student text. The page number refers to the printed text and does not reflect navigation through the digital text.

  • RL.9.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
  • SE: 7, 20, 40, 60, 78, 104, 122, 124, 125, 176, 198, 226, 248, 272, 278, 302, 310, 320, 322, 348, 376, 392, 446, 476, 510, 518, 521, 530, 542, 556, 558, 572, 606, 624, 638, 662, 664, 665, 667, 674, 676, 677, 708, 713, 720, 752, 764, 766, 767

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The Student Edition pages are perforated and have hole punches for easy transfer to a binder or for single use; students are also expected to include margin notes and annotations throughout each text read, thus, there is ample room for margin notes. Elements throughout every unit are color coded for easy identification; for example, Unit Intro (yellow), Collaborate & Compare (orange), Independent Reading (dark orange), Writing Task (purple), each text within each unit is a varying different shade/ color to indicate a change in text. The tasks and activities included follow the color tab along with the paired text. 

Each section is labeled in the same manner, such as “Analyze the Text,” “Research,” and “Create and Discuss”; there is a definite pattern and organization before, during, and after each text read. The Teacher's Edition is a mirror image of the student edition; the main difference between the Teacher's Edition and Student Edition is that the Teacher's Edition includes additional and extensive teacher notes within the sidebar. While this might be confusing at first, acclimation occurs over time and is extremely helpful as instructors can empathize with what students are seeing. 

All response logs are located at the close of the Student Edition for quick access. 

Within the online platform the following supports are included for students: Reading Studio, Writing Studio, Speaking & Listening Studio, Grammar Studio, and Vocabulary Studio. Instructors are also provided with a “Digital Sampler,” which previews formative assessments, engaging instruction progress monitoring & differentiation, summative assessment, and professional support. The digital materials, when providing students with scores immediately, informs instruction. Additionally, where relevant, the print copy of the Student Edition and Teacher's Edition encourage students to visit the website for additional supports such as the studios. The online application also offers complete and full texts including Additional Connections, which are usually novels or novellas for extended reading, not included within the print text. And, the images included are relevant and adhere to the topics that are covered per unit.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criterion for materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards. The materials contain a Teacher's Edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the Student Edition and in the ancillary materials. The materials contain a Teacher’s Edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary. The Teacher’s Edition explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.  The materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Indicator 3f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

Within the paper materials delivered to teachers, the following supports are included: 

  • Teacher’s Edition textbook
  • Student Edition textbook
  • Digital Sampler: A New Comprehensive Literacy Solution
  • Assessment Guide
  • Social-Emotional Learning with Learning Mindset
  • Novel & Trade Book Brochure
  • Table of Contents Brochure
  • Research Foundations: Evidence Base
  • Common Core State Standards Correlation

Each support comes in its own booklet. The booklets explain how each component is used within the program. Instructors may also access additional information about these supports, as well as a condensed overview of the online platform, at the front of the textbook.

Instructions within the Teacher's Edition give specific supports on Dr. Kylene Beers and Dr. Robert E. Probst’s text Notice & Note and how to implement the text holistically throughout each textbook via the sections at the beginning of the Teacher’s Edition; “The Perspicacious Reader (And yes, you want to be one)” and “Reading and Writing Across Genres.” Throughout the textbook, Notice & Note strategies are applied explicitly at the beginning of each Notice & Note Reading Model--an identified text that students are required to practice specific Sign Posts with. Also, throughout both the Teacher's Edition and Student Edition, there are annotation supports for the Sign Posts and what students should be identifying while reading. 

Within each unit in the paper materials, instructors are given an “Instructional Overview and Resources” section that previews instructional focus, online Ed resources, English Learner support, differentiated instruction, online Ed assessment, and suggested pacing. And, at the beginning of each unit, instructors and students alike are given a unit introduction where the essential question (EQ) is reviewed. During this section, there is a plethora of teacher notes within the Teacher's Edition along the sidebar to assist students to reach maximum understanding and comprehension of the concepts of the unit, including but not limited to the following sidebar sections in the Teacher's Edition: Connect to the Essential Question, Discuss the Quotation, Academic Vocabulary,  Respond to the Essential Question, Learning Mindset, and English Learner Support.

Before every text read and deconstructed, instructors are presented with a “Plan” section that usually includes genre elements, learning objectives, a text complexity analysis, online Ed resources, summaries (in English and Spanish), and small group options. Before each text instructors are also presented with Text X-Ray: English Learner Support: "Use the Text X-Ray and the supports and scaffolds in the Teacher’s Edition to help guide students at different proficiency levels through the selection.” Within this section there are supports for listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 

Also, the Teacher's Edition is an exact replica of the Student Edition with the exception of all additional teacher notes located within the sidebar--for which there are many. For every section that students encounter, there is an equal teacher note that includes instructions or dialogue to students, directions, answers, and higher order thinking prompts/questions to push students further. Within the Teacher's Edition, there are also ample ELL supports as well as challenges for students that master the material the first time. Also, expressed within the answers located in the side bar for corresponding sections in the Student Edition, instructors are presented DOK levels. 

Within the Teacher's Edition, like the Student Edition, there are colored tabs at the top of the pages that indicate different sections for easy moving throughout and within the textbook; these match the Student Edition so that instructors may see and empathize with what students are seeing to make instruction and learning more meaningful and seamless. 

The sections within each unit within the Teacher's Edition, for individual texts, are as follows: 

  • Plan
  • Teach
  • Apply

Lastly, within the online Ed application, the following supports are included for instructors, some of which mirror the student portal access:

  • Professional Learning
  • Speaking & Listening Studio
  • Student Edition
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Current Events
  • Reading Studio
  • Grammar Studio
  • Teacher’s Edition
  • Text Library
  • Media Projects
  • Writing Studio
  • Vocabulary Studio
  • Assessment
  • Intervention, Review, & Extension
  • State-Specific Resources

Also located within the Teacher's Edition of the online portal is the “Data & Reports” tab that includes an assessment report, standards report, and growth report. These tools inform instructors on their next steps with students to inform instruction.

Indicator 3g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

Instructors are presented with a large body of supporting materials to improve knowledge of the subject. At the beginning of each unit, educators are provided with an “Instructional Overview and Resources”. This outline contains the instructional focus as well as the reading, writing, speaking & listening, vocabulary and language convention targets for each individual text. In addition, they provide online resources, English learner support, differentiated instruction as well as a suggested pacing guide for the texts in this section. Before each text, they provide detailed notes for educator support including how-guides, example scripts for teacher-student interaction, detailed explanations of the content, and the learning objectives. In addition, they explain the genre elements, provide details on the text complexity including qualitative measures and a brief summary of what students will be reading. In more specific detail they are provided a Text X-Ray for English Learner Support, which gives educators detailed information on how to introduce the selection, cultural references and how to support students’ at various levels of proficiency. At the end of each unit, students are tasked with writing a Culminating Writing Task. Educators are given student exemplars as well as a rubric to help support and assess students’ writing. Throughout each text there are sidebars that provide additional support for teachers, a box that is titled When Students Struggle that gives additional insight to educators for any issues that may arrive and even social-emotional support for students which are the boxes labeled Learning Mindset

  • In Unit 1 on page 5, students are asked to read “A Quilt of A Country” by Anna Quindlen. Before students begin they are asked to evaluate the author’s claim. In the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition the instructions explain that they should “explain that students usually can find an author’s position or claim, stated at the beginning of an argument and then repeated at the end. Discuss the differences between reasons and evidence as related to supporting a claim (a reason describes a general principle that supports a claim; evidence helps prove a claim)". In addition, educators are provided with four questions to help assist students in evaluating reasons and evidence. 
  • In Unit 3, students are asked to read the short story “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket” by Yasunari Kawbata. This text also serves as the Notice & Note reading model for this unit. A Notice & Note signpost is marked "Aha moment" in the student edition. In the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition it explains that educators should “explain to students that this signpost is characterized by an aha moment when a character has a sudden realization or finally understands something. Paragraph 7-16 show the buildup to an Aha Moment. Ask students to identify the sentences that express the Aha Moment (“Oh! It’s not a grasshopper, it’s a bell cricket”) Remind students that a bell cricket is a symbol of good luck, then ask what the fact that the boy has given her something so special suggests." 
  • In Unit 5, students are asked to read the poem “The End and the Beginning” by Wislawa Szymborska. Before reading the text, students are asked to analyze poetic structure, in particular looking at the difference between repetition and parallel structure. In the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition it explains that educators should “point out that repetition uses the same word or phrases two or more times, while parallelism uses different words arranged in as similar (or parallel structure). Read aloud the example stanzas, emphasizing the repeated words and parallel structures. Make sure students understand the difference between repetition and parallelism." Then, it provides educators with two examples, one of repetition and one of parallelism.

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

The instructional materials are available in two forms, print and digital. The print version of the Teacher's Edition includes annotated student edition materials that explain the design of the materials, pacing, instructional strategies, assessment, and how the approach fosters a growth mindset and independence. A separate standards alignment document is included as well as an assessment guide. 

The digital teacher materials include professional learning modules that introduce all of the materials and allow a teacher to explore the concepts presented in the student materials. These modules are primarily videos with brief activities that allow teachers to learn at their own pace. Through the teacher materials and learning modules, the approach to teaching reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language components are clearly explained and demonstrated. 

The Professional Learning Modules include:

  • Introduction: understand the organization of the materials
  • Exploration: dig deeper into the specific expectations and strategies within the units of study
  • Reflection: synthesize information and record learning
  • Application: begin planning classroom use
  • Getting started: demonstrate application

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials contain a explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

The Teacher's Edition begins with an introduction to the consultants who created the program. Each is respected across the English Language Arts/Literacy community and represent widely published strategies based on research and documented success. The materials also include a handbook of the research foundations that underpin the entire program.  Topics supported by the research include student-centered learning; the integration of reading, writing, speaking and listening; data-driven growth demonstrated through a balanced assessment system; and blended professional learning and services that support modeling and coaching of instructional strategies and practices.

Program consultants are:

Kylene Beers Nationally known lecturer and author on reading and literacy; coauthor with Robert Probst of Disrupting Thinking, Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading, and Reading Nonfiction; former president of the National Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Beers is the author of When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do and coeditor of Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice, as well as articles in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Former editor of Voices from the Middle, she is the 2001 recipient of NCTE’s Richard W. Halle Award, given for outstanding contributions to middle school literacy. She recently served as Senior Reading Researcher at the Comer School Development Program at Yale University as well as Senior Reading Advisor to Secondary Schools for the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College.

Martha Hougen National consultant, presenter, researcher, and author. Areas of expertise include differentiating instruction for students with learning difficulties, including those with learning disabilities and dyslexia; and teacher and leader preparation improvement. Dr. Hougen has taught at the middle school through graduate levels. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, curricular documents, and presentations, Dr. Hougen has published two college textbooks: The Fundamentals of Literacy Assessment and Instruction Pre-K–6 (2012) and The Fundamentals of Literacy Assessment and Instruction 6–12 (2014). Dr. Hougen has supported Educator Preparation Program reforms while working at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin and at the CEEDAR Center, University of Florida.

Elena Izquierdo Nationally recognized teacher educator and advocate for English language learners. Dr. Izquierdo is a linguist by training, with a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Bilingual Education from Georgetown University. She has served on various state and national boards working to close the achievement gaps for bilingual students and English language learners. Dr. Izquierdo is a member of the Hispanic Leadership Council, which supports Hispanic students and educators at both the state and federal levels. She served as Vice President on the Executive Board of the National Association of Bilingual Education and as Publications and Professional Development Chair.

Carol Jago Teacher of English with 32 years of experience at Santa Monica High School in California; author and nationally known lecturer; former president of the National Council of Teachers of English. Ms. Jago currently serves as Associate Director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA. With expertise in standards assessment and secondary education, Ms. Jago is the author of numerous books on education, including With Rigor for All and Papers, Papers, Papers, and is active with the California Association of Teachers of English, editing its scholarly journal California English since 1996. Ms. Jago also served on the planning committee for the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework and the 2011 NAEP Writing Framework. 

Erik Palmer Veteran teacher and education consultant based in Denver, Colorado. Author of Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students and Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations. His areas of focus include improving oral communication, promoting technology in classroom presentations, and updating instruction through the use of digital tools. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado.

Robert E. Probst Nationally respected authority on the teaching of literature; Professor Emeritus of English Education at Georgia State University. Dr. Probst’s publications include numerous articles in English Journal and Voices from the Middle, as well as professional texts including (as coeditor) Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice and (as coauthor with Kylene Beers) Disrupting Thinking, Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading, and Reading Nonfiction. He regularly speaks at national and international conventions including those of the International Literacy Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Developers, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He has served NCTE in various leadership roles, including the Conference on English Leadership Board of Directors, the Commission on Reading, and column editor of the NCTE journal Voices from the Middle. He is also the 2004 recipient of the CEL Exemplary Leader Award.

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Students and teachers are well informed regarding strategies and suggestions in how achievement and progress can be achieved. Based on the systems provided, it is easy for instructors to present the literacy program, suggestions for support, progress, and achievement strategies to parents and other stakeholders.

However while the instructional materials include strategies for informing students about the ELA/literacy program, there is no evidence that this program is shared with other stakeholders, nor are there suggestions for parents and caregivers to support their student’s progress and/or achievement. The program assists students to be autonomous learners and teaches strategies to reach grade level standards. There is progress tracking data available to provide teachers with information to differentiate.

  • The materials provide opportunities for ongoing assessment and data reporting utilizing a Report on Student Growth and Report on Standards Proficiency.
  • Reports in Ed allow teachers to view progress by class, students, assignments, and skill level. Teachers can adjust instruction based on the results in real time.
  • The materials include opportunities for formative assessments, peer reviews, and Reflect on the Unit questions which students can use to monitor their progress.
  • The assessment materials provide data for students and teachers on ongoing progress. Teachers and students have access to growth measurements, unit assessments, and ongoing formative assessments such as daily classwork checks.
  • Teachers have ways to differentiate and adjust a student's instructional path including but not limited to the instructional purpose, standard, or genre. There are also a variety of supports that teachers can assign based on assessment data. These features are accessible in the online features.
  • Students can also track their data and access support material in the online features.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criterion for materials offer teacher resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. The materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized and they provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. The materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. The materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Each unit includes an abundance of formative assessment opportunities that provide teachers an opportunity to quickly and regularly adjust instruction as needed to continuously support progress. Items represent a variety of forms and measures including on-demand and process writing, comprehension as well as analysis, and various modes and media. 

Formative assessment opportunities within each unit occur daily and include;

  • Check your understanding
  • Selection tests
  • Writing tasks
  • Independent reading
  • Usage data
  • Online essay scoring
  • Teacher observations
  • Research projects 

Unit assessments identify mastery of skills covered during the course of the unit across all literacy strands and occur six times per year - at the end of each unit. 

Adaptive growth measures occur three times per year and allow teachers to gain an understanding of where students are on the learning continuum and identify students in need of intervention or enrichment.

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The Teacher's Edition includes an opportunity to see all standards addressed and assessed with each lesson. Individual standards are not noted for each item; rather, standards are presented en masse in the alignment materials and addressed in an integrated manner within the materials. The standards for Common Core State Standards as well as several states are listed. It is possible for teachers to determine which specific standard(s) is assessed but item-level alignment is left to teacher judgement. 

In both the student edition and Teacher's Edition, standards are listed directly under the title of the instructional element for each text. Clicking on the “show details” link provides a detailed list of all standards before opening the link to the activity or materials. 

  •  “Get Ready” for unit 1 indicates that 29 standards are represented as students prepare to read “Quilt of a Country” by Anna Quindlen. 
  • Indicate clusters.
  • As students read, 42 standards are listed. 
  • When students do vocabulary work, 12 standards are aligned.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

Unit assessment identify mastery of skills covered during the course of the unit across all literacy strands and occur six times per year - at the end of each unit. 

Adaptive growth measures occur three times per year and allow teachers to gain an understanding of where students are on the learning continuum and identify students in need of intervention or enrichment. Actionable reports are available in the digital resource. Teachers can review student performance then assign specific texts, tasks, or supports such as elements of a Studio as needed. Tutorials in the form of videos are available for professional learning and can be accessed any time.  These tutorials explain how to create and access class and student reports to monitor progress. 

Formative assessment opportunities within each unit occur daily and include:

  • Check your understanding
  • Selection tests
  • Writing tasks
  • Independent reading
  • Usage data
  • Online essay scoring
  • Teacher observations

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Teachers can monitor student progress through formative assessment analysis and provide actionable feedback or select appropriate instructional strategies consistently.  Each text is structured to develop routines such as annotating text for literary elements, Notice & Note strategies, vocabulary development, and instructional focus as introduced before reading. Each unit ends with a writing task, presentation or collaboration, and a reflection on learning across the unit which gives the student a voice in determining next steps based on identified needs or interest. 

Routine structures include analysis of a mentor text as well as reference to the mentor text when assigning the end of unit task. 

Guidance often takes the form of a reminder to reference a topic in a Studio to support learning as needed. For example, after reading “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” by John Donne, students are assigned an essay. In the margin, students are directed to Writing Narratives in the Writing Studio. Also, there is the Assessment Guide presented to instructors that captures growth measure, diagnostic assessments, interim assessments, etc. All of these components display measurable tracking per individual student online when students complete assessments through the online platform. Instructors are able to check student progress, view diagnostic skills-based assessment results, view the student growth report, and diagnostic screening(s).

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Each unit includes a selection of texts that students can read independently if they choose. Each text provides students an opportunity to further explore the essential question and include a variety of genres that inspire motivation to read and various complexities to build stamina through a volume of reading. 

The independent reading section of each unit in the student edition begins with a review of the essential question for the unit, a reminder of Notice & Note signposts and how they applied to texts in the whole-class study, and a live link to the reading studio for additional supports. After the independent reading texts, students can reflect on the texts and apply their learning to the end of unit writing task. 

Each unit also includes a suggested novel that is related to the essential question. Students continue to apply reading strategies learned in class to support analysis of text recorded in the reading journal. Teachers can also collect assessment data from digital assessments assigned to students as they read.

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
9/10
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criterion for materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade-level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards and regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. The materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Indicator 3o

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The teacher’s edition includes an Instructional Overview and Resources section for each unit at the beginning of each unit. The plan includes the instructional focus aligned to grade-level standards, resources to support whole class instruction, specific resources to support English learners, and strategies for differentiated instruction. This includes resources to support students who struggle and resources to provide further challenge. 

Also included within each unit, throughout the unit, strategies and sections such as Learning Mindset, English Learner Support, Plan, Text X-Ray: English Learner Support, Notice & Note, To Challenge Students, Applying Academic Vocabulary, When Students Struggle, etc. These strategies and sections assist instructors in helping students reach or exceed the grade-level standards. Most of these sections and strategies are located within the side-bar of the Teacher's Edition; however, there are supports located directly within the Student Edition for student assistance. These supports include online links to the online platform, for example: “Go to the Grammar Studio for more on noun clauses,” “go to the Vocabulary Studio for more on patterns of word changes,” “Research Tip,” “Academic Vocabulary,” among other helpful tips and strategies. 

Indicator 3p

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

All students are expected to engage with grade-level texts. The text sets for whole class instruction and for independent reading include a range of complexities across the grade band with some just below and some just above. Strategies to scaffold complex text, access grade level learning targets, and support specific cultural references or contexts are provided in the teacher resource materials in print and online. The “Text X-Ray: English Learner Support” section, in the teacher materials, include suggestions for how to introduce the primary content or literary topics in the text, cultural references explained, and strategies for listening, speaking, reading, and writing relative to the text. During the reading of the text, a box labeled “When Students Struggle…” provide detailed explanations of intricacies within the text and how to provide support for understanding. Suggestions for assigning specific tutorials in one of the Studios is noted as appropriate. Margin notes accompany the text to provide “English Learner Support” to identify specific needs or topics relative to identified sections of text. 

Also, located within the Teacher's Edition, before every text, there is a summary section with both English and Spanish summary translations.

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Each unit plan includes suggestions for periodically challenging students, and Challenge tasks build on whole-class activities to extend or deepen learning. However, these opportunities are in less than half of the texts with no opportunities in the others. Some of these tasks require students to do additional work rather than a differentiated task. For example, students may extend a research topic, make inferences across multiple texts, hold a staged reading, write a memoir, compare poems, identify allusions,etc. Students can also select more challenging texts for independent reading, but the focus is more on adding tasks than growing literacy.

Also, within and throughout each unit there are sections such as “To Challenge Students…”; goal setting sections such as “Learning Mindset” to challenge students; open ended response questions within the “Respond to the Essential Question” section; and, extension tasks/questions within Research sections.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

At the beginning of each unit, specific strategies for small-group options are provided with detailed support for at least two methods of grouping students during class instruction. Also, throughout every unit, instructors are presented with various whole class questions located within the sidebar of the Teacher's Edition; there are also questions and tasks located within the sidebar of the Student Edition, that are up to instructor discretion for how they may be answered--individually, in pairs, groups, or whole class--along with the annotation models and tasks throughout each reading. Students may be paired or placed in groups to read. 

  • Within the Teacher's Edition, Unit 4, students read “The Price of Freedom” by Noreen Riols. The Small-Group options are as follows:
    • “Three-minute Review”: Students review a portion of text and discuss in small groups.
    • “Key-word Prediction”: Students work with a partner to predict the meaning of key words identified in the text, note the words while reading, and discuss the meaning after reading.
  • In the Teacher's Edition, Unit 6, students read an excerpt from The Odyssey, by Homer. The Small-Group options are as follows:
    • “Ask a Question”: Students essentially have the option to respond to the question or pass the question along to another peer; and “once the question is answered, read the next short section of the poem and ask another key question about the text.”
    • “Reading Jigsaw”: Students are divided into groups, and each group is given a specific topic to discuss and become experts on. Each group will present the specific details of each topic to the class.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criterion for materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms. Digital materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers, “platform neutral,” follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations and the materials can be easily customized for local use. Although the materials do not include a collaboration platform, they do include progress monitoring for individual students.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The digital materials included with the textbooks are web-based compatible programs. They are able to be accessed across multiple browsers including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. They are able to be opened with both Apple and PC products as well as smart phones of both kinds including Microsoft, Apple and Google operating systems. In addition, they follow a universal programming style and both students and teachers should be able to access them using tablets including Apple iPads and Microsoft Surfaces, mobile devices like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy or computers such as a Chromebook or iMac. All digital material including documents, slide decks and videos were accessible on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. The digital format is clear and easy to read. The navigation on all devices were smooth and straightforward.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. 

Ed, an online teaching and learning system, substitutes digital texts for print matter with a formatting that appears much like the bound textbooks. Text sets are augmented by exclusively digital texts such as audio or video recordings. Available in the student edition, these digital texts place control of viewing and listening in the student’s hands, modifying traditional classroom use. Students can replay as much as needed to focus on evidence in the digital text and analyze craft as well as use in assigned tasks. This may be particularly helpful for language learners and struggling students. 

Technology reaches redefinition by providing immediate flexibility of text and task selection; asking students to do digital tasks like creating a blog, video, or podcast; allowing students to annotate text while reading then collecting those notes for review; providing a variety of formative assessments that teachers can track for evidence of need for intervention or extension; and linking Studio resources to points in the text or tasks that may benefit from a tutorial or review. 

Ed, an online teaching and learning system, allows teachers the opportunity to assign selected texts or tasks in response to assessment data. Teachers can assign whole or parts of Studio resources as they recognize need.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The digital materials essentially include that which the textbooks include; however, there are more materials online that support extension and remediation. The online materials assist instructors in personalizing learning for students as the online platform creates a baseline for progress monitoring regarding everything from analysis to the cumulative writing task. And, “Into Literature gives you the ability to curate a unique learning path for each student through ongoing assessments that yield actionable data...” 

Also, included within the Digital Sampler booklet for instructors, the section “Engaging Elements Captivate Student Interest” details the Stream to Start videos that assist in personalized learning as students are captivated before reading. Also, this section of the booklet details specified and individual guidance on how to close read within the online portal, specific videos for students that struggle with certain standards/skills, and interactive graphic organizers to students that need a challenge or additional support (included but not limited to Word Networks and Response Logs). And, students don’t need Wifi to access the materials: “...download when you’re online and access what you need when you’re offline. Work offline and then upload when you’re back online.” The materials are accommodating to students even if they do not have access to internet in their homes. 

Additionally, “Interactive peer and teacher feedback loops dramatically improve student performance. An additional 55+ assignable, interactive writing lessons and Level Up tutorials that focus on specific skills are available in the Writing Studio.” For example, “Online scoring allows students to receive quick feedback before submitting their work and gives teachers the option of a supported grading process.” 

And, while there are a plethora of other ways students can personalize their learning with the aid of the instructor, these are also worth mentioning: 

  • “Online Independent Reading Gives Students Voice and Choice”
  • Extensive Digital Library
  • “Give Students Ownership to Manage Their Learning”
    • Students are able to “...quickly access texts and resources...track their progress throughout the year...monitor upcoming due dates and let the teacher know when their work is ready for feedback.”
  • “Quickly Differentiate Using Real-Time Data”
  • “Assign New Learning Opportunities with Studio Educational Resources”
    • Reading Studio
    • Writing Studio
    • Speaking & Listening Studio
    • Grammar Studio
    • Vocabulary Studio
  • “Self-Guided Lessons Allow for Remediation, Support, and Extension”

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Into Literature textbook series is designed for instructor and student choice. All online materials as well as paper materials are easily customizable for district, administrative, instructor, and student use. 

Within the Research Foundations: Evidence Base booklet: “For teachers, Into Literature provides a flexible design, including expanded access to rich and varied digital resources for each literacy strand.”

In the Digital Sampler Booklet, in the section titled, “The Ultimate Flexibility to Teach Your Way” instructors may “Use Into Literature’s instructional path or create [their] own unique units with intuitive online planning tools.” Some pathways instructors can use to inform their decisions on what and how to use the curriculum are “Teach by Theme,” “Teach by Instructional Purpose,” “Teach by Standard,” and “Teach by Genre”--all of which can be found with these titles in the online platform. Instructors can also choose selections, customize instructions (especially in the online platform as they can build exams and tasks), and assign activities.

The textbook itself is easily customizable as in the Student Edition, pages are perforated and expected to be written upon by students; also, instructors may utilize what they choose from the units as additional material can be found in the online platform: “Interactive peer and teacher feedback loops dramatically improve student performance. An additional 55+ assignable, interactive writing lessons and Level Up tutorials that focus on specific skills are available in the Writing Studio.”

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate with each other. Collaboration within the curriculum only occurs in person within groups; there is no utilization of online platforms or technologies that promote teacher or students collaboration.

  • There is no evidence of any online collaboration between students in any format whether that be discussion, editing and reviewing, websites, or webinars.
  • Although there are digital resources such as the Speaking & Listening Studio with self-paced lessons for students, there is not a digital discussion board or any evidence of a website to host student to student or student to teacher collaboration.
abc123

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 11/07/2019

Report Edition: 2020

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA HS Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

X