Alignment: Overall Summary

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The instructional materials for Grade 4 meet the expectations of alignment and usability. The materials include appropriately rigorous, high quality texts that are engaging. These texts are the focus of students' reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language practice. Students have opportunities to learn and practice different types of writing and speaking. The materials are organized to support knowledge building of topics, and to build and apply new vocabulary. Implementation and usability supports for teachers to assure students meet grade level goals meet the criteria of Gateway 3.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
40
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
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 Into Reading materials for Grade 4 provide appropriate, increasingly complex, high-quality texts that reflect the distribution of text types/genres required by the standards at each grade level. The texts provide a range and volume of reading to support student growth and grade-level achievement.

Materials engage students with text-dependent and text-specific questions, tasks, and assignments that build to culminating tasks that include writing, speaking, or a combination thereof. The program provides protocols that support students as they engage in frequent, evidence-based discussions that are designed to model the use of academic vocabulary and syntax while encouraging students to adopt these practices in their own discussions. Although there are multiple frames and many opportunities to practice speaking and listening, the materials inconsistently support the use of texts. Students may be able to engage without fully comprehending the materials.

Students write for both process and on-demand assignments and tasks that meet the requirements of the standards. The materials provide opportunities for students to analyze texts, support and defend claims, and provide clear information about a topic through frequent evidence-based writing tasks. Materials provide explicit instruction in and application of grammar and conventions skills in increasingly sophisticated contexts.

Materials support strong foundational skills acquisition through explicit instruction, practice, and assessment in phonics and word recognition, and word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. Students are provided with frequent opportunities for fluency practice, however assessment and guidance for support is only provided for students who fall below grade level expectations—not for students reading at or above grade level.

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.
20/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The IntoReading materials for Grade 4 provide high-quality texts worthy of careful reading and reflect the distribution of text types/genres required by the standards at each grade level, providing a mix of informational and literary texts throughout the year. Texts are appropriately complex to help students build their knowledge and vocabulary and grow in complexity over the course of the year, allowing students to engage at increasingly more sophisticated skill levels. A text complexity analysis, including information regarding the texts’ qualitative and quantitative levels as well as information on the treatment of the text within the lessons. The texts provide a range and volume of reading to support student growth and grade-level achievement.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. Text sets in each module are rich in academic language and help build understanding toward a topic. Texts are engaging, contain strong academic vocabulary, and when applicable, include vivid illustrations. 

Specific examples of texts that are of publishable quality in Grade 4 include:

  • In Module 1, students read Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, a New York Times best selling author. The novel is interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations. It is a 2014 Newbery Medal Winner. 
  • In Module 3, students read Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner, a published drama which enables students to visualize details, recognize elements of a drama, and analyze figurative language such as idioms, adages, and proverbs. 
  • In Module 4, students read The Battle of the Alamo by Amie Jane Leavitt, an interactive published narrative nonfiction text about the history of the Alamo. 
  • In Module 6, students read Grand Canyon: A Tral Through Time by Linda Vieira, a literary nonfiction published text. The author and illustrator are the team behind the award winning book, The Ever-Living Tree
  • In Module 7, students read Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen. The book was the 2004 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Winner for the illustrations by Kadir Nelson. Students are exposed to rich figurative language, as well as adages and proverbs for students to analyze.
  • In Module 9, students read the graphic novel Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila, published in 2011. This text includes unfamiliar academic vocabulary and idioms and has an unconventional story structure.
  • In Module 10, students read Cooper’s Lesson by Sun Yung Shin, where students are exposed to the concept of feeling appreciated for uniqueness, a relatable topic. The book features a young biracial boy and is written in both English and Korean.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Texts throughout Grade 4 include a mix of informational and literary texts. Informational and literary texts are found throughout every module. Many of the literary texts are longer texts, while the informational texts include shorter articles. Genres include biographies, fables, folktales, graphic novels, historical texts, infographics, legends, poems, social studies texts, tall tales, videos, and realistic fiction texts. While the text types across modules vary, the modules typically focus on either literature or informative texts and are centered around a theme or topic. 

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

  • Module 1: Flora and Ulysses: The Illustrated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo: fantasy story. Other literary texts in this module include:  Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin, and Kitoto the Mighty by Tololwa M. Mollel. 
  • Module 2: Blind Ambition by Matthew Cooper as told to Rachel Buchholtz: personal narrative. Another literary text in this module includes The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich. 
  • Module 3: Rent Party Jazz by William Miller: historical fiction. Other literary texts in this module include Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner and My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Pérez. 
  • Module 4: Prince Charming Misplaces his Bride by Christopher Healy: fairy tale. Other literary texts in this module include: Perseus and the Fall of Medusa by Claire Daniel and The Battle of the Alamo by Amie Jane Leavitt. 
  • Module 5: The Art of Poetry  by J. Patrick Lewis, Bob Raczka, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Francisco Alarcon: collection of poems. 
  • Module 6: Grand Canyon by Linda Vieira: literary nonfiction text. 
  • Module 7: In the Days of King Adobe by Joe Hayes: folktale. Other literary texts in this module include: A Pair of Trickster Tales by Aesop, John and Caitlin Matthews, Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend retold by Eric Kimmel, and The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating by A.W. Flaherty. 
  • Module 8: Now You’re Cooking by Rene Saldaña Jr.: realistic fiction text. 
  • Module 9: Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila: graphic novel. Another literary text in this module is On Sea Turtle Patrol by Nancy Dawson. 
  • Module 10: Cooper’s Lesson by Sun Yung Shin: realistic fiction text. 

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

  • Module 1: “The Story of You” (author not cited): informational text.
  • Module 2: The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury: an informational text. Other informational texts in this module include: “What Are the Five Senses” (author not cited), Apex Predators by Steve Jenkins, and “The Man who Climbed Everest” (author unknown).
  • Module 3: The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 by Eyewitness to History: narrative nonfiction and personal narrative. Other informational texts in this module include: “Ellen Ochoa” (author not cited) and “Never Give Up” (author not cited). 
  • Module 4: “Who’s a Hero” (author unknown): an informational article. 
  • Module 5: Let’s Dance Around the World by Leticia Ann Kimura and Annabel Wildrick. Other informational texts in this module include: Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, and “Why Art Centers Matter” (author not cited). 
  • Module 6: Mariana Trench by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods. Other informational texts include: Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre, “Nature’s Wonders” a collection of poems by Robert Schechter, E.J. Kennedy, Steven Withrow, and Carol R. Baik, and Coral Reefs by Jason Chin. 
  • Module 7: “A Tale of Traditional Tales” (author not cited) and Anayai by Ruth Tenzer Feldman; both texts are informational. 
  • Module 8: It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout History by James Solheim: an argumentative article. Other informational texts in this module include: “To Your Health!” (author not cited), Eco-Friendly Food by Cath Senker, and “Bug Bites” (author not cited). 
  • Module 9: Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson: biography. Other informational texts include: The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle, The Eco Guardians (author not cited), and “How Can We Reduce Household Waste?” (author not cited). 
  • Module 10: The Museum Book: A Guide to Strange and Wonderful Collections by Jan Mark: history text. Other informational texts in this module include: “How Technology Has Changed Communication” (author not cited) and “The History of Communication” (author not cited).

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. The majority of the texts fall within the stretch Lexile band of 740–1010. Some of the texts are slightly above the quantitative measures appropriate for Grade 4; however, the reader and task and qualitative measures make them appropriate for Grade 4 students.

Some specific examples of texts that students read with the appropriate level of complexity include:

  • In Module 1, Week 1, students read “The Story of You” (no author), which has a Lexile of 6600 and is considered slightly complex based on the structure of the photo essay. The essay has a clear purpose, displays an explicitly stated topic, and uses familiar language.
  • In Module 2, Week 3, students read The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich, which has a Lexile of 770 and is considered moderately complex. Text complexity is based on the use of dialogue, varied sentence structure, and the cultural knowledge demands. Through the use of the text, students will visualize characters and events, identify and analyze plot elements, interpret figurative language, and recognize features of author’s craft. 
  • In Module 3, Week 1, students read Rent Party Jazz by William Miller, which has a Lexile of 730 and is considered slightly complex. Text complexity is based on the use of a conventional story structure, a singular theme, direct language, and natural dialogue. 
  • In Module 4, Week 2, students read Smokejumpers by Laurie Toupin, which has a Lexile of 790 and is considered moderately complex because of the less conventional sequential text structure and the increased and unfamiliar academic language. Students are given the opportunity to synthesize ideas in a section and recognize different types of text structures. 
  • In Module 5, Week 1, students read The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, which has a Lexile of 860 and is considered moderately complex.  This is because of the complex and varied sentence structure and the specialized knowledge needed to understand the text. The organization of the main idea and details is generally sequential. 
  • In Module 6, Week 2, students read Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre, which has a Lexile of 870 and is considered moderately complex.  This rating is because it is supported with headings and detailed photos. 
  • In Module 7, Week 2 students read In the Days of King Adobe by Joe Hayes, which has a Lexile of 660 and is considered slightly complex. The text follows conventional story structure with one consistent point of view and a single theme. Students learn to recognize the characteristics of folktales and identify lessons.
  • In Module 8, Week 3, students read Now You’re Cooking! by Rene Saldaña Jr., which has a Lexile of 750 and is considered moderately complex due to the use of figurative language and some unfamiliar or academic words. 
  • In Module 9, Week 1, students read Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila, which has a Lexile of 640 and is considered moderately complex due to the unconventional graphic novel format and story structure. It uses unfamiliar and academic language. 
  • In Module 10, Week 3, students read Cooper’s Lesson by Sun Yung Shin, which has a Lexile of 620 and is considered moderately complex due to the theme and use of unassigned dialogue. Students use this text to recognize features of unrealistic fiction, make inferences, identify plot elements, determine point of view, and analyze the author's craft. 

A few texts that are above the quantitative measure appropriate for fourth grade but are still appropriate for use in instruction due to the qualitative analysis and reader and task include:

  • In Module 6, Week 3, students read Grand Canyon: A Trail Through Time by Linda Vieira, which has a Lexile of 1140 and is considered complex. This literary nonfiction text requires scientific knowledge of erosion; however, it is appropriate as a tool to build background knowledge. 
  • In Module 10, Week 1, students read The History of Communication (author not cited), which has a Lexile of 1070 and is considered complex. The text uses multiple text structures to discuss complex social studies concepts. The text is appropriate due to the task of recognizing features of informational text, determining text structure, and determining central idea, which have been taught in previous modules. 

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.) Both the texts and the tasks associated with the texts increase in complexity over the course of the year. At the beginning of each module, the Developing Knowledge and Skills section in the Teacher’s Guide shares the skills that students will work on, which helps outline the increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. For example, throughout the year, students are taught how to use metacognitive skills. In the beginning of the year, students learn how to ask and answer questions. Then in the middle of the year, students are taught how to ask and answer questions while also monitoring and visualizing.  At the end of the year, there is more emphasis on inferencing and summarizing.

Texts also increase in complexity throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, myBooks in Grade 4 are considered 60% slightly complex and 40% moderately complex. At the end of the year, 0% of the texts are considered slightly complex, 60% are considered moderately complex, and 40% are very complex. The Lexile ranges from 560–660 in the beginning of the year, while at the end of the year, the Lexile ranges from 630–1070. 

Skills also increase in complexity throughout the year to promote independence. Examples of this include:

  • Throughout the materials, students learn to analyze the author’s choices. In Module 1, students read Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, and while reading, students are asked to look for details of the author’s purpose and choices.  They display this by answering questions such as “How does Jose Miguel feel about his experience with Roger?”.  In Module 5, after reading The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, students are asked,  "How does the author uses figurative language in paragraph 5?" 
  • Students are also expected to analyze the text throughout Grade 4. In Module 2, students read The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury. Then they are asked to reread paragraphs 17–21 and answer the question "What is the structure of those paragraphs?" In Module 6, students read Mariana Trench by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods. After asking about the structure of paragraph 18, students are then asked how knowing the structure helps them understand the central idea on the page. In Module 7, students read A Tale of Traditional Tales (unknown author) and then are asked, "What evidence about fables supports the central idea?" and "How does the author organize the text to support the central idea?" 

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 4 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. In the Teacher's Guide, there is a section titled Preview Lesson Texts, which outlines the text or texts for the week and includes the text complexity analysis. This section includes a “Why this text” explanation and the key learning objectives for the lessons with the text.

Specific examples of the text complexity analysis include:

  • In Module 2, Week 1, students read The Story of You (author not cited), which has a Lexile of 660 and is considered slightly complex. The informational text has a clear purpose, has an explicitly stated topic, and uses familiar language. The text is chosen expose students to graphic features and teach them to recognize characteristics of informational text and identify main idea and supporting details. 
  • In Module 5, Week 2, students read Let’s Dance Around the World by Leticia Ann Kimura and Annabel Wildrick, which has a Lexile of 970 and is considered moderately complex. The informational text describes familiar and unfamiliar types of dance through photos and text. It also uses unfamiliar academic language. In this text, students are given the opportunity to monitor and clarify their ideas, determine text structure, and describe how it contributes to the author’s purpose. 
  • In Module 9, Week 3, students read Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson, which has a Lexile of 800 and is considered moderately complex. The text uses a sequential text structure, but it contains increased unfamiliar and academic language. This text sets the context for students to recognize the characteristics of a biography, ask and answer questions, and analyze the author’s craft. 
  • In Module 10, Week 1, students read The History of Communication (author not cited), which has a Lexile of 1070 and is considered complex. The text uses multiple text structures to discuss complex social studies concepts. According to the publisher, the selection helps students recognize features of informational texts, monitor and clarify their understanding, determine text structure, and use diagrams and other visuals to understand text.

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

Throughout the Grade 4 materials, students have opportunities to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments, including: Whole-Class Shared Reading, Build Knowledge and Language, Reading Workshop and Vocabulary, Writing Workshop, and Demonstration of Knowledge. In addition to anchor texts, students engage in a range and volume of texts during Reading and Writing Workshop. A variety of fiction and nonfiction genres are covered across the year, with a culminating genre study at the end of the year. Due to the range and volume of texts that students engage with daily, the anchor and supporting texts help students achieve grade-level reading proficiency. 

Genres include:

  • Module 1: realistic fiction, informational text, fantasy, narrative poetry, folktale
  • Module 2: informational text, infographic, informational video, personal narrative, historical fiction
  • Module 3: argumentative text, historical fiction, narrative nonfiction, play, autobiographical fiction
  • Module 4: narrative nonfiction, myth, play, informational text, fairy tale, [myth/play] 
  • Module 5: biography, argumentative text, educational video, poetry, informational text 
  • Module 6: informational text, literary nonfiction 
  • Module 7: informational text, folktale, fable/trickster tale, legend/video
  • Module 8: educational video, informational text, argumentative text, realistic fiction 
  • Module 9: educational video, informational text, letters, graphic novel, realistic fiction, argumentative text, biography 
  • Module 10: informational text, narrative nonfiction, educational video, realistic fiction
  • Module 11: informational text, biography, argumentative text 
  • Module 12: realistic fiction, traditional tales, historical fiction 

Reading Workshop includes the following components: 

  • Guided Reading: The teacher works with students at their instructional reading level using the Rigby Leveled Library. 
  • Skill and Strategy Lessons: The teacher works with small groups to reinforce reading skills and strategies. Lessons are connected to the daily whole-group minilesson or based on student need.
  • Independent Literacy Activities: While the teacher works with small groups, students work independently and engage in various activities such as:
    • Readers’ Theater—Students read together as a group and act out the text. 
    • Independent Reading Center—Students read and complete a reading log. Students can also write a book review of the book or have a discussion about their individual text.
    • Digital Listening Center—Students complete a listening log and include the listening skill(s) they used as well as summarize what they heard.

In addition, throughout the year, students hear or read twelve focal texts during Writing Workshop and, separately, the Book Club. In the Writing Workshop, the focal texts serve as a thematic connection to the Reading Workshop, inspiration for the prompt, and as role-model examples of text organization and author's craft. The Book Club, facilitated through the Take and Teach printables, gives more complete instruction for the focal texts. Students can read these focal texts during independent reading time. 

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
15/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The Into Reading materials for Grade 4 engage students with text-dependent and text-specific questions, tasks, and assignments that build to a culminating task that includes writing, speaking, or a combination thereof. The program provides protocols that support students as they engage in frequent, evidence-based discussions that are designed to model the use of academic vocabulary and syntax while encouraging students to adopt these practices in their own discussions. Although there are multiple frames and many opportunities to practice speaking and listening, the materials inconsistently support the use of texts. Students may be able to engage without fully comprehending the materials.

Students write for both process and on-demand assignments and tasks that meet the requirements of the standards for the types of writing in which students should engage. The materials provide opportunities for students to analyze texts, support and defend claims, and provide clear information about a topic through frequent evidence-based writing tasks. Materials provide explicit instruction in and application of grammar and conventions skills in increasingly sophisticated contexts.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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). 

Throughout the instructional materials, students engage directly with the text to answer text-dependent and text-specific questions. Students respond to these questions orally, in writing, and through tasks and assignments. Text-dependent questions are found throughout the program, including in the Read for Understanding section and the Targeted Close Read section. At times, students are asked to answer questions while reading, and at other times, students are told to reread specific sections in order to answer a question. Materials also include graphic organizers to assist students in close reads of their text when they cite evidence for specific questions or tasks that they complete. 

Specific examples of evidence-based questions include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 5, after reading the fantasy story Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, students discuss how Mrs. Tickman’s reaction to what happened to the squirrel is different from Flora’s reaction, after reviewing pages 36–37. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 5, after reading the informational text The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury, students reread p. 113 and discuss how the muscles in the eyes would react if one walked outside on a sunny day, and why there would appear to be a lot of shadows in a thick forest 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, after reading the play Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner, students discuss what the king’s plan is for finding a husband for his daughter and how Atalanta reacts to the plan, after reviewing page 204. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, after reading the fairy tale Prince Charming Misplaces His Bride by Christopher Healy, students discuss what they learned about Frederick from the way he reacts to meeting Ella, after rereading pages 246–248.  They are also asked how Reginald’s reaction to Ella’s disappearance is different from what readers might expect, after rereading pages 260–262. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 11, after reading the poem “Mejor diversión” by Francisco X. Alarcon, students discuss the theme of the poem and the message the poet is trying to send to the reader. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 8, after reading Grand Canyon: A Trail Thro by Linda Viera, students discuss how the author uses sensory language to help visualize what is happening in the text and how the author uses evidence to support the ideas presented about the Havasupai Indians. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 1, students read A Tale of Traditional Tales (author not cited) and are then asked to name the topic and central idea, and say whether the central idea is stated. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 12, after rereading pages 104–105 in The Days of King Adobe told by Joe Hayes, students discuss the main characters and the meanings of the descriptions of their dreams.
  • In Module 8, Lesson 9, students read the text Bug Bites (author not cited) and discuss the reasons people should be encouraged to eat bugs. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 3, students read the graphic novel Luz Sees the Light By Claudia Dávila and discuss the event(s) that take place in Friendship Park on opening day. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 2, after students follow along while the teacher reads The History of Communication by World Book, students discuss how the Gutenberg press changed people’s lives and the reason(s) the printing press is one of the most important inventions in history. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 11, after rereading page 161 of Eco-Friendly Food by Cath Senker, students are asked about the author's opinion on this page and the facts and evidence the author provides to support her opinion. 

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

At the end of each module, students are given a performance task that requires them to integrate the module texts and skills learned throughout the three weeks. Each task requires students to integrate writing, speaking, reading, and/or listening skills. Students often reflect on the essential question that is posed at the beginning of the module in order to complete the task. While all performance tasks are writing tasks, students must incorporate evidence from module texts. The skills required for each performance task include questions and tasks from both Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop lessons.  

Specific examples of performance tasks throughout the curriculum include:

  • In Module 1, while reading the texts, students think about the essential question, “How do your experiences help shape your identity?” Then at the end of the module, students write a story that tells how Ulysses and Kitoto work together to solve a problem from the texts Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and Kitoto the Mighty by Tololwa M. Mollel. 
  • In Module 2, students think about the essential question “How do people and animals use their senses to navigate the world?” At the end of the module, students imagine that they are in a science club at school and have volunteered to write an article for the club’s newsletter. Students write an informative article that explains how one sense helps people and animals to survive and navigate the world. 
  • In Module 3, students reflect on the essential question “What does it take to meet a challenge?” throughout the module. Then the performance task requires students to write a persuasive letter to convince someone who is facing a problem to use a solution that they think will work best. 
  • In Module 4, students think about the qualities of a hero. Then students imagine that they have been chosen to write a play about a hero for a school assembly. The play is about a person who has to perform a heroic feat to solve a problem. Some of the skills from the module that students use include: gathering information from a variety of sources, following the steps of the writing process, and presenting information in a clear sequence.
  • In Module 5, students think about the question “How far can your talents take you?” At the end of the module, students imagine that the school orchestra wants to take a school trip to hear a local orchestra. Students must write an argument stating why the trip will be good for the school orchestra. They must provide a clear introduction, organize the argument into paragraphs that give reasons that support the argument, and include text evidence. 
  • In Module 6, students think about the question “What makes Earth’s natural wonders exciting and unique?” Students imagine that they are writing an article for a science magazine for kids about Earth’s natural wonders. Students must support each central idea with facts, details, and evidence from the texts in the module. 
  • In Module 7, students are tasked with writing their own trickster tale to read aloud as a performance task. Students must think about the lesson they want to share and write a story that displays it. They are instructed to use information they learned about trickster tales from the module texts. 
  • In Module 8, students think about information they learned in the module and imagine that their town wants to change the school lunch program. Students write an editorial to the local newspaper to explain their opinion about school lunches. They are instructed to include their desire for more healthful foods being served in ways that do the least harm to the environment, using evidence from the text to support their opinion. 
  • In Module 9, the performance task requires students to write a speech to give at a council meeting about a change the school could make to help the environment. They are instructed to use text evidence to support their ideas. 
  • In Module 10, students complete a performance task by writing an informative article. Students use the texts, A New Language—Invented by Kids! by Charnan Simon and Dolphin Dinner from National Geographic Kids to write an article about an unusual or unexpected form of communication for the exhibit. Students must use facts and examples from the text sto support their ideas. 

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

Throughout the program, there are frequent opportunities for evidence-based discussions and protocols for teachers to use to implement these discussions. Examples include: Think-Pair-Share, Collaborative Discussions, and Solo Chair. Collaborative Discussions are found throughout the program, and the teacher is directed to display and review the How to Have a Discussion Anchor Chart before each discussion. Rubrics are also provided in the Teacher’s Guide for Collaborative Discussions. In Modules 11 and 12, students participate in Genre Studies, and additional protocols and activity suggestions are provided for Genre Study Book Clubs. 

In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, the publisher provides information on ways teachers should encourage conversations and discussions.  This includes appropriate social communication such as the following:  introductions, handshakes, eye contact, volume, and conversation starters. Best practices for Collaborative Discussions are also included in this resource and include:

  • Introduce: The teacher explicitly teaches speaking and listening skills by having volunteers model a discussion, and then students practice with partners. The modeling includes the following: asking clarifying questions, adding on to the conversation, and politely disagreeing with partners. 
  • Practice: The teacher provides opportunities for students to practice using their listening and speaking skills. Prompts for practice are found throughout the program, and the teacher should emphasize the use of formal language when speaking with a group.
  • Routine: The program includes discussion routines such as Think-Pair-Share and Turn and Talk. They should be used regularly and are denoted throughout the lessons.
  • Model: The teacher should model and encourage the use of appropriate eye contact, body position, and active listening.
  • Cultural sensitivity: The teacher should support the knowledge of social norms in a variety of cultures.

The routine for Think-Pair-Share is outlined in the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book. Routines for Solo Chair and Turn and Talk are also found in the program, but suggestions for explicit times to use Turn and Talk are limited in Grade 4. The routine for Think-Pair-Share is: 

  1. Think: Students are asked an open-ended question and are given several seconds to formulate their response.
  2. Pair: Students each take a turn to share while the other partner listens.
  3. Share: Students who have been previously identified to share with the whole class do so, and then additional volunteers can share.

Solo Chair is used as part of Wrap-Up in Small Group.. The routine is:

  1. The student presents using a special chair. The teacher provides sentence starters such as “Today I will talk about...”
  2. The other students listen to their classmates. The teacher reviews the expectations for active listening, and one or two classmates give feedback for the presenter. Sentence starters for feedback include “I Liked...” or “My favorite part was...”

Specific examples of where the program includes the use of the routines and protocols within individual lessons include:

  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, after reading Who’s a Hero (author not cited), students engage in a Think-Pair-Share to discuss what makes someone a hero. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 8, after reading Let’s Dance Around the World by Leticia Ann Kimura and Annabel Wildrick, students engage in Collaborative Discussion. During the discussion, students also take notes so they can add and connect their ideas to their partner’s ideas. Specific evidence-based questions include “What makes tap dancing different from other types of dance?” and “Why is Let’s Dance Around the World a good title for this book?” 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 3, after reading Mariana Trench by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, students participate in a Wrap-Up, where they explain to a peer how they applied their knowledge to the tasks of the lesson. Teachers have options in how they want students to share, including Solo Chair, Think-Pair-Share, or Return to the Anchor Chart. In Solo Chair, one student is selected to speak to the class, explaining what he or she learned from the reading. In Think-Pair-Share, students share their thinking with a partner, and then a few partnerships share with the class. For Return to the Anchor Chart, students add sticky notes about their independent book to the text structure anchor chart and then share what they added and why. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 4, after independently reading informational texts, small groups of students discuss their reading and discuss how the author uses text structure.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Students practice listening comprehension with teacher read-alouds and students practice Collaborative Discussions during the Engage and Respond portion of the daily minilesson. The program includes a Weekly Overview that outlines the speaking and listening standards that will be targeted throughout each lesson. Although there are multiple frames and many opportunities to practice speaking and listening, the materials inconsistently support the use of texts. Students may be able to engage without fully comprehending the materials.

Specific examples of times that students engage in speaking and listening about what they are reading and researching include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, after reading The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin, students discuss the questions “What are two kinds of cold doors in the story?” and “Why does Pacey's dad think that becoming an author and illustrator is a cold door?” 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 8, after reading Blind Ambition by Matthew Cooper as told to Rachel Buchholz, students engage in Collaborative Discussion by discussing questions such as “What words and actions in the text show Matthew’s relationship with Twyla?” and “What details in the text and photos show ways in which Matthew has adapted to his blindness?” 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 5, after reading Rent Party Jazz by William Miller, students participate in a Wrap-Up where they reflect on their learning of theme and explain to their classmates how they applied their knowledge to the tasks of the lesson. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 6, after reading Smokejumpers to the Rescue by Laurie Toupin, students engage in a Collaborative Discussion focusing on the following questions: “What kinds of feelings do smokejumpers experience when they jump to a wildfire?” and “What do the smokejumpers’ supplies tell you about what they do to fight a fire?”
  • In Module 5, Lesson 1, after reading Why Art Centers Matter (author not cited), students reflect on the essential question, “How far can your talents take you?”  They use a Think-Pair-Share routine to discuss their ideas and then share with the group. Students are encouraged to ask questions as needed in order to clarify information. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 3, after reading Mariana Trench by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, students participate in a Wrap-Up where they reflect on their learning by sharing how they applied their knowledge of “central idea” during independent reading. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 10, students have a speaking and listening minilesson about how traditional tales were passed down orally instead of in writing. Then students work with a partner to orally tell their story and express their opinion about why the story is a good one. To prepare for this activity, students review the story and record the main events at the top of an index card. Then students find pictures, music, and/or sound effects to make the story come alive. Students practice telling the story using appropriate conventions before telling their story to a partner with lots of expression. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 2, students hear Not So Sweet (author not cited). Then they discuss questions, such as “What do you know now about food and nutrition that you did not know before?” as a class or in a small group.   
  • In Module 9, Lesson 2, students engage in a Collaborative Discussion after reading Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila.  Students discuss the decision Luz makes about the empty lot in her neighborhood and the reason Luz feels discouraged when she starts her project. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 4, after revisiting pages 318–319 of The History of Communication (author not cited), students use a Think-Pair-Share routine to discuss the central or main idea of the section “Radio.” Then they discuss the details that helped them reach understanding of that idea. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 10, after a Genre Study of biographies, students present a biographical article or poster they created. After the presentation, time is provided for students in the audience to ask questions about the subject or to get clarification. The audience also provides feedback to the presenter.
  • In Module 12, Lesson 9, after students complete their independent reading of a realistic fiction text, small groups of students participate in a Collaborative Discussion by using text evidence to answer questions. Some examples of questions are as follows:  “What kinds of figurative language do you notice?” and “How does figurative language help the author achieve his or her purpose for writing?”

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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. Throughout the year, students have opportunities to engage in on-demand writing, often in response to reading, and process writing, which includes research projects.

Process writing is found within Writing Workshop where students build writing independence through interactive writing and process-based lessons. For each module, students complete a process writing piece that focuses on a different type of writing. Anchor charts and graphic organizers are supplied in each module. In the Genre Studies in Modules 11 and 12, students engage in a week-long writing task that is aligned to the genre. Specific examples of process writing include:

  • In Module 1, students work on a personal narrative over the course of 15 lessons. Students are reminded to include the elements of a narrative in their draft and then revise and edit with a focus on grammar. After receiving feedback from teachers and peers, students finalize their narrative and share it in small groups.
  • In Module 5, students write an expository essay about an artist with whom they are familiar. Students learn about the steps of crafting a central idea and organizing and creating a research plan and then begin drafting. For the revision stage, students focus on chronological order and coherence. Students share their published writing in small groups. 
  • In Module 7, students create an imaginative story. During Week 1, students are introduced to the mentor text and vocabulary, and engage in prewriting. During Week 2, students begin drafting. Then during Week 3, students revise by focusing on integrating descriptive language and strong verbs. By the end of the week, they peer proofread, publish, and share. 
  • In Module 8, students produce an editorial for their local newspaper, explaining their opinion on whether or not the town should change the school lunch program. Students begin planning by completing a chart that they then use to draft. For publishing, students can create a digital copy of their editorial, present it as a speech to the class, or debate one side of the issue.
  • In Module 11, students write and publish poems they drafted, revised, and edited throughout the module. Students publish their poems with art materials or using multimedia. 

Students write daily, often in response to the text. Examples of on-demand writing found throughout each module include: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 3, students complete a writing task where they are asked to write a new story scene for Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 9, after reading the play Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner, students write a new scene pretending the characters Atalanta and Young John meet again in the future. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 7, after reading Smokejumpers to the Rescue by Laurie Toupin, students write a job posting advertising the need to hire a new smokejumper. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 9, after reading Let’s Dance Around the World by Leticia Ann Kimura, students write a blog post that compares and contrasts two of the dance styles in the text.
  • In Module 6, Lesson 3, students pretend to be Lieutenant Walsh from Mariana Trench by Michael and Mary B. Woods and write a story describing his dive in the Trieste to the deepest place in the world. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 3, after reading the tall tale Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen, students write a blog post about the characters and events. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 3, students write a how-to instruction manual about growing and preparing food for the school, after reading Eco-Friendly Food by Cath Senker. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 3, students write a journal entry, after reading Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila. Students imagine that they live in Luz’s neighborhood and attend the party that celebrates the opening of Friendship Park. Their journal entry includes their experiences at the park on opening day. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 3, students create an advertisement for one of the inventions from the texts they read. They write about how the invention will help people communicate.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

There are frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply information they have learned about narrative, opinion, and informational writing. Each module includes writing lessons about the text that they read. In addition, students are taught about the three genres in Writing Workshop, where they engage in longer pieces over the course of three weeks. 

Narrative writing prompts are found in myBook after reading a text, as well as in Writing Workshop Modules 1, 4, and 7. Some examples of narrative writing include:

  • In Module 1, Writing Workshop, students write a personal narrative. The prompt given is, “All of our experiences help us grow and learn.” Students write about a time they learned a lesson.
  • In Module 1, Lesson 3, after reading Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, students write a new story scene pretending they are friends with Flora and give details about Flora's description of her friendship with Ulysses.  
  • In Module 4, Writing Workshop, students write a personal narrative by thinking about a person who has made a difference. Students follow the steps of the writing process. They brainstorm about their person, draft, edit, revise, and publish. Students then share their personal narratives in small groups. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 3, after reading Mariana Trench by Michael and Mary B. Woods, students imagine that they are Lieutenant Walsh and write a story describing Walsh’s dive in the Trieste to the deepest place in the world. The writing must include what he sees, feels, and thinks throughout his experience. 
  • In Module 7, Writing Workshop, students write an imaginative story that explains how an interesting occurrence or animal came to be. Students are directed to tell the story paying close attention to sequence and use descriptive words and phrases. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 7, after viewing Kids Rock Nutrition in the Kitchen by www.nutrition.gov, students write a blog post about an interesting food-related experience. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 3, after reading Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila, students pretend they live in Luz’s neighborhood and attend the party that celebrates the opening of Friendship Park. Their journal entry is about their experiences at the park on its opening day. 
  • In Module 11, Lessons 11–15, after rereading Rent Party Jazz by William Miller, students write a historical fiction story based on an image from the past that interests them.  
  • In Module 11 of Writing Workshop, students write a series of poems on a topic they find interesting. Students are required to use several different forms of poetry and to give each a title. 

Informational writing is found in myBook after each text, as well as in Writing Workshop Modules 2, 5, 9, and 10. Some examples of informational writing include:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, after reading The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury, students write a summary for a pretend class science blog that explains how light is important for the sense of sight. 
  • In Module 2, Writing Workshop, students read Apex Predators by Steven Jenkins, and then they write a description about an animal that they think is amazing. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 7, after reading Smokejumpers to the Rescue by Laurie Toupin, students pretend to be a leader of a group of smokejumpers who want to hire someone new to their team. They write a job posting with a clear topic sentence, a clear structure that explains the ideas, and facts and details about the characteristics and skills needed for the job. 
  • In Module 5, Writing Workshop, students work on an expository essay about an artist with whom they are familiar. They must include specific facts and details to show how the artist is talented. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 9, after reading Let’s Dance Around the World by Leticia Ann Kimura and Annabel Wildrick, students write a blog post in which they compare and contrast two of the dance styles in the texts. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 5, after reading Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre, students write a description of a rock, explaining why the rock is unusual. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 3, students write a how-to-instruction manual for the school about growing and preparing food, after reading Eco-Friendly Food by Cath Senker. 
  • In Module 9 of Writing Workshop, students write a research report about an endangered plant or animal. They conduct research, provide facts and details, and then explain why the plant or animal should be protected. 
  • In Module 10 of Writing Workshop, students write an expository essay about a discovery that someone has made that is featured in a museum. Students describe the museum and explain how the discovery was used, when it existed, what it did, and why it is in a museum.

Opinion writing is found in myBook, as well as in Writing Workshop Modules 3, 8, and 12. Some examples of opinion writing include: 

  • In Module 3 of Writing Workshop, students write an opinion essay about why it is important to rely on friends when facing a challenge. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 3, after reading The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, students write a book review that states an opinion about the book, gives reasons for the opinion, and concludes with a summary of the opinion. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 9, after reading Nature’s Wonders poems by Robert Schechter, E. J. Kennedy, Steven Withrow, and Carol R. Baik, students write an opinion paragraph about the most amazing natural wonder. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 7, after reading In the Days of King Adobe by Joe Hayes, students write a review of the story and tell whether they think other students would like to read it. 
  • In Module 8 of Writing Workshop, students write about a food that people may not like and write an opinion essay about the reasons people should try the food. 
  • In Module 12 of Writing Workshop, students write an editorial explaining a change they would like to see in their school and why. Students must use reasons and facts that support their opinion.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. 

Evidence-based writing opportunities are varied and include taking notes, responding to questions about text in the student myBook, responding to questions about the Writing Workshop mentor text, and completing the Genre Study printables. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with various text sources. Specific examples of opportunities for evidence-based writing found throughout each module include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 2, after reading Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, students answer questions such as “What words and actions in the text show what Flora is like?” and “How is Mrs. Tickham's reaction to what happened to the squirrel different from Flora’s?” in their myBook.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, after reading The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury, students write a summary on a pretend class science blog where they share the new science concepts they have learned. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 8, after reading Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner, students answer questions such as “What is the king’s plan for finding a husband for his daughter?” and “How does Atalanta react to the plan?” in their myBook. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, after reading the fairy tale, Prince Charming Misplaces His Bride by Christopher Healy, students write in their myBook in response to the text. Questions include “How is Reginald’s reaction to Ali's disappearance different from what readers might expect?” and “In what ways do Frederic and Ella seem alike?”
  • In Module 5, Lesson 11, after reading a compilation of poems in the text “The Art of Poetry,” students write an opinion paragraph about which poem makes the best use of word choice, rhyme, and rhythm.
  • In Module 6, Lesson 8, after reading Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre, students take notes on questions such as “What comparisons does the author use to help you picture the stalactites and other rock formations?” and “Why do the flames need help to be ‘eternal’ sometimes?” after rereading page 37.
  • In Module 7, Lesson 9, after reading A Pair of Tricksters by Aesop and by John and Caitlin Matthews, students write a compare and contrast paragraph for their school website.  They compare and contrast the two fables they read. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 8, after reading Bug Bites (author not cited), students write an advertisement to encourage people to eat bugs, using evidence from the text.
  • In Module 9, Lesson 2, after reading Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila, students answer questions in myBook such as “What happens to the characters?”; “What do the characters learn?”; and “How do the characters change?”. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 6, after reading A New Language—Invented by Kids! by Charnan Simon, students take notes in their myBook to prepare for a Collaborative Discussion. Students take notes in response to questions such as “Why does the author say that Nicaraguan children who were deaf were ‘without language?’” and “What did the children do to invent a new language?”
  • In Module 11, Lesson 12, after rereading Eco-Friendly Foods by Cath Senker, students respond to questions such as “What is the topic of the text?”, "How did the author support his or her position with evidence?” and “Do you agree with the author’s position?” in writing.
  • In Module 12, Lesson 2, after rereading The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin, students analyze the characters.  Then they answer questions such as “How do readers learn about the characters?”; "How does the main character change throughout the story?”; and “How does what the characters do and say affect the events?” in writing.

Indicator 1n

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 Into Reading meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. 

All grammar and conventions standards for Grade 4 are addressed over the course of the year. Grammar and conventions lessons are primarily found during Writing Workshop in Grammar Minilessons. The lessons follow an I do, We do, You do format. The teacher models and provides examples, students practice with teacher support, students practice with a worksheet, and students are prompted to return to their writing pieces to identify and edit for the given grammar or convention concept. Materials provide teachers with sentence examples for practice during lessons. Students have opportunities to practice taught grammar and conventions skills in context during whole-group instruction with Display and Engage projectable sentence prompts that students and teachers work on together. Grammar printables provide students with an opportunity to practice in context the skills they are working towards mastering. Students consistently apply their new knowledge of grammar and conventions concepts to pieces of their own writing. 

Materials include explicit instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. For example:

Students have opportunities to use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).

  • In Module 7, Week 1, page W307, the teacher explains that a relative pronoun follows a noun and introduces a dependent clause that tells about the noun. The teacher gives examples of relative pronouns: who, whom, whose, which, and that. The teacher models identifying the relative pronoun in the following sentence: She is the woman who owns the farm. The teacher presents four examples and works with students to identify the relative pronouns and the clauses they introduce. Students complete a printable grammar sheet and edit a writing draft using relative pronouns.  
  • In Module 7, Week 1, page W310, the teacher explains that good writers combine clauses properly so that their writing is easy to follow and flows smoothly. The teacher points out that an important part of revising is combining sentences and checking to see that relative adverbs and relative pronouns are used correctly. The teacher displays several example sentences and guides students to use relative adverbs and relative pronouns to combine the short sentences. Students complete a printable grammar sheet for practice and then edit a writing draft using relative pronouns and relative adverbs. 

Students have opportunities to form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.

  • In Module 3, Week 2, page W276, the teacher explains that the progressive verb tenses tell about action that happens over a period of time. The teacher models identifying and correctly using the present progressive verb tense in the example sentences: Maggie is traveling to California by train. Her aunt and uncle are expecting her. The teacher leads guided practice related to present progressive verbs. Students complete a printable grammar sheet for practice with the present progressive verb tense. Students edit a writing draft using the present progressive verb tense. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 4, page W279, the teacher reminds students that  “progressive verb tenses are formed by using different forms of be and adding -ing to the present-tense form of the verb.” Students practice with sentences written on the board and then complete Display and Engage: Grammar 3.4.4c. The students create sentences identifying the progressive verbs. Students complete a grammar printable and edit a writing draft using progressive verb tenses.  

Students have opportunities to use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.

  • In Module 5, Lesson 3.4.3, page W283, the teacher models how to use modal auxiliaries. Students practice identifying the modal auxiliary in sentences such as “You must wear warm clothes, a hat, and gloves.” Students also complete grammar printable 3.4.3 in which they practice choosing a modal auxiliary to complete a sentence such as “It ____ rain tonight.” 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 4, page W284, the teacher tells students, “Modal auxiliaries such as may, can, could, might, and will tell the reader how likely it is that something will happen.” The students identify modal auxiliaries in sentences provided. The students work in pairs using modal auxiliaries to create sentences about things that should be done, must be done, and could be done in the school day.

Students have opportunities to order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).

  • In Module 6, Lesson 4.1.3, page W298, the teacher explains the order adjectives should follow in sentences. Materials state the order is generally number, opinion, size, shape, age, color, material, and purpose. Students then practice reordering adjectives in sentences, for example,  I like the red beautiful square seats would become I like the beautiful, square red seats. Students complete a similar adjective activity on a printable grammar page. 
  • In Module 6, Week 1, page W300, the teacher explains that good writers use adjectives to make their writing more interesting and reminds students that when they use more than one adjective they must be written in the correct order. The teacher points out that an important part of revising is checking for the use of adjectives and ensuring they are in the correct order. Following guided practice, students complete a printable grammar sheet and edit a writing draft using adjectives correctly. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 9, page W299, the teacher reviews the function of adjectives and their general ordering rules. The teacher writes sentences on the board and the students place the adjectives in order, such as “Those are _____  ______, leaves. (shiny, round)”.

Students have opportunities to form and use prepositional phrases.

  • In Module 6, Week 3, page W322, the teacher explains that a prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun. The teacher models identifying the prepositional phrase in a sentence: The hungry basketball team ate three dozen eggs for their breakfast. The teacher helps students to identify the preposition and the prepositional phrase in the following sentence: Please shelve the dictionary between the thesaurus and the new rhyming dictionary. The teacher displays four sentences on the board and guides students to identify the prepositional phrase and the name the preposition. Students complete printable grammar sheet for practice and edit a writing draft for practice using prepositional phrases.  
  • In Module 6, Lesson 4.6.5, page W325, the teacher explains and provides examples of how using prepositional phrases can make students’ writing better. Students practice developing  prepositional phrases to complete sentences such as “The pitcher thought _____” and “The batter ran ____.” Students continue their practice with prepositional phrases using grammar printable 4.6.5. 

Students have opportunities to produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.

  • In Module 2, Week 1, page W226, the teacher tells students that a sentence fragment is a group of words that does not tell a complete thought. The teacher explains that fragments lack a subject, a predicate, or both. The teacher displays fragments on the board and guides students to determine the missing part(s) and correct the error. Students complete a grammar printable and edit a writing draft to correct any sentence fragments.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 1.3.2, page W227, students learn how to identify and correct run-on sentences. Students then practice reworking run-on sentences such as “The store is closed we’ll have to come back tomorrow.” The teacher is also instructed to “Have students produce two, complete sentences, and then exchange them with partners, who will make sure neither sentence is a fragment or run-on.” Students continue their practice correcting run-on sentences on grammar printable 1.3.2.

Students have opportunities to correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).

  • In Module 4, Lesson 6, page W351, the teacher tells students that although to, too, and two sound the same they are spelled differently, and introduces the term homophones. The teacher models using to, too, and two correctly in sentences using a Think Aloud. Students give sentences using to, too, and two correctly. Then, students complete Printable: Grammar 7.1.1 and edit a writing draft practicing using the homophones correctly.
  • In Module 4, Week 3, page W354, the teacher reminds students that homophones, or words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings, are frequently confused. The teacher writes too, two, to, there, their, its, and it’s. The teacher displays sentences on the board and guides students to determine which homophone best finishes each sentence. Students complete a grammar printable to review frequently confused words.  Students edit a writing draft to correct frequently confused words.

Students have opportunities to use correct capitalization.

  • In Module 2, Lesson 2.1.3, page W238, students learn that languages, nationalities, and people’s names need to be capitalized in sentences. Students practice identifying the words that need to be capitalized in sentences such as “They are going to the french restaurant with kira.” Students continue to identify names, nationalities, and languages that need to be capitalized on grammar printable 2.1.3.
  • In Module 9, Lesson 6.4.1, page W346, the teacher is instructed to “explain that the first word, the last word, and each important word in a title should be capitalized. Remind students that titles of books, magazines, and newspapers are underlined. Point out that titles of short stories, poems, songs, and articles are surrounded by quotation marks.” Students practice adding correct capitalization and punctuation to titles such as the poem “winter roads are long”. Students continue to practice adding correct capitalization and punctuation to titles on grammar printable 6.4.1.

Students have opportunities to use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.

  • In Module 1, Lesson 6.1.1, page W331, students learn how to correctly use commas, capital letters, and quotation marks in direct speech. The teacher provides examples, such as Caige said, “Let’s go to the game tonight.”  Students then practice adding correct punctuation to sentences that contain direct speech, such as I love to read new books said Charlotte. Students continue to practice adding correct punctuation to sentences with direct speech on grammar printable 6.1.1.
  • In Module 1, Lesson 6.1.3, page W333, students learn how to correctly add punctuation to quotations from a text. The teacher models using a Think Aloud to correctly punctuate a sentence that contains a quote taken from a text. Students practice adding correct punctuation to sentences, such as The south coast of Texas skirts the Gulf of Texas says Burns in her article.  Students complete a grammar printable independently practice using correct punctuation for quotes from a text. 
  • In Module 1, Week 3, page W335, the teacher explains that good writers correctly punctuate direct speech, dialogue, and quotations from the text to make their writing clear and understandable to readers.  The teacher points out that an important part of revising is checking for the correct punctuation with direct speech, dialogue, and quotations from the text. The teacher displays several quotations and guides students to use quotation marks and other punctuation correctly.  Students complete a printable grammar sheet to practice using quotations and edit a writing draft for correct use of quotations. 

Students have opportunities to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.

  • In Module 8, Lesson 12, page W342, the teacher reminds students that compound sentences are joined by coordinating conjunctions. “A coordinating conjunction is a word, such as and, but, or, and so. Point out that in a compound sentence, a comma is used before the coordinating conjunction.” The teacher models using commas in a compound sentence using Think Aloud. Students practice identifying conjunctions and identifying where to place commas. Students complete Printable: Grammar 6.3.2, and edit a writing draft using commas properly in compound sentences.

Students have opportunities to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

  • In Module 4, Lesson 12, page W67, the teacher is prompted to “remind students they can also use other resources, such as dictionaries or grammar books, to check their spelling and mechanics.” Students independently edit their writing using the Editing Checklist.
  • In Module 10, Lesson 12, page W175, the teacher reviews Anchor Chart W13: Editing Checklist. The checklist contains capitalization and punctuation rules and at the bottom under Spell Correctly advises students to “[u]se a dictionary” to “[c]heck spelling and meaning.” Students then proceed to edit a piece of their work.

Students have opportunities to choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.

  • In Module 2, Week 3, page W30, the teacher tells students that descriptive details include precise terms, vivid verbs, and sensory words that appeal to a reader’s five senses. The teacher projects a paragraph on the board and has volunteers read the description of an electric eel. The teacher prompts students to share how they are better able to picture the eel and its behavior with the description.  Students work in small groups to find examples in Apex Predators of precise terms and sensory details. The group shares their examples in writing on the board.  Students revise their writing by adding more descriptive details.  
  • In Module 12, Lesson 2, page W201, the teacher reviews the book City Chickens and explains that the author uses “descriptive language, especially verbs, to convey meaning.” Students work in groups to read page 25 of City Chickens and use a thesaurus to select synonyms for the verbs in the book. Students add the descriptive verbs to a chart in their Writer’s Notebook. 

Students have opportunities to choose punctuation for effect.

  • In Module 3, Lesson 8, page W45, the teacher is prompted to “Remind students that persuasive language helps writers convince readers to believe or do something. Then explain that punctuation and sentence types can serve a similar purpose for writers.” The teacher reviews four types of sentences and their punctuation. Students review each sentence purpose and punctuation. Students read their writing drafts for sentence types and punctuation.
  • In Module 8, Week 2, page W338, the teacher explains that punctuation can help express ideas and can have different effects on readers. The teacher reviews exclamation point, ellipsis, dash, and colon.  The teacher models using punctuation for effect using the example sentences: Our vacation to the theme park was amazing! We went on many rides - the Twister was my favorite. Following guided practice, students complete a grammar printable for independent practice using punctuation for effect and edit a writing draft using punctuation for effect.   

Students have opportunities to differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).

  • In Module 3, Lesson 3, page T54, as part of this Shared Reading lesson on the text Rent Party Jazz, students learn about why and how informal language was used in the text. The teacher discusses how the words buyin’, mah, and ‘fore are used in the text and that these are examples of informal language.
  • In Module 12, Lesson 8, page W207, in Display and Engage Editorial 12.7, students discuss the differences between formal and informal language. Examples of formal and informal language are given, and students have the opportunity to practice turning informal sentences into formal sentences.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
5/6
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials support strong foundational skills acquisition through explicit instruction, practice, and assessment in phonics and word recognition, and word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. Students are provided with frequent opportunities for fluency practice; however, assessment and guidance for support is provided only for students who fall below grade-level expectations—not for students reading at or above grade level.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 Into Reading meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression. 

Explicit instruction is provided to address all phonics and word recognition standards. Lessons include opportunities for teacher modeling along with student practice and application of skills through the use of the Know It, Show It pages. Decoding skills lessons over the course of the year include explicit instruction, review, and practice in morphology, vocabulary, and word recognition. Weekly Generative Vocabulary lessons focus on determining new or unknown words and word parts through Greek and Latin roots and affixes. Materials include weekly lessons that build in complexity to review and/or provide instruction in phonics. Phonics and word recognition skills are also taught in a logical progression that increases in complexity across the school year.

Materials contain explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. For example:

Students have opportunities to use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to accurately read unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.

  • In Module 2, Lesson 8, page T306, students learn about the syllable patterns VCCV, VCV, and VV. The teacher models how to break words such as traffic, nature, and poem into syllables. Students practice blending and reading words with the syllable patterns, such as until, ruin, stampede, and idea. The teacher is provided with guiding questions, such as “How would you divide each word into syllables? What syllable patterns do you see in the words?” Students continue their practice with a Know It, Show It page. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 13, page T172, the teacher explains and models how to read words with vowel + /r/ and the suffixes -y and -ly. Students practice blending and reading words such as hardly, carelessly, and barely. The teacher is provided with questions to use during the activity “How do these spelling patterns help you to decode the words? How do the suffixes change the meaning of the words?” 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 13, page T362, the teacher points out that the word dependable divides between the root word and suffix -able. The teacher displays words with the suffixes -able and -ible.  The teacher reads each word, emphasizing each syllable, and claps the syllables. The teacher displays the sentence You can’t see air because it is invisible, underlining the word invisible. The teacher models drawing lines showing the syllable division and guides students to clap the syllables and read the word aloud together. During guided practice, students discuss the root word and the suffix in each word.  With partners, students read the lines again and quiz each other on root words and suffixes. Students work in small groups or pairs to complete Know It, Show It and share strategies used to decode the words. 
  • Materials include decoding lessons twice a week throughout all modules, for example:
    • Module 1, Lesson 6 Decoding—Short and Long e Sounds  
    • Module 1, Lesson 8 Decoding—Short and Long e Sounds 
    • Module 5, Lesson 1 Decoding—Recognize Root Words 
    • Module 5, Lesson 3 Decoding—Recognize Root Words in Multisyllabic Words 
    • Module 9, Lesson 11 Decoding—Final Stable Syllables 
    • Module 9, Lesson 13 Decoding—Final Stable Syllables 
    • Module 10, Lesson 11 Decoding—Decoding Unusual Spelling Patterns 
    • Module 10, Lesson 13 Decoding—Decoding Unusual Spelling Patterns in Multisyllabic Words 
    • Module 12, Lesson 6 Decoding—Compound Words 
    • Module 12, Lesson 8 Decoding—Multisyllabic Compound Words  

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. For example:

  • Progress Monitoring Assessments are provided and include specific instructions for administering the assessments. The materials provide a chart that lists beginning-, middle-, and end-of-year benchmarks for words correct per minute (WCPM). For example, the middle-of-year range for Grade 4 is 110–120 WCPM. After administering the assessment, teachers are instructed to “analyze a student’s errors and self-corrections in each section to identify problem areas and a starting point for reteaching, review, and extra practice. For improving rate, provide texts at a student’s independent reading level for repeated or coached readings.” 
  • Weekly Assessments are provided to assess students on grammar skills, comprehension skills, and vocabulary skills taught throughout the week. For example, in Module 1, Week 1, Weekly Assessment  prefixes re- and im- are assessed. 
  • Module Assessments are provided at the end of each module to assess major reading and writing skills addressed in the module. For example, in the Module 7, Module Assessment, the suffix -ful and prefix mis- are assessed. 

Materials contain explicit instruction of word-solving approaches (graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. For example: 

  • In Module 6, Lesson 8, page T306, the teacher is prompted to remind students that looking at the syllables as well as any affixes can help them decode unfamiliar words. The teacher displays a chart and reminds students that there are two letter combinations, ge, dge, that stand for /j/ at the end of a word or syllable. The teacher models decoding management breaking the word into syllables, discussing the suffix -ment, and the letters that represent the /j/ sound. The teacher reminds students there are several spellings for final sound /s/, such as s, ss, and ce. Students read Display and Engage: 6.8 as the teacher asks the questions “How do the letter combinations of dge, ge, and ce help you decode these words? How do the suffixes -ment and -ness help you decode each word?”
  • In Module 12, Lesson 11, page T114, the teacher is instructed to “remind students that identifying root words, inflectional endings, and affixes can help them decode new words.” The teacher models finding the word parts in words such as sadly, helping, and asleep. Students practice blending and reading multisyllabic words such as ashore, slowly, and collector. During the activity, the teacher asks questions such as “What syllable division patterns do you see in these words? What is the root word in each word? How do the syllables help you to decode the words?”

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 Into Reading meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected texts and tasks.

Shared reading lessons provide an opportunity for teachers to provide instruction and practice for students in reading connected texts. Leveled Readers used with Take and Teach lessons and Readers’ Theater provide opportunities for students to practice and apply word analysis skills in connected texts as well. Additionally, fluency passages read as part of weekly fluency lessons provide opportunities for students to apply word analysis skills in connected texts. Assessments are provided to monitor student application and progress with word analysis. 

Multiple and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. For example:

  • In Module 11, Lesson 1, page T13, students read Printable: Fluency 11.1, working with homophones and their context to help decode words in the passage such as bass, bass; banned, band; scene, seen; and plain, plane, which supports the decoding homophones lessons for the week. Students read the passage as a choral read with the teacher, then read it aloud again with partners. There is a Decoding Fluency Connection section in fluency lessons that advises teachers to “use the passage to monitor whether students can accurately and fluently read these grade-level words.” 

Materials include word analysis assessment to monitor student learning of word analysis skills. For example:

  • Assessments included in the materials address word analysis skills. For example:
    • Leveled Reader Quizzes provide teachers the opportunity to monitor student learning of word analysis skills. 
    • Guided Reading Benchmark Assessments provide teachers the opportunity to monitor student learning of word analysis skills by measuring oral reading.  
    • The Screening Assessment includes oral reading to monitor students' word analysis skills.  
    • Progress Monitoring Assessments include oral reading to monitor students’ word analysis skills. 
  • Guided Reading Benchmark Assessments are available for Rigby Leveled Readers. Each leveled reader has a Reading Accuracy record or a detailed Oral Reading record to determine a student’s instructional level. It also allows teachers to monitor comprehension, retelling, and reading accuracy, so that teachers can track difficulties with word analysis skills.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 Into Reading partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Students have multiple opportunities throughout the school year to observe the teacher modeling fluent reading, including accuracy, expression, and rate; however, students have limited opportunities to practice fluently reading poetry. Fluency instruction is included in weekly lessons and follows an I do, We do, You do format that allows students to observe the teacher model fluent reading, practice fluent reading with teacher support, and independently read texts fluently. Students are provided opportunities to engage in Partner Reading, Choral Reading, Echo Reading, and Repeated Reading during weekly fluency lessons.  Students have multiple opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral reading and silent reading during Small-Group Instruction with Rigby Leveled Readers, guided reading groups, or independent reading during Independent Application. Students have opportunities to practice fluency using Readers’ Theater, which contains a student reading self-evaluation form. Assessment opportunities are provided to monitor student progress and make adjustments as needed to guide students toward mastery of fluency in Guided Reading Benchmark Assessments, Progress Monitoring, and informal evaluations during lessons through teacher observations. All students are given an Oral Reading Fluency test at the beginning of the year, and students who struggle are given ongoing Progress Monitoring Fluency Assessments. However, explicit instructions for how often teachers should be assessing students who are at or above grade level are not evident in the materials. Benchmark Books can be used to assess accuracy but do not prompt teachers to calculate a WCPM range to guide the teacher in determining appropriate rate. 

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. For example:

Students have opportunities to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

  • In Module 4, Lesson 6, page T289, the teacher tells students that “good readers will focus on the words of the sentence and the punctuation end marks to determine how their voice should rise or fall. Sometimes smaller words, such as the conjunction but, can be important words to emphasize.” The teacher models using good intonation when reading aloud a passage. The class discusses how intonation was used, such as which words were emphasized, and tone. Students Echo Read and then Partner Read the same passage. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 6, page T99, the teacher tells students that phrasing aids in comprehension and makes reading sound more fluid. Students are told to look for phrasing cues such as commas, end punctuation, or words that are naturally grouped together. Students follow as the teacher reads a paragraph word-by-word with inappropriate phrasing. The teacher then rereads the paragraph modeling appropriate phrasing, asking students for ideas on appropriate phrasing cues such as commas, punctuation, and reading ahead to group words together. Students read the passage aloud with the teacher using Choral Reading. Then, students reread the passage aloud in pairs or groups using Partner Reading. The teacher monitors students for appropriate use of phrasing cues. 

Materials support reading of prose with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, a direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. Students’ opportunities to read poetry are minimal in the materials. For example:

Students have opportunities to read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

  • In Module 2, Lesson 1, page T229, the teacher tells students that to read with accuracy means to recognize each word they read and pronounce it correctly so that the text makes sense to the reader. The teacher tells students that when good readers read aloud, they work hard to improve their accuracy and monitor their reading to self-correct any mistakes. The teacher demonstrates how to read the passage with accuracy, using self-correction techniques as needed.  Students read the passage with the teacher using the Choral Reading routine. Students work in pairs or small groups to read the passage with accuracy using the Partner Reading routine.  
  • In Module 2, Lesson 6, page T289, the teacher tells students, “When reading an informational text with difficult words and many facts, you should read more slowly so that both you and your listeners can understand the concepts in the text. When reading a story you can adjust your reading rate and read a bit faster. Change your reading rate to fit the type of text you are reading.” The teacher models using appropriate rate while reading a passage aloud. Students then practice Choral Reading and Partner Reading the same passage. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 9, page T311, students complete the following fluency activity: “Have each student select a poem from Nature’s Wonders. Then, have pairs or small groups who have chosen the same poem work together to practice reading aloud fluently. Provide time for students to share their oral readings with other groups. You may wish to have students practice during small-group time.” 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 6, page T99, the teacher tells students that reading with expression means reading with the appropriate feelings so that the listener can feel the mood of the story or emotions of the character. The teacher models reading with expression.  Students read the passage with the teacher, using appropriate expression. Students work in pairs or groups to reread the passage with expression using the Partner Reading routine.  
  • In Module 9, Lesson 6, page T99, the teacher tells students that reading rate means to read appropriately for the text being read. For fiction read faster or slower, reflecting the action of the story, and read slower for nonfiction for understanding of concepts in the text. “In all cases, you should adjust your rate to emphasize key ideas and phrases. Always read as smoothly as possible.” Students follow along as the teacher reads a paragraph too fast and another too slow. The teacher rereads, modeling an appropriate rate, adjusting to the action and detail of the text. Students read the passage aloud with the teacher chorally. Students read the passage aloud again with the Partner Reading routine.

Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). For example:

Students have opportunities to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

  • In Module 1, Lesson 1, page T39, the teacher tells students that reading with accuracy means to recognize each word when reading and pronounce it correctly so it makes sense to the reader. The teacher tells students that if the text does not make sense, they should use context to confirm their word recognition and then self-correct. The teacher models reading with accuracy and self-correction techniques. Students read the passage with the teacher, using the Choral Reading routine. Students work in pairs or small groups to reread accurately using the Partner Reading routine.
  • In Module 6, Lesson 1, page T228, the teacher explains and models how to use accuracy and self-correction when reading a passage. Students Choral Read and Partner Read the same passage. The teacher is instructed to “monitor students for accuracy and self-correction. Note especially how students handle more challenging words such as organisms, biologist, and Australia. Provide support as needed.” 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 1, page T13, the teacher tells students good readers go back and self-correct, or reread the word correctly, if they mispronounce a word as they are reading. Students follow along as the teacher reads a sentence in a paragraph, reading the word bass with a short a sound, explaining it is a fish, and explaining that bass with long a is an instrument and that the context of the story is about music. Students read the passage aloud in a choral read with the teacher, then read in pairs or groups using Partner Reading. The teacher monitors students for accuracy and homophones in the passage.  

Assessment materials that provide teachers and students with information on students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency are provided for students needing intervention; however, the materials do not include guidance for assessing fluency for students reading at or above grade-level expectations. For example: 

  • Assessment tools provided with the materials include components to assess fluency. For example:
    • The Screening Assessment addresses Oral Reading Fluency. Teachers are directed to use Oral Reading Fluency Assessments to individually assess a student’s oral reading skills, specifically fluency, accuracy, and rate. The results of the Screening Assessment and other observations will help the teacher determine whether students would benefit from intervention instruction or require additional diagnostic testing. 
    • Progress Monitoring Assessments administered bi-weekly to assess Oral Reading Fluency are used to follow up with students receiving intervention instruction.

Guided Reading Benchmark Assessments are given three times a year or as needed to assess all students’ accuracy but do not provide guidance for teachers to determine a WCPM score. The teacher chooses how often these assessments are given. Examples are provided on page 1 of the Benchmark Evaluation Guide that state teachers use these assessments to “assess whether a student is ready to move into another Into Reading Guided Reading Level.” Teachers may “assess whether a student has been placed in a level that is too difficult,” or “Provide a formal assessment for a grading period.”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Texts are organized around topics to build to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Questions and tasks throughout the program engage students in the analysis of content and ideas within and across texts, including sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

Culminating tasks in the materials require students to reflect on the knowledge gained from the module, however these tasks do not consistently require the use of the texts and vocabulary from the unit to complete them.

The materials provide consistent opportunities for students to learn and use key academic vocabulary across and within texts to better understand the content. The program also includes a comprehensive plan for writing instruction across the year to support students in achieving grade-level proficiency. Students also engage in inquiry and research projects in each module of the program, providing the opportunity to solve a problem, answer a question, or share information about the topic under study.

Criterion 2a - 2h

32/32
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Criterion Rating Details

Texts are organized around topics to build to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Questions and tasks throughout the program engage students in the analysis of content and ideas within and across texts, including sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

Culminating tasks in the materials require students to reflect on the knowledge gained from the module, however these tasks do not consistently require the use of the texts and vocabulary from the unit to complete them.

The materials provide consistent opportunities for students to learn and use key academic vocabulary across and within texts to better understand the content. The program also includes a comprehensive plan for writing instruction across the year to support students in achieving grade-level proficiency. Students also engage in inquiry and research projects in each module of the program, providing the opportunity to solve a problem, answer a question, or share information about the topic under study.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6–8, topics and/or themes) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Each module has a topic which is stated by the name of the module and clearly outlined in the section titled “Building Knowledge Networks.” Within each module, students interact with anchor texts, supporting texts, daily tasks, and writing tasks designed to grow the students’ understanding of the unit’s topic. 

Examples include:

  • In Module 1, students read texts about identity. Examples of these texts include: Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, Yes! We are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, and The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin. 
  • In Module 2, students read texts on the topic of the five senses. Examples of these texts include: The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury, Animal Senses from Animal Atlas, and Blind Ambition by Matthew Cooper as told to Rachel Buchholtz. 
  • In Module 4, students read about heroism. Texts in this module include: Prince Charming Misplaces His Bride by Christopher Healy, Smokejumpers to the Rescue by Laurie Toupin, and The Battle of the Alamo by Amie Jane Leavitt. 
  • In Module 6, students read about Earth's natural wonders and what makes them exciting and unique. Examples of texts in this module include: Mariana Trench by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods, Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre, and Coral Reefs by Jason Chin. 
  • In Module 8, students read about the topic of healthy food. Students learn about nutrition and the benefits of healthy and sustainable foods. Examples of texts in this module include: Eco Friendly Food by Cath Senker and Now You’re Cooking! by René Saldaña, Jr. 
  • In Module 9, students read about the topic of protecting the planet. Students learn about conservation and ways they can help save our planet. Examples of texts in this module include: Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila, Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson, and On Sea Turtle Patrol by Nancy Dawson. 

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. 

Throughout Modules 1–10, students interact with the text to answer questions during Targeted Close Reads, Read for Understanding, Collaborative Discussion, and independent work using graphic organizers, and while responding to questions in writing that include finding evidence in the text. In Modules 11–12, students complete Genre Studies, where they are asked to further analyze previously read texts. 

Specific examples of coherently sequenced questions and tasks about language include:

  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, after reading the play Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner, students are asked with what adage they can identify and what it means. They are then asked what the saying means in relation to the text and how the meaning of each expression is from the meaning of each individual word within it. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 3, while reading Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen, students are asked the meaning of the phrase “rattling the rafters” and the type of figurative language it represents. Students are also asked to locate the simile the author uses in paragraph 9 and if that is a good way to describe Rose. 
  • In Module 12, Lesson 9, in the Genre Study Teacher's Guide, after rereading paragraph 30 in In the Days of King Adobe as told by Joe Hayes, students are asked to identify figurative language in the paragraph and how the figurative language helps the author achieve his purpose. 

An example of coherently sequenced questions and tasks about key ideas is:

  • In Module 7, Lesson 1, after reading A Tale of Traditional Tales (unknown author), students are asked to identify the topic of the  selection, the central idea, and the evidence about fables that supports the central idea. Students are then asked how the organization of the text supports the central idea. 

Specific examples of coherently sequenced questions and tasks about details include:

  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, after reading Prince Charming Misplaces His Bride by Christopher Healy, students are asked the identity of the mysterious woman and the reason the prince was intrigued by her. Students are also asked what causes Frederic to finally stand up to his father. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 1, after reading letters between Eco Guardians and Emilia Garcia, students are asked about the author of the letters, the purpose of the first letter, and the opinion the Eco Guardians have about the use of the vacant land. 

Specific examples of coherently sequenced questions and tasks about craft include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 3, after reading Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, students are asked why the author uses a graphic novel format to begin the story. Students are also asked what the author’s purpose for writing the story is and what part of the text supports their answer. 
  • In Module 12, Lesson 3, after rereading paragraphs 33–36 in The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin, students are asked about the difference(s) of the story if written in third-person point of view. They are also asked about how Pacy being the narrator helps the author achieve her purpose. 

Specific examples of coherently sequenced questions and tasks about structure include:

  • In Module 5, Lesson 9, after reading Let’s Dance Around the World by Leticia Ann Kimura and Annabel Wildrick, students are asked what text structure the author uses in paragraph 6 and why. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 3, after rereading paragraphs 22–25 in The History Of Communication (author not cited), students are asked about the structure of that part of the text. Then they are asked how knowing the structure of the text helps them understand the central ideas on the page.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

In the modules, students are given a  Knowledge Map, where they work with the teacher to create a concept map about the topic of study. After each text, students return to the Knowledge Map and complete additional information to help them build knowledge and answer the essential question. 

Examples of text-dependent questions that help students analyze knowledge and ideas include:

  • In Module 2, Lessons 2-5, students read The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury and are asked questions such as, “If you close one eye,  would it be easier to put the pieces of the puzzle together? Why or why not?", "How would your eyes react if you walked outside on a sunny day?”; and “Why would there be a lot of shadows in a thick forest?” 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 2, students listen to the teacher read the biography “Ellen Ochoa” (author not cited), and while the teacher reads, students are asked questions such as “Why didn’t Ellen dream of becoming an astronaut as a young girl?"; "How did Ellen train to become an astronaut?”; and “What qualities helped Ellen to be selected as a research engineer at NASA?”
  • In Module 4, Lessons 6 and 7, students read the narrative nonfiction Smokejumpers to the Rescue! by Laurie Toupin and answer questions to build knowledge including “What kinds of feelings do smokejumpers experience when they jump into a wildfire?"; "What do  the smokejumpers’ supplies tell you about what they do to fight a fire?”; and “What kinds of people make good smokejumpers?” 
  • In Module 6, students learn about Earth’s natural wonders. In Lesson 7, while reading Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre, students are asked, "What are the two causes for the ringing of the rocks?” and “What mystery do scientists want to solve in Death Valley National Park?”.
  • In Module 8, Lesson 5, after reading Eco-Friendly Food by Cath Senker, students are asked questions such as “Which of the ideas that the author lists are wasteful? Which are waste-aware?” and “What are some ways that growing food at a school garden can be useful?” 
  • In Module 9, Lessons 8–10, students read How we Reduce Household Waste by Mary K. Pratt and are asked questions such as “What are four categories of household waste?"; "What are some examples of plastic waste that people throw away?";  "How is plastic waste harmful to the environment?”; and “What are three things you can do to reduce trash?” 
  • In Module 10, after reading The History of Communication (author not cited) in Lessons 1–5, students are asked, “How did the Gutenberg press change people’s lives?” and “How has the way people communicate changed from before the Renaissance to present day?” 

Students are also asked to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across multiple texts. Some examples include:

  • In Module 3, Lesson 2, students compare the video “Rise Up”, the text, “Never Give Up!,” and the biography “Ellen Ochoa.” They are asked questions such as “What do you know now about rising to meet a challenge that you did not know before?” and “How is the information in the video ‘Rise Up,’ the text ‘Never Give Up!,’ and the selection ‘Ellen Ochoa’ the same and different?” 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, students listen to the text “Mack and the Hidden Tree House” (author not cited). They are then asked to compare that to the module video and text “Who‘s a Hero?” Questions include “What do you know now about heroes in everyday life that you didn't know before?” and “How is the information in the video ‘Everyday Heroes,’ the text ‘Who’s a Hero?,’ and the selection ‘Mack and the Hidden Tree House the same and different?” 
  • In Module 6, students learn about natural wonders. In Lesson 5, they fill out the Knowledge Map after reading the text Mariana Trench by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods. Students complete the area about water. Then students add information from the text “Seven Natural Wonders” (author not cited). Then in Lesson 10, students add more to the Knowledge Map after reading Weird and Wondrous Rocks by April Pulley Sayre and Nature’s Wonders (by various poets). 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 5, students use the text from Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila to complete the Knowledge Map and offer some solutions. Then in Lesson 10, students reflect on the essential question, and what they read in How Can We Reduce Household Waste? by Mary K. Pratt to add more solutions in their Knowledge Maps.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6–8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Throughout the Grade 4 materials, students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic by completing a culminating task through integrated skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. At the end of each module, students are tasked with completing a performance task that utilizes the texts, skills, and strategies from the module and requires students to apply their learning to a writing prompt. These tasks require students to reflect on what they learned in the module, including what knowledge they gained, and they require them to use the module texts and vocabulary as well. Students are also given the opportunity to share their culminating task, requiring additional speaking and listening skills. 

Some specific examples of culminating tasks that require students to demonstrate their knowledge through integrated skills include:

  • In Module 2, students learn about the importance of senses to people and animals in navigating the world. Students use the texts that they have read and discussed throughout the module to write an article that explains how one sense helps people and animals survive and navigate the world. In Weeks 1 and 3, students draw directly from writing experience gained in an earlier module when writing a descriptive paragraph after reading The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury and later, in Week 3, an informative paragraph after reading The Game of Silence by Louise Erdich. Students integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening to complete the tasks. 
  • In Module 6, students learn about Earth’s natural wonders and the qualities that make them exciting and unique. At the end of the module, students write an article about one of Earth's natural wonders, using evidence from texts and the Big Idea Words, that captures words about natural wonders. Students demonstrate their knowledge of natural wonders that they learned throughout the module by using texts and discussions and writing about one natural wonder. 
  • In Module 8, students learn about how to make more healthful food choices. After reading and discussing multiple texts, students are tasked with writing an editorial for a local newspaper to explain whether they think school lunch should include more healthy foods and be served in ways that do the least harm to the environment. Students must include evidence from the module texts and videos and include what they have learned about persuasive writing. Students share their editorial by either creating a digital copy, presenting a speech, or participating in a panel discussion. The end-of-module task requires students to use reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to demonstrate their knowledge of healthy food choices. 
  • In Module 9, students learn ways to care for the planet. Students write a speech at the end of the module about a change the school could make to help the environment. Students must use evidence from the text to support their ideas.  Students share their speech by either posting it on a website, reading it aloud to a small group, or delivering the speech to a pretend school council. Students use the information they learned throughout the module to complete this task. 
  • In Module 10, students learn about communication. Their task is to think about the information they learned from reading the text A New Language—Invented by Kids! by Chasman Harris and watching the video Dolphin Dinner and then write an article about an unusual or unexpected form of communication, using facts and examples from the text and video. This requires both reading and listening skills. In Lesson 3 of the module, students read The History of Communication (author not cited) and write an advertisement for an invention that helps people communicate.  This activity helps them complete the culminating task. Students integrate their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to complete the task. They listen to shared readings of informational stories and a video throughout the module. Then they write an informational article, and they have the option of sharing their article by reading it aloud.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 materials meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. 

Throughout the Grade 4 materials, students learn vocabulary that is found within the module texts, as well as strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words not explicitly taught. Direct word instruction includes students learning both general academic and domain-specific words using consistent routines and Vocabulary Cards. Instruction focuses on word pronunciation, word meaning, and context. Students also learn word-learning strategies that include Vocabulary Strategy and Generative Vocabulary Lessons. These lessons are designed to help students see the connections between words, deepen their understanding, and provide students with tools that will help them unlock the meaning of unknown words. In the Genre Study Modules (11 & 12), there is no direct vocabulary instruction; however, a list of instructional vocabulary words and definitions is included at the beginning of the week in the Teacher's Guide. The guide states to encourage students to use these words in their speaking and writing during the week. 

Students engage with a vocabulary routine to learn academic vocabulary words prior to reading a module text. Teachers read aloud each word, and the students repeat it. Then students read and discuss each word’s student-friendly definition. The teacher points out an example of the word, and students suggest other examples. In Step 2 of this routine, students discuss questions and prompts using the vocabulary words. In Step 3, students work independently to complete activities and prompts on Vocabulary Cards. Students Turn and Talk with a partner to discuss the words. Some specific examples include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 2, students learn the words cynic, defiance, profound, inadvertently, consumed, descended, obliged, mundane, considered, and disdain from the text Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo. In Step 2, students are asked questions such as “How might a cynic react to hearing good news?” and “Would you expect a mundane person to take huge risks?” 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 2, students learn the words dignified, stunned, and regretted from the text, The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Students discuss the words by answering “What makes a person looked dignified?” 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 2, students learn the words recall, vividly, accentuated, partial, and splendor from the text Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen. In Step 3, students work in partners to discuss various prompts about the words. 

In addition to learning specific words that are found in the texts, students learn vocabulary strategies and generative vocabulary to apply to unknown words. The routine for these lessons is a three-step process. In Step 1, there is a discussion of the meaning of the strategy or affix and how to apply the strategy or affix. In Step 2, students engage in guided practice by determining the meaning of other words using the taught strategy or affix. In Step 3, students apply the strategy by completing an independent practice. For example, students write sentences using the words and share sentences with their partners. At times, students also review previous affixes. Specific examples include:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 10, students participate in a Generative Vocabulary lesson about the suffixes -ness and -ment. In Step 2, students look at words with the suffixes, discuss the parts of the words they recognize, and predict definitions of the words. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 12, students participate in a Vocabulary Strategy lesson for multiple-meaning words. Students review the strategy and then discuss the multiple meanings of the word pound. Students then apply this strategy for multiple meaning words, such as play, right, and rock, in the text My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Perez.  
  • In Module 4, Lesson 4, students participate in a Generative Vocabulary lesson for the prefixes sub- and fore-. Students learn the meanings and examine examples, including subdued and foreboding, from the text Prince Charming Misplaces His Bride by Christopher Healthy. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 10, students engage in a Generative Vocabulary lesson with the prefixes sub- and fore-. The teacher models how to use the prefixes sub- and fore- to determine the meaning of words and together students and the teacher define the words substitute, subway, forefather, foremost, and foreshadowing. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 12, students engage in a Vocabulary Strategy lesson about context clues. Students learn that some words have multiple meanings, and they need to use the context of the sentence to know which meaning of the word is intended. Students practice the strategy with a partner with words from the text Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson. In Module 10, Lesson 10, students participate in a Generative Vocabulary lesson about prefixes il- and ir-. Students are taught the prefixes and then are shown the words illimitable, irrecoverable, and irremovable. Students define the words based on their understanding of the prefixes. 

Students also review vocabulary from previous modules throughout the year. An example is in Module 6, Lesson 5. Students review vocabulary words from Module 5, including dignified, stunned, polished, and regretted. Students review the meaning and use words in sentences.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials 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.

Students have many opportunities to write during literacy instruction. Following each main text in their myBook, students respond to their reading through a writing about the reading task. For each of these tasks, students are provided with planning space, a graphic organizer, and reminders to use text evidence. These writing tasks include a variety of text types. In addition, at the end of each module, students complete a performance-based writing task based on the module’s essential question. Many of these prompts ask students to synthesize at least two texts in the module. Students use graphic organizers to plan, draft their writing, edit, and revise before finishing the assignment. Finally, in Writing Workshop, students are explicitly taught the writing process for narrative, informational, and opinion writing. Each of these modules includes explicit modeling and instruction for each stage of the writing process. Each module is tied to a focal text and students write daily and receive regular conferencing with teachers and peers to improve their writing. For most modules, the students focus on a particular writing mode and explore it through all aspects of writing instruction, which further help students achieve grade-level proficiency in writing. 

Specific examples of writing instruction prompts in myBook include:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, after reading The Science Behind Sight by Louise Spilsbury, students write a summary about the importance of light to the sense of sight. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 9, after reading the play Catch Me if You Can by Carol Schaffner, students write a new scene that builds on the events of the play. Students must use elements of a drama, such as character tags, setting, and stage directions. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 3, students write a blog post after reading Thunder Rose where they explain characteristics of a tall tale using the story as an example. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 3, students write a how-to instruction manual for the school about growing and preparing food, after reading Eco-Friendly Food by Cath Senker. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 3, after watching the screencast, “The History of Communication,” students create an advertisement for one of the inventions from the screencast. In the advertisement, students must explain how the invention helps people communicate. 

Performance tasks require students to apply what they have learned about the writing process in order to demonstrate their understanding of the essential question and key knowledge and skills in each module. Some examples of performance tasks that provide instruction in writing include:

  • In Module 1, students write a story that tells how the characters Ulysses and Kitoto work together to solve a problem from the module texts. Students integrate skills such as writing a story with a beginning/middle/end, using text evidence, and demonstrating the steps of the writing process. 
  • In Module 4, students write a play about a hero. They must present a problem that their hero has to solve, offer a resolution that tells how the problem was solved, use stage directions and dialogue to tell the story, and have a theme or lesson that the character learns. 
  • In Module 6, students write an article for a science magazine about Earth’s natural wonders. Students must include an introduction, details from the module texts, and multiple paragraphs. 
  • In Module 7, students write a trickster tale including a lesson they want to share with their audience. Students use a graphic organizer to map out the characters, the trick, the events, and the lesson or moral. 

In Writing Workshop, students engage in lessons that focus on process-based writing to generate ideas, organize drafts, revise, edit, publish, and share. Students learn about the characteristics of narrative, informational, and opinion writing and work on one piece of writing throughout all three weeks of a module. Specific examples of writing instruction and prompts in Writing Workshop include:

  • In Module 1, students write a personal narrative about a time that they learned a lesson from an event that took place in their lives. Students learn story elements and vocabulary to complete this task. 
  • In Module 3, students write an opinion essay about the importance of relying on friends when faced with a challenge. Students are taught the elements of an opinion essay and learn how to combine and rearrange ideas to make them clearer. 
  • In Module 6, students write a correspondence letter to an expert in a specific field of study, asking for more information about a natural wonder. 
  • In Module 8, students write an opinion essay about the reasons people should try different types of food, using the text It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! by James Solhei as a mentor text. 
  • In Module 10, students write an expository essay about a discovery that someone has made. Students begin their writing by conducting research at the library or on the internet about their topic. 

During the Genre Study Modules (Modules 11 and 12 in the Genre Study Teacher's Guide), students work on a week-long writing assignment in the genre they are reading about. Examples include:

  • In Module 11, Lessons 6–10, students learn about biographies and write a biographical magazine article about their favorite music group or create a poster about a person they admire. 
  • In Module 12, Lessons 11–15, students study the characteristics of historical fiction and write and present a historical fiction journal entry or a historical fiction story based on an image.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Each module in Grade 4 contains an Inquiry and Research Project. These projects require students to work for an extended period of time to solve a problem, answer a question, or share information. Inquiry and Research Projects align to the big idea in the module, and students are encouraged to draw from the texts read during the module. Each Inquiry and Research Project follows three steps, with each step taking place during a different week of the module. During Week 1, the project is launched. Students collaborate to generate research questions and develop a research plan. Students also research source materials available, including books, magazines, videos, and online sources. During Week 2, students write and create their project. Students draft and revise their work and a variety of materials are provided to complete the project, including art supplies and digital materials. During Week 3, students present and reflect. Students practice their presentations, share their final products with an audience, assess their work, and celebrate. In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, teachers are provided with guidance for best practices to facilitate Inquiry and Research Projects. Some of these best practices include selecting an outside audience for Week 3, allowing time for revision, and modeling how to find and record information.

Specific examples of research projects found throughout the year include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students collect stories from classmates or neighbors for an oral history project. Students learn about oral histories. In Week 1, students select a person to interview and generate questions to ask. In Week 2, students write out the interview they recorded and organize the order of the stories for an oral history book with a group. In Week 3, students practice and present their oral histories to an audience.
  • In Module 2, students work in groups to create an advertisement for a sensory invention. In Week 1, students brainstorm an invention that will help someone who has a common sensory disability and then research existing sensory disability inventions. In Week 2, students choose an invention idea and draft a copy of their advertisement. Students also write a statement about how their invention might improve the lives of its users. In Week 3, students present. 
  • In Module 3, students write a biography about a person who has overcome obstacles. In Week 2, through research, students identify information that they find interesting about the person that should be included in the biography and then write the biography with photographs and a timeline. In Week 3, students present their biography and dress as that person.  
  • In Module 4, students collaborate to generate ideas, research, complete, and present an inquiry-based project based on acting out a fairy tale and drafting a skit from another culture. Before beginning, students work in groups to discuss fairy tales they are familiar with, discuss commonalities, select a skit they will perform, and create visuals that show the setting. In Week 2, students draft the skit and practice before presenting in front of the whole class. 
  • In Module 5, students research about art so they can create an art project for the school; students must defend and provide justification for the reason it should be implemented. Students brainstorm ways to make the school more attractive and decide on an art project for their group. In Week 2, students draft an art project and an argument for the school to adopt this idea. Students outline materials needed for the project and write an essay about the benefits of the project. Students present with their group in week 3 and reflect on what they learned. 
  • In Module 6, students research marvels in nature in order to create a museum exhibit on an extreme environment before sharing with the class. 
  • In Module 7, students read a variety of texts to publish their own literary magazine of fables. In Week 1, they analyze and discuss a variety of fables in groups. In Week 2, students continue to analyze the structure of fables so that they can duplicate it, discuss the fables they have read, and draft a short fable. They also revise their drafts with their group and create illustrations. In Week 3, students present what they have learned through their literary magazine. 
  • In Module 8, students plan a restaurant with a healthy menu and create an ad campaign for the restaurant. In Week 1, students research information from the USDA that offers suggestions for making healthier choices. In Week 2, students choose menu items, organize them, price them, and name their restaurant. Then they draft their menu and develop an ad campaign with visuals before presenting in Week 3.
  • In Module 9, students research and participate in a local environmental initiative by creating a public awareness campaign. In Week 1, students research and discuss ways to create a positive effect on the environment. In Week 2, students draft campaign materials, create visuals, revise, and edit, before presenting in Week 3. 
  • In Module 10, students research an aspect of communication such as an invention or mode of communication such as sign language and present their research in a blog and an oral presentation to 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is an area called Supporting Reading Independence. In this section, teachers are provided with resources and strategies to help students become independent and enthusiastic readers both in the classroom and at home. There is also information regarding organization of a classroom reading center, including procedures for students to self-select books, set individual reading goals, and construct responses to reading.  In addition, the Family and Community section provides information on independent reading. Students complete independent reading during literacy centers while the teacher is meeting with small groups of students. Students self-select books and record progress on a reading log. There is information on how to promote independent reading at home and ways to keep track of texts students read. In Modules 11 and 12, students read independently in the genre focus for the book. 


Some of the specific suggestions that the program provides for independent reading in the classroom include:

  • Organizing the classroom reading center, introducing new books in the library throughout the year, and creating a diverse library that reflects the diversity of the classroom. The reading center should be designed in a way that students read independently and also discuss books with peers. Reading logs, reading nonfiction printables, pencils, and markers should also be found in the reading center.
  • Teaching students to self-select books by modeling choosing books and having students conduct short book talks to recommend books to their classmates.
  • Teaching students to set goals and respond to reading by gradually increasing the amount of time that students read throughout the year, encouraging students to set a goal for how much reading they will do, and having students create a response journal to document their independent reading books. 
  • During literacy centers, students can self-select or continue reading an independent reading book, keep track of progress by using a reading log, and utilize the independent reading printables (one each for fiction and nonfiction) to keep track of key ideas. The reading log includes title, genre, date, time spent, pages read, as well as, a summary or answer to a discussion question. 

Some of the specific suggestions that the program provides for independent reading at home include:

  • Demonstrating to families how to be a fluent reader and how to interact with children while reading aloud to them. It is encouraged that this happens once a week, and that parents also hear children read to them. The teacher should also provide book ideas and coach parents on how to consider children’s interests when selecting a text.
  • Encouraging families to dedicate time at least once per week to read with their children, sending home a reading log so students can record time spent reading outside of the classroom, and providing strategies for text selection, such as reading a page and seeing if they read five or more words incorrectly and choosing a different book.
  • Sharing a summer reading list with suggestions of titles across a variety of genres for students to read independently and with their families. The teacher should also send home a list of questions families should ask students before, during, and after reading. 
  • Suggesting that families participate in a book club or other book events that will spark students’ interest in topics.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

Materials are well designed, employ effective lesson structure and pacing, and include copious review and practice resources. The Teacher Edition contains useful information, ample notations, guidance for implementation, and support for digital components. Full explanations and examples are provided, with professional learning support for more advanced literary concepts.

The role of the ELA/literacy standards in the context of the program are clearly outlined along with an explanation of the approaches of the program, including research-based strategies.

The materials also provide strategies for stakeholder communications to strengthen relationships with families and the community.

Regular, systematic opportunities for assessment are located throughout the materials. The materials align included assessments to the standards, however individual assessment questions are not labeled with an alignment. Ample guidance is provided for interpreting assessment data for application to instruction.

Independent reading based on student choice along with accountability measures is included in the program.

The program supports teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of all learners, including support for students for whom English is a new language, students with disabilities, and students performing above grade level.

The digital materials can be accessed across all platforms and most devices, though they do not appear to be optimized for use on a mobile device. The platform offers a variety of digital support pieces for teachers and students, including opportunities for teachers to customize locally and personalize learning for students, though navigation support may be needed to help teachers implement these digital components effectively. Some opportunities for digital collaboration are provided.

Criterion 3a - 3e

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials are well-designed, employ effective lesson structure and pacing, include copious review and practice resources (including clear directions/labeling and explanations for students), and are designed in such a way that they are not distracting or chaotic.

However, while each assessment is labeled with a standards alignment, an alignment is not provided for individual questions.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. 

The Grade 4 materials are divided into twelve modules, with each module taking place over three weeks. The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book and Teacher's Guide provide extensive information about all components of the module and specific details for each lesson component. Suggested time frames and ranges for each instructional segment are provided. The materials have multiple instructional segments that are required daily, though the provided time frames will help schools find time for each segment of the lesson. Time is built into the schedule each day for whole class instruction, small group instruction, independent practice, collaborative group work, and reflection. 

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book provides information to support effective lesson structure and pacing:

  • Whole-class instruction should be 75–120 minutes per day. It should include 10–15 minutes per day of knowledge building and vocabulary instruction, 20–30 minutes of Reading Workshop, 15–30 minutes of foundational skills and/or communication, and 30–45 minutes of Writing Workshop
  • Small Group instruction should be 45–60 minutes per day and include independent practice, collaborative work, and teacher-led small-group instruction

Each week, the Teacher's Guide  also provides a Week at a Glance, which provides an overview of the instructional segments for the week and the suggested daily times. For example, in Module 1, Week 1, it is suggested that the teacher uses 10–15 minutes to build knowledge and vocabulary, 60–85 minutes for Reading Workshop, 15–30 minutes for foundational skills, 15–30 minutes for communication, and 30–45 minutes of Writing Workshop.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and that the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The Grade 4 materials are arranged into twelve, three-week modules for a total of 180 days of instruction. Flexibility within a typical school year including disruptions due to state testing, holidays, snow days, field trips, and other school and district commitments is not built into the materials. The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book emphasizes the importance of  introducing and practicing routines and procedures in the beginning of the year; however, this is not built into the flow of the materials. 

According to The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is a daily schedule recommendation. The sample schedule covers almost a six-hour day, but it does not provide for daily social studies and science instruction. It allocates almost three hours of ELA instruction and allows for 45 minutes of math instruction. The sample schedule is meant as a guide for schools to create their own schedule. The suggested schedule includes:

  • Morning Announcements: 10 minutes
  • Vocabulary: 15 minutes
  • Reading Workshop: 15 minutes
  • Small-Group Instruction: 70 minutes
  • Lunch: 20 minutes
  • Recess: 30 minutes
  • Foundational Skills or Communication: 30 minutes
  • Writing Workshop: 45 minutes
  • Math: 45 minutes
  • PE/Art/Music: 30 minutes
  • Science or Social Studies: 30 minutes
  • Wrap Up: 10 minutes

In order to complete Modules 11 and 12, all other module lessons must be completed, because lessons in these two modules require students to revisit texts and anchor charts from Modules 1–10.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions and explanations, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

 The Grade 4 student materials provide a variety of resources to practice and review skills. The resources provide clear directions and explanations for students and are all labeled to show alignment to the specific module and week. Printables and anchor charts are easily located on the digital site by sorting in accordance with the labeled heading in the Teacher's Guide. Practice opportunities include the student myBook, the Notice & Note Signposts, and the Know It, Show It practice activities. 

The myBook is a write-in student book that provides clear directions and explanations. Each task box contains clear and concise instructions along with a defined box for completing the task. Some examples include:

  • Students are given directions to annotate the text to demonstrate their thinking.
  • Students are given directions to find evidence in the text to support their understanding of text structure, text features, literary elements, central idea, theme, point of view, and figurative language.
  • Students are given clear directions to engage in Collaborative Discussion and respond to questions in their myBook.
  • Students are given directions to respond to given writing prompts.
  • Critical vocabulary is listed beside the boxes where students complete writing tasks, so students can include the important vocabulary words in their writing.

Notice & Note Signposts are found throughout the reading of texts, which direct students to think more deeply about the texts. This provides clear guidance during the close reading of texts. Some examples of this include:

  • In literary texts, students might stop and think about an "Aha Moment," which is when the character reaches a realization about something that shifts his or her understanding.
  • In informational texts, students might stop and think about “Numbers and Stats,” where students analyze the numbers, statistics, and language an author uses to provide precision or to avoid it.

The Know It, Show It book is a resource book that provides students with independent practice to apply the skills learned during instructional segments. The practice activities are labeled with each skill as well as the module and the week to which the practice aligns. 

The Genre Study Printables for Modules 11 and 12 are labeled correctly to include the module and lesson number. Directions and questions are clear, and the layout is simple and easy to use. Printables include the Genre Maps, Writing in the Genre activities, and the Genre Study printables that support each genre study minilesson.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

There is a resource that shows an alignment to the Common Core State Standards by listing each standard and the lessons that correlate to the standards. Standard alignment is also located in the digital resource through the Planning Guide and Common Core State Standards link. Assessments are not labeled by CCSS, but the digital data reports have an option for the teacher to review the data based on the standard. In addition, on the digital platform, under Module Resources, there is a document titled “State-Specific Resources,” which provides the Weekly Overview for each module with state-aligned labeling of standards. However, specific questions and tasks in the print or digital version are not labeled by the CCSS. Instead, the publisher lists the standards and the page numbers, but they are not delineated by question or task.

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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 visual design includes clear instructions and simple designs that do not distract the students. All texts are provided within the student myBook. The materials contain many visual aids to support student learning, including anchor charts, Display and Engage content, graphic organizers, printables, and real images that accompany the text related to the content of the modules. Additionally, illustrations and art utilized on student workbook pages are uncomplicated and appealing to the eye. The font, margins, and spacing provided for student work are appropriate. Color coding is included in the teacher materials to facilitate quick knowledge of the type of task and procedure to use with students. 

Examples of appropriate visual design in both print and digital include:

  • The printed myBook design provides color, ample space for students to write, large font for headings and directions, and clear labels for vocabulary and speaking and listening tips for students. 
  • The digital version of the materials provides a table of contents drop-down menu, making it easy for students to access specific parts of the myBook digitally. 
  • The Know It, Show It workbook is labeled with the skill at the top and the module and week at the bottom, and it contains clear directions for student completion. 
  • Anchor charts are provided and used throughout lessons to support the skill that students practice and apply independently. Anchor charts are colorful and use headings and guiding questions. 
  • Focal Text, Take and Teach Lessons and Printables are used along with the writing focal text. The printable includes the title of the book, clear directions with page number references, and labeling.
  • In the Teaching Pal, boxes are color coded for different tasks, and teacher directions for asking students to complete a task are easily located. The text within these boxes is also visually appealing and easy to read, and some of it is written in bulleted format. 
  • Teacher materials on the digital version are not visually busy with too much text. There are icons that can be clicked on for added information about tasks, and then hidden once the task is finished to eliminate visual distraction. 
  • The Genre Study Printables must be printed from the digital resources. They are black and white, with no visuals or graphics. The printable for each lesson is contained to one page.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The Teacher Edition that accompanies the materials provides useful information, ample notations, guidance for implementation, and support for digital components. Full explanations and examples are provided, with professional learning support for more advanced literary concepts.

The role of the ELA/literacy standards in the context of the program are clearly outlined along with an explanation of the approaches of the program, including research-based strategies.

The materials also provide strategies for stakeholder communications to strengthen relationships with families and the community.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher 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.

The Grade 4 materials include a Teacher's Guide that provides a clear outline of each module as well as, notes and suggestions on ways to present content to students. The Teacher's Guide also includes the objectives of the lesson, explanations of  the location of routines and descriptions, and suggested ways to present content.  It also provides possible questions to ask and detailed guidance for each part of the literacy block. The Teacher's Guide also includes scaffolded instruction to address learners’ needs with suggestions and ideas on how to differentiate instruction for those students in need. Within the Teacher's Guide, there are also ideas for how to structure Reading Workshop, literacy centers, vocabulary centers, digital stations, and research-informed instructional routines to support lesson planning. Some of those instructional routines included are active viewing, active listening, vocabulary, reading for understanding, close reading, and response writing. Engagement routines that are also included are as follows: Choral Reading, Partner Reading, Echo Reading, Turn and Talk, Think-Pair-Share, Solo Chair, and Collaborative Discussion. 

The Teaching Pal features specific annotations in support of instructional routines, including reading for understanding, close reading, and Collaborative Discussion, along with text-dependent questions that are embedded within the text to support teachers with creating engaging text-dependent discussions during and after engaging in the reading of a complex text. The Teaching Pal provides notes for Think Alouds, tasks, and questions, which are labeled with learning objectives. Each note is also labeled with a Depth of Knowledge for that task, question, or Think Aloud. 

The Teacher's Guide includes several sections that provide annotations and suggestions on how to present information to students. They include:

  • Module Opener: Provides an essential question, an explanation of the module focus, and a quick overview of the skills students will acquire and practice throughout the module.
  • Reading Workshop: Provides suggestions on forming small groups in guided reading, English language development, setting reading goals, conferences, and skill strategy groups.
  • Building Knowledge Networks: Provides an image of the Knowledge Map students will use and tells how to display the Display and Engage for students throughout the module.
  • Developing Knowledge and Skills: Gives an overview of the knowledge and skills addressed throughout the module.
  • Inquiry and Research Project: Provides the learning objectives and weekly focus, providing teachers with detailed plans to guide students through completion of each project.
  • Notice & Note: Provides specific guidance on giving directions, modeling tasks, or asking questions related to the module's Signpost. There is also a chart that shows the lesson, the text, and the comprehension skill, and where each Notice & Note Signpost appears.
  • Kicking Off the Module: Provides guidance to teachers on setting goals with students and making connections with families.
  • Week at a Glance: Provides teachers with a Weekly Overview that provides detailed information on the instruction included for the lessons in each week. Colors are assigned to each strand and icons and symbols are used.
  • Literacy Centers: Provides teachers with information on the work in which students will engage, materials needed, and ways the teacher can monitor student progress. In addition, information on the use of technology and digital stations is provided as well as the location of the printables that accompany these stations.
  • Individual Lesson Plans: Provides the teacher with detailed directions for the use of materials, guiding questions, learning objectives, collaborative strategies, learning mindset, English Learner Support, and Professional Learning. 

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book also discusses each part of the lesson plan, describes the materials for each section, and explains how to use each resource. This book also describes how to use the Weekly and Module Assessments and how to use the online digital tools and resources. 

The materials for the Genre Study in the Teacher's Guide also provide teaching instructions and suggestions. The content is accurate, easy to understand, and helpful for educators. It provides detailed teaching instructions and suggestions.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The materials include a Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, that provides specific research, rationales, and explanations that will help teachers build knowledge of the content. The materials also include a Teaching Pal that accompanies the student myBook. The Teaching Pal provides guidance, notes, instructional practices, and strategies at point of use for the teacher to draw from as students work through module texts. Teachers also have access to a digital professional learning module to support their understanding of each module. The Teacher's Guide also contains adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literary concepts. 

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book provides in-depth information about the overview of the design of the program, the research behind the design, and guidance for each part of the module in the areas of assessment, differentiation, family connections, classroom community, teaching, and learning. Within this book, the Teaching and Learning section provides explanations to assist the teacher in developing a full understanding of the content. Explanations are provided about Building Knowledge and Language, Foundational Skills, Language and Vocabulary, Reading Worksop, and Writing Workshop. The information presented provides details about best practices to help teachers improve their knowledge of the subject. The Professional Learning Module online allows teachers to navigate the learning modules at their own pace. Modules are designed to provide teachers with the learning outcomes, hands-on experience, reflection, and application before teaching the module to students. The Teacher's Guide contains a Preview Lesson Texts section that rates and explains the text complexity, and explains the connections to other curricular areas, key ideas, and language from the text or texts from the week.

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum and 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.

Teachers are provided a variety of materials that explain the role of specific ELA/literacy standards. Supports can be found in the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, Teacher's Guide, Teaching Pal, Assessments, and the Common Core State Standards resource. 

At the beginning of each module in the Teacher's Guide, there is an overview page that lists all of the essential skills. Then, in the Week at a Glance section, the essential literary skills are listed for vocabulary, reading, communication, and writing for both whole-group instruction and small-group instruction. The Teaching Plan contains information for the teacher on Think Alouds, tasks, and questions for the texts in the myBook. Each is labeled with learning objectives and with the Depth of Knowledge. Common Core State Standards are listed for each lesson in an additional document. Assessments are also provided, and teachers are able to create a standards-based report to assess and monitor student progress in regard to specific ELA/literacy standards. Lastly, in the Teacher's Guide, there is a section that has specific curriculum alignment to the Common Core State Standards.

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain an explanation of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is a clear explanation of the instructional approaches and the research behind the program and strategies. The materials also contain a Professional Learning Book that specifically details the instructional approaches and research-based strategies of Into Reading. In this book, research is provided about the instructional model, technology and blended learning, differentiated and personalized learning, foundational reading skills, language and vocabulary development, fluency and comprehension, writing, speaking and listening, social-emotional learning, family and community engagement, and assessments. This book cites over 100 research references. 

The program also includes Professional Learning Modules, which provide explanations of the instructional approaches. Modules are designed to provide teachers with the learning outcomes, hands-on experiences, reflection, and application.

Throughout the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there are blue boxes, titled Professional Learning: Research Foundations, that state the research theory behind each section. The Research Foundations notes contain all of the research behind the program. It describes the research and the ways the program delivers the research theory. The Professional Development Research Foundation provides specific research-based strategies that are included in the program. Some examples include:

  • Within the Classroom Community section about establishing classroom routines, it states, “By explicitly teaching routines to students, teachers can (a) set students up for success, (b) decrease the possibility of behavior errors, and (c) reduce the amount of time spent reminding students about the routines on a daily basis” (Myers et al., 2017).
  • Within the Assessment and Differentiation section about meeting the needs of accelerated learners, it states, “Teachers must observe and note the progress of students to know how to adjust instruction to keep the accelerated students engaged and motivated while providing additional support as needed” (Houghen, 2012). 
  • Information is provided on how students develop word knowledge by stating research from Templeton (2011) and Templeton & Bear (2011). It states, “Children’s understanding about how written words ‘work’—their spelling and how this spelling represents the sounds and meanings of language—is the foundation for reading and writing. This foundation supports children’s fluency in word recognition and writing, and its construction follows a developmental path that can be described in terms of states of word knowledge.”

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book dedicates an entire section to family and community. This section provides extensive suggestions for how teachers can strengthen the relationship with families and with the community. This section also provides information on the ways the community can be utilized to better support the knowledge and growth of the students. At the beginning of each module, there is a letter included in the printables and the Teacher's Guide. Teachers are instructed to connect with families at the beginning of the module by sending the letter home with students. The letter discusses the topic, explores the genre, and builds vocabulary. 

The Family and Community section of the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book provides a Family And Community section that provides information on engaging families as learning partners, communicating with families, and communicating with all stakeholders. There are six detailed sections, including Engaging Families as Learning Partners, Communicating with Families, Learning Beyond the Classroom, Celebrating Success, Supporting Summer Learning, and Connecting with the Community. Some specific examples include:

  • Engaging Families as Learning Partners by ensuring that families have access to an abundance of appropriate books during the school year and over the summer.  Coaching parents and caregivers on how to consider children’s interests and allow them to select related texts. It also suggests that the teacher meets the families, provides a personal letter or postcard to students prior to the beginning of the year, and holds conferences with families to share observations about students’ development and discuss strategies for working together. 
  • Communicating with Families by posting family letters and other communication on a board, sharing the students’ reading, writing, and learning goals, notifying families of frequency of communication from the teacher, providing translations of any communications and handouts, and making sure all stakeholders have access to online resources.
  • Supporting Summer Learning by providing information on beating summer slide, providing resources on meaningful activities to do in the summer, providing summer reading lists with suggestions of titles and genres, and providing questions for families to ask before, during, and after reading.
  • Connecting with the Community by planning meaningful experiences with the community beyond school, engaging in service learning projects to develop social awareness, and reaching out to families and community members to share resources or discuss their expertise.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Regular, systematic opportunities for assessment are located throughout the materials, including routines and guidance for consistent monitoring of student performance. The materials label the alignment of the assessments to the standards. Ample guidance is provided for teachers as they interpret assessment data and apply it for instruction.

The materials provide opportunities for independent reading based on student choice and provide supports for holding students accountable for their independent reading.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Throughout the year, there are multiple opportunities to assess students in order to monitor their progress. Assessments include Daily Formative Assessments, Intervention Assessments, Guided Reading Benchmark Assessments, Weekly Assessments, and Module Assessments. The assessments are explained in detail in the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book in the Assessment and Differentiation section. Assessments are available in both the print version and digitally. When given digitally, teachers are able to use two different reports to monitor progress.

Assessments are used to monitor student progress to plan for interventions. This includes:

  • Screening Assessments: Used early in the school year to obtain preliminary information about student performance, screen students for interventions, and determine groups for foundational skills instruction. An Oral Reading Fluency Assessment is also provided to assess fluency, accuracy, and rate.
  • Diagnostic Assessments: Used as follow-up assessments as needed for students who scored below expectations on the screening assessments. Assessments include Letter-Sound Correspondence Assessments and Word Identification Assessments.
  • Progress Monitoring Assessments: Used every two weeks to measure growth in foundational reading skills. The goal is to identify challenging areas for reteaching, reviewing, practicing, providing checks of students’ beginning reading skills, monitoring the progress of students who are in reading interventions, and helping determine when students are ready to exit an intervention. These assessments take three to five minutes.

Formative Assessments are also included and provide both Weekly and Module Assessments. These measure comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and grammar skills at the end of each week and at the end of each module. There is a reading section that assesses comprehension and vocabulary and a writing section that assesses grammar and writing skills. Data reports are provided for the online versions. The assessment report provides class scores for each assessment and analyzes student proficiency data. The standards report assesses students’ progress in standards proficiency.

There is also a Benchmark Assessment Kit that is used to determine students’ guided reading levels and make instructional decisions. These assessments include both fiction and nonfiction leveled readers. Rubrics are also provided to assess students’ writing and research projects. There are rubrics for narrative writing, informational writing, poetry writing, correspondence writing, argumentative writing, Collaborative Discussions, response writing, and the Inquiry and Research Projects. The writing rubrics assess students in the areas of organization and presentation, development of ideas, and use of language and conventions. The rubric for the Inquiry and Research Project assesses students in collaboration, research and text evidence, content, and presentation.

The program also includes Reading Surveys to gather information at the beginning and middle of the year and to gather information about reading interests, attitudes, and preferences. The surveys are used to inform instructional planning, support students with self-selected reading, and recommend books. The program also suggests that teachers keep Observation Notes and take notes during individual conferences, guided reading groups, small-group instruction, and independent reading and writing.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Module and Weekly Assessments provide standards alignment. In the print version of the assessments, the answer key provides both the Common Core State Standards and the Depth of Knowledge for each question. In the digital version of the assessments, teachers can access the standards report, which shows students’ progress in standards proficiency.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book explains when to give each assessment and the students who need it. It also provides information on ways teachers can support students based on the results gained from the assessments. The Teacher's Guide also provides differentiation guidance for each lesson based on assessment data. This gives teachers information on how to follow up after assessments for both reteaching and interventions.

The Differentiated Support and Intervention section of the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book provides information on guided reading groups, reading skill and strategy support groups, foundational skills support groups, and best practices for intervention support. Teachers use Formative Assessments, Progress Monitoring Assessments, and Benchmark Assessments to plan for these different groups. In Reading Skill and Strategy Support, teachers reteach a skill or strategy that has not yet been mastered by a group of students. In the Foundational Skills, the teacher provides reinforcement of daily foundational skills lessons during either small-group or one-on-one time. For students who need reinforcement with genres or skills, there are Tabletop Minilessons, which provide teachers with guidance on how to address and reteach students who do not perform well on assessments.

Data reports are available after students take Weekly and Module Assessments, which provide teachers with data to analyze gaps and gains, to form groups for differentiated instruction, and to locate resources to target students’ needs. The program recommends that teachers use the data reports to determine if students have met the learning objectives for the week or module, look for patterns in students’ errors to choose concepts and skills for reteaching, and decide if students are ready to advance to the next week or module of instruction.

In addition, for the Weekly Assessments, there is information on how to interpret the data. Teachers use the scores and additional classroom information to determine whether students are ready to advance to the next module or may require reteaching of some concepts and skills. It is suggested that for struggling students, the teacher duplicates the answer key, circles the question numbers answered incorrectly for each assessment, and compares the corresponding skills indicated. The teacher can then look for patterns among errors to determine which skills need more reteaching and more practice.

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book outlines how teachers can use assessment tools to gather data and gain a more complete picture of students’ growth and instructional needs. There are opportunities to monitor progress via Formative Weekly and Module Assessments, Screening Assessments, Progress Monitoring, and Oral Reading Fluency Assessments. Routines and guidance to help monitor progress include Portfolios, Reading Surveys, and Observation Notes.

In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is a map that shows the suggested timeline to plan instruction and administer assessments throughout the year. This plan includes times to administer the Intervention Assessments, the Guided Reading Benchmark Assessment Kit, Weekly Assessments, Module Assessments, Selection Quizzes, and Daily Formative Assessments. The program suggests that Daily Formative Assessments are used along with Selection Quizzes to provide data for small-group instruction. The Screening Assessments are used at the beginning of the year. The follow-up Diagnostic Assessments are used for select students, and Progress Monitoring Assessments are used every two weeks as needed. The Guided Reading Benchmark Assessment Kit is used on an ongoing basis to assess students' reading skills.

Portfolios are set up at the beginning of the year for each student and contain:

  • Formal and Informal Assessments, including the Weekly and Module Assessments, Screening, Diagnostic, and Progress Monitoring Assessments, Observation Notes, and Writing and Project Rubrics
  • Work samples that may include work from myBook, completed graphic organizers, writing samples, and photos of Inquiry and Research Projects
  • Reading Surveys to show reading interests, attitudes, and preferences
  • Observation Notes taken during conferences, guided reading groups, small-group instruction, and independent reading and writing

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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.

In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is a section titled Supporting Reading Independence. In this section, teachers are provided with resources and strategies to help students become independent and enthusiastic readers and ways to hold students accountable for independent reading. Teachers are provided with information on setting up a reading center, teaching students how to self-select books, helping students set goals, and instructing students to respond to reading. In addition, in the Family and Community section of the handbook, additional information for independent reading is provided, including ways to hold students accountable for independent reading at home.

In the classroom, the amount of time students spend reading in one sitting gradually increases. The students are taught and encouraged to set goals for the amount of reading they plan to do. A Reading Log Printable is provided for students to track their progress and to keep track of fiction or nonfiction key ideas as they read. In addition, prior to each independent reading session in the classroom, students set goals based on their reading history and their feelings at the time. Students also create a response journal to document their responses to independent reading books. Students should be encouraged to note qualities of the book that they liked and did not like and why. In the Reading Center of each classroom, students self-select books to build reading stamina, skills, and enjoyment. Books should include a variety of genres, topics, and reading levels, and students should pick books based on interest level.

To help with independent reading at home, the teacher is encouraged to send home a copy of the Reading Log Printable. It is suggested that families set up a time at least once per week to read with their children, to listen to their children read aloud to them, and to discuss the text that they are reading. Strategies for families to also support students should be sent home, which include the following: “five words” so students know if a book is appropriate and “book browse” so students pick books based on interests. Similarly, the teacher is encouraged to provide a summer reading list with suggestions of titles, as well as questions families should ask students before, during, and after reading.

Additional support for accountability for independent reading is in the Materials to Reinforce Skills and Strategies section. This section states that daily small-group lessons reinforce and extend comprehension skill and strategy instruction by guiding students to apply the skill to self-selected books for independent reading.

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.
10/10
+
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Criterion Rating Details

The program supports teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of all learners, including support for students for whom English is a new language, students with disabilities, and students performing above grade level. A variety of grouping strategies and descriptions are included throughout the program to help the teacher make strategic choices when grouping students for instruction.

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
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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 Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book has a section called Assessment and Differentiation, and within it, there is a section about meeting the needs of special populations that outlines different populations of students and provides the teacher with several instructional focus strategies that can be used to support students with particular needs. 

There are ways built into the program to meet the needs of all students, including guided reading groups, reading skill and strategy groups for students who have not yet mastered the whole-group objective, and foundational skills support to teach prerequisite foundational skills or reinforce daily foundational skills lessons. The materials also provide Tabletop Minilessons for students who need additional support with skills taught in the whole group. These lessons involve student-facing anchor charts on stand-up charts with the teacher support on the back. It is differentiated skills instruction that can be used with any text. 

In the Meeting the Needs of Special Populations section of the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there are strategies for various types of learners. Some of these include:

  • If the challenge is concept knowledge and oral language, some supports include building background knowledge, teaching academic vocabulary directly, and providing scaffolds. 
  • If the challenge is dyslexia or word-reading skills, some supports include daily instruction in phonemic awareness, building automaticity of high-frequency words, and daily reading of connected texts.
  • If the challenge is visual, hearing, physical, or cognitive disabilities, some supports include options for expressing understanding and ideas, provide ways for digital content to be accessible to students, and allow variations in the pace of the lesson. The materials have a section, called Using Digital Features for Accessibility, with information on how to access digital features to assist teachers and work with students who would benefit from digital materials.
  • If the challenge is engagement in learning, some supports include exploring topics and texts that are suited to students’ skills and interests, providing clear and specific feedback, and promoting choice to build automaticity.

There is also a section called Supporting English Learners, which helps build teacher understanding of students’ first language and the stages of second language acquisition that can help teachers determine appropriate levels of scaffolding and targeted language support.  There is also a section, called Meeting the Needs of Accelerated Learners, that provides support for students who are exceeding grade-level expectations.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book provides information on the stages of language acquisition, ways to support English Language Learners within the materials, and evidence-based strategies and practices to support students whose first language is other than English. Specific examples of this includes:

  • There is an overview of the stages of acquiring the English Language. These stages are pre-production, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, and advanced fluency.
  • The materials have Tabletop Minilessons that introduce, review, and practice a particular language function. These lessons can be used with any text in the program and are designed to support English Language Learners.
  • Evidence-based strategies are provided that can be used in any lesson. Some of the evidence-based strategies including building knowledge by showing videos on module topics, making learning visual by having images on vocabulary cards and anchor charts, and providing sentence frames for both verbal and written responses.
  • In the Teacher’s Guide, there are English Learner Supports provided for each lesson. Supports are broken down into the following categories: light support, such as having students use instructional vocabulary to point out and discuss facts and opinions in the text; moderate support, such as having students identify facts and opinions in the text; substantial support, such as the teacher pointing out facts and opinions in the text and having students say fact or opinion.
  • A Language Differences resource is included to help teachers understand the differences between students’ first language and English. This is an online resource and includes languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book provides additional support for all students to help them access grade-level texts, which benefits students who are learning English as well. Information is provided on ways to use data to form small groups in foundational skills, strategic interventions, small group instruction, small group weekly instruction, and other customized groups.

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

The materials provide extensions or more advanced opportunities for students who perform above grade level. In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is a section titled Meeting the Needs of Accelerated Learners, which provides teachers with information and strategies to support accelerated learners. The section provides teachers with information and a description of an accelerated learner, parts of the materials that support accelerated learners, and strategies for supporting accelerated learners in the classroom and throughout the lessons. Lessons also provide extension work for students who are accelerated or finish early. The program defines accelerated learners as students whose skills are above grade level and who are ready for more accelerated learning experiences, such as more challenging books, more writing opportunities, or leadership roles. Some specifics from the program include:

  • Throughout the program, there are sections labeled Ready for More, which are daily opportunities in small-group lessons to extend a skill or strategy.
  • Guided Reading Groups and Rigby Leveled Readers provide texts that are above grade level.
  • The Tabletop Minilessons provide support as students apply comprehension skills to higher-level texts that they read independently.

Strategies are provided for teachers to consider while planning individual lessons and the culture of the classroom. These include:

  • Provide classroom libraries that represent a range of text levels.
  • Provide more challenging versions of the activities instead of requiring students to just do more work.
  • Use flexible groups and change groups frequently because students may be above level for one skill, but not for another skill.
  • Provide opportunities for students to make their own decisions. Accelerated students should take on leadership roles and assist classmates when appropriate.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The materials provide suggestions and descriptions for a variety of grouping strategies throughout the program. The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book gives an overview of how these grouping strategies work, and the Teacher’s Guide uses labels throughout the program to show teachers when the grouping strategy should be used during the lessons. Strategies for groups include small groups, targeted skill groups, and whole class. Groups can be composed for Guided Reading, English Language Support, Skills and Strategies, or Foundational Skills. Teachers use data to form these groups and to change groups throughout the year.

In the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book, there is an overview of recommendations for groupings and various strategies to use to form these groups in a section called Forming Flexible Groups. This section helps teachers maximize small-group time by using data to thoughtfully form groups that will optimize student growth. Flexible groups are formed to teach skills that a cohort of students need to learn or review. In addition, Strategic Interventions for Tier 2 and Tier 3 can be implemented using data from multiple measures. More information on these groups includes:

  • Guided reading groups are formed based on the Guiding Reading Benchmark Assessment Kit, Oral Reading Records, and Leveled Reader Quizzes. The program includes the Rigby Leveled Readers, Take and Teach Lessons, and Tabletop Minilessons for reading to teach these groups.
  • English Language Support groups are formed based on the state English Language Development Assessments. The materials include Tabletop Minilessons for English Language Development, English Language Support lessons, and language graphic organizers.
  • Skills and Strategies groups are formed based on Daily Formative Assessments and Weekly Assessments. The materials include Tabletop Minilessons, reinforce skills and strategies lessons, and reading graphic organizers.
  • Foundational skills groups are formed by data from Informal Assessments. Foundational Skills lessons and the Foundational Skills and Word Study Studio are instructional resources for this small group.

In addition to these groups, teachers are also instructed during whole-group lessons to have students participate in Collaborative Discussions, Turn and Talks, Think-Pair-Shares, and Partner Reads. In addition, there are opportunities for students to Echo Read and Choral Read.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The digital materials can be accessed across all platforms and most devices, though they do not appear to be optimized for use on a mobile device, as some files are in formats that do not open readily on these types of devices. The materials provide a variety of digital support pieces for teachers and students, including opportunities for teachers to customize locally and personalize learning for students, though navigation support may be needed to help teachers implement these digital components effectively. Some opportunities for digital collaboration are provided.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as a supplement 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., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials are available digitally and accessible through the use of a sign-in and password. The digital platform provides all of the same materials that are available in print. The digital materials are available with multiple browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and follow universal programming style. Teachers can access the program via tablets and mobile devices; however, the materials do not appear to be formatted for use on a mobile device. The Teacher's Guide and Teaching Pal do not display all information, and all files are not in formats that can be opened on a mobile device.

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. 

The materials provide different digital resources to help students engage in learning. Each module includes a Close-Read Screencast for the anchor text that is offered on the digital platform. Students have digital access to the student book, myBook. Students are able to type directly into the digital version in order to annotate and respond to questions. Students also have access to digital videos to support building knowledge around a topic. Students can also access texts from the Student Choice Library and the Rigby Leveled Library online.

Additional online resources are available to support students in their learning. One of the small-group stations is a digital station where students demonstrate active listening skills or keyboarding skills. Online Assessments are also available for students on a weekly selection and Module basis. This allows teachers to access data that provides specific information on student progress relating to the standards. There are also links in the Current Events tab for students to do research for their writing when applicable. Links include websites such as NewsELA, TimeforKids, and Kiddle News.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
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Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The digital components provide multiple ways to personalize learning for all students through the use of adaptive innovations. The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book explains how materials are supported through assistive technology. The adaptive and technology innovations for personalized learning are outlined in the Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book in the section called Using Digital Features for Accessibility. In addition, the teacher can create and save plans and assign specific texts or assessments to different students.

On the digital version of the program, there are multiple accessibility features, making the learning more personalized for students. These include:

  • Closed captioning for videos
  • Transcripts for audio
  • Contrast and color compliance
  • Screen-reader compatibility
  • Keyboard encoding
  • Read-along audio with synchronized text highlighting
  • Tools for students to highlight and take notes

When planning on the digital platform, the teacher can create plans and assign individual texts to students. The teacher can use the assignment option to assign specific texts or assessments to different students. Online resources can be filtered by instructional purpose, audience, Lexile, or guided reading level to assist with assigning appropriate resources.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource book explains the digital platform, which can easily be customized for local use. Teachers are able to customize teaching plans to align with district and state requirements, as well as individualize resources for small groups of students as needed. 

Some of the ways that materials can be customized for local use include:

  • On the digital platform, there is a create button that allows teachers to customize teaching plans and assessments so they match district requirements.
  • The group button allows teachers to create and manage groups of students based on classroom observations and assessment results. Teachers can then assign plans and materials to these groups of students. 
  • The add to plan feature assigns resources to individual students or groups of students so teachers can customize materials and plans. 


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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially 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 include limited opportunities for students to collaborate with each other via technology. The only option that is available is for some projects, students have a choice to use a technological option to collaborate, such as writing a blog post or creating a discussion board. These options are not required or used throughout the program on a consistent basis.

There are some opportunities for teachers to collaborate with the publisher to get additional support for the material. There is follow-up support for in-person or live online experiences where teachers can choose from a variety of topics for support. Schools can also request on-demand access to program experts to ask questions, and the publisher provides consultants for ongoing support and coaching.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 01/23/2020

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Into Reading Genre Study Guide Grade 4 978-0-3580-8686-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Student myBook Softcover Volume 1 Grade 4 978-0-5444-5885-7 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 1 Grade 4 978-0-5444-6134-5 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 2 Grade 4 978-0-5444-6135-2 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 3 Grade 4 978-0-5444-6136-9 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 4 Grade 4 978-0-5444-6137-6 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 5 Grade 4 978-0-5444-6138-3 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 6 Grade 4 978-0-5444-6139-0 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Know It Show It Grade 4 978-1-3284-5325-9 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Writing Workshop Teacher's Guide Grade 4 978-1-3284-6982-3 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Writer's Notebook Grade 4 978-1-3284-7012-6 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Tabletop Minilessons English Language Development Grade 4 978-1-3284-9164-0 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Student myBook Softcover Volume 2 Grade 4 978-1-3285-1699-2 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Teaching Pal Volume 1 Grade 4 978-1-3285-1724-1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Teaching Pal Volume 2 Grade 4 978-1-3285-1725-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Tabletop Minilessons Reading Grade 4 978-1-3285-2294-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 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.

About Technology Information

EdReports requested that publishers fill out The Instructional Materials Technology Information document about each of their products that met our alignment criteria. This document does not evaluate the quality or desirability of any product functionality, but documents features in order to empower local schools and districts with information to select materials that will work best for them given their technological capabilities and instructional vision.

Please note: Beginning in spring 2020, reports developed by EdReports.org will be using an updated version of our review tools. View draft versions of our revised review criteria here.

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 3-8 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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