Alignment: Overall Summary

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The instructional materials for Grade 6 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, as well as work with research and analysis. The materials are organized to support knowledge building of topics and themes. Practice applying and incorporating academic vocabulary is supported throughout the program.  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
17
32
36
35
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
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

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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 6 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 to 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.

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
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The Into Reading materials for Grade 6 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 6 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 6 include:

  • In Module 1, students read Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by author Walter Dean Myers. This realistic fiction text explores how success can mean different things to different people. The text is about a boy who must find a new way to accomplish his dreams after his life changes. 
  • In Module 4, students read The Wanderer by well-known children’s author, Sharon Creech. It is a best-selling Newbery Honor Book. The text has occasional shifts in point of view, and includes figurative language and academic vocabulary. Students explore how setting and characters influence a story’s plot as they read about a family sailing across the ocean together.
  • In Module 6, students read Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind by award-winning authors Tara Dixon-Engel and Mike Jackson. This biography has a distinctly unfamiliar situation and rich academic vocabulary. Students learn about early space exploration through written text and images. 
  • In Module 7, students read The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery.  This is a published, narrative nonfiction text which highlights an international team of scientists with varied focuses who works together on a remote South Pacific island to study octopus behaviors. 
  • In Module 10 of Writing Workshop, students read Votes for Women! Stories of Women Suffrage by Charlotte Guillain, an informational text published in 2015 that details the experiences of women in the 19th and 20th century as they fought for the right to vote.

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 6 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Texts throughout Grade 6 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 articles, autobiographies, biographics, realistic fiction, infographics, mysteries, informational articles, persuasive essays, poetry, science fiction, social studies texts, speeches, videos, plays, photo essays, magazine articles, and graphic novels. 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 2: Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett: play. Additional literary texts in Module 2 include: Identity Theft by Gary Soto and All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. 
  • Module 3: The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis: graphic novel. 
  • Module 4: Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac: historical fiction. 
  • Module 6: The Moon Landing: Inspired Me to Become an Astronaut by Mark Polansky: personal narrative. Another literary text in this module is I Jumped at the Offer by Tanya Lee Stone. 
  • Module 7: poems in Poetry of the Sea by multiple authors.

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

  • Module 1: the article “Young People Who Changed the World” (author unknown). Additional informational texts in this module include: “Racing with the Wind Around the World,” by Valerie Biebuyck and Marcia Lusted, as well as “The Road to Success,” and “The Queen of Chess,” none of which have a listed author. 
  • Module 2: It’s More than Just Rain or Snow or Springtime by Thomas C. Foster: persuasive text. Additionally, students read the article, “How to Succeed as a Storywriter” (author unknown). 
  • Module 3: The Boy Who Invented TV by Kathleen Krull: biography. Additional informational texts include: Lions No Match for Young Boy and His Invention,  by Andrew Howley and Lion Lights, “3D Printing: Imagination in Technology” (author unknown), and “Toilets, Toasters, and Telephones: The Everyday Why of Everyday Objects” by Susan Goldman Rubin. 
  • Module 8: Good Sports: Baseball Heroes by Glenn Stout. Additional informational texts include Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion by Russell Freedman; Who Gets a Trophy, by Betty Berdan, Katie Bugbee, and Jonathan Fader, PhD; and “Seven of the Wildest Sports Ever” (author unknown). 
  • Module 9: Bodies from the Bog by James M. Deam. Additional informational texts in this module include: Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem, King Tut: The Hidden Tomb by Ruth Owen, and “Mummy Murder, Mystery” by Rod Nordland. 

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 6 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.

Instructional materials in Grade 6 meet the appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis and the relationship to the associated student task. The majority of the texts fall within the stretch Lexile band of 925-1185. Some of the texts are slightly above the quantitative measures appropriate for Grade 6; however, the reader and task and qualitative measures make them appropriate for Grade 6 students.

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

  • In Module 2, Week 1 students read Identity Theft by Gary Soto, which has a Lexile of 900 and is considered slightly complex. Text complexity is based on a consistent point of view and familiar language. Students examine the characteristics of realistic fiction, identify literary elements, and recognize the theme. 
  • In Module 4, Week 2, students read Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac, which has a Lexile of 880 and is considered moderately complex. The text includes many shifts in point of view with complex and varied sentence structure. 
  • In Module 6, Week 1, students read “Destination Space” (no author), which has a Lexile of 980 and is considered moderately complex. The text has large graphics that are supplementary to understanding the text. Students get the opportunity to identify content area words and recognize the characteristics of a timeline as a form of an informational text. 
  • In Module 7, Week 3, students read Safeguarding the California Coast by Harriet Rohmer, which has a Lexile of 970 and is considered moderately complex. The text is persuasive and has a less conventional compare and contrast structure. Students identify author’s purpose and learn to recognize features of persuasive texts. 
  • In Module 8, Week 1, students read Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Russell Freedman, which has a Lexile of 1010 and is considered moderately complex. There is implicit sequential text structure and largely simple graphics that are supplementary to understanding the text. Students examine characteristics of narrative nonfiction, identify literary elements , and identify theme and author’s message. 

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

  • In Module 4, Week 1, students read “Travelers Tales” (no author), which has a Lexile of 1170 and is considered complex. The text references many other texts and has several text structures. Students build background knowledge about different journeys throughout history and literature as they examine different text structures. 
  • In Module 7, Week 2, students read “Ocean Careers” (no author), which has a Lexile of 1200 and is qualitatively complex. The text has multiple text and graphic features, but students practice previously taught skills, such as determining key features of informational text and determining central ideas in a text. 

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 6 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. In the beginning of the year, students focus on central idea, retell, and author’s craft. In the middle of the year, students continue working on central idea and author’s craft, but also focus on literary elements and asking and answering questions. At the end of the year, students also focus on text and graphic features. 

Text complexity also increases throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, the myBook in Grade 6 are considered 40% slightly complex, 40% moderately complex, and 20% complex. At the end of the year, 20% of the texts are considered slightly complex, 60% are considered moderately complex, and 20% are very complex. The Lexile ranges in the beginning of the year are from 740-1110, while at the end of the year, the Lexile ranges from 860-1120. 

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

  • Students learn how to support their opinions and answers with evidence throughout the materials. For example, in Module 3, students read Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett and write a review as if it would appear in a local newspaper. They must support their opinion using specific text evidence about the characters, setting, and plot. Then in Module 4, students read The Travelers’ Tales (unknown author) and use evidence from the text to explain the text structure and how the text structure helps them understand the text. 
  • In Grade 6, students analyze point of view and how it impacts the story. For example, in Module 5, students read Bud, Not Buddy by Christoper Paul Curtis and are asked to identify the point of view and the author's tone. Then in Module 7, after reading The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery, students are asked how the author uses first-person point of view to share feelings and impressions. 

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 6 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 Edition, 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 3, Week 1, students read The Boy who Invented TV by Kathleen Krull, which has a Lexile of 880 and is considered moderately complex due to the text’s organization of main ideas and details. Through the use of the text, students identify characteristics of biography, recognize a text’s sequential structure, and explain author’s purpose. 
  • In Module 5, Week 2, students read Men of the Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps  (no author), which has a Lexile of 1070. The text is considered moderately complex because of the difficult social studies concepts. Students get the opportunity to identify the central idea and recognize the characteristics of narrative nonfiction. 
  • In Module 8, Week 1, students read Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Russell Freedman, which has a Lexile of 1010 and is considered moderately complex. The text has an implicit, sequential structure and largely simple graphics. The text was chosen to help students understand the author’s message and point of view, as well as, to examine the characteristics of narrative fiction. 
  • In Module 10, Week 2, students read Our Right to Vote (no author), which has a Lexile of 1120 and is considered moderately complex. It has an explicit sequential text structure and simple graphics. Students examine the timeline to build background knowledge about the history of U.S. citizens’ voting rights and recognize text and graphic features in an informational 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 6 meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year. 

Throughout the Grade 6 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 years 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: informational text, realistic fiction, video photo essay/video
  • Module 2: fantasy, informational article, realistic fiction, science fiction, persuasive text, play 
  • Module 3: informational text, friendly letter, narrative nonfiction, informational video 
  • Module 4: educational video, informational text, historical fiction 
  • Module 5: educational video, informational text, persuasive text, play, realistic fiction 
  • Module 6: educational video, informational text, biography, fictionalized biography 
  • Module 7: educational video, informational text, mini-biography, autobiography, narrative nonfiction 
  • Module 8: educational video, informational text, poetry, realistic fiction 
  • Module 9: educational video, informational, mystery 
  • Module 10: timeline, biography, autobiography, speech and audio recording, informational text
  • Module 11: informational, biography, persuasive 
  • Module 12: poetry, realistic fiction, historical 

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 mini lesson 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. Later in the year, 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 twelve focal texts as part of the Writing Workshop that serve as mentor texts. These books are chose because they provide strong examples of responses to module prompts. Students can also read these books independently during choice 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 6 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 to 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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, students are asked to describe the main character Chris after reading the story, "Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push" by Walter Dean Myers. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 15, students read the play, Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett and discuss Puck's entrance in the play and his differences from the other characters in the play. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, students read the magazine article “Lions No Match for Young Boy and his Invention” by Andrew Howley and discuss the personal qualities that help Richard succeed in creating his lion light invention that guards against lions. Students give specific examples from the article and the follow-up video. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 3, after reading The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, students engage in a discussion about Sophie’s Uncle Dock's description of the foggy weather on page 237 and the way the description reflects the events in the story. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 2, after reading Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, students engage in a discussion about the reason the family in line pretends Bud was their son and Bud's feelings about being Clarence. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 2, after reading I Jumped at the Offer by Tanya Lee Stone, students make inferences about the author’s opinion of the “Look” article. They are required to cite text evidence when completing this task.
  • In Module 7, Lesson 7, students discuss poems from in Poetry from the Sea, which is a compilation of poems from six different authors. Students discuss their favorite poems as well as, which lines are their favorite and why. Students are required to return to the text to support their statements. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 5, students read the narrative nonfiction story Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion by Russell Freedman and discuss the traits and talents of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 3, after reading Bodies from the Ash by James M. Deem, students discuss the central idea of paragraphs 1-10, and then students write a brief summary of the paragraphs. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 2, after reading Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote? by Mary Kay Carson, students participate in a discussion about the ideas of equality Susan B. Anthony learned in childhood, after rereading pages 320-321.  They also discuss Susan B. Anthony's promotion of the idea that women should be allowed to vote, after rereading pages 324-326. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 8, after rereading paragraphs 21-25 in The Boy who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull, students are asked the following questions: "What is the setting in this part of the story?" and "What are some events that happened to the main character?". 
  • In Module 12, Lesson 13, after rereading pages 313-316 of Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, students are asked the following questions: "Why was Bud at the library during this part of the story?" and "What does the librarian tell him about Miss Hill’s whereabouts?". 

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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, students think about the question, “What is the path to success?”  At the end of the module, students imagine that they have been asked to give a speech to a group of younger students about achieving a goal. The performance task has students write an informational motivational speech that explains how to achieve a goal, no matter how difficult or impossible it may seem. Some of the skills that students integrate from the module include presenting a project, assessing learning, working with a rubric, and practicing speaking and listening, including tone and rate of speech.
  • In Module 2, after reading all the texts in the module, students reflect on the essential question, “What makes a story worth reading?” Students are told to imagine that they write for a literary magazine and have been asked by the editor to write a sequel to All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. The performance task asks students to write a short story sequel to explain what happens next to the characters Margot, William, and the class. Students must also include references to weather from information learned in the text, It’s Never Just Rain or Snow or Springtime by Thomas C. Foster.
  • In Module 3, students think about the question, “What inspires the most amazing inventions?” Students imagine that they are a television news reporter and write a news report about how inventions change people’s lives. Students take the information learned from the module, including the following items:  the explanation of inventions, evidence about inventions, the inventors' inspirations, the writing of a strong introduction, in order to complete this performance task. 
  • In Module 4, after reading the texts in the module, students are asked the essential question, “How can a journey be more important than the destination?” Then students are told to imagine that the president lost his dog during a trip to South America and chooses two characters from two different texts in the module to find the dog and return it to Washington D.C.  Students write a short narrative that identifies the characters and the skills each character has to help solve the problem. Students must introduce the problem, use evidence from texts, and incorporate vocabulary words from the module. 
  • In Module 5, the performance task requires students to think about the essential question, “What in our American spirit helps us survive tough times?” Then students choose one of the photos from the module text, Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman. They use it as a basis for an informational article about the hardships children faced during the Great Depression by incorporating vocabulary from the module and evidence from various module texts. 
  • In Module 6, after reading the texts in the module, students are asked the essential question, “What does it take to explore outer space?” Then they write an opinion essay about future space travel and exploration. The essay must include the people, skills, equipment, and other resources are necessary for future space travel and exploration by using details from at least two texts in the module. 
  • In Module 7, students write an informational article about oceans including the the fascinating parts of them and the reason we should take care of them for a pretend newspaper, by using evidence from at least two module texts.
  • In Module 8, students write a speech that persuades parents to sign their children up for a sport of choice, by using evidence from the module texts that support their argument. 
  • In Module 9, students review the essential question, “How can the remains of ancient people give us a window into their lives?” Then they imagine that they are at an archaeology camp where they accompany an archaeologist on a dig and make a discovery. Students then write a personal narrative that describes items they found, the process on which they found it, and what the discovery tells them about ancient people, using evidence from the module texts. 
  • In Module 10, students complete a performance task where they think about information they have learned about voting throughout the module. Students write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper that explains why voting is an important American right that all eligible voters should exercise. Students must give reasons for this point of view and use evidence from at least two of the texts to support their reasons. 

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 6 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 Book Study Clubs. 

In the Resource Guiding Principles and Strategies Section, the publisher provides information on ways teachers should encourage conversations and discussions, including appropriate social communication such as introductions, shaking hands, eye contact, volume, and initiating conversations. Best practices for Collaborative Discussions are also included in this section 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 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 that 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 finding explicit times that suggest to use Turn and Talk are limited in Grade 6. 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 when students present writing to the class, often about the text, or at the end of a module as part of the Wrap-Up. 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 1, after reading The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, students engage in Collaborative Discussion. First, they discuss their response to the questions asked during the Prepare to Read section of the lesson. Then students discuss additional questions such as: “How does the description reflect on the events in the story?” and “How does this text structure help us learn about both Cody and Sophie?” 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 14, after reading Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman, 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 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 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 6, Lesson 3, after reading Jumped at the Offer by Tanya Lee Stone, 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 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 Anchor Chart, students add sticky notes about their independent book to the central idea anchor chart, and then share what they added and why. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 1, students reflect on the Essential Question: “What fascinates us about our seas and shorelines?” Students use Think-Pair-Share after seeing In the Zone, an infographic, to discuss their ideas and share with the group. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 1, students think about the Essential Question which is, “How can the remains of ancient people give us a window into their lives?” Then students read Secrets of the Mummies (no author), use Think-Pair-Share to discuss their answers to the Essential Question, and share their ideas and text evidence with the group. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 2, small groups of students participate in an Informational Genre Book Study. After independent reading, groups meet to discuss the topic of the book they read and information learned from the book. Students also discuss how the author kept them interested in the topic and the text structure of the book. 

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 mini lesson. 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 5, after reading The Dawn Wall (no author), students engage in a discussion by answering questions such as: “Why do you think some climbers want to climb the cliff on more difficult routes?” and “Pick one photo in the photo essay. What information does it add to your understanding of the climbers’ ascent of the Dawn Wall?” 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 4, after reading Identity Theft by Gary Soto, students participate in a Wrap-Up where they reflect and share their learning of how to identify the theme through either a Think-Pair-Share or a Solo Chair protocol. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 1, students are introduced to the topic and read the quote, “You see things and you say Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why Not?’” by George Bernard Shaw. Then students are led through a discussion exploring the meaning of Shaw’s statement. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 9, after reading the play, Jason and the Golden Fleece by Apollonius of Rhodes, students discuss, “How do you think Jason will be similar to and different from King Aeetes?” and “Do you think Medea’s actions are helping or hurting her?”
  • In Module 5, Lesson 8, after reading Men of the Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps (no author), students answer questions in a Collaborative Discussion such as: “Why do you think President Roosevelt had the Civilian Conservation Corps recruit young men for the program?” and “What did you learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps from reading the stories of people who participated in the program?”. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 1, after reading Destination Space (no author) students participate in a discussion about the essential question, “What does it take to explore outer space?” The teacher reminds students about some speaking skills, such as making pertinent comments and asking questions as needed to clarify. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 2, students engage in a Collaborative Discussion to discuss the print and video information from The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery and “The Camouflaged Octopus.” Questions include the following: “Do you think octopus research is important? Cite evidence from the text to support your opinion” and “How does the video help deepen your understanding of what you learned the text?”
  • In Module 8, Lesson 15, students engage in a Module Wrap-Up where they rate each text from the module and then complete a review of their favorite text. Students then partner with a classmate to share which text was their favorite and to try to persuade their partner to like their selection. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 2, students engage in a Collaborative Discussion after reading Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem. They answer questions such as: “Which of the archaeological items described in the article would you most like to see in person?” and “What did you learn about the people of Pompeii from this text?”
  • In Module 10, Lesson 10, after rereading the text and listening to the audio of  “We Shall Overcome: President Johnson’s Speech to Congress” by Lyndon B Johnson, partners use the Think-Pair-Share routine to discuss why President Johnson uses various literary techniques in his speech.
  • In Module 11, Lesson 6, students complete their independent reading of narrative nonfiction and then participate in a Collaborative Discussion about the following topics: “What is the purpose of the text structure the author uses? What literary elements and point of view does the author use?”. 
  • In Module 12, Lesson 11, during the Wrap-Up, students recall the characteristics of historical fiction using the Solo Chair or Think-Pair-Share discussion routine. 

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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, that 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 5, after reading Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman,  students choose one of the photographs from the book to use as a basis for an informational article about the hardships children faced during the Great Depression and how they survived these hardships. Students experience each phase of writing, including planning, drafting, revising, and editing. Students work with a partner to revise and edit using a checklist. Students then publish and gather with other students who chose the same photograph and compare and contrast the information included in their published articles. 
  • In Module 6 of Writing Workshop, students write a researched argument about information they have learned about space exploration from the focal text Mars and the Search for Life and their own research. Students begin planning by recording details from their research to support their opinion. Students draft their essay by including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Students then revise, edit, publish, and share. 
  • In Module 7, students write an informational article about oceans for a local newspaper. They begin by using a chart to plan before drafting an introduction, body paragraph(s), and conclusion. In the revising and editing stage, students work with a partner to determine if their main idea and supporting details are complete. Then students publish.
  • In Module 8, students write a persuasive speech from a coach’s point of view, trying to convince a group of parents that their children should participate in the extreme sport in which they choose to write. After planning and drafting, students work with a partner to determine whether they have explained their ideas clearly to readers. 
  • In Module 9, students write a personal narrative imagining that they are at an archaeology summer camp, where they accompany archaeologists on a dig and make a remarkable discovery. Students use a graphic organizer in the planning stage before drafting, revising, and editing. For publishing, the teacher can decide to make a book, publish on the school website, or create a class magazine. 
  • In Module 11 of Writing Workshop, students write an expository essay about a feature of financial literacy that they think students need to understand better. Students brainstorm a topic before taking notes for research, and then they prepare and revise a draft. Students then edit before publishing and sharing their writing. 

Students write daily, often in response to what they are reading. Examples of on-demand writing found through each module include: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 5, students write a personal note from the perspective of Chris from Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers. Students write a note that Chris might give to his father on Father’s Day to show his appreciation.  
  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, after reading the article, “Lions No Match for Young Boy and his Invention” by Andrew Howley, students write an advertisement for an online newspaper to advertise Richard Turere’s lion light invention. The advertisement must include the benefits of the invention and persuade people to buy it. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 14, after reading the narrative poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, students write a short story of Paul Revere's ride. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 8, students reread the persona stories in Men of the Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps (no author) and then write from the perspective of that person. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 2, students record how they think the text and video will differ from each other, before reading The Octopus Scientist: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery and watching the video “The Camouflaged Octopus.” 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 5, students write a list of the five characteristics and physical traits that Babe Didrikson Zaharias possessed that helped make her one of the top athletes, after reading Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Russell Freedman.
  • In Module 9, Lesson 3, students write a brief summary of Bodies from the Ash by James M. Deem. 

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 what they have learned about narrative, opinion, and argumentative 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, 2, and 9. Examples of narrative writing include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 5, after reading Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers, students write a personal note from the perspective of Chris that he might give to his father on Father’s Day to show his appreciation.
  • In Module 1 of Writing Workshop, students write a personal narrative about setting personal goals, by reflecting on mistakes that have occurred in their lives and how those mistakes turned into success. 
  • In Module 2 of Writing Workshop, students write an imaginative story, such as a fantasy, fairy tale, or mystery, that includes amazing characters. Students must include a clear setting, characters, dialogue, and a clearly connected plot. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 5, after reading Identity Theft by Gary Soto, students write a news article introducing the main character to her new school. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 14, after reading the narrative poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, students write a short story of Paul Revere’s ride, imagining they have just thirty seconds to tell the story. It must include a beginning, middle, and end and include the characters of Paul Revere and his friend. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 8, after reading Men of the Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps (no author), students write a personal statement pretending they are one of the characters from a personal story in the module. The personal statement describes the experience and his or her feelings while serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 8, after reading The Moon Landing Inspired me to Become an Astronaut by Mark Polansky, students write a thank you email from Mary Polansky to Neil Armstrong expressing thanks for inspiring him.
  • In Module 7, Lesson 7, students write a poem using one line from their favorite poem in “Poetry of the Sea.” 
  • In Module 9 of Writing Workshop, students write a science fiction narrative that predicts the futuristic idea based on evidence from the past. 
  • In Module 12, after rereading Identity Theft by Gary Soto, Lessons 6 - 10, students learn about the characteristics of realistic fiction and then write either a graphic novel or a realistic fiction sequel. 

Expository writing is found in myBook, as well as, in Writing Workshop Modules 4, 7, and 11. Some examples of expository writing include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 10, after viewing the photo essays about climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson in “The Dawn Wall,” students write a news report about the history-making climb to reach the top of El Capitan. 
  • In Module 4 of Writing Workshop, students write a biography about someone who has conquered obstacles and how these obstacles are an important part of the journey. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 6, after reading Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac, students write a resume for Sacajawea including her skills or qualifications, and include text evidence to support each quality or skill.
  • In Module 6, Lesson 9, after reading Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind, students write a job listing to help NASA find future astronauts. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 5, after reading The Octopus Scientist: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery, students write a script for a docent or volunteer at a local aquarium that explains the creature to visitors, including more important facts. 
  • In Module 7 of Writing Workshop, students write a research report to answer questions that they have about our seas and our shorelines. They must state the central idea clearly and include research facts to support the idea. 
  • In Module 11 of Writing Workshop, students write an expository essay about a feature of financial literacy that students need to understand. The students should include facts and details to explain the reason they need to understand it and ways they can learn about it. 

Argumentative writing is found in myBook, as well as, in Writing Workshop Modules 3, 6, 8, and 10. Examples of argumentative writing include:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 15, after reading the play, Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett, students write a review of the adapted play as if it would appear in a local newspaper or magazine. 
  • In Writing Workshop Module 3, students write an opinion essay. Students think about all of the technology in their world and determine which invention or technological innovation is the most important in their daily life. In the opinion essay, students argue why the invention or innovation is the most important. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 12, after reading Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman, students write a letter about children’s hardships and good times for the story. They must address future generations and tell from the point of view of someone who lived during the Great Depression. The letter must include two details about hardship and one detail about good times. 
  • In Module 6 of Writing Workshop, students write an argument in support of or against a space-related project. They must state their central idea as a claim, followed by researched facts to support their claims, counterclaims, rebuttals, and a conclusion. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 2, after reading I Jumped at the Offer by Tanya Lee Stone, students describe the three women in the book and explain what makes these women just as qualified as men to become astronauts. Students must identify specific strengths, personality traits, and provide evidence from the text to support their opinions. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 10, students write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper expressing their opinion about participation trophies, by using facts and evidence from Who Gets a Trophy by Betty Berdan, Katie Bugbee, and Jonathan Fader. 
  • In Module 8 of Writing Workshop, students write an editorial about qualifications that make a hero.  Then they describe a person who has exemplified that definition. 
  • In Module 10 of Writing Workshop, students write an opinion letter about an idea they have to make their classroom, school, or community better.  Students use persuasive language and issue a call to action. 

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 their 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 2, Lesson 15, after reading the play, Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett, students write a review of the adapted play. The review is to appear in a local newspaper or magazine and must include elements of the play that they liked or disliked.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, after reading the article, “Lions No Match for Young Boy and his Invention” by Andrew Howley, students write an advertisement for an online newspaper to advertise Richard Turere’s lion light invention. The advertisement must include the benefits of Richard’s invention and persuade people to buy it. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 5, after reading The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, students write a postcard from Sophie from the story that includes descriptive details about what she has enjoyed and learned on her trip so far. 
  •  In Module 5, Lesson 11, after reading Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman, students respond to questions in writing in their myBook such as the following: “Why did so many children have to quit school during the Great Depression?” and “How did Eleanor Roosevelt help the children of the Great Depression?”. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 15, after reading “Who Wants to Move to Mars” (no author), students write a letter to the editor about Mars exploration and colonization using details from the text. 
  •  In Module 7, Lesson 10, students read Ocean Careers (unknown author) and then write a paragraph describing a graphic feature they found particularly interesting. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 13, after reading Seven of the Wildest Sports Ever (unknown author), students pick one of the texts or graphic features in the selection and write a paragraph or two explaining the feature’s connection to the whole text.
  • In Module 9, Lesson 5, after reading Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem, students select a photo and then write a paragraph that describes the photo and explains how the photo added to their understanding of the history of Pompeii, its people, or the processes the archaeologists used to learn about the city. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 14, after reading Why Vote? by Bethany Brookshire, students use details and examples from the text to explain which of the reasons in the article best exemplifies why many Americans do not vote in writing. They also need to explain why that reason was most compelling and if more people would vote if the United States had more political parties. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 2, after reading Bodies from the Ash by James M. Dean, students write in response to questions such as, “What is the central idea of this informational text” and “What other clues helped you identify the central idea?” 
  • In Module 12, Lesson 7, after rereading Identity Theft by Gary Soto, students write about the theme of the realistic fiction and include what the author is teaching them through the theme of the text. 

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

All grammar and conventions standards for Grade 6 are addressed over the course of the year. Grammar and conventions lessons are primarily found during Writing Workshop in Grammar mini lessons. 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. Students consistently apply their new knowledge of grammar and conventions concepts to pieces of their own writing.

Standard- specific lessons are provided for teachers to engage students in explicit instruction. Some examples include: 

  • L.6.1a Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
  • L.6.1e Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.*
  • L.6.2a Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.*
  • Students have opportunities to use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
    • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students learn about the Latin root miser and the prefixes ex- and e-. The teacher reads aloud the passage, “Sometimes Dreams Need a Push” and points out the words that contain the Latin root or prefixes.

Materials also include opportunities for students to practice language and convention standards in their own writing, to enhance their communication and demonstrate comprehension. For example, lessons are included for students to practice relationships between ideas (L.6.5b Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words) and to distinguish among connotative and denotative language. 


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 6 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic and/or theme 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 texts designed to grow the students’ understanding of the unit’s topic. 

Examples include: 

  • In Module 3, students read texts about the topic of inventions. Texts include: The Secret Science Alliance by Eleanor Davis, Lions No Match for Young Boy and his Invention by Andrew Hawley, and The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull. 
  • In Module 5, students read about the American spirit, especially during the Great Depression. Texts in this module include: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman, and Diary of an Early American Boy by Eric Sloane. 
  • In Module 6, students read about space exploration. Texts in this module include: I Jumped at the Offer by Tanya Lee Stone, Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind by Tara Dixon-Engel and Mike Jackson, and Mars and the Search for Life by Elaine Scott. 
  • In Module 7, students read about the topic of oceans. Students study ocean exploration and preserving the coastline. Texts in this module include: The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery and Safeguarding the California Coast by Harriet Rohmer. 
  • In Module 9, students read about the topic of archaeology. Texts in this module include: Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem, King Tut the Hidden Tomb by Ruth Owen, and You Have to Stop This by Pseudonymous Bosch.

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 6 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, Reads for Understanding, Collaborative Discussion, independent work using graphic organizers, and 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 1, Lesson 3, students read Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers, and are asked what type of figurative language is “the next day zoomed by.” Then, they are asked, "How do you know?"  They are also asked, "What other words besides zoomed could the author have used to achieve a similar connotation?"
  • In Module 6, Lesson 2, after reading I Jumped at the Offer by Tanya Lee Stone, students are asked, "What does the word graced mean in paragraph 9?" Then students are asked to discuss the effect of the figurative language in paragraph 23. 
  • In Module 12, Lesson 3, after rereading Analysis of Baseball  by May Swenson, students are asked to identify the type of figurative language the word thwack is in the second stanza. Then they are asked about some of the ways the poet uses onomatopoeia and how using this kind of figurative language can help the author achieve her purpose. 

Specific examples of coherently sequenced questions and tasks about key ideas include:

  • In Module 9, Lesson 3, after reading Bodies from the Ash by James M. Deem, students are asked: "What is the central idea of paragraphs 1-10?" and "Which details support the central idea?". Then students write a brief summary of these paragraphs. 
  • In Module 11, Lesson 12, after rereading paragraphs 33-34 of Who Wants to Move to Mars? (no author), students are asked: "What clues tell you the central idea of the section?" and "How does the author use repetition in the paragraphs to support the central idea?". 

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

  • In Module 2, Lesson 11, after reading the play, Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett, students describe Hermia and Helena and are asked, "What questions do you have after rereading paragraph 2?"
  • In Module 7, Lesson 5, after reading The Octopus Scientists Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery, students are asked: "What evidence suggests that an octopus might be close by?" and "Why is it hard for a scientist to tell what the octopus looks like?" 

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

  • In Module 1, Lesson 5, after reading Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers, students explain the way the author builds tension and suspense and then describes the tone. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 3, after reading Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote? by Mary Kay Carson, students are asked, "What does the author reveal about Susan B. Anthony’s internal traits by describing Anthony’s family?"

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

  • In Module 3, Lesson 9, students read the magazine article “Lions, No Match for Young Boy and his Invention” by Andrew Howley and describe how the author organizes his ideas in paragraphs 4-6.  Students also answer the question, "What examples of the text structure can you identify?" 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 1, students read The World’s Biggest Sports Fans (unknown author).  Students are asked the following questions:  "What features make the structure look more like a magazine than a school paper?" and "How does the text and graphic features in the format of a magazine affect the reader?"
  • In Module 10, Lesson 7, after reading Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, students are asked the following questions:  "What is the problem identified in paragraph 4?" and "How it is solved?". Then they are asked, "How does the text structure help you understand the struggles of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement?"

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 6 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 3, students learn about inventors and inventions. In Lesson 11, they read “3D Printing: Imagination in Technology” by Zoë Kashner.  Students then answer questions such as:  “What are the advantages of producing a car with 3D printing?” and “What are the downsides to 3D printer technology?”
  • In Module 6, Lesson 6, after reading Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind by Tara Dixon-Engel and Mike Jackson, students are asked questions such as: “Why might a pilot who is living out the credo, ‘Higher, faster, and farther’ make a good astronaut?” and “Why was Project Mercury important in NASA's efforts to get to the moon?”
  • In Module 7, Lesson 9, students read Ocean Careers (unknown author) and are asked a series of questions to build knowledge including: “How is a career in marine geology the same or different from the care of ocean animals?'' and “Why do you think marine engineers and naval architects need more education than motorboat mechanics?”
  • In Module 9, Lesson 4, after reading Bodies from the Ash by James M. Deem, students are asked to reread paragraph 19 and are asked, “What effect did the time of death have on the scientists’ ability to make plaster casts of bodies?” 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 2, after reading Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote by Mary Kay Carson, students are asked, “What are some other human rights struggles that have occurred and might still be going on?”

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

  • In Module 3, Lesson 2, students listen to the teacher read the text, “Garrett Morgan to the Rescue!" by Paula Morrow. Then students compare this text with other texts in the module, including a video. Students are asked to discuss the information they learned about the process of invention. In addition, students are asked to, “Compare information about inventions in the video, the article, and the read-aloud ‘Garrett Morgan to the Rescue!’. How is the information similar and how is it different?” 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 2, students hear “Astronaut School” by Elizabeth Preston and then discuss the information they learned about becoming an astronaut from this text, another text, and a video. Students are then asked, “How is the information in the video, the timeline, and read aloud, “Astronaut School” the same and different?” 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 8, students read the text, Who Gets a Trophy? with selections by Betty Berdan, Katie Bugbee, and Jonathan Fader. Students then compare and contrast the various selections to build knowledge. Questions include: “How did Betty Berdan and Katie Bungkee agree and disagree on the topic of participation trophies?” and “ Betty Berdan compares sports to life by saying, ‘It is a fact that there’s room for only a select few on the winners podium’. What does she mean?”. Students are also asked, “The first two articles give opinions against and for participation trophies. What opinion does Jonathan Fader offer in the last article, and how does he explain his position?”. 

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 6 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 6 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. This performance task requires students to apply their learning to a writing prompt.These tasks require students to reflect on information they learned in the module, including the knowledge they gained, and it requires 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 3, students learn about inventions and ideas that inspire the most amazing inventions. The end of module task requires students to write a news report about how inventions change people's lives. Students must use evidence from the texts and videos in the module to identify two or more inventions that affect the lives of people today. This requires students to take the information they have heard in a video or read in a text to complete the writing task. After students publish, students select an option to share their news report, including publishing it on a blog or social media, presenting the news report to the class like a television reporter, or submitting the news report to the school newspaper. 
  • In Module 5, students learn how the American spirit helps people survive during tough times. Students reflect on the hardships children faced during the Great Depression at the end of the module.  Then they choose a photograph from the text, “Children of the Great Depression,” and write an article based on that photograph. Students must use words from the module, as well as, information from the various module texts to complete the culminating task. Students must use details from the text they read and discussed in order to successfully complete the writing task. 
  • In Module 6, students learn about outer space and people who explore outer space. Students are instructed to write an opinion essay about future space travel and exploration as the culminating task. They must think about information they learned about space exploration in the module and use it to write an essay about what people, skills, equipment, and other resources would be necessary for future space travel and exploration. This requires students to integrate the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening from the module in order to successfully complete the culminating task. 
  • In Module 7, students learn about our seas and shorelines and are required to write an informational article about oceans as the culminating task. They must include the part about oceans that fascinates them and the reason(s) we should take care of them, using at least two module texts to write the article. This requires students to integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills from the module to demonstrate knowledge of oceans and seas. When students finish the culminating task, they have the option of exchanging their writing with a partner.  They discuss the parts they liked about each other’s articles and compare and contrast their thoughts about oceans. 
  • In Module 8, students learn about how sports test an athlete's character, their motivation to win, their physical and mental traits, and challenges they face to become champions of the game. Students take the information they learned from the module to write a speech that persuades families to sign up their children for a sport of choice, by using evidence from the module texts. Students are provided with a Knowledge Map to connect ideas about competition throughout the module. Students share their speech at the end of module. 
  • In Module 9, students learn about how the remains of ancient people give us a window into their lives. Students write a narrative that describes something that they found during a dig. It must include item(s) they found, the way they found it, and the information learned from the discovery that tells us about ancient people, as a culminating task. Students must use evidence from the module texts, Big Idea Words, and critical vocabulary, which requires students to integrate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills from the module to successfully complete this task.
  • In Module 10, students learn about voting, including how only about 60% of eligible U.S. voters participate in a presidential election. At the end of the module, students write a letter that explains the reason(s) voting is an important American right that all eligible voters should exercise. Prior to this culminating task, students read Why Vote? by Bethany Brookshire and discuss why the author thinks that voting is an important skill. Students must use their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills from the module to demonstrate their knowledge of voting and the importance of voting.

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 6 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 6 materials, students learn vocabulary words that are 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 are 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 2, Lesson 2, students learn the words: executive, equipped, harnesses, and stabilizing found in the text, Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers. Students answer questions such as: “What important skills might an executive of a company need to have?” and “How do seat belts work like a set of harnesses for people riding in a car?”. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 11, students learn the words: belfry, muster, and rafters from the text, Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Students discuss the words in questions such as: “Would a muster of troops be sitting or standing?” and “Where would you see rafters?”. 
  • In Module 6, Lesson 7, students learn the words: implications, aeronautics, and priorities from the text, Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind by Tara Dixon Engel and Mike Jackson. Students discuss the words with sentence frames such as: “If someone online is asking for your personal information, the implications could be _____.” and “Students can run into trouble if they have different priorities about_____.”. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 2, students learn the words: realm, quarry, probing, and manipulation from the text, The Octopus Scientist: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery. Students discuss the words by answering questions such as: “What animals might inhibit a desert realm?”  and “What could you hope to learn by probing into the topic of scuba diving?”. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 2, students learn the words: petitions, clergy, activist, abolition, lectures, restrictions, obtain, and swarmed from the text, Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote? by Mary Kay Carson. The teacher guides the students to interact with the words by discussing questions such as: “Why is someone called an activist because they try to change laws?” and “How do restrictions change the way pope act?”.

In addition to learning specific words that are found in the texts, students learn vocabulary strategies 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 skill or affix and how to apply the skill or affix. In Step 2, students engage in guided practice by determining the meaning of other words using the taught skill or affix. In Step 3, students apply the skill 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 1, Lesson 3, students participate in a Vocabulary Strategy lesson for context clues. In Step 3, students use context clues to determine the meanings of the words: concession, nosiest, and nameplates from the text, Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 4, students participate in a Generative Vocabulary lesson for the prefix tele- and the Greek roots: elect, electro, and phone. Students work in pairs to define unknown words with these prefixes and Greek roots. 
  • In Module 5, Lesson 10, students participate in a Generative Vocabulary lesson for the prefixes: intro -, im-, and the suffix -able. Students find these words in the text, Men of the Woods (no author) and Stories of the Great Depression (video) by Christopher Healthy. Students define words, including the words: impression, introduction, deplorable, and improve, based on their understanding of the prefixes and suffixes. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 10, students work on a Generative Vocabulary lesson with the prefixes uni- and pro-. Students discuss words such as: protected, program, and process from the text, Who Gets a Trophy by Betty Berdan, Katie Bugbee, and Jonathan Fader. 
  • In Module 9, Lesson 12, students engage in a Vocabulary Strategy lesson on connotations and denotations. After learning about it, students share ideas, images, and feelings associated with a display of words.

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 6 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 include 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 15, students write a review about the play, Upside-Down and Backward by Louise Rozett, as if it was in a local newspaper . 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, students write an advertisement for an online newspaper to advertise Richard Tuerere’s lion light invention. The advertisement must include the benefits of his invention and persuade people to buy it. 
  • In Module 7, Lesson 10, students write three careers that interest them after reading Ocean Careers (unknown author). Students need to explain interesting parts of each career, as well as, the education and training required and the reason(s) each of the careers is a good fit. 
  • In Module 8, Lesson 5, students write a list of the five traits that Babe Didrikson Zaharias possessed that helped make her one of the top athletes of the twentieth century, after reading Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Russell Freedman. 
  • In Module 10, Lesson 7, after reading Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, students write a paragraph to justify or explain the nine arrests from her youth. 

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

  • In Module 1, students write an informational motivational speech that explains how to achieve a goal, no matter how difficult or impossible it may seem. Students draw on earlier module experience of writing about a trait during week 2. 
  • In Module 4, students write a short narrative about the president who chooses two characters from two different texts who could help him find a dog and return it to Washington D.C. 
  • In Module 6, students write an opinion essay about people, skills, equipment, and other resources that will be necessary for future space travel and exploration. 
  • In Module 7, students write an informational article about oceans for a local newspaper. Students plan by identifying their topic, main idea, and three details, and then they work with a partner at the end of the three weeks to determine if their main idea and supporting details are complete. 
  • In Module 10, students write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper that explains why voting is an important American right that all eligible voters should exercise. Students follow the steps of the writing process to complete this task. 

In Writing Workshop, students engage in lessons that focus on process-based writing to generate ideas, organize drafts, revise and edit, and then 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 that explains a situation where a mistake turned out to lead to a positive experience. During the three week process, students participate in the writing process. 
  • In Module 3, students write an opinion essay arguing that an invention or innovation that they learned about from the module is the most important. Students learn how to write an argument by comparing informational text to an argument text. 
  • In Module 6, students write an argumentative essay in support of or against a space-related project by researching facts to support a claim with counterclaims, rebuttals, and a conclusion. 
  • In Module 10, students write an opinion letter about an idea they have to make their classroom, school, or community better. Students learn the parts of an opinion letter and then conduct interviews and surveys for evidence before drafting. 

During the Genre Study Modules (Module 11 & 12), students work on a week long writing assignment in the genre in which they are reading. Examples include:

  • In Module 11, Lessons 11-15, students learn about persuasive texts and write either a persuasive speech or a pet advertisement. 
  • In Module 12, Lessons 6-10, students learn about realistic fiction and then write a graphic novel or a realistic fiction sequel to a text they have read.

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 6 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 6 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 presentation, share their final product with an audience, assess their work, and celebrate. In the Guiding Principles and Strategies Resource section, 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 create an inspirational vision board that includes pictures, quotes, sayings, and goals. In Week 1, students base their vision board on goals or improvements they want to make for the year. In Week 2, students work on visuals that connect to the goals, but also visuals that make them happy and reflect their personalities. In Week 3, students present their project in small groups and give each other positive feedback about their vision board. 
  • In Module 2, students work in groups to develop an idea for a movie. Students create a poster for the movie, write a summary of the movie, and if time allows, write a portion of the script. In Week 1, students research movies, TV shows, or books for interesting characters and a story that they would want to turn into a movie. In Week 2, students write a summary of their movie that includes a short character description and an actor or short scene. In Week 3, students present their projects. 
  • In Module 3, students work in groups to create an idea for an invention and a needs assessment chart for the invention. In Week 1, students research inventions, as well as, brainstorm problems in the world and inventions that could solve those problems. In Week 2, students choose an invention idea, draw a design of the invention, and write a short description of the invention's purpose. Students also create a final draft of their invention design by adding color and labeling parts. In Week 3, students present to an audience and reflect on what they learned. 
  • In Module 4, students create a travel plan for the trip of a lifetime. Students create a map, compile pictures of the destinations, and create a description of the places they plan to go and the reasons they chose this destination. Students begin by researching their idea before putting together their travel plan and presenting it to the class.
  • In Module 5, students research the Great Depression and create a museum exhibit about it. Students can work individually or in pairs, and the exhibit should include photos, illustrations, graphs, diagrams, videos, or other visual aids. Students can also create their own artifact for the museum exhibit. Students place their research on tri-fold posters. 
  • In Module 6, students complete a research project about exploring outer space. Students create a mock interview and a testing regimen for space pioneers. In Week 2, students write five to ten interview questions to ask people who are interested in becoming Mars pioneers. Then they create a rough draft for a poster that advertises for astronaut candidates. In Week 3, students present to the class. 
  • In Module 7, students read a variety of texts to research an ocean life form and create an advertising campaign to protect that life form. Students begin exploring in Week 1 by using module texts and additional sources. In Week 2, students choose their life form to profile, draft their ad, revise, edit, and create a visual for their presentation for Week 3. 
  • In Module 8, students research a new sport, game, or activity that could be played at school. Over the course of the three weeks, students research, write facts, rules, and reasons why the sport should be played, create visuals for a presentation, and present to an audience. 
  • In Module 9, students learn about and research how to create a time capsule. Students begin by discussing the module texts, “Secrets of the Mummies” and Bodies from the Ash. Students then research, choose artifacts, write a short description of the items, and draft letters to people in the future for their time capsule. 
  • In Module 10, students work in small groups to create a platform for student leadership. Roles are assigned, and as a culmination of this project, students vote on the best platform for class leadership. 

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 6 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 section, 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 constructing 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, and 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 increasing the amount of time gradually 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 printable to keep track of nonfiction 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, include copious review and practice resources. The Teacher Edition 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 are 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 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, navigation support may be needed to help teachers implement these digital components effectively. Some opportunities for digital collaboration is 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 6 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. 

The Grade 6 materials are divided into twelve modules, with each module taking place over three weeks. The Guiding Principles and Strategies Resource 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 component of a lesson are provided. The materials have multiple lesson parts that are required daily, though the provided time frames will help schools find time for each part 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 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 working 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 highlights the components of each lesson 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 6 partially meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The Grade 6 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 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, there is a daily schedule recommendation. The sample schedule covers almost a six hour day, but 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 6 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.)

The Grade 6 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 as well. 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 is labeled with 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 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 & Signposts are found throughout the reading of texts, which directs 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 “Number 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 comprehension skills that accompany the myBook texts. The activities are labeled with each skill, as well as, the module and the week in 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 mini-lesson.

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 6 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 Common Core State Standards. Instead, the publisher lists the standards and the page numbers that you can find the standards, but is 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 6 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 is 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, the module and week at the bottom, and 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 6 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 6 materials include a Teacher's Guide that provides a clear outline of each module, as well as, notes and suggestions on how 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 these instructional routines included are active viewing, active listening, vocabulary, reading for understanding, close reading, 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. This includes:

  • 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 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 and Note: Provides specific guidance of what to say, model or ask related to the module's Signpost. There is also a chart that shows which lesson, within which text, and for which comprehension skill the Notice and Note signpost will appear
  • 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, as well as the use of icons and symbols.
  • 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 and the location of 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 Handbook also discusses each part of the lesson plan, describes the materials for each section, and explains how to use each resource. This section 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 6 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 Handbook, 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 the 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 Edition also contains adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literary concepts.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies Handbook 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 module 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 and explains the text complexity, 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 6 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.

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 Handbook, Teacher's Guide, the 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 Overview 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 regards to specific ELA/literacy standards. Lastly, in the Teacher's Guide, there is a section called 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 6 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 Handbook, 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 provides 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 Handbook, 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 how 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).
  • Research 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 6 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 Handbook dedicates an entire section to family and community. In this section, they provide 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 that instructs teachers to connect with families at the beginning of the module by sending a letter home with students. The letter discusses the topic, explores the genre, and builds vocabulary.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies Handbook 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 student’s 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 6 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 Handbook 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, review, and extra practice, provide checks of students’ beginning reading skills, monitor the progress of students who are in reading interventions, and help 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 6 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 6 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up

The Guiding Principles and Strategies Handbook 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 Handbook 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 the 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 Mini Lessons, 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 compare 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 6 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies Handbook 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 Handbook, there is a map that shows the suggested timeline to plan instruction and administer section quizzes throughout the year. This plan includes times to administer the Intervention Assessments, the Guided Reading Benchmark Assessment Kit, Weekly Assessments, Module Assessments, 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, 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 6 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 Handbook, 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. 

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 at 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 to 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 6 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 Handbook 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 Mini-lessons 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 Handbook, 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 6 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 Handbook provides information on the stages of language acquisition, how 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 table-top mini lessons that introduce, review, and practice a particular language function. These lessons can be used with any text in the program and are meant 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 Edition for each lesson, there are English Learner supports provided. Supports are broken down into 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, and 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 Handbook 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 how 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 6 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 Handbook, 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 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 Mini-lessons 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 6 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 Handbook gives an overview of how these group strategies work and the Teacher’s Edition 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 Handbook, 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 make the most of 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 include:

  • 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 Mini-lessons for reading to teach these groups.
  • English Language Support groups are formed based on the state English Language Development assessments. The materials include Tabletop Mini-lessons 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 Mini-lessons, reinforce skills and strategies lessons, and reading graphic organizers.
  • Foundational skills groups are formed by Informal Assessments. Foundational skills lessons and foundational skills and Word Study Studio is available for these lessons.

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 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, navigation support may be needed to help teachers implement these digital components effectively. Some opportunities for digital collaboration is 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 6 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 (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials are available digitally and accessible through the use of a sign-in and password. The digital platform provides all of the same materials that are in available in print. The digital materials are available with multiple browsers, including Google Chrome, Firebox, 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, as the Teacher's Guide and Teaching Pal do not display all information and not all files are 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 6 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, as well as the Module 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 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 6 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 Handbook explains how materials are supported through assistive technology. The adaptive and technology innovations for personalized learning are outlined in the Guiding Principles and Strategies Handbook 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 6 meet the criteria the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Guiding Principles and Strategies Handbook 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 6 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 in 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 6 978-0-3580-8688-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Teaching Pal Volume 1 Grade 6 978-1-3284-5318-1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Teaching Pal Volume 2 Grade 6 978-1-3284-5319-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Know It Show It Grade 6 978-1-3284-5338-9 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Writing Workshop Teacher's Guide Grade 6 978-1-3284-6985-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Writer's Notebook Grade 6 978-1-3284-7014-0 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Tabletop Minilessons English Language Development Grade 6 978-1-3284-9166-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Student myBook Softcover Volume 2 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1703-6 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 1 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1705-0 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 2 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1706-7 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 3 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1707-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 4 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1708-1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 5 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1709-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Teacher's Guide Volume 6 Grade 6 978-1-3285-1710-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
Into Reading Tabletop Minilessons Reading Grade 6 978-1-3285-2296-2 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
2020 Into Reading Student myBook Softcover Volume 1 Grade 6 978-1-3288-5877-1 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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