Alignment: Overall Summary

The materials meet the expectations of alignment to career and college readiness standards. Students are presented with texts and tasks that engage them in appropriately rich and rigorous ways as they grow over the course of the school year. 

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality and Complexity

0
18
32
36
35
32-36
Meets Expectations
19-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-18
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

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

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

LearnZillion EL Education 6-8 Language Arts Grade 7 meets the expectations of Gateway 1. The core texts are engaging, rigorous, and relevant to students. Most tasks, from writing and reading to speaking and listening, are anchored authentically in the associated texts, providing true close reading practice and supporting students’ inquiry and analysis. Support for vocabulary development underscores what students are reading and learning.

Criterion 1a - 1e

Texts are worthy of students’ time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade.

Materials support students’ advancing toward independent reading.

18/18
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Criterion Rating Details

Texts included in the program are high-quality and engaging, as well as encompassing many student interests. They provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to become independent readers at the grade level, including text complexities that increase over the course of the year. Core texts are appropriately rigorous and provide an opportunity for students to read about different cultures and experiences.

Indicator 1a

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a.

The Grade 7 materials include anchor texts that are of publishable quality, consider a range of student interests, and are engaging to students because they are well-crafted and rich in content. At the heart of the program is the use of the anchor texts to engage and motivate students to increase time in text and enhance literacy skills. Anchor texts are high-quality, worthy of careful reading; they contain rich language and engaging grade-level content. Several of the authors whose texts are featured are national award-winning authors. Anchor texts appeal to a range of student interests, such as investigating epidemics, survival, the Harlem Renaissance, and environmental conservation.

Examples of anchor texts include:

  • In Module 1, students read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Park is a Newbery Medal author. Through two parallel narratives, the text details the survival of two Sudanese 11-year-olds separated by 25 years as they struggle with war and scarcity.  

  • In Module 2, students read Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics by Marilee Peters. The text tells the true stories of epidemiologists who sought answers to contain some of the world’s most notorious epidemics, from bubonic plague to AIDS. The complexities of this highly-engaging text are revealed through the discipline-specific knowledge in science as well as sentences with several subordinate phrases or clauses and transition words. 

  • In Module 3, students read One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes. Grimes is a Coretta Scott King Award-winning author.  The text is a collection of poems and illustrations that pay homage to poets of the Harlem Renaissance, such as Langston Hughes and celebrate African-American art. Students also read excerpts of the play Shuffle Along by F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles.

  • In Module 4, students watch the documentary, A Plastic Ocean by Craig Leeson, and read the book, Trash Vortex by Danielle Smith-Llera. These texts inform students about the consequences of plastic pollution in the ocean as well as methods for mitigating the problem. The complex text frequently uses mathematical and scientific terms as well as problems and presented solutions which create the need to understand discipline-specific content.

Indicator 1b

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1b.

The Grade 7 materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. The texts reflect a variety of different genres including fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, dramatic play, myths, poetry, biography, literary nonfiction, nonfiction, science, social studies, and other types of informational texts. Over the course of the year, the materials reflect approximately 70/30 balance of informational to literary text with an emphasis on literary nonfiction. There is a consideration for student interest in a range of genres.

Examples of text types and genres include:

  • In Module 1, students read the following genres: a realistic fiction novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park; informational text, “The Lost Boys of Sudan”; children’s literature selections Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter; and Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Luana Williams. 

  • In Module 2, students read the following genres: science fiction novel, Patient Zero by Marilee Peters; informational texts, “Kindness Contagion” by Jamil Zaki, “Social Contagion: Conflicting Ideas”, and “Disease Detective” by Marilou Tousignant.

  • In Module 3, students read the following genres: poetry anthology, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes; dramatic play, Shuffle Along; realistic fiction selections, “His Motto” and “The Boy and the Bayonet;”and poetry, “National Hymn” and “I Shall Return.”

  • In Module 4, students read the following genres: nonfiction, Trash Vortex by Danielle Smith Llera; informational texts, “Five Weird Materials that Could Replace Plastic” by Jessica Hullinger, “Five Things You Can Do to End Plastic Pollution” by Anjali Acharya, and “Boyan Slat: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” by Pat Betteley.

Indicator 1c

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1c.

The Grade 7 materials include texts that have the appropriate level of complexity according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Each text is accompanied by thorough documentation and rationale for its inclusion. The analysis and rationale contain accurate information. While some of the anchor texts fall below the recommended range for Grade 7, qualitative measures such as meaning, text structure, language features, knowledge demands, and the associated tasks provide for a purposeful placement in the grade level.

Examples of text complexity and rationale include:

  • In Module 1, students read the anchor text, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  The text falls below grade level according to quantitative measures (720L), but qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands increase the complexity. Students must navigate alternating plot structure and changes of setting and perspective. Also, the theme of survival during a time of a civil war makes this a challenging text for Grade 7 students. According to the “Module Overview” document, work with this novel is designed to explore “how the setting shapes the characters and plot, how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters in the text and how themes are developed throughout the story.” 

  • In Module 2, students read the anchor text, Patient Zero by Marilee Peters. The text falls within the grade band according to quantitative measures (1010L), and the qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands also contribute to the complexity. The text is used to support students to build their knowledge around scientific investigation and medical interventions during epidemics and increase student literacy skills. There is a focus on the variety of text features, such as sidebars and subsections, which provide more in-depth information about the concepts, adding to the qualitative complexity. 

  • In Module 3, students read the anchor text, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes. The text falls within the grade level according to qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands which contribute to the complexity. Inspired by poems of the Harlem Renaissance, the anthology is rich in metaphor, symbolism, and content, making them complex. The poems are also accompanied by artwork, which requires skill to interpret. 

  • In Module 4, students read the anchor text, Trash Vortex by Danielle Smith-Llera. The text falls within the grade band according to quantitative measures (1120L), and the qualitative measures of meaning, structure, language, and knowledge demands contribute to the complexity. Text features help students understand the content, but the connections between each of the four chapters require inferring. This text is used to support students to build their knowledge around the impact of plastic pollution. Student literacy skills increase as they culminate the module by “creating a documentary film clip that conveys their argument, action plan, and conclusions about plastic pollution that they can share with and even the world beyond.” Concepts of pollution will be familiar to students, providing a foundation for comprehension. Students use the anchor and supplemental texts to analyze point of view, determine meaning of words, and compare/contrast the presentation of evidence. These skills are introduced earlier in the year, so the complex anchor text is appropriate for the end of Grade 7.

Indicator 1d

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

The anchor and supplemental texts in the Grade 7 materials are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth. Quantitative measures range from 610L to 1240L. While some of the quantitative measures for the anchor texts are low for the grade level, the supplemental texts and qualitative measures make up for the lower level in the way of text complexity, knowledge demands, language features, meaning, and purpose. Many scaffolds and instructional techniques support literacy growth over the course of the school year.

Examples of the variety of text complexity and scaffolds include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Although the text has a 720L Lexile, which falls slightly below the recommended level for the grade band, the qualitative measures such as meaning, purpose, text structure, and knowledge demands are complex and rigorous. Readers may struggle with the alternating plot structure and content. Quick Writes are also used to help students comprehend the content. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 3, students answer the question, “How does the setting shape the characters and the plot in Chapter 2 of A Long Walk to Water? Use text evidence to support your answer.” Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students with complex texts, including using Note-Catchers to organize information. Supplemental texts include Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story of Afghanistan (630L) and Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (610L).

  • In Module 2, students read Patient Zero by Marillee Peters. The anchor text falls within the quantitative grade band; the qualitative measures include complex structures. The tasks that accompany the text are rigorous and engaging. For example, in Unit 2, Lessons 6-7, students analyze an argument: “Are social epidemics real?” Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students with complex texts, including actively reading by annotating the text. Additional readings include “Are Social Epidemics Read?” (960L)

  • In Module 3, students read One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes. No quantitative measures are given for this non-prose text; however, the qualitative measures of meaning, purpose, and language features make this novel a worthy read for Grade 7 students. Throughout the module, students analyze language, structure, and theme of the anchor and supplemental texts. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 4, students read the poem, “The Boy and the Bayonet” (1110L) and explain how the setting shapes the characters. Appropriate scaffolds are provided to support students while reading the complex texts, including engaging in time to think and using discussion protocols like Think-Pair-Share. Additional readings include the drama, Shuffle Along.

  • In Module 4, students read Trash Vortex by Danielle Smith-Llera. The anchor text falls above the grade band at a 1120L. The supplemental texts are either within or above the grade level band. The qualitative measures are complex in meaning, purpose, and language features. The tasks that accompany the text include scaffolds to help students understand structure and assist in analysis. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 10, students analyze the author's purpose and point of view for the anchor text Trash Vortex.  Scaffolds are provided to support students while reading the complex text, including completing short writing tasks that encourage them to revisit the text. Additional readings include “Five Weird Materials That Could Replace Plastic” (1010L) and “Five Things You Can Do to End Plastic Pollution” (1240L)

Indicator 1e

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1e. 

The Grade 7 materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to become independent readers at the grade level, including text complexities that increase over the course of the year. Students engage in a volume of reading through robust anchor text sets and texts on suggested reading lists that are largely read independently. Independent reading is completed both in class and as homework. A variety of instructional techniques are used to move students progressively toward understanding and independence. Most texts are organized with built in supports and/or scaffolds to foster independence. In the Teacher Edition, descriptions and explanations are included for how teachers can provide successive levels of temporary support. In the Student Edition, anchor texts that are read independently have an accompanying list of key points for each chapter. 

Students are provided with two types of reading time to build independence at grade level reading. Work Time is used to read anchor and supplementary texts in class, while Independent Research Reading time is used to read related texts at home. This time allows students to pick from a list of supplemental texts identified for each module that build background knowledge and provide additional information on the topic of the module. The materials include student routines and a tracking system for assigned Independent Research Reading. While the materials provide a variety of texts and complexities to build independence, there is little evidence to support  building reading stamina as the amount of time to read anchor and supplementary texts is limiting and does not change for the duration of the school year. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities for students to engage in reading a variety of texts to become independent readers at grade level.

    • Materials include a suggested reading list at a variety of Lexiles beyond the anchor and other supplemental texts for students to engage in independent reading. The list includes both informational and literary topically-relevant books.  For example, in Module 1, which centers on The Lost Children of Sudan,  suggested independent reading includes Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan by John Bul Dau and Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.

  • Instructional materials provide sufficient teacher guidance and supports to foster independence.

    • The Independent Reading Plans provide teacher guidance for launching and maintaining independent reading, communicating with parents, goal-setting and accountability, conferring, and publishing authentic reviews.

  • Instructional materials provide procedures for teachers, proposed schedule for students, and a tracking system for independent reading.

    • The Independent Reading Sample Plans include lessons for launching independent reading, writing a reading journal entry, conducting a book talk, encountering new vocabulary, identifying interesting points, and connecting independent reading books to the module under study.

    • For anchor texts, students engage in the routine of pre-reading a selection of the text as homework to prepare to discuss the next day.  For example, in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students pre-read “The Boy and the Bayonet Part I” by Paul Laurence Dunbar as homework and examine vocabulary.  In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students conduct a close read of the text, using the vocabulary log they have created to support their analysis.

    • Materials recommend that “students should complete 20 minutes of independent research reading for homework when they are not reading a chapter from the anchor text.  Students should also continue independent research reading over weekends.”

    • The Independent Reading Journal is used throughout each module as a tracking system. Students keep an Independent Reading Journal in which they record their goals and their thoughts about the book. The Independent Reading Plans encourage teachers to “check in with students about their reading” and a conference protocol.

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

17/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials meet the expectations of high quality questions, tasks, and practice that is text specific and attends to the demands of the standards. Students have practice with speaking and listening, writing, and reading that is rich and rigorous and consistently encourages attention to the text itself. Tasks and questions allow readers to uncover details and meaning that they could miss in cursory reading. Academic vocabulary development is supported over the course of the school year.

Indicator 1f

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f.

The Grade 7 materials include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-specific and text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly.  Explicit and inferential questions are included, with prompting that students should use textual evidence to support their inferences. Materials encourage students to gather insight, knowledge, and evidence from the texts rather than relying on personal experience and prior knowledge. Tasks and questions allow readers to uncover details and meaning that they could miss in cursory reading. Teacher materials, particularly the student workbook and supplemental resources, provide for the planning and implementation of the text-based questions and tasks, and include examples of valid student responses and additional prompts to aid students who may need support. Additionally, in the student materials, students monitor their independent reading progress with a rubric that includes the expectation to use text evidence.

Examples of text-specific and text-dependent questions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students complete a Text Structure Anchor Chart while reading Patient Zero. They give a definition and purpose of text structure elements: Narration, Informational/Explanatory, Descriptive, Comparison, Process, and Argument. Then they provide an example from the text. A differentiated version of the chart is provided for ELL students. The Teacher Guide provides detailed instructions on how to lead students in a Jigsaw to complete the chart in small groups.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 4, students analyze the poem, “David’s Old Soul” and answer text-dependent questions: “How is the poem organized? What is the gist of each section (line, couplet, or stanza)of the poem? How does structure contribute to its meaning? How does the language (including word choice and figurative language) in the poem influence meaning? What is the theme of this poem?” For each question, students refer to the poem and include evidence. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 3, students read excerpts from Trash Vortex and other articles and answer questions about comparing the two authors’ presentations such as: “How do the authors present evidence about the biodegradable materials differently? How does the information the authors choose to include affect their interpretations of the facts about biodegradable materials? How do the authors present evidence about the effect of improving waste management and recycling efforts differently?”

  • In all modules, the Independent Research Reading rubric that is used to grade student reading includes the following criteria: “I support explanations and interpretations of the text with evidence.”

Indicator 1g

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1g.

The Grade 7 materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that are varied throughout the year.  Students participate daily in informal structured discussions, such as small group discussions, Turn and Talk, and Think-Pair-Share. More formal opportunities are also provided, such as Socratic Seminars, Chalk Talks, Fishbowl Discussions, and other collaborative discussions. The Teacher Guide and Your Curriculum Companion provide protocols for speaking and listening and to encourage full engagement including “drama or role play”, “sketching”, and “Equity Sticks” which includes communicating ideas. While instruction for teacher modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax is not always explicit, there is support for teaching norms and providing reminders for how to have academic discussions.  A link is provided to an Independent Reading Sample Plan which gives an explanation of a protocol to use for the research reading sharing time. This routine is used in all four modules across the school year.

Examples of opportunities and protocols for discussions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 15-16, students participate in a Text-Based Discussion on the themes in A Long Walk to Water. The previous two lessons provide support for teachers and students, including a lesson on developing discussion norms that includes helpful language for productive discussion (Lesson 13), a Note-Catcher to collect evidence from the novel for the discussion, and a “Quote Accurately From The Text” handout (Lesson 14). On discussion day, the materials provide a Fishbowl protocol for discussion explaining how the group that is observing the discussion (outer ring of the fishbowl) uses a Peer Critique Note-Catcher to reflect on their classmates’ use of norms, claims, and evidence before participating in discussion themselves.  

  • In Module 2, Lessons 11-13, students create a podcast to share information about what they are reading and researching about epidemics.  Students use their research to write a script, record the podcast, and share it with the class. Students use a Chalk Talk protocol to listen to the podcasts of their peers and give feedback. Questions are provided for the teacher to assist in facilitation, such as “What can we celebrate about these podcasts?”  

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 14, the teacher is given two ways to hear all students discuss while conducting a text-based discussion on Patient Zero. One is the Fishbowl Discussion protocol, and the other is Small Group Recorded Discussions. Both options are detailed in the Teacher Guide. Student support includes a discussion prompt, Discussion Norms Anchor Chart, and Note-Catcher, all of which focus students back to the text itself. 

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lessons 13-14, students present a museum collection to their peers and guests that they have curated using their research and reading throughout the module and are given instructions to “use formal English and include multimedia components and visual displays in their presentation to clarify claims and emphasize salient points.” In previous lessons, students create a museum display and curator’s statement based on their reading and research, and they practice their presentation using formal language and clear speech. The teacher models how students are to present, using formal language and gestures. A presentation rubric is included in the Assessment Overview and Resources as well as a Peer Critique: Museum Exhibit Norms and Directions handout and Compliment Card to assist students in giving and receiving feedback. Teachers lead students through creating possible questions that might be asked about their exhibits and model how students can invite conversation from peers and guests.

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lessons 11-13, students pitch a documentary clip to their peers based on the readings, videos, and research they have conducted throughout the unit.  In previous lessons, students collaborate on a script, watch a model documentary clip pitch by their teacher, practice their own clip pitch in triads, and participate in a tuning protocol to improve their pitch.  In Lessons 12-13, students present the final pitch in triads with the teacher recording each presentation.  A presentation checklist is provided, requiring students to use formal language, appropriate eye contact and volume, clear pronunciation, and visual displays. Students reflect on their performance using the Presentation Self-Assessment Anchor Chart.

Indicator 1h

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1h.

The Grade 7 materials provide opportunities for students to regularly speak and listen about topics they are reading for a variety of different purposes. End-of-Unit Assessments often include a presentation that requires students to use evidence from texts. In addition, students receive instructional opportunities that monitor and extend their growth in learning through direct instruction of the speaking and listening and research standards and presentation opportunities. Throughout the year, students share the information they are learning through their Independent Research Reading.  Teachers remind students that “the purpose of research reading is to build their content knowledge and domain-specific vocabulary on the topic.”

Examples of opportunities for students to speak and listen about what they are reading and researching include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, the End-of-Unit Assessment includes a text-based discussion around the themes found in the anchor text, A Long Walk to Water. In Lesson 14, the following directions are given in the Teacher Guide: “Explain that students will now share their Note-Catchers with one or more classmates to get feedback on their claims (statements about theme) and their evidence to support their claims. Note that this is a chance to practice their discussion norms and ideas before the assessment in the following lesson.”

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 9, students participate in a small-group discussion about the “new events, actions, or ideas they discovered” in an excerpt of Patient Zero. A chart is provided for students to gather text evidence to use in their discussion. After a brief small-group discussion, the teacher uses a “total participation technique”, such as Equity Sticks, to call on individuals to share. The materials suggest additional discussion questions, such as: “What language does the author use on page 51 to convey the importance of this discovery to Whitehead?” 

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 10, students review the Presentation Checklist then practice their presentation with a partner, coaching each other on clarity, emphasis of important points, eye contact, adequate volume, clear pronunciation, and formal English. In Lesson 12, students participate in a Collaborative Discussion about structure, language, and theme in poetry and art. Two protocols are suggested: Fishbowl Discussion or Small Group Discussion.  Support for teachers includes a text-based prompt: “How do the poems ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers’ and ‘I Shall Return’ develop similar themes? How are these themes related to the artworks Ethiopia Awakening and African Phantasy: Awakening?” Students use several Note-Catchers and handouts like the Discussion Norms Anchor Chart and Quote Accurately From The Text to support their performance.  

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 10, students participate in a Think-Triad-Share to discuss the habits of character and the author’s point of view and purpose in an excerpt of Trash Vortex. A differentiated Note-Catcher is provided to help students collect evidence and extend their thinking as they examine the text. Sentence Starters are provided for students who may struggle. Follow-up prompting questions are provided for the teacher such as the following: “What is the gist of this excerpt? What are the central ideas in this excerpt?” After discussing in triads, students use a Think-Pair-Share to discuss a new excerpt, working to determine the author's purpose. 

Indicator 1i

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1i.

The Grade 7 materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing that covers a year’s worth of instruction. The materials include QuickWrites and Entrance Tickets for informal, on-demand writing that provide opportunities for students to express thoughts and ideas in response to texts on a daily basis. Each module contains one or two process writing tasks in which students plan, draft, and revise their work. After some process writing tasks, students complete an on-demand version of a similar task to demonstrate understanding. Process writing using digital resources and multiple opportunities to revise and edit are offered in each of the four module units across the grade level. The tasks at the end of the year are multi-faceted writing and presenting opportunities.

Examples of  on-demand writing opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students complete a QuickWrite on how setting shapes character and plot in A Long Walk to Water

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 12-14, students write an on-demand informative essay on how social scientists use epidemics to explain human behavior. After the on-demand essay is complete, students use a peer feedback tuning protocol for revision.

  • In Module 4, students compose an on-demand argument essay about “addressing plastic pollution in the middle of the plastic life cycle.” After they write the essay, Lessons 14-15 include a peer feedback tuning protocol for revision.

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

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lessons 7-13, students write a podcast script based on module readings and use technology to produce the podcast. Students analyze models of each part of a podcast, draft a narrative lead, collaborate on the script’s body, reflect and receive peer feedback, and use feedback to revise as they write. Specific areas for revision are suggested, such as “choosing language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lessons 8-12, students write “an argument essay about how specific works from the Harlem Renaissance demonstrate the theme that collaboration and community can bring out the best in people.” Students analyze a model, use graphic organizers to plan main claims and evidence, draft an introduction that acknowledges a counterclaim, proof paragraphs and a conclusion, and participate in reflection and feedback. The materials provide mini-lessons on writing skills, such as using transitions. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, students write, revise, and produce a documentary script. The assignment is heavily scaffolded throughout the unit with Note-Catchers and mini-lessons to help students write in different modes. Specific lessons incorporate narrative, informative, and argumentative writing. Students analyze models, compose a storyboard and narrative lead. Materials include explicit goals for revision, including “how well purpose and audience have been addressed” and “choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely.” In the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, students demonstrate understanding of revision by using a peer feedback tuning protocol to revise for audience and purpose. After these lessons, students create the mini-documentary using their script.

Indicator 1j

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 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1j.

The Grade 7 materials provide different modes of writing that are distributed across the school year and are always connected to the anchor and/or supplemental texts. Lessons are sequenced so students understand the reading content before they begin to formally write. In each module, Unit 3 offers a scaffolded writing task and a critique process to strengthen writing. Argumentative writing is an area of focus and the expectations for students increase in Grade 7.

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

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, students write a literary argument essay connecting three of the works by theme after viewing artwork and reading a variety of texts, including poetry and songs on the topic of the Harlem Renaissance. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, students write an on-demand argument essay using evidence from a variety of texts on the plastic life cycle to defend a claim about which part of the plastic life cycle is the best place to intervene and reduce plastic pollution.

Examples of informative/explanatory writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, students write a compare and contrast essay on the novel, A Long Walk to Water, and the informational article, “The ‘Lost Girls’ of Sudan,” to analyze how the author of the novel uses or alters history.

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, after studying various articles on the topic of social epidemics, students write an informative essay about how social scientists use ideas from the study of epidemics to explain human behavior. Prior to writing, they summarize central ideas of the articles and delineate and evaluate their claims.

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

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, students draft a children’s book narrative that showcases the habits of character that a Lost Boy or Girl of Sudan demonstrated in his or her journey.

Indicator 1k

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 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1k.

The Grade 7 materials provide opportunities for evidence-based writing. Students frequently work closely with the anchor and supporting texts to make claims and support them with specific evidence from the texts. Materials require students to develop text-based claims, using evidence to support them. Frequent opportunities are available across the school year for students to acquire and practice skills in daily assignments, Performance Tasks, and assessments. Over the course of the units, students complete informal and formal writing tasks that require evidence to support claims, such as Using QuickWrites, Entrance Tickets, Close Read exercises, argumentative essays, and informational essays.

Examples of evidence-based writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 10, students plan the “proof paragraphs” of a compare and contrast essay of the fictional portrayal of A Long Walk to Water and the historical nonfiction account of “The Lost Girls’ of Sudan.” They use graphic organizers to identify their main points and gather and organize evidence to support these points and explain how the evidence supports their points.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students read an excerpt from Patient Zero and answer the question, “What were some of the habits of character or mindsets that allowed John Graunt to make discoveries he did?” They make a claim and use evidence from the text to support their response.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 4, students complete an activity, Analyze Poetry: “David’s Old Soul” Note-Catcher. Once completing the Note-Catcher, students provide a short answer response to the following direction: “Below, write a paragraph explaining how the poet uses structure and language to develop a theme. Be sure to introduce the poem, state the theme, and support your interpretation with specific references to the structure and the language in the text.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 3-6, students prepare for and conduct an evidence-based debate about which stage in the plastic life cycle should be targeted to reduce pollution.  Students read and watch several sources, writing careful analyses of texts under consideration by taking paragraph-form notes. Prompts for note-taking include the following questions: “How do the authors present evidence about the biodegradable materials differently? How does the information authors choose to include affect their interpretations of the facts about biodegradable materials?” Instruction includes lessons on how to summarize their position and how to present claims in a clear way supported by evidence. Students write their points in advance of the debate, essentially mimicking the format of an argument essay, which they write later in the module.

Indicator 1l

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

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

The Grade 7 materials include practice of the grade-level grammar and usage standards; however, explicit instruction is rare. Attention to general usage is seen throughout all modules. Most explicit instruction for grammar and conventions occurs in mini lessons, but only for some standards. Opportunities for application in context are available; however, some application is out of context. Language Dives provide a routine for students to analyze grammar in focus sentences from the anchor texts and then mirror the structure in their own writing. While increased emphasis and more direct instruction of grammar and conventions standards is found primarily in Modules 2 and 3, practice writing opportunities for grammar and conventions standards are found throughout the four modules. Practice writing opportunities use the anchor text as either a model or the content for the sentences.

Examples of explicit instruction of some grammar and usage standards include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 10, students have opportunities to place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers. They complete a Language Dive that uses a mentor sentence from Long Walk to Water to teach infinitive phrases.  Students use the mentor sentence to write their own sentence that includes an infinitive phrase.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 10, students have opportunities to choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas. They view sentences from the texts they are reading. Students read aloud each example and identify the clauses and explain each sentence type. The teacher explains the different types of sentences and that writers choose among these types to vary their writing and to communicate different connections between complex ideas. Students sort various lessons into sentence type categories.

Examples of opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills in context including applying grammar and convention skills to writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 9, students have opportunities to choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas. They identify phrases in their argument essay claim statements and explain the function of the phrases.  Materials prompt students, “if you don’t have any phrases in your main claim, consider adding some to give more information about the nouns or the verbs.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 10, students have opportunities to use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives. They work with a partner to identify places in their essay when they have used coordinate adjectives. Materials prompt them to connect the adjectives with a comma and consider using coordinate adjectives to describe a noun if it will assist in communicating their message.

Examples of opportunities to spell correctly and maintain consistency in style and tone include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 10, students have opportunities to choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy. They evaluate their compare and contrast essays with a checklist that includes the criterion, “I use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary.”

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 13-14, students have opportunities to spell correctly. They write an informative essay and use a checklist to review their work, including checking their writing for correct spelling.

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 8, students have opportunities to choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy. They complete an Entrance Ticket where they focus on the vocabulary to understand the learning target, “I can choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.” They define precisely, concisely, eliminating, wordiness, and redundancy, restate the learning target in their own words, and apply this skill to the culminating task, a podcast script, noting where they can improve the script.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 9, students have opportunities to spell correctly. They evaluate their argument essays using a checklist that includes the criterion “the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are correct.”

Indicator 1m

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 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 1m.

The Grade 7 materials include a cohesive year-long plan for vocabulary development. Teacher materials, including Your Curriculum Companion, outline the importance of teaching academic vocabulary and provide guidance on protocols for building vocabulary through domain-specific and academic vocabulary. Key topic-based words are introduced at the beginning of each module through the “Infer The Topic” routine, and students encounter these ideas frequently throughout the module. Vocabulary instruction is provided through meaningful context within the anchor and supplemental texts. Students connect new words to previous schema and practice these words by repeated shared use of the words throughout the year. Vocabulary is taught either indirectly or directly on a daily basis by using Vocabulary Logs, academic word walls, Entrance Tickets, Language Dives, Note-Catchers, and text-dependent questions. Language Dives are teacher-guided conversations with questions about specific meaning and language structures that provide a routine where students analyze vocabulary in context. Students frequently use different types of vocabulary in multiple ways, including to determine the meaning of new words with affix lists; practice inferring the meaning of new vocabulary; and incorporate domain-specific and academic vocabulary in their speaking, reading, and writing in the culminating tasks.

Examples of vocabulary instruction and activities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students learn the definition of domain-specific and academic vocabulary. They learn several words (empathy, respect, gist) that will be in the informational texts, define them in their own words, and write them in their home language if applicable. Students also note and record new vocabulary words into their Vocabulary Log from Chapter 1 of the anchor text, A Long Walk to Water. Later in the lesson, students choose a page in the chapter and add new academic or domain-specific words to their vocabulary logs.

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 6, students complete a Language Dive where they sketch and write to determine the literal and figurative meaning of the phrase, “blue sky beyond those dark clouds.” Then they finish a sentence frame to explain the meaning of the phrase to the character in the text.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1, students define epidemiologist using the affix list. Then, they use the definition of the word to infer what “work is like for an epidemiologist.” The word is found in texts and discussion questions throughout the module.

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 1, students learn the dictionary definition of contagion that is in the anchor text, Patient Zero. They also infer the meaning of the concept, social contagion, read about and discuss social contagions, and complete an essay about social contagions.

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 1, students define Harlem Renaissance, a key vocabulary concept that appears repeatedly in the module.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 8, students complete an Entrance Ticket to provide definitions of academic vocabulary for argument writing, such as argument, main claim, point, evidence, and reasoning.

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students define the following academic words: argument, claim, point, evidence, reasoning, relevance, sufficiency, soundness. They use these words throughout their analysis of the anchor texts, A Plastic Ocean and Trash Vortex

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 1, students define domain-specific words (sugar + carbon dioxide, edible water bottles, smart mud) from a supplemental text and state how the item can be used.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Carefully organized text sets and associated tasks support students’ knowledge building as they build their skills in research, writing, speaking and listening, and analysis. The program’s attention to building students’ literacy development with appropriately rigorous and integrated skills practice sets them up for successfully engaging in grade level work for the next year. Overall, the materials do provide enough material for teachers to build students’ learning, although the teacher may need to revise some work since extra included components may be a distraction.

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

24/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials are organized to support students’ knowledge building in multiple topics. Texts are organized and linked together to amplify how students explore topics and grow their understanding of not just the content of the texts, but the construction of texts per the authors’ choices of syntax and text components. Culminating tasks and research supports require students to integrate literacy skills while staying close to the text and demonstrate knowledge.

Indicator 2a

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials are connected by and organized into modules with grade-level appropriate topics. At the beginning of each module, guiding questions and big ideas are presented to thematically tie anchor and up to eight supporting texts together. The texts build knowledge and vocabulary; they provide opportunities to comprehend complex texts across a school year. Academic and domain-specific vocabulary are introduced at the beginning of some lessons. Related narrative and expository texts are placed together to encourage students to make meaning of the texts; a variety of text types related to the topic are presented to build knowledge. Several nonfiction and fiction texts are used in reading, writing, speaking, and listening learning experiences. Differentiated supplemental texts, supports, and extensions provide learners at multiple levels with independent reading opportunities.

Examples of how modules are organized around a topic include:

  • In Module 1, students read texts about conflict in Sudan and the experiences of the Lost Children. The anchor text, The Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, and supplemental texts work together to support students to apply knowledge in various ways including answering Guiding Questions: “What are the habits of character the Lost Children used to survive?” Students identify big ideas and create an ebook that includes a narrative about a Lost Boy or Lost Girl. In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students work with academic vocabulary terms, human rights violations, commodity, dominated, and the domain-specific terms, central ideas and summarize.

  • In Module 2, students read texts about epidemics. The anchor text, Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics by Marilee Peters, and supplemental texts help them build knowledge around the topic. As the unit progresses, students extend their knowledge from medical epidemics to social epidemics. Guiding Questions include: “What are epidemics? How do they develop?” In Unit 3, Lesson 1, students work with the term, podcast.

  • In Module 3, students read texts around The Harlem Renaissance. The anchor text, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes, and supplemental texts encourage deeper understanding of its history and impact. Guiding Questions include, “How does collaboration influence an artistic renaissance? What are some of the lasting legacies of the Harlem Renaissance?”  By the end of the module, students create a Harlem Renaissance museum exhibit. In Unit 3, Lesson 7, students work with the term, curator’s statement.

  • In Module 4, students read texts about the effects of plastic pollution. The anchor text, A Plastic Ocean; Trash Vortex: How Plastic Pollution is Choking the World’s Oceans by Danielle Smith-Llera, and supplemental texts encourage students to look at the way facts and ideas connect across multiple texts. Guiding Questions include, “What can be done about plastic pollution? What is being done about plastic pollution?” In Unit 1, Lesson 9, students work with academic vocabulary terms, benign, distinguish, and inert

Indicator 2b

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Throughout the year, students analyze the structure, language, point of view, and characters of anchor texts in order to determine theme and central idea. The skills are practiced in various activities that include reading, writing, speaking, and listening and are embedded in students’ work through discussions, activities such as Language Dives, and collaborative anchor charts in the student workbook. Tasks are logically organized and increase in complexity over the course of a module and year. The materials place emphasis on comparison and synthesis of ideas, particularly providing opportunities to compare and contrast the ideas and concepts in the supplemental materials to the anchor texts.

Examples of questions and tasks include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students read A Long Walk to Water and complete a quick write exercise to answer the question, “How does the setting shape the characters and plot in Chapter 2? Use evidence to support your response.” In Lesson 4, students continue to analyze craft and structure by answering the following questions: “What is Nya’s point of view of arriving at the pond? How do you know? How has the author developed this point of view?” Students answer the same questions about a different character.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students determine the text structure of each section of Patient Zero and select one of following two questions to answer: “How does the section ‘Unequal Treatment’ on page 27 develop the ideas in ‘New Knowledge, but No Cure’ on page 26?” or “How does the section ‘Fleas and Rats and Plague, Oh No’ on page 29 develop the ideas in ‘Finding Answers in Hong Kong’ on pages 30-31?” As a class, they discuss the following questions about text structures: “Why does Peters use so many different text structures? How do the additional sections relate to the narration?”

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 2, students read the poem, “On Bully Patrol” and analyze the structure by answering the following questions with a partner: “How is the poem organized? What is the gist of each section (line, couplet, or stanza) of the poem? How does structure (including rhyme and repetition) contribute to meaning? How does the language (including word choice and figurative language) in the poem influence meaning? What is the theme of this poem?”

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 7, students write an argument and components of key ideas and craft and structure are embedded in the students’ work. Questions in the Argument Writing Planner where they consider their own key ideas and details and craft and structure are as follows: “What is the focus of your piece? How will you catch the reader’s attention? (Consider using facts, statistics, quotations, or anecdotes.) What context about the text or topic does your reader need to make sense of the rest of your essay? What counterclaim might others raise to refute your claim? What evidence from the text supports this point/reason?”

Indicator 2c

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 2c.

Texts and instructional activities are included to develop student knowledge about topics in science, social studies, arts, and technology. They read, discuss, and write about a topic across a module to integrate knowledge across multiple texts. The materials encourage students to provide evidence from text, show thorough understanding of concepts, and think creatively about applying the concepts. Reading tasks, question series, and culminating tasks provide coherent opportunities for analysis. The materials also provide guidance for teachers in supporting students’ integration of knowledge and ideas through Teacher Supporting Materials, ELL supports, and Additional Resources guides.

Examples of ways students integrate knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students read texts and complete activities to increase their knowledge of The Lost Children of Sudan. Guiding Questions include: “Who are the Lost Children of Sudan? What are the habits of character the Lost Children use to survive?” Students read the anchor text, A Long Walk to Water, and several supplemental texts, including “The Lost Boys of Sudan” and “The Lost Girls of Sudan.”  An end of unit assessment  includes writing to compare and contrast A Long Walk to Water and “The Lost Girls of Sudan”. The module ends with multiple displays of student learning, including students creating ebooks to share with elementary school children about a lost child of Sudan and the lessons revealed through their journeys.

  • In Module 2, the anchor text, Patient Zero, includes many scientific terms and abstract ideas. Tasks are included to help students build the knowledge needed to comprehend the text. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 3, students discuss and analyze a section of the anchor text and then write a “gist” statement. In Unit 2, Lesson 1, students read a supplemental text, “Kindness Contagion” and answer questions that scaffold the text to build knowledge: “List examples of bad conformity. List examples of good conformity. Why does good conformity seem to narrow?”

  • In Module 4, students read texts and complete activities to increase their knowledge of “Plastic Pollution.” Guiding Questions include: “Where and how does plastic pollute? What can be done about plastic pollution?” Students read the anchor text, Trash Vortex, and supplemental texts, including “Five Weird Materials that Could Replace Plastic” and “Boyan Slat: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Kid.”  For an end of unit assessment, students write an argument essay using evidence from the texts to defend a claim about which part of the plastic life cycle is the best place to intervene to reduce plastic pollution. The module ends with displays of learning, such as students “develop an action plan they can enact through research, advocacy, or personal commitment.”

Indicator 2d

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials include culminating tasks that require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated literacy skills. The culminating tasks, identified in the program as Performance Tasks, occur at the end of each of the four modules and allow students to apply their learning in experiential ways. Performance Tasks have authentic audiences, including classmates, school peers, and the wider community. They require students to demonstrate comprehension and application of the module’s topic through mastery of several different standards including reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills. The topics and anchor texts of each module together support the integration of Habits of Character, a key component of the curriculum which focuses on habits such as perseverance, responsibility and compassion. Throughout the course of each module, students complete coherently sequenced text-dependent questions to build knowledge and prepare them for the complexity of the Performance Task.

Examples of how culminating tasks build knowledge and integrate skills include:

  • In Module 1, the Performance Task is to create the Illustrated Ebook: Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan. Early in the module, students analyze the audio version of selected chapters of A Long Walk to Water for techniques like sound effects, music, pauses, and how actors add to or change their experience of the story with emotion in their voices. In Unit 2, they write an essay to compare and contrast the novel to an informational article about the Sudanese civil war to analyze how the author of the novel uses or alters history. In Unit 3, they draft a children’s book narrative that showcases the habits of character that a Lost Boy or Girl of Sudan demonstrated. For the Performance Task, students write an informative foreward explaining the context of the narrative ebook they wrote. 

  • In Module 2, the Performance Task is a Podcast of an Epidemic. In Unit 2, students write an informational essay about how social scientists use ideas from the study of epidemics to explain human behavior. In Unit 3, students listen to exemplar podcasts and read a model podcast script about epidemics and how people responded to them. Then they write their own podcast scripts. For the Performance Task, students turn their Unit 3 scripts into podcasts with sound effects, music, and other podcast features, such as a variety of voices; a charismatic, engaging tone; interviews; description.

  • In Module 3, the Performance Task is a Harlem Renaissance Museum Collection. In Unit 2, while reading One Last Word: Wisdom From the Harlem Renaissance, additional texts, and artwork, students write a literary argument essay connecting three of the works. In Unit 3, students present a “Curator’s Statement.” For the Performance Task, students share the works they studied with an audience beyond their classroom in a museum exhibit. The exhibit must include at least three pieces from the Harlem Renaissance, a related contemporary work the student found, a curator’s statement about how the pieces are important and connected by theme, and labels explaining each piece.

  • In Module 4, the Performance Task is a Plastic Pollution Documentary Clip. In Unit 2, students read three articles and revisit the anchor text, A Plastic Ocean, to understand what interventions can be taken at each stage of the plastic life cycle. To build understanding and skill for a debate, students write an argument essay using evidence from the texts to defend a claim about which part of the plastic lifecycle is the best place to intervene. In Unit 3, they revise a section of a documentary film script and present a documentary film pitch. For the Performance Task, students work in triads to film and edit their documentary clips with the purpose of sharing the message with peers and a larger audience.

Indicator 2e

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials align to the standards for the grade level and support writing growth over the course of the school year. Across the grade levels, the program uses the read-think-talk-write cycle. First, students analyze a model to help them understand how to effectively communicate their thinking about the content. Next, students write a practice piece that is similar to the model with direct instruction and support. Finally, using what they have learned, students write an independent piece. During this three-step process, students meet with their peers and teacher for further guided instruction and support. Process pieces are heavily scaffolded with well-designed lesson plans, models, exemplars, and protocols to support student writing. After each process piece, students complete an on-demand parallel writing piece with fewer scaffolds to assess understanding. Student materials include scaffolds such as Note-Catchers, checklists, and reflection guides to help them monitor their progress toward grade-level standards. Materials include suggestions for keeping “Track Progress” folders for students and teachers to monitor writing progress. Despite the extensive scaffolds, students make few choices about the organizational tools that work for them, and the writing tasks at the end of the year are similarly scaffolded as those at the beginning.

Examples of a year-long plan for writing to meet standards include:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lessons 7-11, students write a compare and contrast essay comparing an informational text to A Long Walk to Water. Students use The Painted Essay® template to examine a model compare and contrast essay. The template requires students to color-code parts of the essay depending on purpose.  Materials include an informative writing checklist as well as an anchor chart. Lessons include instruction on gathering evidence, organizing an introduction with a strong focus statement and hook, composing proof paragraphs, and writing a conclusion that relates clearly to the facts presented. Note-Catchers are provided to support students’ writing development. Students track their progress in informative writing by frequently referring to the Informative Writing Checklist in the Student Materials. After students plan their essay with scaffolding, they write the on-demand compare and contrast essay they have been planning. 

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, students write an “informative essay about how social scientists use ideas from the study of epidemics to explain human behavior.” Throughout the unit, students complete lessons that support them to write the essay.  In Lesson 8, students examine a model of an informative essay. Students use The Painted Essay® template to generate criteria for their own essays. They also work in pairs and use the “Informative Writing Plan” graphic organizer to plan their essays. In Lessons 9-12, students draft practice essays with support including participating in language dives, working in pairs and teams, and using Note-Catchers.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lessons 8-16, students write literary argument essays independently and in pairs. They analyze how three Harlem Renaissance poems exemplify a common theme. Students use The Painted Essay® template to examine a model literary argument essay. The template requires students to color-code parts of the essay depending on purpose. Materials include an Argument Writing Checklist as well as an anchor chart and graphic organizers to support students. Lessons include instruction on writing an introduction that provides context, acknowledges a counterclaim, and states a clear claim; composing proof paragraphs that connect evidence to sound reasoning; using transitions to show the relationship between ideas; and writing a conclusion that restates the claim and reflects on its importance. Note-Catchers are provided to support students’ writing development. Students track their progress in argument writing by frequently referring to the Argument Writing Checklist in the Student Materials. After students plan their essay with scaffolding, they write an independent argumentative essay in an on-demand task using the same graphic organizers as they used while writing the process essay in the unit.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, students write an argument essay “using evidence from texts to defend a claim about which part of the plastic life cycle is the best place to intervene to reduce plastic pollution.” Throughout the unit, students complete lessons that support them to write the essay. In Lesson 7, students identify the parts of a model argument essay and explain the purpose of each. Students work in pairs to guide each other through the process of using the Argument Writing Plan graphic organizer to plan their argument essays. In Lesson 8, scaffolded supports include a Language Dive-Model Essay and a Claim Note-Catcher. In Lesson 9, students use the Painted Essay® template to analyze a model “proof paragraph” and attend to topic development and evidence collection. Students track their own progress in Argument Writing by frequently referring to the Argument Writing Checklist in the Student Materials. After students plan their essay with heavy scaffolding, they write an independent argumentative essay in an on-demand task using the self-selected supports they need.

Indicator 2f

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year to develop research skills based on grade-level standards. Students engage in activities requiring them to research both primary and secondary sources for the purpose of further understanding the anchor text or topic of the module. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources such as anchor texts within the unit and book lists for independent student research. Shorter and longer research projects are included as well as assessments to check development of research skills. Many useful supports for the student and teachers are included as guides through the research process, research mini lessons for teachers, and peer support for students.

Examples of short and long research projects and activities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 3, students conduct research to answer a question about the Lost Boys of Sudan. In previous lessons, students collected questions about the novel, A Long Walk to Water. They evaluate which questions are more suitable for research using the criteria: too narrow or too broad, specific to the topic, significant (important not only to you, but to others), and can be answered using sources. The teacher models how to use a Search Engine and refine search terms. The lesson further focuses on teaching students to determine the relevance and credibility of sources.

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 3, students refine research questions as they prepare to create a podcast on a topic related to epidemics. They evaluate sources for credibility and reliability. They are provided a “Researcher's Toolbox” document which outlines ways to determine whether an internet source is reliable by identifying the publisher, author, bias, accuracy and timeliness of the source. Additional information is provided on how to quote and cite accurately.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 8, students research the anchor text and secondary sources to create an argumentative essay about why, as a curator, they will select particular pieces to display that illustrate the powerful theme. 

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 13-14, students write a literary argument essay about three Harlem Renaissance works that illustrate the theme of the power of dreams, being sure to clearly introduce and support their claim with well-organized reasons and relevant evidence.

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 12-13, students plan and write an argument essay about addressing plastic pollution in the middle of the plastic life cycle. Students base their research on texts from Units 1 and 2.

Criterion 2g - 2h

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

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials partially meet the expectations of criterion 2.2 While the materials consistently provide students practice with grade level material, the directions and extra supports may complicate integrity of implementation. The teacher may have to re-design to assure that the student truly does access the high quality grade level material provided by the program in the amount of time provided by a typical school year.

Indicator 2g

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 2g.

The Grade 7 materials are designed to ensure that nearly all instructional time is focused on content that is aligned to standards. The standards alignment is clearly documented in teacher planning materials. Each lesson segment is aligned to grade-level standards with grade-level appropriate questions and tasks; assessments cover the key standards taught in each module.

The program is organized so students encounter skills and topics with increased complexity that reinforce previous learning. The materials also are presented in a logical sequence and repeated in a way to address the full extent of the standard. While a few standards, such as RI.7.6 and RL.7.5, are taught only once, most standards are taught and assessed at least twice throughout the school year with a few key standards receiving instruction and assessment in every module. Optional materials are rare, though there are opportunities for diverse learners to meet the standards through scaffolded questions, activities, and assessments rather than providing less rigorous instruction. A few questions and tasks per module focus on the curriculum’s habits of character teachings and learner-based reflections; however, most are directly standards-based. Consideration is given in the program to ensure students understand the quality of the standards, how they are addressed, and how individual students feel about their progress toward meeting standards.

Examples of how the curriculum is arranged include:

  • Key standards (RI.7.1, RI.7.2, W.7.5, W.7.6, W.7.10, SL.7.4, SL.7.6, L.7.4, L.7.6) are taught and assessed to some degree in three to four of the modules. 

  • In each module, students track their progress several times on standards. For example, in Module 3, Unit 2, Lessons 12-13, students use a chart to rate how they feel they are performing on the standards. Both teacher and student provide a written reflection concerning progress toward the standards. 

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 8, students consider how Linda Sue Park, the author of A Long Walk to Water, used or altered history in the novel (RL.7.9). As part of the lesson, students use the article, “The ‘Lost Girls; of Sudan”, to compare and contrast facts from the article to the novel. Students use a note-catcher to analyze the text. Teachers use student work to ask questions. Students use the information on the note-catcher to write a compare and contrast essay on the same topic.  

  • In the Module 2, Unit 1 Mid-Unit Assessment, students read an excerpt from Patient Zero and answer standards-aligned questions: “Select a phrase that helps the reader determine the meaning of devastating in this excerpt” (RI.7.4, L.7.4, L.7.6). “How is the section ‘The Great Debate: Miasma or Germs’ mainly structured?” (RI.7.5).

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 2, ELL support includes a differentiated note-catcher with sentence stems and questions that students fill out as they read “His Motto” (RL.7.3, RL.7.6) with the same text as the rest of the class. 

  • In Modules 1 and 2, students have multiple opportunities for instruction in and practice of writing informational texts.

  • In Modules 3 and 4, students have multiple opportunities for instruction in and practice of writing arguments.

Indicator 2h

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h.

The Grade 7 materials are organized to balance time and resources throughout the course of a year; however, because individual lessons and tasks may take longer than the curriculum estimates, completing all modules may not be possible in a school year. The materials provide 36 weeks of instruction, which does not allow for any variation in the schedule including state testing, assemblies, etc.  There are four modules that are each designed to last eight to nine weeks and include two assessments. Each module consists of three units. At the beginning of each unit, a time frame is given in weeks and daily sessions. Each lesson is designed for a 45-minute instructional day. Each lesson includes a time allotment for each of the four to six daily activities, aligned to core learning and standards-based objectives. At the lesson level, the requirements of the tasks would likely take longer than the allotted time. Most suggested times do not seem possible for students achieving below honors level. Standards are scaffolded to increase rigor and relevance over the course of a given year. While no optional activities are listed, diverse learners have scaffolds embedded in the lessons to assist with understanding which likely would take longer than the allotted time. Your Curriculum Companion offers a section called “How Can I Stay on Track and on Target With My Pacing” to assist teachers in the pacing of the day, the unit, and the module.

Examples of implementation guidance and ways the program timelines may not allow for full implementation include, but are not limited to:

  • In all modules, most lessons are divided into the following segments: Opening, Work Time, Closing Assessment, and Homework. The allotted time for each segment would be challenging especially for novice teachers. For example in Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 9, the plan suggests that the Work Time segment of the lesson takes 30 minutes. This includes students analyzing for ten minutes, reading for ten minutes, and discussing for ten minutes. 

  • In all modules, students are given an appropriate amount of time to read anchor and supplemental texts both in class and for homework. For example, in Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, student homework is to “read pages 16-25 of Patient Zero in preparation for studying an excerpt from the chapter in the next lesson.”

  • In each lesson, teachers are given suggested scripts to read prior to teaching. Your Curriculum Companion suggests using a printed version of the lesson and to “mark it up with a highlighter or use sticky notes to keep yourself focused and to aid a smooth delivery.”  For example, in Module 4, Unit 2, Lessons 5-6, the Teacher Edition includes a script marked in red and italicized font to help teachers quickly identify and concisely give directions in the interest of pacing and clarity.

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 8, suggested time frames are given in an agenda format for the three activities listed for the day: Opening - Engage the learner (5 minutes), Work Time - Analyze a model (20 minutes) and Closing and Assessment - Pair Practice - Plan argument essay (20 minutes).

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 8, materials suggest spending 20 minutes to introduce the anchor text and have students “determine two or more central ideas and trace their development over the course of Trash Vortex.” (RI.  7.2) During this 20 minute segment, students receive and preview the book, discuss images that connect to A Plastic Ocean, read six pages orally, define new words, discuss the habits of character students notice, and use the Note-Catcher to identify two central ideas within the excerpt. In a typical class, this would likely take more than 20 minutes.

Examples of information for alternate implementation to maintain alignment to the standards include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1: The Lost Children of Sudan, optional extensions include arranging for guest speakers to share refugee or immigration stories, creating “mini documentaries” of community members, and learning how water is processed in their community.

  • In the Module 3 Performance Task, options for students include extensions such as allowing them to select art and texts from the unit for their Harlem Renaissance Museum, finding a piece that exemplifies the themes on their own, or creating one inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. The Performance Task also includes options for teachers, such as suggestions for creating the Harlem Renaissance Museum and creating an anthology of the Harlem Renaissance to share with an authentic audience.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The materials meet the expectations of Gateway 3, providing teachers ample supports to implement the materials with fidelity while they support students’ learning and grow their own professional expertise. Resources include an assessment suite to measure short- and long-term development, as well as differentiation scaffolds for students who demonstrate above- or below-grade level proficiency. The materials support engaging English learners in core curricular activities, emphasizing home language and background as an asset that enriches and improves students’ education.

Criterion 3a - 3h

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

9/9
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Criterion Rating Details

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content. Guidance and support for teachers include useful annotations and suggestions not only for basic implementation, but also for implementation in local settings. The materials include examples explanations for teachers to grow their own knowledge as they assure students have access to grade level practice. Alignment to the standards is clearly designated throughout the program, not just for the teacher but also in materials for community and families.

Indicator 3a

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3a.

The Grade 7 materials include useful annotations in the Teacher Edition, guide for English Language Learners, and supporting materials. The introduction in the Teacher Edition explains the design and principles of the curriculum. Each daily lesson is divided into Opening, Work Time, Closing and Assessment, and Homework. Lesson annotations include clear directions, scripting in red and italics when appropriate, time stamps, and bolded references to any student materials. Suggestions are included for varying levels of scaffolds for each lesson. Answer keys are provided for all activities, including homework. Text guides address sensitive issues in the anchor texts with suggestions of how to handle them.

Examples of lesson annotations and suggestions include:

  • Each teacher-facing lesson begins by highlighting CCSS, daily learning targets, and ongoing assessment. 

  • An agenda for the day is presented with time stamps for opening, work time, closing and assessment, and homework..

  • Teaching Notes provide helpful information on ways to adapt the lessons. 

  • Teachers are provided with ways technology and multimedia may be used in the lesson.

  • Academic or domain-specific vocabulary is listed.

  • A list of materials needed to complete each lesson is listed.

Indicator 3b

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3b.

The Grade 7 materials include explanations and examples so that teachers can improve their knowledge. Teaching Notes are included in each lesson and provide adult-level explanations on numerous topics: purpose of the lesson, information on alignment to the standards for assessments, ways to monitor instruction, support to make informed decisions on adapting the curriculum, suggestions for accommodations and differentiation, links to professional articles explaining the purpose of a protocol, opportunities and guidance to extend student learning and assessments, and a preview of upcoming lessons.

Examples of explanations include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, the Teacher Edition includes this Teaching Note to support all students: “Read aloud the first several chapters of A Long Walk to Water in these first lessons to ensure student comprehension, engagement, and enjoyment of the text. However, if all students are already engaged, determine how students will read chapter 2 of A Long Walk to Water to best support their comprehension, or give students choice to build empowerment and engagement in learning. Alternatives to read-alouds include the following: another fluent reader (including students or an audiobook) reads aloud to the whole class, small groups, triads, or pairs; individuals read silently; or a combination of any of these.”

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1, the Teacher Edition includes this Teaching Note that shows purpose of a protocol: “The Gallery Walk, Infer the Topic, and Think-Pair/Triad-Share protocols are used in this lesson. Protocols are an important feature of our curriculum because they are one of the best ways we know to engage students in discussion, inquiry, critical thinking, and sophisticated communication. A protocol consists of agreed-upon, detailed guidelines for reading, recording, discussing, or reporting that ensure equal participation and accountability in learning. The Classroom Protocols document (see the Tools page: http://eled.org/tools) includes instructions on implementing these protocols.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 9, the Teacher Edition includes this Teaching Note that shows opportunities to extend learning: “Release students who are ready to read and analyze the model introduction independently and move on to drafting the introduction to their practice essay with a partner rather than during modeling.”

Indicator 3c

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3c.

The Grade 7 materials include a Teacher Edition that provides an overview of the standards that are addressed in each module. In each lesson, an agenda describes the lesson sections, including the Opening, Work Time, and Closing and Assessment, and identifies the standards that are addressed.  Supporting standards are also identified in each lesson. For supporting standards, the Teacher Edition states,  “These are the standards that are incidental - no direct instruction in this lesson, but practice of these standards occurs as a result of addressing the focus standards.” In Your Curriculum Companion, the key shifts of the CCSS are explained in the context of the curriculum. It explains previous practice, the instructional shift, and how the curriculum supports the shift. This section also includes a table that correlates the College and Career Ready ELA/Literacy Standards to the curriculum. A case study in this section illustrates in-depth how the Topic, Tasks, Targets, and Texts are used to achieve daily, unit, and module-length goals. The section gives teachers advice on making instructional decisions that keep the integrity of the standards intact.

Indicator 3d

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3d.

The Grade 7 materials include an introductory welcome letter in the Additional Resources tab that teachers send at the beginning of the year to give families an overview of the year’s modules, units, and goals. The letter includes an overview of the program and anchor texts students will read throughout the year. A rationale is given for including each text along with the main tasks for each module and how those tasks fit into a full year’s learning. In the Teacher Supporting Materials for each unit, homework resources are included for families. These detailed documents include, Guiding Questions and Big Ideas, homework per lesson, and  information on independent reading and vocabulary.

Examples of resources include:

  • In Module 2, the homework resources for families include these Guiding Questions and Big Ideas: ”What are epidemics? How do they develop? How do people respond to an epidemic? What is the role of character and mindset in solving epidemic crises? What methods and tools help people to solve epidemics? What will your student be doing at school?  And, How can you support your student at home?” Then the unit’s homework is presented including information on research and choice reading and vocabulary logs. A chart of each lesson’s homework is presented. Next, instruction on how to keep an independent reading log is presented along with a list of example prompts for the student to choose from to respond to their reading.

Indicator 3e

Materials provide 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 Grade 7 materials include a section in Your Curriculum Companion that explains how research impacts the design of the curriculum and how the curriculum addresses College and Career Ready standards. Chapter 1 describes how research impacts the vocabulary, knowledge-building, syntax, and fluency components of the curriculum to close the opportunity gap. It also includes chapters that explain the instructional approaches of the curriculum, including preparing to teach, supporting students to read complex texts, writing with evidence, supporting students to meet grade-level expectations, and helping students grow as learners and people.

Examples of instructional approaches include:

  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, the section, “How Did Research Impact the Design of the Curriculum, and What Difference Will It Make to My Students?” addresses student gaps due to varying levels of readiness. Research citing systemic inequities and the Matthew Effect, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” are included along with a mission from the publisher. This mission is to “give all students access to a challenging, engaging, and empowering curriculum built on best practices in literacy instruction in order to accelerate their achievement.” Included in this section is research for the following four elements of literacy instruction: vocabulary, knowledge-building, syntax and fluency.

  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, chapters explain the instructional approaches, including preparing to teach, supporting students to read complex texts, writing with evidence, supporting students to meet grade-level expectations, and helping students grow as learners and people. The chapters include QR codes for videos showcasing the pedagogy within the curriculum, including the routines such as Language Dives, Peer Critique, Jigsaw, Unpacking a Learning Target, and Close Reading.  

  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, the section, “How Will the Curriculum Help Me Address College-and Career-Ready Standards?” explains the three main shifts in the creation of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy. Details concerning how the shifts are more aligned with research on best practice is included along with an explanation of how the new shifts are more beneficial to student learning and closing the gap among all learners. In addition, a table is provided that describes how the curriculum materials address the specific aspects of the standards in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.

Indicator 3f

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

1/1
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials include a 6-8 Required Trade Books and Resources Procurement List, including titles, authors, publishers, quantities, ISBN or UPC codes, Text Types, Lexiles, and Publication Dates. These details are provided for all texts and videos used in the program. Each lesson includes a list of required materials, including “Materials from Previous Lessons” and “New Materials.”  Material lists are also categorized by items used by students and teachers. In each Module Overview,  the Texts and Resources section includes a list of required textbooks and resources and the number of each resource needed. The Preparations and Materials sections explain what the teacher needs to prepare in advance and where to find those materials. In addition, any new materials needed for both teacher and student are listed.

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Criterion 3i - 3l

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

8/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials include clear and comprehensive information on which standards are assessed at which point in time, with accompanying assessment system supports. The materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their proficiency in formal and informal ways. The materials also include guidance for the teacher to provide differentiated assessment where necessary.

Indicator 3i

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials include information on which standards are assessed. The Teacher Edition and the Teacher Guide for English Language Learners for each module provides an overview of the standards being taught and assessed in each series of lessons. Each module’s Teacher Supporting Materials includes an Assessment Overview and Resources section. This section details the standards assessed in each Mid-Unit and End-of-Unit Assessment. Each question in the assessments includes an annotation of what standard the question is intended to evaluate. For assessments that include a discussion, materials provide a checklist with the standards and performance criteria for teachers to aid in assessment.  For assessments that involve writing, materials provide an annotated exemplar showing where the exemplar achieves the standards being assessed. Assessment Design in Expeditionary Learning in Grades 3-8 is another document that provides details about the assessment design process and explains how modules assess student achievement of the Common Core Standards, the groupings of standards in each assessment, and how the learning of each module scaffolds students toward meeting the standards in the assessments.

Indicator 3j

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

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3j.

The Grade 7 materials include assessments with scoring guidelines to interpret student performance; however, specific suggestions for follow-up or interventions are not provided. The discussion or performance assessments include a checklist with the standards and performance criteria for teachers to aid in assessment.  The speaking assessments include forms for running records of student performance with standards references. The writing assessments include rubrics and annotated exemplars showing where the exemplar achieves the standards being assessed. Assessments that include revising are accompanied by a Teacher Reference with the revisions made and an explanation of the reason each revision is necessary. Accommodations and extensions are suggested for the assessments, and opportunities for students to reflect on their own performance are included. Materials prompt teachers to provide students with specific feedback and allocate time to conferencing with students about performance. Because ELA standards are cyclical and often revisited, follow-up can be provided in that way, but the curriculum does not specifically provide suggestions.

Indicator 3k

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

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials include assessments that measure the expectations of the standards regarding rigor and depth. There are six unit assessments per module at mid-unit and the end of the unit. A variety of item types are presented including, selected response, short and long constructed response, text-based discussion, written reflection, online research and note-taking, presentations, and essays. Standards-based formative and summative assessments are included in each unit in all modules. Also, each lesson includes a section titled Ongoing Assessment at the beginning of the lesson, and an Assessment Guidance section within the Teaching Notes that detail the kinds of data the teacher can collect on student progress toward the standard.

Daily formative assessments include writing and reflection, strategic observation and listening, and debriefs. Writing and reflection assessments include summary writing, Note-Catchers and Entrance Tickets, and Exit Tickets. Strategic observation and listening are assessments made by the teacher while students are engaged in conversation during a Turn-and-Talk or other conversation-based protocol. Debriefs occur at the end of each lesson when students reflect on their progress toward the learning targets and standards.

Summative assessments are standards-based constructed responses to culminating discussions, presentations, or on-demand writing. Anchor writing standards are taught and assessed in every module. Students write essays to inform or to express a claim, or they write narratives. As a summative assessment, these writing tasks are independent and on-demand.

Examples of formative assessment types include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 8, students complete an Entrance Ticket answering text-based questions about what they have read in the anchor text ( RL7.4).

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lessons 6-7, students complete a Language Dive titled “Model Documentary Script Section Note-Catcher” to assess paraphrasing skills (SL7.4, L7.1a).

Examples of summative assessment types include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lessons 5-6, students complete a Mid-Unit Summative Assessment titled “Research to Answer a Question” (RI7.1, RI7.2, SL 7.2, W7.7, W7.8).

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, the Mid-Unit Assessment directions state, “Students read a new chapter from A Long Walk to Water. Then students use strategies to determine the meanings of unfamiliar words in selected response questions. Students also respond to short response questions, analyzing how the setting shapes plot and characters and how the author develops and contrasts points of view. Students make sure to include textual evidence to support their responses throughout the assessment.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lessons 13-14, students complete an End-of-Unit literary argument essay (W7.1, W7.5, W7.6, W7.9c). Students analyze how three works from the Harlem Renaissance best demonstrate the theme of dreams motivating people to bring a sense of purpose to life. In Part II, students revise and edit their essays.

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, the End-of-Unit Assessment directions state, “Students present their solution to the problem of plastic pollution in a documentary film clip pitch. During the presentation, students use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. Additionally, students use formal English and include the visuals of their storyboards in their presentation to clarify claims and emphasize salient points.”

Indicator 3l

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3l.

The Grade 7 materials include accommodations for students while taking assessments so they are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment. Teaching Notes for each lesson include a section titled “Support for All Students” and “Assessment Guidance” with suggestions for how to support students in completing the assessment. The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners (ELLs) offers additional teacher assistance to guide teachers in providing the appropriate amount of support for ELLs. The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners includes guidance for each lesson and a section titled, “Levels of Support” to document “lighter support” and “heavier support” for each assessment. Both types of supports are scaffolds only and do not change the content of the assessment.

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

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 14, Teaching Notes in the “Support for All Students” section for the assessment states, “Much of this lesson is discussion-based, so students who struggle with oral language and/or auditory processing may need additional support. Provide sentence frames for students to refer to during peer critique or a note-taking template for students to take notes during critiques.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 15, the Teacher Guide for ELLs suggests lighter support for the assessment such as: “During Work Time B, students may be reluctant to share their essays with classmates who are more proficient in English. Utilize careful strategic partnerships in which students will feel comfortable and still gain insights into how they may improve their work. Students may benefit from working with a friend or with someone on or just below their level of proficiency.” The same guide suggests heavier support such as:  ”During Work Time B, students may benefit from both listening to and reading their classmates’ essay. If possible, provide copies of peers’ essays to each student, so that they may follow along as their peer reads aloud. Students may also benefit from time to read the essay once through, then listen to it read as they follow along. Allowing several readings in both modalities will ensure students understand the essay and can give quality feedback.”

Criterion 3m - 3v

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

6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials provide clear supports for teachers to assure all students have access to the full demands of the standards, not just in isolation but also in application. Students have many opportunities for collaboration through various protocols and debriefs that encourage literacy development, skill improvement, and knowledge enhancement. Students have many opportunities to demonstrate knowledge in different ways and in different engagements with their peers as well as in independent work. Supports and guidance for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level are authentic, useful, and engaging. 

Students who are acquiring English are supported in these materials in specific guidance for the teacher throughout the core material, with varying degrees of support dependent on what each student needs. 

The materials highlight that all students must in that students work with rich, rigorous grade level work. Emphasis is placed on valuing students’ home language and cultural/social backgrounds, highlighting that what each child brings to the classroom is an asset to bolster knowledge and overall literacy development.

Indicator 3m

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3m.

The Grade 7 materials include a Teacher Edition with a section called Support All Students that provides strategies and supports for students in special populations. Lessons provide opportunities and suggestions for differentiation and modifications as needed. In the Teacher Guide for English Language Learners, a black triangle signifies a differentiated version of student-facing materials to support all learners as needed. Lessons are designed to support small groups and individual students. Students also have many opportunities for collaboration through various protocols and debriefs that encourage literacy development, skill improvement, and knowledge enhancement.

Examples of strategies and supports include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 7, in the Support All Students section, instructions state: “In Work Time A, students should read the model essay independently. However, if some or all students need more support, read several paragraphs aloud and then release students to read independently, in pairs, or in small groups.” Also in Work Time A, it states, “Students may require additional support when finding the gist. If so, pair students heterogeneously for this activity, or group students who may need additional reading support together and read aloud for them.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 10, in the Support All Students section, instructions state: ”Group together those students who may have difficulty understanding the poem, and offer more readings for comprehension, as well as support finding the gist or basic meaning of the words.” It also states the following:  “Students may need additional support identifying and interpreting figurative language. Remind students of the work they did in the first half of the unit, interpreting language that was made to stand in for or convey another idea. Guide small groups or partners who are struggling to identify and analyze this language.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 12, in the Support All Students section, instruction states: “Some students may have a difficult time reading their Human Timeline card aloud. Invite these students to practice ahead of time or partner read the card with a peer.”

Indicator 3n

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

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3n.

The Grade 7 materials include extension activities that are authentic applications of higher learning, not just additional work given to students who finish early and accurately. The Teacher Notes include an Opportunities to Extend Learning section that provides extensions for every lesson. Extensions are included in daily lessons, Performance Tasks, and other activities that can be applied across an entire module. Extensions can be applied to daily lessons by assigning different or additional research on the module topic, practicing or deepening skills tied directly to a lesson’s standards, removing scaffolds so students complete tasks independently, and encouraging creative expression and leadership skills. Extensions can be applied to the Performance Tasks by increasing the complexity of the work through higher-order thinking skills; expanding the craftsmanship through increased demands of accuracy, detail, and aesthetic quality of the task; and requiring a higher demand of original thinking or authentic personal voice and ideas to the task. Extensions can be applied across the entire module by providing students with opportunities to listen to experts, conduct fieldwork, and engage in service learning projects. Your Curriculum Companion also provides guidance for which extensions should be considered for the whole class and which should be considered for small groups or individuals. Some extensions are geared to students who show more interest in the topic rather than above grade-level skill. While extensions occasionally amount to more work, on the whole, they provide opportunities for deeper learning.

Examples of extensions for students above grade level include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1, the Opportunities to Extend Learning section suggests that as students note vocabulary in the text, they should elaborate on the figurative and connotative meanings and uses of the words they find. They also provide opportunities for students to create new sentences using the words in their Vocabulary Logs. 

  • In Module 2, students contact local hospitals, universities, or physicians to arrange meetings with those who treat medical epidemics. In addition, as students explore ideas about social contagion, they have the opportunity to arrange meetings with sociologists and psychologists.

  • In Module 2, the Performance Task requires students to create a podcast of an epidemic. As an extension prior to creating their podcast, students listen to several podcasts and create a list of characteristics they would like to include in their podcast. Students also work in a group to record their podcast, using online editing tools to add sound effects and music.

  •  In Module 3, the Module Extensions include encouraging students to “record videos of their interviews with community members” and create documentaries or biographies of their interviewees.  

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students who are familiar with documentaries start their planning and research process earlier without analyzing the exemplar.  

Indicator 3o

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials provide various ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge of content and apply specific ELA standards. Anchor writing standards are taught and assessed in each module in on-demand and independent writing tasks. On-demand and culminating tasks encourage students to demonstrate understanding of learning targets and encourage deep analysis of texts. Entrance and Exit Tickets, Note-Catchers, and summary writings are examples of formative tasks in lessons. Research skills are part of lessons and Performance Tasks to build information-literacy and multimedia presentation skills. Opportunities for pairs, trios, and group work are provided throughout the modules and across each grade level, allowing students to develop interpersonal relationships and collaboration skills. Students often consult with peers in pairs and small groups to receive feedback about their work. These collaborative opportunities take place at the lesson level and the end-of-module Performance Tasks. Students use creativity and higher-level thinking skills to complete summative assessments and Performance Tasks. Summative assessments vary in format and include constructed or selected response questions and discussions or presentations. Performance Tasks are designed to encourage student authenticity, complexity, and craftsmanship. They vary in design from creation of an illustrated ebook to a documentary clip. Students complete self-assessments after each summative assessment using the Tracking Progress Form. A “debrief” at the end of one lesson during the closing and assessment phase is another opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning and inform next steps. At the end of the year, students review these forms to review their progress.

Examples of the variety of learning tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, students plan, write, and revise a narrative for an audience, telling the story of a Lost Boy or Lost Girl of Sudan. For the Performance Task, students create an ebook for their narrative with a forward that explains the context of the story. 

  • In Module 2, Unit 3, students research a social or medical epidemic to create a podcast with a group. After groups have written the script for the podcast, they add sound effects, music, and other podcast features, such as interviews and a variety of voices. Students share their podcasts with the class. 

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, students compile three pieces from the Harlem Renaissance, two texts and a song, dance or work of art to share in the class Harlem Renaissance Museum. In addition, students create a curator’s statement about how the pieces they selected relate to the overall theme of the Harlem Renaissance. Students present their exhibits to an audience and respond to visitor’s questions. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 3, students work in groups to create a documentary script regarding solutions to the problem of plastic pollution. Students share their learning with a larger audience by creating a documentary clip. Students work in triads to edit their clips in preparation for the presentation.

The Grade 7 materials provide a systematic approach for students to monitor their own learning. Each lesson begins with learning targets derived from the standards and written in student-friendly language. Students regularly break apart learning targets, determining what parts of the targets are most important. Throughout the module, students complete self-evaluation documents where they track their progress on each learning target. Students participate in debriefs at the end of lessons to reflect on their learning and complete self-evaluation. Students complete checklists to self-evaluate their progress and a protocol for students and teachers to share and accept feedback collaboratively. After each Mid-Unit and End-of-Unit Assessment, students reflect on their performance and set goals for the future. Before the subsequent assessments, students reflect on past successes and set a goal for the assessment at hand.

Indicator 3p

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

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials provide a variety of grouping strategies and protocols to encourage flexible groupings, higher levels of thinking, and knowledge retention. Partners, triads, and groups of four and five engage in learning experiences using various protocols like Face to Face, Back to Back, Chalk Talk, Collaborative Conversations, Fishbowl Discussions, and Socratic Seminar. Additionally, there are partner and small group options and support for text reading including, partner reading, Poetry for Multiple Voices, and Reader Theater Scripts. The protocols encourage students to learn to speak in front of their peers, listen actively, challenge ideas, and collaborate.

Examples of grouping strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lessons 15-16, students will complete a Think-Pair-Share activity about the Habits of Mind curriculum. Students then update their graphic organizer, Prepare For a Text-Based Discussion: Themes: A Long Walk to Water. Before a discussion, students assess their peers’ use of discussion norms and cues and the strength of their evidence and claims on the Peer Critique Note-Catcher.

  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 3, students work in pairs to evaluate the evidence and reasoning of the argument, “Kindness Contagion.” After meeting in pairs, students participate in a class discussion about the article.

  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students work in groups of four to build background knowledge about the Harlem Renaissance by watching a video. Students take individual notes about certain characteristics of the video and then come together as a group to share their knowledge. Each participant in the group is assigned a particular role in the note taking. The group shares its findings and writes a cohesive understanding of the video about the Harlem Renaissance.

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 4, students work in pairs to analyze the video, A Plastic Ocean. In pairs, students complete the Analyze A Plastic Ocean Note-Catcher.

Indicator 3q

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

2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3q.

The Grade 7 materials provide strategies and supports for ELL students as they work with grade-level content. All students engage in the same anchor and supplemental texts. English Language Learner instruction and strategies are integrated into each lesson of the curriculum. The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners provides support for each lesson to ensure that ELL students of differing abilities receive appropriate scaffolding for language proficiency standards. It  includes unit and lesson highlights and Differing Levels of Language Support for the various items in each lesson to support learners in accessing content at the differing levels of language proficiency. 

In the standard Teacher Guide, a black triangle indicates instruction that is particularly supportive of intermediate ELL students. The curriculum includes specific approaches and strategies at the unit and lesson level, highlighting Language Dives as a high-yield strategy. Language Dives are provided throughout the modules and across all grade levels and provide the opportunity to “notice and wonder” about the ways in which language is used to convey meaning. Each Language Dive consists of a “Deconstruct, Reconstruct and Practice” routine which promotes building language, literacy and habits of mind. Conversation Cues are utilized at all grade levels and are designed to build the capacity for all students to engage in rich, collaborative discussions targeted at the ELA standards. Writing Scaffolds are provided throughout the modules and across grade levels. These scaffolds include teacher modeling and sentence and paragraph frames to assist students who need additional language support.

Examples of ELL supports include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, materials provide illustrations of key concepts and scenes in A Long Walk to Water to aid ELL students’ understanding of the text.

  •  In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 5, materials suggest using strategic partnerships to scaffold students’ understanding of identifying claims and sentence strips as manipulatives to help “cement their understanding.”  For students who require heavier support, a scaffolded Note-Catcher is provided.

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 8, the Language Dive includes sentence frames to help students produce a sentence with two adverbs and two independent clauses. 

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 9, materials remind teachers to provide “additional wait time for students to read, process the questions, and formulate their responses” before sharing with the class.

Indicator 3r

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for Indicator 3r.

The Grade 7 materials include two platforms for accessing the materials and both include images and information with people of various demographic and physical characteristics. One platform is the EL Education Open Up Resources; there are no images in the curriculum. The resources consist of PDF documents for the Teacher Guide and the student workbooks, and worksheets do not include illustrations. The other platform uses the LearnZillion Internet platform. When accessed through LearnZillion, the images include illustrated characters presenting the lesson information.These characters represent various racial and ethnic backgrounds and people of different physical abilities. Reading texts throughout the materials include diverse perspectives.

Examples of diverse perspectives in the texts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students read about the Lost Children of Sudan. 

  • In Module 3, students read about African-American artists who thrived during the Harlem Renaissance.

Indicator 3s

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 7 materials include The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners that provides guidance and strategies for teachers to encourage students to use their home language to facilitate learning. For each module and lesson, there are suggested levels of support from lighter to heavier based on the needs of the student. Heavier support usually includes suggestions for using the student’s home language. In addition, transcripts for some videos are provided to the student in their home language to facilitate comprehension.

Examples of guidance and support include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 2, heavier support for learning vocabulary includes,  “Translation and cognate: What is the translation in your home language? Does the word look like a similar word in your home language?” 

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 5, heavier support for reading includes, “For homework that supports the work of contrasting fictional and informational text, invite students to identify an informational and literary text in a home language and/or ask families to discuss examples with them. This will support ELLs by drawing on and honoring their existing linguistic and cultural knowledge.”

  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 10, heavier support includes, “For Closing and Assessment A, form strategic partnerships to support students to analyze the artwork. Students may benefit from working in home-language or multilevel partnerships so they have support to understand the questions and are able to respond during pair and class discussions.”

  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 4, heavier support includes, “In Opening A, allow students to respond to the prompt in the modality that best suits them. They may want to share their responses in their home language. Allowing students to respond in multiple ways increases their confidence and success in articulating their ideas.”

Indicator 3t

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.  In the daily lesson plans, the Support All Students materials inform teachers about cultural or social issues that may be incorporated within students’ reading and give suggestions on how to support students. The Opportunities to Extend Learning notes frequently provide suggestions about connecting learning to student interests.  The Teacher Guide for English Language Learners (Unit Teacher Notes) encourages teachers to use cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning:  “Investigate the routines, practices, rituals, beliefs, norms, and experiences that are important to ELLs and their families.Integrate this background into the classroom as students engage with texts. Consider the values and narratives embedded in class texts, and try to anticipate their relevance to ELLs.” Additionally, diversity, inclusion, and cultural relevance considerations are provided in the Teaching Notes section of the Teacher Edition for each lesson.

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

Narrative Evidence Only

Criterion 3w - 3z

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

0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials do not include interactive tools, virtual manipulatives, or dynamic software. Materials do not include digital nor embedded technology. Materials come in two formats which both have a visual design that supports learning. The design is not distracting or chaotic, and it neither adds to nor distracts from the subject matter.

Indicator 3w

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials do not include interactive tools, virtual manipulatives, or dynamic software. The materials are available in a digital format in the Learnzillion platform; however, it consists of slides with the lesson materials embedded that are not interactive.

Indicator 3x

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

N/A

Materials do not include digital technology.

Indicator 3y

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials come in two formats which both have a visual design that supports learning. The design is not distracting or chaotic, and it neither adds to nor distracts from the subject matter. One format includes PDF documents and workbook pages that are organized in an accessible way. Graphic organizers are provided when needed to help with student organization. The use of typography, layout, and space are visually appealing, though there is little variance in color and no engaging images. The other format is the Learnzillion platform that presents lesson information in slideshows and is accompanied by illustrated characters who appear as presenters of the information on the page.

Indicator 3z

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

Narrative Evidence Only
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

N/A

Materials do not include embedded technology.

abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/02/11

Report Edition: 2020

The publisher has not submitted a response.

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

ELA 3-8 Review Tool

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

For ELA, our review criteria evaluates materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

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

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations