Alignment: Overall Summary

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The Springboard Language Arts Common Core Edition 2018 materials for Grade 7 partially meet the alignment expectations. The materials include appropriately rigorous texts to engage students in reading and writing as well as working to build research skills. Tasks and questions provided offer students practice in academic speaking and listening as well as comprehensive writing skills development over the course of the school year. The materials partially meet the expectations of growing students' knowledge and academic vocabulary as they engage with increasingly rigorous texts and tasks. Supports for research, overall writing, and independent reading is present.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
33
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
26
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The SpringBoard Grade 7 instructional materials meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. The instructional materials include texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and that support students’ advancing toward independent reading. The materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
20/20
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. The materials include an appropriate distribution of texts suggested in the CCSS for Grade 7. In addition to literary texts, the program supports student access to strong informational texts. Anchor texts within the materials are of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Over the course of the year, materials support students’ increasing literacy skills through a series of texts at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for Grade 7. The materials are accompanied by text complexity analyses and rationales for purpose and placement in the grade level, and the program’s anchor and supporting texts provide options for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interest.

Texts are rich in language, engaging, grade-level appropriate, and relevant. They encompass universal and multiple multicultural themes that integrate into other content areas. They can be examined multiple times for multiple purposes, such as close reading and literature response, as well as to gather textual evidence for research assignments. Texts are used to build academic and content specific vocabulary and provide students opportunities to gain knowledge and perspective on a variety of topics. This knowledge and perspective facilitates access to future texts and exposes students to rich character development.

Examples of texts that demonstrate high quality include:

In Unit 1:

  • "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
  • "Choices" by Nikki Giovanni
  • "Why Couldn't I Have Been Named Ashley?" by Imma Achilike
  • "Huveane and Clay People" from Voices of the Ancestors: African Myth by Tony Allan, Fergus Fleming, and Charles Phillips
  • Excerpt from Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers
  • “Phaethon" by Bernard Evslin
  • “Arachne” by Olivia E. Coolidge
  • “The Burro and the Fox” by Angel Vigil
  • “Mbombo” by Tony Allan, Fergus Fleming, and Charles Phillips

In Unit 2:

  • "America the Not-So-Beautiful" by Andrew A. Rooney
  • "Another study highlights the insanity of selling junk food in school vending machines" by Karen Kaplan
  • "Ain't I a Woman?" by Sojourner Truth
  • "Failure to Ban Violent Video Games Makes Job Harder for Parents" by Tamika Mallory
  • “Remarks to the U.N. conference on Women Plenary Session” by Hillary Rodham Clinton

In Unit 3:

  • Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  • "To an Athlete Dying Young" by A.E. Housman
  • Invictus directed by Clint Eastwood
  • Excerpt from Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  • Excerpt from Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin
  • “A Stunning Tale of Escape Traps Its Hero in Replay” by Harry Bruinius

In Unit 4:

  • "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
  • "maggie and milly and molly and may" by e. e. cummings
  • "It Happened in Montgomery" by Phil W. Petrie
  • "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
  • "LIttle Red Riding Hood and the Wolf" by Roald Dahl
  • Twelfth Night (1996) directed by Trevor Nunn
  • “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes

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 materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Grade 7 text types include poems, essays, articles, films, editorials, myths, novel excerpts, short stories, memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. The balance of instructional time devoted to studying literary and informational text is not balanced within units, but there is a mix over the course of the year.

  • In Unit 1, text types include poetry, novel excerpts, autobiography, memoir, personal narrative, myths and fables, and informational text. Specific examples include, but are not limited to the following titles and authors:
    • "Why Couldn't I Have Been Named Ashley?" by Imma Achilike
    • "Phaethon" by Bernard Evslin
    • "Raven and the Sources of Light" by Dona Rosenberg
    • Excerpt from Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers
    • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
  • In Unit 2, text types include informational texts, documentary film, news articles, essays, and speeches. Specific examples include, but are not limited to the following titles and authors:
    • "Facts About Marketing to Children" from The Center for a New American Dream
    • "Another study highlights the insanity of selling junk food in school vending machines" by Karen Kaplan
    • "Ain't I a Woman?" by Sojourner Truth
    • "It's Perverse, But It's Also Pretend" by Cheryl K. Olson
    • The Myth of Choice: How Junk-Food Marketers Target Our Kids
  • In Unit 3, text types include a novel, film, news article, biography, informational text, poetry, and speech. Specific examples include, but are not limited to the following titles and authors:
    • "A Stunning Tale of Escape Traps its Hero in Replay," by Harry Bruinius
    • "To an Athlete Dying Young," by A.E. Housman
    • Excerpt from Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
    • "Landmarks of Nelson Mandela's Life," BBC News
    • "Invictus," by William Ernest Henley
    • Excerpt from Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, by John Carlin
  • In Unit 4, text types include poetry, monologues, informational text, drama, and film. Some specific examples include, but are not limited to the following titles and authors:
    • "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes
    • “Haiku” by Jose Juan Tablada, translated by Samuel Beckett
    • "Roommate," "Mr. Perfect," and "Family Additions" by Deborah Karczewski
    • "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes
    • "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Materials have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated task. Grade 7 quantitative levels, as suggested in the CCSS-ELA and Appendices, should start in range 925-1185 Lexile and build, with appropriate reader-task considerations at the high end of the range.

The quantitative measure of these texts vary from a 680 Lexile level to a 1490 Lexile level. The qualitative measure tends to stay in the complex and very complex range. The texts have the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 7 according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. This program uses Lexile for both quantitative and qualitative measures.

Examples are as follows:

  • In Unit 1, the overall quantitative levels are 660-1150. Novel excerpts, poetry, and memoir selections are qualitatively complex and less complex. Students work within single texts and compare/contrast components of the materials.
    • In Unit 1, Activity 1.4 “The Scholarship Jacket” by Salinas, the overall Accessible text complexity is a 740 Lexile, low text complexity and accessible task.
    • In Unit 1, Activity 1.11 “Phaethon” by Evslin, the Lexile is 700, the task and text are qualitatively moderate.
  • In Unit 2, the overall quantitative levels are 760-1240. Articles, speeches, poetry, and nonfiction excerpts are qualitatively complex, and are coupled with activities that call for synthesizing evidence across texts.
    • In Unit 2, Activity 2.8 ”Marketing to Kids Gets More Savvy,” the Lexile is 1130. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
    • In Unit 2, Activity 2.12 “Another Study Highlights the Insanity of Selling Junk Food in School Vending Machines,” the Lexile is 1250. Qualitative: Moderate. Task Demand: Challenging-Evaluate.
  • In Unit 3, the overall quantitative levels are 570-1150; texts such as a speech by Nelson Mandela and film clips from Invictus are incorporated with thematically-paired poems and articles. Students engage in working across texts.
    • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7 “A Stunning Tale of Escape Traps its Hero in Replay” by Bruinius, the Lexile is 1200. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task Demand: Low.
    • In Unit 3, Activity 3.17 “The Nobel Peace Prize 1993, Biography of Nelson Mandela,” the Lexile is 1490. Qualitative: Medium difficulty. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.
  • In Unit 4, the overall quantitative levels are 700-1330; texts such as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which includes antiquated language and rigorous structures, are presented with poems and monologues, which are qualitatively rigorous (although not quantitatively measurable). Tasks are integrated reading-writing-speaking-listening and synthesize skills and knowledge learned over the course of the school year.
    • In Unit 4, Activity 4.7 “The Highwaymen from Hounslow Heath,” the Lexile is 1320. Qualitative: Moderate Difficulty. Task Demand: Accessible-Understand.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.) Series of texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.

Texts support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. The overall reading and writing demands gradually increase in complexity and challenges over the course of the school year as they incorporate previously-taught components and move students to synthesize literacy skills.

Students progressively build literacy skills through work with a variety of texts over the course of the school year. Texts sets are at various complexity levels, quantitatively and qualitatively, and therefore support learners as they develop literacy skills and background knowledge to support independent and proficient reading practices.

The overall reading and writing demands start at an accessible range in Unit 1 and gradually increase in complexity and challenges over the course of the school year. This range includes measures of quantitative and qualitative demand. In Unit 1, the text Lexile measures range from 660 to 1150. The majority-- about 80 percent-- of the texts are in the "accessible" qualitative range. In Unit 2, the text Lexile measures range from 760-1240. About three-fourths of texts are qualitatively "accessible," and there is an increase in rigor from a qualitative measure. In Unit 3, the text Lexile measures in unit three range from 570 to 1150. There is also a novel study; the suggested novel, Tangerine, has a Lexile level of 640 and is qualitatively and thematically complex. In Unit 4, the overall text Lexile measures are not listed because the texts are primarily monologues, poetry, and dramas. The qualitative nature of these texts is rigorous, and much of the language (e.g. Shakespeare dramas and poetry) includes antiquated language and engages students in highly complex text.

Further student supports online allow students to access texts audibly. Print and online student editions provide grammar handbooks, explaining language standards, as well as a variety of reading and writing strategy explanations. The print and online teacher edition contains these resources as well, along with teaching tips, resources, and suggestions, such as extra grammar lessons, Teacher to Teacher tips, and adapt and extend opportunities for ELL, struggling, and advanced students. There are multiple opportunities during collaborative discussions, Literature Circles, and class presentations to practice speaking and listening skills.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

In Grade 7 materials, the anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement at Grade 7. The publisher includes a complete Text Complexity Analysis for each text used. This document includes a text description, a locator for where it is used, a section on context, a chart of the quantitative and qualitative measures, the qualitative considerations, the task and reader considerations, and the placement considerations.

In the online teacher edition, a complete text complexity analysis and rationale for that text's inclusion in the program is available. Included in the text analysis is a paragraph setting the context of the reading within the rest of the unit, a quantitative/complexity measure, qualitative considerations including purpose/levels of meaning, structure, language and knowledge demands, and task, reader, and grade level placement considerations.

In the forward of the print teacher edition, an explanation of the metrics used for text complexity measures is provided. Quantitative measures are indicated with Lexile scores. Qualitative measures are indicated as "High," "Moderate," and "Low" difficulty and were determined by teachers considering meaning, purpose, structure, language, and knowledge demands of each text. Task difficulty was measured using Anderson's and Krathwohl's taxonomy based on the cognitive demands of tasks associated with the text.

At the beginning of each unit, the teacher edition lists rationale for materials included in the Planning the Unit section through Context, College Readiness Standards, and Instructional Practices and Pacing. When texts appear to fall below the grade 6-8 Lexile band, a rationale is provided for justification. In the print teacher and student editions, Text Complexity Icons and information appear as sidebars at the beginning of all prose texts.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

There are numerous opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of texts throughout the year. Furthermore, students are given many opportunities over the course of school year to practice oral and silent reading fluency, and self-monitor their progress. Materials include a breadth and depth of text types. Student and Teacher Editions contain an extensive list of suggested fiction and nonfiction texts, correlated to each unit’s theme, along with Lexile level, in the front of each unit. Students are instructed at beginning and midpoint of each of four units to select a text from the list, or a similar one of their own, corresponding to unit’s theme. Students keep a Reader’s/Writer’s Notebook through the course of the year’s study. There, they record connections between anchor text and text selected for independent reading. The journal also serves as a repository for self-reflection on the success of reading strategies employed; multiple reading for multiple purposes, rereading, visualizing, and summarizing. Students also use journal to monitor growth in reading fluency, but there isn't a consistent way for the teacher to track a students' growth. The texts provide ample opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading mastery. Additional support is given to struggling readers and English Language Learners, as well as extension opportunities for those reading above grade level. Online programs include Desmos and Linc, and all selections are available as audio versions for practice of oral fluency.

There are numerous opportunities for students to engage with a range and volume of texts throughout the year both in print and in mixed media. Suggested independent reading texts and support texts, when combined with anchor texts, provide a robust collection of opportunities for students to read broadly and deeply. Texts range in length and form from online articles to plays and novels. In the Planning the Unit section, a list of Suggestions for Independent Reading is found. Students are encouraged to do their own research and select titles that intrigue them. In Activity 1.2, students create an Independent Reading Plan based on a series of questions which lead them to consider the type of text they would enjoy reading.

There is guidance for practicing reading strategies, such as rereading, thinking aloud, visualizing, chunking text, and summarizing. Text selections are available in audio format to support students at varying reading and language abilities.

Close Reading workshops are designed to provide practice with and build the skill of close reading. They are used to support or extend instruction rather than as a day to day core component. However, unless the teacher specifically asks students questions at the opportune time, it is difficult for the teacher to find gaps in literacy ability as the Close Reading workshops do not provide enough comprehensive support for teachers to utilize within independent reading to support students that are struggling.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
13/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the CCSS with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text. The materials contain sets of high quality, sequenced, text-dependent, and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks are rich and varied, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing over the year. The materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions--small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class-- that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax, and most materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence. The instructional materials also include instruction of grammar and conventions and are applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts with opportunities for application context. The materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing ; short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where appropriate; and frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate to the grade level. The program provides a variety of opportunities for students to write in the modes of argument, explanation, and narrative with writing assignments connected to texts and/or text sets.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent writing, speaking, and other activities. Every anchor and supporting text has a Second Read component that asks students to look at a particular section of the text, and complete a text-dependent activity. Questions students have about the text are recorded daily in students-required Reader’s/Writer’s notebook. The Teacher Wrap in both online and print teacher’s editions provides extensive guidance to teachers, as well as suggested answers to text-specific activities. Students record, revise, and edit their responses digitally with online text, and are encouraged to use digital tools such as Highlight, Note, Mark, Annotate, and Question to help with understanding. Further support is provided to students digitally through Zinc and Desmos.

  • In Unit 1, using the graphic organizer that includes specific prompts for the texts, students summarize “The Scholarship Jacket” and use textual evidence to support their analysis of the narrator's understanding of incident. Students also read "Phaethon" and are presented with statements about the text that they must agree or disagree with. Students must provide text evidence to support their agreement or disagreement.
  • In Activity 1.3 students read the text, "Choices" by Nikki Giovanni and answer questions such as, " Which lines in “The Road Not Taken” tell you about the choice the narrator is faced with and the factors he considers when making his choice?" and "How does the narrator feel about the choice he made? How do you know?" Students then respond to, "Think about the poems and your analysis of their speakers, word choices, and themes. Then write a paragraph in which you explain the two narrators’ reflections about choices."
  • In Activity 3.20 students read the text, "invictus" by William Ernest Henley and respond to questions such as, "What central idea or theme does the speaker develop by referring to his soul in stanzas 1 and 4?" Students also read the text, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin to answer questions such as, "What inference can you make about Nelson Mandela’sability to understand and work with other people? Support your answer withdetails from paragraph 6. and "Compare and contrast the film and text versions. How were they similar and different? Why do you think some of the facts were altered in the film version? "
  • In Unit 4, students are prompted to select two poems and compare and contrast writer's use of language, using examples of specific language from each poem.
  • In Activity 4.7, students read The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes and respond to, "Did the soldiers just happen to come to the inn, or did they somehow have information about the highwayman’s movements? Support your answer with examples from the text." Students also, "Reread lines 37–51 of the poem “The Highwayman.” Write a paragraph from the point of view of one of the soldiers. Be sure to use descriptive language to convey why the soldier behaves as he does."

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

Sets of text dependent questions build to culminating tasks throughout the school year. Culminating tasks frequently integrate literacy skills ( tasks may focus on writing or speaking) and provide students opportunities to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and writing. Culminating tasks happen at the midpoint and endpoint of each of four units, eight in all.

Following are samples representative of the culminating tasks in the Grade 7 resources. Skills development, particularly in writing, is strong. Materials refer to culminating tasks as Embedded Assessments. Students are exposed to the demands of these assessments at beginning and midpoint of each unit, and there is extensive support throughout the unit for students at all levels. Culminating tasks connect with texts consistently, although the central focus of these productions does not always privilege the learning within the texts. Connections to the texts studied are not always explicit or robust.

Examples of the culminating tasks include:

  • In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 1.1: Write a personal narrative. The assessment is supported by activities that focus on making careful observation of textual details, reading widely from fiction and non-fiction, creating reflective writing, analyzing poems, and analyzing author's use of diction. Through analysis of novel excerpts and autobiography, students learn that successful narratives include a description of the incident, explanation of resolution, and use of language for effect. After analyzing effective narratives, students create their own. While this task is connected to the skills of the unit, it does not explicitly connect with associated texts.
  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2.2: Write an argumentative essay. This task represents a culmination of student learning as the unit requires students study argumentation and analyze mentor texts, create a sample essay with research, collaboration, and writing prompts, analyze opposing arguments to incorporate counterclaims, and prepare for and participate in a debate.
  • In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 3.1: Write a Literary Analysis Essay. Throughout the unit, text-dependent tasks focus on different aspects of literary analysis. For example, students deepen understanding of plot elements using double entry journals and use close reading strategies to help make meaning from the text and identify relevant textual evidence to develop literary analysis paragraphs. Additionally, students practice generating ideas and supporting analysis with evidence from the text in small groups to write a comparative literary analysis essay.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 4.1: Create and Present Monologue. This culminating task is supported with text-dependent activities throughout the unit. For example, students compare and contrast writers' use of language and evaluate writing styles. They identify monologues' structure, analyzing connection between content, audience, and purpose, and they draft and present monologues. Additionally, to learn how to use poetic and literary devices for effect, students are exposed to a variety of comedic and dramatic monologues and narrative poems.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 7 partially meet the expectations of providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

Students are provided opportunities for collaborative discussion using pair-share, small group discussion, jigsaw, whole class discussion, and Socratic seminars; however, discussion protocol and clear teacher guidance is not evident. Strategies are listed and defined. There is little guidance or direction for teachers and students. Strong guidance regarding the utilization of academic vocabulary and syntax is not present.

Each unit offers opportunities to engage with academic vocabulary in three separate differentiated lessons associated with the texts of the unit as well as in preliminary activities where students create a QHT (Questions, Heard, Teach) chart for the academic vocabulary they will encounter in the unit, which are provided in the Contents section of each unit. While academic and content specific vocabulary is listed in the beginning of each unit, and definitions are provided at point of use and in glossaries in the student and teacher edition, with audio available in Springboard Digital, the focus on vocabulary building resides in the process and does not focus deeply into apply academic vocabulary in a larger context. Additionally, to support ELL students, teachers are provided a list of cognates for the unit in the Planning the Unit section of their text and in Springboard Digital, and the textbook contains a glossary with first the English word and definition followed by its Spanish counterpart.

Examples of opportunities for evidence-based discussions include, but are not limited to:
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.2, guidelines for collaborative discussions are presented to students prior to their group discussion on the unit’s reading selection. Students are asked to paraphrase these guidelines and list what they will do as both a reader and a listener.
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.8, students are asked "Now think about a performance you judged to be enjoyable and successful. Name as many factors as possible that you think would contribute to making a successful performance." Students are then directed to, "Discuss your responses with a partner or small group, and add to the elements you listed above to create a definitive list of factors." No further direction is given.
  • In the To the Teacher section, the publisher explains that there are multiple opportunities for collaborative discussions, including Socratic Seminar, debate, literature circles. There is guided instruction for holding meaningful discussions, multiple opportunities for speaking and listening using presentations, speeches, interpretive performance. There are also specific strategies for collaboration and communication. This section also addresses language instruction (writers' craft, style analysis, language as a flexible tool, direct and integrated approach to learning vocabulary, Greek and Latin roots, and literary terms), but does not clearly provide a method for teachers to utilize to support using learned Academic Vocabulary within those discussions.
  • In the Resources section in the back of the book, there are resources for both students and teachers for speaking and listening strategies as well as collaboration strategies. The speaking and listening strategies include choral reading, debate, drama games, fishbowl, note-taking, oral reading, rehearsal, role playing, and Socratic seminar. The collaboration strategies listed in this section include discussion groups, jigsaw, literature circles, and think-pair-share. These strategies are defined, but no other information is given to help implement instruction.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 7 partially meet the expectations for indicator 1j. Materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. In every speaking and listening activity, the students are asked to use evidence from the text at hand, although main ideas and core themes may not be explored consistently.

Materials develop students' skills with focused discussions such as Socratic Seminars and Literature Circles, in which students participate in speaking and listening that is grounded in their reading and researching, and although the students are asked to use evidence from the text at hand, main ideas and core themes are not consistently explored.

Speaking and listening tasks and activities in the Grade 7 materials include active listening, audience, choral reading, clarity of pronunciation and speaking voice, debate, philosophical chairs, drama games, expert group, eye contact, facial expression, feedback, fishbowl strategy, group discussions, inflection, jigsaw group, literature circles, movement, multimedia presentations, oral interpretation, oral introduction, oral presentation, oral reading, pantomime, props, rate, reader's theater, rehearsal, role playing, sound, tableau, tone, visuals, and volume. The index directs students to where they can find text references and instruction of speaking and listening skills.

Although each activity is intended to be anchored by the text, it is noted that there is little accountability for teachers to support students who either do not comprehend the material and/or who work with the speaking and listening activities without referencing the text.

  • Activity 2.2: Students are given rules and protocols for collaborative discussions. Students write the actions they will take in group discussions, both as a speaker and a listener.
  • Activities 2.7 and 2.9: Gathering Evidence from a Film Parts 1 and 2 ask students to take notes and gather evidence while viewing a documentary.
  • Embedded Assessment 2.1: Students participate in Collaborative Discussion.
  • Activity 3.7: In the Socratic Seminar students ask and respond to questions with their peers about the text.
  • Activity 3.16: Students take notes and discuss with a partner after viewing clips from the movie, Invictus.
  • Embedded Assessment 3.2: Students work with a research group to create and deliver a biographical multimedia presentation. Students rehearse and present to refine their communication skills as a speaker and listener.
  • Activity 4.4: Students work in groups to present oral interpretation of a dramatic monologue.
  • Activity 4.11: Students read through one of the Shakespeare plot summaries and work with a partner to role play the scene through improvisations. After each performance, students ask questions to clarify what happened in the scene.
  • Activity 4.12: In groups, students analyze a film version of Twelfth Night, taking notes and presenting findings of various speaking techniques including tone, pitch, volume, rate, pauses, and emphasis.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria that 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.

Grade 7 materials contain units that have two culminating activities that focus on the steps of the writing process. Materials include writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level, and writing instruction spans the whole school year.

Multiple opportunities require short and extended research. Mode-specific Writing Workshops are in the online teacher edition, which include open-ended prompts and Embedded Assessments with scoring guides to provide regular practice. The Student Edition includes writing instruction such as brainstorming, controlling idea, details, dialogue, drafting, editing, evaluating, feedback, outlining, planning, prewriting, quickwrites, research, revision strategies, multimedia components, writing process, and writing prompts. The Planning Unit section of the teacher edition provides an explanation of expectations of Embedded Assessments, as well as a comprehensive Instruction and Pacing Guide. A Writer's Workshop is available online for extra support.

Throughout the texts, the teacher is advised to "have students think-pair-share to write a short response or discuss their responses" to questions and prompts. In the sidebar activities, students are given questions to respond to in writing for almost every text in the student edition.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, after reading a set of myths and studying the components of this form, students complete an on-demand writing prompt that is a creative writing task but draws on what they have learned thus far: "Imagine and write an 'unseen scene' that might be in the 'Daedalus and Icarus' myth. Use your sketches from your plot diagram to generate ideas. Be sure to:
    • Use techniques of characterization to maintain characters’ personalities.
    • Incorporate correctly punctuated dialogue.
    • Use vivid details to enhance elements of character and plot."

Students collaborate with a writing group to strengthen drafts through editing as they engage in their first writing groups in the first Embedded Assessment. Students practice with their writing groups, using revision techniques and using transitions for coherence. They learn how to create a revision plan based on Writing Group feedback. Next, students focus on revision techniques and use their own draft to put them into practice.

  • In Unit 2, after viewing advertisements (print, online or television), students complete a graphic organizer in which they analyze the use of advertising techniques about which they've been learning. This activity is followed by an on-demand writing prompt: "Write a response explaining how an advertisement you identified in question 4 tries to influence its target audience. Be sure to:
    • Introduce and develop your topic with relevant details/examples from the advertisement.
    • Use transitions, the precise language of advertising techniques, and formal style.
    • Include a concluding statement that supports your explanation."

Students strengthen expository writing skills by revising for precise language, formal style, and sentence variety and use rubric criteria to write introduction and conclusion. At the end of the unit in Embedded Assessment 2.2, students independently write an argument by generating a new research question, forming a claim, gathering information, and taking their ideas through the writing process.

  • In Unit 3, Writer's Craft and Language mini lessons are threaded throughout the unit to provide ongoing practice in revising drafts for varying sentence structure.
    • Students write a comparative analysis essay in small groups to practice generating ideas. Students use writing strategies such as guided writing, writing groups, and drafting text-based responses.
    • Students have opportunities to revise and edit their drafts to add variety and interest to their writing. They then move from group writing tasks to independent practice, drafting multiple paragraph text-based responses to literary analysis writing.
    • In Embedded Assessment 3.1, students will work through the stages of the writing process to create a literary analysis essay.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards for this grade.

Grade 7 materials include a variety of writing skill instruction is embedded throughout the year to hone students' craft as they learn new forms and modes of writing. Students work on a variety of skills throughout the year including conclusions, controlling ideas, dialogue, figurative language, style, introductions, note-taking, quotations, sensory details, transition words, citing sources, visual displays, supporting details, etc. The index section in the back of the book shows all the skills addressed throughout the year.

Examples of types of writing include:

  • personal narratives
  • poetry and short stories
  • expository and argumentative essays
  • take notes, and synthesize into research reports
  • illustrated myth
  • notes for collaborative discussion
  • literary analysis essay
  • biographical presentation
  • creating and presenting a monologue

Each unit includes short paragraph response writing as well as process writing practice, which students apply to the writing type included with the lesson. Writing types are associated with texts that may be used as models for students. Some examples that show the balance of writing over the year as writing assignments are positioned with mentor texts include:

  • In Unit 1, students read personal narratives and then are guided to write one of their own.
  • In Unit 2, students read articles from multiple media sources and write expository and argumentative essays.
  • In Unit 3, students write literary analyses after reading a novel.
  • In Unit 4, students read monologues and Shakespearean drama and craft their own monologue.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Grade 7 materials include many opportunities for evidence-based writing, requiring text-based evidence in responding to questions for each selection. With some texts, students' writing is mostly tied directly to texts they have been reading, analyzing, and critiquing although in others, student writing is only focused on extracting evidence of literary devices.

Evidence-based responses are required as follow up activities for all reading selections. Materials provide frequent opportunities throughout the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply their new knowledge in writing. Writing tasks often reference the reading content and mode in which the reading was presented. As students study a text for form and content, students are provided prompts and guidance to identify the components and then practice replicating or analyzing those components.

Across the consumable student edition, there are graphic organizers and note-taking prompts to assist students in producing writing associated with the texts being read. Prompts include questions that are dependent to the text but used with multiple texts, as well as text-specific writing demands. In the sidebars of the student edition, students are provided organized space and guidance to annotate and collect evidence to use in the writing tasks at the ends of each text and/or section. Most writing tasks explicitly require students to cite components of text in the writing.

An example includes:

  • In Unit 3, after reading multiple texts on advertising and media marketing to youth, students write an essay. This sample outline frame is provided:

"Marketing to Youth"

1. Introduction/Thesis Statement That Answers the Prompt
2. Body Paragraphs (with examples and information to support the main ideas of the thesis that include evidence and commentary in each paragraph.)
3. Concluding Statement

"In this part of the unit, you have read several texts on marketing to young people, viewed a documentary film, and had numerous group discussions about the topic. In addition, you have collected information from websites. Using the information from these sources, create an outline for an expository essay about this topic."

Students complete the outline, drawing on specific source material from what they've read. Then, the on-demand writing prompt has students write a component of an essay: "Write a conclusion for an essay on the topic of advertising to young people. Be sure to:

  • Write a final statement that supports the thesis topic sentences.
  • Bring a sense of closure by using transitions and explanations that follow from the essay's main points.
  • Use a formal writing style.

In each component, as well as in the guided questions and tasks along the reading, students are consistently required to cite and reference specific evidence from the materials.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Grade 7 language instruction in grammar and conventions is provided in a sequence consistent with the demands of the CCSS-ELA and is integrated with reading and writing instruction. Language skills are taught explicitly and then applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts. Across the school year, materials build and promote students' ability to apply conventions and writing within their own writing. In the Teacher Resources section of the online textbook, there are approximately 30 additional Grammar Activities which can be downloaded covering a variety of grammar topics. These files contain a learning target, examples/lesson, and a Check your understanding practice segment. There is also a 24-page downloadable Grammar Handbook which can be used as a reference document.

Examples include the following:

Grammar and usage lessons:

Unit 1

  • Activity 1.4: Regular and Irregular nouns
  • Activity 1.12: Pronouns and Antecedents
  • Activity 1.7: Compound/Complex Sentences

Unit 2

  • Activity 2.15: Dangling modifiers

Unit 3

  • Activity 3.4: Revising with Subordinate Clauses
  • Activity 3.7: Revising with Coordinating Conjunctions
  • Activity 3.8: Understanding Phrases
  • Activity 3.17: Adjectival and Prepositional Phrases
  • Activity 3.21: Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Unit 4

  • Activity 4.7: Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Language standard Knowledge of Language (CCSS L.3) refers to choosing language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating redundancy. Lessons supporting this include:

Unit 1

  • Activity 1.6: Creating Coherence and Sentence Variety
  • Activity 1.7: Coherence

Unit 2

  • Activity 2.4: Revising for Cohesion and Clarity
  • Activity 2.6: Revising for Precise Language and Formal Style
  • Activity 2.8: Sentence Variety
  • Activity 2.13: Using Rhetorical Devices

Unit 3

  • Activity 3.11: Active vs. Passive Voice

Unit 4

  • Activity 4.4: Varying Syntax for Effect

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

Criterion 2a - 2h

26/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Grade 7 units and corresponding text sets are developed around “Choices” as the thematic focus of the year. Texts within this anthology require students to focus on variations around the theme of "choices." Interrelated texts, film, and independent reading assignments focus on different aspects of this shared theme. There are opportunities for students to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently as they build knowledge.

Guidance for struggling students is incorporated into the curriculum. Each anchor and supporting text includes a Second Read activity, which asks students to look closely at selected excerpts and passages to answer text dependent questions. The Independent Reading lists also include specific suggested informational and literary texts corresponding to the theme.

Reading, questions, writing tasks, and speaking and listening activities all revolve around the study of choices made and how they impact society while growing knowledge about subtopics within each unit. Students have ample opportunity during collaborative discussions to share connections between concepts taught in class and their independent reading, and are provided opportunities to demonstrate new knowledge and stances on the themes and topics in culminating activities. There is teacher support embedded in Teacher Wrap to redirect or reteach should students misunderstand core work or need comprehension .The online Close Reading Workshops include strategies to support students in determining what each text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from what it does not say explicitly. Students have ample opportunity during collaborative discussions to share connections between concepts taught in class and their independent reading, and are provided opportunities to demonstrate new knowledge and stances on the themes and topics in culminating activities.

  • Unit 1: “The Choices We Make” - Students “encounter contemporary and classic stories about choices and consequences.” Students study the writer’s craft as they analyze such selections as “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “Choices” by Nikki Giovanni.
  • Unit 2: “What Influences My Choices?” - Students work on research, argumentative writing, and developing explanatory texts. Many of the reading selections are also centered around the topic of marketing to children including articles and reports.
  • Unit 3: “Choices and Consequences” - “Students analyze the choices made by the characters in the novel, Tangerine”. Students learn from Nelson Mandela's autobiography his choice to fight for desegregation in South Africa.
  • Unit 4: “How We Choose to Act” - Students study poems, monologues, and dialogues to learn how writers use language for effect. Students perform selected scenes from The Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.

Indicator 2b

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

The materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

In most texts, students are provided opportunities to analyze language and author's word choice as they read, through sidebar word meaning and word connection lessons and questions that prompt them to interact with text to find examples of figurative, sensory and vivid language, as well as roots and affixes and other components of language. Lessons and questions require them to interact with the text to find examples of figurative, sensory and vivid language, as well as roots and affixes, etc. The tasks throughout each unit, as well as culminating activities, set expectations and purpose for analyzing structure and craft through activities and questions for each Anchor and Supporting text. In addition, support is given for struggling students in the Teacher Wrap, which gives strategies such as chunking, scaffolding, and rephrasing questions. English Learners are supported through specially designed lessons in each unit that go along with Anchor Texts, but are specifically structured to help students comprehend the text through Close Reading, Academic Vocabulary and Collaborative Discussions lessons, that provide scaffolded vocabulary instruction, and guided close reading opportunities.

The Planning the Unit section at beginning of each unit gives suggestions for Graphic Organizers that will assist English Learners in that unit. Leveled Differentiated Instruction activities are found in each unit, offering the instructor suggestions for scaffolding challenging tasks that lead to the culminating assessments. These suggestions model differentiation techniques that can be used to adapt tasks throughout each unit. In each Unit Opener, there is a one page summary of differentiation strategies that can be found in the unit. Each text contains a Second Read component and questions are specifically labeled as Key Ideas and Details, and Craft and Structure, The Teacher Wrap in print and digital edition provides teachers with a host of options to help differentiate instruction. A representative example of this is shown in Unit 1, Activity 1.11, after reading “Phaethon” by Bernard Evslin, students are provided a short series of questions:

  • Key Ideas and Details: In chunk 2, how does Phaethon respond to Epaphus’s taunting? What might this tell you about his character?
  • Key Ideas and Details: Look at paragraphs 22–23. How does the argument between the friends set the plot in motion? Cite details from the story to support your answers. The argument makes Phaethon determined to find Apollo, so he sets off toward the east, “where he saw the sun start each morning.”
  • Key Ideas and Details: Read paragraph 27. How does Apollo feel about his son, Phaethon? What dialogue shows his attitude toward his son?
  • Craft and Structure: In paragraph 41, what is a synonym for the word “courteous”? Why do you think the author chose this word?
  • Key Ideas and Details: Reread chunk 6. Why does Apollo want Phaethon to change his request? How do you know?
  • Craft and Structure: At the end of paragraph 58, Apollo asks, “Do you heed me?” Based on
  • Key Ideas and Details: Reread chunk 7. What portions of the text reveal Phaethon’s character through his thoughts? Cite evidence to support your ideas.
  • Key Ideas and Details: Reread paragraph 63. How does this section set up the climax of the story? Which lines in the following paragraphs describe the story’s climax?
  • Craft and Structure: At the end of chunk 8, what is the likely meaning of “bewildered” based on context?

After answering these text-dependent questions, students participate in a class discussion focusing on the “Incident, Response, Reflection” narrative structure. They complete a graphic organizer as the discussion takes place. In Teacher Wrap, there is a section titled “Scaffolding the Text Dependent Questions.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

Students read to analyze a variety of texts and engage with questions and tasks to understand the forms through which ideas are conveyed, such as poetry, essay, novel, and film. Rich texts are used as a vehicle to learn the component parts of texts, but students are not guided to engage in deeper critical thinking about the texts themselves.

Students read to analyze a variety of texts to understand storytelling. Through close reading and analyzing the narrative elements that skilled writers use to develop text, students learn to write real and imagined narratives. Students analyze components, organizational structures, and language of narrative text. Students closely read several short stories, analyzing plot development, figurative language, and theme. Students read across several genres with related themes, and opportunities to uncover and understand the core themes, content, and characterization. Texts are supported in Teacher Wrap as well as in the student edition with several support structures and strategies, including specialized Leveled Differentiated Instruction guides, specially designed English Language Development lessons. Close reading activities are embedded in every anchor and supporting text second read. Digital Support is also provided through Close Reading Workshops and online programs. While students are steeped in these elements, they are not consistently supported in building knowledge beyond the text structures. Some questions and series of questions support knowledge building, while others focus on reading strategy work that puts knowledge and content comprehension secondary. The materials consistently do not include a coherently sequenced set of questions requiring students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Consistent opportunities are not provided throughout the year-long materials to meet the criteria of this indicator.

Students work across text sets and pairs of texts but also has activities across genre and form. One example that illustrates how this is presented to students is in Unit 3, when students work with clips from the film Invictus, excerpts from the film's source material, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin, the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley, a biography of Nelson Mandela from an online source, and Mandela's autobiography. A question is presented in Activity 3.16 which requires students to compare details from each text to help build knowledge: “Reread and compare the details in paragraph 4 of the Mandela biography and paragraph 5 of Mandela’s autobiography. How does each paragraph interpret his mission once out of prison?"

Questions in this section are text-dependent, and extend students’ knowledge beyond the assignment at hand. For example: discussion questions such as "Based on your knowledge of Nelson Mandela’s personal history, why might this poem have been important to him? What connections can you make between his life and the ideas in the poem?" These types of questions require students to gather and synthesize evidence from the texts.

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2d. Students are consistently presented with culminating tasks and projects to showcase their skills learning; however, the culminating tasks do not necessarily promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic, instead focusing solely on the skills in the end products themselves.

Each unit contains two "Embedded Assessments" that act as culminating activities. They include the following activities: writing a personal narrative, writing a short story, responding to literature, writing an expository essay, researching and debating a controversy, writing an argumentative letter, researching and presenting Shakespeare, and performing Shakespeare. Text-dependent questions and lessons throughout each unit build towards these embedded assessments. However, the culminating tasks do not necessarily promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic, instead focusing solely on the skills in the end products themselves.

Tasks emphasize the completion and synthesis of more than one skill learned and practiced, usually inclusive of a writing skill. Over the course of the unit, students practice short writing by responding to prompts. Students read texts and are prompted to write and work in speaking and listening tasks prior to working with the culminating task. The teacher support is provided in Planning Unit, and Unit Overview sections, in Teacher Wrap in digital edition, as well as specialized Leveled Differentiated Instruction guidance. Three specialized lessons in each unit provide support for English Learners in accessing anchor texts. Independent Reading suggestions correlate to each unit’s theme, with literary and informational text suggestions at a variety of ability and interest levels. Close Reading activities are embedded in the second read of each anthology selection.

In the forward of each unit in Teacher's Edition, in Planning the Unit section, there is a comprehensive Instructional Activity and Pacing Guide that outlines expectations of Culminating Tasks and maps students' sequence of instructional expectations toward mastery of skills needed. This structure and focus does support students' development in writing to prompts and preparing materials while accessing reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills in concert.

In Unit 1, the Embedded Assessment is a personal narrative. The is preceded by activities that focus on making careful observation of textual details, reading widely from literary and informational, drafting reflective writing, analyzing poems, and analyzing author's use of diction. Through analysis of novel excerpts and autobiography, students learn that successful narratives include a description of the incident, explanation of resolution, and use of language for effect. After analyzing effective narratives, students create their own. While this example supports how the program grows students' writing development, students may be able to complete this work without fully comprehending the core material at hand.

In Unit 3 the Embedded Assessment is to write a Literary Analysis Essay. Students conduct a novel study and participate in Literature Circles and Socratic Seminars focused on the elements of their selected novel. To support comprehension, students use double entry journals, in which they track evidence that will be used later in their essays. Close reading strategies help students make meaning from the text and identify relevant textual evidence to develop literary analysis paragraphs. Students work in small groups to practice generating ideas and supporting their analyses with evidence from the text. Tasks support students' moving from group writing to independent practice as they complete their comparative literary analysis.

In Unit 4 the Embedded Assessment is to create and present a monologue. Students have read, listened to, and analyzed poetry along the course of the other units, and are presented with more works in this unit. Students compare and contrast writers' use of language and evaluate writing styles. Students identify monologues' structures, analyzing the connection between content, audience, and purpose. They draft and present their own monologues, with guidance and support on speaking skills. In this instance, students do use the texts to support their products, but what they have gleaned from the texts are secondary to their work.

As identified in the above examples, students do engage in skills-integrated culminating tasks. However, the focus is consistently on the task itself, rather than building knowledge or thinking deeply about the texts in service of transferring critical thinking skills to other texts and concepts.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Students do have year long engagement with vocabulary; however, the majority of word work focuses on literary terms and less time is used for engaging in Tier II practice. Unfamiliar words are defined in the margins of texts, but they are often presented as "extra" information rather than embedded in the lessons and daily work.

Grade 7 materials include a list at the beginning of each unit with academic and literary terms that are tied to instruction of the unit is provided for teachers in Unit Overview and provide teachers with guidance for incorporating vocabulary and its ongoing relevance in the Teacher Wrap of the Unit Overview. The Tier 2 Academic vocabulary is given less support than the literary terms. Vocabulary is repeated in various contexts with largely literary terms and Tier 2 Academic Vocabulary being repeated and applied across texts. Vocabulary essential to the understanding of a text is given attention through point of use definitions and pronunciation and students are supported to accelerate their vocabulary through reading, speaking, and writing tasks including the supplementary support of three Academic and Social Language Preview activities per unit.

Student instructions for academic vocabulary repeat across all units. Students are given the same instructions under the heading Developing Vocabulary in each unit: "Look again at the Contents page and use a QHT strategy to analyze and evaluate your knowledge of the Academic Vocabulary and Literary Terms for the unit." In the middle of each unit, students are asked to reevaluate initial understanding. For example, in Activity 4.8 students are given the following instructions: "Use the QHT strategy to re-sort the vocabulary you have studied in the first part of this unit. Compare this sort with your original sort. How has your understanding changed? Select a word from the chart and write a concise statement about your learning. How has your understanding of this word changed over the course of this unit?" Students are also asked to keep a Readers/Writers notebook over the course of the year where they are to note vocabulary words that are unfamiliar to them.

The examples of structural support for vocabulary are present but may need to be supported by the teacher, as they are not consistent throughout the program and may not support students' building knowledge. Additionally, the use of time for these activities is not consistently clear and connected to the texts at hand.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

Grade 7 materials provide opportunities for students to engage in writing tasks, projects, and presentations over the course of the school year that are aligned to the standards for Grade 7. There is substantial support for students to learn, practice, develop, and apply writing skills. Teacher materials include comprehensive supports. Materials provide guidance for time spent in and out of class practicing, planning, and creating. Writing assignments are scaffolded throughout each unit, ending in culminating tasks in the middle and end of each unit. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating the Online Writing Workshops which provides scaffolding and specific instruction to support students in process writing.

Students are expected to keep writing portfolios to revise and reflect on their growth as writers over the course of the school year. Instructional materials include well-designed lesson plans, models, and protocols for teachers to implement and monitor students' writing development. The teacher's edition forward, under Writing with Purpose, states that the program provides "Multiple opportunities...for realistic, task based writing. Formal and informal writing tasks develop students' understanding of tailoring writing to purpose and audience." This statement is supported throughout the Grade 7 materials to build students' writing skills through short, extended, and assessment writing.

Instruction in writing is addressed in two integrated ways: through project-based, scaffolded writing assessments and through Online Writing Workshops, which offer teachers and students practice at mastery of specific writing modes. Workshops are designed to offer additional direct writing instruction to support and extend mastery of the writing process and commonly assessed written products. After students view a model text, the workshop guides them through the writing of three separate texts in the specific mode being taught: one that is constructed as a class with direct guidance from the teacher; one that is peer-constructed with teacher support; and one that is written independently. Ten different writing workshops that cover the writing process are available. Each writing workshop contains teacher/student pages, scoring guides, and additional writing prompts.

Specific examples include:

In Unit 1,

  • Students create their portfolios and begin the process to reflect upon their skills during each unit of instruction.
  • Students engage in a narrative free write to practice incorporating narrative elements in their writing. They draft a personal narrative about choice. They learn how to prepare for a timed writing task by unpacking a writing prompt, planning their time, and using a writing strategy to generate ideas.
  • After responding to a prompt, students revise using transitions for coherence. They learn how to create a revision plan based on Writing Group feedback.
  • Next, students focus on revision techniques and use their own draft to put them into practice. In one of the culminating activities for Unit 1, students work collaboratively through the writing process to create an original myth.

In Unit 2,

  • Students develop expository writing skills by drafting paragraphs and revising for coherence and clarity. In the next lesson, students strengthen expository writing skills by revising for precise language, formal style, and sentence variety and use rubric criteria to write the introduction and conclusion.
  • In preparation for writing an argumentative essay, students create an argumentative essay with peers, research to gather evidence, and write body paragraphs, strengthening writing through revision processes. They revise the class essay, incorporating a counterclaim.
  • One of the culminating activities for Unit 2 asks students to independently write an argument by generating a new research question, forming a claim, gathering information, and taking their ideas through the writing process.

In Unit 3,

  • Writer's Craft and Language mini-lessons are threaded throughout the unit to provide ongoing practice in revising drafts for varying sentence structure.
  • Students write a comparative analysis essay in small groups to practice generating ideas.
  • One culminating activity for Unit 3 has students work through the stages of the writing process to create a literary analysis essay.
  • During the second half of Unit 3, students learn the role of research, generate questions, conduct research, and create an annotated bibliography.

In Unit 4,

  • Students analyze poetry to help develop writing skills, particularly the ability to make connections between written and spoken word. They are exposed to a variety of comedic and dramatic monologues to learn how writers use language for different effect.
  • Leading up to one culminating activity, students will have drafted multiple monologues that represent diverse topics, perspectives, and effects.
  • In preparation for the Shakespeare performance at the end of Unit 4, students will write responses to process their learning, comparing and contrasting content and delivery, evaluating effectiveness of delivery choices made, and explain their choices for delivery.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Grade 7 materials contain research projects that are sequenced across the school year to include a progression of research-related skills. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via multiple resources. Materials provide many opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills to synthesize and analyze per their grade level readings. Materials provide opportunities for both short and extended projects across the school year, and students have the opportunity to develop research skills throughout the school year.

Steps of the research process are taught throughout the materials so students get support on the whole process. Students choose research topics by brainstorming ideas with a partner, writing down ideas of interest, and conducting preliminary research. Teachers guide students to read information and encourage their outside of class reading for the unit to connect to a topic of research. An example follows:

  • In Unit 2, students work towards writing an argumentative essay after gathering information on a variety of sources. Students generate two additional research questions for their topic, after analyzing informational texts. Activities guide students to practice identifying primary and secondary sources, as well as how to best develop and use criteria for evaluation of online sources' credibility. Graphic organizers are provided in student and teacher editions for this activity to support students' researching for effective and reliable websites. After these activities, students conduct research for a class-constructed argument.
  • The Argumentative Essay Research Log is provided as a frame for students to cite sources and evaluate their credibility in an organized manner. The teacher edition includes support for teachers to model note taking and how to use steps in research process.
  • Students use previously taught research strategies, available in resource section of the student edition, to guide their research and evaluate sources while they incorporate new skills. They take notes by summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, responding, and recording bibliographic information as per grade level standard demands. They use a Research Log graphic organizer to record research and sources. Teachers can utilize Online Writing Workshop 1: The Writing Process to describe the roles of members of a writing group.
  • In the Online Writer's Workshop section: Research, there are additional writing prompts, teacher and student pages, and scoring guides. Students are given the opportunity to write three additional research papers, one guided by the teacher, one that is peer-guided, and one they write independently.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading inside or outside of class.

Grade 7 materials include close reading and independent reading prompts and questions for students to engage out of class time as they read their self-selected texts. Throughout the units there are prompts connecting the class reading with students' independent reading, marked as Independent Reading Links.

The Planning the Unit section at beginning of each unit contains a suggested reading list that corresponds to the unit theme. This list is categorized by literary and nonfiction texts, and gives the Lexile level to accommodate students’ varying abilities and interests. The first activity in Unit 1 sets up a mechanism for students to self-monitor their reading progress, comprehension, and fluency. The grade-level-specific Close Reading Workshops are designed to help teachers guide students as they develop the skills necessary for close reading of a broad range of high-quality texts of increasing complexity. These models can be used to support or extend the instruction already in the materials and serve as models for differentiation.

Examples of how Close Reading Workshop activities support independent reading include:

  • Activity 1 provides guided reading instruction that emphasizes multiple readings, vocabulary development, and close-reading strategies with a complex text.
  • Activity 2 gradually releases students from teacher-guided instruction and modeling to a collaborative analysis of a visual text to which students apply the skills and strategies of close reading.
  • Activity 3 releases student to closely read texts independently to respond to analysis of question and to make connections to previous texts.
  • Activity 4 requires students to respond to synthesis writing, presentation, or discussion prompts to demonstrate their mastery of the close-reading skills they have practiced in the workshop.

Text and author suggestions are included for teachers to support students seeking independent reading choices. Each unit outlines specific independent reading suggestions that correlate to unit objective and include, in the teacher edition, a list of suggested texts for independent reading, as well as possible formative assessment questions. Support for building independent reading is included, such as guidance around setting deadlines and methods to keep track of reading, as well as suggestions around length of texts for students to engage with at different times (e.g. during research-heavy sections of the unit, shorter texts might be a better option for independent reading).

Post-reading prompts for students to assess their texts are included, such as, "Consider the change(s) the character(s) from your independent reading book experienced. What was significant about the change? How did the change leave an impact on the character or those around him or her?" Reader/Writer Notebooks include organizers and suggestions for engaging with their independent reading. Questions are built in to support growing independent reading habits.

Literature Circles reinforce communication and collaboration, and in addition, support the independent reading process as well, as students are held accountable to their groups in that process.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3e

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Criterion Rating Details

SpringBoard Grade 7 materials meet the criteria for being well designed. Materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Materials can reasonably be completed within an academic year. There are ample resources as well as publisher produced standards alignment documentation.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

Grade 7 materials contain four units, each with a range of 15-21 activities or lessons and two Embedded Assessments designed with a consistent instructional plan. Each of the units is divided into two halves with each half concluding with one of two Embedded Assessments. Each unit opens with Planning the Unit and Unit Overview for teacher guidance: Planning the Unit describes all instructional and assessment goals for the unit and provides pacing for the unit as well as the list of texts; the Unit Overview provides a descriptive narrative of the unit’s breadth and a sequential listing of unit activities and associated texts. Instructional activities are designed to be delivered over single and multiple days while the lessons within activities are designed for one or two 50-minute class periods and is indicated within the Teacher Wrap, “an instructional roadmap alongside the student pages.”

The first lesson in each unit provides learners with a preview of the unit’s general learning targets and learning strategies and is followed by Making Connections to develop links between new learning, existing knowledge, and the culminating assessments. Thereafter, each activity or lesson opens with an introduction of specific learning targets, followed by a specific learning strategy, grammar structure, or reading strategy, and the establishment of the reading purpose. The prereading activities are followed by the text or texts, Second Read questions, Working from the Text practice, and Writing to Sources, all crafted to support learning targets in developing literacy skills. The pacing of individual lessons is appropriate for classes with time allowed for supplementary activities as well.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials are designed to allow the teacher and student to reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

Grade 7 materials contain a four-unit curriculum that can be effectively delivered over the course of a 30-36 week academic year allowing sufficient time for practice with instructional materials to ensure opportunities for standards’ mastery by the end of the course. Instructional Activities and Pacing Guide, provided in Planning the Unit, indicates the total number of 50-minute class periods for the unit’s completion and further delineates the associated activity number and suggested class periods for delivery of those lessons. Additionally, Teacher Wrap, within the margins of the teacher’s edition, indicates the time to be allotted for each lesson and offers support for block scheduling by indicating combinations of 50-minute sessions or extensions of lessons, optional instructional materials, and the expectation of homework as part of enrichment and/or the class assignment.

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

The Grade 7 student resources include a variety of resources demonstrating specific and clear directions, easy-to-find references and accurate labels. Other resources available to students include text collections, close reading, performance tasks, independent reading plans, as well as digital interactive tools such as Writer’s Notebook, text boxes to record answers, and highlighting tools for annotations.

Close reading material in the form of Second Read questions provide students with questions for key details, craft, and structure designed to engage students in careful textual analysis. Text-dependent and text-specific writing opportunities and writing workshops appear with regularity throughout the units to deepen thought and allow practice with newly taught skills as well as integration of ideas among concepts and skills. Directions for activities are clear and often make use of graphic organizers and rubrics to help students more clearly see the relationship of concepts as well as understand the expectations set before them.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Grade 7 materials contain publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed include, but are not limited to the Common Core Correlations page, which can be found next to the login portal on the homepage of Springboard Digital, and a list of Common Core focus standards and additional Common Core Standards addressed for each activity in the Teacher Wrap for the activity.

Additionally, California ELD standards are included in the nine ELD activities in each unit.

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that the visual design of the materials (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Grade 7 Springboard visual design, whether referencing the textbook or online curriculum, supports student engagement in literature and literacy without distraction. The units offer engaging visual prompts and graphics appropriate for Grade 7 students. The materials are logically presented through balance in layout and appropriate use of white space throughout both the print and digital textbook. Activities with essential information and tasks are found at the center of the page while supplementary and enrichment information are found in the margins. Additionally, the pdf version of the student text includes space for notes in the margins when there is no additional information provided.

Graphic Organizers are large enough for students to fit their notes in them and are free of pictures and distractions. Additionally, these graphic organizers are also available to be copied from the End Matter of the teacher edition.

In the digital edition, supplementary and enrichment items in the margin are presented in colorized text boxes separated from the page body: Grammar and Punctuation, blue; Word Connections, red; Independent Reading Links, orange; Literary Terms, yellow; Level 2 Academic Vocabulary, beige; and Level 3 Academic Vocabulary, lavender. Standard unit activities are identified through colorized title fonts. For example, Learning Targets, Learning Strategies, Preview, Setting a Purpose for Reading, Second Read, and Working from the Text appear in blue font while literary titles are printed in green. Assessments and writing assignments are also coded in colorized banners, i.e., Check Your Understanding in purple, Writing to Sources in green.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The SpringBoard Grade 7 materials meet the criteria for supporting teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Materials contain useful annotations and suggestions as well as adult-level explanations and examples of advanced literacy concepts. The Specific ELA/Literacy standard roles, instructional approaches and research based strategies are identified and explained. Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders about the ELA/Literacy program.

Indicator 3f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

Grade 7 Planning the Unit section, opening each of the four units, offers teachers a roadmap in preparation for the unit’s presentation while Teacher Wrap and Teacher to Teacher provide teachers daily step-by-step instructions for delivery. Sample student responses are in the teacher edition.

In addition to detailing discrete components of the unit, e.g., goals, pacing, assessments, etc., Planning the Unit unpacks the Embedded Assessments, suggests texts for independent reading, lists English Language Development resources available for each activity, describes instructional activities within the pacing guide, suggests advance preparation of learning guides for differentiated instruction, provides a detailed unpacking of language demands for Embedded Assessments, and suggests cognates appropriate to the unit for inclusion on a word wall.

Daily support and suggestions are provided to the teacher through Teacher Wrap and Teacher to Teacher following Springboard’s 4-step approach to instruction: Plan--Teach--Assess--Adapt. Additionally, the marginal guides offer suggestions for student support with instruction on approaches found effective for other teachers and methods for scaffolding questions to differentiate instruction to support of student learning. For example, in Activity 2.3 Teacher Wrap suggests that students may need support understanding how text features support a text’s structure: “ Have students answer text-feature-dependent questions such as these: In which section can I find information about how many commercials children view each day? Where can I find more information about global brands that deploy a 'tween strategy?' Then discuss how section headings help readers locate information and how footnotes provide other sources of information.

Within the teacher edition, sample responses to Second Read questions and completed graphic organizers provide teachers an indication of what student responses should include.

Indicator 3g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

Grade 7 teacher edition Front Matter supports teacher knowledge regarding the relevance of academic vocabulary as well as knowledge differentiating between Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary, i.e. “Academic Vocabulary features that discuss Tier Two terms and concepts that students will use in academic discourse” and “Literary Term features that equip students with Tier Three language from the domains of literature, literary analysis, writing, and rhetoric.” Additionally, the Front Matter establishes the relevance of text features and rigor to preparation for College and Career Readiness. Key Themes of English Language Arts Instruction explains “SpringBoard is designed to help students make meaning of complex texts and prepare them for the rigorous textual analysis expected of them in Advanced Placement (AP) English and college courses. The skills students acquire in SpringBoard allow them to think critically about and respond thoughtfully to important topics in all disciplines, and in society.”

The teacher edition End Matter provides teachers with a complete list of reading and writing strategies both defining strategies and establishing purpose behind the strategies. For example, the definition of the reading strategy SIFT is “Analyzing a fictional text by examining stylistic elements, especially symbol, imagery, and figures of speech in order to show how all work together to reveal tone and theme” and its purpose is “To focus and facilitate an analysis of a fictional text by examining the title and text for symbolism, identifying images and sensory details, analyzing figurative language and identifying how all these elements reveal tone and theme.”

Teacher Wrap provides information necessary to framing lessons and establishing relevance for students. For example, in Unit 3, Activity 2, the Teacher Wrap provides this activity to introduce sensory language and tie to the reading of Tangerine: “Model the use of sensory language, including similes and metaphors, to describe an object other than a tangerine. Then, divide the class into small groups. Provide each group with a tangerine as a visual prompt. Ask students individually to record notes on its appearance, smell, and feel. Have them share their work and add to their notes in the group sharing.” Additionally, as texts or other resources perhaps unfamiliar to teachers are introduced, Teacher Wrap offers background knowledge on which teachers can build. For example, in Unit 4, Activity 3, a comedic monologue is presented. Teacher Wrap explains, “This clip contains Seinfeld’s monologue on the subject of Halloween. He discusses childrens’ obsession with candy and gives a humorous account of his childhood Halloween experiences. The purpose of the first viewing is to get a basic understanding of the monologue.”

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

Grade 7 materials provide connections between specific ELA/literacy standards and the context of the overall curriculum are offered within the teacher edition Front Matter, Planning the Unit, and Teacher Wrap. Specifically, the Front Matter explains that the “instructional design assures teachers and students that everyday activities are building a foundation of skills and knowledge that will help students perform on the assessments, which ultimately align with the standards” and promises to help “students develop the knowledge and skills needed for Advanced Placement as well as for success in college and beyond without remediation.” The Front Matter continues by explaining, “While not every student will take an AP class, we believe strongly that ALL students should be equipped with the higher-order thinking skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary to be successful in AP classes and post-secondary education. SpringBoard focuses on content connections, pre-AP strategies, and writing tasks anchored in the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful on the AP exams.”

Planning the Unit provides a list of activities within the unit that focus on refining “important skills and knowledge areas for AP/College Readiness.” Clickable CC icons linked to standards associated with the task at hand are included.

Teacher Wrap lists Focus Standards and Additional Standards Addressed at the beginning of each lesson. Within the instructional guide are also listed the Common Core standards associated with each of the Second Read questions.

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

Grade 7 teacher edition Front Matter provides both clear explanation of instructional approaches and identification of research-based strategies relied on throughout the text. Additionally, the text provides an explanation for Springboard’s instructional approach. The section, Research-Based Pedagogy, sites the use of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design instructional model and the American Institute for Research “focus on students moving through multiple levels of cognitive engagement: progressing fluidly from understanding and comprehension, to analysis, and ultimately to synthesis.” Springboard also sites application of Charlotte Danielson’s facilitation and flexibility methodologies, Marzano and Pickering’s research on “building students’ background knowledge in the area of Academic Vocabulary development” and “Robyn Jackson’s work on rigorous instruction.”

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Grade 7 materials provide strategies to inform stakeholders and are found under Teacher Resources of the Springboard Dashboard. Family Letters for each of the programs four units. Letters are available in English and Spanish. Each letter provides an overview of the unit including the unit’s essential questions, a description of the unit’s two Embedded Assessments, a narrative description of the skills students will practice and learn, as well as a brief overview of the texts students will be reading. The letter concludes with specific tips on how parents can support their child’s progress in learning. Additionally, available in the Student PDF Front Matter, is a letter from Springboard to the student introducing the benefits of the Springboard program and highlighting key features of the text and methods to increase learning and achievement.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for offering teachers multiple resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities, denote standards being emphasized, and indicate how students are accountable for independent reading.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Grade 7 materials contain short-cycle and long-term assessments integrated within each of the four units provide opportunities for measuring student progress both formatively and summatively. Most activities feature Check Your Understanding and Writing to Sources, short-cycle assessments allowing teachers to measure student proficiencies and adjust or adapt instructional methods. Long-term Embedded Assessments are offered twice during the unit, one midway through the unit’s activities and the second at the unit’s end. Lessons and related formative assessments preceding the Embedded Assessments typically lead towards the culminating performance task.

Also provided within the program materials are supplementary workshops for close reading, writing, and foundational skills, as well as supplementary materials for grammar instruction. Each of these lesson sets also include assessment components consistent with the organization and structure of the core curriculum. Additionally, the Springboard Digital Dashboard provides an Assessments link offering teachers short-cycle End of Lesson/Activity assessments and End of Unit assessments, as well as choices between Springboard developed assessments or custom-built assessments.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
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Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Grade 7 materials have Common Core State Standards emphasized by instruction and assessment as noted in the Common Core Correlations chart found on the Springboard Digital log-in page. Each ELA Common Core Standard is correlated to unit and activity numbers and/or Embedded Assessments (denoted by EA) addressing the listed standard. Additionally, Teacher Wrap lists both Focus Standards and Additional Standards Addressed for each Embedded Assessment.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

Springboard’s four-step structure - Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt - provides a roadmap towards assessment that includes checkpoints and suggestions for adapting lessons and strengthening student skills before they are asked to demonstrate specific skills on culminating Embedded Assessments. The progression of these four steps is found in Teacher Wrap on the margins of the digital page of the teacher edition.

  • For example, after following Plan and Teach steps in Unit 1, Activity 6, Assess instructs teachers to “Review students’ responses to the Check Your Understanding task to ensure that they understand what the different stages of the writing process are, how to address a writing prompt, and how to budget their time when preparing for timed writing. Students’ responses should also describe the specific benefits of participating in a writing group.” After the assessment, Adapt suggests, “If students need additional help understanding how to address all aspects of a writing prompt, write or find two additional writing prompts. With one prompt, model how to circle key verbs, underline nouns, and create a list of tasks that must be completed. With the second prompt, have students work in pairs to analyze the prompt.”

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Grade 7 Teacher Wrap indicates opportunities for monitoring student progress in reading and expression of ideas. Teacher Wrap provides sequentially detailed steps for teaching each lesson. Included within instructional notes for teachers are guides and prompts for monitoring student progress. Additionally, instructional notes indicate what teachers should be monitoring.

  • For example, in Unit 1, Activity 12, teachers are instructed, “As students are reading, monitor their progress. Be sure they are engaged with the text and annotating for details they learn about Arachne as well as diffusing unknown words. Evaluate whether the selected reading mode is effective.” The Assess portion of the teacher wrap, indicates what teachers should be assessing in each activity and offers suggestions for adapting the lesson for students who are struggling or needing more practice.
The Front Matter of the teacher edition introduces teachers to supplemental resources supporting “the development of foundational reading skills for students who need continued support with these foundations to become successful at the secondary level.”
  • The first of these resources is the Foundational Skills Workshop which “supports teachers in planning and delivering intervention instruction to those students who will benefit from one-on-one or small-group lessons in phonics, word recognition, and fluency.” These materials include Observation Look-Fors, Foundational Reading Skills Screening Assessment, Diagnostic Checklist, Individual Progress Monitoring Chart, and Group Planning Chart.
  • The second resource is Routines for Teaching Foundational Skills which “presents mini-lessons and techniques that teachers can incorporate into the core ELA instruction to differentiate for students who need it.”
  • The teacher edition also provides an Independent Reading Log, a place students record “progress and thinking” about “independent reading during each unit.”
  • Also provided are a range of graphic organizers for ELA and ELD tasks that can be used to monitor student reading and understanding before moving students into writing assignments.

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Grade 7 materials allow for students to read independently based on “choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation” and asks students to show accountability for their independent reading in a variety of ways. Students are required to select a text for independent reading “twice a unit, at the beginning and after the first Embedded Assessment.” Reading selections should relate to the themes of the unit. While Springboard provides a list of suggested readings, students should not be limited by the list. Rather, students should be urged "to do their own research and select a title that intrigues them.” As students progress in their reading, they are held accountable through an independent reading log and encouraged through independent reading links with activities asking them to respond to questions, conduct further research, connect classroom texts and themes, discuss ideas in book talks, and make recommendations to peers. To further support and encourage independent reading, related tasks appear as independent reading checkpoints in the margins of the student edition.

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria for providing strategies for teachers to meet the needs of a range of learners so that they can demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. Teachers are provided with strategies to support all learners within the core curriculum and through the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard Dashboard. Every lesson in the SpringBoard program offers opportunities for students to work in groups.

Indicator 3o

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

Grade 7 curriculum provides accessible content through the integration of texts at varied Lexile level texts in the core curriculum and as suggested titles for independent reading. The unit texts range from slightly below grade level, typically used with introducing a new concept, to at grade level and above grade level. The Practice of Reading Closely, found in the teacher edition Front Matter explains the range of texts as a means of bringing “readers up to the level of the text, not the level of the text down to the reader.” Each unit also offers a list of suggested narrative and expository text titles along with Lexile levels, for the Independent Reading Assignments occurring twice in each unit. As in the core curriculum, suggested texts range from below grade level to above grade level allowing students to choose a text of interest that also connects at reading level.

Teachers are provided with strategies to support learners within the core curriculum and through the Teacher Resources tab on the Springboard Dashboard. Within the core curriculum, Teacher Wrap provides step-by-step guidance in teaching each lesson. Within most steps, teachers are offered advice, alternatives, suggestions for connecting new and existing knowledge and skills, and methods for scaffolding in class-reading and assignments. Additionally, Teacher to Teacher and Leveled Differentiated Instruction call out boxes within Teacher Wrap provide specific instruction and guidance for learners needing extra support and English language development. English Language Learners are further supported through specifically structured lessons aligning to three anchor texts in each unit. These lessons focus on Academic Vocabulary, Close Reading, and Collaborative Discussion.

Indicator 3p

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

Grade 7 materials contain opportunities to work with grade-level texts to meet or exceed Standard. The Front Matter outlines where English Language Learner resources are located in the materials.

  • Planning: In the Planning the Unit section, a list of academic and literary terms for each unit are given, along with the Spanish cognates, where available. Audio pronunciation is available in both English and Spanish, as well as audio definitions in English. Content vocabulary specific to anthology texts is provided at point of use, with audio pronunciation and definitions available in digital edition, as well as definitions and cognates where available. Unit overview provides a list of Graphic Organizers that English Language Learners will need to be successful in each unit.
  • Leveled Differentiated Instruction: Color coded sidebars in Teacher Wrap offer numerous and extensive suggestions and activities for five levels of language proficiency: Level 1 representing initial stage of language development, Level 5 representing the stage nearest to proficiency, as well as Support and Extend suggestions. These features found throughout materials scaffold challenging tasks embedded in the program,“ providing the tools that learners at various levels of proficiency need in order to successfully participate in or complete tasks that build toward culminating assessment.” These strategies can be adapted to other tasks throughout the materials. “As students move along this continuum of proficiency, teachers can select flexibly form the leveled scaffolding options provided in order of offer the amount of support that enables students to complete the task successfully while still being appropriately challenged.” Further support is given for each text in anthology, where Teacher Wrap offers Scaffolding the Text Dependent Questions, strategies to help struggling students locate text evidence by rephrasing, chunking, and scaffolding questions.
  • English Language Development Activities: Every unit features a set of nine English Language Development Activities that teachers can use to provide differentiated support to students who are developing Academic English. These interactive, digital activities are built around three unit texts and support students’ comprehension with guided close reading. They use a scaffolded approach focused on academic and social vocabulary development, text analysis, and collaborative academic discourse. California’s English Language Development Standards are provided in Teacher Wrap alongside each lesson, as well as in teacher and student edition under lesson title. Strategies for specific Emerging, Expanding, and Bridging levels of English Language Development are provided in Teacher Wrap alongside each lesson, with most tasks and targets focused on the Production Strand.
  • English Language Development Graphic Organizers: Tools teachers can use to scaffold reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks, suggestions for specific organizers are given in Unit Opener section of each unit.
  • English Language Development Strategies: Located at point of use of content vocabulary, such as bracero. These are techniques teachers can use to boost students’ ability and confidence with academic language.
  • Language Demands of the Embedded Assessment: This is an unpacking of the Embedded Assessments that specifies the word-, sentence-, and text-level features of the academic language that students need to develop as they work through the Unit.
  • Initial Screening Assessment: A screening tool that provides teachers with essential information about students’ education history, home language proficiency, and English language proficiency.
  • Foundational Skills Workshops and Routines for Teaching Foundational Skills: Online materials that offer guidance to teachers on how to support students who need continued practice with literacy foundations to become successful at the secondary level, such as left to right text directionality, and conventions of punctuation and capitalization in American English.
  • Family Letters: Customizable letter templates in both English and Spanish that help teachers connect with families to encourage their active engagement in students’ learning.
  • Zinc: Online program provides targeted vocabulary and informational text instruction.
  • Workshops: Online Writing and Close Reading Workshops specifically target writing and reading genres.

Teacher Resources tab at each grade level is an English-Spanish Glossary, although currently, the resource bears a 2014 copyright. Also provided within the Teacher Resources tab is a Flexible Novel Unit allowing teachers to replace the novel suggested in the core curriculum with a novel differentiating for student needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginalia guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Also provided within the Teacher Resources tab are materials for grammar instruction and interventions, (also provided in the teacher edition End Matter), and learning strategies.

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Grade 7 materials contain few quality extensions or opportunities in those skills. The Leveled Differentiated Instruction text box within the Teacher Wrap activities offer eight opportunities over the course of the year’s materials for students to extend their learning. Example include:
  • Unit 1, Activity 1.2: Extend pairs students who have completed their graphic organizers and asks them to share and compare their personal response. These activities merely serve as time consumers, and do not offer students any true challenge or extension of their learning.
  • Unit 1, Activity 1.13: Symbolic Thinking has the class conducting a short research project analyzing and applying symbols from mythology. The Extend activity “asks each group to plan and deliver an oral presentation on their god and goddess in the form of a skit for the class.”
  • Unit 1, Activity 1.14: Animals as Symbols has students compare two animals in the text. Early finishers are offered an extension activity that asks each student to select one of the two animals that best symbolizes himself or herself, and is further directed to complete another Venn diagram that shows how the student is similar to or different from the animal. This does not measure a particular standard, and does not seem to extend the learning or the skill.
An example of a quality extension activity follows:
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7: September 11 Perspective. Students are given a challenge to explore oral histories on 9/11 Memorial website. Students select an oral history to summarize and then form a group with students who have selected different stories. This provides an extension to class novel they are studying, Tangerine.
  • Unit 3, Activity 3.17 challenges students to extends their learning by asking them to choose a word used by the author to create a visual image and write a paragraph stating whether or not the author was successful in his word choice.

Examples of Advanced Placement/College Readiness skills taught include:

  • Analyzing the connection between content, purpose, and audience (Activities 2.4, 2.5, 2.12)
  • Analyzing and interpreting samples of good writing (Activities 2.2, 2.12, 2.13, 2.14, 2.15)
  • Identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques (Activities 2.13, 2.14)
  • Creating and sustaining an argument based on readings, research, and/or personal experience (Activities 2.12, 2.13)
  • Producing effective explanatory compositions (Activities 2.4, 2.5, 2.6)

SAT connections include skills that students practice that will help them succeed on SAT and college exams. The following Language Checkpoint lessons that focus on these skills include:

  • Recognize and correct problems in parallel structure in sentences (L.C.2.11)
  • Recognize and correct problems in modifier placement, such as misplaced modifiers, and dangling modifiers (L.C. 2.15)

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Grade 7 materials offers opportunities for students to work in groups whether reading, writing, or speaking and listening about texts in every lesson. “Specific strategies for collaboration and oral communication are taught and practiced leading to the development of independent, skillful conduct of academic discussions.” Both the teacher and student editions regularly and repeatedly ask students to work as partners and in small groups. Among the means used to and for grouping are Think-Pair-Share, heterogeneous groups, simple partnering, forming small groups based on interest, working as whole class in discussions and guided writing, and forming jigsaw groups to build and share information and ideas. Additionally, students are grouped for purposes of peer editing and feedback, practice with speaking and speech delivery, and reading discussion groups. Specific support for English Language Learners is provided through three specific Collaborative Discussion lessons in each unit, tied directly to core texts.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. The materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors use a larger device to log into SpringBoard. Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard Digital dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. Also, the digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the Springboard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have SpringBoard.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
N/A
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Grade 7 materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors to use a larger device to log into Springboard.

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Grade 7 SpringBoard Digital effectively uses technology by providing interactive tools for close reading exercises, vocabulary work, populating graphic organizers, and supporting evidence-based writing. In both the digital teacher and student editions, space is provided to enter answers to questions, attach sticky notes, highlight, and mark text with annotations. Students and teachers can add vocabulary to the existing lists provided by the program as well as edit close-reading questions. Additional opportunities for learning provided within the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard Dashboard offer consistent organization and structures for using technology as a tool in the learning process. The teacher edition provides tips for sharing documents via external programs such as Google Docs. Additionally, there is a digital SpringBoard community supporting conversations among teachers from across the hall or across the country. The additional resources also include online workshops/webinars.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
N/A

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Grade 7 materials provide few opportunities to personalize learning. Using a generally accepted definition for adaptive technology as objects or systems specifically designed to increase or maintain the capabilities of people with disabilities, reviewers conclude there are few examples of such in the materials. Indeed, the technology available through the digital version allows users to change font size, populate graphic organizers, use word processing technologies, annotate text, and hear audio pronunciations of some vocabulary words, but there is no text to speech or speech to text adaptations which would truly be adaptive and useful those with hearing, vision, and disabilities related to the hands. Additionally, the program allows teachers to edit questions and use alternative texts, but these means of personalizing instruction are not within the realm of adaptive technology.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
N/A
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Grade 7 Teacher Resources on the digital SpringBoard Dashboard include are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. At each grade and within each unit, a Flexible Novel Unit supports a teaching decision to replace the suggested novel in the core curriculum with a novel differentiating for local needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginalia guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Also provided within the resources is a Custom Assessment builder to create Common Core aligned questions to check for understanding. The Letter to Parents, also available through Teacher Resources, is customizable for local needs. Additionally, many features within the unit activities are customizable, supporting the professional judgment of classroom teachers.

Indicator 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)

Grade 7 digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers links to Professional Development and Springboard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have Springboard. Springboard also provides the ability to create “‘digital ‘sticky’ notes that can be inserted on-screen and offer on-demand planning and notation for teacher suggestions or student work” as well as “the ability to edit teaching commentary, personalizing it by adding notes and comments to lesson.”

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 03/16/2018

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Springboard English Language ArtsGrade Grade 7 Student Edition 978-1-4573-0836-9 Copyright: 2018 2018
Springboard English Language ArtsGrade Grade 7 Teacher Edition 978-1-4573-0843-7 Copyright: 2018 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

About Technology Information

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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