Alignment: Overall Summary

The Wit & Wisdom materials meet the expectations of alignment to the standards to support students' growing skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The program is built on engaging and high quality texts and present strong multimedia options alongside printed texts. The materials provide strong opportunities for students to hone their writing, speaking, and listening skills throughout the content while demonstrating their growing content knowledge.

**The materials reviewed do not include a formal foundational skills component and instead recommend pairing the materials with a high-quality foundational skills program.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

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

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The Wit & Wisdom materials include high-quality, increasingly rigorous texts which encompass a wide variety of genres, including a balance of literary and informational texts, digital media (including songs and video), and visual art. Texts are appropriately complex for the grade level and a text complexity analysis is included. The anchor and supplementary texts provide a volume of reading for each student.

Text-dependent focus questions, content-framing questions, and craft questions connected to the essential question of the unit unify activities and tasks across each module building to an End-of-Module Task. Students frequently engage in text-based discussions with peers, utilizing protocols to frame the discussions and to encourage the incorporation of academic vocabulary.

Frequent and varied evidence-based writing opportunities, including on-demand and process writing aligned with the standards are found in each lesson.

Explicit instruction for grammar and conventions that address the language standards appear in each module.

Criterion 1a - 1f

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

The Wit & Wisdom materials for Grade 2 include texts of high-quality which provide a strong foundation for the materials. Texts include a variety of genres, including a balance of literary and informational texts, digital media (including songs and video), and visual art. Texts are at the appropriate level of complexity and are accompanied by a text complexity analysis which demonstrates the factors for placement within the program, including, where appropriate, the reader and task demands.

Over the course of the year, students have the opportunity to read increasingly rigorous texts which serve to grow their literacy skills. The anchor and supplementary texts provide a volume of reading for each student.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and include a mix of informational texts and literature. The included texts have been previously published and are worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, including real-world topics, picture books, folktales/folklore, while also integrating science and social studies topics. Anchor texts encompass multiple themes and integrate content areas. Texts are examined multiple times for multiple purposes and are used to expand big ideas and build academic vocabulary. Most texts are engaging, build knowledge, and facilitate access to future text while building towards independent grade-level reading.

Examples of how these materials meet the expectations of this indicator include, but are not limited to:

In Module 1: A Season of Change, students observe change through the cycle of the four seasons and investigate the cause of those changes.

  • "Weather" by Eve Merriam is included in the poetry collection, Catch a Little Rhyme. Readers will use their senses to experience rain in this poem.
  • The Little Yellow Leaf  is written by Carin Berger. She also illustrated the book with collages of different papers. Her illustrations were recognized as one of New York Times Best Illustrated Books. Readers will read short lyrical phrases with descriptions of nature as the little yellow leaf’s thoughts about falling are shared. 
  • A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni pairs bright illustrations with his text about the different colors the chameleon encounters as he looks for his own color. The chameleon meets a fellow chameleon and learns to value companionship.
  • How Do You Know It's Fall? by Lisa M. Herrington & Randy C. Bilk uses photographs and accessible text that teaches the reader about the season of fall.
  • Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro is part of the Let’s Read and Find Out Science 2. The reader learns the science content of how leaves change their color in autumn. Diagrams are used to contribute and clarify a text.
  • Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Art by Thomas Locker is an Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children (NSTA/CBC). The exquisite paintings and wondrous text are paired with questions about nature; science comes alive through art.

In Module 2: The American West, students closely read stories and informational texts to build their knowledge of the American West's history, land, and people. Students have the opportunity to describe the connection between a series of historical events in a text.

  • Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia Murphy is a historical fiction text about a family’s experience on the Oregon Trail. Students will have access to this DK Readers Level 2 Series. Students will have access to academic vocabulary while learning about history. 
  • The Buffalo Are Back by Jean Craighead George is an IRA Teachers’ Choice 2011 winner. The book includes detailed watercolor paintings by Wendell Minor.
  • Plains Indians by Andrew Santella is an informational text on the cultures, customs and interactions of the Plains Indians. This text is part of a First Nations of North America Series.
  • The Legend of the Bluebonnet, a folktale written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, is a retelling of a Native American legend. 
  • Johnny Appleseed : A Tall Tale is retold and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. The brightly illustrated book allows the reader access to academic vocabulary while reading about John Chapman’s travels west.
  • The Story of Johnny Appleseed,written and illustrated by Aliki, retells the story of John Chapman whose devotion to planting apple trees made him a legendary figure in American history. 
  • John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats won the Association for Childhood Education International Books for Children Bibliography in 1983.
  • John Henry written by Julius Lester, illustrated Jerry Pinkney is a 1995 Caldecott Honor Book, readers will learn about this African-American folk hero while Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations show the energy of John Henry.

In Module 3: Civil Rights Heroes, students closely read a variety of informational texts and study historical images to build their knowledge of Civil Rights leaders.

  • I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the illustrated picture book of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech. Students will have access to academic vocabulary that supports them in determining the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to the topic, civil rights. 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr and the March on Washington written by Frances E. Ruffin is a biography.
  • Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges is an autobiography that allows students to learn about Ruby Bridges’ life. Students are able to access the simple text and historical photographs.
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles uses quotes and watercolor illustrations so students can experience Ruby’s courage, faith, and hope.
  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, is a 2015 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Silbert Honor book. Students read about another aspect of U.S. civil rights history. 

In Module 4: Good Eating, students build knowledge about how food nourishes their bodies, and how food brings together and nourishes communities. 

  • The Digestive System by Christine Taylor-Butler uses text features to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently. There are diagrams that show how the digestive system works that students will use to clarify a text. 
  • Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell has engaging illustrations done in watercolors and colored pencils. Students learn about the nutrient groups, their function and which food contains them and how the food is digested.
  • The Vegetables We Eat by nonfiction author and illustrator, Gail Gibbons, explains how vegetables grow on farms and become nutritious food. 
  • Stone Soup, Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis is a classic retelling that has won many awards including the Tiny Torgi Literary Award.
  • Stone Soup, a French folktale by Marcia Brown, won a Caldecott Medal. Students learn how a community comes together to create a meal. 

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Literary texts include picture books and folktales. In addition, the supplemental materials include articles, poems, and videos, which add to the variety of text types. 

Texts representing the balance of text types and genres include: 

Module 1 Core Texts

  • “Weather”, Eve Merriam (Poem)
  • How Do You Know It’s Fall?, Lisa M. Herrington (Informational)
  • The Little Yellow Leaf, Carin Berger (Narrative)
  • A Color of His Own, Leo Lionni (Narrative)
  • Why Do Leaves Change Color?, Betsy Maestro (Informational)
  • Sky Tree, Thomas Locker (Informational Picture Book)

Module 1 Supplementary Texts

  • “Autumn Landscape”, Maurice de Vlaminck (Painting)
  • “Bathers at Asnières”, Georges Seurat (Painting)
  • “Hunters in the Snow”, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Painting)
  • “Paris Street, Rainy Day”, Gustave Caillebotte (Painting)

Module 2 Core Texts

  • The Buffalo Are Back, Jean Craighead George (Informational)
  • Journey of a Pioneer, Patricia J. Murphy (Informational)
  • Plains Indians, Andrew Santella (Informational)
  • Johnny Appleseed, Steven Kellogg (Narrative)
  • John Henry: An American Legend, Ezra Jack Keats (Narrative)
  • John Henry, Julius Lester (Narrative)
  • The Legend of the Bluebonnet, Tomie dePaola (Narrative)
  • The Story of Johnny Appleseed, Aliki (Narrative)

Module 2 Supplementary Text

  • “Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California”, Albert Bierstadt (Painting)
  • “Buffalo Dusk”, Carl Sandburg (Poem)


Module 3 Core Texts

  • I Have A Dream, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Paintings, Kadir Nelson (Informational Picture Book)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington, Frances E. Ruffin; Illustrations, Stephen Marchesi (Informational Picture Book)
  • Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, Ruby Bridges (Informational Picture Book)
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges, Robert Coles; Illustrations, George Ford (Informational Picture Book)
  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, Duncan Tonatiuh (Informational Picture Book)

Module 3 Supplementary Text

  • “Selma to Montgomery March, Alabama”, 1965, James Karales (Photograph)
  • “Words like Freedom”, Langston Hughes (Poem)
  • “Dreams”, Langston Hughes (Poem)
  • “Civil Rights - Ruby Bridges” (Video)
  • “The Man Who Changed America” (Video)
  • “Ruby Bridges Interview” (Video)
  • “Sylvia Mendez and Sandra Mendez Duran” (Video)
  • “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”, Stephen Griffith (Music)
  • “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”, The Freedom Singers (Music)
  • “This Little Light of Mine”, Stephen Griffith (Music)
  • “America (My Country Tis of Thee)”, Stephen Griffith (Music)
  • “Different Voices”, Anna Gratz Cockerille (Article)
  • “When Peace Met Power”, Laura Helweg (Article)

Module 4 Core Texts

  • The Digestive System, Christine Taylor-Butler (Informational Picture Book)
  • The Digestive System, Jennifer Prior (Informational Picture Book)
  • Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition, Lizzy Rockwell (Informational Picture Book)
  • The Vegetables We Eat, Gail Gibbons (Informational Picture Book)
  • Bone Button Borscht, Aubry Davis (Narrative)
  • Stone Soup, Marcia Brown (Narrative)

Module 4 Supplementary Text

  • “Food and Family” (video)
  • “My Food Journey” (video)
  • “Try Something New” (video)
  • “Planting Seeds: The White House Garden and a Brooklyn School Farm” (video)
  • “Fruit Veggie Swag” (video)
  • “The Beaneater” (painting)
  • “Cakes” (painting)
  • “Two Cheeseburgers, With Everything (Dual Hamburgers)” (painting)
  • “Can Milk Make You Happy?” (Article)
  • “Debate! Should Sugary Drinks Be Taxed?” (Article)
  • “Eating Your A, B, C’s…” (Article)

Indicator 1c

Texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Anchor texts are at the appropriate level of rigor and complexity. Many of the anchor texts used for shared and interactive reading are at the high end of the range or appropriate for higher grade levels, but planned scaffolding described in the lesson plans outlined in the teacher materials ensure that these texts are accessible. The anchor texts will build knowledge at a variety of complexity levels and on a range of topics. Wit and Wisdom has evaluated each core module text using nationally-recognized measures for quantitative and qualitative criteria as outlined in Appendix A in the Common Core State Standards. These evaluations can be found in Appendix A of each Wit and Wisdom Module.

The associated tasks described in the lesson plans that support the use of these readings include the following:

  • An Essential Question that guides the overall work of the module
  • A Focusing Question for each set of lessons associated with the anchor text selections and is aligned to the expectations for the End-of-Module Task and the Essential Question
  • A Content Framing Question that guides each lesson 
  • A Vocabulary Deep Dive lesson that focuses on the complex vocabulary of the anchor text

Example include: 

  • In Module 1, students closely read the text,  A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, with a Lexile of AD 640L (Literary). This text includes rich illustrations and complex sentences. This text has a chronological structure and simple illustrations. Students practice identifying story elements, working extensively with problem and resolution to recognize how authors describe the process of change and how characters react to change.
  • In Module 2, students closely read two texts, The Legend of Blue Bonnet (740L) and Plains Indians (700L), to build their knowledge of the American West's history, land, and people. Immersion in rich texts around a topic builds students’ vocabularies to include words related to the Great Plains, Native Americans, pioneers, and life on the prairies.
  • In Module 3, students closely read the text, Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges (410L). Students examine images to build understanding of informational text, identifying the most important points in images and texts and recognizing how different authors present different points. 
  • In Module 4, students closely read two similar texts about the digestive system, The Digestive System by Christine Taylor-Butler (750L) and The Digestive System by Jennifer Prior (660L), that use typical non-fiction text structure and features and present a detailed investigation of how our bodies convert food to nutrients. Students consider the many different text features presented and learn how to efficiently derive information from them.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the requirement for supporting students' ability to access texts with appropriate text complexity across the year.

Most of the texts, both core and supporting, fall within the grade-level band for second grade. As seen in the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the included texts, there is clear, defined scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts at the end of the year. Over the course of the school year, students have appropriately rigorous texts read to them in aggregate and across modules, there is broad variance in how they engage with these texts. Examples that demonstrate this include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students listen to the picture book, A Color of His Own. The relatively lengthy introduction about animals’ colors will provide opportunity for discussion and analysis. Students are then led through a series of text-dependent questions. 
  • In Module 2, students listen to The Buffalo are Back. Students use this text for the first five lessons of the module. Students listen actively and share their observations. The text is revisited several times concluding with students reflecting on new knowledge of how the prairie changes throughout history. 
  • In Module 3, students read two informational texts, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Washington and Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, Ruby Bridges. Teachers lead students on how to read the text closely to make connections and how to experiment with collecting evidence from two sources. 
  • In Module 4, students listen to Bone Button Borscht. This text is compared to Stone Soup. The module has lessons that guide students on how to use informational text features with texts that have a quantitative level 570-750L.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation that anchor texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. 

Each module core text is evaluated using quantitative and qualitative criteria as outlined Appendix A while supporting text as referenced in Appendix E. Quantitative metrics are provided for each anchor text according to Lexile Level. Qualitative measures are provided for each anchor text in four categories: meaning/purpose, structure, language, and knowledge demands. Metrics provided for qualitative measures are in narrative form. Reader and Task considerations are sometimes included in the appendixes within the description of the text. This information can be found in the Appendix A: Text Complexity portion of materials. Within each module, the texts are focused on a theme/topic, which provides some rationale as to why the text was chosen.

For example, the following contains the Text Complexity analysis and rationale found in Appendix A of Module 2:

Title and Author:  The Buffalo Are Back, Jean Craighead George

Description of text: This narrative nonfiction book is written in four sections detailing the fate of the buffalo during the Westward Expansion and their comeback under the oversight of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Quantitative Measure: 800L

Qualitative Measures:

  • Meaning/Purpose: This informational text, told through a narrative style, shows the many layers of interrelationships between buffalo, American Indians, settlers, grass, government, and President Theodore Roosevelt. This look at historical events emphasizes the profound impact one change can have on the world.
  • Structure: This book is narrative nonfiction—a hybrid of a narrative story and informational text. There are four distinct sections highlighted by clear headings. Told chronologically with watercolor illustrations, the text and illustrations provide a succinct narrative of the American prairie lands from the 1800s to recent times.
  • Language: Heavy use of topic-specific vocabulary, as well as many similes and metaphors used to explain historical events, may present challenges to students. However, some language is supported with in-text explanations and illustrations.
  • Knowledge Demands: The reader would benefit from nuanced knowledge of Westward Expansion during this period of time in history.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage with anchor and supporting texts and to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

Over the course of the year, students are provided opportunities to engage with anchor texts through read-alouds. Additionally, each module includes supplementary texts of varying lengths. Students engage in each selection multiple times and for multiple purposes to build towards grade-level reading proficiency. Instructional materials provide a Volume of Reading Guide located in Appendix D. Materials also provide Volume of Reading Questions that can be used for small group reading or independent reading. Students also have opportunities to participate in Echo Reading of anchor and supplementary texts. 

For example:

  • In Module 2, students listen to a variety of texts about the topic, The American West, including The Buffalo Are Back, Journey of a Pioneer, Plains Indians, Johnny Appleseed, John Henry: An American Legend, John Henry, The Legend of the Bluebonnet, The Story of Johnny Appleseed. Over the course of the module, students revisit texts multiple times to build knowledge about the topic. Students also listen to and Echo Read the supplementary poem, “Buffalo Dusk.”
  • In Module 4, students listen to a variety of texts about the topic, Good Eating, including The Digestive System, Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition, The Vegetables We Eat, Stone Soup, and Bone Button Borscht. Students demonstrate independence in both informational and literary texts to understand key information in the text. Students also listen to a variety of supplementary texts including, “Two Cheeseburgers, With Everything (Dual Hamburgers)”, “Can Milk Make You Happy?”, “Debate! Should Sugary Drinks Be Taxed?”, and “Eating Your A, B, C’s…”. Familiarity with different types of texts allows students to use the words, pictures, and diagrams to think more deeply about a text and about the foods we eat and how our bodies use it. 

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

Each module includes text-dependent focus questions, content-framing questions, and craft questions that connect with the overarching essential question of the unit. These questions, rooted in the standards, are tied to activities and tasks throughout the module and build upon one another across the module, leading to an End-of-Module Task. Protocols and opportunities for students to engage in discussions with peers focused on the texts and topics under study are available in most lessons. Throughout the discussions, students are encouraged to use academic vocabulary as they discuss, ask questions, and return to the texts to support their responses.

The materials included a variety of writing types, including on-demand and process writing that align with the requirements in the standards. Evidence-based writing instruction and opportunities appear throughout most lessons.

Explicit instruction for grammar and conventions that address the language standards appear in each module.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of most questions, tasks, and assignments being text-dependent and requiring students to engage with the text directly.

Each module provides opportunities for students to respond to text-dependent questions as well as non-text dependent. Non-text dependent questions are used to build knowledge and make connections for students in the readings. Modules begin with an overarching Essential Question. Within each lesson, there are text-dependent focus questions, content framing questions, and craft questions that drive students toward the learning goals and associated tasks tied to the texts and standards. 

Text-dependent question examples include:

  • In Module 1, the Focusing Question for Lessons 20-24 states: "How does weather impact leaves in fall?"
  • In Module 1, Lesson 22, students answer the text-dependent questions, "How does a leaf change colors?"
  • In Module 2, the Focusing Question for Lessons 11-15 states: "What was life like for pioneers in the early American West?"
  • In Module 2, Lesson 13, students answer, "How is Journey of a Pioneer both a story and an informational text? Give one example from your chart. Describe what it is like to read a text that tells a story and provides information. Can you think of another text in this module that tells a story and provides information?"
  • In Module 3, the Focusing Question for Lessons 24-29 states: "How did the Mendez family respond to injustice?"
  • In Module 3, Lesson 25, students answer the following text-dependent questions: "What’s happening in this part of the text? How would you say this quotation expressively to show what is happening in the text?"
  • In Module 4, the Focusing Question for Lessons 1-8 is: "How can food nourish my body?"
  • In Module 4, Lesson 5, students answer, "What is the digestive tract? The digestive tract is compared with a long, winding tube. How does this comparison help you understand the diagram on page 12?"

Text-dependent task examples include:

  • In Module 1, students work in pairs to create a Moving Tableau to represent the story’s problem, using evidence from the story, A Color of His Own
  • In Module 2, students read Plains Indians and then use a Wonder Wheel to ask and answer questions about Plains Indians
  • In Module 3, students compare and contrast the main points of two texts on Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, "I Have a Dream."
  • In Module 4, students use text features to navigate an informational text to identify what is happening in The Digestive System by Christine Taylor-Butler and The Digestive System by Jennifer Prior. 

Additional materials that support students engaging with the text include:

  • Response Journals are used to record key details from the texts read.
  • Knowledge Journal Charts are used for the new information they have learned from studying the content.
  • Evidence Organizer is used to organize information that is gathered from the text to answer a text-dependent question.
  • Text Evidence Charts are used to record supporting details from the text.

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task.

Every module offers an End-of-Module (EOM) Task. The lessons, questions, and tasks leading up to the EOM Task offer support to complete the task. The EOM Tasks require the students to include evidence from the text and apply a skill that was taught through the text they have read. For example, students include evidence from two of the texts in Module 1 as they write a paragraph describing how changes in fall weather impact plants or animals. In Module 2, students write an informative paragraph comparing the life of one legendary person they have learned about in this module to real-life pioneers and explain the differences. In Module 3, students write a narrative from either the point of view of Ruby Bridges or Sylvia Mendez about their responses to injustice. And in Module 4, students write an opinion paragraph about which meal they would choose to nourish their body and why. Students support their response using evidence from the module resources.

The associated tasks described in the lesson plans and in each module include the following:

  • An Essential Question that guides the overall work of the module
  • A Focusing Question for each set of lessons associated with the anchor text selections and is aligned to the expectations for the EOM Task and the Essential Question
  • A Content Framing Question that guides each lesson 
  • A Vocabulary Deep Dive lesson that focuses on the complex vocabulary of the anchor text
  • A New Read Assessment and a Socratic Seminar that contain elements that support success on EOM Task

Examples include:

  • In  Module 1: A Season of Change, the Essential Question is, “How does change impact people and nature?” Focusing questions through the module include: 
    • What changes in “Weather”? 
    • How do changes in fall weather impact people and nature? 
    • How does the Little Yellow Leaf change? 
    • How does the chameleon change? 
    • How does weather impact leaves in fall? 
    • How does Sky Tree show the cycle of seasons? 
    • How does change impact people and nature? 
    • The Socratic Seminar includes: Compare and contrast the change that two characters experience in A Color of His Own and The Little Yellow Leaf

At the end of this Module, students complete the EOM Task: As the culmination of this exploration in the EOM Task, students write a paragraph for the classroom text about how changes in fall weather impact plants or animals. Students use evidence from two texts in the module to complete the task.

  • In Module 3, Civil Rights Heroes, the Essential Question is, “How can people respond to injustice?” Focusing questions throughout the module include: 
    • What injustices did people face before the Civil Rights Act of 1964? 
    • What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for the world? 
    • How did Ruby Bridges respond to injustices? 
    • How did the Mendez family respond to injustice? 
    • How can people respond to injustice? 
    • Students participate in two Socratic Seminar:“Explain why Martin Luther King Jr.’s words are powerful.” and “Explain how responding to injustice can impact the world.” At the end of the module, students complete the following EOM Task: "Write an exploded moment narrative from either the point of view of Ruby Bridges or Sylvia Mendez about their responses to injustice."

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet expectations that materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.  

In the majority of the lessons, there are discussion protocols for turn-and-talks, whole group discussions, and small group discussions. There are opportunities in all of these routines for students to speak and listen about what they read. Collaborative routines are included in the daily lessons along with protocol explanations and discussion structures. This is found in the “Implementation Guide: A Guide for Teachers.”

Instructional routines are included through lessons for students to Think-Pair-Share which allows students to individually process their thoughts about a question, then collaboratively discuss the question with peers. Question Corners allows students to express their ideas and opinions in response to a question by moving to and standing in an area assigned to a specific response or point of view. Mix and Mingle allows students to circulate around the room. On a cue (e.g., stop music, chant, call out directions), students stand back to back with a partner, listen to the question, think, then turn around and discuss the question. Socratic Seminars allow students to prepare for and participate in a structured, text-based, academic conversation. Students apply the skills of speaking and listening to express what they have learned from their reading and writing. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, students participate in a Jigsaw activity to discuss what knowledge has been gained about the seasons using academic vocabulary.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 24, students participate in the activity, Give-One-Get-One-Move-On, to compare the two texts about Johnny Appleseed.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 20, students participate in a Grammar Safari that provides students the opportunity to discuss Johnny Appleseed using past tense verbs.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 13, students participate in a Gallery Walk to discuss knowledge gained using academic vocabulary in the four modules. Students answer questions about characters and setting of Bone Button Borscht.

Each of the four modules include Socratic Seminars allowing students to prepare for and participate in a structured, text-based, academic conversation. 

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for supporting students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching with relevant follow-up questions and evidence. Each module provides an Essential Question, Focusing Questions, and Content Framing Questions within groups of lessons to guide students understandings and synthesis of the content. Students have opportunities to discuss these questions within each daily lesson plan. Additionally, each of the four modules include Socratic Seminars allowing students to prepare for and participate in a structured, text-based, academic conversation. 

In Module 1,  a Speaking and Listening Anchor Chart is developed with students to meet the speaking and listening goals set for the module and aligned to the CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards. This chart is reviewed and used to give structure to whole group, small group and partner discussions. 

Examples of discussion questions/tasks include: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, the teacher is provided with follow-up questions to teachers to increase “the richness of the conversation” including: "How does the text show change? Why do these changes matter?"
  • In Module 1, students participate in two Socratic Seminars: "Synthesize information from How Do You Know It’s Fall? to demonstrate understanding of changes in fall. Compare and contrast the change that two characters experience in A Color of His Own and The Little Yellow Leaf."
  • In Module 2, students participate in two Socratic Seminars: "Identify characteristics of what life was like for the Plains Indians in the early American West. Analyze the two versions of Johnny Appleseed and identify differences between the way the legend is told."
  • In Module 2, Lesson 25, the teacher is provided with follow-up questions to guide the discussion during Socratic Seminar: "Of the two books, which legend was 'taller,' or more exaggerated? In each text, which specific illustrations were best matched to the storytelling? Of the two books, which seemed more like a biography, the true telling of a person’s life story? According to Aliki, which of Johnny Appleseed’s challenges was the greatest one? According to Kellogg, which challenge was greatest? How did Johnny Appleseed respond to the challenges?"
  • In Module 3, students participate in two Socratic Seminars: "Explain why Martin Luther King Jr.’s words are powerful.Explain how responding to injustice can impact the world."
  • In Module 3, Lesson 14, students Think-Pair-Share about the question, “What did you notice about Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story?”
  • In Module 4, students participate in two Socratic Seminars: "Compare and contrast Stone Soup and Bone Button Borscht . What happened when you tried eating something new?"
  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, students Think-Pair-Share about the following question: "What did you notice about these sections of The Digestive System (Taylor-Butler)?"
  • In Module 4, Lesson 16, the teacher is provided with follow-up questions to guide students’ discussion during Socratic Seminar: "How are the stories alike? How are they different? How do characters in both stories feel in the end?"

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet expectations 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.

Throughout the modules, students have multiple opportunities for on-demand writing, as well as process writing. Students have opportunities to learn about the writing process through Craft Lessons where students work to revise and edit their drafts. Students use Response Journals to record their writing. Focusing Question Tasks provide students with opportunities for on-demand writing. 

For example:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 14, students use the Information Writing Checklist to review their information paragraphs in response to the Focusing Question, “How does the Little Yellow Leaf change?”
  • In Module 2, Lesson 5, students answer the Focusing Question, “How did the actions of the American Indians, settlers, and President Theodore Roosevelt impact the prairie in the American West?”
  • In Module 2, Lesson 35, students revise their End-of-Module paragraphs using the Informative Writing Checklist. 
  • In Module 3, the Focusing Question Task 1 prompt states: “Write an informative paragraph using evidence from two different sources about injustices before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
  • In Module 3, Lesson 5, students write an ITEEC (Introduction, Topic Statement, Evidence, Evidence, Conclusion)  informational paragraph that answers Focusing Question 1.
  • In Module 3, students respond to the Focusing Question Task 2, “Write an informative paragraph using evidence from two different sources that answer the question, What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for the world? Write an informative paragraph using two sources.”
  • In Module 3, students respond to the Focusing Question Task 3, “Write an exploded moment narrative from the point of view of Ruby Bridges about the injustices she faced as she walked into the school.”
  • In Module 4, Lesson 8, students revise their responses to the Focusing Question using the Informative Writing Checklist: “Choose either the stomach or the small intestine. What important jobs does this organ do as part of the digestive system?”
  • In Module 4,Lesson 20, students respond to the Focusing Question Task, “Where does nourishing food come from? Describe how food is created on a big farm. Write an informative paragraph that includes the steps and the connections between them.”

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet the expectation that materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

A variety of prompts include the distribution of opinion, narrative, and informative/explanatory writings as required by the Grade 2 standards. Module materials focus on different text types of writing throughout the year. Focusing Question Tasks require specific writing skills and each of these Focusing Question Tasks scaffolds the level of skill needed to complete the task successfully. These skills culminate and are assessed with the End-of-Module Task within each module. 

The primary writing focus of Module 1 is informational writing. The primary focus of Module 2 is informational writing. The focus of Module 3 is informational writing for Focusing Question 1 and 2. Students write a narrative for Focusing Questions 3, 4, and 5. In Module 4, the primary writing focus is informative shared research and opinion writing. In each module, students begin by unpacking prompts and learning to respond, orally and in writing. 

Some examples of text types of writing addressed throughout the year include: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, students use the Informative Writing Anchor chart to guide them in drafting their topic statements in response to the Focusing Question Task. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 14, students learn how to add details to their informative paragraphs about the Focusing Question Task, “What challenges do the Pioneers face and how do they respond?” Students continue crafting their responses by creating a topic sentence and clearly explained details. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 23, students learn how to write using a digital book-making tool. Students add fun facts to their informative drafts about the lesson of Johnny Appleseed. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 34, students plan their informative paragraph about, “How was one legendary person different from real-life pioneers?” Students use the Informative Writing Anchor Chart to guide their writing of a topic statement and evidence. 
  • In Module 3, students write different text types on the same topic:
    • Students write an informative paragraph using evidence from two different sources about injustices before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    • Students write an informative paragraph describing Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.
    • Students write an exploded moment narrative from the point of view of Ruby Bridges about the injustices she faced as she walked into the school.
    • Students write an exploded moment narrative from the point of view of Ruby Bridges about her response to injustice as she stops in the middle of the crowd.
    • Students write an exploded moment narrative from the point of view of Sylvia Mendez as she sits in the courtroom during the Mendez family’s trial.
    • Students write an exploded moment narrative from either the point of view of Ruby Bridges or Sylvia Mendez about their responses to injustice. This narrative includes an informational paragraph that answers the question and is written from first person point of view.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 6, students use the shared research gathered from Lessons 1-5 to craft their informative paragraph about the Focusing Question: "Choose either the stomach or the small intestine. What important jobs does this organ do as part of the digestive system?" Students are to include an introduction, topic statement, two pieces of evidence from The Digestive System, and a conclusion. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 12, students learn the structure of an opinion paragraph. Students learn how to use the I-OREO format (Introduction, Opinion Statement, Reason, Evidence, Opinion Conclusion) to craft their opinion paragraphs. In Lesson 13, students begin to write their opinion statements and collect evidence to support their statements. In Lesson 15, students write about the Focusing Question: "Who benefited the most from making the soup in Bone Button Borscht?" Students are to include the pieces from their I-OREO. 

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for the materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. 

Over the course of a year, students have multiple opportunities for evidence-based writing during daily lessons. Students use sticky notes to annotate texts, complete graphic organizer, and record knowledge they learned from the text in their Knowledge Journals. Additionally, each lesson utilizes Focusing Question Tasks that build to an End-of-Module (EOM) Task that incorporate written and oral responses to text-based questions/prompts. 

Examples include: 

  • In Module 1, students write a topic statement using key terms from the Focusing Question and module vocabulary to collaboratively write an informative paragraph on the impact of fall on people and nature.
  • In Module 1, students complete a New Read Assessment: "Read A Color of His Own and identify story elements of character, setting, problem, and resolution. Use an evidence organizer to record evidence of change using temporal words first, then, and finally."
  • In Module 2, Lesson 12, students record major events on index cards from the text, Journey of a Pioneer, and add them to the Major Events Timeline. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 17, students work in small groups and use a sentence frame to recount events from the text, The Legend of the Bluebonnet.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 1, the Extension asks students the Essential Question, “What have you learned so far about how Martin Luther King Jr. responded to injustice?” Students Stop and Jot in their Response Journals to answer this question and share responses with a partner.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 4, Using Handout 4B: Evidence Organizer students will write evidence from text and video about the injustices people faced before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 5, students write an informative paragraph using evidence to the question, “What were the injustices people faced before the Civil Rights Act of 1964?” 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 11, students craft introduction and conclusion sentences drawing on evidence from Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 9, students make independent observations about Stone Soup and Stop and Jot observations in their Response Journals. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 11, students complete a SCAPE chart to identify the text elements in Bone Button Borscht.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials for Grade 2 meet expectations that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in and out of context. 

Language standards are addressed throughout each module in the Deep Dive Style and Conventions portion of module lessons. The instructional strategies of the lessons include teacher modeling, Think Aloud, use of sentence frames, Anchor Charts, and Think-Pair-Share. Students are supported in their use of the grammar and convention focus through speaking and writing in their Response Journals. Over the course of the year, students apply grammar and convention skills to context. Examples include: 

Students have opportunities to use collective nouns. For example:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 27, students play a game to help remind them of common collective nouns. After the game, students complete the Collective Noun handout. 

Students have opportunities to form and use frequently-occurring irregular plural nouns. For example: 

  • In Module 2, Lesson 7, using Plain Indians students will form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns. The teacher uses a sentence frame to model identifying the correct irregular plural noun. Students then complete the Irregular Plural Noun handout. 

Students have opportunities to use reflexive pronouns. For example: 

  • In Module 4, Lesson 10, using Bone Button Borscht, students identify and match reflexive pronouns in Bone Button Borscht with their antecedent.

Students have opportunities to form and use the past tense of frequently occurring regular verbs. For example: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 11, students use the text, The Little Yellow Leaf, to find verbs in the text and place on a Sticky Note to add to the Graffiti Wall. Students are reminded that verbs ending in -ed occur in the past. 

Students have opportunities to use adjectives and adverbs and choose between them depending on what is to be modified. For example: 

  • In Module 3, Lesson 5, using Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington, students explain the purpose of adverbs and identify what they modify.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 7, using "I Have a Dream" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., students identify and explain the purpose of adjectives. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 15, using Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, students expand sentences, choosing between adjectives and adverbs depending on the word that is being modified. 

Students have opportunities to produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences. For example: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 7, using How Do You Know It’s Fall?, students apply the term, subject, to sentences with single subjects noting that subjects do not always refer to people.
  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, using How Do You Know It’s Fall?, students continue to build understanding of sentence elements by identifying the verbs that correspond with the subjects of sentences in Deep Dive 7.

Students have opportunities to capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names. For example: 

  • In Module 2, Lesson 12, using Journey of a Pioneer, students edit sentences to ensure capitalization of holidays and geographic names.

Students have opportunities to use commas in greetings and closings of letters. For example: 

  • In Module 4, Lesson 20, students Think-Pair-Share about the question, “Where will you place commas in your letter?” Then, using Handout 20A, students write a letter accurately using commas in the greeting and closing.

Students have opportunities to use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives. For example: 

  • In Module 4, Lesson 4, using The Digestive System by Christine Taylor-Butler, students identify examples of contractions and explain the role of the apostrophes in contractions.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 16, using Stone Soup, students identify and explain the purpose of apostrophes in possessive nouns.

Students have opportunities to generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words. For example: 

  • In Module 4, Lesson 25, the teacher posts the following sentence with a spelling error circled: The teeth grined food. The teacher then guides students through using spelling patterns to help spell the word correctly. Students then read an entry in their Response Journals and circle misspelled words. They use spelling patterns to try to correct misspellings. 

Students have opportunities to consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed, to check and correct spellings. For example: 

  • In Module 4, Lesson 26, students use spelling patterns or a spelling reference tool to check and/or correct the spelling of at least two words in their Focusing Question Task 4 drafts. 

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway Two Details

Texts within the Wit & Wisdom Grade 2 materials are organized around topics to build students’ knowledge and vocabulary. A series of intentionally sequenced questions and tasks support students as they analyze texts and integrate knowledge and ideas within and across texts. Carefully sequenced questions and task frame each module, leading to an End-of-Module task where students demonstrate content knowledge and literacy skills.

Intentional plans for both vocabulary instruction and writing are evident across the year. Students engage in shared research projects across multiple modules.

Opportunities and suggestions for independent reading are available, however there is no mechanism for accountability.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
30/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Texts are organized around science and social studies topics to build students’ content knowledge and vocabulary. A series of intentionally sequenced questions and tasks build upon one another to support students as they analyze the texts as well as the integration of knowledge and ideas within and across texts. The sequencing of the questions and task that frame each module lead to an End-of-Module task which requires students to demonstrate their content knowledge and literacy skills through writing and speaking.

An intentional plan for vocabulary instruction utilizing both implicit and explicit instruction is embedded in the modules across the year.

A year-long, cohesive plan for writing instruction is evident in the materials, with almost daily opportunities for students to engage in writing which grows their understanding of texts and topics. Students engage in shared research projects across multiple modules.

While there is information about the importance of students engaging in a volume of reading as well as questions designed to support the volume of reading, there is no accountability system to ensure students engage in independent reading.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

The curriculum has four modules that are all organized around specific science or social studies topics. The first and last module are about science and the middle two modules focus on a social studies topic. Module 1 is about seasons that change, Module 2 is about the American West, Module 3 is about Civil Rights heroes, and Module 4 is about good eating.  Within each module, there are guiding essential questions that break the big topics into more focused topics. 

In Module 1, students read several literary and informational texts to help think about change. Students learn about weather, seasons, and animals that change for specific reasons. Topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons 1-3, students hear several poems, including “Weather” by Eve Merriam and "Autumn Landscape” by Maurice de Vlaminck, and discuss what changes in weather.
  • In Lessons 4-9, students hear How Do You Know It’s Fall by Lisa M. Herrington to think about changes in fall weather that impact people and nature.
  • In Lessons 10-14, students hear The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger to help answer the question how does the little yellow leaf change.
  • In Lessons 15-19, students discuss how a chameleon changes by listening to A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.
  • In Lessons 20-24, students hear Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro and discuss how weather impacts leaves in the fall.
  • In Lessons 26-29, students hear Sky Tree by Thomas Locker to explore how the Sky Tree shows the cycle of seasons

In Module 2, students read several literary and informational texts to help think about the American West. Students learn about different Native American tribes, life on the American prairie, and read tall tales from the American West. Topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons 1-5, students hear several texts, including The Buffalo Are Back by Jean Craighead George, to learn how the actions of American Indians and early settlers impacted the prairie in the American West. 
  • In Lesson 6-10, students hear Plains Indians by Andrew Santella and focus on what life was like for Plains Indians in the early American West.
  • In Lessons 11-15, students hear Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J. Murphy and think about what life was like for pioneers in the early American West.
  • In Lessons 16-19, students read the legend, The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola, and think about the life lessons they can learn from the story. 
  • In Lessons 20-25, students read The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki and discuss the life lessons they can learn from the text.
  • In Lessons 26-32, students hear several John Henry stories including John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats and discuss how different authors tell the story of John Henry’s life. 

In Module 3, students read several literary and informational texts around the Civil Rights Movement. Students begin by learning about life before the Civil Rights and then learn about people from the Civil Rights era, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Ruby Bridges. Topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons 1-6, students hear several texts, including Martin Luther King Jr., and the March on Washington by Frances E. Ruffin, to discuss some of the injustices people faced before the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. 
  • In Lessons 7-13, students learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream for the world and hear several texts, including King's "I Have Dream" speech.
  • In Lessons 14-23, students learn how Ruby Bridges responded to injustice and hear several texts, including Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges and The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles.
  • In Lessons 24-29, students learn about Sylvia Mendez by listening to texts, such as Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh. 

In Module 4, students read literary and informational texts about good eating. Students learn all about the importance of healthy food and how to get it. Topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons  1-8, students read many texts to learn how food nourishes their body including The Digestive System by Jennifer Prior and The Digestive System by Christine Taylor Butler.
  • In Lessons 9-16, students hear several texts to learn how food can nourish a community including Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis and Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. 
  • In Lessons 17-21, students learn where nourishing food comes from by reading texts, such as The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons.
  • In Lessons 22-27, students learn how they can choose nourishing foods by reading many texts, including Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy Rockwell

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the program, students answer a variety of coherently sequenced questions and tasks. The questions help students engage with and analyze complex texts they hear throughout the year. Questions involving vocabulary require students to analyze the language within the read aloud. Student compare and contrast different texts within each module to examine structure and analyze pictures to discuss craft. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze language include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 2, after hearing the poem, “Weather” by Eve Merriam, the teacher rereads lines 1-4 and asks the students what the rain sounds like at this point. Then the teacher rereads lines 5-6 and asks the students what the rain sounds like at this point in the poem. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 28, after reading John Henry by Julius Lester, students are asked why the author used sound words on page 2. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 20, after reading The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, students are asked what is the difference between the words angry, irritated, and furious and why the author chose the adjective irritated and not furious or angry.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 3, after reading The Digestive System by Christine Taylor-Butler, students are asked why the liquid is called gastric juice and why the heading is called ‘Don’t Drink the Juice’. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze key ideas include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 11, after hearing The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger, students are asked what is happening when the narrator says that “neither spoke” and why that is an important moment in the story. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 22,  students are asked what lesson they can learn from the key details in The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 6, after reading Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington by Frances E. Ruffin, students are asked what Martin Luther King Jr. did to respond to injustices in his world and what impact he had on the country. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 5, students hear The Digestive System by Jennifer Prior and then are asked what happens when food enters the mouth and esophagus and how it changes when it leaves. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze details include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 6, after hearing How Do You Know It’s Fall by Lisa M. Herrington, students are asked what the details on page 21-25 tell them. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, students hear The Buffalo are Back by Jean Craighead George and are asked how the settlers are linked the buffalo and how they buffalo are linked to the grass. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 27, students hear Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh, and are asked what Sylvia’s mother wants her to understand when she says, "Don’t you know that is why we fought?" 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 12, students hear Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis and are asked what details they notice about the beggar and what that reveals about his character. 

Examples of questions that require student to analyze craft include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 26, students are asked if Sky Tree by Thomas Locker is an informational text or a literary text and how they know. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 7, students are asked how they can use the text features in Plains Indians by Andrew Santella to better understand it. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 7, students listen to Martin Luther King, Jr's speech, I Have a Dream, and are asked what they notice about how this speech sounds when King reads it to the crowd. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 14, students are asked what is the real, essential meaning of the story, Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis, and are asked to explain how the words and pictures work together to provide evidence for the essential meaning. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze structure include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 16, after hearing A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, students are asked to describe the setting at the beginning of the story, the end of the story, and how it changes. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 13, students are asked how Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J. Murphy is both a story and an informational text. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson, 16, students are asked how the point of view in Ruby Bridges Goes to School is similar to the point of view in "I Have a Dream". 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 18, students hear The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons, students are asked why the author put the sections in the specific order in the text.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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.

Throughout the program, students are asked a set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require them to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Throughout the four modules, the students learn about seasons, the American West, the Civil Rights Movement, and good eating habits. Students are asked questions in individual texts and across multiple texts in order to integrate the knowledge that they have learned. 

Examples of such questions include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 4, after hearing How Do You Know It's Fall by Lisa M. Herrington,  students are asked what did they learn about fall from this text. 
  • In Module 1, Lesson 10, students think about the signs of fall in How Do You Know It’s Fall by Lisa M. Harrington and The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger. Then students ask if they get the same type of information from both texts. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 7, students are asked how eastern Plains Indians live differently from western Plains Indians. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 16, students discuss how the point of view in Martin Luther King, Jr’s I Have a Dream speech is similar to the point of view in Ruby Bridges Goes to School
  • In Module 3, Lesson 27, after hearing Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh, students are asked why the story is organized by showing the first day of the new school before explaining that the Mendez family fought for desegregation. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 4, after hearing The Digestive System by Jennifer Prior, students are asked what is a digestive tract. They are also told that the digestive tract is compared with a long, winding tube and then asked how that comparison helps them understand the diagram on page 12.

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

In each module, there are several focusing question tasks that scaffold the materials to aid in the successful completion of the End-of-Module (EOM) Task. The focus tasks come at the end of each topic in the module. The materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to each culminating task. Many of the specific tasks are focused on a piece of writing but are about the text that they listened to the teacher read aloud, which provides learning through integrated skills. Students also rehearse the writing with a partner before writing. 

Examples of the Focus Question Tasks and the EOM Tasks include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 13, students complete Focus Questioning Task 1 which asks students how the Little Yellow Leaf changes. Before writing, students work with a partner and use the Change Chart, which was created throughout the lessons, to select evidence for their paragraphs. Then students compose a verbal paragraph before independently writing their paragraph. The EOM Task requires students to write a paragraph about how changes in weather impact plants or animals in fall. Students select evidence from two texts in order to complete this task. The Focus Questioning Task supports students in completing this task. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 9, students complete Focusing Question Task 2 where they write a paragraph explaining how plants or animals were important in Plains Indians’ lives. Students work with paragraphs to practice the paragraph before writing it. In the EOM Task, students write how one legendary person was different from real-life pioneers. Before beginning, students engage in a practice writing task. The teacher asks the students what are the similarities between The Legend of the Bluebonnet and The Buffalo Are Back. Then students write how The Legend of the Bluebonnet is different from real-life America West, like the one described in The Buffalo Are Back. On the following day, students write how either John Henry or Johnny Appleseed were different from real-life pioneers.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 27, after reading Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh, students complete Focusing Question Task 5, where they write an exploded moment narrative from the point of view of Sylvia Mendez in the courtroom scene. Then for the EOM Task, students write a narrative about an exploded moment from one of the module texts. Students can either write about Ruby Bridges or Sylvia Mendez. In order to prepare, students complete a graphic organizer for both famous women. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 19, students complete Focusing Question Task 3 where they write an informative paragraph about how food is created on a big farm. As a class, the students identify the steps in the process as the teacher rereads pages 26-27 in The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons. Then for the EOM Task, students are given two pictures of plates and have to pick which meal would nourish their body and why using evidence from Good Enough to Eat. Students work together to brainstorm and answer questions such as what vitamin or mineral is in a peanut and how does that help the body stay healthy. This integrates reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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. 

The materials include a year-long vocabulary plan. Vocabulary words are taught both implicitly and explicitly, using words from the texts read aloud. Vocabulary instruction includes a focus on multiple meanings, shades of meaning, concept maps, and morphology. Vocabulary Routines are found in the Resources section of the Implementation Guide and include routines such as Frayer Model, Morpheme Matrix, Outside-In, Relationship Mapping, and Word Line. Teachers also use Word Walls and Vocabulary Journals for students to record newly-acquired words and vocabulary strategies Appendix B includes additional vocabulary support. It explains that vocabulary instructional strategies are explicitly introduced and practiced throughout the program. The appendix also includes a Module Word List and a list of words that would pose a challenge to student comprehension. Vocabulary is assessed through questions in the module assessments. 

Examples of explicit vocabulary instruction throughout the program include: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 11, after hearing The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger, students explore the word soared and then the teacher explains that the author uses many interesting verbs to describe the actions of the wind, the leaves, and other things in nature. Students then work in pairs to browse the text to find verbs that describe how things move. Students post the words and then each pair selects one word and uses a dictionary to look up the word. The pairs then create an action that shows the action of the verb. Once pairs have their action, they form groups of four and the pairs take turns performing their action. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 9, students are told that a lifestyle is the way someone lives. The teacher then reads a paragraph on page 17 of Plains Indians by Andrew Santella and tells the students they need to find out the meaning of nomadic. The teacher shows them how to use the glossary and writes the definition on the board. Students then go back to page 17 and pairs work together to think about if horses make nomadic life easier. Students then add the word to their Vocabulary Journals before stopping and jotting what three ways they could find out more about the words nomad and nomadic
  • In Module 3, Lesson 20, the teacher reads aloud page 25 of The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles and asks students what they notice about the word irritated. Then the teacher posts sentences with the words angry, irritated and furious and asks students what is different about these words and why the author chose the adjective irritated and not furious or angry. Students are then given a Shades of Meaning worksheet, where they order words from least strong to strongest. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 29, students review content words from the unit by playing the game, Link Up. In this game, students pair words and explain their connection. Pairs work together to figure out how the different words are connected and then they share. This game can be played several times, but pairs need to find different pairs each time. At the end of the lesson, students write a sentence with two linked words and then share with the class. 

Indicator 2f

Materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

Throughout the materials, students engage in writing lessons almost daily that support them in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. Students engage in different forms of writing. Besides writing projects, students participate in Stop and Jot, which allows them to respond to texts in the moment. Students spend roughly 20 or more minutes of writing per lesson.

Throughout the program, students follow a protocol for the different genres of writing. Students begin the year with informative writing, then narrative writing, before opinion writing. For informative writing, students learn to introduce their reader to the topic, state their idea about the topic, supply evidence that develops the topic and explains how that evidence develops the topic before reinforcing the essential idea in a conclusion. For narrative writing, students are taught to include characters, setting, problem, events, and a resolution. For opinion writing, students introduce their reader to the topic, state their opinion on the topic and the reasons for it, as well as citing evidence for the reason, before reinforcing their opinion in a conclusion. Writing rubrics are included in the Implementation Guide that are unique to Grade 2. 

Specific examples of writing tasks and how they build over the year include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 5, students learn how to write topic statements. The teacher posts a model sentence and asks students what they notice. Students then practice writing topic statements for paragraphs as a whole class before writing independently. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 12, students examine clearly explained details. Students hear some paragraphs and are asked how to improve the paragraphs. Then students are asked how key details relate to the topic statement. Then, in Lesson 13, students practice revising their sentences to make sure they clearly explain the details in their writing. When they finish, they share with a partner. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 21, students learn how to plan an exploded moment in writing. Students write an exploded moment narrative from the point of view of Ruby Bridges as she stops in the crowd walking into the school. Students use a SCAPEplanner to identify the setting, character, action, problem, and ending and then identify what Ruby Bridges might feel in this situation. Students orally rehearse their exploded moment narrative before writing. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 23, student learn how to research from multiple sources for opinion pieces. Students work collectively with their class to collect evidence and add it to the Evidence Organizer. The teacher reads aloud several different sections of Good Enough to Eat and students take notes to collect evidence. In future lessons, students collect additional evidence about four more foods before beginning their opinion piece. 

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Throughout the program, students are given ample opportunities to help them develop their research skills by engaging in shared research projects. Beginning in Module 2, there is a research component included in each module that provides students with lifelong research skills. Students learn about answering research questions, gathering information from more than one source, using graphic organizers to organize the information, and using research to write an opinion piece. 

Specific examples of research lessons and tasks include:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 23, students read “Who Was Johnny Appleseed?” by Scholastic News and focus on answering the research question, "What is true about the real John Chapman?" The teacher, along with the students, reads aloud the passage and then students work in partners to answer the question. They write it on the sticky note and post it on the Research Chart. Then students add one fact that they researched to their Focusing Question Task book. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 3, students work in small groups to brainstorm different sources they could use to resource the Civil Rights. Then beginning in Lesson 4, students collect evidence using a graphic organizer. Then in Lesson 11, students write an informative paragraph using two sources. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 22, students begin to complete the Focusing Question Task 4 where they conduct research in small groups to form opinions about healthy foods. In these groups, students collect evidence from multiple sources over the course of multiple days before writing their research paragraph. 

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.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

In the Instructional Manual, there is information about the importance of volume of reading, including independent reading; however, there is no guidance for teachers on incorporating this into the daily lesson plan nor is there an accountability system for students. Independent reading is not included within the module lessons and all of the texts are read alouds; therefore, not giving students the opportunity to independently read. Students do chorally read and echo read, but small group instruction is also not included to provide additional times for students to regularly engage in a volume of reading. There is minimal home support for independent reading. There are repeated readings of fluency passage and in the Family Letter that goes home, there are questions to ask at home and suggested texts, but no accountability system.  In addition, in Appendix D, there is a list of texts that are recommended titles that support the module content or themes. These texts can be used in small group instruction or as part of an independent and/or choice reading program. There are also Volume of Reading Reflection Questions, that allows students to share their knowledge about the content through independent reading; however, there is no system suggested that requires students to complete these questions. 

Examples of the reflection questions and suggested texts include:

  • In Module 1, questions include, "What changes happen to the main character? What is one important idea that the author wants you to learn about the seasons or nature? How does the text connect to another text that they have read about seasons?" Text suggestions include The House of Four Seasons by Roger Duvoisin and The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown. 
  • In Module 2, text suggestions include Sacajawea: Her True Story by Joyce Milton, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman, and The Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac.
  • In Module 3, questions include, "How does the author use images to teach about the Civil Rights Movement? What important points did you learn by reading? How does this story add to what you have already learned about the Civil Rights Movement from other stories?" Text suggestions include Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, and Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story of the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine. 
  • In Module 4, questions include, "What important information did you learn from reading? What lesson can you learn from this book? What are the key ideas and details in the book?" Text suggestions include Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson and Sopa de Frijoles: Bean Soup by Jorge Argueta. 

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway Three Details

Materials are designed to support teachers in providing standards-aligned instruction for all students and are easy for both students and teachers to navigate. The instructional design includes ample opportunities for assessment and support to use data to improve instruction and student learning.

Criterion 3a - 3e

Use and design facilitate student learning: Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials are well-designed and easy to navigate. Alignments to standards are clear and appropriate. Student materials provide appropriate support for the acquisition and practice of key literacy skills.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Each lesson is designed for a 90-minute block. Each module contains from 32-36 lessons. Materials also contain a Module 0 for teachers to begin the school year with an introduction to the format of the daily lessons. 

A module overview is found at the beginning of each module which includes: Module Summary, Essential Questions, Suggested Student Understandings, Texts, Module Learning Goals, Module in Context, Standards, Major Assessments, and Module Map. 

Materials include detailed lessons plans with supporting materials.  The structure within each daily lesson includes the Welcome, Launch, Learn, Land, Wrap, and a Vocabulary Deep Dive or a Style and Convention Deep Dive. Each section has hyperlinks included for materials needed such as graphic organizers or articles.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed Grade 2 meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

Each module provides 32-36 lessons and each lesson is designed for a 90-minute block. Each of the four modules can be completed within a nine-week grading period. Teachers and students can reasonably complete the content within a 36-week school year as long as their schedule provides a 90-minute block of time for English Language Arts. 

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Students have access to an array of materials that provide ample review and practice resources, such as graphic organizers, sentence frames, reference charts, anchor charts, Word Wall, new-read assessments, supporting excerpts or texts, rubrics, and speaking and listening checklists.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. 

Examples include:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, students use an Evidence Organizer Chart to gather evidence for their informative paragraph. The lesson includes teacher guidance for implementation and clear directions for students. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 17, teachers display a Wonder Chart. Guidance for teacher use and directions for students are clear and detailed. 

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Alignment to the CCSS is documented in multiple places in the curriculum including the following sections: Module Map, Module Learning Goals, Standards, Major Assessments, and Lesson Agenda (section- "Standards Addressed”).   

For example, in the overview of each module there is a Module Map that includes learning goals and standards addressed in these goals as well as a Standards section which includes all Reading (Informational and Literary), Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language standards addressed in each module.  In the Major Assessments section of the Module Overview, each standard is listed for each Focusing Task Question Activity and each End-of-Module Task. 

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The digital design is clear and consistent. All modules are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. All modules include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables, and other activities that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise. Each handout and/or activity are hyperlinked in each lesson overview and detailed lesson plan.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Teacher planning and learning for success with CCSS: Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials provide strong support for teachers to facilitate planning, use of all parts of the program, alignment to the standards, research of best practices that underpin the program, and information for involving students and their families/caregivers about supporting the student as a learner.

Indicator 3f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation for materials containing a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. 

The Teacher Edition provides a Module Summary at the beginning of each module, as well as a Focusing Question and Content Framing Question to guide each lesson and module. The lesson overviews also include an At A Glance outline of each lesson as well as Learning Goals and Standards Addressed. The Land/Wrap section has teachers analyze, look at context and alignment, and provide next steps. 

The following are examples which demonstrate how the materials are useful and offer guidance for teachers:

  • In Module 3, Lesson 4, the Launch states:
    • Read aloud the Focusing Question and Content Framing Question. Explain that in today’s lesson students will explore how historical events in Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington are connected. To do this, they will look closely at one short passage.
    • Ask: “Why is it helpful to reread a short passage from a text?” Answers include: "Rereading helps us remember what happened in the text. We can look at all the details in a small passage. We can look closely at what all the words mean."
    • Reinforce the importance of close reading of short passages of a text after you understand the main idea of the whole text. Good readers know that looking closely at a text will help them uncover details they missed the first time.
  • Module 4, Lesson 4, the Teacher Note states: "Collect the group of sticky notes from each group to save them for the next lesson."

Indicator 3g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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.

The Implementation Guide provides multiple explanations and charts regarding curriculum terminology. The Implementation Guide also explains at length the research behind each approach in the curriculum. There are also appendixes that include adult level explanations as well as sample student answers and annotated responses teachers can use to improve their knowledge of what standards being met would look like in a response. 

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet expectations for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

Materials include an Implementation Guide located within each Module under Wit and Wisdom Resources.  The Implementation Guide provides information on how the curriculum addresses all of the ELA/Literacy standards. Additionally, a Module in Context and a Module Learning Goals document are provided in the Module Overview of each unit. The Module in Context includes an overview of how the materials address the Common Core shifts as well as a detailed account of how the CCSS standards have a role in the curriculum. The Module Learning Goals articulate specific standards as they are addressed in each individual module.

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies.

Materials include resources found primarily in the Implementation Guide that provide explanations of the instructional approaches and identify research-based strategies. The Implementation Guide lists what research says, what students need, and how Wit and Wisdom materials provide what students need within the curriculum. Explanations provided include:

  • Research Says: “Performance on complex texts is the clearest differentiator in reading between students who are likely to be ready for college and those who are not.” (ACT 16-17) “But as expectations of college and career reading have held steady or increased, the complexity of Grades K-12 texts have held steady or increased, the complexity of Grades K-12 texts has declined (Adams 4-5; NGA Center and CCSS) 3).
  • Students need to be able to unlock meaning from complex texts.
  • Wit & Wisdom Responds: “Instead of basals, Wit & Wisdom students read complex, grade-level books they love from classics such as The Story of Ferdinand and Animal Farm, to new favorites such as Last Stop on Market Street and The Crossover, to captivating nonfiction such as I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban and An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. Students use these texts at every turn-to learn, and eventually master, essential reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and vocabulary skills.”

Some Core Practice examples include:

  • Vocabulary: “The Wit & Wisdom approach to teaching vocabulary thorough knowledge of word meanings is key to understanding any complex text and to learning as a whole (Chall and Jacobs; Anderson and Freebody 77). Vocabulary instruction in Wit & Wisdom is accordingly designed to achieve three key student outcomes: Better comprehension of complex texts; Broader and deeper knowledge of words and word parts (including affixes and roots); Increased ability to determine the meanings of unknown words As a text-based curriculum. Wit & Wisdom teaches vocabulary both implicitly and explicitly, using words in the core and supplementary texts. Through repeated readings of complex, knowledge-building texts, students implicitly learn many new words (Feitelson, Kita, and Goldstein 340; Miller and Gildea 96; Nagy and Scott 273). Explicit vocabulary instruction focused on the three student outcomes emphasizes three categories of high-leverage vocabulary words and phrases.”
  • Questioning: “Students monitor their understanding of the text by recording questions they have about it. During their first encounter of the text, students record questions they have about it. When students return to the text, they continue to monitor their understanding, recording any additional questions that arise while also looking for answers to their original questions. After the first stage of reading, students share, and when possible, answer these text based questions, or problem solve about how to answer the questions. For example, students may return to the text, consult a reference source, or conduct research. This helps students maintain engagement with and focus on the text while reading and monitor their comprehension of what they are reading. This helps teachers formatively assess students to indicate their understanding of the text and learning from previous modules.”

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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. There is a series of Parent Tip Sheets that provide a summary of each module in the curriculum, including a list of module texts, additional books to read at home, sample questions, and activities to extend thinking and learning. There are also several resources available, such as blogs about learning on the greatmind.org website to help parents better understand how to support their child.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Materials offer regular opportunities for systematic and strategic data collection to inform instruction and describe student progress and performance.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Each lesson includes a check for understanding question. Throughout the modules there are Focusing Questions and Content Framing Questions that the teachers use to help students maintain focus during the reads and to assure they are working toward the lesson’s objectives. There are also New-Read Assessments where students independently do a cold read of an informational or literary text and then complete various question (multiple choice, open-ended, short response, multi-select, etc.). After answering questions, students also complete a short writing task accompanied by a graphic organizer to capture their thinking. Students also participate in two Socratic Seminars per module, and each of these tasks builds to the End-of-Module Task.

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Standards are found in multiple places and times during the module. Each lesson includes Learning Goals which are connected to and labeled with a standard. In each module, there is a tab labeled Module Overview. A chart is provided that lists all of the standards for New Read Assessments, Socratic Seminar, and End-of-Module Tasks. All standards assessed are labeled clearly.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Appendixes include Answer Keys, Rubrics, and Sample Responses, as well as rubrics for all writing tasks. Materials regularly provide:

  • Sample answers and recommended scripts to share with students
  • Suggestions for differentiation
  • Next steps, if students had difficulty. "Consider reviewing handout…. and re-watching ……”
  • Rubrics for scoring student tasks
  • Guidance for Interpreting Student Performance and suggestions for follow up can be found in the teacher’s notes and in the wrap section of each lesson.

For example, in Module 3, Lesson 7, in the Land and Wrap section, the Teacher Guide suggests: "Students should now be familiar with using the Question Cube, but model questions with each question stem if needed. Continue to offer students the choice of using whichever strategy helps them feel successful. Continue encouraging students to challenge themselves to use the question stems in ways that demonstrate deeper thinking about the text such as making predictions, analyzing the reasons for events, and considering the impact of the text images. Support students as they begin to take ownership of the answering process on the Wonder Chart. Look for opportunities during the week to model answering questions with evidence, and prompt students to reflect on their new learning and contribute answers to Wonder Chart questions."

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that provide opportunities to monitor student progress.

All modules of Wit and Wisdom follow the same format and elements for student performance. The New Read Assessments are routine and help teachers monitor students progress towards standards mastery. The Focus Questioning Tasks routinely and regularly build to the End-of-Module (EOM) Tasks and monitors student progress. Checklists are provided with tasks so that students are prepared for the EOM Task. A variety of resources are available in Appendix C to assist teachers in monitoring progress. Some examples include:

  • Self, peer and teacher evaluations
  • Checklists for poetry performances and Socratic Seminars
  • Speaking and Listening Rubrics

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

In each module, Appendix D contains a curated Volume of Reading text list, which includes texts that add to the module and offer students choices at varying levels of complexity. Based on the Content Framing Questions, a set of Volume of Reading Reflection Questions appears in the Student Edition of each module, giving students guidance and structure to apply the Content Framing Questions independently to books of their choice. Time for Volume of Reading is not included within the 90-minute module lessons, but it is noted that it should be a high priority and is included in the sample daily schedules in the Getting Started Section of the Implementation Guide.

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

Materials provide multiple strategies for supporting all learners throughout the program, including strategies for students.

Indicator 3o

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.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

Examples of strategies listed in the Implementation Guide and found throughout the program include:

  • Deliberate sequencing: Students build knowledge of each module topic by reading texts in a purposeful sequence. Students complete each module study with knowledge and skills that they can use to access grade level text.
  • Predictability of structures: The predictability of the recurring Content Stages helps students develop habits of mind and provides a scaffold for reading challenging texts. Students use the Content Framing Question as an entry point to difficult texts.
  • Reading scaffolds: Organizing ideas from informational and literary texts establishes student understanding of the main ideas and plot points prior to the consideration of deeper ideas. Focus on vocabulary and syntax. Students learn to read closely and discuss important passages, with particular emphasis on p learning the meanings of essential content words and academic vocabulary, p studying roots and affixes to grow capacity to discern word meaning independently, and p dissecting phrases to reveal how syntax conveys meaning.
  • Exploration of content in multiple forms: Students explore print texts, visual art, videos, audio recordings, photographs, and maps to access module concepts and information.
  • Reliance on strong models: Students examine models of strong writing to understand how to craft effective sentences, paragraphs, and essays.
  • Frequent feedback: Students receive ongoing and explicit feedback from peers and teachers.
  • Scaffolds: At key moments, lessons include specific suggestions for how to scaffold instruction. These scaffolds empower teachers to seamlessly integrate remediation suggestions into instruction. For students who may be challenged by the lesson’s rigor, scaffolds provide another path to the learning goal, rather than minimize or change the learning goal.
  • Extensions and differentiation suggestions: Lessons often offer suggestions for how to vary learning tasks for those who already have well-developed skills, or to extend learning for students who seek an additional challenge.

Indicator 3p

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations 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. Materials include explicit vocabulary and grammar instruction, text-dependent questions that focus all students on key terms, phrases, and passages for rereading and repeated exploration, partner work that includes oral practice of written responses, and multiple authentic opportunities to use academic language with support, such as explicit teaching about speaking and listening, sentence frames, and vocabulary support.

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials. These are included in boxes in the Teacher Edition lesson plans. Extension activities include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 29, students discuss the central message of the text, Sky Tree. Thenstudents and teacher discuss multiple interpretations of the central message in more detail, including breaking down the meaning of the word, cycle, and additional illustrations of the meaning of the word. They conclude by having the students tie the word back to the text and adding it to their vocabulary journals while the teacher adds it to the word wall.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 22, students read different fluency passages connected to the central text, The Story of Ruby Bridges. They are paired with students who have read a different passage. The pairs share with each other how the text they just read influenced their understanding of the central text.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Lessons indicate where pairs, whole group, small group, or individual groupings are utilized for instruction. Each lesson provides students opportunities to work through more than one type of grouping. Teachers are also provided suggestions for how to assign roles or divide groups. For example, Socratic Seminars are used frequently, and teachers are given detailed instructions on how to model the strategy and assign groups and responsibilities. Other routines that provide opportunities for grouping include anchor charts, boxes and buttons, categorization, chalk talk, choral reading, echo reading, fishbowl, gallery walk, give one-get one-move on, graffiti wall, grammar safari, graphic organizers, jigsaw, link up, literary dominoes, mix and mingle, outside-in, partner reading, praise/question/suggestion, question corners, quick write, quiz-quiz-trade, reader’s theater, and response techniques.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Materials work well on all technology platforms and are easy to access. They are easily customizable for local use. Supports for teachers to use technology as a part of the learning process with students is available. Adaptive technology is not offered with this program.

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.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. Technology is used throughout modules and lessons to enhance student learning and draw attention to evidence and texts, including many works of art, videos, songs, and other multimedia representations of the topic under study. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, Lessons 19-30, students learn about why and how scientists explore sea creatures. Digital links include a link to view "The Gulf Stream" (painting) by Winslow Homer on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website and a link to a virtual tour of the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 11, while students are learning about pioneer life in the early American West, they are provided a digital link to study "Among the Sierra Nevada, California" (painting) by Albert Bierstadt.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Adaptive or other technological innovations are not included in the instructional materials.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 can be easily customized for local use. The Implementation Guide states, “When observing teachers, school leaders should keep in mind that Wit & Wisdom is not a scripted program, and Wit & Wisdom instruction will vary from classroom to classroom. While the lessons can be implemented as written, teachers will study the modules and come to know them as deeply as the educators who wrote them. Teachers should use their knowledge of the modules and of their students to customize lessons when needed.” However, all handouts and lessons can only be downloaded in pdf form and can not be edited.

Indicator 3v

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate.

abc123

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 02/27/2020

Report Edition: 2016

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.

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 K-2 (No Foundational Skills) Rubric and Evidence Guides

** These review tools are intended to be used for comprehensive programs that do not contain a foundational skills component and are instead designed to be implemented with a supplement.**

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

X