Alignment: Overall Summary

This report was published on June 8, 2017.

The Wit and 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.

Note: The K-2 materials reviewed do not include a formal foundational skills component and instead recommend pairing the materials with a high-quality foundational skills program. The 3-5 materials provide some foundational skills instruction through their language, vocabulary, and writing instruction, and fluency practice. However, they do not include extensive phonics instruction.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
41
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
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

Texts included with these materials are of high quality, appropriately complex, and include opportunities to apply reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills across a variety of tasks designed to grow students’ literacy skills over the course of the year. The materials reviewed do not have a formal foundational skills component and instead recommend pairing the materials with a high-quality foundational skills program. With the materials provided, foundational skills are met or partially met in various ways throughout the materials.

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

Core texts consider a range of student interests, are worthy of careful reading, and many are written by award winning authors and include a mix of informational and literary texts centered around a single topic per module to facilitate the learning of the topic. There are two science modules and one module each of social studies and fine arts. Each module contains a wide array of informational and literary text integrated to support knowledge acquisition on the module’s topic. The texts are at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Core texts are accompanied by a rationale for purpose and placement as well as support for all learners as they grapple with complex text. The materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year while engaging in a range and volume of reading. Series of texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for central texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading and considering a range of student interests.

Core texts consider a range of topics of interest to Grade 3 students, including the ocean, space, art, immigration, poetry, fables, and mythology. Many of the core texts are written by award-winning authors and are worthy of careful reading.

Examples of central texts that are worthy of careful reading include the following:

  • Module 1:
    • The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, by Dan Yaccarino
    • Giant Squid: Searching for a Sea Monster, by Mary M. Cerullo and Clyde F. E. Roper
    • Amos & Boris, by William Steig
  • Module 2:
    • Moonshot, by Brian Floca
    • One Giant Leap, by Robert Burleigh
    • Zathura, by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Module 3:
    • Coming to America: The Story of Immigration, by Betsy Maestro
    • Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say
    • Family Pictures, by Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Module 4:
    • Alvin Ailey, by Andrea Davis Pinkney
    • A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, by Jen Bryant
    • When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan

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 3 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards.

Core Texts include a mix of informational and literary texts. Each module centers on a theme that integrates many types of text and media to support the learning of the topic. There are two science-related modules at this grade level (the ocean, space) as well as a social studies topic (immigration). The final module focuses on the topic of art. What is important to note is that there is a wide array of informational and literary text integrated throughout every module no matter the topic or theme. Additional supplementary texts are included resulting in a wide distribution of genres and text types as required by the standards, including historical fiction, poetry, fables, non-fiction, biographies, websites, journal articles, speeches, plays, and historical accounts.

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

  • Module 1- Amos & Boris, by William Steig
  • Module 2- Zathura, by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Module 3- The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco
  • Module 4- When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan

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

  • Module 1- The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, by Dan Yaccarino
  • Module 2- One Giant Leap, by Robert Burleigh
  • Module 3- Coming to America: The Story of Immigration, by Betsy Maestro
  • Module 4- Alvin Ailey, by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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. Most texts are aligned to the complexity requirements outlined in the Common Core Standards, with text-complexity rubrics appearing in Appendix A of the Great Minds Teacher’s Guide. All major text qualitative/quantitative information is identified in Appendix A, while supporting texts are referenced in Appendix E. Among the texts that are not within the grade-level band, a qualitative feature analysis gives additional insight as to the appropriateness of their placement in the curriculum. The texts that have a Lexile level above the grade-level band show ample support for accessing the text during the reader and task components.

For example:

  • Module 2, Lessons 27-29: Zathura, by Chris Van Allsburg (literary, 540L): This text has an accessible concept. It is a science fiction text supported with illustrations. Sentence structure is predictable and easy to follow. It contains descriptive language, appropriate for third grade students.
  • In Module 1, Lesson 4-9 students read and reread the picture book Amos & Boris, by William Steig (AD810L). It is a narrative text within the complexity band (although at the top of the stretch band), is initially adult-directed, and includes context clues and a strong narrative for additional support.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Series of texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations for supporting students' ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The texts, both anchor and supporting, fall within the grade-level band, and they appear to provide students access to increasingly rigorous texts over the course of the school year. 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. While the rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year, students will engage with texts at varying levels unit to unit and quarter to quarter in a structure that may provide support for accelerating their literacy growth.

Over the course of the school year, students will engage in appropriately rigorous texts in aggregate but unit to unit and quarter to quarter there is broad variance in how they engage with these texts. Some examples that demonstrate this include the following:

  • In Module 1, students read the informational text Giant Squid: Searching for a Sea Monster. This text is quantitatively measured as NC1090L. In the same module, students engage with the informational text Shark Attack, 820L. At the end of the module, students are expected to be able to construct a multi-paragraph essay explaining why artists and scientists explore the sea. The consistency of these quantitative measures, coupled with the consistency of the qualitative features of these texts, will support students' accelerating their reading abilities.
  • In Module 3, students read the literary text Tea With Milk with a quantitative measure of AD450L, and Grandfather’s Journey with a AD650L. At the end of the module, students are expected to be able to write an essay explaining a similarity and a difference between the immigration experience of the main characters in these texts along with supporting details from both.

The qualitative measures of these texts are appropriate, as are the associated tasks and questions. However, teachers may need extra support and study to help Grade 3 students navigate these variations unit to unit. The supporting texts also consistently increase in complexity across the year.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Text complexity rubrics appear in Appendix A of Great Minds Teacher’s Guide. All major text qualitative/quantitative information is identified in Appendix A, while supporting texts are referenced in Appendix E. This includes a description of text that provides rationale for why the text was selected.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Module 1: Amos and Boris, by William Steig: “This text was selected because of its superb literary quality. Engaging and resourceful characters, poetic descriptions of setting, heroic rescues, and unlikely but undying friendships will keep students turning pages. The rich and complex vocabulary makes it a challenging text for Grade 3 students."
  • Module 2: The rationale is provided in the overview of the unit states, “Having a strong knowledge of the history of these understandings will deepen students’ knowledge of human history, provide an awareness of how scientific understanding can change and deepen, and serve as the basis for forming opinions about modern-day space exploration.”

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for core texts and supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading.

Each unit includes lessons with supplementary texts of varying lengths. These texts are read independently, in groups, aloud, and silently, offering multiple opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading.

  • In Module 2, when presented with a historic video, students are asked to, “Explain a point of view that is different or similar from that of John F. Kennedy’s using evidence from the speech, We Choose the Moon.”
  • In Module 3, when reading Coming to America, by Betsy Maestro, students are asked to, “Analyze how an author engages and orients the reader in a narrative.”

Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities for students to build fluency to become independent readers at the grade level.

  • In Module 1, Lesson 24, students echo a reading passage and spend the week rehearsing to read fluently to other classes and/or groups. They have an anchor chart that is used to, “Remind students of the elements of fluent reading and of what it means to read accurately.”

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

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in writing, speaking, and listening work that requires them to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask questions and hold text-based discussions using academic vocabulary with peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. Questions throughout the modules build knowledge as students prepare to complete the culminating tasks. Writing tasks are varied and include longer, focused, evidence-based writing tasks.

Indicator 1g

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the texts. Questions draw the reader back into the text and support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Reading and writing (and speaking and listening) are done in a cohesive learning environment. Students read and reread to write and discuss. The materials provide opportunities for evidence-based discussions and writing. Examples of student directions include but are not limited to, “Look closely”, “Provide details”, “Compare”, “Write a summary”, “What do you notice?” and, “Write an Introduction.”

Below are examples of text-dependent/specific questions included in each module:

  • Module 1, Lesson 11, “What do the similarities and differences between the illustrations on pages [2–3] and [34–35] suggest about the content of the book?”
  • Module 2, Lesson 2, “According to the article, where and when did Galileo live?”
  • Module 3, Lesson 15, “How does the author’s note add to your understanding of the text and paintings in Family Pictures?”
  • Module 4, Lesson 28, “What similarities and differences do you notice about the opening and closing illustrations?”

Indicator 1h

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that they should contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Each module begins with an Essential Question; each module also contains multiple Focusing Questions that deal with the core text. Each of the daily lessons work toward answering the Focusing Questions, while building the skills and knowledge needed to complete the End-of-Module Task. Supplementary texts help to build knowledge while integrating skills such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

For example, in Module 1, the Essential Question asks, “Why do people explore the sea?” Then, during the module lessons, students read, discuss, and write to build knowledge through various activities and routines. Students work towards understanding the Focusing Questions to build knowledge and complete the culminating task.

Examples of Focus Questions to guide students through this module are:
• Lesson 1-9, “How do artists explore the sea?”
• Lesson 10-19, “How and why do scientists explore the sea?”
• Lesson 19-30, “How and why do scientists explore sea creatures?”

The learning culminates into an End-of-Module Task. For this module, it directs students to refer to all of the material read throughout the lessons and states, “Your task: For an audience who has read and studied these texts the way you have, write two paragraphs in which you explain why an author, artist, or scientist explored the sea. Develop your explanation with evidence from one of the texts.”

In Module 3 the Essential Question asks, “How do stories help us understand immigrants’ experiences?” The module opens using the text, Grandfather’s Journey by Allan Say and examples of the Content Framing Questions for that text include, “What does a deeper exploration of point of view reveal in Grandfather’s Journey?” (Lessons 3-4) and, “What is the central message of Grandfather’s Journey?”(Lesson 6).

Examples of the Focus Questions to guide students through this module are:
• Lesson 1-15, “What challenges do immigrants face in a new country?”
• Lesson 16-24, “Why do people immigrate to America?”
• Lesson 24-33, “How do immigrants respond to challenges in a new country?”
• Lesson 34-35, “How do stories help us understand immigrants’ experiences?”

The learning culminates into an End-of-Module Task. In this module students will plan a written response to a narrative prompt that demonstrates “acquisition of academic and content vocabulary,” complete with textual evidence. The End of Module Task: “Write a short narrative in which they describe a small imagined moment based on one of four module texts. The narratives incorporate student knowledge of the immigrant experience and specific techniques for writing fictional texts.”

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations providing students frequent opportunities to practice academic vocabulary and syntax in their evidence-based discussions. Each module gives the students ample opportunity to hold evidence-based discussions with Think-Pair-Share, Socratic Seminars, Jigsaw discussions. Gallery Walk/follow-up discussions, etc. The materials offer scaffolds to help students hold academic conversations, including evidence to support students’ claims. Scaffolds include sentence starters, evidence graphic organizers, and teacher-facilitated discussions.

Academic vocabulary instruction is found throughout the modules. Teachers use multiple strategies in introducing, discussing, and using new vocabulary. Each module contains Appendix B, entitled Vocabulary, which clarifies the category in which each word is listed. The materials vocabulary is presented in three categories: Content Vocabulary, Academic Vocabulary, and Text-Critical Vocabulary. Students create vocabulary journals and also participate in Vocabulary Deep Dives and Style and Conventions Deep Dives.

Examples of how students have opportunities for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary include:

Module 1:

  • Lesson 28, “In this fourth and final Socratic Seminar of the module, look for students to participate more robustly, agree and disagree effectively, and use domain-specific vocabulary with limited teacher support.” [and with practice], “Students assume more of the responsibility for developing thoughtful classroom discussions in which they ask and answer text-based questions and build upon one another's ideas.”

Module 2:

  • Lesson 16, “According to this sentence, how are some mountains formed? What do you think eruption means?”
  • Lesson 19, Style and Conventions Deep Dive: “How do these prepositional phrases add detail and dimension to the story?”

Module 3:

  • Lesson 5, “How do the word choices that describe what Grandfather saw and his feelings about America help you understand Grandfather’s decision about where to live?”
  • Lesson 9, “How does the author show the difference between Masako’s words and the author’s words?”

Module 4:

  • Lesson 6, “Reread the final paragraph of Alvin Ailey, modeling fluent reading, as students follow along. In groups, students determine the meaning of any unknown words.”
  • Lesson 10, “Think-Pair-Share, and ask: “Why would an author choose these words and phrases instead of simply saying, ‘The river is flowing’? What effect do these words create?”

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening work requires students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask questions and hold discussions with peers and teachers about research, strategies and ideas are present throughout the year.

Within this curriculum there are multiple opportunities for speaking and listening that include whole group discussions and small group discussions. In addition, through the lessons there are instructions for the teacher and tips on facilitating whole group, small group, and partner speaking and listening. Students specifically practice these skills in every module in Socratic Seminars. Materials include speaking and listening rubrics, as well as the Socratic Seminars. There is a tracking form that helps the teacher track students’ ability to perform skills with speaking, listening, and reading (citing evidence).

Module 1, Lesson 9:

  • Students are given the opportunity to share their thinking about how artists explore the sea and to explain how they used details to express a central message about the sea. Students then utilize the Praise-Question-Suggestion strategy to clarify.

Module 2, Lesson 1:

  • Students observe the image of Vija Clemins’ Starfield, record their notice and wonderings, and then share their observations and questions with the class.

Module 3, Lesson 3:

  • Given the prompt, “Should traditions change?” students evaluate a peer and receive feedback based on a speaking and listening checklist.

Module 4, Lesson 29:

  • Students gather evidence in small groups and then participate in a Socratic Seminar. In addition, students synthesize all of their research on Jackson Pollock or Marian Anderson and prepare to deliver an oral presentation in Lesson 30.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects. Students write both "on demand" and "over extended periods" throughout every module.

Materials include short and longer writing tasks and projects. Writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade-level standards being reviewed. Throughout each module students engage in many methods of writing including note-taking, checklists, response journals, graphic organizers, short answer, and longer essay construction.

Module 1:

  • In Lesson 21, students record the paragraph in their journals and use the Painted Paragraph Strategy to check that they have described their knowledge and to check that they have used a fact, a definition, and a detail as evidence.
  • In Lesson 17, students are asked to write and illustrate two paragraphs explaining to younger students why and how scientists explore the sea. “In the first paragraph, explain why scientists explore the sea, using evidence from both Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas and The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau.”
  • In Lesson 6, students copy the teacher model in their journals to use during independent writing. Students use the model and the Boxes and Bullets graphic organizer to create a summary of the text Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Ocean.

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 19, students write in their Response Journals to explain how the words fragile and permanent relate to the Apollo 11 space mission.
  • In Lesson 11, students gather and sort evidence into categories to review what they have learned by reading Starry Messenger and Galileo’s Starry Night and then use a Writing Planner to plan an explanatory essay.

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 20, student pairs choose one strategy for determining the essential meaning of Coming to America and work in pairs to complete a graphic organizer in their Response Journals. At the end of the lesson students use their big ideas to write about the essential meaning of Coming to America.
  • In Lesson 9, students use sentence frames to compare and contrast in Grandfather’s Journey. “In Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say, Grandfather and the narrator are alike. For example, they both _____. On the other hand, the two characters are different because Grandfather _____."

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 6, students use a graphic organizer to collect notes as they research what inspired Alvin Ailey. The organizer requires a source, a detail, and a quote.
  • In Lesson 13, students work on a paragraph planner to develop and organize ideas in preparation to write. It contains a prompt, “How does Melissa Sweet, the illustrator of A River of Words, use art to express herself?” The planner breaks the process into components of an introduction, a topic sentence, evidence, elaboration, and conclusion.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities center around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills through the use of checklists, models and rubrics. Students are given opportunities for instruction and practice in a variety of genres addressed in the standards over the course of the school year.

Module 1:

  • In Lesson 9, students write an explanatory paragraph to explain how the author, poet, or artist uses details to express a central message.
  • In Lesson 11, students compose an opinion paragraph in the form of a journal entry from Tilly’s first-person point of view, supporting Tilly’s opinion with a text-based reason and evidence.

Module 2:

  • Students practice key parts of explanatory writing culminating in the End-of-Module Task when they are asked to write a four-paragraph essay expressing opinion about the most important things people have done to learn about space.
  • In Lesson 12, students write informative/explanatory paragraphs to explain how Galileo helped people learn about space.

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 12, students write an informative/explanatory essay to explain an important similarity and difference between the immigration story of two main characters.
  • In Lesson 24, students write a narrative that identifies why an immigrant came to America and describes the immigrant’s feelings upon first seeing the Statue of Liberty.

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 12, students choose an object from ordinary life and write a poem in the style of William Carlos Williams.
  • In Lesson 32, students use research notes to plan an essay explaining why the life and work of a particular artist is important.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around student’s analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

The following examples demonstrate evidence-based writing opportunities across all four modules:

Module 1:

  • In Lesson 1 students are asked to explain the elements that identify the central message of the poem, The Sand Willow.
  • In Lesson 9, students use text evidence to support the answer to the question: “What caused people to change their beliefs about the Earth and the Sun?”

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 2, students are asked to use facts, definitions and details to develop a paragraph explaining what happened when Galileo challenged tradition.
  • In Lesson 9, students work in pairs to identify at least two big ideas in Starry Messenger, providing evidence to support their responses.

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 3, students review and highlight evidence they plan to use as supporting points to prepare for a written analysis of Grandfather.
  • In Lesson 12, students write an essay explaining one important similarity and one important difference between the immigration experiences of the two main characters of the texts Grandfather’s Journey and Tea with Milk, supporting their ideas with details from both texts.

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 2, students re-read the story, Emma’s Rug, annotating the text on sticky notes to gather evidence to answer the question, “What inspires Emma?”
  • In Lesson 28, students select one of the essential meanings of When Marian Sang recorded on the sentence strips and provide one piece of evidence to support that essential meaning in their Response Journals.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Each lesson has a deep dive in either vocabulary or style as well as conventions for 15 minutes of instruction, allowing students to practice the skills throughout the modules. Writing rubrics include grammar and conventions, and there are checklists at the End-of-Module tasks to assess application of conventions listed in the language standards.

  • Module 1:
    • Lesson 25: Students practice applying the adding -ed rule.
    • Lesson 28: Explain the function of adjectives in general and in particular their function in sentences. Students study the use of adjectives to describe an ibis, then generate adjectives and construct sentences, using them to describe a squid.
  • Module 2:
    • Lesson 7: Deep Dive: Style and Conventions: Using the text Starry Night students rewrite a simple sentence as a compound sentence using a coordinating conjunction with correct punctuation
    • Lesson 25. Students are introduced to the prefix dis-. Students determine how the prefix dis- changes the meaning of a root word and allows students to connect the prefix back to previous lessons.
  • Module 3:
    • Lesson 8: Students get parts of a sentence and ‘Mix and Mingle’ with others to make a complete sentence with subject-verb agreement. Students then identify sentences from the text Tea with Milk, highlighting singular and plural subjects and verbs in different colors.
    • Lesson 26: Students are introduced to how to properly conjugate the verb “to be.” Students work on conjugating a verb following the rules with reminders that not all verbs follow the same pattern.
  • Module 4:
    • Lesson 7: Use sentence frames to identify comparative and superlative adjectives.
    • Lesson 33: Using a checklist for revision to improve writing, students peer-evaluate and revise an essay for spelling, grammar, and style.

Criterion 1o - 1q

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

The materials reviewed do not have a formal foundational skills component and instead recommend pairing the materials with a high-quality foundational skills program. With the materials provided, foundational skills are met or partially met in various ways throughout the materials.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression. Each module includes instruction, review, and/or practice in the foundational skills of prefixes, suffixes, vocabulary, and fluency. Emphasis is placed on students determining new or unknown words and word parts through Greek and Latin roots and affixes. However, there is no review or instruction in the foundational skill area of phonics (letter-sound correspondence and syllabication patterns). Students practice learning prefixes and suffixes both in and out of context allowing for students to make connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning from reading. Modeled, echo, whisper, and partner reading throughout the lessons, along with fluency assignments for homework, provide multiple opportunities for students to increase oral and silent fluency across grade level.

Module 1:

  • Lesson 13: Students are asked, "What prefix and root word do you recognize in the word biography?" Student pairs choose one of the words and use a graph to explain how the meaning of the root word helps them understand the word.
  • Lesson 15: Students decode and read their quotation several times independently to develop fluency.
  • Lesson 17: With support, students use conventional spelling for adding suffixes to base words.
  • Lesson 25: Examine Using Conventional Spelling Rules for Adding Suffixes to create the simple past tense.

Module 2:

  • Lesson 18: Students examine the morphology of conserve to determine its meaning.
  • Lesson 25: Students place an index card with the prefix dis- in front of words on sentence strips to create the following words: disagree, disconnect, dishonest. Groups determine the meanings of the new words.
  • Lesson 27: In their Response Journals, students explain how knowing the meaning of the root funct- helps decode other unfamiliar words.

Module 3:

  • Lesson 1: In Modules 1 and 2, students examined the morphology of words. Their work is recorded on the Morpheme Map in their Vocabulary Journals. Knowing the meaning of prefixes, suffixes, and roots helps students decode the meaning of words, just as letter sounds help readers figure out how to pronounce words.
  • Lesson 34: The sentence-level vocabulary assessment is a straightforward, quick method for assessing students’ word knowledge for a variety of words, including concrete and abstract words as well as morphemes.

Module 4

  • Lesson 6: Students use a known prefix and sentence-level context as clues to determine the meaning of the word rehearsed, and clarify its precise meaning with a dictionary.
  • Lesson 20: Remind students of their work with the suffix –ion and consult the morpheme map for its meaning, “act, result, or state of.” “How does the suffix –ion clarify the meaning of the word action?”

Indicator 1p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks guiding students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundation skills and making meaning from reading. The Appendix B: Vocabulary found within the materials states that this curriculum “focuses on teaching and learning words from texts. Students develop an awareness of how words are built, how they function within sentences, and how word choice affects meaning and reveals an author’s purpose.” In the Vocabulary Deep Dives, students learn prefixes, suffixes, and word meanings. The Vocabulary Deep Dives lessons use the anchor and supplemental texts and materials to reinforce connections in order to help the student generalize the skill within the context of what they are learning.

Module 1

  • Lesson 14: “How do the text and illustrations on pages 8–9 clarify the meanings of the words bulky and tethered?”
  • Lesson 18: Students identify connections between words used to describe Jacques Cousteau’s response to the ocean and the words' use in real life.
  • Lesson 27: Guide students to recognize the meanings of these words from the context of the text and images. The teacher is to provide definitions for unknown words if the context—both text and illustration—does not provide sufficient support for inference.

Module 2

  • Lesson 7: “Based on what you know about the meaning of the word accomplished and -ment, what is the meaning of the word accomplishment?”
  • Lesson 23: The teacher is to display the following sentence from One Giant Leap: “Then the Eagle begins to descend—to where no human has ever been.” Students are then asked, “How do context clues and your knowledge of word parts establish a relationship between ascent and descent?”

Module 3

  • Lesson 1: “Knowing the meaning of prefixes, suffixes, and roots helps students decode the meaning of words, just as letter sounds help readers figure out how to pronounce words.”
  • Lesson 4: “How does knowing the meaning of the word narrator and the meaning of the suffix –ion clarify the meaning of the word narration?”

Module 4

  • Lesson 7: The teacher is to display the following sentences, based on the text of Alvin Ailey: “It seemed like the hottest day ever in Navasota, Texas. Navasota was a small town. Lula’s voice grew stronger as she sang the morning hymn.” In their Response Journals, students complete the following sentence frames: I know _____ is a comparative adjective because it ends in _____. I know _____ is a superlative adjective because it ends in _____.
  • Lesson 25: “How does your knowledge of Jackson Pollock and the context of these sentences help you clarify the meaning of the word rebel?”

Indicator 1q

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria for providing students frequent opportunities to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, as well as to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Within the lessons, fluent reading is modeled, and students have ongoing opportunities to engage in partner reading, choral reading, echo reading and repeated reading. There are a variety of resources that include fluency instruction, fluency practice, and student performance checklists for self and peer/adult. Within each module, fluency passages are also assigned as homework for repeated practice over multiple days and include a checklist for self-reflection and listener feedback.

Module 1:

  • Lesson 4: Students receive direct instruction on reading with fluency and accuracy including but not limited to the key points of articulation of words, phrasing, and rate.
  • Lesson 24: Echo read the passage. Students spend the week rehearsing so students are prepared to read fluently in front of another group of students.

Module 2:

  • Over multiple lessons, homework fluency passages are assigned for repeated practice over several days.
  • Lesson 23: Students echo read the speech and practice meaningful chunking.

Module 3:

  • Lesson 1-2: The teacher reads Grandfather’s Journey aloud, modeling the elements of fluent reading as students follow along and listen for answers to their questions. In small groups, students reread Grandfather’s Journey.
  • Lesson 20: Students read Fluency Homework (Handout 16A) three to five times aloud at home to a parent in order to practice fluent reading. Students focus on all elements of fluent reading. Students write a short reflection about their fluency and set new fluency goals on the back of the sheet.

Module 4:

  • Lesson 17: Students choral read The Great Figure, located in A River of Words, and Willow Poem.
  • Lesson 24: Students independently read for thirty minutes and record their reading on a Reading Log. Students read the fluency passage aloud three to five times at home to a parent in order to practice fluent reading, focusing on all elements of a fluent reader. Students and listeners record their work.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Materials provide ample opportunities for students to build knowledge through content-rich, integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language experiences.

Criterion 2a - 2h

32/32

Indicator 2a

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria for texts being organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. The series of texts in each collection are cohesive and are related to the anchor texts. All modules develop student’s knowledge through structured learning activities that provide effective scaffolding of content leading to students comprehending texts independently and proficiently. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, the module is organized under the topic, The Sea. Students study why people explore the sea. Students also study how poets and writers explore the sea through words and images and how scientists use technology to discover new species. Students read literature, informational text, and art to answer the question: "Why do people explore the sea?" Students read and discuss multiple texts to answer the questions, “How do artists explore the sea? Why and how do scientists explore the sea? Why and how do scientists explore sea creatures? Why do people explore the sea?” Texts students read include, Picture Books (Informational) such as The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, by Dan Yaccarino, Giant Squid: Searching for a Sea Monster, by Mary M. Cerullo and Clyde F. E. Roper, and Shark Attack! by Cathy East Dubowski. They also read the Picture Book (Literary) Amos & Boris, by William Steig. Students then study the poem, The Sea Wind, by Sara Teasdale and stories such as, The Lion and the Mouse, and The Full Text of Aesop’s Fables. Students also look at works of art and films related to the sea.
  • Module 3 is organized under the topic, A New Home. Students explore the immigrant experience through the lens of stories to answer the question, “How do stories help us understand immigrants’ experiences?” Students read and discuss multiple texts to answer the questions: “What challenges do immigrants face in a new country? Why do people immigrate to America? How do immigrants respond to challenges in a new country?” Students read picture books (Literacy) such as Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say, Tea with Milk, by Allen Say, The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco, and Family Pictures, by Carmen Lomas Garza. Students also read the picture book (Informational) Coming to America: The Story of Immigration, by Betsy Maestro. Finally, students readcTwo Places to Call Home, by Jody Kapp (a Cobblestone article). Students examine photographs and videos as well as listen to historical accounts related to immigration.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. The Implementation Guide notes: “Craft Questions teach students the elements of strong craft—writing, speaking, and listening—so that students become adept at applying these skills for a variety of purposes. Students explore the author’s craft and word choices, analyze the text’s structure and its implicit meaning, and attend to other unique features of the text. Students begin by examining high-quality exemplars of the craft. Then they receive progressive direct instruction in the skills necessary to practice and master the craft. Annotation during the first read aims to develop the habit of monitoring understanding of a text as students read. In subsequent reads, annotation focuses readers on deeper understanding, such as distinguishing among purpose, claim, and conclusion, noticing authors’ crafting of literary elements or text features, and/or supporting learning goals relevant to the text (e.g., character analysis, influence of setting).”

Examples include:

Module 1:

  • In Lesson 20, students are asked, “What do you think the word choices in the first paragraph on page 16 suggest about the main idea of the paragraph?"
  • In Lesson 26, students are asked, “What text features do authors use to organize information?”

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 4, students are asked, “What does the title of the assemblage suggest about the objects in the assemblage?”
  • In Lesson 22, students are asked, “How does Robert Burleigh connect these ideas in these sentences?”

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 19, students reread the introductions they wrote and identify or add at least two details that explain how the character feels about arriving at Ellis Island.
  • In Lesson 16, students are asked, "According to clues in the text, what do you think the author means when she describes the Statue of Liberty as inspiring?”

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 8, students are asked, “What do you remember about the characteristics of the stories we’ve read, like Hatchet and Woods Runner? What makes them different from poetry?”
  • In Lesson 27, students explore Sal’s and Phoebe’s bravery by analyzing the characters’ fears and actions.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials containing 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. Each module contains focus questions that are included with a set of texts. Content Framing and Craft questions are asked of both single and multiple texts to integrate and build knowledge in order for students to reach the module’s learning goals. All lessons include coherently sequenced sets of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge. Students also participate in at least one Socratic Seminar where multiple texts are discussed as well as completing New Read Assessments which provide students with texts they have not read before to demonstrate their ability to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas.

For example, in Module 1, students study the focus question, “How do artists explore the sea?” Students then analyze both single and multiple texts by answer Content Framing and Craft questions. Students read the text The Sea Wind, by Sara Teasdale and answer, “What is the central message of 'The Sea Wind?'" Students also read the texts, The Boating Party, by Mary Cassatt and The Gulf Stream, by Winslow Home to answer questions such as, “What is the central message of a painting?”

Each End-of-Module Task ensures that students are analyzing the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. For example, the Unit 4 End-of-Module Task states, “Research the life and work of Alvin Ailey, William Carlos Williams, Jackson Pollock, or Marian Anderson, and then write a multi-paragraph essay answering the following question: 'Why is the artist important?' Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, and develop your explanation with details and evidence from multiple texts. Include a thesis statement, connect your ideas with linking words, and include a closing sentence in each paragraph.”

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials for Grade 3 meet the expectations that 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, and listening).

Each module has several Focusing Question Tasks that scaffold the material to aid in the successful completing of the End-of-Module task. The materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to each culminating task. Many tasks are focused on pieces of writing; however, students engage in speaking and listening as well as reading and writing to prepare for tasks, providing learning through integrated skills.

For example, in Module 2, the End-of Module task states, “Your class is creating a website called “Learning About Space.” Post an essay to the website that answers this question: In your opinion, what is the most important thing people have done to learn about space?” To prepare for this, students answer questions and complete tasks such as:

  • Write a multiple-paragraph explanatory essay that explains to families how Galileo helped people learn about space.
  • Write a multiple-paragraph essay that answers the following question: Would you like to have been an astronaut on the Apollo 11 mission?
  • Write a multiple-paragraph opinion essay about which piece of art or text belongs in a library exhibit about space.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar: Explain the cause-and-effect relationships between Galileo’s actions and the ideas of other people.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar: Discuss why John F. Kennedy “chose the Moon,” and discuss if they would have done the same.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar: Discuss which piece of art to include in an exhibit about space and assess their own participation.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary is taught both implicitly and explicitly, using words in the core and supplementary texts. As texts are read multiple times, students gain new vocabulary. Explicit vocabulary instruction focuses on Content Specific Vocabulary, Academic Vocabulary, and Text Critical Vocabulary. Materials focus on elements of vocabulary, such as abstract or multiple meanings, connotation, relationships among words, and morphology.

Vocabulary Routines can be found in the Resources section of the Implementation Guide and include routines and instructional examples such as the Frayer Model, Morpheme Matrix, Outside-In, Relationship Mapping, and Word Line. Teachers utilize Word Walls and Vocabulary Journals for students to record newly-acquired words and vocabulary strategies.

Appendix B includes vocabulary support that explains the implicit and explicit vocabulary instruction. For example, Core lessons, 75-min. daily: vocabulary study that is essential to understanding the text at hand. Instructional strategies are explicitly introduced and practiced during vocabulary instruction and put into practice during a reading of the text. Vocabulary Deep Dives: vocabulary instruction and practice that advances students’ knowledge of high-value words and word-solving strategies, focusing on aspects such as abstract or multiple meanings, connotation, relationships across words, and morphology. The appendix also includes a Module Word List and a list of words that would pose a challenge to student comprehension.

Module examples of vocabulary instruction include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 19, “Collaboratively, complete the Frayer model for habitat: Definition: The natural environment of plants and animals. Characteristics: In nature; where animals or plants live; can be on land or in water (for sharks). Examples: The ocean, the woods, the desert, the jungle. Nonexamples: An apartment building, a house, a farm (not “in nature”); exercising daily, reading daily, going to bed on time (these are habits, not habitats).”
  • In Module 2, Lesson 27, Deep Dive: Vocabulary, “Morpheme Refresher: Remind students that -ion is a suffix studied in Module 1 meaning “action or condition.” Draw students’ attention to the Morpheme Map to refresh their prior knowledge of –ion and that it typically changes a verb to an abstract noun (idea, quality, or state; not concrete).”
  • In Module 3, Lesson 15, in pairs, students use their prior knowledge of the prefix bi– and use of context clues to determine the meaning of the word bilingual.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 5, “What do you notice about the word revelation in these sentences?”In the first sentence, revelation has to do with what religion and. The people “raise their palms in revelation” as they “step and sway with the warmth of the spirit” during a church service.In the first sentence, revelation is not capitalized.In the second sentence, Revelations is capitalized because it is the name of the dance Alvin Ailey created to honor “the traditions of True Vine Baptist Church.”

Indicator 2f

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

Through explicit learning-to-write instruction, teachers gradually release responsibility for a specific writing strategy through a series of lessons. One or more of the following Craft Stages shapes each lesson. (Implementation Guide)

  • Examine: Students analyze how an exemplar models one or more writing strategies. The exemplar can come from authentic texts, class collaborative writing, or a module resource.
  • Experiment: Students practice applying a target strategy. Scaffolded tasks provide significant support by limiting
    the volume of writing, providing parts of a writing piece, or focusing on a relatively simple topic.
  • Execute: Students plan or draft a full writing piece, paying particular attention to applying the target strategy to
    support the purpose of the task.
  • Excel: Students revise, edit, and respond to feedback on the pieces they drafted in the Execute stage, focusing on the target strategy. They reflect on their use of the strategy to refine their thinking about its use in current and future writing.

Students write an average of twenty or more minutes of writing pers lesson and are given explicit instruction of writing strategies. Students write both on-demand and process writing while accessing complex texts. There are a variety of writing performance tasks and Craft Lessons address 5 features; Structure, Development, Style, Conventions and process.

Students study Mentor texts and get feedback from the teacher, a peer, and themselves as well as being provided with writing checklist and rubrics to ensure that writing skills are grown throughout the year.

Examples of materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 2, students examine writing a topic statement by discussing the craft question, “ Why is a topic statement important?” Students are told to think about their ideas and that a good writer may ask themselves, “What am I writing about?” The answer to this question is the topic statement.“What do I want to say about my topic?” The answer to this question will be the evidence and elaboration that you include in a paragraph.” Students then go on to discuss the focal point of the text the class is reading.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 9, students excel at writing an explanatory paragraph by working in pairs to answer the Craft question, “How do I improve at using topic statements and grouping related information together in an explanatory paragraph?” Writers reread their own work and then use a peer editor to get feedback. Students then revise based on the feedback.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 17, student examine word choice from the text, Moonshot by Brian Floca to explain how Brian Floca’s use of onomatopoeia in Moonshot helps describe the Moon landing.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 19, students execute writing an introduction by answering the Craft question, “How do I engage and orient the reader in narrative writing?” Students review their notes and, with a partner, orally rehearse the sentences before writing them by saying aloud what they plan to write in exactly the way it will be written. Students individually draft an introduction to their narratives.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 33, students work on a Deep Dive: Style and Conventions to answer the Craft Questions: How do I improve my writing through revision? and use a checklist to review their End-of-Module writing.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area, by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. Modules are divided into Focus Questions that build knowledge of a topic using multiple texts. The focus questions all build to the End-of-Module Task that encompasses a module’s worth of texts and source materials. Students also complete shorter research projects throughout the modules. Teachers are also encouraged to use pausing points to complete student-led research projects. In every grade, at least one EOM Task focuses on a sustained research project. In addition, students conduct a variety of short research projects throughout the year.

Examples include:

  • In Module 2, students research the moon in Lesson 30 to learn about the research process and to help prepare for the End-of Module Task, “Your class is creating a website called “Learning About Space.” You are going to post an essay to the website that answers this question: In your opinion, what is the most important thing people have done to learn about space?” Students use multiple texts and multimedia sources from throughout the unit to complete the task.
  • In Module 4, the End-of-Module task is a sustained research project. Students use the core texts, the back matter of the texts, and additional preselected resources to research the lives of great artists. Students create short oral presentations, use technology to interact and collaborate with their peers, and publish their work. In the End-of-Module Task, students work in groups to synthesize what they have learned about an artist and his or her work and explain the significance of the artist’s contributions.

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. The majority of lessons require some independent readings of text followed by text-specific questions and tasks that reflect student accountability. Students are asked to annotate texts. Additionally, most homework assignments include independent readings and tasks that require students to produce evidence of reading and to keep an independent reading log.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Appendix D: Volume of Reading outlines independent reading: Students may select from these recommended titles that support the module content or themes. These texts and Volume of Reading Reflection Questions can be used as part of small-group instruction or as part of an independent and/or choice reading program.
  • In Module 1, Lesson 21, students read aloud a fluency passage on Handout 19A three to five times to a listener at home to practice fluent reading, focusing on accuracy, phrasing, and reading with expression as they read. Students and listeners put a checkmark in the box in the first three rows under “Day 3.” In addition, students independently read for thirty minutes and record their reading on Independent Reading Logs.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 11, students independently read Passage 2 on Handout 11B (Dialogue from Tea with Milk). Students follow the directions on the handout, highlighting the dialogue (the exact words the character uses) and circling and labeling the following items: quotation marks, commas, speaker tags, and capital letters.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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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

8/8
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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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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. This pacing allows for unexpected or special school events which may interfere with traditional pacing.

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 which include an agenda for the lesson including 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 in a 9 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, new-read assessments, supporting excerpts or texts, close read guides, essay rubrics, reference aids, model writings, vocabulary words list and definitions, and speaking and listening checklists.

Student resources include clear explanation 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:

  • Module 1, Lesson 5 includes a graphic organizer, a Story Map, for the students. It has multiple boxes to separate story elements. The directions are clear on the handout and in the teacher’s edition.
  • Module 3, Lesson 34 includes a resource, a Writing Planner, which uses both text and illustrations to help students plan a response to the End-of-Module Assessment.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 with the section, ”Standards Addressed.”

For example, in the overview of each module there is a Module Map that includes learning goals and standards addressed. The standards section includes all Reading (Informational and Literary), Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language standards that are 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple 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 is hyperlinked in each lesson overview and detailed lesson plan.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 3 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. There is limited integration of technology and or guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The materials contain a teacher's edition that provides teaching notes for each lesson that provide a Focusing Question, Content Framing Question, as well as a Lesson Summary. The lesson overviews 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 ample guidance for teachers:

Module 2:

Lesson 8, Launch: Teachers post the Focusing Question and Content Framing Question. Students share facts about the Moon they noticed on pages 16-17 of Starry Messenger. Students may notice: The Moon does not have a smooth surface: (1) The Moon’s surface has “huge prominences, deep valleys, and chasms.” (2) Sometimes the Moon looks like a circle, sometimes it looks like a half-circle, and sometimes we only see a small part of the Moon. (3) We can observe the Moon by using a telescope.

Explain that since the time of Galileo, scientists have learned even more about the Moon. In this lesson, students will learn about some of the things scientists have discovered about the Moon.

Lesson 8 Teacher’s Note: Plan for targeted support of specific students or skills after reviewing the assessments. For more details for how you might support students, see the Analyze Box at the end of this lesson.

Lesson 27, Land/Wrap Next Steps: If students struggle to complete the story map, refer students to their work in Module 1 and review the elements of fiction, asking the following scaffolding questions:

  • Which characters are most important to the story?
  • Where does the story take place?
  • What problem do the boys face?
  • What important events take place as the boys try to solve the problem?
  • How is the problem solved?

Indicator 3g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 Appendices that include adult level explanations as well as sample student answers and annotated responses that 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 extensive Implementation Guide which goes into great depth about how the curriculum as a whole addresses all of the 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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

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

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
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 3-6 Focusing Question Tasks and 2-3 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 2 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
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Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed 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 EOM (End-of-Module) Assessments. 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
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Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Appendices 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 2, Lesson 32, the next steps teacher notes state, “Compare behaviors noted during this Socratic Seminar to those noted during the first two Socratic Seminars, and use the tracking sheet to note patterns or changes over time. By comparing student performance over time, you can identify areas of strength, identify areas in need of improvement, and chart student growth. Compare teacher assessments to student self-assessments. Use any discrepancies as the basis for a discussion about expectations, specific criteria, and opportunities for growth and improvement.”

Indicator 3m

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 the Module (EOM) Assessment and monitors student progress. Checklists are provided with tasks so that students are prepared for the EOM Assessment.

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

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 3 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 ninety-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

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

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 a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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. The chart below more specifically illustrates how Wit & Wisdom lessons support striving readers.”

Indicator 3p

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

The instructional materials reviewed 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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’s Edition lesson plans.

Extension activities include:

  • Module 2, Lesson 31: Remind students of their work in Module 1, when they learned to group related information together. Point out that each group has drafted a paragraph. Consider working as a class to use the paragraphs to create a longer piece about the Moon and publish a class report.
  • Module 4, Lesson 27: To challenge students, have them perform a scavenger hunt through the text to locate vocabulary words that are also character traits.

Indicator 3r

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

Materials reviewed 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

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

The materials 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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.

  • In Module 3, Lesson 9, students play an interview with Ann K. Nakamura, a Japanese American woman who moved to Japan.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 10, the teacher projects an image of Charles Demuth’s I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, without revealing the name of the painting or the artist
  • In most lessons, a document camera is used to display student work, show examples, and direct student’s attention to evidence and tests.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials 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
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials 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 include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 02/27/2020

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Wit & Wisdom Grade 3 Module 2 978-1-63255-958-6 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 2016
Wit & Wisdom Grade 3 Module 3 978-1-63255-959-3 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 2016
Wit & Wisdom Grade 3 Module 4 978-1-63255-960-9 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 2016
Wit & Wisdom Grade 3 Module 1 978-1-63255-993-7 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 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 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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