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. Included are a mix of informational and literary texts centered around a single theme or topic per module to facilitate the learning of the content. 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 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 4 students, including the heart, circulatory system, the challenges people face, the American Revolution, dealing with conflict, mythology, and Native Americans. Some of the Core Texts are award winners, and many 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:

  • Love That Dog, Sharon Creech
  • The Circulatory Story, by Mary K. Corcoran
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost (supplementary)
  • Love That Boy, by Walter Dean Myers (supplementary)

Module 2:

  • Mountains, by Seymour Simon
  • All Summer in a Day, by Ray Bradbury
  • Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen

Module 3:

  • Woods Runner, by Gary Paulsen
  • The Scarlet Stockings Spy, by Trinka Hakes Noble
  • George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides, by Rosalyn Schanzer.
Module 4:
  • Pushing Up the Sky: Native American Plays for Children, by Joseph Bruchac
  • Understanding Greek Myths, by Natalie Hyde
  • Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech

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 4 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. The themes of the modules at this grade level are The Great Heart (including figurative and literal exploration), Extreme Settings, Conflict (including the Revolutionary War), and Myth Making. 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- Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech
  • Module 2- Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
  • Module 3- The Scarlet Stockings Spy, by Trinka Hakes Noble
  • Module 4- Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech

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

  • Module 1- The Circulatory Story, by Mary K. Corcoran
  • Module 2- Mountains, by Seymour Simon
  • Module 3- George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides, by Rosalyn Schanzer
  • Module 4- Understanding Greek Myths, by Natalie Hyde

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 4 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 are 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.

  • Module 3, Lessons 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, and 32: Woods Runner, by Gary Paulsen (literary, 870L): This historical fiction text has a plot and theme that are easy to identify. Non-standard language is highly-supported by context.

Of 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 following texts have a Lexile level above the grade-level band, yet the qualitative measure and reader and task components make the text accessible for grade 4 readers.

  • Module 2, Lessons 17-34: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (realistic fiction, 1020L): Even though this Lexile level is above the grade-level stretch band, possible unfamiliar vocabulary is supported in context.

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 4 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 4 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 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 most 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 variance in how they engage with these texts. Some examples that demonstrate this include the following:

  • In Module 1 students read the biographies: Clara & Davie (690L), Clara Barton: Angel on the Battlefield (820L), and Who was Clara Barton? with a quantitative measure of 960L. At the end of the module students are expected to write an informational essay that synthesizes evidence from multiple literary and informational text to explain figurative and literal meaning of the term, great heart.
  • In Module 3 students read the informational text George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides. This text is quantitatively measured as 1120L. Students also engage with the historical fiction text Woods Runner (870L) and the informational text Detested Tea (1080L) and Massacre in King Street (970L). At the end of the module, students are expected to use information from two (2) of the texts to write an opinion essay about whether the Patriots were justified in fighting for independence from Britain. The consistency of these quantitative measures, coupled with the consistency of the qualitative features of these texts, supports students' accelerating their reading abilities.

The qualitative measures of these texts are appropriate, as are the associated tasks and questions. Teachers may need to provide extra support and study to help Grade 4 students navigate these variations unit to unit. The supporting texts 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 4 meet the expectations for materials being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. 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. 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.

  • Module 3:The Scarlet Stockings Spy, Trinka Hakes Noble: “The Scarlet Stockings Spy is a beautifully illustrated American Revolution tale about a brave, young Patriot named Maddy Rose. Through Maddy’s story, we experience the personal sacrifice, devotion and determination that helped the American colonies defeat the most powerful country in the world."
  • Module 4: The rationale is provided in the overview of the unit, stating, “Through the lens of a masterful contemporary novel inspired by Greek mythology, this module teaches students about the relevance of mythology and the power of stories to convey important life lessons.”

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 4 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 3, Lesson 4, students are asked to, “Compare and contrast two accounts of the Boston Massacre from the article, Massacre in King Street and George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides, to reveal more about the incident and about multiple perspectives.”
  • In Module 4, Lesson 25, students are tasked with listening to a reading of The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. They are encouraged to read along with the audio and later use it to compare the poem to other texts read.

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

  • In Module 1, Lesson 3, students are tasked with reading sticky notes of others and to volunteer to read a quote out loud based on fluency homework from the night before.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 1, the teacher models fluent reading of select passages, and students engage in choral reading with the teacher.

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 4 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 9, “Looking closely at pages 6 and 7, how do the illustrations help the reader understand the hard science? Provide details from the book to support your answer.”
  • Module 2, Lesson 19, “What challenges is Brian already faced with after the crash?"
  • Module 3, Lesson 13, “How does this text impact your understanding of the Loyalists’ and/or Patriots’ perspectives on the American Revolution?”
  • Module 4, Lesson 10, “What adjectives might you use to describe this goddess? Support your answer with evidence from the sculpture.”

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 4 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.

In Module 1 the Essential Question asks, “What does it mean to have a great heart, literally and figuratively?” The Core Texts in this module include the literary novel, Love That Dog, Sharon Creech and the informational science text, The Circulatory Story, Mary K. Corcoran.

Examples of the Focus Questions to guide students through this module are:
• Lesson 1-6, “How does someone show a great heart, figuratively?”
• Lesson 7-17, “What is a great heart, literally?”
• Lesson 18-29, “How do the characters in Love That Dog show characteristics of great heart?
• Lesson 30-32, “What does it mean to have a great heart, literally and figuratively?”

The End-of-Module Task in this example is in the form of a Socratic Seminar that will "assess their ability to orally synthesize evidence from the texts to answer the Focus Question.” Next, they will have to complete a writing assignment that will synthesize evidence from the texts in the module. Lesson 32, “Write an informative essay that synthesizes evidence from multiple texts in an End-of-Module Task.”

In Module 4 the Essential Question asks, “What can we learn from myths and stories?” The Core Texts in this module include the literary novels, Pushing Up the Sky: Native American Plays for Children, by Joseph Bruchac, Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words & Wisdom from Greek & Roman Mythology, by Lise Lunge-Larsen, Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, and the Informational text, Understanding Greek Myths, by Natalie Hyde.

Examples of the Focus Questions to guide students through this module are:
•Lesson 1-7, “What are myths, and why do people create them?”
•Lesson 8-14, “What do myths and stories from different cultures have in common?”
•Lesson 15-22, “How are Sal's and Phoebe's stories connected in Walk Two Moons?”
•Lesson 23-31, “What does Sal learn in Walk Two Moons?”
•Lesson 32-35, “What can we learn from myths and stories?”

The End-of-Module Task in this example has students gather effective evidence to support their thinking and demonstrate knowledge of content vocabulary in order to synthesize their learning from material throughout the module texts to “express understanding of what can be learned from myths and stories in an explanatory essay.”

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 4 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 6, “Whole Group - Now that we have added to our definition of great heart, let’s use an Evidence Guide to organize and explain our thinking.”

Module 2:

  • Lesson 2, “Whole Group - Explain to students that Ray Bradbury used the word, consequence, in a different way to mean the importance or significance of something. Display the sentence below from All Summer in a Day to show this different use of the word consequence, and have a student read it aloud.”

Module 3:

  • Lesson 14, “Each student reads one of the following sentences from Detested Tea, by Andrew Matthews and prepares to give either a student-generated definition for the italicized word or a reference-generated definition that is understandable.”
Module 4:
  • Lesson 1, “Encourage students to think about the special meaning of the words they read in the myth about Achilles’ Heel, so that they can explain the story behind the title.”

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 4 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:

  • Using Think-Pair-Share, students are asked to observe closely and explain how the illustrations help the reader understand the hard science, providing details from the book to support their answer.

Module 2, Lesson 31:

  • Students create and present a short skit that shows they understand what Brian learned about survival in the Canadian wilderness.

Module 3, Lesson 8:

  • Students participate in a discussion (Socratic Seminar) about the perspectives of the two main sides of the American Revolution. Students incorporate vocabulary and evidence from the text (including graphic organizers) as evidence to support their opinions.

Module 4, Lesson 33:

  • Students are asked to “think back to our last Socratic Seminar. What did we do best as a class?” Next, “Invite two or three students to share their responses. Have the rest of the class vote with a thumbs up or thumbs down to signal their agreement with their classmates’ reflections.”

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 4 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 6, students use the model along with quotations from Helen Keller, Clara Burton, and Anne Frank to compose a paragraph. During independent writing practice, students will write a paragraph that contains an appropriate topic sentence, key details, and closing sentence.
  • In Lesson 11, students are asked to use an evidence guide to choose evidence and write notes to support the guiding question of, “How does figurative language convey meaning in The Circulatory Story?”

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 3, students are asked to write a descriptive paragraph to give details of a rainy or sunny day in the story All Summer in a Day. Students will use four of their five senses to complete a graphic organizer to describe a setting in the text.
  • In Lesson 24, students are asked to write a paragraph to explain the second supporting point of a focus statement and support the explanation with text evidence.

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 18, students are asked to, “Complete a What, So, So What chart about Maddy. Translate some of the statements from third-person to first-person point of view.”
  • In Lesson 26, the class works together to organize selected quotations into similar groups and to articulate the emerging themes. In the craft section of the lesson, students begin gathering evidence to support an opinion about which character demonstrates American Spirit.

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 10, students are asked to use and evidence guide and choose the best evidence to support a the focus statement, “What do myths from different cultures have in common?” and write notes about the context, provide the evidence, site the source and elaborate on their answer.
  • In Lesson 16, when given a story map students are asked to record the story elements (characters, settings and plot) of Walk Two Moons.

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 4 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 the End-of-Module Task, students write an informative essay that synthesizes evidence from multiple literary and informational texts read throughout the module to explain the figurative and literal meanings of the term, Great Heart.
  • In Lesson 3, students write a descriptive paragraph to give details of a rainy or sunny day in the story All Summer in a Day.

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 14, students work toward writing informational paragraphs using the writing techniques learned to make descriptions vivid and engaging.
  • In Lesson 31, students will use this class period to finalize their mountain-survival story narrative. When they finish the final draft and correct all the grammar, usage, and mechanics, they create colored-pencil illustrations to help peers understand the important parts of their narratives.
Module 3:
  • In Lesson 19, students write an informative/explanatory essay to explain Maddy’s perspective on the Revolution and how it influenced her actions in the story, The Scarlet Stocking Spy.
  • The End-of-Module Task has the students write an essay in response to the question: “In your opinion, were the American patriots justified in fighting for their independence from Britain?”


Module 4:

  • In Lesson 13, students are asked to write a well-developed essay, choosing two myths or stories that come from different cultures, and to share a similar theme that will describe each story and compare how they convey the theme.
  • The End-of-Module Task has students write an explanatory essay to express how the lessons from myths and stories teach us about ourselves and our world.

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 4 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 4, students copy their focus statement into their Evidence Guides and work together to record their evidence about Great Heart in the Evidence Guides. Students use both their sticky notes and the biographies to complete the guide task.
  • In Lesson 26, students use the text, Chalk Talk charts, monthly summaries, and supporting paragraphs to complete a new Evidence Guide task highlighting Miss Stretchberry’s actions and how she is helping Jack grow.

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 9, students arrange themselves into pairs to work with another who would like to write as the same character. Instruct students to write 3–5 thought shots for their selected character or speaker based on specific events or sections of the text.
  • In Lesson 20, students bring their Response Journals with them as they visit and read each chart, recording the evidence they see to answer the question, “How is Brian responding to the challenges of his extreme setting?”

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 4, students begin recording the evidence of different perspectives and resulting actions or conflicts of the two main sides of the American Revolution, in preparation for writing the explanatory essay.
  • In Lesson 18, gather evidence about the historical events in the book, George vs. George to help write an historically accurate essay about Maddy’s perspective and actions in the story.

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 6, students gather evidence and elaborate on it to explain what myths are and why people create them so as to independently write a draft of their paragraph to respond to the focusing question for this learning arc.
  • In Lesson 26, students begin gathering evidence of what Sal learns in Walk Two Moons and then write an essay with paragraph conclusions and a final essay conclusion.

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 4 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 11: Review of rules of capitalization, look for examples of each rule in text, write examples in Style and Conventions journal.
  • Lesson 13: Identify an example of figurative language in The Circulatory Story and explain why the author uses figurative language to describe the blood vessels.
Module 2:
  • Lesson 5: Explain how punctuation is used to help display characters’ personality traits in dialogue.
  • Lesson 6: Add punctuation to help display personality traits in characters in dialogue.

Module 3:

  • Lesson 8: Students peer review with checklist for editing fragments or run-ons, and strengthening complete sentences.
  • Lesson 24: With a partner, students identify the progressive verb in a sentence and then rewrite the sentences in present and future tense.

Module 4:

  • Lesson 12: Improve use of modal auxiliary verbs to convey various conditions.
  • Lesson 20: Recognize and define idioms in context, and explain why idioms are important in speaking and writing.

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 4 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, morphology, vocabulary, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression. Each module includes instruction, review, and/or practice in the foundational skills of morphology, 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 correspondences and syllabication patterns). Students practice morphology 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 9: Instruct students to Think-Pair-Share, and ask: “When you are reading a piece of text like this, how can you decode the meaning of words such as atrium, mitral valve, and ventricle?” (You can look for context clues, look it up in a reference work, or ask a partner.)

Module 2:

  • Lesson 14: For students who need extra support in speaking clearly or reading at an understandable pace, consider deliberately modeling what that would sound like, or give students additional time for guided performance practice before the next major speaking opportunity (e.g., presentation or reading).
  • Lesson 17: Direct students to dig deeply into the word survival. The word is derived from super “over, beyond” and vivere “to live;” vita means “life.” “How do the roots vivere and super help you understand the word survival?”

Module 3:

  • Lesson 5: Ask students, "What prefix do you see in the word independent? What does this prefix mean?” The word independent has the prefix -in. We have learned that this prefix means “not.” Clarify as needed that independent is an antonym of dependent, and the prefix -in meaning “not” shows this opposite.
  • Lesson 21: For the first night of fluency homework, students should accurately read the passage three to five times.

Module 4:

  • Lesson 1: The teacher explains the meaning of the word invincible using knowledge of word parts and the context clues in the myth of Achilles.
  • Lesson 3: Students discuss what the three prefixes (poly-, mono-, a-) mean. Check for student understanding by asking students if they need further clarification or explanation for any of the prefixes.

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 4 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 lessons, students learn morphology. The Vocabulary Deep Dives 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 4: The teacher is to remind students that at the end of the previous lesson they examined the dictionary definitions of greathearted. “Explain that today’s lesson will focus on defining a figurative great heart and extending this definition with evidence from each biography.”
  • Lesson 22: “The purpose of this Deep Dive is to examine the word immortal and to discuss the meaning of the Latin root mort to better understand it in this word and in other words with the same root. Read this line from “The Tiger: ”What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

Module 2:

  • Lesson 13: The teacher reads an excerpt from page 11 of Mountains: “What does the word exposed mean?” Excavate Words: Look at other words with the same root pos and explain to students that they are going to try to excavate, or break apart the word to determine what the root means.
  • Lesson 32: Students practice reading their mountain survival stories with a partner, focusing on fluency. The teacher reminds students to add expression, so the reading is more interesting for listeners.

Module 3:

  • Lesson 21: Reading from Woods Runner by Gary Paulson, students listen for the word frontier and how it’s used in these excerpts. “Jot down the words from these sentences that could be used as context clues to help understand frontier.”
  • Lesson 13: Assign the second night of fluency homework using Handout 12B (The Milliner; relative to the topic of the module). For homework, students read the passage three to five times, focusing on appropriate phrasing and pausing.

Module 4:

  • Lesson 3: Use the root theos and prefixes poly–, a–, and mono– to define content vocabulary from Understanding Greek Myths, by Natalie Hyde.
  • Lesson 13: Tell students that they are going to use the meaning of the Latin root gratia, and what they know about the Gratia from mythology, to understand the meaning of the noun, grace.

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 4 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 10: Students practice reading the passage on Handout 8A: Fluency Homework three to five times, recording their practice on the handout.
  • Lesson 12: Teacher models how to fluently read the new Fluency Homework passage. Students read the passage three to five times, focusing on accuracy, and students mark the chart when finished.

Module 2:

  • Over the course of several lessons, students work on fluency skills including clear articulation, pace and volume, appropriate phrasing, accuracy, and expression
  • Lesson 12: Students chorally read the following sentence from Mountains: "Most mountains are not solitary peaks but part of long chains or ranges.”
  • Lesson 14: Students read chorally the following sentence (the last in the text): “Mountains offer a chance for people to climb or ski or just take pleasure from some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.”

Module 3:

  • Lesson 5: Students practice reading with fluency an assigned monologue for four homework assignments in order to later perform it in a choral reading.
  • Lesson 9: Students continue to read aloud their assigned monologue, or section of a monologue, until all those in Colonial Voices have been read. Students are reminded to read with expression and clarity.

Module 4:

  • Lesson 15: Students read the text carefully and annotate to help read fluently. They practice reading the text aloud three to five times and evaluate their progress.
  • Lesson 31: Students read essays to partners; students focus on the same concepts as when practicing their fluency.

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 instructional materials for Grade 4 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 2, students study the topic of Extreme Settings. Students examine how people react to extreme environments. Students analyze what makes landscapes like mountains challenging, in order to answer the question: "How do humans survive against the odds?" Students read and discuss multiple texts to answer the questions, “How does the setting affect the characters or speakers in the text? What makes a mountainous environment extreme? How does setting influence character and plot development? How does a challenging setting or physical environment change a person?” Students read a novel, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, a short story, All Summer in a Day, by Ray Bradbury. Students also read scientific accounts titled, Mountains, by Seymour Simon and SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere, by John “Lofty” Wiseman. Students then read poems such as Dust of Snow, by Robert Frost and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost. Students examine images of architecture to build knowledge about the module topic.
  • In Module 4, students study the topic of Myth Making. Students read and analyze myths from the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as Native American tribes, to learn the purpose and importance of these stories in their cultures. Students read Walk Two Moons, a beautiful tapestry of stories within stories to reveal a modern-day myth that captures a snapshot of our human experience. Students read to answer: "What can we learn from myths and stories?" Students read and discuss multiple texts to answer questions such as, “What are myths, and why do people create them? What do myths and stories from different cultures have in common? How are Sal’s and Phoebe’s stories connected in Walk Two Moons? and What does Sal learn in Walk Two Moons?” Students read texts such as a novel (literary)Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, A drama (literary) Pushing Up the Sky: Native American Plays for Children, by Joseph Bruchac. Students also engage with a historical account (informational) Understanding Greek Myths, by Natalie Hyde and read multiple myths (literary) in Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words & Wisdom from Greek & Roman Mythology, by Lise Lunge-Larsen. Students also examine paintings, graphics, sculptures, videos, photographs and read multiple myths and poems to determine what we can learn from myths and stories.

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 4 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 12, groups work for five minutes to determine the two most important details about blood vessels and write them in their pages.
  • In Lesson 29, students are asked, "How do the characters in Love That Dog show characteristics of a figurative great heart?”

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 8, students are asked, “What words or phrases represent the speaker’s original mood?”
  • In Lesson 15, students are asked, ““Why are captions an important feature in an informational text?”

Module 3:

  • In Lesson 7, students are asked, “What is the central message of the texts and artwork about the Boston Massacre?”
  • In Lesson 26, students write a statement that sums up Abner’s perspective on the war on an index card and then travel the room with partners to record key ideas on their cards.

Module 4:

  • In Lesson 11, students are asked, “How will the ideas in our evidence organizer fit in this structure of the Painted Essay?”
  • In Lesson 20, students are asked, “What do you notice about these three messages, or sayings? How are they alike, and how are they different? Where do you notice literal ideas, and where do you notice figurative, or abstract ideas?”

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 4 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 then 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. Students also complete 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 2, students study the focus question, “How does the setting affect the characters or speakers in the text?” Students then analyze both single and multiple texts by answer Content Framing and Craft questions. Students read the text All Summer in a Day, by Ray Bradbury and answer, “What does a deeper exploration of the setting reveal in All Summer in a Day?” Students also read the texts, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost, All Summer in a Day, by Ray Bradbury, and Dust of Snow, by Robert Frost to answer questions such as, “How do 'All Summer in a Day,' 'Dust of Snow,' and 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' build my knowledge of narrative writing?”

Each End-of-Module Task ensures that students are analyzing the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. For example, in Unit 4 the End-of-Module Task states, “Write an essay to explain two themes that myths and stories can teach us. Write your essay for new Grade 4 students who want to know more about what they will learn in this module. Use evidence from two informational texts to describe the ancient Greeks and Native American tribes: Understanding Greek Myths and Introductions in Pushing Up the Sky. Use evidence from two literary texts to provide examples that help you explain what we can learn from myths and stories: Pushing Up the Sky, Walk Two Moons, When Raven Soared, Legend of the Moccasin Flower, and The Sun, Moon, and Stars."

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 4 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, ”Imagine you are lost on a mountain, and write a narrative story about your survival. Follow the steps in the acronym ESCAPE to plan out your story. Include specific sensory details, descriptive snapshots, and thought shots to help your story come alive for the reader. Bring your story to a natural conclusion that makes sense for the reader. Your audience is a group of your peers who are knowledgeable about wilderness settings and survival techniques. Your purpose for writing is to create an engaging story that captures the imagination and interest of your peers and demonstrates what you have learned about extreme settings and how they affect you.” To prepare for this, students answer questions and complete tasks such as:

  • Imagine you are Margot or one of the other characters in “All Summer in a Day.” Write a narrative thought shot describing what you think and feel related to a certain setting in the story. Describe the setting using sensory detail so peers who read it will be able to visualize the setting and how you react to it.
  • Create a visual display (poster, booklet, video, or multimedia presentation) to teach hikers about a mountainous environment and what makes it extreme. Use text features like headings, subheadings, diagrams, illustrations, and captions to help readers understand the information better.
  • Working in small groups, students create a short skit that explores Brian’s decision about whether to help the government learn from his ordeal. Display the two options that will “establish” the context for their skit:
    • Brian talking with his mother and father about this request from the government and his final decision.
    • A TV interview with Brian recapping his first trip and his decision to go back into the wilderness.
    • Students’ skits should demonstrate their understanding of the Focusing Question and their mastery of new vocabulary words from the module. Students will evaluate each other on how well their skit shows how Brian was changed by his experience in the wilderness and what he learned that was of value to others in similar situations. Each group will receive a section of the SAS Survival Handbook that illustrates an important piece of knowledge learned by Brian that they will need to include in their skits.
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar: Discuss the behavior of the children in All Summer in a Day. How did the characters respond to the different settings in the story? What would you have done in their situation and why? What is the theme of the story?
  • Participate in a Socratic Seminar: Present learning about the best ways to survive alone in the woods using information learned from the SAS Survival Handbook, Mountains, and Hatchet. The presentation will be in the form of a skit with students acting as Brian from Hatchet. Refer to specific text evidence to support your points.

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 4 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, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 3, Explain that you’ll use a vocabulary Frayer Model to better understand the definition of greathearted. Distribute Handout 3A: Greathearted Frayer Model.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 26, Instruct students to Think-Pair-Share, and ask: “What are the suffixes in the two words you defined? Hint: one word has two.” Have students highlight the three suffixes in three different colors and build the meaning of the words. Have students share out.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 9, Deep Dive: Vocabulary, students Think-Pair-Share: “What do you think the word diversity means in this sentence?” Allow students to think through the contextual clues of the text with different people on each page.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 13, Deep Dive: Vocabulary, Display and discuss: Gratia – Latin root meaning favor, esteem, regard; pleasing quality, good will, gratitude. Also the Latin name of the three goddesses called the Graces in Greek mythology.

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 4 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 14, students examine an introduction by discussing the craft question, “Why is a well-crafted introduction important?” and going back into the text, The Circulatory Story to use as a mentor text.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 18, students experiment with setting and plot by discussing, “How has the setting influenced the plot of Hatchet so far?”. Students create a class list on chart paper of ideas and then jot ideas in their Response Journals to be used when writing their own stories.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 25, student express understanding by answering the Execute Craft Question, “How do I use knowledge to support my opinion?” Once students have practiced forming sentences, students work independently to write a paragraph to respond to the prompt, “What is the most important knowledge Samuel has that can help him find his parents?”.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 35, student Excel with a writing checklist by using their completed first draft of the End-of-Module essay to revise their own writings and then receive feedback from a peer.

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 4 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, Lesson 28, students students review the graffiti wall to answer the research question they posed in Lesson 17: “What was it like to come to America through Ellis Island?”
  • In Module 3, the End-of-Module task is a sustained research project. Students write an opinion essay to explain their views on whether or not the patriots were justified in fighting for independence from Britain. Students will base their reasons in textual evidence drawn from the books they read throughout the module.

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 4 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 14, teachers are to have students independently read page 22 of The Circulatory Story and record the three most important details next to the bullets, then consider the details and text features to complete the box for the main idea.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 13, students read the article independently and then use the text to help them answer questions on the assessment. Remind students to use complete, detailed sentences in any extended, written responses.

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 4 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 4 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 4 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 2, Lesson 26 includes an exemplar student response to use when analyzing character development.
  • Module 4, Lesson 3 includes an organizer for students to take notes in multiple texts about the roles gods play. The organizer includes a labeled chart with clear directions.

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 4 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 4 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 4 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 3:

  • Lesson 4: Welcome/Launch: "Post the Focusing Question and Content Framing Question. Have a volunteer read aloud the Content Framing Question: Reveal: What does a deeper exploration of different accounts of the Boston Massacre reveal about perspective? Remind students that the terrible event in Boston in which five colonists were killed was labeled as a massacre by the Sons of Liberty. Ask students if they know what massacre means."
  • Lesson 22: Teacher’s Note: "When students work collaboratively in groups and then share their learning, it is an important last step to allow the original work group to debrief on the process and quality of their work. This helps students evaluate the result of their collaboration and discuss ideas for improvement for the next time they work together. This is especially important when students receive feedback that contradicts their original thinking."
  • Lesson 31: Land/Wrap: Content and Alignment: "Assess students’ shared writing. Quality introductions will have an opening sentence that hooks the reader, explains their idea, and should state their opinion. Quality conclusions will restate their opinion in a new way that wraps up the essay. Pull groups that will need help revising their work in the next lesson. If you find that the majority of groups need more scaffolding, choose one group’s writing to model a think-aloud of how you would revise their work. Next Steps: In the next lesson, students will revise their drafts by using a writing checklist."

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 4 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 4 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 4 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, but are not limited to:

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 4 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 4 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 4 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 types tasks.

Materials regularly provide:

  • Sample answers and recommended scripts to share with students
  • Suggestions for differentiation
  • Next steps, if students had difficulty. ‘Consider reviewing handout…. and re-watching ……”
  • Rubrics for scoring student tasks

Guidance for Interpreting Student Performance and suggestions for follow up can be found in the teacher’s notes and in the wrap section of each lesson. For example, in Module 3, Lesson 7, the next steps teacher notes state, “For students who are having difficulty distilling the main messages of the texts, have them talk through the main ideas of each text/artwork with you, and identify for them the extra information that can be condensed down further. If students are still not grasping the idea of propaganda, show them examples such as commercials and short YouTube videos, and point out the central messages they are trying to convey. Provide sentence starters and frames for striving writers to support them in writing their paragraphs.”

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 4 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 4 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 4 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 learning the meanings of essential content words and academic vocabulary, studying roots and affixes to grow capacity to discern word meaning independently, and 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 4 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 1, Lesson 9: Challenge stronger readers to create their own similes and metaphors about the circulatory system.
  • Module 3, Lesson 24: Research warfare styles of the British and Americans in George vs. George on pages 32–35. Record notes to describe each style to include pros and cons. Gather evidence to support your opinion—which fighting style was more effective? Orally rehearse creating an opinion statement with reasons supported by knowledge. Write a paragraph to share this learning with the class.

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 4 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.

  • Module 2, Lesson 13 states, “It may help to show them the 2-minute YouTube video What Is a Mountain? This video discusses the types of mountains discussed in this section and provides an animation of how mountains are formed.”
  • In Module 4, Lesson 10, the teacher displays the first two images from the Louvre’s extensive web page about Winged Victory, depicting a frontal and side view of the sculpture on its base.
  • 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 4 Module 2 978-1-63255-962-3 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 2016
Wit & Wisdom Grade 4 Module 3 978-1-63255-963-0 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 2016
Wit & Wisdom Grade 4 Module 4 978-1-63255-964-7 Copyright: 2016 Great Minds 2016
Wit & Wisdom Grade 4 Module 1 978-1-63255-997-5 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.

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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