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.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

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

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
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.

Criterion 1a - 1f

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

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 7 meet the expectations for core texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading and considering a range of student interests.

Core texts cover a range of topics of interest to Grade 7 students. Many of the core texts are written by award-winning authors, and many of the texts themselves have also won awards.

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

  • Module 1:
    • Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess, Page, by Richard Platt (Silver Smarties Book Prize)
    • The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Kushman (John Newbery Award)
  • Module 2:
    • Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac (ALA Best Books Awards)
    • Farewell to Manzanar, by Houston and Houston (Christopher Award)
  • Module 3:
    • Animal Farm, by George Orwell (Prometheus Hall of Fame Award)
  • Module 4:
    • American Plague, by Jim Murphy (John Newbery Award)
    • Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson (ALA Best Books for Young Adults)


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 7 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. The materials contain a balance of both informational and literary texts. There is also a variety of text types, including multimedia, novels, poetry, paintings, videos, articles, photos, music, and biographies.

Examples of core texts and supplemental texts from Module 1 are listed below:

Module 1:

Literary

  • Castle Diary, by Richard Platt (novel)
  • Identity, by Julio Noboa Polanco (poem)
  • Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac (novel)
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell (novel)
  • Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson (novel)
  • Invictus, by William Ernest Henley (poem)

Informational

  • Knight, Western Reserve Public Media (historical accounts)
  • Joachim Among the Shepherds, by Giotto di Bondone (painting)
  • Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., by Alexis O’Neill (biography)
  • School Children, by Ansel Adams (photograph)
  • A Beautiful Dawn, by Radmilla Cody (photo)
  • Is Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ the Greatest Speech in History? by Emma Mason (article)
  • Excerpts from: Friedrich Engels, Revolutionary, Activist, Unionist, and Social Instigator, Cricket Media (historical account)
  • Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, History Making Productions (film)
  • Yellow Fever, US National Library of Medicine (article)


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 for Grade 7 meet the expectations that the majority of texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task.

Though some texts fall outside the recommended Lexile range, the materials are accompanied by a qualitative analysis that provides a rationale for use of each text. Texts in the lower end of the Lexile range are typically used to foster student interest or supplement knowledge or evidence needed to complete more demanding tasks. For example, in Module 4 students read the text, Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson. It has a quantitative measure of 580L. Central ideas and themes include human responses to crises, the will to survive, a society divided by race, class, and gender, personal growth in adversity, and the impact of limited scientific knowledge on the severity of the epidemic. Each chapter begins with a primary-source epigraph, setting the central idea or theme for the chapter. There is some figurative language and at least one instance of symbolism. The register can be unfamiliar due to arcane language, colloquialisms, and historical references. Allusions to historic events and individuals are contextualized and do not interfere with comprehension. Knowledge of the Revolutionary War and early-American government and geography will facilitate comprehension. Though at a low quantitative measure, this text's topic and historical references would make it difficult for students to understand. However, the lessons, questions, and tasks throughout Module 4 as well as the Focus Questions and class discussions allow this text to be accessible to Grade 7 students.

Texts that rise above the grade level complexity according to quantitative measures and qualitative measures have reader and task scaffolds and accommodations so that students can access the complex texts. For example, in Module 1 students read the text, The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Cushman. It has a quantitative measure of 1240L. Qualitative measures include: A clear, sequential narrative structure, with chapters organized around specific episodes in the protagonist’s life, supports students’ reading. There are references to life in a medieval village. Students will have built up knowledge of medieval life by this point in the module, so these demands should not be too high for students. The lessons, questions, and tasks throughout Module 4 as well as the Focus Questions and class discussions allow this text to be accessible to Grade 7 students.

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 for Grade 7 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Each module builds in rigor over the course of the school year, providing students opportunities to learn and demonstrate literacy skills at grade level by the end of the school year. Series of texts have a variety of complexity levels and are accompanied by tasks that provide opportunity to practice increasingly rigorous skills. Although there are a few times the quantitative measure extends into the 2-3 grade band, and expands into the 9-10 grade band, the qualitative features keep the texts appropriate for students in Grade 7. Using the Appendix A- Text Complexity found in the Appendices of each module gives teachers access to the quantitative and qualitative features of each Core Text including the knowledge, structure, and language use within the texts.

Modules 1-4 provide ample opportunities to increase students' literacy skills throughout the school year. Each of the anchor texts are sufficiently complex with qualitative factors that are diverse and authentic. While the quantitative scores of the anchor texts span from 910L-1170L, the supplementary texts provided in each module give students balanced reading opportunities, both for the development of skills as well as knowledge and vocabulary. The Module Assessments show increasing complexity of student thinking and provide students opportunities to demonstrate their reading and thinking skills. Teachers are supported in measuring student growth with multiple assessment exemplars located in each module.

The knowledge, structure, and language use within the texts expand through the modules. Evidence of this expanding rigor is found in the following examples:

  • Module 1: Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer and retold by Geraldine McCaughrean: The structure of the narrative may present some challenge for students because of the frame of a set of stories told within another story. The vocabulary is rigorous, with descriptive words and content-specific, formal, and archaic words related to the medieval characters and settings. Seven historical accounts are included to assist students with background information on the Middle Ages. Even though a quantitative Lexile measure is not given, the quantitative features provide a rigorous reading experience for grade 7 students.
  • Module 4: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (1130L). Published in 2003 and awarded the Newbery Honor Award in 2004, An American Plague details the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, then the new capital of a new nation. Murphy uses engaging, story-like elements and language and uses sensory and figurative descriptions, but he also employs ample complex, and at times archaic, content-specific and academic language to convey the history of the epidemic.


Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials for Grade 7 meet the criteria for providing information to the teacher about the text complexity and features of the anchor texts. Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis. A rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level is included.

Each text is accompanied by a text complexity rubric found within the Teacher Edition in Appendix A of each module. The text complexity rubric provides the quantitative, qualitative and reader/task considerations. There is a rationale for each selection presented under the title and author's name, along with a key learning objective. The information provided includes a list of Common Core standards that are met within the piece. The rubric also offers a detailed explanation of the qualitative areas such as meaning/purpose, structure, language, and knowledge demands. On this same page, the quantitative Lexile measure is stated.

Materials also include a rationale for placement, which is located in the Module Summary section that states in a few sentences why most texts are applicable to the student. For example, the Module 1 Summary is found below:

  • “For an adolescent, perhaps no inquiry is more pressing than the question of the self. As we strive to figure out how we fit in and what our place might be, society’s impact is palpable, calling us to ask: How does society influence identity? Can a social hierarchy limit opportunity? To what extent are we free to shape the course of our lives? Module 1 explores these questions of identity in society by taking students on a literary expedition across a famously inflexible social setting: Medieval Europe. Though it may seem distant, this medieval exploration illustrates the influence of societal forces on identity formation—an influence that remains undeniable in seventh graders’ modern setting.” (GM, Grade 7, Module 1, Module Summary)


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 7 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 module 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. Materials also offer multiple novels across the year. Teachers read aloud the back cover of a novel, the first chapter of a novel, and sample sentences to highlight the structure of the text or specific vocabulary terms pertinent to the text. Students then take responsibility for group or independent reading. Opportunities for teacher read alouds and small group work are also available during the scaffolding options component. Students engage with the the majority of content reading independently as homework.

The lists below demonstrate the range and volume of reading across all modules and include additional independent reading from the “Parent Tip Sheet.” Examples of texts include:

  • Module 2
    • 1 memoir, 1 novel, 1 biography, 4 historical accounts, 1 journal, 1 piece of music, 4 photographs, and 2 posters.
    • Books to Read at Home include:
      • Eddie’s War, Carol Fisher Saller
      • Weedflower, Cynthia Kadohata
      • Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and the Librarian Who Made a Difference, Joanne Oppenheim
      • Courage Has No Color, Tanya Lee Stone
      • Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, J. Todd Moye
      • Milkweed, Jerry Spinelli
      • Hana’s Suitcase: The Quest to Solve a Holocaust Mystery, Karen Levine
      • The Boy on the Wooden Box, Leon Leyson
  • Module 4
    • 1 historical account, 1 novel, 1 painting, 4 articles, 1 film, 1 painting, 1 poem, and 2 videos.
    • Books to Read at Home include:
      • Invisible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, Jim Murphy
      • Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People, Albert Marrin
      • Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America, Susan Campbell Bartoletti
      • When Plague Strikes: The Black Death, Smallpox, and AIDS, James Cross Giblin
      • The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel, Deborah Hopkinson


Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
16/16
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-
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 prepare to 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 7 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: “Cite evidence” as you participate in Socratic Seminar, “Please remember to include proper citations for your textual evidence,” and a writing rubric requires students to use “textual evidence that develops your idea.”

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

  • Module 1, Lesson 4:
    • "What else did you learn about the setting from pages 30–42?"
    • “What other characters did you meet, and what did you learn about them?”
  • Module 2, Lesson 17:
    • "How does the photographer use blank space? How does he use light and dark?"
    • "What can you tell about the men in the photograph? How would the photograph change if you could see the men’s faces?"
  • Module 3, Lesson 18:
    • “What message is Old Major sending the animals by using this word?”
    • “What has chapter II revealed about how the pigs are different from the other animals?”
  • Module 4, Lesson 8:
    • "What does Grandfather’s response to the crisis reveal about him?"
    • "What different emotions does Mattie experience in chapter 10?"


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

For example, In Module 2 the Core Texts are Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston and Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac. The Essential Question is, “How did World War II affect individuals?” The End-of-Module Task is, “Write an informative essay that analyzes World War II’s effect on either Ned Begay or Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Revise the essay based on feedback.” During the Module lessons student read, discuss, and write to build knowledge through various activities and routines. Students work towards understanding the Focusing Questions to build knowledge and complete the culminating task.

Focusing Questions for Module 2 include:

  • Focusing Question 1: What does being Navajo mean to the protagonist of Code Talker?
  • Focusing Question 2: How does Ned’s Navajo identity provide strength during times of challenge?
  • Focusing Question 3: What did the Wakatsukis experience during World War II, and how did it affect them?
  • Focusing Question: 4 How did World War II affect individuals?


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 7 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:

  • Students are asked to engage in a Socratic Seminar in which they explain how the medieval social order influences identity, experience, and opportunity.

Module 2:

  • In Lesson 23, students engage in Mix-Freeze-Pair to help them examine the text’s style and structure. Student will then circulate, taking Relocation Camps (Handout 23A) and Handout 4B with them. Teacher will say, "Freeze," and display the first question. Students stop and discuss it with the peer closest to them. Then say, "Mix," directing students to circulate again before freezing and discussing the next question with a new partner. A few students will be asked to share answers after pairs discuss each question.

Module 3:

  • Students are instructed to engage in a Socratic Seminar and discuss which of the texts is most inspiring and why.

Module 4:

  • After a reading, students engage in a Chalk Talk, recording answers on three different TBQs and then discuss their evidence-based answers.


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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 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 30:

  • The whole group discusses in a Socratic Seminar the question, “How can I improve my speaking and listening skills?” and cites evidence from the text.

Module 2, Lesson 18:

  • Students Think-Pair-Share to respond to the question: “What are two new facts you learned about code talkers from reading this article?” Students share ideas as a whole group and take notes in their response journals.

Module 3, Lesson 31:

  • Students count off from one to five to form groups; they use the numbered section on the handout corresponding to their number. Students then work independently on their section of a handout, reading their assigned section, looking up unfamiliar vocabulary, making notes as needed in their Vocabulary Journals to help them remember key words, and identifying the central idea of their section.
  • Next, students meet with those who analyzed the same section to share information and clarify understanding. These new groups collaborate to share ideas, clarify key vocabulary, and agree on and record the central idea for the section.

Module 4, Lesson 22:

  • After each presents, the students listening to the presentation provide:
    • Feedback about what the group did well.
    • Insights they gained about the crisis from listening to the presentation.
    • One or two suggestions (total) for improvements the group might make for future presentations.


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 7 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 nine-week module. There are informal and formal responses over the course of the module, students learn, practice, and demonstrate the stages of expository writing, narrative writing, and argumentative writing. Materials include short and longer writing tasks and projects. Writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade-level standards being reviewed. Students also keep a response journal to record thoughts and ideas.

Module 1: Writing Focus: Narrative

Students write creatively, examining and experimenting with craft techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, sensory language, and description. Through their experimentation with narrative techniques, students not only prepare to effectively blend content and craft when they complete their historical fiction EOM Tasks for Module 1, they also develop skills they can use to enliven their informational and argument writing in upcoming modules.

  • Focusing Question Task: Write a diary entry from the poacher’s point of view. In it, the poacher should reflect on 1) his place in the social hierarchy and 2) how his society has shaped his identity.
  • End of Module Task: Write an “exploded moment” narrative that demonstrates how medieval society supports or limits the protagonist’s identity.

Module 2 Writing Focus: Informative Writing

In their informative writing, students use many of the narrative writing skills they learned, such as using descriptive language, while developing new skills such as writing introductory paragraphs.

  • Focusing Question Task: Write a paragraph that analyzes how a particular aspect of Navajo culture supports Ned Begay over the course of Code Talker.
  • End-of-Module Task: Write an informative essay that analyzes World War II’s effect on either Ned Begay or Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Revise the essay based on feedback.


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

Materials provide 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. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Examples of writing prompts found throughout the modules that show how the materials meet the expectations of these indicators include:

Module 1:

  • Write a diary entry from the poacher’s point of view. In it, the poacher should reflect on 1) his place in the social hierarchy and 2) how his society has shaped his identity.

Module 2:

  • Write an “exploded moment” narrative that demonstrates how medieval society supports or limits the protagonist’s identity.

Module 3:

  • Write a paragraph that analyzes how a particular aspect of Navajo culture supports Ned Begay over the course of Code Talker.
  • Write an informative essay that analyzes World War II’s effect on either Ned Begay or Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Revise the essay based on feedback.

Module 4:

  • Write an argument paragraph about which of the three animals—Squealer, Boxer, or the sheep—is most influential in helping Napoleon gain and maintain power in Animal Farm.
  • Write an argument essay about whether language is more powerful when it is used to uplift or whether it is more powerful when used to control. Develop your argument with evidence from Animal Farm and at least one other text.


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 7 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 with evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students' 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:

  • Students answer a series of text-dependent questions in small groups to help them explore the character of Alyce in a deeper way. In groups of four, each student jots down their ideas for each question, with textual support, and then discusses as a group.

Module 2:

  • Character Analysis 3A: Based on the text, students choose a word or phrase that describes a trait that Kii Yázhí possesses, writing that in the first column. In the second column, the choice is supported with evidence from the text, including page references. In the third column, students elaborate on the evidence by explaining how it supports the word or phrase identified in the first column.

Module 3:

  • Students are asked to examine the 7 commandments in Animal Farm and provide evidence and inferences about the reasons the pigs included these commandments.
  • Students analyze Squealer’s Milk-And-Apples argument by stating the claim, reasons, and evidence that he includes in Animal Farm.

Module 4:

  • Students answer questions to compare and contrast Anderson’s account including facts from Murphy and their own research. Students use evidence from their research and the book to complete the chart.
  • Students analyze the character of Mattie from the book, Fever 1793, by what Mattie thinks, does, says, and what others say about Mattie; evidence is recorded on a graphic organizer.


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 7 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 and 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.

Examples include:

Module 1:

  • Lesson 19: Identify and explore how complex and compound-complex sentences signal differing relationships among ideas.
  • Lesson 25: Explain how phrases and clauses affect writing.
  • Lesson 26: Complete sentence frames using sets of appropriately punctuated modifiers.
  • Lesson 28: Appropriately use coordinate adjectives to add description in writing.
  • Lesson 32: Employ phrases and clauses appropriately to enhance writing.

Module 2:

  • Lesson 11: Identify transitional phrases and clauses and explain their function in specific instances.
  • Lesson 12: Use transitional phrases and clauses in writing.
  • Lesson 16: Recognize and correct misplaced modifiers.
  • Lesson 21: Explain why subjects are important when using participial phrases.
  • Lesson 17: Revise argument paragraphs by using phrases or clauses to create transitions, add detail or precision, or clarify relationships.

Module 3:

  • Lesson 14: Identify phrases and clauses and explain their function in specific instances.
  • Lesson 15: Revise an argument paragraph by using phrases to create transitions, add detail and precision, or clarify relationships.
  • Lesson 17: Revise argument paragraphs by using phrases or clauses to create transitions, add detail or precision, or clarify relationships.
  • Lesson 24: Combine simple sentences to create complex sentences to communicate multiple ideas.

Module 4:

  • Lesson 2: Examine and identify coordinate adjectives in context.
  • Lesson 5: Examine coordinate and compound adjectives and their punctuation and consider their effect in a text.
  • Lesson 6: Describe characters, scenes, and settings from Fever 1793, using correctly punctuated coordinate and compound adjectives.
  • Lesson 8: Execute skill in using and correctly punctuating compound and coordinate adjectives.
  • Lesson 27: Edit a research paragraph to ensure correct citation punctuation.


Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

+
-
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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of anchor texts organized around appropriate topic(s), and more commonly theme, to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently at grade level. Students read different kinds of texts focused on the same themes and topics, building content knowledge of that topic/theme by the end of each respective unit.

  • Module 1: The theme is Identity, and the Topic is The Middle Ages. In this module, students explore questions of identity in society by taking students on a literary expedition across a famously inflexible social setting: Medieval Europe. This medieval exploration illustrates the influence of societal forces on identity formation—an influence that remains undeniable in seventh graders’ modern setting.

Samples from the text selections include:

  • Castle Diary, by Richard Platt. This is an historical fiction narrative from the perspective of a curious young page, Students observe the medieval social hierarchy’s power in action, meeting nobles, servants, knights, and poachers whose fates are tied to the rigid societal structure in which they live.
  • Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer and retold by: Geraldine McCaughrean. This captivating classic anthology describes a pilgrimage on the road to Canterbury in which characters from disparate social classes swap stories and bond, revealing the power of narrative to transcend both social divisions and time.
  • The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Kushman, is a novel that focuses on an orphaned girl emerging to make her way in the world. Her inspiring fight to carve a place for herself within medieval society illuminates the complexity and rewards of any quest to transform one’s life despite injustice, deepening students’ thinking about the relationship between society and self.
  • Module 3: The Theme is Identity, and the Topic is Language and Power. This module cultivates students’ abilities to analyze the logic and validity of arguments: to consider the perspectives of differing sources, to hold thoughtful, respectful discussions with others holding conflicting points of view, and to recognize language’s potential for both inspiration and manipulation. Ultimately, students build an understanding of the need to develop the critical reading and thinking skills that will enable them to recognize when others attempt to persuade or manipulate them with language.

Samples of text include:

  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell. In this novel, Orwell creates a dictatorial society among animals. Students can learn that with all the information that is available today they must test the validity of this information, ask questions that will help them differentiate truth from falsehood, and stand up for their carefully considered beliefs.
  • I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr. In this speech, King uses the power of language through repetition to express his desire for freedom for all people.

All modules develop student knowledge through structured learning activities that provide effective scaffolding of content leading to students comprehending texts independently and proficiently.

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 for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks requiring students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Questions are organized into three categories: Focusing Questions, Content Framing Questions, and Craft Questions. Within the Content Framing and Craft Questions, there are additional categories of questions.

Examples include:

Module 1:

  • Lesson 1: Build knowledge about the concept of identity. Experiment with figurative language. Interpret similes, metaphors, and imagery in context, and apply them to a poem.
  • Lesson 4: Use figurative language to express key aspects of Tobias’s life and identity.
  • Lesson 5: Distinguish among the connotations of target vocabulary synonyms and rank them to better understand the words and their context.
  • Lesson 9: Analyze how the author’s use of descriptive details supports characterization.
  • Lesson 11: Determine central ideas that Bruchac develops in chapter 10.
  • Lesson 12: Analyze how the setting and plot, specifically school experiences, shape the identity of the protagonist, Ned Begay, in Code Talker.
  • Lesson 17: Evaluate Bruchac’s content, style, and structure in chapters 24–26 in order to gain a deeper understanding of how authors engage audiences and communicate central ideas.

A representative example of how the program also addresses this indicator comes from Module 2,
Focusing Question #4: How did World War II affect individuals?

Content Framing Questions:

  1. Know: How does the model build my knowledge of informative essay elements?
  2. Know: How do the core texts build my knowledge of World War II?

Craft Questions:

  1. Why are certain elements important in writing a successful informative essay?
  2. Experiment: How do conclusions work?
  3. Execute: How can I use evidence to support my ideas in an organized informative essay plan?
  4. Execute: How can I use the elements of strong informative writing in my own informative essay?
  5. Excel: How do I improve my informative essay?
  6. Excel: How do I improve my writing to show command of English grammar, language conventions, and vocabulary?

Additional questions from Module 3 include:

  • Lesson 18: Describe key character details and developments in Chapter II, identifying words, phrases, and actions Orwell uses to develop each character.
  • Lesson 22: Apply understanding of literary allusions to interpret the word scapegoat in context as it is used to describe Snowball.
  • Lesson 28: Describe a theme revealed in the final chapter of Animal Farm.

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 7 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. There are limited questions used to assess reading comprehension and connect the reader to the text in a deeper way. Questions are employed to build students' knowledge.

Each module has a section entitled, “Major Assessments” for the teacher at the beginning of the module that displays all the “Focusing Question Tasks”, the standards involved, and the elements needed to be successful on the “End-of-Module (EOM)” culminating task. Also, each module contains a section entitled “Module Map” that discusses the “Focusing Question Tasks, Central Texts, Content Framing Questions, Craft Questions, and learning goals.” Many questions and tasks do not require students to demonstrate understanding of the text on multiple levels. Many of the questions do prepare students for an upcoming culminating writing task (EOM). In each module, students are presented with opportunities to work across texts.

Some questions/tasks that represent how this program meets this expectation include the following:

Module 3:

  • Compose an argument with a claim, reasons, evidence, and elaboration, and acknowledge an alternate or opposing claim.
  • In the following assignment: Write a paragraph about why I Have a Dream is inspiring, explaining both the contribution of King’s written words in the transcript and the contribution of his vocal delivery and image details in the video.
  • Read Maya Angelou’s Caged Bird and view its video performance. Use a graphic organizer to analyze how two techniques in the video affect the poem, and respond to multiple-choice questions.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the elements of a strong argument. In the following assignment: Read the Animal Farm review and complete the multiple-choice questions. Then trace and evaluate the review’s argument using the graphic organizer.

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 7 fully meet the expectations that questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a theme (or, for grades 3-5. a topic) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening). The sets of questions and tasks students are asked to work with and complete support their ability to complete culminating tasks in which they are demonstrating knowledge of topics and/or themes.

Each module has several Focusing Question Tasks that scaffold the material to aid in the successful completing of the EOM 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.

Some examples of culminating tasks that showcase students' demonstration of topics and themes through a combination of skills and print and nonprint texts include the following examples:

Module 1:

  • The culminating task (End of Module-EOM) in Module 1 is as follows: "Write an 'exploded moment' narrative that demonstrates how medieval society supports or limits the protagonist’s identity.” Students apply historical fiction elements learned throughout their study—historical details supplied by Castle Diary, narrative techniques modeled by The Canterbury Tales, and writing experimentation supported by The Midwife’s Apprentice—to demonstrate how society can support and limit the development of identity.
  • This first module activates interest in writing with a focus on narrative. In preparation for the EOM, students write creatively, examining and experimenting with craft techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, sensory language, and description. Through their experimentation with narrative techniques, students not only prepare to effectively blend content and craft when they complete their historical fiction EOM Tasks for Module 1. Some of the writing assignments that scaffold students to the EOM are as follows: (1) List four narrative elements or techniques that exemplify what The Canterbury Tales can teach readers about storytelling. Provide textual evidence that illustrates how The Canterbury Tales models each element or technique. (2) Use descriptive details to slow down the pacing and 'explode' a moment in the life of Alyce, The Midwife’s Apprentice’s protagonist. Students also develop skills they can use to enliven their informational and argument writing in upcoming modules.
  • Students have ample opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills in this module’s four Socratic Seminars. To begin, students learn how to set speaking and listening goals, and they track their progress throughout each Seminar. This understanding of discussion goal setting will serve students as they work to improve their speaking and listening skills throughout the year. Some of the Socratic Seminar tasks are as follows: (1) Analyze which big ideas are most important to Chapter 7 of The Midwife’s Apprentice: sin, justice, good and evil, judgment, and punishment. (2) Explain how medieval society supports and limits Alyce’s identity in The Midwife’s Apprentice.
  • Students are also presented with a plethora of print and nonprint texts to assist in successfully completing the EOM task. These texts include but not limited to: a novel: Castle Diary, by Richard Platt, a musical selection: Lamento de Tristano, by: Anonymous, and a painting: Joachim Among the Shepherds, by Giotto di Bondone.

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 7 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.

Examples include:

Module 2

  • Lesson 8 - Content Vocabulary - The Suffix “ism”
    • Students apply different meanings of the suffix -ism to content vocabulary, and create sentences to demonstrate understanding.
  • Lesson 19 - Content Vocabulary - Pulverized
    • End of lesson task: Students respond to the following Exit Ticket: “Explain why you think that Bruchac used pulverized rather than one of its synonyms.”
  • Lesson 14: Handout 14A Word Exploration

Read the words and definitions below. On a separate piece of paper, show what the words mean in an alternative way—either by a picture, a sentence using the word in context, a comparison or analogy, or by breaking the word down into its parts. When possible, show how the word is used in Code Talker, with a related picture, sentence, or comparison.

Module 3

  • Lesson 11 - Academic Vocabulary: Alternate Claim, Opposing Claim
    • Learning Goal -Use predicted and dictionary definitions of words and word relationships to understand alternate claims and opposing claims, developing basic argumentation skills.
    • End of Lesson Task: Students respond to the following in their Vocabulary Journals: “How could knowing if someone else’s claim is an alternate or opposing claim help you better address it in an argument?”
  • Lesson 12 - Content Vocabulary: Persuade, Persuasive
    • Learning Goal: Deepen understanding of the meanings of the words persuade and persuasive by comparing and contrasting their meaning with those of related words.
    • End of Lesson Task: Do a Whip Around in response to this question: “Why are ads an example of persuasion and not an example of an argument?
  • Lesson 13: Vocabulary Deep Dive (Content Vocabulary: manipulative, deceptive)
  • Lesson 32: Vocabulary Deep Dive (Academic Vocabulary: The Morphemes lit, literal)

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 7 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. Students are supported through the writing process with focusing question tasks in each module that help scaffold the writing process for the final End of Module (EOM) product. Students receive feedback from peers, the teacher, and self-evaluations to ensure that students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year. The following are examples of how materials are building students writing skills across multiple modules.

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.

Module 1:

  • Students will list four specific narrative elements or techniques and offer evidence from The Canterbury Tales that clearly illustrates each element or technique.

Module 2:

  • Students will use an evidence guide to identify important aspects of Ned Begay’s Navajo identity in Code Talker.
  • Students write a paragraph that analyzes how a particular aspect of Navajo culture supports Ned Begay over the course of Code Talker.
  • End of Module task: Students write an informative essay that analyzes World War II’s effect on either Ned Begay or Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. They will revise the essay based on peer feedback.

Module 3:

  • Students will write a paragraph about why “I Have a Dream” is inspiring, explaining both the contribution of King’s written words in the transcript and the contribution of his vocal delivery and image details in the video.
  • Students write an argument paragraph about the most important theme about the power of language that Orwell develops in Animal Farm.
  • End of Module task: Students will write an argument essay about whether language is more powerful when it is used to uplift or whether it is more powerful when used to control. Develop your argument with evidence from Animal Farm and at least one other text.

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 7 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:

  • Module 2: Through the fictional account of Ned Begay, a Navajo teenager called to war and the memoir of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, a former internee of Manzanar camp, students explore this world conflict by entering the lives of those who lived through it. In Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac, the protagonist experiences assimilation and battlefield combat, yet his Navajo culture provides him strength, self-awareness, and language—all of which create a remarkable opportunity to serve his country. In Farewell to Manzanar, young Jeannie struggles to understand and come to terms with the effects of her family’s wartime internment. From these unforgettable stories, students gain insight into the World War II era. The End-of-Module Task is an informative/explanatory essay. In it, students detail how one individual encountered adversity and/or opportunity as a result of the war, and how he or she formed identity in a time marked by challenge on both a national and human scale.
  • Module 3: At the core of the module, Animal Farm, Orwell’s classic indictment of tyranny and corruption, provides a foundation for the lessons. Supplementary texts help students examine language and power. By the time students encounter the End-of-Module (EOM) Task, students weigh evidence from the array of texts and craft their own argument in response.
  • Module 4: In An American Plague, Jim Murphy develops content knowledge through a detailed factual account of the epidemic. Students are immersed in eighteenth-century Philadelphia. They learn about medical practices that increased death rates, the young government’s panicked decision to adjourn, and the heroism of individuals like the Free African Society volunteers. Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever 1793 has students experience the epidemic through the point of view of Mattie, a fourteen-year-old girl whose motivation must shift from avoiding chores to survival. The study of these texts cultivates meaningful understanding of the ways individuals can alleviate and exacerbate a crisis’s effects and of how writers of history and historical fiction use research to imbue their works with depth and truth. By the time students encounter the End-of-Module Task research essay, they are prepared to analyze and evaluate the ways Philadelphians responded to the epidemic, deepening their exploration of how times of crisis can affect citizens and society.

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 7 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.

Module 1:

  • Lesson 4: Students skim chapters 1–5, rereading sections where Bud demonstrates his ability to survive. Students should annotate or take notes to help them with the Focusing Question Task in the next lesson.
  • Lesson 15: Students reread chapters 18–19, annotating with a “T” the places that show Bud’s transformation.

Module 2:

  • Lesson 8: Students read Chapter 7, completing a T-Chart to list what they notice and wonder as they read. Students note any vocabulary words related to the military that they encounter during their reading, try to predict their meaning using context clues, and be ready to discuss them in class during the next lesson. (Optional) Distribute Handout 8C to any struggling readers who might benefit from additional fluency practice. Tell students that they should keep this handout for the next four days, and can practice the passage for homework.
  • Lesson 22: Students read Chapter 2 up to the break on page 15, ending on “scattered blue and white fragments across the wooden floor.” Students add questions and observations to their T-Charts.

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 7 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 35-38 lessons. The total minimum number of days to cover every lesson in the module is 145. 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 7 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 32-38 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 7 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Students have access to an array of materials that provide ample review and practice resources, such as note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, new-read assessments, supporting excerpts or texts, close read guides, essay rubrics, reference aids, model writings, vocabulary words list and definitions, and speaking and listening checklists.

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

Examples include:

  • Module 1, Lesson 7 includes a “Speaking and Listening Goal Setting and Self-Assessment” for students, with 2 columns: Criteria and Plus/Delta. The directions are clear on the self-assessment and in the teacher’s edition.
  • Module 4, Lesson 17 includes a graphic organizer, entitled "Girard’s Film Depiction," that is clearly written and divided into two sections: (1) What details does the film include to shape its presentation of Stephen Girard? and (2) Based on these details, write one sentence to summarize the film’s overall depiction of Girard.”


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 7 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 7 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 7 meets 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 following are examples which demonstrate how the materials are useful and offer ample guidance for teachers:

Module 1:

  • Lesson 3: Teacher Note: “Students should base their contributions on the text. If they make suggestions that may not be text-based, ask, “What in the text makes you say that?” or “What part of the text gave you that idea?”
  • Lesson 25: Scaffold: “The first response has been completed. You may wish to Think Aloud to model how to arrive at that response and then collaborate with the whole group to complete the next one.”

Module 4:

  • Lesson 10 Overview Teacher’s Note: “Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827) was best known for his portraits of leaders of the American Revolution, but he was much more than a portraitist. The head of a family of artists, he fought as an officer in the Continental Army and was an inventor, naturalist, writer, and the founder of the first museum in the United States. Peale’s American Museum showcased specimens of different species of birds, along with the skeleton of a mastodon, which Peale himself had taken part in exhuming. His self-portrait, The Artist in His Museum, was painted in 1822, in oil on canvas.”

Lesson 10: Discuss different note-taking strategies. For example:

  • “Students can take notes on note cards, writing down individual facts on individual cards, so that the cards can be easily organized and categorized into subtopics when note-taking is complete. On each card, students should include a header with the main idea of the note, the research source, and concise source notes and quotations, if applicable.”
  • “Students can take notes on paper, organized by key ideas. In this method, students may want to create a loose outline of subtopics, and then create a sheet for each subtopic. Then, students can list information (notes, comments, or quotations) related to each subtopic, noting the source for each idea. (To streamline, students may want to create a separate sheet of sources, and identify each with a separate number or letter so that they can identify sources easily on their note sheets with just a single letter or number.)”
  • “Students can follow an established note-taking system, such as Cornell notes. With Cornell notes, students divide a sheet of paper into four sections. Across the top of the page, students write the source. Students divide the body of the page into two columns, noting key ideas on the left and details on the right. Across the bottom of the page, students provide a summary.”
  • “Students can take notes digitally, using a note-taking tool or their own system.”


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

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 7 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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6-8 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies. Materials include resources found primarily in the Implementation Guide that provide explanations of the instructional approaches and identify research-based strategies. The Implementation Guide lists what research says, what students need and how Wit and Wisdom materials provide what students need within the curriculum.

Explanations provided include:

Research Says: “Performance on complex texts is the clearest differentiator in reading between students who are likely to be ready for college and those who are not.” (ACT 16-17) “But as expectations of college and career reading have held steady or increased, the complexity of Grades K-12 texts have held steady or increased, the complexity of Grades K-12 texts has declined (Adams 4-5; NGA Center and CCSS) 3). Students need to be able to unlock meaning from complex texts.”

Wit & Wisdom Responds: “Instead of basals, Wit & Wisdom students read complex, grade-level books they love from classics such as The Story of Ferdinand and Animal Farm, to new favorites such as Last Stop on Market Street and The Crossover, to captivating nonfiction such as I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban and An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. Students use these texts at every turn-to learn, and eventually master, essential reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and vocabulary skills.”

Some Core Practice examples include:

Vocabulary: “The Wit & Wisdom approach to teaching vocabulary thorough knowledge of word meanings is key to understanding any complex text and to learning as a whole (Chall and Jacobs; Anderson and Freebody 77). Vocabulary instruction in Wit & Wisdom is accordingly designed to achieve three key student outcomes:

  • Better comprehension of complex texts
  • Broader and deeper knowledge of words and word parts (including affixes and roots)
  • Increased ability to determine the meanings of unknown words As a text-based curriculum,

Wit & Wisdom teaches vocabulary both implicitly and explicitly using words in the core and supplementary texts. Through repeated readings of complex, knowledge-building texts, students implicitly learn many new words (Feitelson, Kita, and Goldstein 340; Miller and Gildea 96; Nagy and Scott 273). Explicit vocabulary instruction focused on the three student outcomes emphasizes three categories of high-leverage vocabulary words and phrases.”

Questioning: “Students monitor their understanding of the text by recording questions they have about it. During their first encounter of the text, students record questions they have about it. When students return to the text, they continue to monitor their understanding, recording any additional questions that arise while also looking for answers to their original questions. After the first stage of reading, students share, and when possible, answer these text based questions, or problem solve about how to answer the questions. For example, students may return to the text, consult a reference source, or conduct research. This helps students maintain engagement with and focus on the text while reading and monitor their comprehension of what they are reading. This helps teachers formatively assess students to indicate their understanding of the text and learning from previous modules.”

Indicator 3j

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 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 7 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Each module incorporates a series of checkpoints in the form of Focusing Question Tasks that help students demonstrate the knowledge and standards they are learning throughout the module. These tasks build to an End of Module (EOM) Task which is labeled in the materials as Major Assessments. Teachers can monitor student progress throughout the module to ensure that students are prepared to complete the summative task (EOM).

As formative assessments, the materials provide several New Read Assessments per module in which students demonstrate their understanding of the standards covered at that point in the module. Students independently do a cold read of an informational or literary text and then complete various questions (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.

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 7 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.

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 7 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.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 7 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 with disabilities and students for whom English is a new language.

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 7 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:

  • Focusing Question Tasks - These tasks may also come with a recommendation for differentiation, depending on student performance or ability.
  • Scaffolding or Extension boxes are located within lesson materials in the Teacher’s Edition. There are also recommendations for teachers to review, re-watch, or re-read materials, depending on how students performed on lesson tasks.
  • The Next Steps in the “Land/Wrap” section at the end of each lesson will also give recommendations for teachers to support students who didn’t understand portions of the lesson.


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 -evel 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.

Examples of materials for supporting below grade-level students include:

  • In each lesson, there is a section titled Land/Wrap. Teachers are given strategies to assist struggling students with the complex text or task in the Next Steps section (located at the conclusion of every lesson).
  • For example: “Consider having pairs check one another’s writing for sensory language if more support is needed. Students will be expected to execute these skills when they complete the Focusing Question Task in the next lesson.”


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 7 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.

For example:

  • In Module 4, Lesson 4, an extension activity is included in the lesson plan on Analyzing Texts; it focuses on analyzing visuals within the text.


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 7 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. Technology is used throughout modules and lessons to enhance student learning and draw attention to evidence and texts.

  • In Module 1, Lesson 2, teachers are given a list of online resources/texts which will be used in the module on The Middle Ages- The Medieval Years.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 5, students will have the opportunity to research Maya Angelou and other poets/poems. Students will independently peruse two poetry websites (Poetry Out Loud and Poetry 180) and indicate a favorite poem they will share in class the next day.
  • 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. The only digital instructional materials provided are documents which teachers can edit themselves.

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

About Publishers Responses

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

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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