Alignment: Overall Summary

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

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

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

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

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

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

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

Criterion 1a - 1f

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

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

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

Indicator 1a

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

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

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

Module 1 Topic: Five Senses

  • My Five Senses by Aliki builds knowledge about the five senses, the early foundation for science, and includes illustrations that match the text. The text is part of a series which is the winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Films Prize for Outstanding Science Series.
  •  Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles – Think of That! by Leo and Diane Dillon is a brief, rhyming text that is set in the city. Illustrations pay homage to Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas and the gouache painting technique. Academic vocabulary includes: greet, folk, art (dancing is art), pleasure, joy, closed, rhyme. The text received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books Picture Books award.
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault includes illustrations by Lois Ehlert. The text is written with rhythm and rhyme, bright illustrations. Academic vocabulary includes: enough, tag-along, whole, tangled, knotted, stooped. The text received the following awards: ALA Notable Children's Books, Biennale Of Illustrations Bratislava, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book, IRA/CBC Children's Choices, and Kentucky Bluegrass Award: Parents' Choice Award.

Module 2 Topic: Once Upon a Farm 

  • Farm Animals by Wade Cooper includes easy-to-read rhymes and photographs. Academic vocabulary includes: farm, roll, scratch, leap, sneak, strut, gallop, waddle, give.
  • The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen is a Common Core Exemplar Text. This text is gently humorous and has charming illustrations. Academic vocabulary includes: winter, spring, autumn, summer. 
  • The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney includes cheerful and classically beautiful illustrations. Academic vocabulary includes: lazy, playful, smartest, simplest, lurk, creep, strong, safe. 
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone is an adaptation of Norwegian folktale and includes humorous full-color illustrations. Academic vocabulary includes: jam, circled, thresh, snip, chop, rise, neighbors, beak, claws, knead. 

Module 3 Topic: America Now and Then 

  • Communication Then and Now by Robin Nelson contains rich photographs. Academic vocabulary includes: communication, engine, tapped, telegraph. 
  • Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta contrasts Franklin’s inventions with the same objects today. Academic vocabulary includes: invention, inventor, invented, created, designed, odometer, easier, writer, musician, traveler, modern, voyages, documents, useful, helpful. The text has received the following awards: CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master List, Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, School Library Journal 20 Outstanding Nonfiction Books - Master List, TN Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award ML, 2007 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year.
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton explores the concepts of city and country. Academic vocabulary includes: city, country, built, rise, grow, cover, follow, horseless carriage, elevated train, swell, burst. The text received the Caldecott Medal. 

Module 4 Topic: The Continents

  • Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America by Rebecca Hirsch contains information about different continents supported by rich photographs. 
  • Introducing North America by Chris Oxlade is an informational text that introduces readers to the continent of North America. Academic vocabulary includes: plains, swamps, prairie, mountain range, variety, tropical, vast, famous. 
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf with illustrations by Robert Lawson contains rich black and white photographs that support the chronological structure of the text. Academic vocabulary includes: cork tree, bullfight, Madrid, Banderilleros, Matadors, and Picadores.

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

Texts representing the balance of text types and genres include: 

Module 1 Core Texts

  • My Five Senses, Margaret Miller (Informational)
  • My Five Senses, Aliki (Informational)
  • Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Pena (Literary)
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!, Bill Martin (Alphabet Book)
  • Rap a Tap, Tap, Here’s Bojangles, Lee Dillon (Biography)

Module 1 Supplementary Texts

  • “Great Depression”, Children’s Encyclopedia (Article)
  • “The Harlem Renaissance”, Britannica Kids (Article)
  • “Flower Day”,  Diego Rivera (Painting)
  • “Le Gourmet”, Pablo Picasso (Painting)
  •  “Bojangles Step Dance" (Video)
  • “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" (Video)
  • “Eight-Year-Old Tap Prodigy Little Luke" (Video)

 Module 2 Core Texts

  • The Year at Maple Hill Farm, Alice & Martin Provensen (Informational)
  • Farm Animals, Wade Cooper (Informational)
  • The Little Red Hen, Jerry Pinkney (Literary)
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Paul Galdone (Literary)
  • The Three Little Pigs, Thea Kliros (Literary)

Module 2 Supplementary Texts

  • “American Gothic”, Grant Wood (Painting)
  • “The Cornell Farm”, Edward Hicks (Painting)
  • “Morning Is Come” (Poem)
  • “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (Song)
  • “Making Bread” (Video)
  • “Seasons Song” (Video)

Module 3 Core Texts

  • Home: Then and Now (Informational Series)
  • School: Then and Now (Informational Series)
  • Transportation: Then and Now (Informational Series)
  • Communication: Then and Now (Informational Series)
  • Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin, Gene Baretta (Informational)
  • When I Was Young in the Mountains, Cynthia Rylant & Diane Goode (Literary)
  • The Little House, Virginia Lee Burton (Literary)

Module 3 Supplementary Texts

  • “Washington Crossing the Delaware”, Emanuel Leutze (1851) (Painting)
  • “Betsy Ross and the American Flag: Flag Picture Gallery,” Independence Hall Association (Photograph)
  • “Old Hand Water Pump”, Judson McCranie (Photograph)
  • “Then & Now: The Stunning Speed of Urban Development,” S.A. Rogers (Photograph)
  • “Now We Are Six,” A.A. Milne (Poem)
  • “Engine on the Track,” Gayle’s Preschool Rainbow (Song)
  • “This Land Is Your Land,”  Woody Guthrie (Song)
  • “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” George M. Cohan (Song)
  • “Sounds of a Glass Armonica,” Toronto Star (Video)
  • "About Cynthia Rylant," Cynthia Rylant (Website)

Module 4 Core Texts

  • Introducing North America, Chris Oxlade (Informational)
  • World Atlas, Barefoot Books (Children’s Atlas)
  • Africa; Australia; Antarctica; Asia; Europe; South America, Rebecca Hirsch (Informational Series)
  • The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf (Narrative)
  • Moon Rope, Lois Ehlert (Literary)
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, Leo Dillon (Literary)

Module 4 Supplementary Texts

  • “5 Reasons Why Animal Moms Are Awesome,” April Capochino Myers (Article) 
  • “Carta Marina, Olaus Magnus”  (Painting)
  • “Earth from Space”, Stöckli, Reto, et al. ƒ(Photograph)
  • “Grand Canyon Scenic Splendor,” National Park Service ƒ(Photograph)
  • “Patterns of Chinchero,” Descendants of the Incas (Photograph)
  • When I Was Young in the Mountains, Cynthia Rylant; Illustrations, Diane Goode (Informational Picture Book)
  • “Lions Roar,” CanTeach (Poem)
  •  “Penguin Song,” Preschool Education (Song)
  • “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? from Smithsonian Folkways,” Smithsonian Folkways (Song)
  • ƒ“Antarctic Sights and Sounds,” James Napoli ƒ (Video)
  • “Burkina Faso: Music,” Our Africa (Video)
  • ƒ“Explore Views of the Burj Khalifa with Google Maps,” Google Maps ƒ(Video)
  • “The Seven Continents Song,” Silly School Songs ƒ(Video)
  • “Storm-Proofing the World’s Biggest Mud Building,” BBC Earth ƒ(Video)
  • “Traditional Chinese Dance—‘Flowers Contend in Beauty’, Li Qian, Lin Chen…(Video)
  • ƒ “Americas—Fact Files,” Go Wild (Webpage)
  • ƒ “Moles,” DK Find Out! (Webpage)

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Anchor texts are at the appropriate level of rigor and complexity for Kindergarten. In Module 1, texts have a quantitative Lexile range of 300-610. In Module 2, texts range from 370-620L. Overall, these are all appropriate for the grade level when the student demand is considered. Many of the anchor texts used for shared and interactive reading are at the high end of the range or appropriate for higher grade levels, but planned scaffolding described in the lesson plans outlined in the teacher materials make these an excellent choice. These texts build knowledge at a variety of complexity levels and on a range of topics. Wit and Wisdom has evaluated each core module text using nationally-recognized measures for quantitative and qualitative criteria as outlined in Appendix A in the Common Core State Standards. These evaluations can be found in Appendix A of each Wit and Wisdom Module.

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

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

Examples include: 

  • In Module 1, students listen to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault with a Lexile of AD530L (Literary). The text has an accessible topic with practice of the alphabet.  Students practice recognizing letters and associating the written form, both lowercase and uppercase, with the name of the letter.
  • In Module 1, students listen to My Five Senses by Aliki with a Lexile of AD590L (Nonfiction). The text has an accessible topic of the five senses. The sentence structure and vocabulary are simple and accessible. The text uses multiple forms of words to enhance sensory vocabulary (“I use my sense of taste. I am tasting.”).
  • In Module 2, students listen to Farm Animals by Wade Cooper with a Lexile of 370L (Nonfiction). The text has an accessible topic with low complexity.  The structure provides simple graphics and text boxes to help support the meaning of the text. The book is written in first person with rhyming text and uses limited Tier II words.  The low complexity of the text allows students to work toward understanding personification of animals, understanding that animals do not speak despite the text being in first person.
  • In Module 3, students listen to When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant with a Lexile of AD980L. The text is an informational narrative about the author’s life. The text includes rich illustrations and repeated language. 
  • In Module 4, students listen to The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf with a Lexile of 710L. The text has a simple chronological structure and detailed black and white illustrations. The text includes conversational language and some vocabulary related to Spanish culture. 

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Most texts (for both shared and interactive reading) are within the appropriate grade level Lexile band for Grade 2-3, which is appropriate for a Kindergarten read aloud. As seen in the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the included texts, there is clear, defined scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts by the end of the year. Texts increase appropriately throughout the school year, with students engaging in increasingly complex and rigorous materials as they grow their literacy skills.

Over the course of the school year, students have appropriately rigorous texts read to them in aggregate and across modules, there is broad variance in how they engage with these texts. Some examples that demonstrate this include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, students listen to the picture book, Last Stop on Market Street. The text contains colloquial language and has multiple meanings. As a read-aloud, the teacher scaffolds student understanding of this complex text over six lessons by reading aloud. The lesson plans begin with students noticing and wondering about the text and creating their own questions about the text. Then students led through a series of text-dependent questions. 
  • In Module 2, students listen to The Year at Maple Hill Farm. As a Shared Reading lesson, the teacher scaffolds understanding by leading students through multiple activities with this same text. First, students make observations and record evidence from the book in their Response Journal. The text is revisited several times with a focus on identifying the main topic and supporting details that lead students to a deeper understanding of a farm and the typical happenings on a farm.
  • In Module 3, students listen to the text Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin. As part of shared reading, teachers scaffold student understanding of the topic and prepare them to answer the module Essential Question, “How has life in America changed over time?through multiple reads and module activities. 
  • In Module 4, students engage in informational texts by Rebecca Hirsch. Students listen to multiple texts on topics pertaining to the seven continents and gather evidence to help form opinions and answer the module Essential Question, “What makes the world fascinating?”

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that anchor texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Each module core text is evaluated using quantitative and qualitative criteria as outlined Appendix A while supporting text as referenced in Appendix E. 

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

Example of Text Complexity analysis and rationale found in Appendix A for Module 1 include:

Title and author: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault; Illustrations, Lois Ehlert

Description of text: The text tells the story of each childlike lowercase letter of the alphabet, each with its own personality and group of friends, rushing ragtag to climb up a coconut tree. When the tree bends, the letters fall to the ground. Some leave banged up and tired, while others have the adults in their community (the uppercase alphabet) rush in to comfort them. Students analyze the purpose of repetitive language and how the words and illustrations in a text work together to communicate key information and meaning.

Complexity ratings: 

  • Quantitative: AD530L
  • Qualitative:
    • Meaning/Purpose: The purpose is to provide delight with and practice of the alphabet. The story anthropomorphizes each letter and is funny, giving students the opportunity to practice recognizing letters and associating the written form, both lowercase and uppercase, with the name of the letter.
    • Structure: The story has a straightforward narrative structure. Repeated language throughout gives readers an opportunity to make predictions and actively engage in fluent reading.
    • Language: The muscular verbs describing the varying modes of motion and the injuries sustained by the letters lend depth, personality, and joy to what could have been just another alphabet book.
    • Knowledge Demands: Having prior knowledge of the alphabet is useful for students but the story will activate background knowledge and reinforce or provide familiarity throughout the text.

Indicator 1f

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

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

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

For example:

  • In Module 1, students listen to a variety of read-aloud texts about the five senses. Students revisit texts multiple times over the course of the Module for varying purposes to build knowledge and comprehension. Students also listen to supplementary texts that include articles, such as “The Harlem Renaissance.”
  • In Module 4, students listen to a variety of read-aloud texts about the continents including, Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, Introducing North America, The Story of Ferdinand. Students also listen to supplementary texts, such as informational articles, to continue to build their knowledge on the topic. Students demonstrate independence using words and illustrations in both informational and literary texts to understand key information in the text.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

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

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

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

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly. In each module, students answer text-dependent and non-text dependent questions. Non-text dependent questions are used to build knowledge and make connections in the readings. Modules begin with an overarching Essential Question. Within each lesson, there are text-dependent focus questions, content framing questions, and craft questions that drive students toward the learning goals and associated tasks tied to the texts and standards. 

Some text-dependent question examples include:

  • In Module 1, the Focusing Question for Lessons 1-5 is "What are our five senses?" 
  • In Module 1, Lesson 1, students answer, "What did you learn from this book?" 
  • In Module 2, the Focusing Question for Lessons 10-23 is "How do authors create problems and resolutions?"
  • In Module 2, Lesson 22, students are instructed to Think-Share-Pair about the following text-dependent questions: "Why do all the animals tell the Little Red Hen Not I when she asks for help? Why does the Little Red Hen say I will do it myself when the other animals won’t help her? How are the repeating lines different here from the rest of the pattern? Why won’t the Little Red Hen let the other animals eat the bread? What lesson do you think the author is teaching about life? What’s the essential meaning? Explain with text evidence."
  • In Module 3, the Focusing Question for Lessons 12-17 is "What changes does the Little House see in her neighborhood?"
  • In Module 3, Lesson 13, students answer "What words did you hear that described the Little House? Does the Little House live near the city? How do you know? What changes are happening around the Little House? What is a horse? What does the ending –less tell us? What do you think a horseless carriage means? What could the horseless carriage be in this picture? What changes does the Little House see happening around her?"
  • In Module 4, the Focusing Question for Lessons 32-35 is "What makes the world fascinating?"
  • In Module 4, Lesson 32, students answer, "What natural feature do you see in this photograph? How do you know? How would you feel if you were in the outback? How would you move if you were in the outback? Why did you move your body that way? What about the [natural feature] makes you act that way?"

Some text-dependent task examples from Module 1 include:

  • Students notice, wonder, generate and answer questions based on the text and illustrations. 
  • Students use Response Journals to record details they notice about the text.
  • Students participate in Think-Pair-Share to identify the main topic and key details of sections from the text.
  • Students identify sensory experiences in My Five Senses and describe the associated feelings based on evidence from the text.

Additional materials that support students engaging with the text include:

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

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task. Every module offers an End-of-Module (EOM) Task. The lessons, questions, and tasks leading up to the EOM Task offer support to complete the task.

The EOM Tasks require the students to include evidence from the text and apply a skill that was taught through the text they have read. For example, students include the text from the lessons in Module 1 as they write an informative/explanatory book describing how the five senses help both them and a character learn. In Module 2, students write an original narrative set on Maple Hill Farm featuring one farm animal they have learned about in the module.

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

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

Examples include:

  • In Module 1: The Five Senses, the Essential Question is “How do our five senses help us learn?” Focusing questions throughout the Module include: "What are our five senses? How do people use their senses to learn about the world, How does CJ use his senses to learn about the world in Last Stop on Market Street? How do our senses help us learn from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom? How do our senses help us learn from Rap a Tap Tap? How do our senses help us learn?" Students participate in a Socratic Seminar and discuss the question, “How did the children in My Five Senses (Miller) use their senses to learn about the world?” At the end of the module, students complete the End-of-Module Task and create a book about how the five senses help a character from the text and themselves learn about the world.
  • In Module 4, The Continents, the Essential Question is “What makes the world fascinating?” Focusing questions throughout the Module include: "What interesting things can people do in Europe and Asia? What interesting natural features can people see in Africa and Antarctica? How can a story transport you to a different place? What amazing animals can people see in South America and Australia? Why might people want to visit North America?  What makes the world fascinating? What is the story of the year?" Students participate in a Socratic Seminar and discuss the question, “Think about your home continent, North America. How is North America similar to the continent in your brochure?” At the end of the module, students complete the End-of-Module Task and create a travel brochure about one continent.

Indicator 1i

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

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

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

Instructional routines are included through lessons for students to Think-Pair-Share which allows students to individually process their thoughts about a question, then collaboratively discuss the question with peers. Question Corners allows students to express their ideas and opinions in response to a question by moving to and standing in an area assigned to a specific response or point of view. Mix and Mingle allows students to discuss with different partners. Socratic Seminars allow students to prepare for and participate in a structured, text-based, academic conversation. Students apply the skills of speaking and listening to express what they have learned from their reading and writing.  

Examples include: 

  • In Module 1, during the Vocabulary Deep Dive in Lesson 1, students participate in a Question Corner to develop the text-based vocabulary used in the text, My Five Senses.
  • In Module 1, students participate in a Mix and Mingle where students circulate around the room. On a cue (e.g., stop music, chant, call out directions), students stand back to back with a partner, listen to the question, think, then turn around and discuss the question.
  • In Module 2, students work in small groups discussing questions together using a Question Cube.
  • In Module 2, students use the protocol of Think-Share-Pair to discuss whole group lesson focus questions. 
  • In Module 3, students learn the importance of asking and answering questions while engaging in conversations about a text in order to demonstrate their ability to listen to their peers and reflect upon their discussion. Students engage in conversations about the texts both in class discussions and in Socratic Seminars. For example, after reading The Little House, students hold a Socratic Seminar to “describe the changes the Little House character saw happening in her neighborhood.”  
  • In Module 4, students use a Think-Pair-Share to discuss: “What did you learn about Europe that surprised you?” The teacher is then instructed to use Equity Sticks to call on students to respond.
  • In Module 4, small groups of students take turns pulling a question word from the Question Grab Bag and using the word to ask a question about Asia.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet expectations that materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and studying/researching with relevant follow-up questions and supports. Modules provide an Essential Question, Focusing Questions, and Content Framing Questions within groups of lessons to guide students understandings and synthesis of the content. Students have opportunities to discuss these questions within each daily lesson plan. Additionally, each of the four modules includes Socratic Seminars allowing students to prepare for and participate in a structured, text-based, academic conversation. 

In Module 1, Lesson 6, a Speaking and Listening Anchor Chart is developed with students to meet the speaking and listening goals set for the module and align to the CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards. This chart is reviewed and used to give structure to whole group, small group, and partner discussions throughout the course of the year.  Lessons also require students to interact with the text to complete text-dependent activities. 

Examples of discussion questions/tasks include: 

  • In Module 1, students participate in a Socratic Seminar with the following prompts: "Discuss how CJ uses his senses in Last Stop on Market Street and reflect on what the text reveals about the senses. Analyze how people and characters in both versions of My Five Senses use their senses to learn about the world."
  • In Module 1, Lesson 2, students Think-Pair-Share about the following: "What do you think is in the bowl? What from the painting makes you think that?" The teacher is also provided with a follow-up question to guide student discussion: "What part(s) of the painting made you think that?"
  • In Module 2, students participate in a Socratic Seminar with the following prompts: "Compare and contrast the actions and character of the Little Red Hen in The Little Red Hen to the Smart Pig in Three Little Pigs. Analyze the different story elements in Three Little Pigs, The Little Red Hen, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff to discuss what element in each story makes these texts a good story."
  • In Module 3, small groups of students take turns rolling the Question Cube and asking questions about School Then and Now. Teacher directions state: “Instruct students to Mix and Mingle, and ask: 'What is one thing that happens in When I Was Young in the Mountains that has happened in your life, too? What is one thing that is different?'”
  • In Module 4, students participate in a Socratic Seminar with the following prompts: "Describe which natural feature in Antarctica you would most like to explore and give an example from the text to support your opinion. After sharing the End-of-Module Task, describe how the continent you chose is similar to and different from North America."

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

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

For example:

  • In Module 1, the primary writing focus is text-based explanatory writing. Students begin by unpacking prompts and learning to respond, orally and in writing. Students use sentence frames to construct complete sentences, which later serve as a scaffold for their own independent writing. Students collect evidence to answer a specific question. Then, they expand upon their responses by providing additional details from the text in their drawings. In whole-group lessons, students begin by drawing detailed pictures. Later in the Module, students use phonetic spelling to add labels to the pictures and complete simple sentence frames. Throughout the module, students write, draw, and dictate frequently, including brief responses in their Response Journals, recording evidence to post on class charts, and building collaborative books. In the End-of-Module Task, students build their own books.
  • In Module 1, Lesson 28, students use Knowledge Journals to record learning in a two-column chart labeled, “What I Know." The columns are labeled, “What did you learn from our lessons on Rap a Tap Tap?, What did you learn about our Essential Question?” and “What I Can Do? What did you learn to do as a writer? What did you learn to do as a reader?” 
  • In Module 1, End-of-Module Task, students write an informative/explanatory book describing how the five senses help both them and a character from a text learn.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 10, students expand their sentences by adding information about the seasons. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 15, students practice creating detail sentences to support a topic statement.  
  • In Module 3, Lesson 25, students work together in small groups to begin creating an informational book about Benjamin Franklin’s inventions for their Focusing Question Task.
  • In Module 4, students focus on writing opinion statements to prepare to answer the Focusing Question Tasks in each lesson and complete an End-of-Module Task. Students explore the continents to build knowledge of each continent and form opinions on nature and geography, travel, and comparison to home in North America. Students develop further understanding of how authors give reasons to support a point. Students are given the author’s point, then use words and pictures in the text to identify reasons supporting that point. Students annotate the examples in the text. 
  • In Module 4, students prepare for the frequent Focusing Question Tasks and End-of-Module Task by reflecting upon their collected evidence, responding to questions with a partner, and practicing writing opinion statements. Students spend several lessons writing, revising, and illustrating the End-of-Module Task to express understanding of how life in America has changed over time.

Indicator 1l

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

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

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

The primary writing focus of Module 1 is text-based explanatory writing. The primary focus of Module 2 is informative writing and later in the module students transition to narrative. The focus of Module 3 is informative. In Module 4, the primary writing focus is opinion writing. 

In each module, students begin by unpacking prompts and learning to respond, orally and in writing. 

For example: 

  • In Module 1:
    • Students work as a group to, “Write a book that identifies how the boy from Aliki’s My Five Senses uses his senses in the story.” 
    • Students write a book that describes how the senses of sight and hearing were used to learn from the text Rap a Tap Tap
    • Student instructions state: “Write an informative/explanatory book describing how the five senses help both you and a character from a text learn.”
  • In Module 2:
    • Students practice writing about characters and setting in narrative writing. 
    • Students write two events to add to the class narrative to express an understanding of sequencing in stories. 
  • In Module 3:
    • Students write an informative paragraph describing how school in America has changed over time, based on the text, School Then and Now.
    • Students write an informative paragraph describing changes the Little House character sees in her neighborhood in the text, The Little House.
    • Students write an informative letter to George Washington to describe how transportation or communication has changed in America over time.
  • In Module 4:
    • Students deepen their understanding of how a text’s words and pictures work together to provide different sorts of details—descriptive and visual—to build understanding. Students use this knowledge to collect evidence for the Focusing Question Task. Finally, students explore opinion statements by identifying examples and writing their own opinion statements in their Response Journals. 

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for the materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. Over the course of a year, students have multiple opportunities for evidence-based writing during daily lessons. Students draw and write about texts using index cards, graphic organizers, and Response Journals. Additionally, each lesson utilizes Focusing Question Tasks that build to an End-of-Module (EOM) Task that incorporate written and oral responses to text-based questions/prompts. 

Examples include: 

  • In Module 1, the primary writing focus is text-based explanatory writing. Students begin by unpacking prompts and learning to respond, orally and in writing. Students use sentence frames to construct complete sentences, which later serve as a scaffold for their own independent writing. Students collect evidence to answer a specific question. Then they expand upon their responses by providing additional details from the text in their drawings. Throughout this module, students write, draw, and dictate frequently, including brief responses in their Response Journals, recording evidence to post on class charts, and building collaborative books.
  • In Module 1, students respond to Focusing Question Task 1: "As a group, write a book that identifies the five senses. Match each sense with its corresponding sensory organ and describe a related sensory experience."
  • In Module 1, students respond to Focusing Question Task 2: "As a group, write a book that identifies how the boy from Aliki’s My Five Senses uses his senses in the story. Develop a response based on text evidence. 
  • In Module 1, students respond to the focusing Question Task 5: "Individually, write a book that describes how the senses of sight and hearing were used to learn from the text Rap a Tap Tap. Label drawings with initial letter sounds."

Identify text evidence in informational books that can be gathered from the senses of sight and hearing. 

  • In Module 2, Lesson 4, students answer, “What did you learn about cows from the text?” Teachers instruct students to "draw their answers on the large index cards provided. Allow about five minutes to complete drawings.”
  • In Module 2, Lesson 27, students answer, “Where in the story could you include a new response to the problem?”
  • In Module 3, Lesson 1, students write a sentence to share one thing they noticed about School Then and Now. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 2, teachers are directed: "If time allows, consider having students record one thing they noticed from the text in their Response Journals. Students write one sentence using the frame I notice ____."
  • In Module 4, Lesson 15, students answer, “How do I support my opinion statement in my Focusing Question Task? How can I show my understanding in a Socratic Seminar?” Students reflect on important learning from Antarctica and record it in Passport Journals. They complete Focusing Question Task 2 by writing a second supporting reason sentence and completing the conclusion frame. Students participate in a Socratic Seminar to apply new speaking and listening skills. Finally, students collect evidence about things to do in Antarctica for the EOM Task. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 30, students answer, “How do I execute my Focusing Question Task?” Students finish collecting evidence for the Focusing Question by using the words and photographs in the text. Students sort the collected evidence to demonstrate increased understanding of the different categories of evidence. This prepares them to form an opinion about what makes North America an interesting place to visit and verbally rehearse their opinion statements. Students begin work on Focusing Question Task 5 by writing this opinion statement and a supporting reason sentence using complete sentences.

Indicator 1n

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

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

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

Students have opportunities to print many uppercase and lowercase letters. For example:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 6, students learn how to use an alphabet strip to write a word. 

Students have opportunities to use frequently occurring nouns and verbs. For example:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 2, during Vocabulary Deep Dive, the teacher displays verbs from the text on the board (roll, scratch, leap, sneak). Students learn the definition, act out a motion for the verb, and Think-Pair-Share how they can connect the action to something in their lives. 

Students have opportunities to form regular plural nouns orally by adding -s or -es. For example: 

  • In Module 3, Lesson 23, students learn about plural nouns. The teacher posts the Style and Convention Craft Question, "Why is it important to use plural words?", and displays a sentence from the text, Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin that contains a plural noun. Students Mix and Mingle to call out inventions from the story. Later, students Think-Pair-Share the question, “How did you know when there was more than one?” The teacher then uses the sentence frame, "One_____ many______", and students volunteer to fill in the frame with a singular and plural noun using -s and -es to form plural nouns. 

Students have opportunities to understand and use question words (interrogatives). For example:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 1, the teacher models using a Question Cube to create questions about the text. In a small group setting, students roll the Question Cube and use the question word to ask a question about Three Little Pigs.

Students have opportunities to use the most frequently occurring prepositions. For example:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 26, the teacher displays a sentence frame and uses preposition cards to guide students through understanding the function of prepositions. Students work in pairs using the sentence frame, puppet, and preposition cards to practice using prepositions in the sentence frame. 

Students have opportunities to produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities. For example:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, during Style and Conventions Deep Dive, the teacher posts the following sentence: Horses gallop and horses eat grass. The teacher explains why the sentence is confusing. Using a Writing Anchor Chart: Planning a Sentence, students learn to plan a sentence. During Mix and Mingle, students practice making statements about what an animal does.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 4, during Style and Conventions Deep Dive, the teacher reads sentences aloud for students to determine if the sentence is complete. During partner work, students read/listen to a sentence and determine if the sentence is complete.

Students have opportunities to capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I. For example:

  • In Module 4, Lesson 24, during Style and Conventions Deep Dive, the teacher writes a caption on the board and asks students: “What letter needs to be capitalized?” Students stand and make the letter with their body. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 25, during Style and Conventions Deep Dive, the teacher writes sentences on the board. Students identify which letter in the sentence needs to be capitalized. Students also identify that a sentence starts with a capital letter because that is a rule.

Students have opportunities to recognize and name end punctuation. For example:

  • In Module 4, Lesson 12, the teacher points to the punctuation in a sentence and asks students to identify the punctuation. Students explain how to read a sentence with an exclamation point.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 28, during Style and Conventions Deep Dive, the teacher asks, “What do you notice about the end of these sentences?” Students identify a period. Students read Introducing North America and identify periods at the end of sentences in the text.

Students have opportunities to write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds. For example: 

  • In Module 2, Lesson 10, students use an Alphabet Strip to help phonetically spell and write words to fill in the sentence frame, "Animals play in _______." 

Students have opportunities to spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships. For example:

  • In Module 2, Lesson 5, the teacher directs the students to the alphabet strip in the classroom. Students participate in a Think-Pair-Share and orally spell cat by stretching out the sounds in the word.

Students have opportunities to demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites (antonyms). For example:

  • In Module 4, Lesson 2, the teacher demonstrates using adjectives to show opposites. In small groups, students view an index card with an adjective. Students discuss the meaning of the word and the opposite of the word.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

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

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

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

Criterion 2a - 2h

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

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

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

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

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

Indicator 2a

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

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

The curriculum has four modules that are all organized around specific science or social studies topics. Module 1 is about the five senses, Module 2 is about animals, Module 3 is about America, and Module 4 is about the continents.  Within each module, lessons are arranged around a guiding question that break the big topic into more focused topics. 

In Module 1, students hear several literary and informational texts to help learn about the five senses. Students learn the five senses, how they help us, and how they help us learn. Topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons 1-5, students hear My Five Senses by Margaret Miller to learn about the fives senses.
  • In Lessons 6-10, students hear My Five Senses by Aliki to learn how people use their senses to learn about the world. 
  • In Lessons 11-16, students hear the literary story, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, and think about how the main character, CJ, uses his senses to learn about the world.
  • In Lessons 17-28, students think about how the fives senses help them learn from literary books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and Rap a Tap Tap by Leo and Diane Dillon. 

In Module 2, students hear several texts about farm life while learning about what makes a story. Students hear several texts about farm animals while learning about characters, settings, problems, and solutions. Examples include:

  • In Lessons 1-6, students learn what is true about farm animals by listening to Three Little Pigs by Raina Moore and Farm Animals by Wade Cooper.
  • In Lessons 7-12, students learn about settings and read farm books, including The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen.
  • In Lessons 13-17, students learn about characters and engage with texts, such as the song “Old MacDonald Had A  Farm,”
  • In Lessons 18-23, students learn about problem and solution and hear stories, such as The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney.
  • In Lessons 24-28, students learn about sequencing events and hear stories, such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone.

In Module 3, students hear about America, with a focus on how the past compares to now. Students focus on how their life is different than those in the past. Students think about how school, communication, and transportation changed. Examples of topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons 1-6, students compare their life to author Cynthia Rylant's by hearing her book, When I was Young in the Mountains.
  • In Lessons 7-11, students learn how life at home and at school changed in America by interacting with several texts, including Home Then and Now by Robin Nelson
  • In Lessons 12-17, students hear the literary text, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, and discuss the changes in the neighborhood.
  • In Lessons 18-21, students learn how transportation and communication have changed in America by reading Transportation Then and Now and Communication Then and Now by Robin Nelson.
  • In Lessons 22-26, students learn how Benjamin Franklin's’ inventions made life in America easier by hearing texts such as Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta.

In Module 4, students engage with literary and informational texts about the continents. Students learn about what people do in Europe, Asia, the natural features in Africa and Antarctica, and some of the animals in South America and Australia. Examples of topics and texts include:

  • In Lessons 1-8, students learn about people in Europe and Asia and hear texts, such as Europe and Asia by Rebecca Hirsch.
  • In Lessons 9-15, students learn about the natural features that people see in Africa and Antarctica by reading texts, such as Africa and Antarctica by Rebecca Hirsch. 
  • In Lessons 16-21, students engage with several texts to discuss how a story can transport them to a different place and hear texts, such as Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema. 
  • In Lessons 22-27, students learn about the amazing animals that people see in South America and Australia and hear texts, such as Moon Rope by Lois Ehlert and Australia by Rebecca Hirsch. 
  • In Lessons 28-31, students learn about North America and hear texts, such as Introducing North America by Chris Oxlade. 

Indicator 2b

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

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

Throughout the program, students are asked a variety of coherently sequenced questions and tasks. The questions help students engage with and analyze the complex texts that they hear throughout the year. Questions involving vocabulary require students to analyze the language within the read aloud. Student are also asked to analyze text features and story elements.

Examples of questions that require students to analyze language include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 11, after reading Last Stop on Market Street, students learn the word coin and are asked why CJ and Mr. Dennis might be talking about a coin when CJ gets on the bus. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 8, after hearing The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen, students are asked what “night falls early” means. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 13, while reading The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, the teacher asks students to think about what the word horseless carriage means by thinking about the word horse and the suffix -less. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 16 , while reading Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema, students are asked what burrow means and how the words they read about the python help them understand the word. 

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

  • In Module 1, Lesson 24, students learn about the Great Depression while listening to Rap a Tap Tap by Leo and Diane Dillon and are asked why people were waiting in line for soup and bread. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 25, after hearing Three Little Pigs adapted by Raina Moore, students analyze the different responses of the pigs to the problem and which solution worked. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 10, after hearing School Then and Now by Robin Nelson, students are asked what they learned about how school has changed over time from connecting the “long ago” information to the “now” information. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 7, after hearing Europe by Rebecca Hirsch, students are asked if Europe has interesting places and why they think this. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze details include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, after reading My Five Senses by Aliki, students learn how illustrations and words work together in a book. Students are asked what details in the picture do they hear in the words and what details in the pictures do they not hear in the words.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 15, after hearing Three Little Pigs adapted by Raina Moore, students are told that the third pig was the smartest pig of all and how does making a house of bricks show he was smart. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 23, while listening to Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta, the teacher stops throughout the story to ask students what details do the words and illustrations tell them about Benjamin Franklin’s inventions. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 10, after listening to Africa by Rebecca Hirsch, students are told to imagine that they are going to Africa and are asked which animals from the ‘Amazing Animals’ section would they most likely see and why. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze craft include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 19, after reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, students discuss the importance of the illustrator and why the illustrator plays such an important role in this story. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 19, students hear The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney and learn about character traits and are asked how authors write about characters and how authors tell them more about characters. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 20, while reading Transportation Then and Now by Robin Nelson, students look at words that are darker or bold and are asked why these words are darker and what it tells them about these words. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 25, students explore the text features in Australia by Rebecca Hirsch and are asked how the caption helps them understand the picture. 

Examples of questions that require students to analyze structure include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 20 , students learn about the repeating words in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin. Students are asked what happens in the story when they hear the words, Boom! Boom!. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 4, after hearing Farm Animals by Wade Cooper, students think about the text features including the box of important facts. Students are asked what information is included in the box and why the author puts the information on the page with the cow and not the pig. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 3, students identify what phrase the author repeats in When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant and how this repeated phrase helps them understand what the main topic is. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 3, students use the text Europe by Rebecca Hirsch to learn about text features and are asked questions, such as "How can headings help you understand the text?" and "How do headings stand out from the rest of the text?"

Indicator 2c

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

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

Throughout the program, students are asked a series of text-dependent questions and tasks that require them to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Throughout the four modules, students learn about the five senses, farm animals, America, and the continents. Students are asked questions in individual texts and across multiple texts in order to integrate the knowledge that they have learned.

Examples of such questions include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 8, after reading My Five Senses by Aliki, students are asked what four senses the boy is using on pages 22-23. They are then asked how the illustrations and words work together to help them understand the story and the five senses. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 3, after reading Farm Animals by Wade Cooper, students are asked what they learned about pigs from the text and what they learned about chickens from the text. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 24, while reading Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta, students stop every few pages to discuss one of Ben Franklin’s inventions. They discuss how the inventions help them and make life easier. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 5, students study Europe and are asked a series of questions to build their knowledge. To begin, students are asked if Oktoberfest is a custom and if this is something they do in America. Then students look at the picture on page 8 and are asked how it helps them understand the festival. Students then read about Venice and are asked what is a waterway and what are the similarities and differences between Venice and cities they know. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 26, students take what they learned from reading Australia by Rebecca Hirsch and South America by Rebecca Hirsch to describe which continent has the most amazing animals. 

Indicator 2d

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

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

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

Examples of the Focus Question Tasks and the End-of-Module Tasks include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 10, students complete Focusing Question Task 2. Before completing this task, students Think-Pair-Share about how they use their own senses to learn from My Five Senses. Then students are asked what would happen if someone was unable to read the book and how they could still get the information. Then students complete the Focusing Question Task, where they cut and paste one sense into the small box provided and then use text evidence to explain how the boy uses that sense. At the end of the module, students complete an End-of-Module Task where they explain what they learned and which sense they used to comprehend the different books in the module. 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 23, students complete Focusing Question Task 4 where they write a new problem for the hen character in Little Red Hen and the response of the other characters. Before completing the task, the teacher asks students what the characters always say to the Little Red Hen when she asked them for help. This helps them prepare for the End-of-Module Task where they write their own narrative using the story elements they have discussed in this module. Students must write, use the stories they listened to, and orally rehearse the story before writing.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 11, students write an informative paragraph about how school has changed over time. Students use the School Key Details Chart they created together to successfully complete this task. For the End-of-Module Task, students create a poster about how life in America has changed over time which integrates their knowledge of the texts through listening as well as writing. On their poster, students write an informative paragraph that is similar to the Focus Question. Before writing, students use their notes to verbally rehearse their sentences for this task. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 15, students write an opinion paragraph to explain which continent they think has the most interesting natural features. Before completing this writing task, students engage in a Think-Pair-Share about what they will write about to support their opinion. The End-of-Module Task is to create a travel brochure about one continent. Students must include four opinion sentences about the continent, which is supported by the Focus Questions.

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. 

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

Examples of explicit vocabulary instruction throughout the program include: 

  • In Module 1, Lesson 11, after hearing Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, the teacher displays the words coin and knit. The teacher then rereads the text with the word coin and explains that a coin is a small, flat, thin piece of metal, usually round, that is used for money. Then the teacher asks a question about the story using the word coin. The word is then added to the Word Wall before the same procedure is conducted for the word knit. Then students engage in a Mix and Mingle and discuss more questions about these words with a partner such as, "Which senses could you use to learn about what Nana was knitting?" 
  • In Module 2, Lesson 18, students learn about multiple meaning words in the story, The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney. The teacher displays a picture and students identify it as jam. Then the teacher shares the sentences, "Miller jams the seed into the mill.", and asks what they saw Mr. Miller doing with the seeds. The students then engage in a conversation about the two meanings of jam and write both down. Students complete a similar procedure with the word circle. Students then create nonverbal signal motions for each word. The teacher then says sentences and the students act out the word. 
  • In Module 3, Lesson 22, students learn the shades of meaning of the words invented, created, and designed. Students first learn about the word invented after hearing the story Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta. Then the teacher reads aloud a sentence from the story with the word created. The teacher then explains what it means. Then the teacher reads another sentence from the story with the word design and asks the students what design means. Students then meet with a partner to discuss how the three words are alike. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 31, students read Introducing North America by Chris Oxlade and discuss the natural features of North America. Students then go through the book with a partner and look for pictures with different natural features, including mountain, desert, lake, and river. Then students complete a worksheet where they match pictures of natural features and the label.

Indicator 2f

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

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

Throughout the materials, students engage in writing lessons almost daily that support them in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. Students engage in different forms of writing. Students begin the year with informative writing, move to narrative writing, then another informative writing piece, before opinion writing. For informational writing, students include a topic sentence, information sentences with facts and details, and a conclusion. For opinion writing, students state an opinion about the topic, supply reasons that support the opinion, and then a sentence to reinforce their opinion. For narrative writing, students are taught to include characters, setting, problem, events, and a resolution.

Students spend roughly 20 or more minutes of writing per lesson. Students begin the year by labeling pictures, and then move into sentence writing, paragraph writing, and editing and revising. They participate in shared writing which enables them to build their understanding of exemplary writing through developing a piece of writing as a class. In addition, while the teacher reads, students participate in Stop and Jot, which allows them to respond to texts. Students often draw a quick sketch to represent their response and follow a similar protocol for the different genres of writing. Writing rubrics are included in the Implementation Guide that are unique to Kindergarten.

Specific examples of writing lessons throughout the year include:

  • In Module 1, Lesson 24, students begin learning how to label their drawings. The teacher models doing this before students Echo Read and then Sky Write the first letter using their finger. Students then work with pairs to look at a picture and provide labels. Pairs are encouraged to label and identify the letters they hear. Then students independently write at least two labels on a different sketch.
  • In Module 2, Lesson 14, students move from labeling to writing sentences. Students begin by discussing how the author described the pigs in Three Little Pigs. The teacher models how to write the sentences with a sentence frame. Then students write a sentence that describes Mother Pig. Before writing, students practice their sentence by whispering it to themselves five times. Students then write the sentence and draw an illustration to describe Mother Pig. 
  • In Module 3, students move to writing multiple sentences and in Lesson 19, students learn the importance of a conclusion sentence. They begin by reviewing a topic sentence and an informative sentence. The teacher shows the class created paragraph about the text, Home Then and Now, and discuss why they would need a conclusion sentence. Then in Lesson 20, students create a conclusion sentence for the class writing paragraph. 
  • In Module 4, Lesson 18, students begin learning the process of editing and revising by learning how to respond to a peer’s writing. The teacher models with a puppet what a conversation could look like between two peers. Then students work with peers to practice listening to each other’s writing and giving each other a compliment. 

Indicator 2g

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

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

Throughout the program, students are given ample opportunities to develop their research skills by engaging in shared research projects. Beginning in Module 3, there is a research component included in the module that provides students with lifelong research skills. Students complete shared research about America and the seven continents. 

Specific examples of research lessons and tasks include:

  • In Module 3, students engage in a shared research project by exploring multiple texts. In Lesson 26, students work with a partner to think about one thing that Benjamin Franklin invented that is amazing. Students learn how to write down evidence. Then for the End-of-Module Task, students write a paragraph about how life in America has changed by using some of the shared research throughout the module. 
  • In Module 4, students use texts and photographs to conduct research on the topics of natural features, animals, and things to do on each of the seven continents. They reflect on their findings and use the information to develop opinions about each continent, ultimately using the information to write an opinion piece about one of the seven continents. Throughout the module, students learn the importance of researching a topic and using multiple sources.

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

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

Examples of the reflection questions and suggested texts include:

  • In Module 1, questions include: "How does the book teach you about the five senses? What is one important way the author shows the five senses in the book? How do people use their senses to learn about the world?" Text suggestions include The Listening Walk by Paul Showers, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, and No One Saw by Bob Raczka.
  • In Module 2, text suggestions include The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter, and On the Farm, At the Market by G. Brian Karas.
  • In Module 3, questions include: "What big idea does the author want you to learn in this text? Did any of the characters learn a lesson in the story? What have you learned about life long ago?" Text suggestions include Edward Hopper Paints his World by Robert Burleigh, The House that George Built by Suzanne Slade, and This is New York by Miroslav Sasek.
  • In Module 4, questions include: "What information in this text is similar to something you learned in class? What new information do you now know about continents or countries? What happens in this story?" Text suggestions include Introducing Asia by Anita Ganeri and Tikki, Tikki, Tembo by Arlene Mosel.

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

Use and design facilitate student learning: Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
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 Kindergarten 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 30-32 lessons. Materials also contain a Module 0 for teachers to begin the school year with an introduction to the format of the daily lessons. 

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

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

Indicator 3b

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

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

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

Indicator 3c

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

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

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

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

Examples include:

  • In Module 1,  Lesson 6, a Wonder Wheel resource is included. The directions for the teacher are clear and provide guidance on how to implement the Wonder Wheel during the daily lesson.
  • In Module 3, Lesson 27, an End-of-Module Evidence Organizer is included. Guidance for the teacher and directions on the handout for students are clear and detailed.

Indicator 3d

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

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

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

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

Indicator 3e

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

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

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Teacher planning and learning for success with CCSS: Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
8/8
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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

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

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

Examples that demonstrate how the materials are useful and offer guidance for teachers include:

In Module 2, Lesson 2, Launch, teacher instruction states:

  • Display a copy of Three Little Pigs. Call on a volunteer to briefly remind the class what the Three Little Pigs is about. Use the response to reinforce that the Three Little Pigs is a story about three pigs trying to get away from a mean wolf that wants to eat them.
  • Remind students of how, in the previous lesson, they discussed that they would read an informational text next. Display a copy of Farm Animals.
  • Instruct students to Think-Pair-Share, and ask: “What differences do you see between Three Little Pigs and Farm Animals without reading them?”
  • Volunteers respond. Read aloud the Focusing Question and Content Framing Question. Remind students that informational texts provide facts or true information. As students read Farm Animals, they will learn about what is true about real-life farm animals.

In Lesson 2, the Teacher Note states: "Students can retain a surprising number of word meanings through receiving a quick explanation of the meaning from the teacher or a dictionary. This is especially true for words with concrete and/or familiar meanings, and words which will be encountered in repeated readings of the text. A few tips on when to provide brief definitions of important, unfamiliar words:

  • The first read aloud of text should be as uninterrupted as possible, especially for a short text. On early reads, share no more than one or two words essential for basic understanding of the text, allowing students to listen to the text as a whole.
  • During later read alouds, share definitions of more words. When you read an unknown word in the text, stop and briefly define the word and give an example sentence. Then reread the text’s sentence without interruption."

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

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

Indicator 3h

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

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

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

Indicator 3i

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

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

  • Resources are 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), and 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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. There is a series of Parent Tip Sheets that provide a summary of each module in the curriculum, including a list of module texts, additional books to read at home, sample questions, and activities to extend thinking and learning. There are also several resources available, such as blogs about learning on the greatmind.org website to help parents better understand how to support their child.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

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

Indicator 3l.ii

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

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

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

For example, in Module 15, Lesson 1, in the Land and Wrap section, the Teacher Guide suggests: "If students had difficulty identifying an essential meaning for Last Stop on Market Street, work with small groups of students to explore the questions that CJ asks Nana throughout the text. Consider posing questions such as: 'What does CJ learn from Nana’s answers?' and 'How does CJ’s attitude change from the beginning of the story to the end?'”

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that provide opportunities to monitor student progress. All modules follow the same format and elements for student performance. The New Read Assessments are routine and help teachers monitor students progress towards standards mastery. The Focus Questioning Tasks routinely and regularly build to the End-of-Module (EOM) Assessments 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

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

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

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

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

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of 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 Kindergarten meet the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

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

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

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 for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards. Materials include explicit vocabulary and grammar instruction, text-dependent questions that focus all students on key terms, phrases, and passages for rereading and repeated exploration, partner work that includes oral practice of written responses, and multiple authentic opportunities to use academic language with support, such as explicit teaching about speaking and listening, sentence frames, and vocabulary support.

Indicator 3q

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

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

  • In Module 1, Lesson 5, after studying My Five Senses and Le Gourmet, students are provided with art paper with lines below (for text). Students are to draw a pictures of someone using one of their five senses in the style of Pablo Picasso (one of the artists studied in the Module). Students then, “Students think of a time they:
    • Heard something interesting.
    • Smelled a strong smell.
    • Tasted something delicious.
    • Saw something beautiful or colorful.
    • Touched something that felt smooth or rough, furry or soft, etc.
    • Students describe their experience to a partner, then draw it. 

Conduct a Gallery Walk for students to display artwork and explain the senses shown in their art.”

  • In Module 3, Lesson 22: After studying the phrasing of This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie (as part of fluency practice), students can be assigned an extension activity where they locate the symbol (comma) in the first line that signals speakers to pause. The teacher affirms that the comma signals a pause in speaking.

Indicator 3r

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

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

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

  • In Module 2, Lesson 12, students have the opportunity to view, explore, and discuss Edward Hicks’ painting, The Cornell Farm, via a link to the National Gallery of Art. The link allows students to zoom in closely on the painting, compare it to others, and learn more about the work as they consider a work of visual art as text while learning the basics of setting as a literary element.
  • In Module 4, Lesson 9, students are introduced to natural features found in Africa and Antarctica. Links are included to audio/visual materials including:
    • “Antarctic Sights and Sounds” (video) by James Napoli
    • Music from the television series, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” hosted by Smithsonian Folkways.
    • “The Penguin Song” (video) from Preschool Education

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
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Indicator 3u.i

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

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Indicator 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

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

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

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

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

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

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence
  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Math K-8

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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