ELA 3-8 Summary of Alignment & Usability

The Grade 3-5 Fishtank ELA materials meet the expectations for alignment. The materials include high-quality texts, questions, and tasks that provide strong learning opportunities in most areas. The science and social studies units provide opportunities for students to build knowledge and deeply explore topics through texts, tasks, research, and standards-aligned questions.   

Students engage in writing opportunities spread across all text types and genres called for in the standards, including daily, on-demand writing. Process writing is found primarily in end-of-unit tasks. The materials include explicit grammar instruction of all grammar standards and consistent application of the grammar standards in context. Vocabulary instruction within the program does not fully align to the expectations of the standards. There is limited instruction and opportunities to practice grade-level phonics, word analysis, and word recognition that follows a research-based progression. Instruction and practice opportunities for oral and silent reading fluency are present; however, support for reading of prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary is minimal. There is no evidence of assessments for phonics and word recognition beyond the opportunities provided to inform instructional adjustments. Materials do include multiple assessments in fluency. 

The bulk of instructional time and tasks provide opportunities for students to engage daily in discussions, text analysis, writing about texts and/or unit topics, and engage in grade-level, standards-aligned work. Materials can be completed within the recommended times and calendaring allotted. Optional activities do not move the materials out of standards alignment and meet the objectives of each unit. 

The Grade 3-5 Fishtank ELA materials partially meet the expectations for usability. The materials provide strong supports for teacher planning and implementation of the materials, including opportunities to enhance their own learning of topics and strategies to bolster their teaching. Materials needed to implement the program are clearly labeled and easy to access. Additional attention and support may be needed to assure all standards are fully assessed, and the program lacks precise follow-up supports following end-of-unit assessments. The materials provide some generalized opportunities and information to support students in special populations, students working above grade level, and English Language Learners. There is more specific support provided for supporting English language learners. Though there is not a wide variety of activities or strategies provided throughout. 

The materials include representations of a wide variety of individuals with various demographic and physical characteristics in both the texts and unit topics. Additionally, the materials provide extensive information to support equity and diversity in both the content and activities in the materials..