Evaluation for 3.e.2
Materials provide spiraling and scaffolded practice.
The materials support distributed practice over the course of the year. The materials include scaffolds and practice at increasing levels of complexity. Students demonstrate integration of literacy skills, as information and activities spiral across the school year.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Within the Program Overview the Path of Skill Development section states: “As students move from earlier units to later units within a single grade, they learn, practice, and gradually master reading and writing skills that grow increasingly sophisticated, and learn how to apply these skills on texts that grow increasingly complex. The Complexity Index includes a quantitative measure that indicates a text’s Lexile level, a qualitative measure regarding the background knowledge needed to comprehend a text, and a reader and task measure which indicates the rigor of reading-based activities. As the curriculum introduces more challenging tasks, like working independently to pull together an analysis of a whole novel, the units sometimes focus on texts with lower Lexiles. When the units challenge students to master sentences of great complexity and new vocabulary, the lesson activities pose carefully calibrated and scaffolded tasks.” In addition, the Scope and Sequence from the Program Overview notes: “Instruction first focuses on developing several key habits and skills that support the rigorous work with complex text. Reading habits and skills are taught and practiced in order to simultaneously build and strengthen writing habits and skills.” Students move from “Identify characters, events, topics, facts, ideas, and settings in a variety of texts” to “Examine how writers vary sentence beginnings, manipulate subjects/ predicates, achieve different styles, and establish pace.”
The design of a daily lesson is as follows: “Build Vocabulary (building vocabulary or teacher-student check-ins), Collaborate and Interpret (working with text out loud, working visually, working with text as theater, choosing the best evidence, or using the text as reference), Produce (writing for an authentic audience, revising, or debating), Prepare for Independent Work (share, discuss, and introduce solo), Independent Work (complete solo, read independently, play in the world of Lexica, create a video for Project Ed, or build more vocabulary with Vocab App).” This design allows for integration and spiraling of literacy skills throughout the year in a familiar pattern.
Unit 8B, Liberty & Equality, students start by looking inwardly at themselves and move into a broader view of America. Reading and writing lessons are spiraled within and across texts to support the development of these skills. Students analyze arguments made by pro-slavery supporters in order to understand the purpose of a text. Students are given opportunities to discuss claims about slavery, refute claims, and use text evidence to support their views. Students continue to spiral and revisit writing skills by writing a speech against slavery that includes multiple paragraphs. Students read a text and details to understand the experiences of characters. Students compare the advantages and disadvantages of slave music as it pertained to slaves. Students continue to spiral their writing skills by evaluating Douglass’s claims about the importance of slave music.
Students are able to practice close reading, discuss ideas presented in a text, read complex texts, and practice their fluency skills. In addition, students are able to practice grammar skills, write to answer a question about a text they have read, and revise their writing samples.
Students then use the steps of the writing process to write an argumentative text that includes a claim, supporting evidence, and multiple paragraphs. Activities within the lessons are sequenced and provide opportunities for students to build their writing skills and complete a published draft. Students determine the claim they write about, gather evidence to support their claim, write two body paragraphs, write an introduction, and write a conclusion. Students are also given opportunities to revise and edit their writing.
In Unit 8C, students work on developing an argumentative essay based on the question “Is Frankenstein's creature human?” Students are provided with opportunities to include details, use text evidence to support their claim, write paragraphs, and revise their essays.
In Unit 8D, students use the skills they learned in previous years and units to comprehend a difficult text. Students read, analyze, and write about a text by expanding on the ideas they learned about after reading a text. Text analysis, context clues, comparing and contrasting information, and theme are some of the skills that are taught and assessed within the unit.
In Unit 8E, students focus on the big ideas surrounding the Holocaust. Information from previous units spiral into students being able to analyze more complex ideas and texts. Students write an essay utilizing information they learned in within the unit and applying the skills they learned from across the year.
Unit 8G is the story-writing unit. Writing is scaffolded throughout the grade. In each unit, students are writing shorter pieces and then a larger essay. In Unit 8G, they use the full writing process to work through advanced story writing which builds on previous writing knowledge by using more difficult writing process skills.