Evaluation for 5.3
Materials include supports for English Learners (EL) to meet grade-level learning expectations.
Materials include supports for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations. Materials include accommodations commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS). Materials provide scaffolds and encourage the strategic use of students’ first language as a means to development in English. Vocabulary is developed in the context of connected discourse.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Materials include resources for ELs within the “ELL Edition” (English Language Learner Edition), including EL “Leveled Reader Packs” that can be used as companions to the core leveled books. A “Language Proficiency Alignment” is included in the leveling system; materials note how it aligns to state levels. The reader packs are separated into five English proficiency levels that correlate with Texas’ proficiency levels in the following manner: Level 1—”Beginning”; Level 2—not applicable; Level 3—”Intermediate”; Level 4—”Advanced”; Level 5—”Advanced High.” Distinctions are made according to state proficiency levels, where Texas is indicated to have Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High levels for language proficiency alignment. The “Teacher’s Corner” also includes a “Language Proficiency Standards” page, which teachers can use to search within the materials for resources that correlate to the ELPS established by the state of Texas.
Additional materials are also leveled commensurate with students’ level of English proficiency. For example, Unit 6 requires students to write an informational report using the prompt “How do living things interact with their environment?” Rubrics are provided for “Beginning,” “Early Developing,” “Developing,” and “Fluent” stages, with differences between levels noted in provided writing exemplars, graphic organizers, and revision checklists. For example, the Beginning writing exemplar is one paragraph and uses basic vocabulary, while the Early Developing exemplar is three paragraphs and uses more content-specific vocabulary.
Leveled texts are accompanied by lesson plans that include comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar objectives. For example, the book Changes is intended for use with students at Level 5 (Advanced). The five-day lesson plan focuses on comprehension and decoding on Day 1, guided reading on Days 2–3, buddy reading on Day 4, and independent reading on Day 5. The objectives focus on retelling events from the text and orally summarizing the text using targeted vocabulary, personally connecting to the story by describing a similar experience, writing a narrative using vocabulary from the text, using simple past and present perfect verbs to express actions, and using conjunctions.
The lesson plans that accompany leveled texts provide language support throughout the lesson. For example, the lesson plan for the text Jack and Lily’s Favorite Food (Level C/Beginning) guides teachers to point to each word as it’s read aloud during shared reading, and then to have students do the same. After each page, the teacher stops for discussion questions and word-attack skills. For example, the teacher points to the word turkey and asks for the beginning sound, then points to what Jack is eating and the picture on the can before having the students guess what they think the word is. Later in the reading, students are given sentence frames to tell what food Jack and Lily like and whether it’s the same or different.
The materials provide a variety of materials translated into Spanish, including, but not limited to, Spanish foundational skills, Spanish leveled books, and Spanish graphic organizers. For example, the materials include close-read passages written in English translated into Spanish. One close-reading pack is titled “What do all baby mammals need?” and includes close-read passages about giraffes, blue whales, kangaroos, and squirrels. Each passage is leveled as Low, Medium, or High, so teachers can assign students a passage based on their independent reading level. The Spanish version contains the same passages and response sheets, so that students still reading in Spanish can participate in the same activities as the rest of the class.
The materials include additional supports to aid teachers in strategically using students’ first language as a means to development in English. For example, the lesson plan for the text I Can Be (Level C/Intermediate) includes a “Teacher Reference Vocabulary Chart” with Spanish translations for vocabulary such as cheetah, fast, loud, meek, peacock, proud, slug, compare, and explain. The chart also indicates words from the text that are cognates in English and Spanish.
Vocabulary instruction is included in the lesson plans for texts. For example, in Unit 1, the shared-reading text Community Government introduces the vocabulary words council, departments, election, government, and mayor. The lesson plan guides the teacher to engage students in a discussion about the vocabulary during a book preview. Students use the glossary to read and discuss the definitions of each word, then draw a picture that accurately reflects the meaning of each word. With a partner, students create and record sentences for each word, then record sentences that accurately reflect the meaning of each word.
Vocabulary is also addressed in additional resources called EL “Vocabulary Books.” In the Vocabulary Book Animal Habitats, there are colored vocabulary cards, a matching activity sheet, a cloze activity, and vocabulary games. Students use the present simple verb tense in complete sentences to classify vocabulary into logical categories and to compare and describe. For example, students use the vocabulary words animals and habitat along with dialogue frames to ask and answer questions with a partner. The dialogue frames included are “What is a special feature of ...?” “They have ….” “How does that help ...live in the ...?” “I think …because ….”
The materials include EL “Comic Conversations” resources designed for Beginning to Intermediate ELs to build vocabulary and conversational fluency. Each comic introduces a basic language function that students can apply in their own lives at school and at home and provides guided instruction to students as they read the comic, learn new vocabulary, and practice a conversation. For example, Unit 4 includes a speaking-and-listening objective about following agreed-upon rules of discussion when talking about texts. The Comic Conversations lesson plan introduces students to the vocabulary needed when agreeing or disagreeing with another person. Students read the comic to practice fluency and learn examples of how to agree or disagree with someone, role-play the story by reading from a script, create their own conversations that include agreeing and disagreeing, and present to the class.