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The quality review is the result of extensive evidence gathering and analysis by Texas educators of how well instructional materials satisfy the criteria for quality in the subject-specific rubric. Follow the links below to view the scores and read the evidence used to determine quality.
Section 1. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
TEKS Student %
TEKS Teacher %
ELPS Student %
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Section 2. Texts (what students read, see, and hear)
Section 3. Literacy Practices and Text Interactions: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Thinking, Inquiry, and Research
Section 4. Developing and Sustaining Foundational Literacy Skills
Section 5. Supports for Diverse Learners
Section 6. Ease of Use and Supports for Implementation
Section 7. Technology, Cost, and Professional Learning Support
|Grade||TEKS Student %||TEKS Teacher %||ELPS Student %||ELPS Teacher %|
The materials include well-crafted texts that are of publishable quality. Many texts are written by published authors, while some are written for the program. Materials include texts that are appealing and engaging for Kindergarten students, including illustrations and graphics. Materials include increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The Cornbread Man by Joseph Bruchacis is a traditional fiction text made engaging by the students’ familiarity with the story of the gingerbread man. In this text, the main character humorously runs from the oven to the coyote, runs away, and is never heard from again. The materials include other familiar traditional texts, such as “Humpty Dumpty” by Lewis Carroll and “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” a Mother Goose nursery rhyme, which prove to be continually popular with young audiences.
Mission Accomplished by Ebony Joy Wilkins is a realistic fiction text in which the main characters are finishing their search for rocks in outer space. When they run out of room, they say, “mission accomplished,” and the story ends. Stories about space travel remain exciting and engaging for young readers.
At the Library by Eric Braun is an informational text that includes pictures of people at the library doing various tasks, such as listening to stories and working on computers. The familiarity of place and experience for students who have also visited libraries adds interest and engagement to the book.
The contemporary text Grandma’s Phone by Ken Mochizuki engages students in multiple ways; teachers preview vocabulary words that will be found in the story; then, during the read-aloud, the teacher asks students to point to the words in their “Student Interactive.” While reading the text the first time, teachers emphasize the many pictures throughout the story.
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content areas that meet the demands of the Kindergarten English Language Arts and Reading TEKS. The materials provide opportunities for students to analyze the use of print and graphic features within a variety of texts.
Examples of literary texts include but are not limited to:
How Anansi Got His Stories by Ibi Zobio (African folktale)
Too Many Places to Hide by Antonio Sacre (realistic fiction)
“Duck Meets The Moon” by Celia Warren (rhyming poem)
Who Likes Rain? by Stephen Krensky (drama)
Examples of informational texts include but are not limited to:
Weather Around the World by Andre Ngapo (informational text)
Animals on the Move by Ron Fridell (informational text)
Run, Jump, and Swim by Kimberly Feltes (persuasive)
At the Library by Eric Braun (informational text)
Examples of print and graphic features include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, when students read A Visit to the Art Store by Jerry Craft, the teacher prompts students to analyze graphical features: “Before I read this text, I am going to look at the pictures to get an idea of what it is about. I see colored pencils and paints and paper, just like we have in our classroom art center. I think this text is going to be about art. Now I’ll spend a minute thinking about what I already know about art.”
In Unit 4, when students read Uncovering the Past by Jerry Craft, the teacher prompts students to analyze graphical features: “Looking at the details in the pictures can help me better understand what I read. I can see some big equipment. A worker is steering the huge shovel of the truck to dig dirt out of the ground. There are also two workers using shovels to put dirt in a wheelbarrow. They will use the wheelbarrow to carry the dirt away. Looking at the pictures helps me understand how the workers are doing the work and the tools they are using.”
The materials include appropriately challenging texts at an appropriate level of complexity to support students at their grade level. The materials provide text complexity analyses through the “Leveled Reader” library guide. The “Accessible Student Home Page,” a link to online resources for both teachers and students, provides quantitative and qualitative features of the texts. In addition, read-aloud and shared-reading texts are above the complexity level of what on-level students can read independently.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, Too Many Places to Hide by Antonio Sacre has a Lexile level of 290L. The publisher notes the qualitative features include levels of meaning: simple and explicitly revealed; text structure: point of view is evident and the text has a clear and chronological structure; language conventionality and clarity: vocabulary is mostly familiar and sentences are easy to understand; and knowledge demands: the story explores a simple situation.
In Unit 2, Animals On The Move by Ron Fridell has a Lexile level of 300L. The publisher notes the qualitative features include levels of meaning: author’s purpose is explicitly stated; text structure: the question-and-answer structure makes the text easy to follow; language conventionality and clarity; sentences are mostly short and simple; and knowledge demands; requires some background knowledge about direction, maps, and climate.
In Unit 3, Cornbread Man by Joseph Bruchac has a Lexile level of 260L. The publisher notes the qualitative features include levels of meaning: author’s purpose is clear and mostly easy to identify; text structure: simple, presenting a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, and illustrations that support content, indicating characters, setting and plot; language conventionality and clarity: straightforward, simple sentence structures, though some assistance with pronouns may be necessary; knowledge demands: simple, since reference is made to daily household activities, while some support for desert backgrounds can enhance understanding.
In Unit 4, Uncovering the Past by Jennifer Torres has a Lexile level of 390L. Qualitative features include levels of meaning: the main idea is explicitly stated; text structure: the chronological text structure is mostly simple and clear; language conventionality and clarity: sentence structure is mostly simple and clear; knowledge demands: the story does not refer to other texts and contains few cultural references.
In Unit 5, Desert in Bloom by Justin Scott Parr has a Lexile level of 390L. Qualitative features include levels of meaning: author’s purpose is simple; text structure: the content is clear and repetitive, with prepositional phrases that describe the changing descriptions of the weather patterns’ effect on the soil in the life cycle of the flower; language conventionality and clarity: simple and clear, with use of descriptive vocabulary that can transition to science; knowledge demands: simple, with little need for prior knowledge as all necessary knowledge and references come from what is explained in the book.
The materials contain quality questions and tasks that support students in synthesizing knowledge and ideas to deepen understanding and identify and explain themes. Conceptual knowledge and literacy skills are built through text-dependent questions and tasks that support the synthesis of knowledge and ideas. Questions and activities are included throughout to support students as they identify and explain themes. Most tasks and assignments are text-dependent, requiring close attention to meaning and inference making. Students evaluate and discuss information from multiple places within a text to demonstrate their comprehension.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each unit begins with an “Essential Question” that ties to the unit’s theme. Throughout the unit, “Weekly Questions” return to this theme. Students synthesize their learning by making connections across texts within the unit.
In Unit 1, students identify the problem in the story Too Many Places to Hide and then underline the words that describe the problem. Through a “Close Read” activity, students describe the plot and recall that stories have problems that characters must solve. The teacher uses the question stem “What is the problem in the story?” and an anchor chart to guide the discussion.
In Unit 2, teachers use a persuasive text to demonstrate how to analyze and find details in a text to understand the message the author is trying to convey. Using a Close Read strategy, teachers ask, “What does the author want us to do?” Teachers ask students to find and underline the word that shows the answer. Teachers identify the part of the text that explains why and how readers should exercise. Finally, teachers tell students that “the author gives details, or information to support the main idea” and ask students to find and underline the reasons the author gives for why we should exercise.
In Unit 2, through two read-alouds, students build conceptual knowledge of bees and how they create a hive. Using From Nectar To Honey and What Animals Need, students explore and compose answers to both the Essential Question and Weekly Question. In From Nectar to Honey, students understand sequential text structure by underlining the sequence words and responding to the question “How do flowers help bees make honey?” In the second read-aloud, What Animals Need, text-dependent and synthesis questions are included to further student comprehension. Students can successfully display their understanding of the theme and topics: In the first “Think Aloud,” they discuss what the author’s main idea is and where it can be found; in the second Think Aloud, they analyze the paragraph focused on animals’ need for oxygen.
In the Unit 3 read-aloud Goldilocks, teachers use two Think Alouds to help students infer that Goldilocks is an example of fiction and that the plot has rising action. Teachers pause to point out that there are talking characters in the text that are bears; students know bears cannot talk, hence this story must be fiction. Teachers also pause to think aloud about the plot’s “tension”; they point out what the bears notice as they return to their cabin. Students are helped to understand that this makes the story more exciting. In between the read-aloud and the shared read, teachers use the “Student Interactive” to teach about character, setting, plot, and theme in folktales, with an anchor chart. In The Gingerbread Man and the paired shared read The Cornbread Man, students further their analysis of characters when they describe how the characters in both stories are alike and different, then compare the events in both stories. Students write independent stories and use what they have learned about characters in the text to enhance the character they are writing about. This synthesis and application of knowledge is text-dependent and grows students’ understanding of characters.
In Unit 4, the Essential Question is “What can we learn from the past?” Weekly Questions include “How do we learn from the past?” “How has communication changed over time?” and “What can we learn from family traditions?” The Unit 4 culminating project asks students to interview someone about their past and write about that person, integrating what they have learned from previous work in Unit 4. Literacy skills in Unit 4 focus on comprehending narrative fiction. Students find details from the text that support the main idea in the selection Cars Are Always Changing. In Uncovering the Past, students are again asked to find main ideas with details from text to support them, but they are also asked to make inferences about the text. In Changing Laws, Changing Lives: Martin Luther King, Jr., students search the text again for main ideas and details and create new understandings about the past and the present with inferencing. For instance, the teacher asks students to say how some people were treated at restaurants, using text evidence (“They could not eat at some tables”). Then, students discuss how people are treated at restaurants today, again using text evidence to draw their inference (“Now…people eat at any table”).
In Unit 5, while reading from the “Poetry Collection” (poems about weather), through a Close Read strategy, teachers ask students to use context to determine the meaning of a Native American term. Teachers then ask students to determine which words in the poems help them form a mental image of seeds. Finally, teachers ask students to identify rhyming words from the poems and clap them.
The materials contain questions and tasks that require students to evaluate the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Students use text evidence to analyze the author’s word choices to understand the author’s purpose and message of a text. By comparing and contrasting texts within and across genres, students are able to explore the various choices authors make to influence and communicate meaning, with adult assistance. The materials provide students with opportunities to read, listen, and respond to texts from various cultural, historical, and contemporary backgrounds.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, students use realistic fiction and informational text to identify and describe the author’s purpose and then make connections between the author’s purpose and society. Questions and tasks exist in each “First Read” and “Close Read” as students read. For example, in the book Where Is Twister? teachers remind students to “Read Like a Reader” as the “Teacher Edition” directs, “Tell students that an author uses words to help the reader know how the characters feel.” After students discuss words that describe the character’s feelings, they analyze the author’s word choice through writing, answering the question “What words help you know how Olivia feels?” Later, during the “Think Aloud” for What Is at the Pond? the teacher works with students to determine the author’s purpose and locate supporting details. Within the Close Read, students “listen actively for the author’s purpose” by “notic[ing] that the first sentences tells the author’s purpose.” It concludes, “the author tells us what a pond is.” Throughout the Close Read, students think aloud: “In the second paragraph, the author describes a pond. I notice that the author includes several details to help us picture what a pond is like during different seasons.”
In Unit 3, students compare two fictional texts, The Gingerbread Man and The Cornbread Man. After comprehension questions about each, the teacher asks students questions about the author’s craft that require comparison: “What word do the authors use to tell how the gingerbread man and Cornbread Man get up?” This requires students to consider the authors’ use of language across two texts. Next, students consider a specific word, ran, and what other words could have been used instead, therefore exploring the authors’ word choice: “What word could you use instead of ran to tell how the gingerbread man and Cornbread Man move?” Later in the unit, students use the text The Best Story to analyze the author’s craft again. As a check for understanding during reading, students answer the question “Why did the illustrator include thought bubbles?” After answering two additional checks for understanding, they identify the overall author’s purpose in the text.
In Unit 5, students explore the author’s purpose in the informational text Desert in Bloom. The “Teacher Edition” prompts teachers: “[H]elp students understand why authors choose specific words. Explain that authors sometimes choose words to help readers create pictures in their minds.” Teachers use the example colorful to explain this concept. After reading the book, students complete the “Read Like a Writer, Write for a Reader” practice in the “Student Interactive” workbook, which asks students to explore the author’s diction with the question “What words in the text help you picture what fall is like in the desert?” During the “Close Read” activity, students analyze how authors organize text. Specifically, teachers remind students that, “when an author uses steps in a sequence, he or she often uses time words to tell when the steps happen.” Before reading, teachers tell students: “Read the title. Can you tell whether the author is going to discuss steps in a sequence?” In one task where students apply this skill, they “look at the pictures and write when each step happens.” They then “discuss how the text structure contributes to the author’s purpose of the text.”
The materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary in and across texts. Each unit begins with a vocabulary overview, and instruction follows a regular and predictable routine for students and teachers. Lesson plans offer teachers opportunities to differentiate vocabulary development for students who are either struggling or ready to work on vocabulary independently.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Explicit vocabulary instruction for Kindergarten begins in Unit 1. According to the “Teacher Edition,” teachers use an “Academic Vocabulary Word Wall” to list vocabulary words related to the unit as they are encountered. Academic vocabulary follows a consistent structure, beginning with “Preview” prior to “Shared Reading,” “Develop” after the second Shared Read, and “Formative Assessment” at the end. Each formative assessment includes two options for teachers to differentiate according to student ability: One option is tailored to struggling students, while the other option is for students who are ready to work independently. Also, the Shared Readings provide definitions as text additions as students read. The “Small Group Reading Workshop” lesson plans further allow for differentiation, with options including strategy groups, reading workshop conferences, and leveled readers connected to the main selection.
In Unit 1, students are taught to use the academic vocabulary to understand how the words in the text describe the objects being discussed in the selection: “Point out that all of these words tell about the shape of the rocks the children found.” Students learn how to use vocabulary words to talk about the problem and resolution in a text and that vocabulary words are also used to describe the main idea in a text. Students preview academic vocabulary in the unit’s introduction and are led through a discussion of the words map, move, land, and special. Students agree or disagree with the way the words are being used in a sentence and discuss the new academic vocabulary words with a partner.
In Unit 2, students preview vocabulary words in From Nectar to Honey by hearing the teacher use the words in a sentence. Students then get the definition of the word. Later in the “Develop Vocabulary” section, the Teacher Edition provides guidance on teaching students to use pictures to better understand a word. In the “Student Interactive,” students practice this skill.
In Unit 4, students engage in a lesson on word parts, using words from the unit selection Changing Laws, Changing Lives: Martin Luther King, Jr. The “Assess and Differentiate” section provides teachers with guidance for small-group instruction to assist students who are struggling with using pictures to better understand word meanings. Materials support beginning English Learners with the following suggested strategies: “Use movements, gestures, and visual aids to help students understand word meanings.”
In Unit 5, students use skills learned in Unit 4 to identify words by using picture representations, first with teacher support and then while reading independently; students try to understand unfamiliar words by using pictures in the text. To further support students, the Assess and Differentiate section provides guidance for the teacher to conference with three to four students while they read independently. Prompts include “What was a new word you found? What do you think it means? What helped you figure out the meaning?”
The materials provide a clearly defined plan to support and hold students accountable as they engage in self-sustained reading on a daily basis. Materials provide support for teachers on implementing procedures and protocols to foster self-sustained reading in their classrooms. Each unit provides a plan for students to self-select text, read independently, and complete a reading response log to demonstrate accountability.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, during “Small Group Reading” instruction, students work with a partner or alone on “Literacy Activities,” such as writing or drawing about their reading in a reading notebook or telling a partner about how their independent reading book is like and/or different from a text from the unit.
In Unit 3, during Small Group Reading instruction, teachers prompt students to choose between independently reading a poem aloud and listening for rhyming words, rereading and listening to a “Poetry Collection” text from the unit, or reading a self-selected trade book or their “Book Club” text.
In Unit 4, in the “Student Interactive,” the “Independent Reading” page provides instructions for teachers to guide students while they read independently: “1) [H]elp students set a purpose for reading, 2) practice making connections to personal experiences, ideas in other texts, or society when reading, and 3) interact independently with the text and build stamina by reading a few more pages each day.” Materials include a reading log for accountability where students record titles and their responses to those titles. Students complete an independent reading log each day.
In Unit 4, during “Small Group Instruction,” students read independently and respond to prompts to help them make connections to what they have read. Prompts include:
Materials provide sufficient support for students to compose across text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students have multiple opportunities to write personal narratives and informational texts. Students display comprehension of personal narrative through both speaking and writing, and tasks prompt students to convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. Students also engage with poetry and persuasive writing.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, students collaborate with a partner to research either an art museum or a history museum and write about that special place in a persuasive narrative. To begin, the teacher models persuasive narrative writing and leads a lesson on writing for different purposes. Students practice writing sentences in the first-person point of view; the teacher is directed to prompt students to “tell about themselves as authors by drawing and writing.” The teacher models how to visit a library, access resources, ask the librarian questions, and find information for notetaking about a topic. Students work with a partner to conduct research and then organize their information into a T-chart meant to support their opinions. Students then create a drawing to demonstrate what they learned about the type of museum they chose and their personal experience.
In Unit 2, teachers “tell students they will work in pairs to choose a pet and research what it needs.” Students analyze informational texts by working with teachers to build an anchor chart to form a research plan. Teachers then guide students through conducting research, modeling how to use different resources. Students use books, computers, or real-life experiences to find information and take notes about their topic. When writing, students first compose a title and then organize their notes using a web graphic organizer. Students begin their writing first with a sentence, then develop their text features through drawing.
In Unit 4, during the “Writing Workshop,” students explore the elements of personal narratives. Students write details about the setting for their personal narrative and explore and apply writing as a narrator. Students conclude the workshop by drawing pictures to tell the story of an event that happened to them.
Unit 5 provides students the opportunity to write an informational text based on the “Essential Question” “What can we learn from the weather?” Before writing, students consider how to “Write for a Reader” and use language that supports their purpose for writing. Students engage in informational texts using “Question and Answer Books,” which lead them through “Mini-Lessons” on organization, introductions, and conclusions. The class generates ideas and plans their writing; then, students work collaboratively to research the weather. Students discuss and write what they already know about the topic and generate questions. Once the prewriting phase is complete, students write a persuasive text explaining their favorite weather in the form of a poem or song. Students finally edit their writing for verbs, spelling, and detail before using digital tools to publish.
The materials facilitate student use of the writing process, including planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing. During the drafting stage, students utilize drawing and brainstorming. During the writing stage, students plan and organize by a combination of speaking, drawing, and writing. In Kindergarten, the program follows a sequential pattern of writing instruction and application.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In “Front Matter,” the publishers describe the “Instructional Model” for writing instruction. The “Writing Workshop” model includes direction and resources for “Mini-Lessons,” “Mentor Stacks,” “Independent Writing,” “Stapled Books,” “Portfolios,” and “Writing Clubs.” Each unit follows a consistent format of “Immersion/Introduction” in Week 1, “Developing Elements” in Week 2, “Developing Structure” in Week 3, “Writer’s Craft” in Week 4, “Publishing, Celebrating, and Assessing” in Week 5, and a “Project-Based Inquiry” collaborative project in Week 6. Each lesson has a daily writing plan that includes mini-lessons, independent writing, and share-out options. In Writing Clubs, students meet to conference about their writing, then share their writing upon completion.
In Unit 1, students are introduced to the workshop model as well as what good writers do and what students can expect to do during writing instruction. Students decide what to write, meet in Writing Clubs, share their writing with each other, make writing suggestions, and respond to feedback. In Week 2, students practice writing sentences using the first-person point of view as they “tell about themselves as authors by drawing and writing.” In Week 3, students focus on developing appropriate writing structures like titles, illustrations, and sufficient details. The “Student Interactive” book provides a checklist for students to begin developing and following a guide for process writing. By Week 5, they have studied parts of books, spacing while writing words and sentences, and when to write a new book. Students edit parts of their own books and incorporate peer feedback. The teacher guides students to think like an author and incorporate peer feedback as they revise and edit their writing. The culmination of the unit provides students an opportunity to share their projects and reflect on their writing and reading.
Unit 2 includes a “Genre Immersion Lesson” where students learn about and practice writing a “List” book. Students begin exploring and practicing the components of a List book by first reading texts from the Mentor Stacks to understand main ideas, details, and graphics. Students then practice generating ideas and planning their List book. During Week 2, students practice writing the title, main idea, and details for the List book; in Week 4, they develop the structure for the List book. After the teacher models editing for singular and plural nouns, capitalization, and adjectives, students independently review and edit their writing. At the end of this writing assignment, during the “Share Back” section of the lesson cycle, students share and reflect with teacher assistance. One example of this is where students share a picture from their List book or one from the general stack.
In Unit 3, students practice organizing and writing the beginning and end of a fiction story. The teacher uses Mentor Stacks to model organizing information; then, students draw pictures to organize their fiction story. Students are given pictorial models of representation to help them organize their ideas. Before finalizing their writing plan, students share their plot ideas with the class. In the “Explore” section, the teacher models composing the beginning and ending of a story; next, in the “Apply” section, students practice writing the beginning and end. Students then draw the rest of their story elements.
In Unit 4, students prepare a personal narrative by generating ideas through drawing. They brainstorm about people and events from personal experience, before “Turning and Talking” with a partner. Students plan and organize their personal narrative, ensuring three central structures: people, setting, and events. In Week 3, students focus on the sequential process of a narrative by exploring the terms first, next, then, and last. Then, through the structure “My Turn—Draw,” students apply their learning and revise their writing to include these terms. These lessons follow the consistent pattern of Mini-Lesson, Independent Writing, and Share Back. To conclude the unit, students go through the Share Back structure to share and reflect with a partner. Before finalizing, students improve their writing by revising and adding details and editing for spelling.
The materials provide opportunities for students to practice and apply grade-level standard conventions in their writing. The materials provide opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing, including punctuation and grammar, both in and out of context.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Over the course of the year, the materials systematically include the “Reading-Writing Bridge” “Language and Conventions” section, which focuses on conventions of the English language (i.e., singular and plural nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions). In addition, through the “Writing Workshop,” students explore and practice applying punctuation and grammar in their own writing (i.e., capitalization, end sentence punctuation). The program components also list “Language and Conventions Online Student Resources” as an additional support for teachers. The “End Matter” section provides a scope and sequence for “Conventions of Language,” including spelling, grammar and usage, and capitalization and punctuation.
In the Unit 2 Reading-Writing Bridge, teachers guide students through understanding present-tense verbs by explaining, “verbs tell actions,” then performing an action to demonstrate the verb. During the Writing Workshop, students explore words and sentences, and specifically how the spaces in between help them “differentiate between letters, words, and sentences.” Students then practice “naming letters they know and then pointing to each word.” During independent writing, students check their own writing for proper spacing. Additionally, the “Teacher Edition” instructs teachers to plan for conferences that provide them with a formative assessment of the students’ understanding of grammar and conventions; specifically, editing for singular and plural nouns, capitalization, and adjectives. The lesson plans suggest ways for teachers to support students if they need additional help, including using “Mentor Stacks,” editing their own writing, and providing an oral explanation for their adjective choices.
In the Unit 2 Writing Workshop, students explore capitalization by first discussing uppercase and lowercase letters and then identifying capital letters in a book selected from the Mentor Stack. Students then review sentences and tell the teacher which words to capitalize. Students review their own “List” books and edit for correct capitalization.
In the Unit 3 Writing Workshop, students explore subjective and possessive pronouns by first learning how they are used in sentences. Teachers then edit sentences, changing nouns to pronouns using text from the Mentor Stack, and ask students to assist with editing. After independently working on editing sentences for subjective and possessive pronouns, students read aloud sentences from their writing and talk about the pronouns they used in their stories and how they chose the pronouns in their sentences. The “Teacher Edition” again advises teachers to plan for conferences that provide the teacher with a formative assessment of the students’ understanding of grammar and conventions; specifically, editing for subjective and objective pronouns, complete sentences, and adjectives and articles. The lesson plans suggest ways for teachers to support students needing additional help, including editing their own writing, orally rehearsing end punctuation, and thinking critically about the need for the right article and adjectives. Also in the Unit 3 Writing Workshop, students explore complete sentences through a demonstration of the naming part and the action part. Students then review their own writing for the unit and identify the naming part and the action part. Finally, students revise their work to fix sentences that do not have both a naming part and an action part.
The materials include instruction and practice for students to write legibly in print. Plans and supports are present for teachers as they instruct students, and teachers have adequate guidance to assess students’ handwriting development.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide weekly practice for students to write legibly in print. Students can model their letters after both the “Manuscript” and “D’Nealian” models. The handwriting lessons exist in the “Reading-Writing Bridge” of the instructional model and proceed throughout the year to provide a plan to support teachers as they instruct students. This resource includes instruction on writing posture, paper positioning, and pencil gripping techniques.
Handwriting instruction is embedded within the units, and the materials provide opportunities in the “Phonics/Phonological Awareness” instruction section in the “Foundational Skills” section of the “Reading Workshop.” Students practice writing the letters introduced in the section. As students practice letter sounds, they practice writing the letters in the air as well as tracing them, then independently write them in the “Student Interactive” workbook. Handwriting instruction also occurs in the Reading-Writing Bridge section of each unit. In addition, there are “Handwriting Models” found at the end of each unit. In the “Front Matter” section, the program components list “Handwriting” practice in online student resources. The “End Matter” section provides a scope and sequence for teachers to use as they teach handwriting. Students practice independently writing letters and words, and then teachers revisit the skills for struggling and independent levels during small-group instruction. Handwriting instruction is embedded throughout the materials, and instruction, support, and guidance for assessment can be found in the curriculum “Assessment Guide.” Additionally, the materials provide teachers with direction on how to model proper techniques for handwriting development through “Getting Started” or the “Resource Download Center.”
In the Kindergarten Assessment Guide, teachers receive a summary of the “Writing Strategy Assessment Checklist” describing the document, explaining its use, and directing teachers how to utilize it. The Writing Strategy Assessment Checklist is an observation form meant for teachers to observe students’ writing ability at the beginning and throughout the year. With this document teachers can assess whether students can hold their pencil and position paper correctly, write all letters of the alphabet (both uppercase and lowercase), and write necessary words like their name. Teachers can utilize the “Writing Behaviors Observational Assessment Guide” (in the “Assessments and Practice” section within “Teacher Resources”) to note and track student writing progress.
In Unit 1, the “Teacher Manual” directs the teacher to model the alphabet letters, showing that they include various types of lines. The teacher introduces the lesson on line making and connects it to the need to use the vertical and horizontal lines in all letters. The day’s lesson is on the straight lines, both vertical and horizontal. The teacher models on the board, then guides as students write in the air, for a gradual release. The students then practice independently by writing in sand or with papers and pencils.
In Unit 1, Phonics/Phonological Awareness: Foundational Skills, after instruction on the letter Mm, students trace the letter, then practice writing the letter in the Student Interactive workbook. In the Reading-Writing Bridge: Handwriting, students learn that letters are formed using different kinds of lines. Students first practice drawing vertical lines in the air (top to bottom), then use either sand or paper and a pencil to write vertical lines.
Unit 2, Foundational Skills, teachers will “Notice and Assess” whether students can read and write three-letter words that begin with Ll. If students struggle, teachers revisit three-letter words during small-group instruction. The materials offer no guidance on how to determine what amount of struggle is appropriate and what amount requires revisiting; the small group-instruction focuses on decoding letters through tiles, not handwriting.
In Unit 4, Reading-Writing Bridge, the materials include, as in every unit, direct instruction and gradual release of group practice and independent practice of the letter Hh, Ww, and Xx.
The materials support students’ listening and speaking about texts. Each unit provides multiple opportunities for students to listen actively (i.e., “Read Aloud”/“Think Aloud”), respond to questions to demonstrate understanding (i.e., discussion of the unit’s goals and academic vocabulary after watching unit introduction videos), and engage in teacher-led discussions to share information and ideas about the topics in each unit (i.e., “Turn and Talk,” “Turn and Talk and Share,” “Reading Workshop” and “Small Group Instruction,” “Writing Club,” and “Book Club”). Throughout the materials, students consistently have opportunities to interact with the content, gather ideas, and communicate those ideas via listening and speaking.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, teachers use an infographic to introduce students to the unit’s “Essential Questions”: “What makes a place special?” and “How does imagination make a place seem different?” Teachers then point to the infographic in the “Student Interactive,” which shows a girl who has built a rocket out of cardboard; teachers ask students what the girl is imagining. Teachers then “guide students to understand that the girl is imagining traveling into space in the rocket ship.” Teachers point to a picture of a boy on the opposite page and ask what the boy is imagining. Teachers “guide students to understand the boy is imagining walking on the moon.” Question prompts include, “Ask students to close their eyes and picture traveling to space in a rocket ship or on the moon” and “Ask students what they would do in space if they rode in a rocket ship, or what they would do if they were on the moon.” Teachers encourage students to continue asking questions about the infographic to “clarify any information they do not understand.” When introducing the genre and theme, teachers explain that “realistic fiction is a type of story that could happen, or be real...and identifying characters, and other parts of a realistic fiction story will help you understand and connect with the story.” Teachers ask students to turn to a page in the Student Interactive workbook and explain the elements of realistic fiction. Teachers then read a model text and point out the characters, setting, and plot, requiring students to actively listen in order to understand the genre and text. Students orally identify and describe the characters, setting, and plot in the model text in response to teacher questions. Students then Turn and Talk to a partner “about how they know the text is realistic fiction.”
In Unit 2, students Turn, Talk, and Share what they have learned about the main idea and details. Specifically, students use “First Read Strategies” to discuss what other details would be in a book about birds: They read, look at the pictures to help understand the text, ask questions about the text to deepen their understanding, and talk with a partner about the text.
In Unit 3, as in all units, the routine ending to Reading Workshop is the “Reflect and Share” section, where students are prompted to “Talk About It” or “Write to Sources.” The teacher provides a mini-lesson; then, students use their Student Interactive to complete tasks tied to the mini-lesson. In one lesson, the teacher guides students to understand that comparing characters from different stories can help them understand characters better. In the infographic launch at the beginning of the unit, the teacher models comparing Anansi, the spider from How Anansi Got His Stories, to the Tortoise from the fable Tortoise and The Hare. Students talk with a partner and compare Anansi with another character they have read about, answering the questions “How is Anansi like that character? How is he different?”
In Unit 4, the teacher does a read-aloud of Farming Then and Now, requiring students to actively listen as they prepare to discuss “Noticings, Wonderings, and Connections” between their own life experiences and other texts they have read. During a small-group reading workshop, students describe a drawing about the setting of a book. Teachers also “engage students in a conversation that demonstrates how the texts they have read this week support their understanding of how communication has changed over time and encourage them to use the Academic Vocabulary words change, time, discover, and tradition.”
In the Unit 5 “Project-Based Inquiry,” the materials include a teacher-led discussion on how to gather information and generate questions for research. After viewing pictures of different types of weather in the Student Interactive workbook, teachers give students questions to think about when choosing a topic, such as “What season or weather do you see in the picture? Which one is your favorite and why?” Students work with a partner to look at the pictures again and “talk about the weather and seasons.” Students then circle their favorite type of weather and seasons and complete a fill-in-the-blank in the Student Interactive workbook to write about their research plan.
The materials provide consistent opportunities for students to engage in collaborative discussions and practice grade-level-appropriate speaking skills using standard conventions of the English language.
Examples include but are not limited to:
During the “Weekly Launch” in each unit, students explore and discuss an infographic related to the unit’s theme. During the culminating end-of-unit project, students practice speaking using the conventions of language and practice rules for discussion during the “Writing Workshop.” Teachers remind students to “practice taking turns reading, show consideration as they listen, ask questions to provide helpful feedback.” Ideas for teachers to encourage students’ discussion include sharing their writing ideas and plans and using the feedback to strengthen their writing.
In Unit 2, students explore the infographic used to introduce the lesson through a “Turn and Talk” opportunity where they discuss pictures and text on a page in the “Student Interactive.” In this activity, teachers use a map that illustrates the travel patterns of whooping cranes to first discuss what the map shows, and then why “whooping cranes move from place to place.” Teachers continue to guide students’ discussion by asking students to discuss “Where does it go?” Additionally, in “Book Club,” teachers display a discussion chart with the titles “Noticings, Connections, and Wonderings” at the top of each column to remind students of what they should be focusing on during Book Club conversations. Teachers also remind students of the Book Club discussion rules introduced in Unit 1. Rules include, but are not limited to:
In Unit 4, students watch a video that introduces the selection and Turn and Talk with a partner to discuss what they learned about technology in the past and the present. Teachers provide guiding questions such as “What did you hear and see in the video?” Later in the unit, through a teacher-led discussion, with a partner, students discuss differences between classrooms from the past and classrooms now (using a picture in the Student Interactive). Teacher prompts include the following: “One room schoolhouses had usually had bells on the roof. Why do you think the schools had bells on the roof? Many handmade toys were made of wood. Are any of your toys made of wood? Which ones?”
In Unit 5, Writing Workshop, students “edit for spelling, add details to words and pictures, and prepare to publish and celebrate their writing” during “Writing Club.” Prior to sharing their question-and-answer books, teachers tell students “to discuss why it’s important for writers to add details and check for spelling and to use a checklist before publishing their books.” Teachers model how to “celebrate writing by reading it aloud to an audience.” Teachers complete a think-aloud and explain to students: “First, I’ll introduce myself, and read the title of my book. Then I’ll begin reading clearly and loudly so the audience can hear me. Please wait until I finish reading before asking questions or making suggestions.” Students then practice sharing their writing and are prompted to ask questions and provide positive feedback or suggestions.
In Unit 5, “Project-Based Inquiry,” teachers model conducting an interview for the end-of-unit project and provide a format for students to use with their interviewee, including introducing themselves, asking their questions, listening and taking notes, and shaking hands and saying thank you. Students then Turn and Talk with a partner to generate questions for their interview. Teachers remind students to use complete sentences as they “speak with each other, conduct interviews, present information, participate in follow-up questioning or provide follow-up information.”
Materials engage students in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for different purposes. They provide support for students to ask and generate questions, generate and follow a research plan, and identify relevant sources based on their questions. Materials provide practice for students to understand, organize, and communicate ideas and information that reflects the purpose of the research.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Students complete a research project in each unit. The lessons, tasks, and activities include components such as inquiring, exploring and planning, conducting and refining, and collaborating and discussing. Through these activities, students receive guidance and practice independently; they ask and generate questions, find sources and gather information, take and refine notes, work with a partner and conference with the teacher to revise and edit, and share their research with the class.
In Unit 1’s “Project-Based Inquiry,” after reading two exemplar texts with their teacher, students generate questions about art and history museums as they generate a plan for their collaborative projects. Students generate questions with their partner, then talk with a librarian about museums to learn what sources are available to them.
In Unit 2’s Project-Based Inquiry, students choose a pet to research, including researching the pet’s needs. In collaboration with a partner, students use academic vocabulary words to ask one another questions about the pet, then complete a page from the “Student Interactive” workbook to write about the pet they chose to research. Students learn about sources with which they can conduct research (i.e., books, online, and real-life experiences). Students then work with a partner to circle things found on a picture in the Student Interactive that can help them gather information.
In Unit 4’s Project-Based Inquiry, “Conduct Research,” the teacher guides students through the steps to interview a person; then, students work in pairs to generate questions for their interview. During the “Refine Research” phase of the lesson, the teacher demonstrates taking notes by using a question-and-answer graphic organizer to help students refine the information gathered in their research.
In Unit 5’s Project-Based Inquiry, “Taking Notes,” students learn about and practice creating a list chart to organize information gathered from their research, then draw or write their notes. The teacher also discusses drawing and adding visuals to support opinions. Students then complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook to draw or create visuals in their writing.
Throughout the units, the interconnected questions and tasks are designed so that students build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking. Tasks integrate these components, including vocabulary, comprehension, and syntax, to provide opportunities for increased independence.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each unit includes opportunities for students to listen, read, write, and think about texts through “Foundational Skills,” “Academic Vocabulary,” “Listening Comprehension,” “Small Group Instruction,” the “Book Club,” and the “Writing Workshop.” The materials provide multiple opportunities for students to practice both with teacher guidance and independently. The tasks provided include students using vocabulary to build comprehension. Students are consistently engaged in tasks and activities where they are given sentence stems/frames to help them ask and answer questions. Within the formative assessments and throughout the “Student Interactive” notebook, students are prompted to reflect on their learning.
In Unit 1, students learn about holding a book, directionality, and using pictures to comprehend the text. The teacher introduces the “Read-Aloud” routines and expectations during independent reading. Students also participate in a mini-lesson; they practice using a glossary by completing a chart found in the Student Interactive. Students complete the chart independently or with a partner and discuss the words after completing the chart. Students listen, think, and talk about the “Weekly Question” “Why do some animals move from place to place?” as they begin to explore the “Unit Question” “What do living things need?” During the teacher read-aloud, students continue to build knowledge as they listen and discuss main ideas and details and practice oral responses with their teacher. In the “Foundational Skills” section of Unit 1, students learn a new sound and practice identifying words in sentences. Students are introduced to the letter Hh through reading and writing words with Hh. Students repeat the words and then spell the words, “tapping their knees as they say each letter.” Students read, write, and match words with Hh.
In Unit 2, throughout the week, students practice past-tense verbs via both written and spoken lessons within the “Language and Conventions” section; they practice in their own writing and on the practice page in their student practice book. During the Academic Vocabulary lesson, students have a teacher-guided discussion of the unit’s goals. The teacher then “discusses with students how make-believe characters and real people are different using a photograph and illustration from the Student Interactive.” Through the oral vocabulary routine, students are introduced to new vocabulary words and use a nonverbal signal to demonstrate if they know the word. The teacher discusses the meanings of the words students do not know. The main selection, The Best Selection, includes vocabulary instruction that introduces academic vocabulary, reviews the same words in the text, and develops vocabulary with a practice page; the Academic Vocabulary lesson is extended and assessed in small groups.
In Unit 3, during group discussions, students use sentence frames to build on each other’s ideas. When the class is brought back together, the groups help fill out a class discussion chart. Students listen, think, and talk about the Weekly Question “What can we learn from family traditions?” as they continue to explore the Unit Question “What can we learn from the past?” They use listening comprehension skills to consider the read-aloud A Night At The Cogdills. With this read-aloud, and with an anchor chart for guidance and opportunities to “Turn and Talk” with a partner, students continue to explore family traditions and the idea of theme in fiction literature.
The materials provide spiraling and scaffolded practice designed to build on knowledge and skills over the course of the year. Materials support distributed practice, and the design includes scaffolds for students to demonstrate the integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials describe the interrelated nature of the “Reading Workshop,” “Writing Workshop,” and “Reading-Writing Bridge” and support modeling and practicing throughout each component. Within each “Mini-Lesson,” students are prompted to read, reflect, share, respond, and write. At the start of the year, the materials focus on “Phonological Awareness,” “Print Awareness,” and “Listening Comprehension,” including an introduction to a “Book Club” and a “Writing Club.” Throughout the year, the Reading-Writing Bridge and culminating project at the end of each unit provide opportunities for review, scaffolding, and integration of previously taught skills. Distributed practice exists within the course of units and also over the course of the year; it includes mini-lessons, main selections, and small-group strategy lessons.
In Unit 1, teachers introduce realistic fiction to students in a whole-group mini-lesson with the help of an anchor chart and exemplar text that focus on problem and resolution (plot) in a story. After the mini-lesson, students “Turn, Talk, and Share” their thoughts about the exemplar text, making sure to use the words problem and resolution while the teacher monitors conversation to notice who is struggling and who demonstrates understanding. Following the shared read of the text Too Many Places To Hide by Antonio Sacre, the teacher revisits the concept of plot, and students think about the problem at the beginning of the story and how it gets solved at the end of the story; students use their “Student Interactive” workbook to draw a picture of the problem and a picture of the resolution. Small groups meet to explore the strategy of identifying the plot in a fiction text, using a sequential organizational framework to understand that the problem is introduced at the beginning of the story, characters try to solve the problem in the middle of the story, and the problem/resolution comes toward the end of the story. The “myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide” provides an additional opportunity to support students’ understanding of recognizing the characteristics of fiction. Realistic fiction is revisited in Unit 2 with a mini-lesson and small-group lessons on elements of fiction, which include character, setting, and plot. Fiction is revisited in the Unit 4 read-aloud, mini-lessons, and small-group lessons on theme.
In Unit 2, “Informational Text” is studied in three different weeks. The whole-group mini-lessons for each week are followed by small-group lessons that support students as they work to understand and identify topics, main ideas, and details in those texts. For example, in the first week of the unit, teachers introduce the main idea and details in an informational text with an anchor chart and text about birds. Students “Turn and Talk” about other details that could be added to the text, then share their ideas with the class. The mini-lesson following the shared read of the text Animals On The Move by Ron Fridell focuses on main idea and details again and asks students to respond to teacher questions: “What does the author want me to know? What do these details tell me?” The small-group lesson after the mini-lesson teaches students to use the title, pictures, and illustrations to help determine the main idea of a text. In the “Guided Reading” lesson for that first week, teachers ask students to identify the main idea in the leveled reader they are reading. An intervention lesson on main idea and details in the myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide for Kindergarten is also referenced in this week’s small-group lessons of the “Teacher Edition.” Teachers use the lesson to help students “recognize the characteristics of informational text.”
In Unit 3, the “Essential Question” for the week is “Why do we like poems?” Students read two nursery rhymes to introduce the topic, then explore rhyme and rhythm with an anchor chart and mini-lesson; they delve deeper into poetry with three traditional poems that are the focus of the Reading Workshop. Small-group lessons include identifying poetry by its form and a focus on rhyme and rhythm, following the whole-group mini-lesson on the same topic. In the Reading-Writing Bridge, students learn how to use academic vocabulary words to understand a text; then, they explore text structures through a mini-lesson. Students revisit poetry in Unit 4 as they explore the “Weekly Question” “What can we learn from family traditions?”
The materials provide explicit instruction in print concepts and awareness; there are opportunities for student practice that connect print awareness knowledge to texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials cover print awareness information multiple times throughout Units 1–5. Topics include identifying authors, illustrators, and titles; holding books correctly; letters sequences; distinguishing between letters and words; left-to-right progression; top-to-bottom progression; distinguishing between sentences and words; and space between words. The “Language Awareness Handbook” provides suggested print awareness activities for use during instruction.
In Unit 1, teachers model holding a book right side up, reading from left to right, reading from top to bottom, and turning pages without skipping a page. Students practice with their “Student Interactive” workbook, demonstrating their understanding. In one lesson, teachers teach the concepts of author and illustrator, and students connect those concepts to the shared read by answering the question “How did [each person] help create Where Is Twister?”
In Unit 4, “Reading Workshop,” teachers discuss the structure of sentences and teach students that sentences are made of words. Students point to the title of a text in the Student Interactive workbook and count the words in the title. Teachers then choose a word in the title (phone) and ask students to count the letters in the word as the teacher counts with them.
In Unit 5, teachers introduce the unit’s text by reviewing the proper way to hold a book. The teacher says, “When we read, we begin at the beginning of the book at the page that follows the front cover. We begin the page, at the top on the left.” Students demonstrate understanding, using a text in the Student Interactive workbook, by identifying where to begin reading. Students practice reading top to bottom and left to right with return sweep.
Materials provide explicit daily instruction in phonological skills and opportunities for daily student practice. The materials provide explicit instruction in each newly taught sound and sound pattern and opportunities for students to practice each newly taught sound and sound/phoneme pattern. Throughout the materials, sounds are systematically introduced; the teacher explicitly instructs how to make the sound, routinely following up with guided and then independent practice.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In the “Front Matter,” the “Instructional Model” includes foundational skills (phonological awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, decodable text) as part of “Reading Workshop.” Foundational skills are taught “daily and systematically” to meet the demands of the Kindergarten English Language Arts and Reading TEKS.
In Unit 1, teachers model and demonstrate segmenting and blending an onset and rime to make the /k/ sound. Teachers provide explicit instructions on how to produce the sound. “The sound k is made by placing the back of your tongue against the top of your mouth, near your throat. Take air in and let it go by lowering your tongue to make the k sound.” Students then practice making the sound. As an extension, teachers display a picture card from the online resources and ask students to identify the beginning sound.
In Unit 2, during a phonological awareness lesson on segmenting and blending syllables, teachers teach the sound of /o/ by modeling opening their mouths and “dropping their jaw”; they have students practice doing the same to make the sound. Next, teachers model segmenting the word hop, and make the individual sound, pointing out their new sound /o/. The teacher models blending the sounds to make the word hop, and students practice doing the same. Next, students use a page in their Student Interactive workbook with different pictures (sock, cat, mop, top) to practice segmenting and blending the sounds of each word and circling the pictures that contain the new sound /o/ learned with their teacher.
In a Unit 3 “Phonics” lesson, the teacher teaches the sound of /u/ using the alphabet card for Uu. Students repeat the word umbrella after the teacher models the sound of /u/ in the word. Next, the teacher writes Uu on the board and says a list of words (run, fun, ran, lime, dog, fit, bum). Students listen for the sound and write the letter Uu at their desks if the word contains the sound. Students continue their practice with the /u/ sound in their Student Interactive workbook by circling pictures of objects that have the /u/ sound in them (jug, bus, truck, bug) and writing a U beside these pictures. In the second lesson for the week, students revisit the /u/ sound and Uu spelling in their Student Interactive, with the teacher providing a mini-lesson using the picture card for bus. Students make words by inserting the u in the words pup, sun, tub, and jug. An additional practice page for creating words using the sound of /u/ is available in the “Resource Download Center.”
In Unit 4, “Phonics: Phonological Awareness,” students write a word from the box to complete the sentences on the page, then read the sentences. On the following page, students practice different sounds by listening for sounds that are alike and different. Students say each picture on the page, listen to the middle sound, and tell which picture has the long /a/ sound.
In Unit 5, “Phonics: Phonological Awareness,” students practice segmenting and blending sounds. Students read the sentences on the page and underline or circle long /i/ and long /o/ words. On the following page, students blend sounds. The directions state: “Say each sound as you name each picture. Then blend the sounds to say the picture name again.” Pictures are provided on the page for students to practice orally.
In the “myFocus Intervention Guide,” Lessons 5–35 are devoted to phonological awareness, phonics, morphology, and spelling. Lesson titles include “Identify Same and Different Initial Sounds” (Lesson 11), “Change Medial Phonemes” (Lesson 19), and “Spelling: Soft Consonant Sounds” (Lesson 24).
In the digital resource “Pearson Realize,” a Kindergarten online video game, “Sound Rainforest,” helps students recognize sounds. In a beginning lesson, students drag pictures of items that begin with the same sound as moon into one box and other pictures into a different box. The resource says the name of the item and gives a green checkmark if done correctly. Other titles in the game include “Words that Rhyme With Boat,” “Final Sound in Fox,” and “Short o and Long o.”
The materials provide explicit systematic instruction in phonetic knowledge, including grade-appropriate phonics patterns, high-frequency words, and spelling as addressed in the Kindergarten English Language Arts and Reading TEKS. The materials provide opportunities for students to practice and apply phonetic knowledge both in and out of context in order to achieve grade-level mastery.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, the materials use direct instruction, repetition, and review to teach high-frequency words both in and out of context. The teacher models and students practice pronouncing the high-frequency words my, we, and make. The teacher reads aloud a text as students follow along and identify the high-frequency words. Students then use my, we, and make in sentences and read them with a partner. Students revisit and practice these words in context when reading the decodable reader In the Pit. Prior to reading the story, the teacher reviews the high-frequency words and directs students to pronounce the words again. Students continue practicing high-frequency words in all units during independent and collaborative stations. For example, one station directs students to use flashcards with high-frequency words on them to quiz each other.
In Unit 2, “Word Work,” the “Teacher Edition” includes the routine sequence of lessons for a typical week. Teachers teach these as whole-group mini-lessons; for example, introducing the sound of short /o/ and segmenting and blending phonemes with that sound. Students practice in their Student Interactive workbook, reading and writing words with short /o/. Teachers can download an additional practice page from the “Resource Download Center” online to be used the same day with students who need more support. On the third day, students practice the sound /f/ and alliteration with the sound /f/ after an introduction by their teacher; there are two pages of practice in the Student Interactive workbook. The next day, students practice reading and writing words with /f/ in a whole-group mini-lesson, with a page from their Student Interactive workbook and an additional page from the Resource Download Center. Students also encounter a decodable story in their Student Interactive workbook, Bob On The Mat, with both of the short /o/ and /f/ sounds they have been working with. Students underline words that have those sounds in them on their practice page. Finally, on the last day of the week, teachers teach a whole-group mini-lesson on initial and final /f/; students practice identifying those words in the Student Interactive workbook and demonstrate mastery of /o/ and /f/ in the “MyTurn” practice page by circling /o/ and underlining /f/.
In Unit 4, spelling instruction begins with an informal assessment of students’ prior knowledge of a particular spelling pattern such as CVC. Following the assessment, the teacher explains the spelling pattern, and students practice writing words with the pattern, underlining the consonants and circling the vowels to highlight the pattern. Students read a list of words and identify the words that have the spelling pattern. Students continue practicing spelling words using the pattern on a spelling page from the Resource Download Center. A spiral review is also provided, reminding students of previously learned words that include the CVC pattern. Student pairs then generate a new list of words to practice and apply the spelling pattern.
Not Scored in Kindergarten
Materials include placement assessments and provide information to assist in foundational skills instruction. Materials include support and direction for teachers to assess students’ growth in and mastery of foundational skills. Assessments yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning small-group instruction and differentiation.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Assessments” component page of the “Teacher Edition” states that the “Baseline Test” for Kindergarten helps “determine each student’s starting profile to help guide and inform instruction,” and the consequential testing throughout the year monitors progress and skills taught in increments particular to their timing. Kindergarteners are initially assessed in print concepts, letter recognition, listening comprehension, and phonological awareness. After the beginning-of-year assessment, a writing component is added to these tests.
In the Kindergarten “Assessment Guide,” the materials provide this general guidance to teachers about using assessment to inform instruction: “Assessment is designed to encourage action. This guide will teach you about each assessment type and how to use data-driven decision making in your instruction. Here is an example of how the four stages of data-based decision making might look in practice: Collect Data: You have just concluded a series of whole-class lessons that help students learn to compare information given in two simple informational texts. You observe students during the lesson and in reading group time. You provide practice, both oral and paper/pencil, and you check student responses. When you observe that most students are comfortable with this concept, students take a weekly myView Progress Check-Up to give you data about their progress with this skill. Document Data: You record anecdotal notes about your students’ responses to questions during reading group on individual student reading logs. You take notes on record sheets about student skill mastery from their responses and then select a response to document. You grade the myView Progress Check-Up and record the data about each student on a record sheet. Evaluate Data: After checking over the data, you see that five students are still having difficulty identifying similarities and differences in two informational texts, while the other students are meeting expectations and have demonstrated this mastery through varied assessment tools. Instruct from Data: You are now ready for data-based decision making about your students. You may choose to group students according to this data and provide skill-practice that is differentiated to their needs. You may focus your whole-group instruction on using evidence from the text to support responses and ask students that have mastered the skill to model this for others.”
Within the summative assessments manual, the materials provide explicit directions, scripting of instructions, and questions, scoring, recording, and analysis chart, with support for interpreting the results for all assessments—baseline, unit, middle-of-year, and end-of-year.
Each unit also includes a scoring and rating rubric with directions at the end of the assessment on how to score the student record chart and class record chart. In the recording area, teachers assign quantitative scores and make qualitative notes for each item assessed. The manuals specifically indicate that the assessments are meant to monitor which skills have been mastered and provide data to indicate which skills require additional attention to lead the instruction and interventions that will help all students reach mastery for each of the foundational skills. The materials indicate that the teacher is to compare results throughout the year to measure growth. The progress check-up booklet includes student progress charts that allow the teacher to track the assessments and students’ overall growth by unit and week. This booklet also provides the teacher with a scope and sequence of the progress check-up which correlates to the skills assessed by unit/week/lesson and TEKS.
In Unit 1, “Reading Workshop: Word Work,” teachers formatively assess students’ phonological awareness by asking students to point to the letter a in the Student Interactive workbook and tell the teacher the sound the letter makes. Students then circle pictures that have the /a/ sound. Teachers are directed to the online resource “Letter Recognition Unit” to provide students with additional practice; “It includes instruction, activities, and student practice sheets.” Instruction in reading and writing with Aa continues, and teachers are given two options to assess students’ understanding: have students complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook where they trace the letter a (written as the medial sound in words) and identify and say the sounds for letters they know, or have student partners label classroom objects with the sound /a/.
In Unit 5, Reading Workshop, teachers assess students’ ability to remember high-frequency words by asking students to point to high-frequency words on a page in the Student Interactive workbook as teachers say them. Students then say the words with teachers and “identify the words in sentences and underline the high-frequency words in the sentences.” Then, students read the sentences with a partner. Later after reading the decodable story, teachers ask students to identify high-frequency words from the story.
Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities, as indicated by the program scope and sequence, that genuinely measure student progress. The materials support teachers with guidance and directions to respond to individual students’ literacy needs. The materials include assessment opportunities to assess student understanding of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonetic knowledge, and reading fluency.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide summative assessments, “Progress Check Ups,” and small-group guides, through which the teacher is able to address individual students’ literacy needs. These assessments embody balanced literacy. For example, within the Progress Check Up, students are assessed on high-frequency words, phonics, listening comprehension, and writing throughout each week of each unit. The Progress Check Up lists provided are separated by sections, depth-of-knowledge levels, focus/skills (i.e. high-frequency words, plot, consonant digraphs), and remediation opportunities. In addition, phonological awareness and print concepts are assessed through the letter recognition summative assessments that are provided in the “Summative Assessment Booklet.” The materials provide teachers with a script and a sample on how to assess each student as well as a print concept checklist that the teacher can use to track if the student grasped the concept or not. A baseline assessment item analysis chart and how to interpret the results are provided so that the teacher can know what focus/skills are assessed and the TEKS that correlate. Unit, mid-year, and end-of-year assessments item analysis charts are provided to give the teacher “myFocus Remediation” opportunities, which list lessons on how the teacher can intervene. The “myFocus Intervention Guide” provides lessons “that cover the spectrum of students’ intervention needs, from foundational skills to reading literature, reading informational text, writing, and language.”
Formative assessments in the daily routines of the “Teacher Edition” include the following: “Quick Check,” “Assess and Differentiate,” “Assess Prior Knowledge,” “Assess Understanding,” “Observational Assessments,” “Conferencing Checklists,” and “Rubrics.” An example of a “Reading Conferencing Checklist” for a student has these categories: “Sets own purpose for reading”; “Predicts and asks questions”; “Retells/summarizes”; “Reads fluently”; “Understands key ideas”; “Uses decoding strategies”; “Makes text connections”; “Other.” A summative assessment section titled “Comprehension Check” in the Teacher Edition is found at the end of each week’s lesson and consists of tasks and writing activities for teachers to check students’ understanding of the text selection for that week.
In Unit 1, teachers assess print concepts when students identify each part of a book by holding up the “Student Interactive” workbook and show the parts to the teacher. Later in the unit, after a mini-lesson to model the parts of a book, students complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook to match the words that describe the parts of a book (front cover, back cover, title page) with pictures. Later in the unit, students complete another page in the Student Interactive to identify the title page, front cover, and back cover of a book pictured. In “Reading Workshop,” after instruction on reading and writing the letter Cc, students complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook in which they match a picture with the parts of a word and then write the letter c in the blank before the word parts; teachers assess each student’s ability in order to later provide intervention or extensions. For example, teachers ask students who can work independently to write the letter c on an index card and then practice saying words shown on picture cards and holding up the index cards if the words begin with the /k/ sound. While students are working, teachers “Notice and Assess,” and the materials guide them to address gaps in understanding or provide extension during small-group instruction. Online resources provide guidance for teachers to implement the interventions or extensions.
In Unit 4, phonological awareness lessons include the sounds of short /u/ and long /u/. Teachers model and students practice that sound on the first day in a whole-group mini-lesson. Teachers continue to teach the sound and also notice how many words there are in a sentence; through small-group lessons, teachers notice which students are struggling and which students can extend the lesson in their independent work. In “Writing Workshop,” students write independently, and teachers assess students’ ability to correctly use punctuation marks, action verbs, and pronouns. The materials provide guidance for teachers to provide additional support or extend learning for students who demonstrate understanding. For example, teachers “read a text from the mentor stack and ask students to identify the punctuation mark in sentences or ask students how a sentence would be different if a punctuation mark was changed.”
Materials provide planning and learning opportunities (including extensions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills above that expected at the grade level. Resources include a “Leveled Readers Library” with leveled books according to students’ instructional level, suggested activities for small-group instruction, and independent extensions.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, “Reading Workshop,” after a mini-lesson to introduce the unit’s genre (realistic fiction), students who are reading independently read realistic fiction texts and place sticky notes on the pages that “tell about the problem and resolution in the text.” During small-group instruction, independent readers “reread or listen to a previously read realistic fiction book, reread or listen to a previously read reader, or read the book club text.” Literacy activities for students who demonstrate above-grade-level literacy skills include: “complete a graphic organizer found in the Student Interactive, play a game available in the Accessible Student Home Page in the online resources, or choose a passage from the text and, with a partner, take turns reading the passage with appropriate expression.”
In a Unit 2 “Formative Assessment Quick Check,” teachers decide whether or not students can connect texts with their own lives, and, if they can, they extend the instruction for “making a comparison to texts” in small-group instruction in the “Teacher Edition.”
In Unit 5’s “Project-Based Inquiry” section, after researching the weather and seasons in order to select their favorite, students draw/write to support their opinion about their favorite season. As part of the project, students write a persuasive song. As an extension activity, teachers “invite students to write or draw what they already know about weather and the different seasons.” During the “Conduct Research” section, after a lesson on researching online about a topic and working with a partner to come up with questions about their favorite weather or season, students who “easily discuss inquiry questions” can “write their questions on a sheet of paper.” As an extension to the research activities, “if students easily draw and tell their opinions,” the teacher can have them “review their notes on their weather topics and choose another fact to draw to support their opinion.”
Materials provide planning and learning opportunities (including interventions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected at the grade level. Resources include a “Leveled Readers Library” with leveled books according to students’ instructional level, suggested activities for small-group instruction, and various intervention activities that can be done throughout the units.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In the “Front Matter,” “Component Array,” there are two resources for supporting students with literacy skills below that expected at the grade level. Those resources are the “myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide” and “myFocus Reader Online Teacher Support.” The Component Array also includes “Formative Assessment” and “Progress Check-In” guides to identify, verify, and monitor grade-level proficiency and learning gaps.
After a “Shared Read” in Unit 1, a mini-lesson supports students’ understanding of characters in fiction. In the call-out “Quick Check” box, the “Teacher Edition” suggests teachers use the lesson from the “Small-Group Guide” to help struggling students understand describing characters.
In Unit 2, “Reading Workshop,” the teacher provides additional activities for phonological awareness for students performing below grade level. For example, for more support for the short /o/, the teacher first presents the word orally while displaying the letter card. The teacher associates it orally with other words containing the same letter. For those students needing intervention, the teacher again presents the short /o/, this time in a brief text with rhyming short /o/ words in which the letter is marked. Various similar short /o/ words are highlighted in the passage, words both rhyming and with final letter substitution, such as hot, pot, cod, and pop. Later in Unit 2, in “Foundational Skills,” the teacher provides a Quick Check formative assessment, which uses the lesson for reading and writing words with the letter Hh in the Small-Group Guide. Intervention supports for the decodable readers Tom and Ron and Lots of Cats are provided and tied to the Unit 2 lesson. Specific guidance for teachers includes decoding, high-frequency words, options for reading, and bridging decoding and comprehension.
In Unit 3, “Writing Workshop,” teachers present a mini-lesson to students based on their writing levels. For students who need assistance, teachers model writing sentences, adding periods at the end. During “Writing Conferences,” teachers use if-then prompts to guide students. One example of a prompt is, “If students need additional support, then tell them to read their stories aloud. Point out places they pause and tell them a period goes there.”
In Unit 5, “Project-Based Inquiry,” after having researched weather and seasons in order to select their favorite weather season, students draw/write to support their opinion about their favorite season. As part of the project, students write a persuasive song; they extend this project by drawing (on or below level) more about it. Scaffolding assists the students as they work to complete the grade-level project. Differentiation provides inquiry-statement sentence frames for struggling students. Students are given the primary statement and only have to insert the key word, such as “This word describes the weather I like:….” These students can also draw about something they are interested in learning; then, the teacher can assist the student in framing the idea for the question.
Materials include supports, such as scaffolding questions, background information, visuals, and vocabulary enhancements, for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations; materials provide high-quality instruction to teachers to better assist ELs with vocabulary and language support. Materials include accommodations that are commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the ELPS.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide guidance, activities, and resources for teachers to provide targeted support for ELs, which can be found in various sections throughout the materials. Throughout the “Reading Workshop,” there is a box labeled “ELL” (English Language Learner) “Targeted Support.” This section contains instructions for supporting ELs at the “Beginner,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced” and “Advanced High” levels, as well as ELPS alignment denoting which specific ELPS the strategies are aligned to. The “Reading-Writing Bridge” also contains the ELL Targeted Support section. The “Language Awareness Handbook” is designed to provide “integrated reading and writing support in whole- and small-group instruction during Reading or Writing Workshop.” The materials also provide online resources found in the “Accessible Student Home Page,” such as “Professional Development Resources” and a “Dual-Language Program Planning and Implementation” guide, which assist dual-language teachers in developing and implementing English Language Arts instruction in both English and Spanish. The “Dual-Language Program Planning Guide” (DLPPG) provides planning and pacing tools for Language Arts and Reading instruction in English and Spanish with an aim for biliteracy and “complete standards coverage of literacy standards in both languages.”
In Unit 2, Reading Workshop, during the “Shared Read” lesson, targeted EL support is provided to the teacher. Apart from the whole-class lesson, the materials provide guidance for teachers to present specific content vocabulary that is needed for the selection Animals on the Move and is new for ELs. The teacher guidance provided suggests that Beginner ELs repeat each new word—butterflies, geese, whales—after the teacher models clearly. The teacher makes movements for each animal to help students remember the meanings of the words. Students repeat the name of the animal associated with the action it does (i.e., “whales swim”). Intermediate ELs reinforce their knowledge by reviewing words and answering questions about each word. Advanced ELs practice the new vocabulary in context, using sentence frames to assist them: “Butterflies are….” Advanced High ELs extend the activity with comparison, using grade-level content-area vocabulary to internalize new words: “A butterfly is more…than a….”
In Unit 3, an additional resource, the Language Awareness Handbook, provides a scaffolded lesson tied to the shared-read text How Anansi Got His Stories; it includes a phonics review of the letter x in the final position; a reread of the read-aloud, with a stop after each paragraph to talk about characters, setting, and events; and a sentence frame for summarizing the lesson in the story. As students read the main selection, they refer to routines called “Classroom Academic Talk Sentence Frames” and “Speak in a Group” as ways to support understanding. There are also supports for vocabulary, spelling, and language conventions that are part of that week’s lesson. As students prepare to write a story with a plot during the week, the “Sequence” activity is referred to as a means to scaffold instruction.
Additionally, in Unit 3, in the Reading-Writing Workshop Bridge “Language and Conventions” section, teachers support ELs’ understanding of the correct use of prepositions using a reusable bag and a book. Teachers “model using a preposition to describe where the book is: ‘The book is in the bag.’” For Beginner ELs, the teacher repeats the sentence and then asks students to repeat the sentence. Teachers and students continue to practice using prepositions with other objects and prepositions. For Intermediate ELs, the teacher “writes sentences on the board such as ‘The book is in the bag’ and ‘The chair is by the desk’ and asks students to circle the prepositions.” For Advanced ELs, teachers “leave out the preposition and have students write them in.” Advanced and Advanced High ELs “use objects to act out the prepositions and then use them in oral sentences.”
In Unit 5, “Writing Workshop,” during a mini-lesson exploring the use of introductions and conclusions in writing, teachers support ELs by “working one on one with students to help them compose an introduction and a conclusion.” For Beginning ELs, teachers transcribe their words and read them aloud. Intermediate ELs recall what the topic is about and then work with the teacher to say the introduction, then write it. Students and teachers repeat this process for the conclusion. Advanced ELs create an oral draft of their introduction and conclusion prior to writing it and Advanced High ELs identify details they would like to include in their introduction and conclusion.
Throughout all units, prior to reading selections, the text provides EL scaffolds, such as short summaries to learn key elements for comprehending the story; teachers also work with scaffolding vocabulary, such as pointing out cognates to connect known vocabulary to new vocabulary through transfer. Also, students have opportunities to focus on new vocabulary that is key to understanding the text. The digital resources available for all students from this publication include, but are not limited to, audio recordings for all main selections and assessments, sound-spelling cards, picture cards for vocabulary, videos to introduce the unit, video learning games for sounds, and audio recordings for leveled readers.
Materials include assessment and guidance for teachers and administrators to monitor progress, including how to interpret and act on data yielded. Formative and summative assessments are aligned in purpose, intended use, and TEKS emphasis. Assessments are connected to the regular content to support student learning, and scoring information provides sufficient guidance for interpreting and responding to student performance.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials include baseline tests to determine the level of proficiency in concepts of print, letter recognition, listening comprehension, and phonological awareness. Each unit consists of a unit test to monitor skills and standards taught in the unit; skills and standards include high-frequency words, listening comprehension, phonics, phonological awareness, and writing. A middle-of-the-year test monitors skills and standards taught through Unit 3. The end-of-the-year test provides a final progress update for these same skills and standards. The data-driven assessment guide provides guidance, strategies, and tools for all types of literacy assessment. Teachers can also use the “Pearson Realize–Online Assessment” to prepare customized digital assessments by material, skills, and standards. The Student/Class/District “Data and Reports” section gathers and tracks usage and growth for on-grade-level knowledge and skills, based on TEKS.
In the first chapter of the “Assessment Guide” handbook or in “myView,” the guide suggests that there are three different types of assessment available to teachers: “Within the myView Assessment program, there are assessments from three different categories, each with a focus on gathering different types of information.” The handbook provides student and class progress monitoring charts, an overview of assessed items each week with TEKS correlation, teacher scripts for each assessment, and reproducible copies of each weekly assessment. The online version is editable and could be used to create digital reports for students, class, and district data. The Assessment Guide explains how to collect data from assessments in the program, where assessment tools are located within the program, and how to make instructional decisions based on the data gathered. Additional chapter headings in Part One include “Building Blocks of Literacy,” “Benchmark Assessment and Instructional Grouping,” “Ongoing Assessment, Assessing Writing,” “Project-Based Inquiry and Other Performance Assessments,” and “Guide To Conferring.” The Assessment Guide has four parts and provides tools and tables, support for English Learners, support for conferring with families, test preparation guidance, and teacher reflection.
In the Unit 1 “Reading Workshop,” students participate in a mini-lesson where they work with the teacher to use pictures and text to understand characters. The lesson and practice are followed by a formative assessment option and a “Quick Check.” In the first option, students write the names of the characters by finding them in the text and writing them in the “Student Interactive” workbook practice page. The second option allows them to use an independent text wherein they do the same—finding the character name and then drawing a picture of this character. This is followed up with a Quick Check where the teacher assesses whether the students can find the main characters in the story. These assessments are coordinated directly with the lesson focus of this section.
In Unit 2, there are formative assessment options that assess the learning goal/objective of the lesson. Quick Checks notice and assess student learning based on questions to demonstrate understanding. The learning goal in this mini-lesson is about reading informational text and one of the assessments asks students to draw a picture depicting the main idea of the text.
In Unit 3, “Reading-Writing Bridge,” students complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook to demonstrate an understanding of academic vocabulary. Students circle a vocabulary word to complete a sentence after the teacher reads the word aloud and then discusses the meaning of each vocabulary word.
In Unit 4, a narrative nonfiction mini-lesson is accompanied by the formative assessment routine with two options. In Option 1, students “Turn, Talk, and Share” about the timeline in their Student Interactive workbook with a partner and the class. In Option 2, students use their independent biography texts to draw pictures of sequential events. The teacher also uses the Quick Check routine at this time to monitor student understanding of the genre. Materials also offer a specific small-group lesson about narrative nonfiction for students who struggle and provide a different lesson to extend understanding for students who grasp the concept.
In Unit 5, at the conclusion of the Reading Workshop, teachers check for understanding of two texts from the unit, Blizzard Action Plan and Tornado Action Plan, using a page from the Student Interactive workbook. Students respond to questions such as “What are these texts mostly about?” “Why does the author use numbers in the text?” and “Why do you think it’s important to pack a flashlight?" The materials label these questions as demonstrations of knowledge and as aligned with the TEKS; students use text evidence to support an appropriate response.
The materials include year-long plans and supports for teachers to identify the needs of students, engage students in multiple structures, and provide differentiated instruction to ensure grade-level success by meeting the needs of a range of learners. The “Teacher Edition” and ancillary materials provide overarching year-long support for differentiation, student engagement, and implementation of material.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide five comprehensive unit plans with six weeks of instruction, which include differentiation for students demonstrating proficiency above and below grade level along with annotated support for English Learners at four ELPS levels. The units are based on a theme within which skills are presented and practiced at continuing levels of complexity. Additionally, some skills build upon others as needed. Thematic practice of knowledge and skill culminates within each unit with a project based on the activities and material completed. This continues through all five units of material.
A “Small-Group Guide” teacher handbook provides rationale, discussion of issues, and implementation instructions for creating multiple grouping structures throughout the year. This document includes online support and covers these five topics: “Small Groups in myView,” “Forming and Organizing Groups,” “Managing Small Groups,” “Small Groups in Action,” and “Independent and Collaborative Work in Action.” The Small-Group Guide is referenced weekly in the Teacher Edition to support teachers as they provide differentiated instruction in this portion of the instructional model.
Sections in the Teacher Edition are color coded, and a “Quick Start” guide explains how the resources are designed and implemented. The “Small-Group Instruction” section found within each unit includes support for “Guided Reading,” “Strategy Groups,” “Intervention,” “On-Level and Advanced Activities,” “ELL” (English Language Learner) “Targeted Support,” “Conferring,” “Fluency,” and “Independent and Partner Activities.” Prior to small-group instruction, teachers refer to the “Assess and Differentiate” section for guidance in intervention and extension opportunities. The section includes sub-sections titled “Strategy Group,” “Intervention Activity,” “On-Level,” and “Advanced.” Ancillary materials and support are directly related to each unit’s theme and content taught during the unit. The materials include an online downloadable teacher’s guide for intervention, which can be accessed through the “Accessible Student Home Page.” The guide “is designed to help teachers target and address students’ intervention needs, whether students require minor or intensive remediation.”
In Unit 1, “Foundational Skills,” a section titled “Foundational Skills Extension” provides support and guidance for teachers to use while reading a text later in the week (Days 2 and 3). During the extension activity, teachers “remind students that the letter a can make the a sound in the middle of a word.” Students find two words in the text that have the /a/ sound. Teachers also assist students with identifying words with the /a/ sound. Teachers model, and students practice recognizing, pronouncing, and writing the letter Aa. Later, teachers model and students practice reading and writing words with Aa. Through small-group instruction, the materials provide guidance and support for addressing students’ level of understanding (i.e., “if students struggle” or “if students show understanding”).
In Unit 2, the materials introduce ways to support students as they improve their vocabulary skills. According to the Teacher Edition, teachers create a “Word Wall” to display and generate new vocabulary. Also provided is a “Targeted Support” area to assist students at all levels as they learn new vocabulary.
In Unit 3, “Reading Workshop: Word Work,” the materials provide support for teachers to engage students in the materials and differentiate learning opportunities for “Beginning,” “Intermediate,” and “Advanced/Advanced High” learners. Alphabet cards assist students with identifying syllables. After a mini-lesson discussing features of a poem, teachers use an anchor chart from the materials or create their own to identify rhyming words and examples of rhythm. When reading new poems, teachers add examples to the anchor chart and model poem features. As students attempt to identify features of a poem, the teacher can utilize the “Assess and Differentiate” section to provide support for students who struggle and extensions for students who are proficient.
In Unit 4, “Reading-Writing Bridge,” teachers are provided a differentiated group structure to best support student learning. Students practice writing words with the short /u/ sound; teachers model listening for the sounds in words; then, students attempt to spell the words. Teachers explain the CVC spelling pattern and demonstrate using CVC words; then, students practice on a “Spelling” page found in the “Downloadable Resource Center.” Later, teachers review the CVC spelling pattern rule, and students work with a partner to continue spelling CVC words. In addition, a small-group mini-lesson on facts in narrative nonfiction has students reread the shared-read text with the teacher to identify facts on particular pages. Students who struggle to understand use the lesson from the “myFocus Teacher’s Intervention Guide” to identify facts in a less complex nonfiction text. English Learner targeted support is also provided in the “Language Awareness Handbook” for the same lesson. On-level and advanced students independently conduct research on narrative nonfiction throughout the week, utilizing the anchor chart from the shared-read text when necessary.
In Unit 5, students explore the theme of weather. Students read texts and answer questions during one week; the next set of texts and questions builds upon and connects to previous learning in order to explore further. The knowledge learned in one area provides students with what they need in order to go deeper into the next. Week 1 opens with questions about how people have learned to live in bad weather. Week 2 follows with what helps plants live in hot climates. Week 3 questions how to describe weather; to fully answer and address this question, students must understand and integrate related topical language. Week 4 returns to explore bad weather topics related to tornado and blizzard action plans; this question builds on descriptions of weather and asks students to apply knowledge to an action plan. Week 5 addresses rain and how it can help the world, building on previous weather content and reading. Week 6 allows the students to draw upon all the content they have learned to produce and perform a song or poem in a project-based learning project, “The Best Weather.” The “Project-Based Inquiry” culminating assignment comes with two differentiation options. Students who need intervention are given an opportunity to practice academic vocabulary with their teacher to further their understanding prior to starting. Students who are ready to extend their understanding are asked to draw a picture related to the topic and share their drawings with a partner using the academic language of the unit.
The materials include a TEKS-aligned scope and sequence that outlines important details about the program. Additionally, there are many supports to help teachers implement the materials as intended as well as additional supports to help administrators support teachers in this implementation. There is a school year’s worth of literacy instruction, with realistic pacing and routines for a 180-day schedule.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Teacher Edition” contains a TEKS correlation section that includes the unit(s) where specific TEKS are taught, both in the printed materials and online resources. Each unit has a “Planners” section, which contains a scope and sequence for the unit and provides an explanation of content taught each week. This section also lists what standards are covered and where they are found in the unit.
The “Accessible Student Home Page” contains online resources for teachers to implement the program. Online resources include a guide to accessing and using both the print and online resources. This resource includes a program overview, program components, a video guide to access the printed and online resources, and guides for providing interventions and supporting English Learners. Online resources also include all resources mentioned in the Teacher Edition: a “Leveled Reader Library,” decodable texts, “Book Club” trade books, interactive games, a “Dual Language Implementation Guide,” and small-group and intervention guides.
The “Scope and Sequence” in the Teacher Edition provides an overview of program components and the reading and writing skills taught in each unit. Sections include foundational literacy skills (i.e., print concepts and phonological awareness) and reading comprehension topics such as genre characteristics and text analysis.
The Teacher Edition includes a daily plan and a literacy instructional model for teachers to follow. At the beginning of the “Reading Workshop,” there is a small-group instructional model that includes the student and teacher actions. During subsequent weeks of study, the materials provide a weekly focus, weekly plan, and objectives. The “Introduction” into the “Writing Workshop” provides teachers specific resources so they can understand all materials relevant to instruction. Within the Writing Workshop, there is an outline of the instructional resources, so teachers can provide support to students. At the beginning of each unit, there are sections titled “Unit of Study,” “Unit Overview,” “Skills Overview,” and “Unit at a Glance: Workshop Overview.”
The materials include an overview of the Leveled Readers Library. Within this section, there is a sub-section for teaching support. A teacher’s guide explains guided reading, differentiation, guided writing, and suggested plans for the Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop. For support, each unit begins with a weekly overview that includes daily plans, steps to getting students to write independently, mini-lesson support for the teacher, a week-at-a-glance, and a suggested weekly plan.
The “Front Matter” of the Teacher Edition includes information to orient teachers to the materials: “Component Array,” “Instructional Models,” “Assessment,” “Writing Workshop,” “Letter Recognition,” and “Content.” In the Content section, there are two pages devoted to the “Quick Start Guide,” reminding teachers that they can navigate the materials using the color coding system for the different “Instructional Components,” a “Weeks 1–5 Overview,” a “Week 6 Overview,” and a “Planning and Pacing Overview,” with features of the “Workshop Overview” and the “Weekly Plan” detailed. There is also a section called “Additional Supports,” which reminds teachers that they will regularly see references in the Teacher Edition to other support components found in print or online, including the “Small-Group Guide,” the “Language Awareness Handbook,” the “Assessment Guide,” the “myFocus Intervention Guide,” and the “Leveled Reading Lesson Plans.” The Assessment Guide, specifically, can be used by administrators and teachers to analyze and synthesize data to drive instructional decisions and deliver the materials of the program as intended.
The “End Matter” of the Teacher Edition and “myView Literacy Digital Resources” include a “Scope and Sequence Chart,” providing an outline of knowledge and skills taught in the program and the grade levels in which they are taught. The Scope and Sequence Chart is organized by the materials’ instructional model, including color coding for Reading Workshop (“Foundational Skills, Reading Comprehension”), “Reading-Writing Workshop Bridge” (“Vocabulary Acquisition, Analyze Author’s Craft, Develop Writer’s Craft, Conventions of Language”), Writing Workshop (“Foundational Skills for Writing, Composition”), Oral Language (“Speaking, Listening”), Project-Based Inquiry (“Collaboration, Research Skills and Process, Test Preparation”).
The myView Literacy Digital Resources include a comprehensive introductory system called “Getting Started,” which includes both video and print materials in the following categories: “Program Overview,” “How-To,” and “Planning Resources.” Program Overview, alone, has these titles: “Program Over, Program Components, Digital Resources, Digital Walkthrough Realize (Online Platform), Digital Walkthrough Realize Student (Online Student Edition), and ELL [English Language Learner] Support.” Other important documents for the program available in this section include but are not limited to the following: “TEKS Correlation Charts, ELPS Corrections Charts, Text Complexity Charts, Using Examview, Customizing myView Literacy, and Google Classroom Integration.”
Additionally, there are administrator-specific resources in the myView Digital Resources, including on-demand training, live webinars, and live chats with educational specialists. Through “Pearson Realize,” administrators can customize and differentiate their dashboard, focusing on teacher support. Among other things, these options allow educators to view standards mastery and usage across classroom, create teacher PD and training plans, and streamline school data analysis.
The visual design of the “Student Edition” (whether in print or digital) is neither distracting nor chaotic. The materials include appropriate use of white space and design that supports student learning without distraction. Pictures and graphics are supportive of student learning and engagement without being visually distracting.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials use pictures (illustrations; drawings; and pictures of real objects, people and environments) and graphics such as charts to support student learning and engagement. Most unit images are colorful, do not contain text, and are not distracting. Images do not crowd the page and are familiar to young children. Graphic organizers and words on practice pages support student learning, and spacing is adequate, including an appropriate use of white space.
The decodable readers and trade books are simple and clear with no noted distractions. The “Student Interactive” downloadable practice pages provide clear handwriting lines with enough space for students to respond to the required task.
Each unit in the Student Interactive workbook has a reading log at the beginning, which contains a chart with rows and columns titled “Date,” “Book,” “Pages Read,” and “My Ratings.” “Happy” (smiling face), “Okay” (straight face), and “Sad” (unhappy face) title each row for students to rate books they are reading.
In the leveled reader A House for a Mouse, the opening pages include the title page on the right side of the screen and a “Before You Read” page on the left side. The Before You Read page includes a video link at the top for a video to build student knowledge. The 52-second video uses pictures and vocabulary from the book and introduces the rhyming pattern in house and mouse. The left side also introduces vocabulary, including I, love, and my. Also on the page are the theme, word count, and text level. Each section is divided by a blue line and is easy to recognize. The actual book uses the mouse character on each page and a repeating phrase (“I love my...”) below the illustration. There is white space around three sides of the screen.
In Unit 1, there are lines and white space for students to write the consonant Tt. While practicing phonics, students have enough space to trace letters and circle letters (Mm, Tt) throughout the unit.
In Unit 2, in the Student Interactive workbook, the “Foundational Skills” section contains simple words providing directions (i.e., circle/underline), simple lines for students to practice writing letters with a simple direction (circle), and pictures spaced appropriately on the page.
In Unit 3, in the Student Interactive workbook, the shared-read selection includes illustrations that match the text. The print is at the bottom of each page. There are two pages that have a close-read instruction box on the top that does not distract from the illustration. These boxes appear routinely in selections in the Student Interactive workbook.
The materials color code activities for easy identification. For example, in a practice page for “Comprehension, Check For Understanding,” in Unit 3, the Student Interactive workbook “Reading Workshop” coding color green is a band across the top of the page with the words Comprehension and Reading Workshop embedded in it for identification. Three questions are printed in black print, with a blank sentence strip line in blue and red underneath each for students to write in. The second question has a red icon of the state of Texas, with stars floating around it, beside the number 2 to indicate that this is a question tied to TEKS/SEs, which are noted in miniature at the bottom of the page. The directions, also printed at the bottom of the page, suggest that the teacher will read the questions aloud to the students: “Read aloud each question and encourage students to write their responses. Remind them to use text evidence.” There are no illustrations on the page. There are no other distractions, and there is ample white space on the page. Additionally, a “Picture Card” in digital resources contains a picture showing a man’s torso and chest on one side of the card, and the word “man” in black print on the opposite. The man is dressed in a white shirt and tie, has a beard, and his arms are folded across his chest. There are no other images on the card, except that the picture is banded by blue on the top and the bottom of the card, tied to the “Reading-Writing Bridge Workshop” color blue.
In Unit 5, “Writing Workshop,” the materials provide enough white space within a graphic organizer for students to draw or write to organize their thoughts about nonfiction texts. On the following pages, titled “Graphics,” the materials provide students with a full page to draw and trace to demonstrate how authors use graphics to add details. The graphic supports students learning about how authors use graphics to add details.
The materials include online resources that support and enhance student learning with appropriate teacher guidance. The “Accessible Student Resources” section has age-appropriate navigation options and interface for early learners.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Pearson Realize Teacher Digital Resources” include a wide range of online supports for teachers to guide student learning, such as “Getting Started with myView”; customizable and flexible content arrangement from the “Teacher Edition”; customizable assignments for the whole group, small groups, and intervention groups; and “Examview.”
Accessible on any device, the Accessible Student Resources section includes the “Student Edition Selection,” which provides audio versions of all readings and texts found in each unit, including decodable texts and Student Edition PDFs.
Each unit has “Unit Launch Videos,” videos used along with the Teacher Edition to introduce each unit. Online reading selections also have introductory videos to build content and topic knowledge with which students may not be familiar. Students are also able to access videos for their project-based inquiry assignments.
Student resources also include “Word Work Phonic Practice” (PDF, printable blank practice sheets to extend phonics instruction from each unit), “High-Frequency Word Practice” (PDF, printable practice sheets to extend high-frequency word instruction from each unit), “Spelling Practice,” and “Speaking and Listening Practice” (to assist teachers as they guide students’ collaborative conversations). These practice sheets detail whole-class, small-group, and paired discussion.
Student resources also include “School to Home Connection” and “Reading Spot.” School to Home Connection grants students access to digital assignments and games for off-campus use, while Reading Spot grants students access to a collection of “thousands” of digital books.
Read the Full Report for Professional Learning Opportunities
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Read the Full Report for Additional Language Supports
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