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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. English Language Arts and Reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
TEKS Student %
TEKS Teacher %
ELPS Student %
ELPS Teacher %
Section 2. Texts
Section 3. Literacy Practices and Text Interactions
Section 4. Developing and Sustaining Foundational Literacy Skills
Section 5. Supports for All Learners
Section 6. Implementation
Section 7. Additional Information
|Grade||TEKS Student %||TEKS Teacher %||ELPS Student %||ELPS Teacher %|
The materials include high-quality texts that can be used for effective instruction. The texts range in genre and interest to appeal to many students and include increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include many well-crafted and high-quality texts by published authors and experts in various disciplines. The materials include a diverse collection of texts that includes books written by authors who are representative of the stories that are written. Examples of this are included throughout the different modules.
In Module 2, some of the high-quality texts include an adventure/fantasy text, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, a fictional text that is written containing journal entries, as well as switching between the past and the present, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a well-known classic that is written in simple language for students to grasp the understanding of the various story elements, a book of poetry, and The Poem That Will Not End by Joan Bransfield Graham, which exposes students to many different forms of poetry. This module also includes a play, The Miracle of Spring, that was written specifically for the materials.
The materials provide a variety of texts that are well-crafted and represent the quality of content, language, and writing that is produced by experts in various disciplines. These include authors such as Susan Slade, Pablo Bernasconi, and Catherine Thimmesh, who wrote Girls Think of Everything, the Focal Text, which tells of girls and women who have made our lives better by inventing things such as the chocolate chip cookie. Module 4 includes Explore the Wild West! by Anita Yasuda, an informational text in which the storyline, vivid pictures, and rich language of the time period give readers a glimpse into the history of the expansion of America. Module 6 includes high-quality informational texts, such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, which tells the reader about two artists and their artwork using content-specific language; a biography of Rita Moreno taken from Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, in which students learn about Rita’s life, struggles, and triumphs as a performer; a fictionalized biography, Play, Louis, Play! The True Story of a Boy and His Horn by Muriel Harris Weinstein, which uses lots of figurative language to tell the story of Louis Armstrong’s life; and the writing focal text, Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier, a relatable children’s picture book about making a mistake in school in regards to vocabulary words.
The texts also include vivid pictures, academic language, and content that relates to the current unit of study for grade 5. For example, “Module 7: Above, Below, and Beyond” includes various texts such as A Few Who Dared, Great Discoveries and Amazing Adventures, The U.S. Constitution, and Why Is the Statue of Liberty Green? The U.S. Constitution includes colorful pictures of the founding fathers, the Constitution, and other symbolic representations of the time period and event. Also, Preamble, delegate, and posterity are used in the reading material along with other rich language related to the topic, providing students with a full understanding of how and why the Constitution was written.
The materials also include increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts as students progress through each module. Module 8 includes A Movie in My Pillow by Jorge Argueta, a collection of poetry written to tell the story of the poet’s life when he moved to America. Spanish phrases are included within the text. From Scratch by Susie Castellano is a realistic fiction story about the main character’s struggle to fit into American culture after she immigrated from India. Hindi phrases are included within the text. Elisa’s Diary by Doris Luisa Oronoz is a realistic fiction story based on the author’s life experiences of transitioning to America from Puerto Rico. The program incorporates Rigby leveled readers focused on both realistic fiction and nonfiction texts, such as They Fought for Justice by Jill McDouglas, which features six individuals, including Martin L. King, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela, who changed lives for millions by fighting for a cause they believed in. Dust Bowl Survivors by Pattie Tinble, a nonfiction text that describes the hard times experienced by farmers and businessmen of the Great Plains in 1920. Lexile levels range from 540L to 1120L, providing for the complexity of texts throughout the year.
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content, including both literary and nonfiction/informational texts that are appropriate for this grade level. They also include opportunities for students to analyze the use of print and graphic features of a variety of texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content that meet the requirements of the TEKS outlined for grade 5. Examples of literary and fiction texts that meet the included genres of informational and argumentative text for grade 5 per TEKS 5.9.D and 5.9.E, as well as other genres of folktales, fables, legends, myths, and tall tales for grade 5 per TEK 5.9.A., include:
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content that meet the requirements of the TEKS. The materials include informational texts outlined for grade 5, such as informational text, narrative nonfiction, and persuasive text.
Furthermore, the materials include a variety of print and graphic features that span across content and meet the requirements of the grade 5 TEKS. For example, the materials include informational texts, such as Explore the Wild West! by Anita Yasuda that features a map, insets, sidebars, headings, and vivid illustrations of the 1800s in the “Wild West,” and Mass Production and the Model T by Meish Goldish that includes photographs of the car, illustrations, captions, headings, and bold words. Other examples include Extreme Environments by Deborah Underwood, which includes bold and bright illustrations and photographs of various environments, such as the North and South Poles, and animals specific to the ecosystem, such as Toucans and scorpions. Also, the materials include leveled argumentative texts, such as The Amazon Rainforest by Mike Graf, that feature chapters, maps, headings, sidebars, real photographs, and captions to explain why the reader should help the rainforest.
The materials have text-complexity analysis provided by the publisher and are at the appropriate quantitative level and qualitative features for the grade level.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The texts have a text-complexity analysis from the publisher. At the beginning of each module, the “Teacher’s Guide” for each week includes two pages titled “Preview Lesson Texts.” This section provides information on “Guided Reading Level,” “Lexile Level,” and text complexity for the introductory read-aloud and shared-reading texts. Text complexity ratings include “simple, slightly complex, moderately complex, and very complex.” For example, in Module 2, one of the texts is an informational text, Many Ways to Tell a Story. The “Text Complexity” box lists the Lexile Measure for the text as 1060L. It then lists the overall rating as “slightly complex” and explains that “this text contains a clear organization of main ideas and details.” In Module 8, the collection of poems called A Movie in My Pillow by Jorge Argueta is rated as “moderately complex” and includes a description that states, “This text contains poetic structures that require some amount of cultural knowledge.”
The program includes leveled texts that are at the appropriate quantitative level and that include qualitative features for the grade level. Quantitative levels are in the “Rigby Leveled Reader Table of Contents” and the “Guided Principles and Strategies for Teaching and Learning” for each grade level, including Level and Lexile. It includes a “table as a reference for text complexity measures and build across the Grade 5 myBook texts” broken down by module. Qualitative features are in the Text Complexity measures of the Guided Principles and Strategies for Teaching and Learning. In addition, for each grade level, there are “Take and Teach Lessons” for each Rigby Leveled Reader. For example, Unit 5 includes the text The Good Garden with a Lexile level of 620 and a Guided Reading level of O. The qualitative features in this true story of Honduran farmers are a sequence of events and persuasive elements encouraging students to take action in their local community. There is In the Danger Zone, Level T, which has a Take and Teach Lesson that covers key ideas and details, text and graphic features, and text structure: cause/effect. There are “Guided Reading Coaching Cards” based on reading material level, including a plan, tips, and coaching for lessons and includes parts for the teachers and students. For example, for Level QRS, the students “comprehend increasingly complex nonfiction texts that feature challenging concepts and terminology,” and the teacher supports development by “modeling how to support opinions and interpretations using different types of text evidence.”
The materials include many activities and tasks that support students in building and integrating knowledge, ideas, themes, and connections within and across texts. There are module-long projects that accomplish this, as well as specific lessons that target these individual skills. Additionally, the materials contain questions and tasks that build conceptual knowledge, are text-dependent, and prompt students to synthesize new information.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials contain questions and tasks that build conceptual knowledge, are text-specific/dependent, target complex elements of the texts, and integrate multiple TEKS using read-aloud texts, independent reading texts, writing tasks, and “Inquiry and Research” projects. Each module includes an Inquiry and Research project. For example, in Module 2, students create a movie proposal focused on the different ways to tell stories. Throughout the unit, the teacher shares examples of movies that are based on books, such as The Secret Garden, one of the texts from the module. Students have a chance to propose their text selection for a film adaption in project groups. They use their experiences with texts from the module and their background knowledge of books and movies they have seen to make selections. Then they research, plan, and draft the movie proposal. Finally, they draft, revise, publish, and present their movie proposals. This project covers many TEKS and is relevant to the types of texts present in this module, such as a play, The Miracle of Spring, and the text The Secret Garden. The project is set up to last through all three weeks of the module.
Additionally, each module starts with an “Essential Question” that connects all learning in the unit and includes a connection to a specific academic content area. For example, Module 2 includes the Essential Question “How does genre affect the way a story is told?” and there is a language arts connection to “story elements.” Throughout this module, students learn the many different ways to tell a story. In Module 6, the Essential Question is “How do different art forms impact people in different ways?” and there is a social studies connection to “The Arts.” In this module, students read and learn about different forms of art.
Each unit has a “Knowledge Map” that helps students “Build a knowledge network.” Module 4 uses the Knowledge Map to organize the key ideas from the module. The Essential Question, “What character traits were needed in people who settled the West?” anchors students’ thinking throughout the module, and students refer back to the question and Knowledge Map after each text read. The “Tabletop Minilessons” include questions to “support the application of the concept.” Later in the module, during the Tabletop Minilesson for Reasons for Western Expansion, the lesson card provides instruction and differentiated practice for visualizing while reading. The teacher asks students, “What transition words do you primarily see? Are there other transition words used within the text?” and “What other clues does the author provide in headings or other text features that help you determine text structure?”
There are lessons specific to finding the central, or main, idea in a text. For example, in Module 6, the teacher reminds students that the central idea is “what a text or a portion of a text is mostly about” and that there are always details in the text to support a central idea. The teacher displays a central idea anchor chart, and students use the information to practice identifying central ideas and supporting details in selected sections of the text, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In Module 8, students use “Notice and Note Signposts” using the anchor charts and texts in the modules. Students use “Anchor Chart 42: Memory Moment” to read A Movie in My Pillow. As students are reading, they think about the signpost and “explain why they might use the memory moment strategy when reading page 171.” Students reflect on the Anchor Question, “Why might this memory be important?”
Throughout each module, several lessons are specific to big ideas, themes, and details. In Module 8, Lesson 3, “Theme,” students learn about identifying the theme within poetry. In the “Apply to Independent Reading” section of the lesson, students apply the learning from the lesson with an independent book and respond to questions such as “What is the theme of the story?” “How is it different from the main idea?” and “What details in the text helped you identify the theme?”
“Make and Confirm Predictions” focuses on before and during reading using the material within the story and reading strategies to make predictions. The “Ask and Answer Questions” section focuses on questions before, during, and after reading to make predictions, clarify concepts, and think deeply about the text. For example, Module 3 Ask and Answer questions include “What do you think this story will be about?” “What can you predict will happen next?” and “Can you confirm your prediction?” Also, there are paired texts within the modules that provide opportunities for students to make connections to the text and connect elements within the reading to the theme by answering questions. For example, in Module 3, students read Who Studies Natural Disasters and Eruption to build content knowledge and make connections by answering questions such as “How can learning about natural disasters make us safer?”
The materials include questions and tasks that support students’ analysis of the literary/textual elements of texts by asking students to evaluate, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the author’s purpose, compare and contrast purposes of the author’s writing, analyze the author’s choices, and study words and language of texts to support their understanding.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include opportunities to compare and contrast the stated or implied purposes of different authors’ writing on the same topic. For example, in the “Tabletop Minilesson: Make Connections,” students analyze the “Make Connections Anchor Chart” and understand that “Readers make text-to-text connections by recognizing how information in a text is the same or different from the information in another text.” The teacher supplies a new or familiar text and guides students to consider the following questions: “Does this story remind you of another story you have read? What was it? How are the two stories similar? How are they different?” Students are also prompted to “use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast with a text on the same topic” and “explain in their own words how reading this text gave them a deeper understanding of the topic.”
In Module 8, Lesson 10, “Figurative Language,” students learn about an author’s purpose for using figurative language. In the “Apply to Independent Reading” section of the lesson, students apply the learning from the lesson with an independent book and respond to questions like “What words or phrases describe something using the sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, or hearing? What does the figurative language make you feel or picture in your mind?”
The “Leveled Reader Take & Teach Lessons” provide opportunities for students to analyze the author's craft. For example, The B-Day Box has the question: “How does the author use language to create different moods in the story?” There is instruction for the teacher to guide students through questions that allow them to analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions based on the author’s purpose, such as “How does the author use the sleepover to grab readers’ attention?” There are also text evidence sentence starters for potential answers to the questions for additional guidance, such as “He might have appeared out of thin air for all I knew” and “If the spooky shadows....” Also, Module 3 includes an Author’s Craft lesson with an anchor chart and teacher instructions to teach the topic, such as explain the author’s choice of vivid verbs and then have students examine the author's word choice.
The materials analyze the author's choices and how they influence and communicate meaning (in single and across a variety of texts). In Module 4, Lesson 1, students study the author’s use of text structure. Students review “Anchor Chart 18: Text Structure” to learn how “authors use different text structures for different purposes,” including “comparison/contrast, sequential/logical order, cause/effect” and “problem/solution.” In the “Connect and Teach” portion of the lesson, the teacher explains how “identifying text structure can help them better understand an author’s purpose.” Students practice identifying the text structure and explain the author’s purpose for using the structure while reading Reasons for Westward Expansion. Also, the materials use “Notice and Note” anchor charts and directions written by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst to help students understand the author's reasons for writing a certain way.
The materials ask students to study the language within texts to support their understanding. In Module 4, the “Teaching Pal” directs teachers to “use the vocabulary routine and the Vocabulary Cards to introduce the Critical Vocabulary knowledge, posts, hardships, and patriotic.” Students interact with the Critical Vocabulary by answering questions and then making personal connections to each word.
The materials offer multiple opportunities for students to analyze the literary and textual elements of texts. For example, in Module 6, the teacher shows a text structure anchor chart and explains how language can help a reader determine the structure of a text. The teacher focuses on chronology and tells students that they practice identifying text structure in Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. During the close read, students look for transition and time words to find evidence of this text structure.
The materials provide opportunities for students to analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. For example, in Module 8, Lesson 3, students “identify and analyze the theme” of the collection of poems, “A Movie in My Pillow.” The teacher explains “that readers determine a theme in poetry by thinking carefully about the details in a line, a stanza, the whole poem, or sometimes a collection of poems,” and “that identifying themes will help them determine the author’s purpose or reason for creating the poem.”
There are more opportunities to analyze the author’s use of text structures in Module 10 with a close read of Can We Be Friends by Ellen R. Braaf. After the teacher reviews the types of text structures, students must identify the structure of the text as they read.
The materials include a year-long plan for building academic vocabulary, including ways to apply words in appropriate contexts. They also include scaffolds and supports for teachers to differentiate vocabulary development for all learners.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The program includes a year-long plan for building academic vocabulary. In each module, there is “Teaching with Instructional Routines: Vocabulary.” This routine explicitly teaches “the meaning of academic and topic-related words, provide examples and practice using words in context.” Each week includes specific vocabulary lessons related to the concept and theme and academic vocabulary, generative vocabulary, and vocabulary strategies. Teaching with Instructional Routines reminds the teachers of all the routines used throughout the lessons. The vocabulary routine is as follows: “1. The teacher says the target vocabulary word and has students repeat the word. 2. The teacher explains the meaning of the word using the student-friendly definition listed on the back of the vocabulary card provided by the materials. 3. The class discusses examples of the vocabulary word using the image on the front of the card and other real life examples.” These instructions are consistent throughout all vocabulary lessons throughout the entire year. The teacher introduces vocabulary during an earlier lesson each week, and vocabulary is reviewed several other times throughout the same week.
The materials provide scaffolds and supports for all learners and include a vocabulary routine that enables teachers to differentiate instruction. For example, there is a “Learning Mindset, Seeking Challenges” insert that guides teachers to model the way they approach unknown words when reading. “I’ve never seen this word before, I’m going to take my time and figure it out. I will look for word parts and read each part.”
There are Vocabulary Cards with each lesson. They offer visual and instructional support for the Critical Vocabulary Words in the modules. This resource features academic words with visual representations, student-friendly definitions for the words, its part of speech, sentences using the word in context, collaborative discussion prompts, and tasks for the students. An example of a task might be “to use the word eventually in a sentence and brainstorm other words that come to mind when you hear eventually.” The cards provide a scaffold for teachers to teach and develop vocabulary instruction for all learners.
Additionally, there is also a vocabulary center in the literacy centers section of each week’s lesson plans. One activity, “Super Six Words,” is used on specific lesson days. Students use a printable, Super Six Words, to make a list of vocabulary words from the vocabulary list and then select the six they think are most important or interesting. The students write a sentence for each word, and the teacher tells them they will revisit the list at the end of the week.
In Module 2, the vocabulary words for one week are mysterious, matted, tendrils, fastenings, and awakening. The materials include a list of Spanish cognates to support ELLs, such as mysterious - misterioso. Then the materials have the teacher introduce the vocabulary using the standard vocabulary routine. Afterward, the class has a discussion using the words that starts with the teacher asking questions such as “What types of fastenings would be helpful in a classroom?” There are more suggestions for follow-up questions to scaffold this learning below the scripted questions in the text, such as “How do matted stems and twisted tendrils make plants seem mysterious?” Following the discussion, students apply their knowledge by working independently, then have an opportunity to turn and talk about the vocabulary words and prompts. There are no additional scaffolds or differentiations for this part of the lesson. All of the other vocabulary lessons in all other modules follow the same format.
Vocabulary lessons also include “Teacher Tips” that support some differentiation. In Module 2, the Teacher Tip is for the teacher to show a video or photos of a garden in order to use the new vocabulary words they have learned to describe what they see.
In Module 8, within the “Academic Vocabulary: Introduce Critical Vocabulary,” teachers use the three-step gradual release model: Introduce the Words, Guided Practice, and Apply. Lesson 6 includes the following words from the text, From Scratch: reluctantly, reserve, casual, and nudged. The teacher is to “Have students discuss if they do their homework reluctantly. Ask them whether they show reserve in the way they dress and if they prefer to dress in casual clothes or formal clothes. Ask students if they have ever had to be nudged to stay awake in class.” In the sidebar “English Learner Support,” there are teacher accommodations for students at varying levels of English: “Intermediate: Have students complete the sentence frame as they gently nudge the student next to them. I nudged.... Advanced/Advanced High: When would you feel good that someone nudged you and when would you not?”
In Module 10, the Teacher Tip is to have students look for words that are related to two of the week’s vocabulary words, formation and resistant.
The materials include procedures and protocols, along with adequate support to guide teachers through implementation, that foster self-sustained reading as appropriate. Materials provide a plan for students to self-select texts and read independently for sustained periods of time, including planning and accountability for achieving independent reading goals.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Guiding Principles and Strategies: Grades 3-5” resource provides teachers with ideas for “Supporting Reading Independence,” including information about the following topics: “Organizing Your Classroom’s Reading Center, Self-Selecting Books, and Setting Goals and Responding to Reading.” The manual includes a circle graph showing teachers a 45-60 minute time frame for the reading workshop.
The materials provide a plan for students to self-select texts and read independently for a sustained period of time, including planning and accountability for achieving independent reading goals. Each week, each module includes information for independent reading during the “Reading Center” in the information on Literacy Centers. The guidance for this center remains relatively the same throughout the materials, including having the teacher alternate between displaying the anchor chart, “Choosing a Book,” or “Respond to Text.” When at the reading center, students self-select or read in their previously selected book. The teacher guides students to set a purpose for reading and use the “Reading Log” provided to hold themselves accountable for their learning. The Reading Log includes the following components: “Title, Author, and Genre; Independent Reading Record: Date, Time Spent, Pages Read; Summary: This text is about...; Questions for Discussion: What was your favorite part of the text? What did you enjoy about the author’s writing? Was there something you did not understand? What was it? Would you recommend this text to a friend? Why or why not?” Additionally, there is teacher suggestion and instruction for the teacher to help students interact with their books, such as using Mixed-Ability Groups and Word Puzzle. Also, within the lesson plans for the modules, there is a section for setting reading goals and conferring, which helps students achieve reading and skill goals. There is a printable “Exit Ticket” for student accountability. The students check which center they were in and what they learned while in the center when completing the Exit Ticket.
In addition, there are procedures/protocols for the teacher to form guided reading groups and skill and strategy groups. The materials include an “Options for Independent and Collaborative Work” section, which includes activities using a book from the “Student Choice Library” or the “Rigby Leveled Library.” Teachers choose between the “Apply Reading Skill” and “Apply Language Skill” sections for possible student independent work activities. Each section provides a focus skill and a printable for students to complete while reading independently. For example, Module 8, Lesson 2 directs students to apply the reading skill, “Visualize,” by completing the “Printable: Reading Graphic Organizer 6,” and apply the language skill, “Infer,” by completing the “Printable: Language Graphic Organizer 7.”
The materials provide support for students to develop composition skills across multiple text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. The materials provide students with opportunities to write literary texts to express their ideas. They provide students opportunities to write informational texts, argumentative texts, and correspondence in a professional and friendly structure.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide students with opportunities to write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Each module includes a “Writer’s Workshop” component with a mentor text, writing prompt, and the details to take students through the writing process. The Module 2 Writer’s Workshop unit focuses on writing a narrative story. The teacher guide prompts the teacher to read the “Focal Text,” The Mesmer Menace aloud and use “Anchor Chart W4: Narrative Elements.” Students write to respond to the prompt: “Think of all the different kinds of fiction that you have read. Write a story about a character that is on a journey to discover something. Choose a subgenre for your story.” Once students identify their topic, they work to provide details that will convey their thoughts by using the “Writer’s Notebook 2.1-2.9” to work through the writing process. Each module is broken into three weeks, with Week 1 focusing on the introduction, prewriting, and drafting stages of the writing process. Week 2 focuses on drafting and revising, and Week 3 is about revising, editing, publishing, and sharing. The teacher instructs based on the writing workshop model found in the teacher guide for every genre within the curriculum.
Materials provide students opportunities to write correspondence in a professional or friendly structure. The Module 4 Writer’s Workshop unit focuses on writing a letter. The teacher guide prompts the teacher to read the Focal Text Along the Santa Fe Trail: Marion Russell’s Own Story aloud and use “Anchor Chart W13: Parts of a Formal Letter.” Students write to respond to the prompt: “Think about what a person moving west might need to know. Write a letter to a historical society requesting information about what it was like to travel west back then.” Once students identify their topic, they work to provide details that convey their thoughts by using the “Writer’s Notebook 4.1-4.10” to work through the writing process. The teacher assists by teaching students about the different types of correspondence and providing students with information on the parts of a formal letter. Students have opportunities to draft, revise, edit, and publish their compositions.
The materials provide students opportunities to write informational texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes. At the end of “Module 4: Wild West,” students write an informational article answering the Essential Question, “What character traits were needed in people who settled the West?” Students consider the following prompt: “Think about what you learned about the Western pioneers from this module. Imagine that a history magazine for young people has invited students to submit articles. Choose one feature or part of the pioneer experience, such as daily life, the journey West, or overcoming challenges. Use evidence from the texts and video to write an article for the magazine.” The student “myBook” then proceeds to guide the students through the writing process, including planning, drafting, revising and editing, and publishing.
The materials provide students opportunities to write argumentative texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on specific issues. Module 5 is an editorial essay writing module. The mentor text is The Elephant Keeper by Margriet Ruurs. To write a successful argumentative essay, students think about “people see things in different ways.” Students then “Think about what it means that we all have different points of view about caring for the Earth, depending upon where we live, how old we are, and the places we have seen.” Finally, the students write an argumentative essay: write an “editorial for your local newspaper about an environmental issue you feel strongly about. Keep in mind that some people will feel differently about this issue. Make sure you have a strong opening sentence, supporting details, and a powerful conclusion.”
Module 7 includes research writing for the genre and the mentor text, The Day-Glo Brothers. The students “write a research essay about a discovery that was made in the past that affects your life today. Be sure to choose something you are genuinely interested in, then clearly state your main idea, organize your explanation effectively, and use facts and statistics where needed.”
The materials require students to use clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate the knowledge gained through analysis and synthesis of texts. The program includes a variety of tasks that require students to use information and text evidence to demonstrate in writing what they have learned.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate in writing their learning through reading and listening to texts. Each module includes a section of the Teacher’s Guide entitled “Literacy Centers.” Each Literacy Center includes a “Writing Center,” enabling students to write about what they read and learn. For example, Module 3 includes a writing center with three activities: write a letter, write an editorial, or choose a task (write a draft, revise a draft, add details to a draft) during “Writer’s Workshop.” In addition, there are opportunities within the “Options for Differentiation” section and the “Inquiry and Research Project.” The Options for Differentiation have questions to apply to reading, such as “What is the primary purpose of the video? Who is the intended audience?” These questions allow students to demonstrate knowledge in writing. The Inquiry and Research Project has “Write and Create” in Week 2, where students develop a safety pamphlet to share with the community.
The materials provide opportunities for students to use evidence from texts to support their claims. In Module 3, Lesson 15, students write an editorial supported by reasons and text evidence. The “myPal” prompts students to “think back on what you learned about staying safe in natural disasters.” Students select a natural disaster from the module and use evidence from what they have previously read to help them draft the editorial.
The materials provide opportunities for students to use evidence from texts to support their opinions and claims. In Module 3, the Writer’s Workshop focuses on opinion writing. Students use the mentor text, Green City, to help with their writing. Students read and review the text with a mini writing activity to choose three of their favorite words and write sentences using them. The students begin to focus on the genre and its components, along with the writing prompt. There is a “Credit Your Sources” section in the Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide. Students revise their writing to avoid plagiarism. In addition, there is a “Display and Engage” visual for the teacher to use to supplement the lesson and activity. There are modules that expose students to other types of opinion and claim-based writing. For example, in Module 5, students write an editorial for their local newspaper “about an environmental issue [they] feel strongly about.” They do so after reading the focal text, The Elephant Keeper: Caring for Orphaned Elephants in Zambia by Margriet Ruurs and seeing how people care for Earth in the text. Also in Module 5, Lesson 15, students write an opinion essay supported by reasons and text evidence. The myPal prompts students to “think back on what you learned in this module about taking care of Earth and its resources.” Students pick a topic and use evidence from what they have previously read to help them draft the opinion essay. In Module 10, the class reads Can We Be Friends?, which describes different animal behaviors and if different animals could be friends. The writing task for this text in “myBook” is to pretend to contact one of the scientists from the article on social media to share an opinion about animal friendships. Students compare details from the text they’ve read with their own observations of animals.
The materials provide opportunities over the course of the year for students to apply grade-level standard English conventions to their writing. This includes opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing, including punctuation and grammar. Grammar, punctuation, and usage are taught systematically, both in and out of context.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In the “Writers Workshop” section of each module, the teacher addresses speaking and writing. Students have an opportunity to participate in both a peer review conference and a one-on-one teacher conference. Students also “orally share ideas” before prewriting. After each module, students share their written pieces, which is another way to practice speaking. Additional resources, such as The “Revision Checklist” anchor chart, prompt students to substitute words or sentences for better ones when needed. Students refer to the chart when making changes in grammar. The “TAP” anchor chart also serves as a resource for students as they write. This chart lists the purposes for writing and reminds students to always “keep their audience in mind.”
Grammar, punctuation, and usage are taught systematically, both in and out of context, and the materials provide editing practice in students’ own writing as the year continues. The resource maps out the grammar instruction for the year, broken down by topics and then skills within each topic. There are “Grammar Minilessons” throughout every week in every module. Grammar lessons move in a systematic sequence for Grade 5 with sentences, nouns, pronouns, and objects, verbs, modifiers, conjunctions, transitions, and contractions, quotations and titles, punctuation, and spelling. The Grammar Minilesson Table of Contents includes increasingly rigorous lessons within a system that has a “Connect and Teach” portion with a “Think Aloud” and an “Engage and Apply” section with a “Printable Practice” sheet for each lesson. In lesson 1.1.1, students identify the simple and complete subject and predicate after the teacher explains the concept using this sentence, and in 1.1.2, students look at examples of sentence fragments and run-on sentences. The teacher explains that sometimes you can “combine two sentences rather than have a run-on sentence.” Students look for “run on” sentences in their writing.
The materials include worksheets for the “Writer’s Notebook” to help students with the steps in the writing process. The worksheets for Module 2 include a Story Rubric for when students develop and revise their writing; a drafting worksheet to help students develop their story; and a revising worksheet to help students develop their characters further. Additionally, each unit includes a graphic with explicit instructions based on the writing process. The graphic depicts how students independently generate ideas, prewrite, draft, write, revise and edit, and publish.
The materials facilitate students’ coherent use of the elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Each module contains information about the writing workshop model. This includes time for independent writing where students research and generate ideas, engage in prewriting, drafting, writing, revising, and editing, then finally publish their work. This goes on throughout the three weeks of each module. The materials contain a Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide, which lays out lessons for teachers to take students through the writing process. Each module includes lessons on prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing and focuses on different types of writing and different aspects of revising and editing. For example, at the end of “Module 4: Wild West,” students write an informational article answering the essential question, “What character traits were needed in people who settled the West?” The student “myBook” provides a prompt and guides the students through the writing process, including planning, drafting, revising and editing, and publishing. For the “Plan” portion, students choose a topic and use the main idea and supporting details graphic organizer to organize their thoughts. For the “Draft,” students write an introduction and conclusion. Students revise and edit their work by working individually and with a partner “to find ways to improve it.” Finally, the teacher guides students through the “Publishing” steps to “create a finished copy.” Also, within each module, under Writing Workshop, there is a circular map that provides an overview for the teacher of what that instructional time should look like and include.
The resource provides opportunities for practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing, including punctuation and grammar. For example, Lesson 1.3.3, “Compound Sentences,” located within the Grammar Minilessons resource, teaches students “compound sentences are made up of two smaller sentences. Each smaller sentence has its complete subject and complete predicate.” Teachers use “Display and Engage: Grammar 1.3.3” to provide opportunities to model how to identify correct comma use. Students complete “Printable: Grammar 1.3.3” for practice with writing sentences. Also, the “Editing Checklist” anchor chart is a reminder to students to capitalize and punctuate as needed. The heading reminders include Capitalize “the first word in a sentence” and Punctuate “question marks at the end of a question.”
The materials include appropriate practice for students to write legibly in cursive. However, there is no explicit instruction in cursive handwriting, and the materials provide reminders to write in cursive as opposed to supporting a systematic plan for teachers to assess students’ handwriting development.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include instruction in cursive handwriting for students in the appropriate grade(s). The “Writer’s Workshop Teacher’s Guide” includes opportunities for students to write in cursive. The publishing stage of the guide provides instruction for teachers to facilitate students with the opportunity to write in cursive. It appears the materials include a page on “Handwriting” in the Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide for grade 5, but the link is broken/there is no access to this resource.
Also, there are opportunities for students to write in cursive with various foundational skills activities focused on spelling, such as “Spelling: Adding the Suffixes -ion or -ation.” The Teacher’s Guide includes a Handwriting section that provides some instruction and practice for the students in cursive handwriting.
The materials include Handwriting plans within the “Resources” section. The plans include information about the following: “Explain Stroke and Letter Formation, Teach Writing Position, Reinforce Directionality, Develop Handwriting, Write in Cursive, Slant Letters Correctly, Letter Spacing, Word Spacing, Join Uppercase and Lowercase Letters, Answer Questions, Write Sentences, and Write a Paragraph.”
The materials also include “Anchor Chart 37: Cursive Handwriting” and a “Handwriting: Cursive Alphabet” (including arrows) for teacher and student use. It provides a pictorial and colorful representation of what cursive handwriting is and some tips for successfully writing in cursive. It states that “in cursive writing, all letters are connected.” The “Handwriting Teacher’s Guide” is included, but the site is not active during the materials review. The site states “This page seems to be on a break.” There are several strategies that the materials list to help students of varying handwriting abilities, including helping students slant their cursive letters correctly, understanding the letter spacing and word spacing in cursive handwriting, making sure that uppercase and lowercase letters are joined, giving students opportunities to write five sentences in cursive or an entire paragraph depending on their ability, and answering questions in cursive. The materials also include a cursive alphabet example. However, there is no information on how these tips should be taught in the structure of other lessons.
The materials include a plan for teachers to assess students’ handwriting skills within the Resources section by “reviewing samples of their written work. Note whether they use correct letter formation and appropriate size and spacing.” Students must write legibly in cursive “when writing messages, notes, and letters, or when publishing their writing.” The Teacher’s Guide includes resources with additional information. There is a two-page spread on “Handwriting.” In this resource, there is one paragraph titled “Assess Handwriting.” In this paragraph, the materials guide teachers to review samples of students’ written work to assess their handwriting skills. It instructs teachers to pay attention to their letter formation and size and spacing, as well as if they follow the conventions of print and if the writing is legible when they publish their compositions.
The materials provide opportunities for students to listen actively, ask questions, and demonstrate comprehension. There are consistent opportunities for students to use clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate the knowledge gained through analysis and synthesis of texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Tabletop Minilessons” include opportunities for speaking and listening with activities fitting into the two domains based on the tabletop theme. For example, “Persuade” includes prompting the students to look at an image and listen to the read-aloud, and the teacher explains how words and phrases can be used to persuade someone to think or act in a certain way. Students explain that words such as have to and must are used to persuade, then work in small groups to summarize and discuss the reading paragraph. There are “Literacy Centers” for each week of each module. Some literacy centers provide listening opportunities focused on the text(s) being studied in class, such as the “Digital Station.” At this station, students choose to listen to either a Leveled Reader or to one of the selections that were read in class that week. As they listen, they may use a printable “Listening Log” to write down the listening skills used, a summary of the text they listened to, and any questions they have about the selection they just heard.
Speaking and listening opportunities are focused on the text(s) being studied in class, allowing students to demonstrate comprehension. Each Module has a “Speaking and Listening” lesson included. This lesson is in “Independent and Collaborative Work.” In “Module 1, Inventors at Work,” students discuss the essential question of “What kinds of circumstances push people to create new inventions?” Students discuss the four major reasons for inventing. Students listen to others and share findings during independent work time.
Most oral tasks require students to use clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate the knowledge gained through analysis and synthesis of texts. For example, in Module 1, students discuss “What makes a character interesting” as they use text-supported claims from books they have read outside of class. The students have discussions by sharing ideas and linking those ideas to topics that have already been discussed.
In Module 4, Lesson 2, students practice the skill, Synthesize, while reading Explore the Wild West! The “Teaching Pal” directs teachers to remind students that their thinking can change after they have learned new information by synthesizing. The materials provide the teacher with a think-aloud to model the process of synthesizing the following questions: “How did newspapers influence people to move west?” “How were the advertisements misleading?” “How is this similar to what you experience today with advertising on television, the internet, social media, and other sources?” Students look back at Anchor Chart 8: Synthesize to help them “determine how this changes their thoughts about the text and the Wild West.”
The “Collaborative Discussion” component of the Teaching Pal provides the opportunity for students to complete oral tasks with text support. For example, Module 7 provides students with the opportunity to look back over their pre-read page for the story Into the Unknown: Above and Below by Stewart Ross and use it to discuss questions with classmates. Students use details to support their answers. An example of a question is, “What do his efforts to explore the stratosphere tell you about Auguste Piccard?” Also, there are listening and speaking tips for students, such as “listen carefully and wait your turn to share.” The teacher’s guide includes a section entitled “Communication.” Within this section is a “Speaking and Listening Minilesson,” including formal and informal language, where students actively listen and participate in responses and, in the end, synthesize topic knowledge of informational texts.
The materials engage students in productive teamwork by providing consistent opportunities for students to engage in student-led discussions. Students have opportunities to practice grade-appropriate speaking skills using the standard conventions of the English language.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include literacy center instructions every week in each module. Some of the centers provide opportunities for students to participate in performances, such as “Reader’s Theater,” where students can practice speaking in a clear and concise manner.
The materials provide guidance and practice with grade-level protocols for discussion to express their own thinking. Each module has a section called “Independent and Collaborative Work.” This section provides options for students to work in collaboration while the teacher works with small groups. For example, in Module 1, students use the “Think-Pair-Share” routine as they discuss how they “applied a central idea during independent work time.” Students refer to the “Central Idea” anchor chart. They add sticky notes to the anchor chart about “the central idea in their independent reading.” Also, each module has an “Academic Vocabulary” section in which students share ideas with partners by discussing questions.
In Module 4, Lesson 1, within the “Engage and Respond” portion of the lesson, students use the “Collaborative Conversation” routine. After rereading the short read titled Why Go West?, students use the routine to answer the following “Essential Question”: “What character traits were needed in people who settled the West?” Teachers “remind students to listen actively to their partners, to make pertinent comments, and to ask questions, as needed, to clarify information.”
Materials provide opportunities for students to give organized presentations/performances and speak in a clear and concise manner using the conventions of language. The “Inquiry & Research Project” at the beginning of each module provides the opportunity for students to express their thinking within the project. In the Module 4 Inquiry & Research Project, students create a brochure that gives information about traveling in the Old West. Within the “Practice and Present” portion, teachers are to “Have students practice presenting with a small group.” Students “speak clearly and at a comfortable pace, to use gestures, and to make eye contact with their audience.” Listening students are “to be attentive and polite, and to take notes if they wish.” In Module 5, students present on “going green” and tell why it is good to be active in the community. Sentence stems help students use the conventions of the English language, such as “One way people can help the environment is by....” “To do this, they need to….” The teacher reminds students to “speak clearly and use gestures as they speak” and reminds listeners to “be attentive and polite.”
At the end of some “Reading Workshop” lessons, there is a small text box titled “Speaking and Listening.” Module 6 guides the teacher to have partners discuss the “Collaborative Discussion Questions” and refers to where this can be found in the materials. There is also a sidebar titled “Wrap-Up: Share Time,” which lists several activities to wrap up the lesson, some of which include opportunities for discussion and expression of thinking.
In Module 9, Lesson 1, within the “Engage and Respond” portion of the lesson, students use the Think-Pair-Share routine after reviewing the short read, Why People Love Mysteries, to discuss their thinking about the Essential Question: “What makes something mysterious, and what makes people want to solve mysteries?” Students are “to listen actively to their partners, make pertinent comments, and ask questions as needed, to clarify information.”
Each module also contains a series of “Writing Workshop” lessons. At the end of every Writing Workshop lesson series, students have an opportunity to publish and share their writing. In Module 10, students read their letters to the editor aloud to the class. After a student has read their essay, other students ask questions.
The materials contain inquiry processes to provide students with opportunities to work with various resources, analyze topics, and organize and present their ideas throughout each module.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials support the identification and summary of high-quality primary and secondary sources. The materials include a resource titled “Current Events,” which provides links and access to several different additional resources that provide students with access to high-quality primary and secondary resources. The following resources are available for teachers. “DOGOnews” is a news website with articles written for students. The front page of the website features current events. This resource includes a search function which students can use to find articles specific to their research interests and topics. The news articles are secondary sources. “Kiddle News” is a search engine that is titled “Safe news search for kids.” This resource allows students to search for relevant resources for their research projects and may allow them to find both primary and secondary sources. “Newsela” is a news website with articles written for students. These articles can be sorted by text level to ensure that students find articles they can read and comprehend. There are many articles on many different topics, many of which appear to be secondary sources reporting on various events. “StarDate Online” is an online database with articles and photos from space exploration. All of the resources here are related to space. This database includes primary sources, such as photographs, as well as secondary sources with articles. “TIME for Kids” is a website containing articles, all from TIME for Kids, which can be sorted by grade level and/or topic. Some articles include primary-source interviews, while others are secondary sources. “TTJunior” is a resource created by the Smithsonian. It contains articles on many topics, which can be accessed at different Lexile Levels. “Youngzine,” the tagline for this resource is “News + more for the young.” It contains world news, science articles, technology articles, articles about Earth, history articles, society/arts articles, and blogs/op-eds.
The materials support student practice in organizing and presenting their ideas and information in accordance with the purpose of the research and the appropriate grade level audience. For example, each module includes an “Inquiry and Research Project” that is an opportunity for sustained inquiry over the three weeks of the module. In this project, students have opportunities to practice organizing and presenting their ideas per the purpose of the research. For example, in Module 2, the purpose of the research project is to create a movie proposal for a selection/text from the module. During Week 1 of the research process, the teacher introduces the topic to students and gives an example of an adaptation of The Secret Garden. In groups, students begin to research, creating an “Idea Board” and using different resources, such as their “myBook” selections, as well as “movie and book review websites” and “interviews with movie producers.” The teacher has students take notes as they research, so they remember and can use the information that they find. During the second week of the inquiry project, students begin to organize their research into a draft, selecting their text and outlining how to adapt the text for a movie and script. Students create a poster to advertise their film adaptation. The following week students practice and finally present their research projects to the class. The teacher reminds them to “speak clearly and at a comfortable pace, to use gestures, and to make eye contact with their audience.” There is also an opportunity to reflect on the research process and project they created.
In Module 4, Lesson 15, “Module Project: Present a Travel Brochure,” students present the travel brochure to give information about traveling in the Old West. Teachers guide students through the following using the “Printable: Project 4.3,” which lists Prepare and Rehearse, Deliver Presentations, Reflect, and Celebrate. The teacher evaluates students’ brochures using a rubric in the following categories: Speaking and Listening, Writing, Collaboration, and Presentation.
In Module 6, Lesson 15, “Performance Task,” students write a “biographical sketch” by gathering “information from sources to use in writing.” Teachers direct students to look back at the texts from the module to decide which ones they may want to use as a model or as models for their drafts.
Also, the materials include “Research Report” assignments that review what a primary and secondary source is and include it in the research steps of the assignment. For example, Module 7 includes a research report assignment where students research facts and details “about a discovery that was made in the past that affects your life today” using primary and secondary sources. Research Report 7.5a and 7.5b include examples of primary and secondary sources.
There are also opportunities for students to practice short-term inquiry skills in daily lessons. For example, each daily reading lesson focuses on a comprehension skill, such as “Identifying Theme” in Module 10. After the mini-lesson, students have opportunities to engage in independent work where they apply the skill, then have opportunities to share through the Solo Chair Routine, a Think-Pair-Share, or adding sticky notes to an anchor chart. All of these opportunities allow students to gain short-term practice in organizing and presenting their ideas related to a specific topic.
The materials contain interconnected tasks that build student knowledge. They contain a coherently sequenced set of high-quality, text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts. The tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking and provide opportunities for increased independence.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Each module contains an “Inquiry and Research Project” that helps students build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, and language. Students “collaborate to generate ideas, research, complete, and present an inquiry-based project.” The beginning of Module 4 introduces an Inquiry and Research Project. Students “create a travel brochure about the Old West” in groups. The lesson plans are broken down by weeks. In Week 1, teachers Clarify Project Goals, Build Background, help students Begin Group Work and Research. Using the Printable Project 4.1, students work together to research “the positives of moving West and help to alleviate the fears of families who were unsure of whether to make the trip.” In Week 2, teachers support students as they Plan and Draft, Revise and Edit, and Create and Integrate Visuals. Using the Printable Project 4.2, students work together to review their brochures, making revisions and edits. In Week 3, teachers remind students to “speak clearly and at a comfortable pace, to use gestures, and to make eye contact with their audience” while presenting the brochures. Teachers also remind listeners to “be attentive and polite, and to take notes if they wish.”
The materials contain a coherently sequenced set of high-quality, text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts. “Reading Workshop” mini-lessons follow a coherent sequence to teach students using shared texts. In Module 6, there is a mini-lesson that teaches students about the literary element of characters in a text. The “Teaching Pal” gives the teacher a series of questions to help students gain knowledge through the lesson. Before reading, the teacher has students think about the title of the text, Rita Moreno: from Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera. The class reads the text together. The teacher stops to model some thinking as the class reads. After reading, students discuss with a partner two things they learned from the reading. Then, they answer several other questions using text evidence that all have to do with having students think about the character of Rita Moreno. These questions include, “What details show that being a performer was always important to Rita Moreno,” “Why did Rita Moreno decide to work in children’s shows during the 1970s?” “What does the biography reveal about the kind of person Rita Moreno is?” and “What words would you use to describe her?” After the students have an opportunity to apply the skill to the shared reading text, there is an opportunity for a collaborative discussion in which students discuss their answers to the questions in small groups.
The materials include tasks to integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking and include components of vocabulary, syntax, and fluency, as needed. In turn, these tasks provide opportunities for increased independence. For example, the “Listening Comprehension” section of the modules includes tasks that integrate these multiple domains and components such as vocabulary, syntax, and fluency. For example, Module 7 includes the read-aloud informational text Miss Mitchell’s Eclipse. The teacher introduces the text, reminds the students of the genre informational text, has the students set a purpose for listening, then reads the story, modeling fluency, and asks questions while reading. Questions include, “What scientific discovery did Maria Mitchell make in 1847,” and “What scientific discovery did Maria Mitchell make in 1847?” Students listen, think, and speak using vocabulary and proper syntax to complete the task. Also, the “Options for Independent and Collaborative Work” includes the opportunity for students to build independence. Students complete literacy activities while the teacher meets with small groups, such as selecting a book from the Student Choice library and completing either the Reading Graphic Organizer or Language Graphic Organizer. After the reading block, there is time to share with the solo chair or think-pair-share.
The materials provide distributed practice over the course of the year. The design includes scaffolds for students to demonstrate the integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Throughout the materials, literacy skills are taught during Reading Workshop. Each module focuses on a specific genre and teaches comprehension skills through mini-lessons.
The materials include a “Scope and Sequence” for grammar. Several lessons review concepts that were previously taught to contribute to distributed practice over the course of the year. Each week, Lesson 4 is a review lesson. For example, in Module 1, one week focuses on teaching students about complete sentences but also includes a lesson that reviews possessive nouns. Later on, in Module 2, students learn about singular and plural nouns; however, the review lesson is about compound sentences. Through these review lessons, grammar concepts are spiraled throughout the school year.
The materials support distributed practice over the course of the year through spiraling concepts and presenting them more than just once. In the “Scope and Sequence - Grade 3 - Foundational Skills” document, the skills taught each week regarding decoding, high-frequency words, fluency, and spelling are listed. The Fluency skills repeated. For example, the teacher instructs on “Expression” in Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, and 11. The skill of “Intonation” is first taught in Module 4, then spiraled and reviewed in Modules 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11.
The “Leveled Reader Take & Teach Lessons” provide distributed practice over the course of the year. For example, Level T: In the Danger Zone by Sharon Parsons and Level V: Space Technology in Space and on Earth by Cara Torrance focus on Key Ideas & Details, Cause & Effect, and Text & Graphic Features with questions that build comprehension and require text evidence, such as “What is a danger zone?” and “How was a vibration-sensing system used in space?” Level U: Mystery at Marin Marsh by Denise M. Jordan and Level W: Garama, Garden of the Sahara by Marianne Posadas both focus on Key Ideas & Details and Plot, with questions that require text evidence and build comprehension as well. As the level of the reader increases, the concepts continue with distributed practice throughout the school year.
In Module 4, Week 1, students discuss characteristics of informational text. As the teacher instructs on text structure, synthesizing central idea, and author’s craft, the teacher reviews previously taught comprehension skills and strategies.
In spelling, each week focuses on a new spelling pattern. However, the materials always include “review words,” which are words from previous weeks. For example, one week in Module 5 contains the review words influence, genuine, casual, and annual, which were all on Module 4’s Basic Words spelling list.
Design includes scaffolds for students to demonstrate integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year. Each lesson within each module includes an “Options for Differentiation” section to “Scaffold and Extend” the lesson. For example, in Module 3, for students who are “Almost There,” the teacher asks, “students to describe what the text would be like without the graphics,” and for students who are “Ready for More,” the teacher has “students explain the reasoning behind the specific placement of the graphics in the text.”
Module 7 scaffolds for students who are Almost There by instructing the teacher to help students identify details; for students above that level, the teacher prompts the students to find text evidence while reading, and finally, for students who are Ready for More, the teacher instructs the students to share what they based their predictions on. Students also have an opportunity to practice skills taught during “small group mini-lessons, Tabletop Minilessons, and through the use of related graphic organizers.”
In Module 8, Week 1, students discuss characteristics of informational text/guide and poetry. As the teacher instructs on text structure, visualization, theme, elements of poetry, and author’s craft, the teacher reviews previously taught comprehension skills and strategies.
Additionally, In Module 10, after a lesson on the theme, there are several scaffolds for the teacher to use with students depending on their mastery of the skill. For students who are Almost There, the materials suggest having them choose a poem from the collection and determine the topic and theme of their chosen poem. Another scaffolded activity is for the teacher to select a poem in the collection and students to read and summarize it, then discuss the theme and how it is similar to the theme of other poems. Finally, there is an upward scaffold for students who are Ready for More. In this lesson, the materials have the teacher prompt students to select and read their favorite poem from the collection, then explain the theme of the poem and how it relates to the other poems in the collection. There are also opportunities for students to integrate the literacy skills they learned during the mini-lesson into their independent reading. For example, while reading independently, students can answer, “What is the main subject of the text? How is it different from the theme(s)?” “Have you identified one theme in the text or multiple themes?” “If there are multiple themes within the collection of poems, are they closely related? How are they related?” “How do you determine the theme(s) of a collection of poems?” and “How does determining the theme(s) help you better understand the text?”
The materials provide systematic instruction and practice of foundational skills, including opportunities for phonics and word analysis skills, a research-based sequence of grade-level foundational skills instruction, and opportunities for sufficient student practice to achieve grade-level mastery. The materials include resources that specifically attend to supporting students in need of effective remediation.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a research-based sequence of grade-level foundational skills instruction and opportunities for sufficient student practice to achieve grade-level mastery. The materials include introductory pages titled “Guiding Principles and Strategies for Grades 3-5.” It states materials are “a comprehensive literacy solution based on science and informed by teachers.” It notes the various embedded research-based supports throughout the materials. For example, there are blue boxes titled “Professional Learning,” which contain “Research Foundations” tips, or research-based rationales for teaching certain skills or using a certain instructional approach that is present in the lesson. In the “Grade 5 Teacher’s Guide,” the authors and advisors are listed at the beginning. They include several nationally recognized education researchers such as Nathan Clemens, Ph.D., Anne Cunningham, Ph.D., Shane Templeton, Ph.D. (also the author of Words Their Way), Julie Washington, Ph.D., and Elena Izquierdo, Ph.D. Furthermore, there is a research-based sequence of foundational skills in phonics, word analysis, and word recognition. Grade 5 students have access to all “Blend-it Books” from grades 2-4. These books start with consonant sounds such as /m/ and /p/ and progress through vowel sounds and word endings. The materials also include an “Into Reading Alignment Chart,” which provides a Scope and Sequence for decoding instruction in each module. For example, Module 4 includes “Week 1 Decoding: VCV Syllable Division Pattern,” “Week 2 Decoding: VCCCV Syllable Division Pattern,” and “Week 3 Decoding: VV Syllable Division Pattern.”
The materials systematically develop knowledge of grade-level phonics patterns and word analysis skills as delineated in the TEKS for grades 3-5. The materials in each module also include lessons in prefixes and suffixes as part of the word analysis study. For example, in Module 1, students sort words by long or short vowel sound, such as crush and blister. Students write and read the words in context when writing sentences such as “Take a deep breath.” Each module includes a phonics page broken into three parts: Introduce the Skill, Guided Practice, and Apply. For example, in Module 2, decoding lessons include teaching students about short vowels and the long a, e, i, and o sounds. The learning objectives for a decoding lesson in Module 2 include “decode words with the vowel sounds /ou/, /ô/, and /oi/” and recognize the spelling patterns for those sounds. The teacher teaches each sound and provides the different ways it can be spelled. The teacher displays a chart that lists these spellings. The teacher reads the sounds at the top of each column, then reads the example words. As the teacher reads, the teacher emphasizes the vowel sound and underlines the letters that make that sound. Then the students read them aloud before completing a decoding practice sheet for guided practice.
The materials provide opportunities for students to practice grade-level word recognition skills to promote automaticity. Each week, the materials provide high-frequency words for students to learn and practice in the context of passages during fluency lessons. Module 4, Lesson 1, includes the fluency lesson, “Intonation.” The “Printable: Fluency 4.1 includes words that contain this week’s decoding element. Teachers use the passage to monitor whether students can accurately and fluently read specific grade-level words.” The passage also includes the following high-frequency words: uncle, God, whose, doctor. Teachers are directed to model reading the passage first, then have students read along using the Choral Reading Routine. The Leveled Readers also include high-frequency words, which provide opportunities for phonics practice and reading spelling words in isolation.
The materials include building spelling knowledge as identified in the TEKS. Each module includes a spelling page for each week of instruction in the teacher’s edition. Each week focuses on a different spelling pattern and builds spelling knowledge as identified in the TEKS. Module 4, Lesson 1, includes the “Words with VCV Syllable Division Pattern” lesson. Teachers “revisit the review words” and reference the “Printable: Dictation Sentences 4.1” and display the spelling cards on “Printable: Spelling Word Cards 4.1.” Teachers model their thinking when sorting some words into the correct category. Students help sort the word into the correct category on a class anchor chart. The spelling list has 28 words, including Basic, Review, and Challenge words.
The materials specifically attend to supporting students in need of effective remediation. The fluency lessons follow the “I do, We do, You do” gradual release model to support students. When students are working independently or in pairs, the materials instruct teachers to monitor students and provide support as needed. Specific strategies are not listed. Decoding lessons contain a “Correct and Redirect” section at the bottom of the page that lists tips for teachers when students are having trouble. For example, in Module 6, students learn to decode root words with spelling changes when adding suffixes. The materials guide the teacher first to correct the error the student is making, then model how to decode the word tried. Finally, the materials instruct the teacher to “guide students to decode the word supplied.” Then, the teacher checks for understanding with the word lonelier and can also reinforce if needed with the word sloppiest. The materials include the resource called Foundational Skills and Word Study Studio Teacher’s Guide by Program Consultant: Dr. Martha C. Hougen. It “provides targeted intervention for students who need practice in the critical areas of print concepts, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics and decoding, word recognition, and fluency. The studio includes instruction and practice at multiple grade levels, enabling teachers to bring students gradually up to grade level.” The materials include an “Into Reading Alignment Chart,” which provides a scope and sequence for possible intervention using the Foundational Skills and Word Study Studio.
The materials include a variety of diagnostic tools and provide opportunities to assess student progress and mastery, with an interval schedule and suggested timeline included. There is support for teachers in both how to administer the assessments, how to analyze the data, and ways to best support student instruction.
Evidence Includes but is not limited to:
The materials include tools to support and direct teachers to assess students’ growth in, and mastery of, foundational skills (e.g., skill gaps in phonics and decoding) both in and out of context. For example, they include an “Assessment and Differentiation” resource that shows teachers how to assess their students throughout the year. This resource includes a suggested timeline for administering assessments and provides a detailed explanation of each of the different types of included assessments. There are three subheadings: foundational skills, strategic intervention, and small-group inclusion. This resource also includes information for teachers on how to determine the appropriate level of support for Tier I, II, and III interventions.
The materials include formative assessments that help teachers assess mastery of skills. The formative assessments include both weekly and module assessments that have a reading and writing section to assess comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills. There are options to administer these tests on the computer or with paper and pencil. There are also instructions for teachers to use the data to determine “flexible groups for foundational skills instruction.”
The materials include the “Intervention Assessments” to “provide screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring assessments to identify students who are at risk for reading difficulties and provide recommendations on the amount of support students are likely to need during reading instruction,” and include screening assessments, oral reading fluency assessments, diagnostic assessments, and progress monitoring assessments. Oral reading fluency assessments are for grades 1-6. These tests focus on fluency, accuracy, and rate and provide important information about the student’s decoding strategies by using specific grade-level targeted vocabulary. The diagnostic assessments for grades 3-5 include Print Concepts Inventory, Letter-Sound Correspondence, and Phonological Awareness Inventory. The progress monitoring assessments provide biweekly checks on students’ progress. These oral reading tests are administered individually and assess students’ growth or problems in pre-reading/reading skills throughout the school year. In addition, they take 3-5 minutes to complete and help measure student growth, identify gaps, monitor progress, and enter or exit students from intervention. The materials also include a “Benchmark Assessment Kit” for assessing guiding reading levels. This kit is specific to Grades 3-5 and contains a fiction and nonfiction paired Benchmark Leveled Reader set for levels J-W. The kit includes the “Into Reading Benchmark Evaluation Guide,” which provides opportunities to observe reading behaviors, students’ approximate reading levels, and information to help plan for instruction. Each leveled Benchmark Evaluation Guide provides teacher directions, a running record, retelling instructions, a comprehension quiz, answer key, and information about “determining a student’s reading level.”
The materials support teachers with guidance and direction to respond to individual students’ literacy needs, based on tools and assessments appropriate to the grade level. Each module includes “Ongoing Formative Assessment Tools” to be used during and after the module. The diagnostic tools include running records and 1:1 observation records. The weekly planning guide for each module includes a “Week at a Glance,” which lists the activities and stories for each day. In the left-hand side margin under the subheading “Intervention,” teachers are recommended to access the online resource the “Foundational Skills and Word Study Studio Teacher’s Guide.” This resource “provides targeted intervention for students who need practice in the critical areas of print concepts, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonics and decoding, word recognition, and fluency.” In the Week at a Glance section of the teacher guide for each module, the teacher accesses the online Word Study Studio “for students needing strategic intervention” and “additional support.”
In a “Take and Teach Lesson,” there are opportunities to work with students on self-monitoring, using context to confirm or self-correct understanding, and employing rereading when appropriate. For example, the Take and Teach Lesson for Robot Trouble by Claire Daniel, a Level R text, gives teachers prompts to help build comprehension of the text. There are instructions to reread specific pages to examine the expression being used by the characters speaking and how it creates a feeling about the characters.
The materials also include information on documenting students’ growth through portfolios. The portfolios contain formal and informal assessments, as well as work samples from students. The materials instruct teachers to collaborate with the students when choosing work samples for the portfolio, so they can have ownership over it and demonstrate mastery.
The materials include many opportunities for students to practice and develop fluency throughout various lessons. There are lessons for practice with various grade-level appropriate texts, including fluency passages, and the explicit fluency lessons teach phrasing, intonation, expression, and accuracy.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a Scope and Sequence for fluency lessons that includes lessons on “Accuracy and Self-Correction,” “Expression,” “Reading Rate,” “Phrasing,” and “Intonation.” These skills are spiraled throughout the year. For example, Module 2 has expression, accuracy and self-correction, and intonation. Module 6 has accuracy and self-correction, phrasing, and expression. Module 10 has reading rate, intonation, and phrasing. Each week, there is one fluency lesson that teaches the designated fluency skill. All fluency lessons follow the same routine and structure. Each lesson, regardless of skill, includes a printable handout. For example, in Module 2, the teacher teaches the students different techniques to read with expression. The teacher gives the students the printable, Fluency 2.1, which contains the fluency passage titled “A Day in Their Dreams.” Students follow along as the teacher reads the first paragraph with no expression in a monotone. Then, the teacher rereads the paragraph with expression, varied tones, and rates. The teacher asks, “If you were listening to a whole story, how would you like me to read it? How does it help the listener if the reader uses expression?” The class discusses the answers to these questions and what elements of the teacher’s voice improved the second reading. Then, the teacher finishes reading the passage. Following the reading, the class reads together using the echo reading routine. Students have a chance to apply their knowledge in small groups or partners, using the partner reading routine to read the passage aloud.
The materials provide students opportunities to read grade-level texts as they make meaning and build foundational skills. Each module consists of a “Fluency” section with learning objectives focused on providing students with opportunities to read with fluency and accuracy and comprehend texts. Students read various passages to build foundational skills through decoding. They also work with high-frequency words in the passage to work toward more word recognition and improved fluency. For example, the Learning Objectives for Module 4, Lesson 1, “Fluency: Intonation,” include the following: “Use intonation to read fluently and support understanding. Read aloud grade-level text with fluency and accuracy. Apply decoding skills when reading connected text. Comprehend texts using teacher support.” Students read the Printable: Fluency 4.1, “Migrating West,” to practice reading with intonation. Students use the “Partner Reading Routine” to read this passage aloud with their partners. Students utilize the “Student Choice Library” and find additional selections, such as Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier and The Egypt Game by Zilpha Snyder. As students read the novel, the teacher focuses on a specific skill during the week, and students discuss with partners. Also, other opportunities include reading selected grade-level appropriate texts in “myBook” that align with the comprehension and meaning-making skills being learned during the “Reading Workshop.” Texts include Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Guided Reading Level V) in Module 2, Play, Louis, Play! by Muriel Harris Weinstein (Guided Reading Level U) in Module 6, and Can We Be Friends? by Ellen Braaf (Guided Reading Level T) in Module 10.
There is explicit instruction for the teacher to introduce the skill. The teacher explains the reading rate of good readers, models reading the first paragraph of the Fluency Passage at a slow rate and then an appropriate rate, pointing out how he/she decoded the words by using the three-letter blends, and then has the student chorally read the passage. Students work in pairs using the “Partner Reading Routine.”
Each fluency lesson instructs the teacher to monitor students for appropriate fluency by listening for expression, accuracy, intonation, and phrasing depending on the specific lesson and text. The passage is read by the teacher as a model read, then chorally as a class, and finally, as a partner read. The passage contains the word count and numbers in the margin to match the number of lines in that paragraph, which can be used by the teacher to monitor and mark any mistakes and self-correction the student makes. For example, in Module 4, Lesson 1, “Fluency: Intonation,” the teacher monitors students for intonation while they are reading the passage using the Partner Reading Routine. Teachers “note especially how students handle the more challenging words such as pioneers and industries and provide support, as needed.” For the high-frequency words, teachers “Print and distribute Word Cards 5.39-5.42, which feature this week’s high-frequency words, and have students work independently or in pairs to read and complete the activities for each word. For struggling readers, walk through the notes for one or two words before they continue working with a partner.”
The materials include supports for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level. Guidance provides planning and learning opportunities, including extensions and differentiation. While most extensions are framed for the general classroom population, extension and differentiation opportunities successfully support students who demonstrate literacy skills above grade level.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include supports for students who are above grade level during reading lessons. Each daily lesson includes “Options for Differentiation,” and activities to extend learning for advanced learners can be found in the “Scaffold and Extend” section. A teacher scaffolds student understanding through a visual symbol, such as an arrow that guides teachers through suggested activities for students who are “almost there” to those who are “ready for more.” This scaffolding layout supports teachers in determining if students are ready for above-grade-level work.
In Module 1, using the short read Inventors at Work, students working above grade level explain how they determine the central idea of the text. In Module 2, students learn about figurative language using the text Airborn. The scaffold and extend activities for students who are ready for more include explaining how figurative language in their own independent reading texts helps them better understand what the central idea of the text is.
In Module 3, using the short read The Alaska Earthquake, students who are working above grade level analyze how the words, images, and sounds work together, allowing the reader to better understand the concept. Another example supporting students working above grade level can be found in Module 4. Using the short read Reasons for Westward Expansion, students explain how the transition words and the structure of the text helped to make predictions. Also, students explain the author’s purpose for the chosen text structure.
In addition, Module 5 has an activity for students who are ready for more found under Options for Differentiation, which asks students to share in writing whether the author’s central idea is supported by the details provided. Students use the quick read Natures Preserve and explain why it is or is not supported.
In Module 6, after a lesson on visualization using a graphic organizer and the text Play, Louis, Play!, students use visualization skills to imagine a scene from the text read in class and describe it to peers. Another example of this support can be found in Module 7, where students share how they analyzed the nonfiction literary elements and their effect on the text after reading The Mighty Mars Rovers. In Module 8, using the text Elisa’s Diary, students share details within the text that help show how and why a chosen character changed over time. Above-level opportunities are also available in Module 9, where the teacher meets with Guided Reading Groups or differentiates instruction based on student needs. This opportunity allows students to read in leveled readers up to level W, such as Homes Afloat L1170, which is an information text.
In Module 10, students recognize and analyze the use of text and graphic features as they reread Winter Bees. The students who are ready for more look at the visuals used in the text and think about how they could be used in different texts. Then, the students use those visuals and rewrite the original text in a different layout.
The materials include access to the Rigby Leveled Library, which contains leveled readers for students. This allows for students reading above grade level to access books on their level and progress higher as needed. For example, one text, CSI: Classroom, is a Level W reader, which is above grade level for Grade 5. The text comes with a “Take and Teach Lesson” that includes a “Respond and Extend” section for teachers to extend learning. The options to extend include creating and sharing a diagram about the crime from the text, researching fingerprints and having the opportunity to analyze their own fingerprint, writing a newspaper article about the crime from the text, and using their imagination to come up with the next case to be solved, modeling the crime that was solved in the text.
In Module 11, which is a Nonfiction unit, the teacher meets the needs of students above grade level by utilizing each Guided Reading book’s Take and Teach Lesson, “choosing appropriate sessions by need” and “extend learning with suggested supporting activities.” The leveled readers also provide planning and learning opportunities for students who are above grade level. The “Tabletop Minilessons: Reading” that go along with the leveled Rigby readers contain above-level activities for various topics, such as “Reading Strategies” and “Retell.” For example, in the Retell section, the student retells the story in their own words and/or can retell the story in a creative way, such as through drama.
In addition, the leveled reader Take and Teach Lesson, On the Move: Animal Migration, has a Respond and Extend section with instructions for students to write a letter to farmers and loggers explaining why they should avoid clearing land. Students research a chosen animal migration journey.
There are no specific supports for scaffolding or extensions in writing workshop lessons, but there are opportunities for individual writing conferences. There are not explicit extensions for above-level learners in spelling and fluency mini lessons either.
The materials include supports for students who perform below grade level to ensure they are meeting the grade-level literacy standards. They provide planning and learning opportunities (including extensions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills below grade level.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include access to the “Rigby Leveled Library,” which contains leveled readers for students. This allows for students who are reading below grade level to access books on their level and progress as needed. The materials include instructions for teachers to “choose just-right books” and show an arrow beginning with R and moving to W to showcase levels that students in grade 5 may be on. Some of the texts included for below-grade-level readers are the Level R texts Swamp Explorer, an informational text, and Robot Trouble, a science fiction/fantasy text.
The “Tabletop Minilessons” teacher resource provides additional guidance on adjusting instruction as needed. In the “Author’s Craft” lesson, students working below grade level “name the mood of the text” and “find an example of hyperbole and tell how it supports the central idea or them” within a new or familiar text. The materials move students through this continuum of activities toward being “Ready for More” with any particular skill.
The materials provide planning and learning opportunities (including extensions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected grade level. In Module 1, the “Almost There” activity guides teachers to help students think about the central idea by remembering the title, repeated words, and details.
The materials include support for students who perform below grade level to ensure they are meeting the grade-level literacy standards. Each daily lesson includes a “Scaffold and Extend” section where there are activities to help reinforce concepts for students who are Almost There. There is an illustration of an arrow pointing down that has Almost There at the top and Ready for More at the bottom. This scaffolding layout supports teachers in providing scaffolds and differentiation for students who are below grade level. Some examples of differentiation for these learners are in Module 2, where the teacher helps students who are identifying graphic features of text describe the features.
Module 3 directs students to point out text and graphic features as a way to help readers understand the text. The teacher prompts students to identify the text and graphic features and how they communicate information.
In Module 6, the option for differentiation for students Almost There is for the teacher to help them identify words or phrases in the text that would lead to being able to describe the character’s or subject’s personality.
Module 8 includes support for students working below grade level using the collection of poems Inside Out and Back Again. The student is to “read aloud one part or poem from the collection” and “identify the poet’s theme in the text.”
Additionally, in Module 10, during a lesson on theme in poetry, the differentiation option for learners below level is to have the students choose a poem from the collection used in the lesson and have those students determine the topic and theme of their chosen poems.
The materials consistently include supports for English Language Learners throughout the materials. There are accommodations for various levels of English language proficiency, appropriate scaffolds and native language support, and differentiated instruction to support these learners. Strategic use of students’ first language as a means to improve students’ development in English is also present.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a glossary with 48 pages. The glossary includes cognates, Pictionary dictionary, maps, academic vocabulary for parent, teacher, and student use. For example, the dictionary has a picture of a boy and the word boy. Each Rigby leveled reader has a text to speech feature to provide scaffolds for ELs.
There are weekly Vocabulary Cards to introduce vocabulary from the literature. The front of each card displays the word and a photo that depicts the word. The back of the card includes the instructional strategy, “Collaborative Discussion,” to further support word meaning. In addition, each module includes an academic vocabulary section in the Teacher’s Guide.
The materials also include “Tabletop Minilessons: English Language Development.” The introduction provides information and background knowledge for teachers. The minilessons are 15-20 minutes and “are designed to be used daily, focusing on one language function per week.” The lessons in these resources introduce, practice, and reinforce key language functions. Each lesson includes practice for each of the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
The materials include accommodations for linguistics for various levels of English language proficiency through all modules and lessons. At the beginning of each module, there is general information on the “Reading Workshop” component of the lessons. There is a brief summary about English Language Development that recommends teachers work with ELs in small groups to help support and develop their language skills. The support is broken down into their level: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced High with aligned support. Throughout the lessons in each module, there is a purple heading titled “English Learner Support” in the “Options for Differentiation” section of the Teacher’s Guide that lists different supports for students depending on their English language proficiency as defined by the ELPs. In Module 2, a lesson includes support to “elicit participation” from students. The support for Beginning ELs is to ask them probing questions, such as “What are the five senses?” The support for Intermediate ELs is to provide them with a sentence frame, “The girl could use her sense of...to understand what the lizard feels like.” The support for Advanced/Advanced High ELs is to ask them more open-ended questions, such as “What would happen if…?” During the shared reading or close read, there are additional EL supports to facilitate discussion. In Module 6, there is EL Support to support comprehension of the shared reading. The support is for “All Levels.” The materials instruct the teacher to make some statements and have students respond with a thumbs up or thumbs down if the statement is true or false. The materials guide the teacher to repeat and provide additional examples if something seems unclear to students. In Module 4, Lesson 2, the lesson “Academic Vocabulary: Introduce Critical Vocabulary” includes “English Learner Support: Build Vocabulary.” For All Levels, teachers “allow students to demonstrate understanding of vocabulary words by telling stories or making gestures. Provide sentence frames for students to begin practice using descriptive language, ‘I sulked when I.... I scowled when I....’” In Module 8, Lesson 5, accommodations for ELs are in the “English Learner Support: Support Comprehension” for the text Eco-Friendly Food. For students at the Beginning level, the teacher is to “guide students to complete this sentence stem for each text or graphic feature, ‘This is a....’ Guide students to describe what each one does.” Teachers use the following stems with students at the intermediate level: “This feature is a...and it helps me understand....” With students at the Advanced/Advanced High levels, teachers “have students identify a feature on a page of the selection and explain how it relates to and supports central ideas” in small groups.
In every spelling lesson, the materials also include a list of cognates for Spanish-speaking English Learners. In Module 10, an example of some of these cognates included in a spelling lesson are hospital for hospital, historia for history, presidente for president. The materials suggest working with EL students to make sure they understand the meaning of all spelling words and dictation sentences and to have students practice reading the spelling words aloud after they grasp their meanings.
The materials include multiple types of assessments, along with guidance for teachers and administrators on how to assess students and interpret the data yielded, as well as act on it to be responsive to student needs.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include both formative and summative assessments that are aligned in purpose, intended use, and TEKS emphasis. However, the materials do not specifically state that any assessments are summative but do provide a comprehensive network of assessments in the formative category that cover both progress monitoring and mastery of skills. Each module contains weekly and module formative assessments. The purpose of these assessments is to “measure students’ understanding of major comprehension, vocabulary, and writing/grammar skills at the end of each week and module.” Also, the materials provide benchmark assessment books to determine the students’ reading levels and growth over time. The “Assessment & Differentiation Teacher Resource” provides assessments for the beginning, middle, and end of the year, broken down for each module in a school year. In addition, this resource details all of the different types of assessments within the materials and explains their purpose, how to use them, and what skills are assessed or monitored. For example, there is a reading and writing assessment based on comprehension and revising and editing. The aligned TEKS are in the assessment; for example, the Week 1 assessment covers 5.10C, 5.10B, 5.2A.iv. Module 7, Weeks 1-3 have weekly assessments with the TEKS and cover comprehension and grammar skills taught within the week.
The materials include assessments with TEKS emphasis for daily formative assessments, weekly assessments, intervention assessments, module assessments, guided reading benchmark assessments, and diagnostic assessments. Daily formative assessments include selection quizzes then support extended learning during small group instruction. Weekly assessments (36 provided) assess student understanding of what was taught during the week. Intervention assessments include beginning-of-the-year screeners and follow-up diagnostics as needed for identified students. Module assessments happen 12 times per year, at the end of each module, and assess reading comprehension, vocabulary strategies, writing, and grammar taught in that module and include TEKS in the key. Guided reading benchmark assessments happen at multiple points throughout the year and routinely monitor guided reading groups. They assess growth and reading levels. Diagnostic assessments test letter and sound correspondence and word recognition for students who score below expectation on initial screening assessments.
The online platform contains a “Data Reports” section where teachers can “analyze gaps and gains, form groups for differentiated instruction, and locate resources to target students’ needs.” Teachers can view data. The “Assessment Report” shows class scores for each assessment so that a teacher can analyze student proficiency data. The “Standards Report” shows students’ progress in standards proficiency. This report provides access to teacher resources that will support student learning in the specific skills they show gaps in. The materials also include the resource titled “Module Assessments Grade 5,” and it includes information about scoring and interpreting the results. It provides information to help the teacher score each of the assessments. It also provides information to help teachers interpret the scores by providing a “Summary Record Form: Module Assessments.” Teachers use these data reports to determine if students are meeting the learning objectives weekly or at the end of each module. There is the “Multiple Tiered System of Supports” (MTSS), where teachers use data to make instructional decisions. Teachers should screen, diagnose, and progress monitor as needed in a recursive process. The model describes Tier 1 as core instruction, Tier 2 as structured intervention, and Tier 3 as an intensive intervention. There are lessons for each level of MTSS, such as “Tabletop Minilessons” for Tier 2 students. In addition, there is guidance for conferring with writers, including rubrics in both “Writing Workshop” and “Inquiry and Research Projects” that contain a “How to Use” resource that provides the teacher with step-by-step instructions beginning with how to print the rubric, then how to review the criteria, record the score, average the score, and share the information with students and parents.
Furthermore, the materials contain assessments connected to the regular content to support student learning. The materials include weekly assessments, “which test students’ understanding of the major Reading and Writing Skills in each week.” For example, Module 4 includes “Performance-Based Assessments,” where students synthesize what they have learned from the module’s text set and demonstrate their topic knowledge by completing one of the module’s culminating activities.
The materials include year-long plans and supports for teachers to identify the needs of students and provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of a range of learners to ensure grade-level success.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include the same structures and supports throughout each module to make a consistent, year-long plan for engaging students in different grouping formats and structures. For example, at the beginning of each module, there is information on how to create the “Reading Workshop.” It includes information for teachers on how to form small groups in regards to different student needs. A teacher creates Guided Reading groups using the running records from the “Benchmark Kit.” Teachers can use the Rigby Leveled Library books with each small group. The grade 5 Rigby readers are organized by modules with at least 13 books per module. Each reader also includes a list of the grade-level TEKS. The grade 5 readers include levels R-W, but teachers can assess readers from any grade level to support all learners. The materials also include “Take & Teach lessons,” which can be used with the leveled readers to practice different reading comprehension skills and extend learning. There are online printables available throughout the materials to reinforce skills. The materials include the resource “Guiding Principles and Strategies” (GPS), which includes the “Assessment and Differentiation” section. This resource helps teachers “learn how to use Into Reading assessments and access information about differentiating instruction for all learners, including English learners, special populations, and accelerated learners.” It provides information about “Assessing Students Throughout the Year,” “Daily Formative Assessments,” “Selection Quizzes,” “Weekly Assessments,” and “Module Assessments.” The Scope and Sequence presents the 12 modules for the year, and each module includes the essential question, module focus, learning mindset, text sets, and writing form. Also, the foundational skills Scope and Sequence breaks down the three-week lessons for each module, covering decoding, high-frequency words, and fluency.
The Teacher’s Guide includes detailed lessons for foundational skills, reading, and writing. Throughout the modules and lessons, the materials include various types of annotations and supports, as well as information for teachers on when to implement ancillary or resource materials and student progress checks. During spelling lessons, there is an annotation titled “Link to Small-Group Instruction.” In Module 10, the materials guide the teacher to “reinforce foundational skills” and work with students using an additional resource, the printable worksheet “Proofreading 10.1.”
Also, each comprehension skill has an anchor chart. For example, the “Ask and Answer Questions” anchor chart depicts two heads talking to each other. It defines the skill: “Asking and answering questions before, during, and after reading helps you make predictions, clarify things that might seem unclear, and think more deeply about the text.” The two heads talking have speech bubbles that contain example questions, such as “When is this happening? Why did the author write this? What will this be about?”
The materials include annotations and ancillary materials that provide support for student learning and assistance for teachers. For example, the “Tabletop Minilesson” is a flipchart to support differentiated small-group instruction. The flipchart includes a visual on one side for students to look at, while the teacher looks at the instructional strategies on the back side of the flipchart for use during small-group lessons for reading and English language development. Each lesson includes embedded support to help teachers provide scaffolds for English learners and extension opportunities for students’ use after reading. The “Tabletop Minilesson: Make and Confirm Predictions” instructs the teacher to follow five key points to “Guide students to explore the visual, emphasizing.” It also provides prompts for the students, which supports not only the teacher but also the students’ learning through various skills covered thus far and based on the reading material. Also, there is a place for differentiation with teacher guidance, a student printable, and additional support, such as optional strategy connections.
The materials include implementation support for teachers throughout a school year’s worth of literacy instruction. The materials are accompanied by a TEKS-aligned Scope and Sequence outlining the essential knowledge and skills that are taught in the program and the order in which they are presented. The module topics that are the organizing structure for the program demonstrate similar topics that grow across the grades, and the grade-level Scope and Sequence documents show evidence of skills that build across grade levels.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide an overarching year-long plan for teachers to engage students in multiple grouping (and other) structures. Plans are comprehensive and attend to differentiation to support students via many learning opportunities. There are 12 modules, each with three weeks of instruction. For each week, the materials list the TEKS that correspond with daily lessons, as well as the genre and text titles to be taught and the strategies and routines incorporated into the week’s lesson plans. The standards connect from week to week. Modules contain “Essential Questions,” “Learning Mindset,” “Build Knowledge and Language,” “Reading and Vocabulary,” “English Language Development,” “Foundational Skills,” “Inquiry and Research Project,” and “Writer’s Workshop.”
There are different TEKS-aligned Scope and Sequences. The Scope and Sequence goes module by module, outlining the Reading Workshop texts, comprehension skills, vocabulary, speaking and listening, English Language Development, foundational skills (decoding, spelling, fluency, and high-frequency words), and writing skills in the module. The corresponding TEKS are next to each objective or skill. The “Grammar: Scope and Sequence” has an introduction section that informs teachers that during the fourth lesson each week, there is a spiral review that will review a topic from earlier in the same year or a previous grade. Following the introduction, there is a Scope and Sequence for each week with links to where a teacher can find the grammar lessons.
There are resources to support teachers in implementing the materials, such as the “Teacher’s Guide,” which is a daily and weekly framework for instruction that provides more detail on the program components. The “Professional Learning Guide” covers routines and classroom management, teaching and planning, and assessment and opportunities for professional development, such as webinars for both teachers and administrators. For example, a “Getting Started Leadership Webinar” for administrators provides an overview of the program’s organization, lesson design, and support resources. There are additional links and information on where to find embedded support for teachers who need more help, such as the “Teacher Tips” within the lessons or classroom videos found on “Online Ed” that show teachers modeling different routines included in the materials. There is also a professional learning “Teacher’s Corner” with live events and resources added by teachers with helpful hints. The materials do not include explicit additional supports to help administrators support teachers in implementing the materials as intended. However, there are resources that the administration could use to assist teachers, such as the Scope and Sequence for the year, the “Guiding Principles and Strategies” resource, and the “Professional Learning” section of the materials. In the materials’ digital platform, “Ed: Your Friend in Learning,” administrators have access to materials that teachers and students are using. While administrators do not have access to creating assignments or assigning grades, they do have permission to create and share plans, create assessments, and access data reports. Also, administrators can access growth reports that can be used to evaluate the efficacy of the program across a grade level or specific teachers. Administrators have access to features such as importing data files, setting rostering permissions for teachers, adding students to classes, and adding teacher accounts.
The materials include 12 modules that are each three weeks in length and 36 weeks of lesson plans. There are five full days in each week’s lesson plans, for a total of 180 days of instruction. Each week contains multiple focal texts. For example, Module 2 includes four texts during Week 1, two texts in Week 2, and two texts in Week 3. This would also allow for extending materials for longer instructional schedules if needed. The materials do not include a 220-day schedule, but the materials have enough depth to extend learning. Certain program resources, such as the “Tabletop Minilessons: Reading” can be used flexibly with any text in the program or classroom library books, and the “Foundational Skills and Word Study Studio” component contains foundational skills lessons that extend beyond a grade-level Scope and Sequence if needed to expand to a 220-day schedule. Using the suggested times for the reading and writing workshop, the 180-day instructional time could be implemented over 220 days. The materials also include realistic time frames for the various components included in the Guiding Principles and Strategies teacher resource. The whole-class instruction includes 10-15 minutes daily of Build Knowledge and Language and/or Vocabulary, 20-30 minutes daily of Reading Workshop, 15-30 minutes daily of Foundational Skills and/or Communication, with a note that foundational skills can be taught using flexible grouping to accommodate different instructional schedules, 30-45 minutes daily of Writing Workshop, 5 minutes daily of Whole Class Wrap Up and Share, 45-60 minutes of Teacher-Led Small Groups, Independent Practice, and Collaborative Work.
The materials include appropriate use of white space and design that supports and does not distract from student learning. Pictures and graphics are supportive of student learning and engagement without being visually distracting. The visual design of the student edition is neither distracting nor chaotic.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The student materials, “myBook,” include colorful pages and appropriate use of white space and other designs. The white space is adequate between paragraphs, pictures, and columns, making the page easy to navigate and read. The book has ample open space on each page to allow for students to annotate as they interact with the textbook. For example, there are highlighting and notes features built into the platform. Within the “More” button, students can choose to toggle between one page or two pages while interacting with the online textbook. Students can also zoom in and out to access the text better. Each text has “notes” spaces, which encourages students to jot down their thoughts as they read.
In Module 1, students read The Inventor’s Secret by Suzanne Slade from “My eBook.” The book has numbered paragraphs, white spaces as a perimeter on most pages, and a few pages with illustrations stretching to the edge of each page.
Instructions for students and other important information is in bold or in text boxes to draw the students’ eyes to it. The colors on the pages do not distract from student learning. The materials also include organized tables to display information, such as vocabulary words and their meanings and sentences using the words in context. myBook includes text selections that have colorful and engaging illustrations. The text that needs to be read is clear and separate from the illustrations, so there are no visual distractions. For example, in Module 2, to draw students’ attention to words they need to understand as part of their vocabulary, such as panic in the text Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, the word is highlighted. Underneath the paragraph that contains the highlighted word, there is also a small text box, enclosed in color to draw students’ attention to it, that defines the word in context for students.
In Module 5, students read a one-page selection called Potatoes on Rooftops by Hadley Dyer. There is spacing between paragraphs, white space on each border, and a line down the middle of the page, so students know to read column by column. There are easy-to-read text features, including captions and subheadings.
The pictures contain kid-friendly images that draw the reader’s interest and include illustrations from award-winning illustrators such as Jennifer Reinhardt. Illustrations support and extend the text. The art is consistent from page to page, with effective use of line, color, texture, and white space. For example, Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives by Elizabeth Rusch includes real-life images that match the content material and show students the severity of volcanoes. The pictures show the environment around volcanoes, their damage, and how people are affected by the natural disaster. In addition, the captions to explain the pictures are in different color fonts, grabbing the attention of the reader and making it easy to find. The graphics capture attention and support student learning and engagement.
The materials include technology components that are grade-level appropriate and support learning. The supports enhance learning, and there is appropriate teacher guidance.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
All of the technology within the material supports and enhances student learning through engagement, ease of use, quick feedback, and access to all materials, whether in school or at home. Within the student online “Ed: Your Friend in Learning” dashboard, tabs to support navigation are included, such as “My class,” “Create,” “Discover,” and “Professional Learning.” These tabs provide students with a quick view of their assignments, connected programs, and recent scores. For example, the Discover tab provides students with access to the online version of each module within the “myBook,” “the Rigby Leveled Library,” “Anchor Charts,” “Practice & Application,” “Student Choice Library,” “Multimedia,” and “Current Events.” All materials are available online for the teacher and student, with access to PDF versions. A teacher or student can use Current Events, online assessments, “Writable,” and the Rigby Leveled Library to enhance learning, interact with texts online, and add annotations. The student-facing material, myBook, is available entirely online. This contains text selections, pre- and post-reading activities and prompts, and an end-of-module performance task. Students have opportunities to respond to text-dependent questions. The Current Events section of the materials includes links and access to many online resources, such as Kiddle News, Newsela, and TIME for Kids. Assessments are available online to support creating small groups and to inform instruction. Writable is the materials’ online platform for writing assignments, which allows students to construct various writing assignments via technology rather than pencil and paper. Rigby Leveled Readers are a collection of readers organized by grade level and Lexile level and include a short five-question quiz to be taken after reading.
In addition, the technology provides teacher guidance through the information needed to implement and execute various aspects of the material, including modules and instruction within the modules. When clicking on professional learning, Ed leads to the teacher’s edition for each module, as well as more tabs such as “Writer’s Workshop,” “Intervention,” and Rigby Leveled Library. The online materials match the printed materials. Teachers can click on Professional Development and find live sessions and instruction ideas organized by topics, such as “Virtual Learning.” The search tool serves as quick access to aid in finding resources.
Read the Full Report for Pricing
(pdf, 177 KB)
Read the Full Report for Professional Learning Opportunities
(pdf, 111.79 KB)
Read the Full Report for Additional Language Supports
(pdf, 122.81 KB)