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ELARGrade 1 | 2020
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtSeries includes:
The quality review is the result of extensive evidence gathering and analysis by Texas educators of how well instructional materials satisfy the criteria for quality in the subject-specific rubric. Follow the links below to view the scores and read the evidence used to determine quality.
Section 1. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
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TEKS Teacher %
ELPS Student %
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Section 2. Texts (what students read, see, and hear)
Section 3. Literacy Practices and Text Interactions: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Thinking, Inquiry, and Research
Section 4. Developing and Sustaining Foundational Literacy Skills
Section 5. Supports for Diverse Learners
Section 6. Ease of Use and Supports for Implementation
Section 7. Technology, Cost, and Professional Learning Support
|Grade||TEKS Student %||TEKS Teacher %||ELPS Student %||ELPS Teacher %|
The materials 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, including authors such as Ingo Arndt, Chieri Uegaki, and Arthur Dorros. In addition, the materials cover content that is engaging to first-grade students. Materials also include increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts as students progress through each module.
Examples include but are not limited to:
How Do You Know It’s Winter? by Ruth Owen is a nonfiction text produced by the author in consultation with two experts in the field. One has a Master of Arts and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, and the other earned a Doctor of Philosophy and works for the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.
Do You Really Want to Visit a Wetland? by Bridget Heos is a contemporary narrative nonfiction text that tells the story of a boy who travels to the Florida Everglades and learns about the ecology of the wetland ecosystem.
Suki’s Kimono by Cheiri Uegaki and Stephane Jorisch is an award-winning fictional picture book that includes diverse characters and teaches students Japanese vocabulary, while also promoting a message of courage, respect, and multiculturalism.
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin is a rhyming book with a recognizable main character and language features that include rhythm, rhyme, and repetition.
Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer is an informational big book that engages students with large photographs of animals’ feet. Each animal is introduced with just its foot, in a question-answer format similar to a riddle. For example, a page will pose the question “Whose foot is this?” and the following pages will answer with a picture of the entire animal and a close-up of its feet.
The Great Ball Game retold by Joseph Bruchac is a folktale about an epic lacrosse-style stick ball game between the Birds and the Animals. This story, adapted from a popular Native American tale, explains why birds fly south every winter. The book is filled with vibrant collage art that will definitely be engaging for first-grade students.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown is a fictional modern classic and ecological fable; it has received multiple awards, including the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and it is a New York Times Best Seller. The text engages readers with vibrant illustrations and rich vocabulary.
Abuela by Arthur Dorros is a fantasy story in which a young girl and her grandmother take a wondrous journey above the streets, sights, and the people of New York City. The text is written in English but includes Spanish phrases.
Can We Ring the Liberty Bell? by Martha E.H. Rustad is a narrative nonfiction story. It tells of a class that takes a field trip and discovers when the Liberty Bell was rung for the last time and why it has a huge crack. The text explains who made the Liberty Bell, what words appear on it, and how it got its name.
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content areas that meet the requirements for the Grade 1 English Language Arts and Reading TEKS. Materials also include opportunities for students to analyze the use of print and graphic features of a variety of texts.
Examples of literary texts include but are not limited to:
Goal! By Colette Mora (narrative nonfiction)
If I Were a Tree by Dar Hosta (verse)
“You’re a Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan (song)
Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley (folktale)
The Great Ball Game by Joseph Bruchac (folktale)
Examples of informational texts include but are not limited to:
How Do You Know It's Winter? by Ruth Owen (scientific nonfiction)
The Contest by Libby Martinez (persuasive)
The Earth by G. Brian Karas (scientific nonfiction)
Rainy, Sunny, Blowy, Snowy by Jane Brocket (scientific nonfiction)
Examples of print and graphic features include but are not limited to:
Whose Hands Are These? by Miranda Paul uses pictures and descriptions of community helpers’ hands for readers to guess the helper and the impact their job has on the community.
What Is Soil? by Philip Simpson contains a table of contents, headings, bold words, diagrams, labels, and a glossary for students to analyze.
Looking at Insects by Cheryl Jakab uses diagrams, labels, and real photographs.
The materials provide texts, including read-aloud texts and shared reading, that are appropriately challenging and are at an appropriate level of complexity to support students at the Grade 1 level. The texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis provided by the publisher. Read-aloud and shared-reading texts are above the complexity level of what first-grade students can read independently.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Teacher’s Guide” for each week includes two pages titled “Preview Lesson Texts.” This section provides information on the “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.” The materials provide a rationale for why the text was selected and an explanation to support the overall text rating, providing qualitative information. The text complexity analysis is located in the “Guided Reading Benchmark Assessment” section to determine the students’ level for guided reading groups. Additionally, the table of contents for the “Rigby Leveled Library” includes titles and levels. All leveled readers include a text complexity analysis and targeted behaviors to look for at each guided reading level. Each text has a Lexile Level correlated to it, which is noted either in the description of the book or on the back cover of the book.
Module 1 includes the book My First Day, included in “myBook.” A description of the text states: “Students should readily identify with the content of this story in which a young girl writes about her first day of first grade. Children can consider their own first day of school in relation to this fictional student.” The quantitative features of this text are Lexile Level 150L and Guided Reading Level E. Qualitative features to consider include identifying key features of realistic fiction and using details and pictures to retell a story.
Module 1 has the text Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin. In this fantasy story, Pete wears his school shoes and sings his special song as he visits the library, lunchroom, playground, and other cool places at school. The quantitative features of the text include a Lexile Level of 480L and a Guided Reading Level of K. Qualitative features to consider include sing-song language to describe funny things that happen to the main character, the theme, and the summary of the text.
Module 4 includes the big book Baseball Hour by Carol Nevius, with a Lexile of 510L and a Guided Reading Level of B. In this informational text, a multicultural group of boys and girls works on their skills during their team’s baseball practice. Qualitative features to consider include locating the central idea of the story.
Module 5 includes the text How Do You Know It’s Winter? by Ruth Owen. The Lexile Level for this text is 580L and the Guided Reading Level is l. This text is described as an informational text, and students learn about the signs of winter coming, such as the change in temperature and light as well as the lack of food for the animals to eat. Qualitative features of this text to consider include graphic features of an informational text.
In Module 8, Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley has a Lexile Level of 500L. This folktale tells of a chicken who learns a valuable lesson—always telling the truth. Qualitative features of this text to consider include story elements and themes.
The materials contain questions and tasks that build conceptual knowledge, are text-dependent, and prompt students to synthesize new information through myriad read-aloud texts, writing tasks, and “Inquiry and Research” projects. Formal and informal assignments and activities focus on texts students are reading/listening to through read-alouds, shared reading, and/or videos and require close attention to the meaning and inferences as students demonstrate comprehension. Considering that each module contains a central theme and an “Essential Question” that connects to all the text selections within the module, questions and activities grow students’ understanding of topics and literacy skills over the course of each unit. Since each text has two or more stopping points for student discussions, materials provide opportunities for students to evaluate and discuss information from multiple places within a text.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, students are introduced to the “Notice and Note” strategy, in which students notice patterns authors use when writing to lead the reader to be able to make inferences. These patterns are called “signposts.” Four lessons in this module contain texts with strong examples of these signposts. Students are taught the signpost and use it during the module by using text clues to answer questions such as “Why did the character act this way?” “What surprised me?” “What does the author think I already know?” “What challenged, confirmed, or changed what I already know?”
In Module 2, a “Knowledge Map” provides a pictorial graphic of the ideas students will learn. The Essential Question “How does everyone in my community and family make them feel special?” guides the evidence students look for. At the beginning of the module, students view the graphic to identify the ideas they will learn. After reading each text in the module, the graphic is revisited, and students discuss how it relates to the Essential Question. At the end of the module, students complete the “Let’s Wrap Up” section and choose from multiple activities to demonstrate their understanding, including acting out what a person does in one of the communities students read about or deciding who from the community deserves an award and why.
Module 3 begins with the Knowledge Map and the Essential Question “How do animals’ bodies help them?” Students discuss what they already know about animals’ bodies. As they read, students refer back to the Knowledge Map to determine how their new learning relates to the connections on the map. In the Let’s Wrap Up section, students complete sentences using what they learned in the module about how animals’ bodies help them survive: “Animals do….” “Animals don’t….”
In Module 7, students read the text Grand Canyon Fossils. As students read, they answer questions such as “What is a fossil like?” and “What kind of fossils can you find?” and identify important details throughout the text. After reading, students consider the important parts of the text and draw conclusions about what they might learn from observing different types of fossils. Students discuss how something looks, feels, smells, and sounds to make connections to the text.
Module 9 contains the procedural text So You Want to Grow A Taco?, through which students learn how corn is grown and how to make tortillas. Students later read Which Part Do We Eat? and learn about multiple plants and the parts we eat. The performance assessment provides students with the option to draw and label a plant they learned about during the module.
The leveled library’s texts also contain questions and tasks to support students. The leveled reader Grandpa has a formal assessment that provides the opportunity to assess students’ comprehension, by assessing student mastery in evaluating details to determine what is most important, describing the main character(s) and the reason(s) for their actions, making inferences, and using evidence to support understanding. In reading Together, students learn about realistic fiction and set a purpose for reading by evaluating and discussing information from multiple places within the story. They also have opportunities to make, correct, or confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of the genre, and structures. In discussing and retelling the text, students use text evidence to support their appropriate responses.
The materials include questions and tasks that require students to analyze literary/textual elements of texts including, but not limited to the author's purpose, elements of plot, theme, comparing and contrasting, and word choice. Students 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 student comprehension.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, students read the book Try This! and critically analyze the authors' purpose, using the genre type to help the reader decipher the clues leading to the author’s purpose. Students learn how to ask questions and find evidence to help figure out the author’s purpose. Materials provide the teacher the following questions to help students analyze the text: “What does this text tell about? Why does the author tell about these new things? Why did the author write this text? What does the author want you to learn?”
In Module 2, students learn about text organization to frame their thinking as they read Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? Students evaluate why authors use a descriptive text structure to organize information and look for clue words describing the five senses to draw conclusions about what something is like. Students may use the annotation tools in their ebook to locate specific text evidence of the author’s use of a descriptive text structure. The teacher guides students as they read with the following questions: “Before I read the text, I think of questions I have about it. I use question words such as who, what, where, when, why, or how. For example, I might ask: What will this text be about? Why is this information important? Then I look for evidence, or details in the text and pictures, to answer my questions.” Students are reminded that when they are reading informational texts, they should stop and think about the “3 Big Questions.” Those are “What surprised me? What did the author think I already knew? What challenged, changed, or confirmed what I already knew?”
In Module 4, students read If You Plant a Seed and discuss what they would expect to find in a fantasy story and compare these to what they might find in a realistic fiction story. Before reading, students set a purpose for the task. Students learn that making connections deepens the meaning of the text and helps get to the theme of the text. Students are asked, “What is this text mostly about? Do the rabbit and the mouse act selfishly? Why does the author repeat the word grow? What else does the author do to draw attention to this?” Students ultimately identify the theme of the text by making text-to-self connections. Later in the module, students view Color Your World With Kindness and discuss things they would expect to find in a video. Again, students set a purpose for viewing the video.
At the end of Module 4, students use the “Turn and Talk” routine to discuss the authors’ purposes and how all of the texts and videos in the module were related to the essential question. Students read Good Sports and think through the author’s purpose regarding the main character. Students answer the question “What does the girl do that makes her a good sport? What reasons does the girl give to support her opinion?” When students read A Big Guy Took My Ball they analyze various parts of the text and the author’s purpose. Students answer questions, such as “Why did the author repeat these words? What mental image do these words help you make? What was Piggie’s biggest problem and how does she feel about it?” Students pay attention to the author’s purpose in each text and answer questions such as, “What is the same about the different texts we read? How was the informational text Good Sports different from a fantasy such as A Big Guy Took My Ball?”
In Module 5, prior to reading The Best Season, the teacher reminds students of the definition of opinion writing: telling “an author’s thoughts, beliefs, or ideas about a topic.” Teachers also make a connection to persuasion, stating in the story the author may want to persuade the reader to think a certain way or do something. Because the text is written from the first-person point of view, the material uses the phrases “the girl” and “the author” synonymously. Students answer questions like “Why do you think the girl used curved text and color for the word best?” and “What does the word best help you understand about the text.” Here, they reference “the girl,” but in practice, students are analyzing the author's craft and use of language. Later, the students must underline the reasons the girl gives for why winter is the best season. When talking about summer, students answer the question, “What does the girl mean when she says summer days are ‘outdoor days’?” To conclude the lesson, students reflect and consider both competing purposes in the story: “Which person do you agree with in The Best Season? Use details from the text to explain why. What are your own reasons for liking that season?”
In Module 6, students study the elements of poetry before reading Patriotic Poems to help them learn about the author’s choice of words, such as the use of rhythm, rhyme, and describing words. As they read, students pay attention to the following examples of the author’s choice of words as the teacher asks the following questions: “Which words in this poem rhyme? (September/remember, long/b, best/rest) Which words in the poem describe Martin Luther King, Jr.? (man of honor, standing tall) How does the girl celebrate Arbor Day? (She takes care of a tree.) Which words in the poem help you understand this? (ribbons for your branches, buckets of water, wheelbarrow full of mulch).” Students use describing words to help visualize the poet’s intended feelings or images.
In Module 7, students use Do You Really Want to Visit a Wetland? as a read-aloud. Students make predictions using the cover to determine the author’s purpose. After reading, students identify the central idea using key details. Students also analyze language by using text evidence to explain, “What is the Shark Slough like? What does the author want you to learn about the Everglades? What details help you figure that out?”
The materials include a year-long plan for building academic vocabulary, including ways to apply words in appropriate contexts. Materials also include scaffolds and supports for teachers to differentiate vocabulary development for all learners.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials introduce reading-specific vocabulary in a systematic and recursive manner. Students are introduced to the academic vocabulary word imagery, as they learn that visualizing uses the five senses to help readers imagine the text in their mind. As students create mental images, pictures, sounds, tastes, and smells become real in their minds (“Anchor Chart 3: Create Mental Images”).
Students continue to learn academic vocabulary associated with reading when small groups answer the following prompts:
In Modules 1–10, “Teaching with Instructional Routines: Vocabulary” is designed to “explicitly teach the meaning of academic and topic-related words, provide examples, and practice using words in context.” Children pronounce new words, explain the meaning in child-friendly terms, and then use the words in context, talking about examples.
The “Professional Learning Guide” outlines the vocabulary routine and supporting materials. In the “Teaching and Planning” section, the “Vocabulary Instruction” chart outlines various opportunities for students to learn words that span all modules in the program:
“Vocabulary Strategy 1.5” engages readers in classifying and categorizing words to help make word meanings more understandable. Students classify words in their minds into categories such as actions, places, and directions.
In Module 3, beginning English language learners demonstrate the meaning of words for the module such as propel, sinking, spring, and hunts as they repeat after the teacher. Intermediate students are given sentence frames to demonstrate understanding: “You can propel a…. I would spring….” Advanced students are asked “What else could you propel? When might a person hunt for something?”
In Module 4, after the teacher has introduced the topic words, the section “Teach Topic Words” guides the teacher to show a related “Get Curious” video to practice a morning routine incorporating the new words, with an emphasis on the word healthy. After the video, students respond to the video with a provided sentence frame: “What do you do to get a healthy start each day? One healthy thing I do is….” Students have the opportunity to talk with a partner using the “Think, Pair, Share” routine and the sentence frames that support students who are learning English or who may experience learning differences.
In Module 6, students use the “I Do, We Do, You Do” routine using the words forever, peace, emblem, true, and brag. These words are from the big book You’re A Grand Old Flag. The teacher introduces each power word using a picture card of it, explains the meaning of the word, and talks about examples. In the “We Do” portion of the vocabulary lesson, students discuss with a partner how they would use the word in their everyday life. Examples include “What could last forever, a rock or a flower? Explain. When you are angry at someone, how do you make peace? What would be a good emblem for our class? What is a brag you might say about our school? Do you act true by doing things that you believe are wrong for you, or by doing things that are right for you?” In the “You Do” section, students again work with partners and complete a variety of activities, such as “Draw an emblem you know. Write what it stands for. Roleplay with a partner and say a brag about something you do or someone you know. Discuss why it would be good if peace lasted forever and discuss a time when you were true to yourself. What happened? How did it make you feel?”
The materials use the language of the disciplines across texts as content-area words are introduced, such as habitat. Module 9 introduces many different types of habitats through pictures of an ocean, desert, forest, and polar habitat. After introducing the word habitat through pictures, meaning, sentences, and an example, the students view the Get Curious video “Live Like an Animal.” One last scaffold is provided when students are asked to use the sentence frame “What is one animal habitat you would like to live in? I would like to live in a(n)…habitat because…” as they turn and talk with a partner. The students continue to use the habitat vocabulary across texts throughout the week with the read-aloud books, Why Living Things Need Homes and What Am I? Where Am I? Students continue to read about animals in their natural environment during guided reading, as they read leveled readers such as Baby Hippo and Small Animals That Hide (Module 9).
In Module 11, students’ understanding of the words presented in the “Spelling and Phonics” portions of the materials is supported by scaffolded instruction of the meaning of the word. Beginning English Learners (ELs) are able to choose one of the picture cards, for a word such as fork. Students say the word and then act out the word. Intermediate ELs are given sentence stems such as “I eat with a….” “…can open locks.” Advanced and advanced high ELs choose a picture card and say a complete sentence, using the word correctly in the sentence.
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.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Procedures and protocols in Grade 1 center around a workshop model. Students engage in a variety of “Literacy Centers,” independent reading, and guided-reading tasks.
In the “Reading Corner,” students read a self-selected book independently. Students use the “Reading Log” to set a purpose for reading and maintain accountability for their learning. The Reading Log includes the following components:
The “Professional Learning Guide” explains how students can self-select texts using the “Rigby Leveled Library,” “Start Right Readers,” and “iDecodable” texts. The Guide also provides a one-page synopsis of “Teaching and Planning Independent Reading.” The synopsis includes a list of texts from which students may self-select based on their level for independent reading. Texts are provided via several resources:
The materials include the following other activity choices for teachers to ask students to complete while reading:
The “Teacher Guide” provides guidance for scaffolding independent reading time. During the time allotted for teachers to meet with students in small guided-reading groups, the rest of the students participate in literacy activities to support the lesson’s learning target, which includes independent reading. Students are given “Reading Graphic Organizer 23: Story Structure” to record the events in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Students use “Language Graphic Organizer 12: Seek Information” to record information on a “Know-Want to Know-How Do I Find Out-Learned” (“KWHL”) graphic organizer. The KWHL organizer includes the following prompts:
The “Reading Workshop Center Support Guide” includes activities for students to practice skills that reinforce the unit’s learning and keep themselves accountable for what they are reading. For example, in Module 1, while independently reading, students can apply the reading skill “Story Structure” to complete the “Printable: Reading Graphic Organizer 23” from a book of their choosing. Also, students seek information while completing the “Printable: Language Graphic Organizer 12” from an independent reading book. In Module 2, students answer the questions “What is the author trying to persuade you to think or do? What reasons did the author give? Do these reasons persuade you to agree with the author?” They also complete the “Reading Graphic Organizer 16.”
The Teacher Guide includes a section titled “Setting Reading Goals and Conferring.” The teacher meets with students individually to confer with them about the independent reading goals. The materials guide the teacher to use the following steps when conferring with students:
All modules in the Teacher Guide have the section “Kicking Off the Module,” where teachers set goals with students using sentence stems such as “I want to read stories about…. I want to learn about…. I will…so I can….” Materials remind teachers to periodically revisit these goals. The materials also provide a “Family Letter” that outlines topics for the module and includes suggestions for reading at home.
Materials provide support for students to compose across text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students have opportunities to dictate or write literary texts for multiple purposes and audiences, including poetry using poetry elements and personal narratives that convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. The materials provide students opportunities to dictate or write informational texts, including procedural texts and reports about a topic. The materials provide students opportunities to dictate or write correspondence, including thank-you notes and letters.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Module 1, students read the text Ralph Tells a Story. Students tell a story to their classmates about something that has happened to them, and they work to include details using the tips given in “Display and Engage 1.2.” Using the ideas they shared with a partner, the teacher models how to complete the sentence, “One time I….” When students share their stories, they focus on including details about what things looked like, how they sounded, and how they felt. The class writes a class story to get students to transfer their oral storytelling to a written draft.
In Module 4, students use the text Do Unto Otters: A Book about Manners to engage in a discussion about the “Golden Rule” and how to be a friend to others. They write to the prompt “Write a how-to book about how to make a new friend.” Students use a flowchart to record the steps, in order, that are needed to make a friend. The students publish their how-to writing and create covers for their work.
Module 6 continues the study of writing personal narratives when students use the text This Thanksgiving Dinner to write about their favorite holiday memory. Using different mentor texts in “Display and Engage 6.4”, “6.5a”, and “6.5b” students work to create stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end; they also use clear action words to convey thoughts and feelings. Students use pictures to match their writing and answer questions like “When you look at the illustrations, how do you feel? How might these people feel? What action words describe what they are doing?”
In Module 7, using the “Focus Statement” “Take a walk in nature!” from “Display and Engage 7.1,” students discuss what they see in nature and what they like about nature. These priming activities work together to help students develop a class poem. Also in the module, students begin writing about their own topic using the prompt “Write a poem about things you like in nature” (“Display and Engage 7.3”). Students list nature nouns and corresponding action verbs, such as “frogs swimming,” to help the reader visualize the action in their mind. Students end this lesson by writing a three- or four-line poem using their nature nouns and action verbs.
In Module 9, students refer to an anchor chart showing the “Elements of Poetry.” Looking at the poem “Which Part Do We Eat?” children use “Targeted Close Read” prompts to identify elements in the poem. After they have done this, they read the text aloud to identify rhyming words and patterns within the poem. Finally, with “Teaching Pal,” they write and draw ideas about how two vegetables are alike and different and create their own descriptive poem.
In Module 11, nonfiction genre study introduces students to writing opinion letters to the boy in the text I Will Not Read This Book. Students must respond to the writing prompt “Write a letter to the boy in the book telling him he should read a book you have chosen for him.” Students have to pick a book and support their choice with clear reasons, convincing the main character to agree with them regarding their choice. The teacher provides the following guidance:
In this module, students also learn the purpose of a thank-you letter. Students learn the parts of a letter should include the date, greeting, body, and closing. Students read thank-you letters and identify the parts within the letters. Students understand that thank-you letters should tell the specific reasons the writer is thankful. Students end the lesson by writing thank-you notes to a person of their choice.
In Module 12, students write letters to incoming first-graders to give them confidence and raise excitement for the upcoming school year. Students follow a letter template to help formulate their letters and give valid reasons for their choices of skills the incoming students will learn.
In Teaching Pal, “Write a Thank You Note,” students write to the prompt: “Write a thank you note to a worker of your choice from the text Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar.” Teachers are provided with a projectable tool to assist students with writing in the genre of correspondence. Student guidance is as follows:
The materials engage students in the writing process to develop text in oral, pictorial, or written form. Students coherently use the elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing/publishing) to compose text; they draw and brainstorm to generate drafts and plan and organize their drafts by speaking, drawing, or writing.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Module 2, Lesson 4, begins with students generating ideas by brainstorming what makes their world wonderful. This is lead using “Display and Engage 2.2.” Students make a quick list of what they love about where they live by writing or drawing. Using “Turn and Talk,” students share their ideas with a partner. Students draw their ideas or write them in the “Writer’s Notebook.” When students begin drafting, they organize their ideas using “Writer’s Notebook 2.3”—“My Wonderful World.” This graphic organizer gives writers four places to draw a picture and record a word to respond to the prompt “Draw pictures and add words to show some specific things that make your world wonderful.” They draw a picture and write a sentence focusing on the first specific thing that makes their world wonderful. Each day, as students draft, they add to their writing by drawing a different picture and writing a different sentence supporting the topic of what makes their world wonderful. Students share their writing, often, with a partner as well as with the class during drafting. An editing checklist is used for making appropriate edits; revisions include rewriting sentences for clarity. Students ultimately publish their completed writing and share it with the class.
In Module 3, students work to brainstorm ideas for writing an informational research essay about animals. Students use “Writer’s Notebook 3.3”—“My Amazing Animals”—to draw and write a list of animals they would like to learn more about. In Lesson 5, students plan and organize by recording their ideas in “Writer’s Notebook 3.5,” which gives students space to draw and record where the animal lives, what the animal eats, and interesting facts about the animal.
In Module 5, Week 1, students brainstorm ideas for a narrative-writing imaginative story. Students consider ideas for writing a folktale explaining how something in nature came to be. They use a mentor text to generate ideas for narrative writing and to narrow down a topic. In Week 2, they work as a class to learn more about telling and listening to stories, and they prewrite a class story, assessing it against criteria. In Week 3, they revise by grouping ideas and incorporating feedback from peers, then go on to edit for capitalization and word choice.
Module 6 asks students to investigate people who follow their dreams and inspire us. The teacher helps the students make a list of their dreams as a class. Students can add to the list in their Writer’s Notebook by writing or drawing. Students are given the writing prompt “Write a short biography about someone who inspires you.” Students can choose to research basic facts about anyone in history or pop culture, using the guiding questions “When and where they were born? What made them famous? Why are they inspirational?” Students are able to turn and talk to share their ideas and organize their writing into a beginning, middle, and end. As students find answers to their questions, they add to their draft, considering where the information would go. Students add illustrations to support their writing. In Lesson 9 of the module, students begin revising their writing, using vivid verbs to make their writing more interesting. The teacher uses the word struggle as an example and guides students to find words in their writing they can replace to make their writing more vivid. Lesson 12 begins the editing process; students look for grammar errors and use the checklist provided to edit their writing. Finally, students publish their writing and share their final product with the class.
Also in Module 6, students read the text The Thanksgiving Door and discuss the elements of a narrative story, including characters, setting, problem, and solution. Students use the following question words to brainstorm ideas about their own holiday memory: who, when, where, what, how. Students use “Writer’s Notebook 6.3” to set goals for their writing. They also use a three-column organizer to draft the beginning, middle, and end of a holiday memory narrative by telling the characters, setting, problem, and solution. The teacher guides students to choose the right words by exploring idioms and past-tense verbs. The teacher uses the text to provide an example of how the author and illustrator used illustrations to add meaning to the text and build connections between the author and the intended audience. Students begin creating illustrations for their holiday memory. The teacher guides students to notice action words and synonyms in the text; students revise their verbs and look for synonyms to enhance their writing. Next, partners meet to give feedback and revise their personal narratives. Students confer with their teacher about their personal narrative and make final edits to their writing using the editor’s checklist. Finally, in Lessons 14 and 15, students publish their final draft of their personal narratives, create a cover, and share their writing by reading it aloud to the class.
Over the course of the year, students are provided opportunities 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.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing via the “Academic Language: Introducing Oral Language” section provided in every module. Students are given a list of words that they will experience during the module in a variety of ways. Receiving an example of the word and using the word in a provided sentence with correct punctuation and grammar ensures the student’s first interaction with the word is correct. This instructional strategy allows students to use the word in context.
The materials contain a “Grammar Minilesson” table of contents, which lays out the grammar mini-lessons for the entire year. Mini-lessons are grouped by topic; topics increase in difficulty throughout the year and are grouped in the modules based on the genre in which students are writing. Students begin the school year looking at what makes a sentence; they use subjects and predicates and write different types of sentences in Topic 1. By Topic 5, students are learning about contractions and spelling as they relate to editing a draft. The mini-lessons support the grammar instruction in the “Writing Workshop” on revising and editing. A specific example of a mini-lesson is “Lesson 1.2.5 Connect to Writing: Using sentence parts correctly.” The teacher reminds students that a sentence has two parts: a naming part and an action part. The teacher demonstrates “Display and Engage: Grammar 1.2.5”, then reads aloud the sample sentences in the box and asks students to identify the naming part and the action part of each sentence. The teacher points to each capital letter and period to reinforce correct sentence formatting. Another example includes “Lesson 1.8.1 Exclamations!” The teacher asks volunteers to tell what they like to do. They write their responses as exclamations on the board. Then, the teacher reads the sentences aloud; students track the print and point out the capital letter and the exclamation point. Students work in pairs to tell each other what their favorite activity is. The teacher reminds students to show strong feelings as they share exclamations.
In Module 1, the teacher reminds students that words that name people and animals are nouns. The teacher presents “Display and Engage: Grammar 2.1.5”. The teacher instructs students that they can use nouns to name people, animals, places, and things in their writing. As the teacher reads aloud the example sentences, the students identify the nouns in each sentence and tell whether each names a person or an animal: “mom: person; dog: animal; brother: person; cow: animal.”
In Module 3, students review that a sentence is a group of words that tells a complete thought or idea. The teacher then introduces subjects and predicates. The teacher reads aloud each subject and predicate in a chart, explaining that when the subject and the predicate are put together, the two parts make a complete sentence. The teacher models identifying the subject and predicate in the sentence “The star shines.”
Also in Module 3, students use the editing checklist to edit their research essay about their favorite animal. The editing checklist includes editing their work for the following:
The teacher models how students edit peers’ writing: “When I read another writer’s work, I first read the writing all the way through. Then I review the editing checklist to see which item I am checking for so I can remember what details I should review. For example, on this checklist, I am looking for capital letters. On my second read-through, I will be sure capital letters are used correctly”.
In Module 3, students review adjectives. Using the projectable resource “Display and Engage 4.2.4a-b,” adjectives are defined, and the teacher models a think-aloud using markers and adjectives. Students complete the printable “Grammar 4.2.4” as practice with adjectives. Finally, students edit their own writing using adjectives that describe color and number.
Grammar skills are taught systematically and consistently in weekly modules, and students spend 20–30 minutes daily in the Writing Workshop. For example, in Module 7, students begin the week with a study of future tense; they build upon this with high-frequency words. The following lessons are “Future Using Will” and “Future Using Going To.” The skill is applied in “Connect to Writing: Using the Future Tense” as students write their own poems.
Module 9 teaches students about writing using exclamations. This is connected to writing an informational text about a science experience. Students are given the definition of an exclamation and shown several examples. Working with a partner, students look for examples in their writing in which they can rewrite sentences using exclamations. One example given is “The science fair is tomorrow.” The teacher explains that this sentence is a statement and that a second sentence could be added, exclaiming “I can’t wait for the science fair!” Students can also complete the printable “Grammar 1.9.1.”
Materials include appropriate practice for students to write legibly in print. Procedures and supports for teachers to assess students’ handwriting development are provided.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Materials include instruction in print for students. The materials begin in Module 1 with a review of the letters A and D; chants are used to remind students how to correctly form the letters: “Start just below the middle line. Pull back, up, around the middle line, and then down (a). Start just below the middle line. Pull back, up, around to the top and back down (d).” Students continue to practice using the “Manuscript Aa, Dd” printable. In Module 5, the teacher models the letters m and n by using comparisons between the two letters and a chant: “Start at the middle line. Pull down, up, over, and down (m). Start at the middle line. Pull down, up, over, and down (n).” Students recognize the similarities between the letters, stating “both letters have humps and are formed the same way.”
The “Literacy Centers” provide instruction and practice for students. Using the “Word Work” structure, students choose an activity to practice their spelling words as well as their handwriting.
In Module 1 Literacy Centers, students have an opportunity to practice handwriting through Word Work. In this particular lesson, the practice is on short A-words. On the printable, there is a list of “Handwriting Check” questions: “Do my letters sit on the line? Can others read what I wrote? Did I leave enough space between words and sentences? Which spelling word did I write best? Put a star next to it. Why is it the best?” This continues to be a learning pattern in Literacy Centers in subsequent modules, and the same self-evaluation questions are included.
In Module 4, the teacher models how to write the lowercase j and p. The teacher tells students the verbal pathway, while showing students how to write each letter. Students practice writing the letters using “Printable: Manuscript Jj, Pp.” Students write words that include the letters j and p. Students also work on using their best handwriting when writing words with consonant digraph ch. Students have the following choices:
In Module 5, the teacher models how to write the lowercase letters m and n. The teacher tells students the verbal pathway for writing each letter while showing students how to correctly form the letters. The students practice writing each letter, then practice writing words that include the letters m and n.
In Module 6, the printable “Spelling and Handwriting” includes a checklist for students to self-monitor their handwriting while working. The checklist includes:
In the “Writer’s Workshop” materials, students are assessed on their handwriting during the publishing stage of writing. Students use editing checklists to prepare their writing for the final copy. “Display and Engage 3.6” has students ensure all sentences start with a capital letter (Module 3). Also, letter formation is assessed in the “Spelling Assessments” found in the modules. In Module 7, students listen as words are said and write the correct word. Students are reminded to use their best handwriting when completing this assessment. The assessment also includes a sentence dictation portion in which students must use handwriting development skills to write the sentence appropriately.
Materials support students’ listening and speaking about texts by providing opportunities for students to listen actively and to ask questions to understand information. Consistent opportunities for students to engage in discussions that require students to share information and ideas about the topics they are discussing are present throughout the materials.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, when reading a text, students use the “Notice and Note Signpost” of the “3 Big Questions.” The teacher reads the text; as students listen to the text, they make notes about “What surprised me? What did the author think I already knew? What challenged, changed, or confirmed what I already knew?” As students write what they notice, they share out their ideas with the class and discuss additional questions they had while listening to the text or why this information is important to the text. Also in Module 1, students listen intently and build on what others say as they stay on topic about the text they are discussing. After listening to the text Try This, students look through the text to discuss things from the text that they tried this year. Students consider the question “How did it feel to try them?” Students discuss the following questions with their partner, using the text as a guide:
In Module 3, students ask and answer questions before, during, and after reading. Students read the text The Nest and then refer to “Anchor Chart 1: Ask and Answer Questions.” To ask different kinds of questions and get different kinds of information, students ask who, what, where, when, why, and how questions. Then, students use the “Turn and Talk” routine with provided questions to talk to their partner. Students use the following sentence frames to tell their ideas to their partner: “I think that…” and “After the birds lay eggs, they….” Later in Module 3, teachers remind children of the “Essential Question,” “How do animals’ bodies help them?” The teacher refers the students back to the text Animal Q&A, using the “Teaching Pal” projectable that mirrors the students’ text and directs students to find any information that helps them answer the Essential Question. Animal Q&A gives them several examples of body-part-related questions (“What could you do with wings?”) and answers (“Swim! Penguins flap to go fast.”) These serve as models for their own questions and responses as they move into the discussion activity: “Partners use the Think, Pair, Share routine to discuss their ideas and then share with the group.”
In Module 4, students identify the features of fantasies, retell a story in order, narrate a story from beginning to end, and share ideas by speaking clearly and at an appropriate rate.
In Module 5, after listening to the text The Best Season, students use Turn and Talk to make connections to the text by discussing what the story reminds them of. Students follow agreed-upon rules for discussions, including listening to others, speaking when recognized, and asking questions for clarification.
In Module 6, students analyze text features, such as differently colored text and labels on a map, during the shared reading of the text State the Facts and discuss them. Students discuss with a partner and question each other: “What information does this give? Why did the author use this?” Students share their ideas with the class and ask additional questions. Students use this same structure to identify and share the text features they find in their independent reading books.
In Module 10, the focus is on using supporting evidence and details to connect to a central idea in an informational text. After students read Kids Are Inventors, Too!, the teacher guides the students for the independent practice task by reminding them about the Essential Question, “How can thinking in new ways, help solve problems?” Students reread the text to see if they can find any information that will help them answer the question. Partners use the Think, Pair, Share routine to discuss their ideas and then share with the group. The teacher reminds the students to listen carefully and look at the person speaking to show they are listening.
Materials engage students in collaborative discussions by providing consistent opportunities for students to engage in discussion. Students have opportunities to practice grade-appropriate speaking skills using the standard conventions of the English language.
Examples include but are not limited to:
“Guiding Principles and Strategies” provide teachers with the routines “Turn and Talk” and “Think, Pair, Share,” which students use consistently throughout the modules. The guidelines for each routine reflect speaking skills:
In Module 3, students learn about what makes a community. Students learn about active listening by viewing the “Active Listening Anchor Chart,” which teaches students to do the following when they are engaged in discussions with partners: eyes looking, ears listening, mouths closed, bodies still, and hearts open. Students ask their partner, “Who do you see when you walk around your community?” Partners actively listen as their partner responds to the question. Students use the following sentence frame as they answer the question: “When I walk around my community, I see….”
In Module 4, as students are reviewing the power words for the module, they use sentence stems with standard conventions of the English language, such as “This year, my aunt will coach…. A softball team is made up of…. Soccer players want to score a goal because…. Some rules we have on the playground are….”
In Module 5, students restate their opinion on which season is best for a vacation in the mountains. Students use the following sentence frames to help them state their opinion:
Students use the “Agree and Disagree” graphic organizer to help guide them as they provide evidence about their opinion.
In Module 6, teachers use collaborative discussions to reinforce the idea of referencing text evidence to make connections between students’ own experiences and the text. Students use the Turn and Talk routine to answer the questions on “Teaching Pal” and “myBook.” Materials provide teachers with guidance:
Also in Module 6, the teacher introduces the lesson vocabulary by using the routine of saying the word, explaining the meaning, and talking about examples, alongside vocabulary cards with visuals. Partners work together to complete vocabulary activities, including drawing, role-playing, and discussing questions that use the academic vocabulary from the lesson. Example discussion prompts are:
Module 9 uses the “Ask and Answer Questions” Anchor Chart to complete a discussion activity about the setting of a story. Students are given the question “How would you describe the setting of the story?” Students are given time to think about their answers and then discuss their answers with a partner. Each partner is given equal amounts of time to talk. Finally, students share their responses with the class, and feedback is provided about the topic of the discussion. Teachers and students also use discussion routines to reinforce vocabulary. Materials instruct teachers: “Revisit the Power Words from ‘Which Part Do We Eat?’ Display the questions and sentence frames below word by word. Model the task for the first word, using a child as your partner. Read aloud the question, and have the child repeat it. Respond using the sentence frame. Have partners use the Turn and Talk routine to respond to each question using the sentence frame. For each word, ask one or two children to share their responses with the class.”
Materials engage students in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for different purposes by providing students with opportunities to ask and generate general questions for inquiry and generate and follow a research plan. Students are supported in the identification of relevant sources based on their questions, and practice is provided for understanding, organizing, and communicating ideas and information in accordance with the purpose of the research.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Modules 1–9 include an “Inquiry and Research” project; each project is on a different topic, which is related to the “Essential Question” of the module; students follow a research plan. The steps for each project include:
In Module 3, students brainstorm different body parts that animals use to solve problems. Students generate a list of questions they have about animal parts, which they hope their research will answer. The class creates a curiosity board to record and display the research questions students generated.
In the Module 5 Inquiry and Research project, students collaborate over a three-week period to generate ideas, research, complete, and present an inquiry-based project. This project requires students to generate questions for inquiry, develop a research plan, and gather information and evidence from sources. Students begin by generating questions they have about light. Throughout the module, students refer back to their question and continuously add information as they learn more. Students complete their projects by presenting them to the class. Module 5 uses “Anchor Chart 51: Digital Tools” to teach students about how digital tools can help people find and share information. The teacher explains that different digital tools serve various purposes and that it is important to understand the uses of each tool. Students are given time to explore various tools and look up information regarding a topic that interests them. During independent writing time, students use the tools to research a topic and write a short report about the topic, using the information they found.
Module 6 uses “Anchor Chart: Reference Sources 48” to teach students that, when they need the definition of an unknown word, they can use a dictionary or a glossary. Students use the book You’re a Grand Old Flag and identify words they are unfamiliar with. Students put the words in alphabetical order and then practice using finding the word in a dictionary or digital resource. Students also practice using the glossary in the provided “myBook” materials.
Module 7 uses “Anchor Chart: Gather Information” to teach the steps of research using a staircase visual. Steps include “make a research plan,” “ask questions to research,” “pick sources to use,” and “look for information.” To brainstorm a topic they could research, students use the knowledge they gained from books read in the module about how things in nature change. Students suggest possible sources to be used to answer their research questions. To close, students use the Think, Pair, Share routine to discuss the steps the class took to create their research plan.
In Module 9, students plant seeds and observe the changes the seeds go through as they grow into adult plants. Using the Think, Pair, Share routine, students generate questions they have about plants and gardens. These questions are added to the “Curiosity Board” and will be revisited throughout the project as students grow their seeds into plants and observe the changes the seeds go through.
Materials contain interconnected tasks that build student knowledge. Questions and tasks are designed so that students build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, and language. Tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking; include components of vocabulary, comprehension, and syntax; and provide opportunities for increased independence.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, students view the “Get Curious” video and use the “Vocabulary” routine to discuss the “Big Idea” words, such as friendship, emotions, and challenge, as they begin to strengthen their vocabulary. During the read-aloud and shared reading of texts, students use the “Think, Pair, Share” and “Turn and Talk” routines to discuss and answer questions provided by the teacher. Questions include but are not limited to “How can making new friends and learning new things help us? Who is the story about? What do you think the bear wants to do?” Students also use the stories they read and their comprehension skills to learn about story structure. Story structure is revisited when students begin their own writing pieces. Students orally tell their stories and add details to make their story more interesting as part of the revising and editing tasks.
In Module 3, students develop vocabulary by identifying real-life connections between words and by answering questions and discussing the meanings of the words. Teachers introduce the “Power Words” dull, thank, once, stroll, shingle, and shriek; the vocabulary routine has the teacher say the power word, explain the meaning, and talk about examples. Students answer questions to make connections between each word’s meaning and how they can use it in their own lives: “Why shouldn't you go on a stroll during the storm? What does our class do once we finish lunch?” Teachers then circulate and provide feedback as partners do several interactive vocabulary tasks to support their learning of word meanings; for example, students write using sentence starters, role-play by acting out the words, and verbally describe something using the words.
In Module 4, students research rules of games that they play to get exercise. Students use the Think, Pair, Share routine to generate research questions about games that provide exercise. As students work, they develop their ideas by writing the directions to the games they choose; they make revisions to their directions to provide clarity. Students ultimately present their project to their class using the “Share Chair” routine. After the audience has listened to peer research reports, they are provided with time to ask questions.
In Module 5, students read the text Blackout as they learn about making inferences. Before reading, students listen to audio about the author John Racco. During the reading, students stop periodically to think and orally make inferences. After the reading, students use the Turn and Talk routine to answer questions and discuss prompts: “Do the characters care about each other? How can you tell? Describe how and why a character’s feelings change as the night passes.” Finally, students write about how the big sister changes from the beginning to the end of the story.
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.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each module includes an “Inquiry and Research” project; students integrate a variety of literacy skills to complete it. Skills include sharing ideas with classmates using discussion routines such as “Turn and Talk” and “Think, Pair, Share.” In Module 3, students research ideas to answer research questions, which they generated in response to prompts such as “[I]nvent something based on an animal’s body part that solves a problem.” Students generate a list of ways animals use their body parts to survive; they add to their list by writing simple problems people have that could be solved in a similar way. Students then match the animal parts to the problem they could solve. Ultimately, students draw a picture of their invention and write sentences to describe how it works. In Module 7, students work through another Inquiry and Research project following a similar structure. The focus of the project is to observe the weather and chart weather patterns over a period of time. Using the Think, Pair, Share routine, students generate a list of research questions they hope to answer. As the project progresses, students are given time to observe the weather, and they draw a picture of what they observed. Students decide on a phrase they can write to describe the picture they drew. Students are again given time to present their projects, and the audience is given time to ask questions.
Mentor texts support student writing throughout the modules. In Module 1, students use the mentor text Ralph Tells a Story as they learn to tell a story about something that has happened to them. In Module 2, students learn to write a descriptive essay by viewing “Anchor Chart W1: Steps for Writing,” which includes the following steps: “prewrite, draft, revise, edit, publish, and share.” In Module 6, students use the mentor text The Thanksgiving Door as they learn to write a personal narrative. Students use a planning page from “Writer’s Notebook” to guide them as they write their beginning, middle, and end. As students revise their writing, they learn to add idioms to make their writing more interesting. In Module 7, using the mentor text Ask Me, students write a poem about things they like. In Module 8, students use the mentor text The Kissing Hand as they learn to write a personal narrative. Students use “Anchor Chart 4: Elements of Narrative” as a scaffold for their writing. This anchor chart reminds students that, at the beginning of the story, students should introduce the characters and the setting; in the middle of the story, students should introduce a problem; at the end of the story, the problem is solved. In Module 11, students use the mentor text I Will Not Read This Book as they write an opinion letter to the main character in the book.
The study of the author’s purpose develops across the modules. In the shared-reading lesson in Module 2, students are introduced to the author's purpose and to the ideas the author uses to support that purpose when writing. Students use “Anchor Chart 15: Ideas and Support” to understand the author’s use of ideas to support their purpose for writing. Students are questioned, “What does the author want the reader to do?” “How do you know?” In Module 9, when this concept is revisited, students are not only looking at the overall author’s purpose of writing the text, but focusing on the author’s craft by evaluating word choice. Students are questioned, “What phrases does the author repeat? How does the author make this poem fun to listen to? How does the author include rhyming words?”
The materials provide explicit instruction in print concepts and opportunities for student practice. Explicit instruction is provided in print awareness and is connected to books/texts. Students are provided opportunities to connect print awareness knowledge to texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, students are introduced to a “Part of the Book” anchor chart. The chart shows the information on the front and back cover of a book (such as the title, author, and illustrator) and print directionality, showing students the start point, reading left to right with a return sweep, and turning pages left to right. The anchor chart also gives students a visual image of the difference between letters, words, and sentences, as well as the spaces between words. During the lesson, students discuss the parts of a book and the job of the following parts: print directionality and the difference between letters, words, and sentences.
In Module 4, students learn about text features, such as headings, bold words, charts, and colors, during a mini-lesson. The teacher explains the meaning of each text feature, and students use “Get Up and Go” from “myBook” to identify each of these, if present. They write their answers on a sticky note and add to the anchor chart during the discussion.
In Module 5, the teacher directs students to consider diagrams and different text colors and sizes and to discuss the reason why the author included these book parts and what significance they have to the text meaning. As the lesson continues, children examine book parts to make predictions and reinforce concepts of print in the book On Earth: “Have children examine the cover. Prompt them to think about what the book will be about. Ask: Who is the story about? What do you think the bear wants to do?…. Preview a few pages in the book and ask: Do you think the bear will find a friend? Have children use their predictions to set a purpose for reading…. As you read, reinforce print directionality by tracking the words from left to right and sweeping down to the next line. Have a child demonstrate on a few pages. Then have them point to and identify specific words in a sentence.”
In Module 7, students listen to the read-aloud Rainy, Sunny, Blowy, Snowy. Students listen as the teacher reminds them how to identify a sentence, find the first word and the capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, and find the punctuation at the end.
In Module 8, students read the biography My Name is Gabriela and apply knowledge of the parts of a book to make predictions about the text: “Have children examine the cover. Prompt them to think about who the biography is about. Remind children that the purpose of reading a biography is to learn about a person’s life. Ask: What do you think you will learn about this person’s life? Use your question to set a purpose for reading.”
Materials provide explicit instruction in phonological skills and opportunities for student daily practice. Materials include opportunities to practice oral language through various activities. Explicit instruction occurs in each newly taught sound and sound pattern. Students are provided opportunities to practice each newly taught sound and sound/phoneme pattern.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, students begin by blending onset and rime. The teacher says: “I will say this picture name in two chunks. First, I will say the beginning, and then I will say the rest of the word. You blend the beginning chunk with the rest of the word to say the word. I will do the first one and give you a hint by showing a picture of the word. Listen to the two chunks of this word: /m/ /ăp/. I can blend the two chunks to say the word: /m/ /ăp/, /m-ăp/, map. The word is map.” Then, students segment onset and rime, segment syllables, isolate and blend phonemes, and practice alliteration. For example, students listen as the teacher says: “I will do the first set: water, willow, wash. Thumbs-up! I hear /w/ at the beginning of all three words.” Students practice listening for alliteration by listening to the following words: call, kitchen, couch; red, round, bean; half, hot, hungry; van, zebra, very.
In Module 2, students explicitly learn to segment words into phonemes. Students listen as the teacher says: “I will say a word, and you say the sounds in the word. Listen: pie. I hear /p/ at the beginning. After /p/, I hear /ī/. Pie, /p/ /ī/. The sounds in pie are /p/ and /ī/.” Examples of some of the words students practice segmenting into phonemes are at (/ă/ /t/), ten (/t/ /ĕ/ /n/), and tack (/t/ /ă/ /k/).
In Module 3, students learn about rhyming. The teacher defines rhyme and provides examples and non-examples, and students practice identifying words that rhyme using the following examples: seen, lean (yes); box, bone (no); game, name (yes).
In Module 3, students practice manipulating phonemes within single-syllable words by substituting onsets and blending onset and rime. The teacher is instructed: “Tell children that today they will read more words with the /ch/ sound. First, guide children to practice changing the beginning sounds in words. ‘I will say a word and then ask you to change the beginning sound to make a new word. I will do the first one. Listen: The word is rip. The beginning sound in rip is /r/.’ Repeat, emphasizing the initial sound. ‘Listen as I change the /r/ in rip to /ch/: r-ip, ch-ip. The new word is chip. Now you try. Listen: Replace the /l/ in lunch with /b/ (bunch); replace the /sh/ in shop with /ch/ (chop); replace the /r/ in reach with /t/ (teach); replace the /h/ in hat with /ch/ (chat).’”
In Module 5, students learn to blend phonemes to form whole words. The teacher says: “I will say the sounds in a word, and you blend the sounds to say the word. Listen as I do the first one: /l/ /ă/ /p/. When I blend /l/, /ă/, and /p/, I say the word lap. Now you try it. Listen: /f/ /l/ /ă/ /p/. What’s the word?” Then, students count phonemes and manipulate them by adding, segmenting, deleting, and changing sounds.
In Module 7, students learn the different letters that can make up the long /e/ sound. The teacher displays the letter card and writes we and Pete on the board. Students are asked to read the word and identify which pattern is being used to make the long /e/ sound according to the letter card. Feet and clean are added to the board and pattern identification continues. As the patterns are identified, the teacher explains how the pattern works to create the sound: “The letters ee are a vowel team and stand for one long /e/ sound. The letters ea are a vowel team too. In a vowel team, the first vowel usually has a long sound and the other is silent.”
In Module 8, students practice isolating phonemes by identifying the vowel sound. Students listen as the teacher says: “I will say a word, and you will say the vowel sound in the middle of the word. Listen as I do the first one: fire, /ī/. Are you ready to try one? Listen: fish (/i/).” Students practice isolating the vowel sound in the following examples: weed (/ē/), web (/ĕ/); dress (/ĕ/), dream (/ē/).
In Module 9, students continue practicing segmenting words into phonemes and blending phonemes into words. Following modeling with the word float from the teacher, students segment the following words: wing, post, pride, wash, thin, rent, sold, shave, flip, and dust. Students listen as the teacher says: “I will say all the sounds in a word, and you will blend the sounds to say the word. Listen as I do the first one: /b/ /ĕ/ /l/ /t/. When I blend /b/ /ĕ/ /l/ /t/, I say the word belt. Now you try it. Listen: /s/ /t/ /ā/ /t/. What’s the word? (state).” Students continue practicing blending sounds into words.
The materials provide explicit systematic instruction in phonetic knowledge and opportunities for students to practice both in and out of context. 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 systematically develop knowledge of grade-level phonics patterns as addressed in the Grade 1 TEKS and provide opportunities for students to apply that knowledge to connected texts and tasks. Instruction is provided in grade-level high-frequency words with opportunities for students to read words both in and out of context. The materials include building spelling knowledge as identified in the Grade 1 TEKS.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials contain “Start Right Readers.” Four texts are used per week and are matched to the foundational skills taught during that week. “Know It, Show It” Printables are available for students to practice the formation of letters, phonics skills, and high-frequency words learned during the foundational skills portions of the modules. “Display and Engage” charts are used for example and practice words that feature the phonics skills taught. There is a “Rigby Leveled Library,” which provides further text resources for students to practice foundational skills. The “iRead” technology provided is an individualized program in which students are matched to phonics skills and practice based on information gathered from the diagnostic included in the program.
Phonics instruction progresses from continuant sounds, which are easier to blend, to high-utility sounds such as /t/ and /b/, which students can manipulate to create many decodable words in the early stages of reading. Letter-sound combinations are introduced to facilitate learning, from those easier to hear (such as /a/) to those more easily confused (such as /i/ and /e/). Digraphs (such as /ng/ and /ck/) and diphthongs (such as /oi/) are reinforced later in the materials, after students have had opportunities to learn and apply simpler letter-sound relationships to automaticity. Lessons give children a chance to learn these concepts in isolation before applying them to text.
Students read, write, and spell high-frequency words following the same “Words to Know” routine used in Kindergarten: see the word, say the word, spell the word, and write and check the word. Students also practice sight words from the modules with games and activities. For example, students play the game “Letter Buddies.” Students receive letter cards and look for their letter buddies, who have other letters to make one of the high-frequency words of the week. Another activity students use to practice high-frequency words is called “Eruption.” Students whisper-read a letter from the word on the board; they get louder and louder as they spell the letters in the word until they finally erupt with the last letter.
In Module 1, phonics lessons focus on high-utility consonants m, s, t, and b and the short a vowel. The teacher explains that the alphabet includes vowels and consonants, displays various sound/spelling cards, names the picture, says the sound, and gives the spelling. The decodable text My First Day provides practice and application of the phonics patterns learned in the lesson (for example, with the words first, it, last, much, my, sang, see, so, to, and tomorrow).
In Module 2, students read the Start-Right Reader A Big Pit. Students begin this decodable text with a high-frequency word review called “Story Break,” using the words little, you, are, too, and said. Students take turns reading the story and discussing what they think will happen next. After reading and reflecting on their reading, students connect to high-frequency words by playing “Word Jar.” Students place cards with high-frequency words listed on them and take turns pulling a word and reading it.
In Module 4, children connect to earlier phonics activities by using the “Sound-By-Sound” blending routine and letter cards to read one-syllable words that include the digraph /ch/. Teachers write the word chop and use letter cards ch, o, p with the Sound-By-Sound blending routine to model blending the word. Teachers then choose a volunteer to model the activity. Teachers point to two words in random order and choose a student to read them aloud. Teachers repeat the blending routine as needed. The process continues until each child has had a turn and all the words have been blended.
In Module 5, students are taught initial consonant blends. The teacher continues using picture cards to show the letter-sound relationships. A picture of a fly is shown and the teacher explains the word begins with two consonants (fl) and that the two sounds are blended together when saying the word. The teacher models blending and gives additional words as examples. Students continue learning about initial blends with fl and practice saying words out loud (for example, flip, flap, slip, glad, club, splash, splotch). Students practice this skill in small groups using the decodable reader Red Hen Skit. Later in the module, students learn about final consonant blends and follow the same routine to practice reading words in isolation. The decodable reader Frogs in Class Six provides practice for this skill in a text.
In Module 8, students begin spelling practice by taking a pretest over words with the long o sound. After the pretest, the spelling lesson begins as the teacher models the sound for the week—the long o sound—within the words. Students watch as the teacher models correct formation of the letters. Finally, students sort the words into two columns: words with ow and words with oa.
In Module 9, students blend phonemes including r-controlled vowel pattern /ôr/. Students are given words to read in isolation. Words include but are not limited to north, score, and for. Practice in text is provided using the decodable reader Sapphire Fun. This text can be used in a small group with the support of the teacher to reinforce the blending as needed, or it can be assigned as independent reading.
The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to practice and develop fluency while reading a wide variety of grade-level texts at the appropriate rate with accuracy and prosody. Materials include explicit instruction in fluency, including rate, accuracy, and prosody, as well as opportunities and routines for teachers to regularly monitor and provide corrective feedback.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 1, students receive explicit instruction in accuracy and self-correction as they listen to the teacher read aloud Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes. The teacher explains the process of reading words accurately and making self-corrections as needed; the teacher then intentionally makes a mistake while reading aloud and models the process of self-correcting. During guided and independent practice, students practice monitoring for accuracy as they read aloud with a partner while the teacher circulates and offers feedback to students. As independent practice, students reread one of the week’s “Start Right Readers” with a partner. In literacy centers, students continue to use the partner reading routine to practice fluency and phonics taught in the week.
In Module 2, students listen as the teacher models reading with expression. The teacher explicitly describes reading with expression to students by saying: “[G]ood readers make their reading flow and sound like they do when they are speaking to someone…. Children...can use their voices to show how characters feel at different points in a story. This is called reading with expression.” Using the Start Right Reader Go, Big Cab!, the teacher models reading the beginning of the text aloud using an excited voice as well as a sad voice and explains how she knew what type of voice to use in different parts of the story. During guided practice, students echo read with expression after the teacher reads. Finally, students read Kim and Her Cab or Dan Had a Plan with a partner and practice reading with expression and paying attention to punctuation.
In Module 3, students receive explicit instruction on paying attention to punctuation when reading and reading rate. The teacher explains: “[G]ood readers pay attention to punctuation when reading. The comma helps the reader know when to pause and also helps readers know which words are grouped together.” During guided and independent practice, students echo read, following sentences that the teacher reads aloud and then use the partner reading routine to read one of the Start Right Readers from the week. The teacher listens to partners as they read and provides feedback when students miss the commas or do not group words together correctly. In teaching about reading rate, the teacher explains, “good readers read at a smooth, regular rate, not too fast or too slow, saying the words at the same speed as when talking naturally.” The teacher intentionally changes the reading rate while reading aloud the Start-Right Reader Run, Rex! Students describe what they noticed as the teacher read too quickly or slowly and why this might present a problem. Students then partner read a few pages, intentionally focusing on reading rate, and practice echo reading to model appropriate fluency.
In Module 6, students read Honest Abe Lincoln for “Readers’ Theatre.” As students practice reading aloud, they focus on rate, accuracy, and prosody. The materials coach students to read with expression: “Think about what your character is like. Then read your lines with feeling. Use your voice, face, and hands to help show how your character feels.” The materials also provide a rubric for students to evaluate their fluency during Readers’ Theatre that includes the following criteria: “I spoke loudly and clearly; My reading rate was just right. I did not read too quickly or too slowly; I read with feeling to show more about my character.” Students choose between a happy face, straight face, and sad face to rate their fluency.
In Module 7, the teacher models fluency using appropriate intonation while reading The Quack Pack. The teacher explains, “good readers use appropriate intonation. This means that readers make their voices go up and down to show the meaning of the text and to make the words sound like they do in conversation.” The teacher explains that students should use punctuation marks to determine how to change their intonation and then models reading a sentence aloud three times, changing pitch each time to represent a period, exclamation point, and question mark. The students discuss how the change in voice changed the meaning of the sentence. Students echo read a portion of the text after the teacher to practice reading with intonation. Next, students use choral reading to practice reading with intonation. Students partner read Pete and the Quack Pack from their Start Right Readers or selected pages from Sam & Dave Dig a Hole from their “myBook” as the teacher coaches students on their intonation.
The materials include the “Rigby Leveled Library,” which includes leveled texts and running records for teachers to use with small groups of students. The running records include a fluency scoring guide that provides information to give students feedback on their accuracy, prosody, and rate.
The materials include placement assessments and provide information to assist in foundational skills instruction. Support and direction for teachers to assess students’ growth in and mastery of foundational skills are included. Assessments yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning small-group instruction and differentiation.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials host a variety of assessments for teachers to use for screening, diagnostic, and progress-monitoring purposes. The materials include a “Benchmark Assessment Guide” for use at each guided reading level to assess students’ progress. The Benchmark Assessment Guide determines each student’s independent and instructional reading level by having the student read a specific book on each level. Teachers use this information to sort students into small groups for guided reading instruction. The “Progress-Monitoring Assessments” can be administered on a bi-weekly basis to assess the beginning reading skills of students. Each module also includes a module inventory, which is a one-on-one assessment of foundational skills. As the students move throughout the modules, the inventories become increasingly more difficult.
The materials include “Intervention Assessments,” which provide screening, diagnostic, and progress-monitoring assessments to help 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. As described in the Intervention Assessments “Introduction,” the teacher can administer “Letter Correspondence” and “Phoneme Segmentation” as a screener. In addition, the Intervention Assessments are designed to inform instruction. The materials include suggested steps to ensure the teacher provides data-driven intervention. First, if a student shows a weak area(s) on the “Screening Assessment” at the beginning of the year, teachers are to administer a more specific diagnostic test to determine the skills that are missing. Next, teachers are to provide intensive instruction using the “Foundational Skills and Word Study Studio.” Teachers are also instructed to provide scaffolded support in the form of interventions during core instruction for two weeks. During this time, teachers monitor progress using Progress-Monitoring Assessments and core assessments twice a week. “Use the Progress-Monitoring Assessments to monitor the progress of students who are receiving intervention instruction and to help determine when they are ready to exit the intervention program.” For students having difficulty, materials suggest that teachers may need to re-administer the Screening Assessment and consult with teammates or specialists within the district.
The materials suggest using the Screening Assessments to screen all students for reading difficulties at the beginning of the year. Teachers use the “Letter Identification” and “Phoneme Segmentation” assessments to obtain an idea of a student’s skills upon entry into the grade level and again at the middle of the year. Grade 1 also includes Screening Assessments of “Nonsense-Word Reading” and “Word Identification,” and a mid-year test of “Oral Reading Fluency.” Teachers use the “Diagnostic Assessments” to follow up with students who demonstrated reading difficulties on the Screening Assessments and use the data to target instruction to student need. Recording forms are included so that teachers can document performance.
“Weekly Assessments,” which are optional, measure students’ understanding of reading, writing, and foundational skills taught. Weekly Assessments include “cold” passages—passages students have not read before that can be used to assess oral reading. The assessments include 10 to 15 items, including both multiple-choice and constructed-response items. Weekly Assessments yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning small-group instruction and differentiation.
The materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure students’ progress as indicated by the program scope and sequence. Teachers are supported with guidance and direction on responding to individual students’ literacy needs, based on assessments appropriate to the grade level. Assessment opportunities are included to assess student understanding of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonetic knowledge, and reading fluency.
Examples include but are not limited to:
A variety of assessments are available for teachers to use for intervention and progress-monitoring purposes. At the beginning of first grade and again in the middle, “Letter Identification” and “Phoneme Segmentation” assessments are given to obtain an idea of a student’s skills. Teachers use the “Progress-Monitoring Assessments” to monitor the progress of students who are receiving intervention instruction. These assessments also help determine when they are ready to exit the intervention program.
The “Intervention Assessments Guide” within the program spans across all grade levels, so that teachers can access below-level materials, if needed, to determine students’ instructional needs; the guide also gives teachers directions on how each type of assessment is used. In “Administering and Scoring Assessments,” teachers are given specific instructions on how to score student performance and instructional recommendations. For example, when administering the letter-identification test, students should score 18 out of 26 letters in one minute at the beginning of the year and 24 out of 26 letters in one minute at mid-year. When administering the phoneme-segmentation portion, students should be able to correctly segment 6 out of 10 words at the beginning of the year and 8 out of 10 at the mid-year point.
Also included are “Screening Assessments” of “Nonsense-Word Reading” and “Word Identification.” The Nonsense-Word Reading test assesses a student’s ability to sound out and read nonsense words using letter-sound correspondence. Decoding is assessed using nonsense words. Each letter or letter pattern is placed in the nonsense word in a manner that would occur in a real word. For example, the materials do not place the letter c at the end of a word, nor do they place the digraphs ck and ff at the beginning of a word because this does not occur in real words. The Nonsense Word Reading test assesses each letter or letter pattern twice in each “Inventory,” and if applicable, in different positions in the nonsense word (e.g., bap, sab).
The materials suggest using the “Diagnostic Assessments” to follow-up with students who demonstrated reading difficulties on the Screening Assessments. The Screening Assessment does not include a print concepts section, but the Diagnostic Assessment includes a section to assess the student’s understanding of print concepts. The materials suggest using the “Print Concepts Inventory” to individually assess students who have not yet learned to read independently. The materials suggest administering the test three times during the school year to monitor a student’s developing familiarity with books and written language or administering it throughout the school year to monitor a student’s progress. The Print Concepts Inventory assesses parts of a book and the purpose of print.
In addition, each module includes a “Module Inventory,” which is a one-on-one assessment of foundational skills for use with select children who need additional progress monitoring on specific foundational skills. The Inventories contain four components. “Phonological Awareness” includes the various phonological-awareness skills taught or retaught during the four weeks of the module’s instruction. “High-Frequency Words” includes all high-frequency words taught during the module; words taught during previous modules are not included. The teacher may choose to incorporate words from a previous inventory in order to track the progress of a child’s high-frequency word vocabulary. “Decoding” is assessed using nonsense words; each new phonics skill, letter or letter pattern is positioned in the nonsense word only in a way that would naturally occur in a real word. For “Print Concepts,” skills introduced or retaught during the four weeks of the module are assessed using a “Little Book” from the module.
In “Part IV” of the Module 1 “Foundational Skills Module Inventory,” students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a word by using a finger to point to individual letters, words, and spaces between words. Students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a sentence by pointing to the beginning and end of a sentence. Students also demonstrate an understanding of text direction, return sweep, and text progression to subsequent pages. Then, students identify a period, a question mark, and an exclamation point and tell the function of each. The Module 1 Inventory also includes a “Phonological Awareness Inventory.” In this section, students blend onsets and rimes into words, segment words into syllables, segment words into onset and rime, identify the initial sound, blend phonemes into words, segment words into phonemes, and isolate medial vowel sounds. In Module 6, students are assessed on concepts of a sentence and concepts of capitalization. Students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a sentence by pointing to the beginning and end of a sentence, demonstrating an understanding that sentences begin with a capital letter, and locating specific words in text. Students are also assessed on blending phonemes into words (“Initial Blends”) and isolating medial vowel sounds; students are given sounds to blend. Students are also expected to name the sounds in words when given the location of the sound.
The Screening Assessment contains “Oral Reading Fluency” passages for assessing students at the beginning of the school year. The student reads the grade-level passage aloud while the teacher records miscues. At the end of one minute, the teacher marks the word the student completed reading. The teacher calculates the number of words the student reads accurately per minute. Progress-Monitoring Assessments on Oral Reading Fluency are included and are used to assess students every two weeks. The materials indicate the following guidelines for use when determining if a student’s fluency is on grade level: Winter, 19–39 WCPM and Spring, 50–70 WCPM.
In the “Benchmark Evaluation Guide,” students are regularly assessed on their current reading level. The teacher provides a preview of the text and students read aloud as the teacher records errors. Errors that are noted include, but are not limited to: the child reads a word incorrectly and doesn’t self-correct; the child omits a word; the child inserts a word that is not there; the child must be told a word in order to continue reading. If the child self-corrects, it does not count as an error. After the student completes reading the selection, the teacher calculates the number of words per minute the student read. Students read the text independently if they read 92 –97 words accurately or above 95% accuracy. Students read the text instructionally if they read 87–91 words accurately (90–94% accuracy). Students read the text frustrationally if they read 86 words or fewer accurately (below 90% accuracy).
Materials include supports for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level by providing planning and learning opportunities, including extensions and differentiation, for students who demonstrate literacy skills above that expected at the grade level.
Examples include but are not limited to:
At the end of each lesson, the materials include an “Option for Differentiation” section, allowing teachers to differentiate the small-group reading lesson based on reading levels, using targeted skill practice and targeted language development.
In Module 2, students work to summarize a text. The scaffold of the small group has students start at identifying the most important information on the page as they construct a summary, and then use the pictures as a reference as they tell the summary. Students complete the “Reading Graphic Organizer 13,” in which they identify and write the central idea and use it to construct a summary of their independent reading book.
In Module 4, students read the book Being Fit. The teacher differentiates instruction depending on the students’ ability levels. Students meet with the teacher in small groups on their own instructional reading level or for targeted skill practice and targeted language development as the rest of the class engages in literacy stations. Students at the Advanced level receive sentence strips with cause-and-effect questions, such as “If I bike,/then my heart will be strong. If I stretch,/then I will be flexible.” Students meet with a partner to match corresponding strips and then chorally read the strips together. Students at the Advanced High level use complete sentences to answer cause-and-effect questions, such as “What will happen if you run/bike/do sit-ups?” Then, students think and talk with partners about another exercise that will make them strong; they share their ideas with their peers.
In Module 9, students meet to work through the book The Girl Who Could Dance in Outer Space, which is a level-I book with a Lexile measure of 620L. This level is appropriate for students who are reading at an end-of-the-year Grade 1 level. Throughout the modules, book clubs are utilized for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level to discuss independently read books on their level. As they read through the book, students meet five times to discuss. In the first meeting, students receive their book and discuss the following discussion starters: “What made you want to read this book? What do you think it’s about? Would you like to travel into outer space? Why or why not?” The second and third meetings provide questions for students to answer when they are finished reading. In the fourth meeting, students make connections to the text, set goals for their own lives based on the inspiration from Mae’s life, and plan their group project. Students have the following options for their group project: make a trading card, make a movie, or write a poem. Each of the projects includes a printable to guide them through the steps in the process of creating their product. In the final meeting, students present their product, create a self-evaluation, and confer with the teacher.
The “Tabletop Minilessons” teacher resource provides additional guidance on adjusting instruction as needed. In the “Plot” lesson, a graphic arrow differentiates between supports for students who are “Almost There” and those “Ready for More.” To provide more challenge for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level, teachers are directed: “As appropriate, tailor instruction to need by prompting children to make a plot diagram that shows the beginning, middle, and end of the story; suggest other solutions to the problem,” which is consistent with expectations above the first-grade level. In “Build Independence,” teachers “have individuals or partners finish the current text or begin a new one,” so that if students are reading above grade level, they would be able to apply standards to a text matched to their reading ability level.
Materials include supports for students who perform below grade level to ensure they are meeting the grade-level literacy standards by providing planning and learning opportunities (including extensions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected at the grade level.
Examples include but are not limited to:
At the end of each lesson, the materials include an “Option for Differentiation” section in which teachers are able to differentiate the small-group reading lesson based on reading levels using targeted skill practice and targeted language development. This section includes levels of instruction to be provided as the teacher sees as appropriate for the student; levels in which scaffolded questions and tasks are provided are classified as “Almost There” and “Ready for More.” The materials also include the “iRead program” in which students are matched to lacking skills based on the diagnostic assessment information within the program. As students use the program, they are able to fill previous gaps and move toward grade-level proficiency.
In Module 2, as students work to learn and use content-based vocabulary, the scaffolds provided include a gradual release of responsibility. At first, students are asked questions about content vocabulary words chosen by the teacher and are guided to context clues that could be used to understand the word. Students are then given prompts to use the words in a question and response. Finally, they are given context clues to define the word as used in the question.
In Module 6, “Make Minutes Count” continues to provide options for students who may not yet be decoding on grade level: “As you meet with small groups to review the week’s decodable stories, use one or both of these related activities, as needed, at the beginning or the end of the small-group session. Connect to Phonics. Display these Picture Cards, picture side down: knife, knot, phone, stove, vine. Write the words naming the Picture Cards on separate index cards, and place the index cards on top of the corresponding Picture Cards. Call on a child to read one of the words. Then have the child turn over the card and look at the picture to confirm that he or she correctly read the word. Continue until all of the cards are picture side up. Then have children read the words chorally.” Using picture support is a below-grade-level strategy that some children may still need at this point in the year.
In Module 8, with “Make Minutes Count,” students continue to work on skills previously addressed this year and in prior grade levels, as needed: “As you meet with small groups to review the week’s decodable selections, use one or both of these related activities, as needed, at the beginning or the end of the small-group session. Connect to Phonics. Review any phonic elements that were problematic in the week’s Start Right Reader selections. Then write several one- and two-syllable words on the board or chart paper that contain the week’s phonics focus skills. Point to a word and call on a child to read the word and hold up one or two fingers to show the number of syllables in the word. Continue until each child has had a turn.”
The materials also include a leveled library to be used in guided-reading groups. The students are matched to texts based on their reading level, and each leveled text has an accompanying “Take and Teach” lesson. The teacher is able to provide instruction at the students’ level. In the leveled text The Monster in the Attic, the lesson focuses on setting and story structure. As students are questioned, they are prompted to use the pictures as text evidence and as a support to answer the question “What time of day is it? Where does the story take place?” Students point to the picture to answer; they are also prompted to reread a portion of the story to find the answer. For English Learners, the portions of the picture that pertain to the setting are described in detail, and students point to the details described. In the leveled reader Tooth on the Loose, the focus of the lesson is on the characters and how the author organizes information to help the reader understand. Students are questioned and are able to use picture clues as support. The teacher provides additional scaffolded questions to drive comprehension: “What happens at the beginning of the story?” Students are guided with the explanation that authors organize their writing in order for the reader to be able to understand the story; this explanation, along with a picture, enables students to identify the beginning, middle, and end.
The “Tabletop Minilessons” teacher resource provides additional guidance on adjusting instruction as needed. In the “Central Idea” lesson, a graphic arrow differentiates between supports for students who are “Almost There” and those “Ready for More.” To provide scaffolds for students, the materials direct teachers, “As appropriate, tailor instruction to need by prompting children to state the topic of the text, identify a detail that supports the topic in the text, identify details and/or examples and explain the relationships or similarities present in them, and talk to a partner about what they believe is the central idea of the text, and state the central idea of the text and support their thinking with evidence from the text.” The materials move students through a continuum of activities toward being “Ready for More” with any particular skill.
The materials include supports for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations through lesson features provided for all students, as well as scaffolds labeled specifically for ELs. Accommodations are commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the ELPS (“Beginning,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced,” and “Advanced High”), and vocabulary is developed in the context of connected discourse. Scaffolds such as pictures, realia, gestures, and cognates are included. Strategic use of students’ first language as a means to improve students’ development in English is also present.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Tabletop Minilessons: English Language Development” resource is suggested for daily use with ELs in small groups to connect to the module topic and/or a specific text. At the beginning of this resource, vocabulary strategies, including using cognates, are recommended to help children bridge their two languages. Setting up a cognate wall, comparing cognates, sorting cognates, and identifying false cognates are specific activities mentioned. The main lessons in this resource are designed to introduce, practice, and reinforce key academic language functions. Each lesson includes a vivid student-facing image to support background knowledge, word and phrase banks to expose students to important academic language, graphic organizers, and accommodations for four levels of English language proficiency. Cognates are identified through color-coding within the lessons when they appear.
Other resources to build language while supporting grade-level learning expectations include “Vocabulary Cards”, “Anchor Charts”, and “Picture Cards”, which are part of the “Teacher’s Guide” lesson design for all students, but are especially helpful for ELs. Vocabulary Cards are used weekly 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 various instructional strategies such as “Use a Prop”, “Act It Out”, and “Use the Image” to further support word meaning. Visual Anchor Charts for reading and writing instruction are used daily and support understanding of genre features, comprehension skills and strategies, and writing forms. Picture Cards are used daily with Phonological Awareness lessons, which include a variety of English Learner Support scaffolds to support word meaning.
In Module 3, Lesson 9, students learn about and identify words that name time and position. Several examples are listed, and students read and discuss them, such as “My cat sleeps on my bed. Bill had a soccer game yesterday.” The lesson includes a visual of two students sitting back to back in a chair; the teacher can refer to this during the lesson as students find and use words that name time and position. Students at the Beginning level use physical objects such as a block and calendar to demonstrate position words (next to, below, between) and concepts of time (today, tomorrow, this week). Students at the Intermediate level use provided sentence frames to create sentences about position and time (for example, “In the morning, I…. My backpack is….”) Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels respond to open-ended questions about position and time, such as “When do you read books? When do you eat breakfast? Where is your backpack?”
In Module 4, in the “Phonological Awareness Section,” students view picture cards of real objects and answer questions to reinforce word meaning. At the Beginning level, students answer yes/no questions, such as “Does a hawk fly? Can you push a cart?” Students at the Intermediate level use sentence frames to create sentences about the objects on the picture cards (for example, “A…is a bird. I can use a…to….”) Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels use clues to guess the objects on the picture cards.
Also in Module 4, students read and discuss the text Baseball Hour. Students at the Beginning level respond in a few words to the following prompt: “The author thinks good teamwork is important. What details support, or tell about, that idea?” Students at the Intermediate level use the following sentence frame to guide their discussion: “Team members must…because….” Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels discuss what the children in the book do that shows they are good team members, answering the following questions: “How does the author show that she thinks practicing as a team when you are learning to play baseball is important?”
In Module 6, Lesson 14, students apply their knowledge of the elements of poetry and how poets use “different techniques to make their poems interesting to read and nice to hear” to their independent reading poems. Students at the Beginning level identify describing words and repeat rhyming words after the teacher says them aloud. Students at the Intermediate level identify describing words and rhyming words. Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels explain what describing words mean and think of additional words that fit the poem’s rhyming pattern.
In Module 10, students read the text Kids Are Inventors, Too! and respond to questions based on the text. At the Beginning level, students respond in short phrases or in their home language to tell the problem in the story. At the Intermediate level, students use the following sentence frames to tell about the problem and solution: “Chester’s problem is…. To solve the problem, Chester…. The new problem is….” At the Advanced level, students use the following sentence frames: “The first problem is…. Chester tries to solve the problem by…. The new problem is…. To solve that problem….” Students at the Advanced High level use the following sentence frames: “Chester’s first problem is…. To solve this problem,…. But…. He figures out….”
In the “Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide”, grammar lessons include regular suggestions to use English learners’ primary language as a resource to support understanding of the lesson topic. For example, in the lesson titled “Capitalizing Months, Days, and Holidays”, the “English Learner Support” note suggests having children share what they know about writing the names of months days, and holidays in their primary language and then compare and contrast how they are written in English. In another lesson, “Adjectives for Size and Shape”, the English Learner Support note suggests having first-language partners work on exercises together and tells the teacher to point out that in Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Haitian Creole, adjectives follow a noun, while in English they come before the noun.
In the “Guiding Principles and Strategies” resource, the “Assessment and Differentiation” section provides several teacher resources to assist in supporting ELs. A “Stages of Second Language Acquisition” chart gives details about the five stages that learners go through as they learn English (pre-production, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, advanced fluency) to assist teachers in identifying where their students fall within these developmental stages so that instruction can be adjusted. Information is provided about research-supported strategies to build language, including building background knowledge, using visuals, explicitly teaching vocabulary, reading repeatedly, and using sentence frames. Best practices for ELs are also detailed, including, but not limited to, demonstrating respect for children’s first languages, acting out procedures and vocabulary, taking advantage of teachable moments to point out differences in words (such as homophones or multiple-meaning words) when they arise, and teaching children that their efforts to communicate are most important and that making mistakes is acceptable.
The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource also provides support in building cross-linguistic connections. Different ways of comparing and contrasting two languages are presented, including exploring similarities (such as the shared letter-sound correspondence of /d/ in both Spanish and English), contrasting differences (such as false cognates like exit/éxito), and non-correlated elements (such as the absence of articles like the in Vietnamese). It also includes the “Language Differences” resource, which gives specific examples to show how different languages compare to English in their alphabets, phonological features, and grammar. Articulation videos are also provided to support ELs in making English sounds correctly. Specific examples of the strategies outlined in Guiding Principles and Strategies are shown in specific lessons.
The materials include assessment and guidance for teachers and administrators to monitor progress, including how to interpret and act on data yielded. Formative and summative assessments are aligned in purpose, intended use, and TEKS emphasis. Assessments and scoring information provide sufficient guidance for interpreting and responding to student performance. Assessments are connected to the regular content to support student learning.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Assessments are directly connected to learning throughout the modules. The materials provide “Benchmark” assessment books to determine the students’ reading levels and growth over time. The materials also provide online “Guided Reading Assessments” to assess students’ comprehension at a particular reading level and to help monitor progress. Each module includes a “Module Inventory” with a “Module Inventory Standards Correlation” chart, which displays how the TEKS are addressed in the materials. The Module Inventories provide one-on-one assessments of foundational skills. Students are assessed in a one-on-one environment, and scores are tracked. The modules also include “Weekly Assessments,” which may be given online or with paper and pencil. The Weekly Assessments are used to monitor the progress of skills taught during the week. The answer key for the Weekly Assessment also indicates which TEKS are addressed and the “Depth of Knowledge” level for each question. Each module also includes a “Module Assessment,” which covers the material taught throughout the module. The answer key for the Module Assessment also includes the TEKS addressed and the Depth of Knowledge levels for each question.
The materials include intervention assessments, which 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.” Each grade level includes an inventory with a scoring guideline. The “Administering and Scoring Guidelines” provide the teacher-specific instructions for using the assessment successfully. The Guidelines also provide criteria for determining student mastery based on the student’s grade level and score on each section of the inventory.
The Module 1 Inventory includes a phonological awareness inventory. In this section, students blend onsets and rimes into words, segment words into syllables, segment words into onset and rime, identify the initial sound, blend phonemes into words, segment words into phonemes, and isolate medial vowel sounds. In Part 2, students read grade-appropriate high-frequency words. In Part 3, students decode using their understanding of letter patterns. In Part 4, students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a word by using a finger to point to individual letters, words, and spaces between words. Students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of a sentence by pointing to the beginning and end of a sentence and demonstrate an understanding text direction, return sweep, and text progression to subsequent pages. The students identify a period, a question mark, and an exclamation point and explain the function of each. Each part of the inventory is broken down into points per section.
In Module 7, teachers can use the formative assessment tool “Know It, Show It” to assess the patterns of long u, e and VCe. Students choose between words that name a given picture. For example, for a picture of toothpaste, students write tube and not tub; or, for a picture of dice, they write cubes, not cubs. A summative assessment of these skills occurs in the Module 7 Module Inventory, Part 3. Students must apply their understanding of letter patterns to read nonsense words with VCe patterns, such as bule, hute, or zune.
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. Materials provide an overarching year-long plan for teachers to engage students in multiple grouping structures; plans are comprehensive and attend to differentiation to support students via many learning opportunities. The “Teacher Edition” materials include annotations and support for engaging students in the materials as well as support for implementing ancillary and resource materials and student progress components. Annotations and ancillary materials provide support for student learning and assistance for teachers.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In the “Guiding Principles and Strategies” resource, the “Assessment and Differentiation” section includes an assessment timeline to use throughout the year to continuously monitor student progress and guidance on forming flexible groups based on assessment results. Teachers are directed to assess all children at the beginning of the year using “Intervention Assessments” for “Letter Identification,” “Phoneme Segmentation,” and “Letter-Sound Correspondence” and to use the data to create small groups for differentiated lessons. Materials provide a chart that aligns the type of small group with the data that could inform placement and resources that would be used during the instruction. For example, data to form guided reading groups could be gathered from the “Benchmark Assessment Kit,” “Oral Reading Records,” “Adaptive Growth Measure,” and “Student Growth Report,” and resources for guided reading lessons include “Rigby Leveled Readers,” “Take and Teach Lessons,” and “Tabletop Minilessons.” The materials also provide a weekly schedule as a sample of how to fit “Guided Reading,” “Targeted Skill Practice,” and “Targeted Language Development” into daily instruction.
In each module of the “Teacher’s Guide” for the program, the materials provide teachers guidance on differentiation for Guided Reading, Targeted Skill Practice, and Targeted Language Development. Teachers are able to provide differentiated instruction based on the students’ levels and skills needs. The materials also include an extensive leveled library for teachers to use while pulling students for guided reading instruction.
The materials provide a “Differentiated Support and Intervention” video that suggests giving diagnostic and progress monitoring assessments provided in the materials. Teachers can view the video to learn about various opportunities in which they can group students for instruction, as well as intervention opportunities. Online assessments allow access to data reports and grouping recommendations.
The materials include Take and Teach Lessons for use with leveled readers. This ancillary resource provides questions for the teacher to use as students work through the leveled reader in guided reading groups. Each Take and Teach lesson also includes embedded support to help teachers provide scaffolds for English Learners as well as extension opportunities for students’ use after reading.
The TableTop Minilesson “Tool Kit” is a flipchart to support differentiated small-group instruction. The flip chart includes a visual on one side for students to look at, while the teacher looks at the instructional strategies on the backside of the flipchart, for use during small-group lessons for reading and English language development.
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. Materials include additional supports to help teachers and administrators implement the materials as intended. Materials include a school year’s worth of literacy instruction, including realistic pacing guidance and routines and support for a 180-day schedule and enough material to extend over a 220-day schedule.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Learning objectives are arranged into twelve 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 skills and strategies incorporated into the week’s lesson plans. Modules contain consistent framing elements (“Essential Questions,” “Learning Mindset,” “Build Knowledge and Language,” “Reading and Vocabulary,” “English Language Development,” “Foundational Skills,” “Inquiry and Research Project,” and “Writer’s Workshop”) so that standards are organized to connect from week to week.
Module topics and the texts within those topics connect from grade to grade. For example, the topic of community and citizenship threads through Grades K-2 in these modules: “My Community Heroes” (Grade K), “My Family, My Community” (Grade 1), “Be a Super Citizen” (Grade 2). The topic of animals threads through Grades K-2 in these modules: “Animal Habitats” (Grade K), “Amazing Animals” (Grade 1), “Home Sweet Habitat” (Grade 2).
The materials include a Foundational Skills “Scope and Sequence” that provides the print concepts, phonics, phonological awareness, high-frequency words, fluency, spelling, and handwriting to be taught each week, for 36 weeks. Within each grade-level scope and sequence, there is evidence that skills build and connect across grades with increasing complexity. For example, phonics skills from Kindergarten are reviewed early in Grade 1 but at a faster pace. Similarly, phonics skills from Grade 1 are reviewed in Grade 2 with multisyllabic words.
Resources to support teachers in implementing the materials include the “Teacher’s Guide,” which acts as a daily and weekly framework for instruction and provides more detail on the program components outlined in the Scope and Sequence and weekly frameworks. A “Professional Learning Guide” is also provided, with guidance on routines and classroom management, teaching and planning, and assessment. In addition, a variety of professional services are offered for all customers, which includes teacher and administrator webinars. For example, a “Getting Started Leadership Webinar” for administrators provides an overview of the program’s organization, lesson design, and support resources.
On the program’s digital platform, “Ed: Your Friend in Learning”, teachers and administrators have access to materials that teachers and students are using, but with different permissions. Administrators do not have access to creating assignments or assigning grades, but they do have permission to create and share plans, create assessments, and access data reports. Administrators are able to access growth reports that can be used to evaluate the efficacy of the program across a grade level or for one teacher. Administrators also have access to features such as importing data files, setting rostering permissions for teachers, adding students to classes, and adding teacher accounts. All of these are features that will support teachers with the implementation of the materials.
The materials include 36 weeks of lesson plans; there are five full days in each week’s lesson plans, for a total of 180 days of instruction. 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.
The visual design of the student edition is neither distracting nor chaotic. 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.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Materials are visually engaging without being overly stimulating. The text size is appropriate for the primary learner to easily see and read. The materials include appropriate use of white space and design that supports and does not distract from student learning. The edge of the page consistently contains at least one inch of white space around the perimeter. When students are asked to write or draw, a large space is provided in order to allow students to first draw their thoughts before writing sentences to match their pictures. These qualities are true of both the digital resources students interact with online, as well as the printable PDF versions students can download and use in person.
The pictures contain kid-friendly images that draw the reader’s interest. Students see illustrations from award-winning authors. The images in nonfiction literature often show real children engaged in activities relatable to the student. The illustrations in fiction stories use artwork similar to that in award-winning children’s literature. Illustrations support and extend the text. The art is consistent from page to page, with effective use of line, color, texture, and white space. Graphics engage and captivate the reader’s attention.
In Module 3, with Words About How Animals Live, students click on one of three vocabulary word cards: “Each card shows a word about the topic. Choose a word to find out more about it. Each virtual card has one word and a related picture (camouflage, mammal, characteristics) with a sentence on the back (“Camouflage is what hides something or makes it difficult to see.”) The text is focused, and white space is present both on the display page and on each card.
In the Module 6 big book, You’re A Grand Old Flag, each page depicts one line of the song on a red or blue background surrounded by stars. The font is printed to look as if it is in motion, helping to convey the idea of music, and included pictures show the flag in different settings for students to consider.
In Module 9, in the “Start Right” reader Seashore Fun, the text and related questions are printed in a large, readable font with sufficient white space in the margins and between the lines. Each page contains an illustration that relates directly to the text. For example, on page 7, when Mom asks the children to think of ways to play on the beach, they choose to build a sandcastle; this is depicted in the illustration.
In Module 12, in the focal text Big Bad Bubble, the text is printed with plenty of allowed space, as sentences are limited to five or fewer per page. Illustrations clearly show the events that are described in the text.
Technology components included are appropriate for grade-level students and provide support for learning. Technology supports and enhances student learning as appropriate, as opposed to distracting from it, and includes appropriate teacher guidance.
Examples include but are not limited to:
All materials are available on the digital platform, with opportunities to print hard copies as desired. Throughout the curriculum, the materials include online read-alouds for teachers to use if they did not purchase all of the individual books. The read-alouds have the option to be listened to or read by the teacher. Pages turn just like the pages of a book. There is the option to highlight text as the computer reads aloud so that students can follow along as they listen to the story.
The program also includes “iRead,” which is “a digital, foundational reading program.” iRead provides “daily practice, as well as acceleration for children who are ready and early intervention for those at risk.” It also provides the following:
The materials allow teachers to give students assignments to complete on their own. Students can read a passage or listen to a passage read aloud and take a test on the selection. The program grades the student’s answers and provides feedback for teachers.
Students can interact with texts online and add annotations. The program contains places for students to respond to text-dependent questions.
“Get Curious” videos introduce lesson topics and are engaging, relevant to lesson topics, and introduce background knowledge and schema that will support student understanding of the reading and writing that they will be doing within the modules. “Media Selection” videos readdress the lesson topics and provide another perspective on material learned during the lesson. For example, in Module 3’s Get Curious video “Hidden Animals,” many video examples of animal camouflage are shown and module vocabulary is used. At the end of the video, the question “What kind of animal camouflage would you like to have?” sets a purpose for further learning. The Media Selection video “Beaver Family” follows a beaver family as they build a dam and links the information about beavers to the larger role they play in preserving ecosystems.
Read the Full Report for Technology
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Read the Full Report for Professional Learning Opportunities
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Read the Full Report for Additional Language Supports
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