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ELARKindergarten | 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 Ted Lewin, Kate Messner, and Laurie Ann Thompson. In addition, the materials cover content that is engaging to Kindergarten 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:
Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson has received numerous awards such as the 2015 Eureka Honor Award from the California Reading Association, the 2016 Schneider Family Book Award from American Library Association, and the 2018 Monarch K-3 Readers’ Choice Award from the Illinois School Library Media Association. It was also a finalist for the 2016–2017 Georgia Children’s Picturebook (K-4) Award.
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner is an informational text told through the eyes of a child. The pages alternate from what is up in the garden to what is down in the dirt, and the writing has a literary quality. Many of the author’s books have been highlighted in Nerdy Book Club posts.
Kindergarten Kids by Stephanie Calmeson is a collection of poems. It creates student interest through rhythm and rhyme as the poems travel throughout the seasons and holidays of the Kindergarten year.
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont is a fictional story that introduces a spunky little girl who is special, and she knows it. She reflects on her quirky traits and personality and is not bothered by what others may think. Rich in catchy rhymes and vivid imagery, the text has children celebrating their own unique identities.
Keisha Ann Can! by Daniel Kirk is a brightly illustrated fictional text that will attract young students’ attention. The setting is contemporary, and the text is in a question-answer format that students will be able to access easily. This book can be turned into a shared text, as students can predict the answer and read it chorally. In addition, this book uses rhyme and has a whimsical font for the repeating line, “Keisha Ann Can!”
Earthworms by Lisa Amstutz is an informational text that appeals to the natural curiosity children have about nature and how the world works. The clear and up-close photographs of worms and their homes will make children wonder. Students learn to understand the world in its beauty and, perhaps, its creepiness. Even though Earthworms contains facts and information, the author sparingly uses onomatopoeia to excite children as they read.
Read-aloud and shared-reading books consistently cover a diversity of texts. In Module 1, School Day! by Jesús Cervantes is a contemporary predictable text with simple language to help introduce children to basic reading. In Module 3, Quinito’s Neighborhood by Ina Cumpiano is a contemporary and diverse text describing every family member’s and neighbor’s job or role. Finally, in Module 5, The Little Red Hen On Stage is a traditional folktale that introduces children to the elements of a play.
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content areas that meet the requirements for the Kindergarten 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:
A Rainy Day by David Bauer (realistic fiction)
The Little Red Hen On Stage by Karen Knapstein (drama)
Pete the Cat: Too Cool For School by Kimberly and James Dean (poetry)
Jack and the Hungry Giant by Loreen Leedy (fairytale)
I Know the River Loves Me by Maya Christina Gonzales (fantasy)
Examples of informational texts include but are not limited to:
Why Living Things Need Homes by Daniel Nunn (scientific nonfiction)
The Moon by Heather Hammonds (scientific nonfiction)
Being Different Rocks! By Judith Bauer Stamper (persuasive)
Happy Birthday to the USA by Francie Alexander (informational)
In Our Country by Susan Canizares and Daniel Moreton (informational)
Examples of print and graphic features include but are not limited to:
Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass showcases different vegetables and fruits in vivid and unexpected colors, such as red bananas and blue corn. Students learn about the vegetables they thought they already knew about, seeing them in a whole new light.
The Alphabet from the Sky by Benedikt Grob and Joey Lee uses satellite photos to show a bird’s-eye view of communities all over the United States. If students look closely, they can find hidden letters in the pictures.
PB and J Hooray by Janet Nolan uses cartoon-like pictures to show where the ingredients for a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich come from.
The materials provide texts, including read-aloud texts and shared readings, that are appropriately challenging and are at an appropriate level of complexity to support students at the Kindergarten grade 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 Kindergarten 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 “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 to determine the students’ level for guided reading groups is located in the “Guided Reading Benchmark Assessment” section. 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.
Within Module 5, there are three read-alouds and a big book that increase in complexity over the course of the module. In Week 1, Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall (Lexile Level AD490L and Guided Reading Level L) and All By Myself by Mercer Mayer are used (Lexile Level AD230L and Guided Reading Level E). Week 2 uses The Little Red Hen: Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges (Lexile Level AD 570L and Guided Reading Level M) and The Little Red Hen: On Stage by Karen Knapstein (Guided Reading Level I). In Week 3, there is Ish by Peter Reynolds (Lexile Level 510L and Guided Reading Level L) and Let’s Make Music by Owen Holmes (Lexile Level 420 L and Guided Reading Level K). In Week 4, the texts are Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson (Lexile Level AD770 and Guided Reading Level N) and Everyone Can Learn to Ride A Bicycle by Chris Raschlea (Lexile Level AD350L and Guided Reading Level H).
Module 1 includes the text Schools Around the World by Clare Lewis, which is described as informational. In this text, students discover different types of schools around the world. The quantitative features of this text are Lexile Level 130L and a Guided Reading Level of H. Qualitative features to consider include multiple-meaning words, graphic features of an informational text, understanding the central idea, and key details.
In Module 3, about halfway through the year, the materials describe the book Places in My Community by Bobbie Kalman: “From parks to pools, from supermarkets to schools, the places in our communities play critical roles in our lives. In this text children discover many such places helping to deepen their understanding of the concept of community.” The quantitative features of this text are Lexile Level 490L and Guided Reading Level G. Qualitative features of the text to consider include multiple-meaning words, graphic features of an informational text, summarizing the text, and understanding key ideas and details.
Towards the end of the year, in Module 9, students use the text Welcome Home, Bear by II Sung Ha. This fictional text tells the story of Bear’s home. As beautiful as the home is, Bear becomes bored and sets out to find a new home. The quantitative features include a Lexile Level of AD560L and a Guided Reading Level of H. Qualitative features to consider include plot elements, like characters and problem/solution, and the use of picture and text clues to describe the setting.
Questions and tasks build conceptual knowledge, are text-dependent, and prompt students to synthesize new information through read-aloud texts, writing tasks, and “Inquiry and Research” projects. Most 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. Each module contains a central theme and an “Essential Question” that connects to all the text selections within a module. Questions and activities grow students’ understanding of topics and literacy skills over the course of each unit. Each text has two or more stopping points for student discussions, providing 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 identify the beginning, middle, and end in A Squiggly Story and One Happy Classroom and retell the plots using complete sentences. With adult assistance, students describe the elements of plot development over the course of the lesson, including the main events, the problem, and the resolution for texts read aloud.
In Module 2, students listen to I Am René, the Boy as a read-aloud. Using the “Display and Engage Knowledge Map 2,” students review the main character, setting, and events and then are guided to making the connection from the story to the inference “René feels his name is part of what makes him special.” Students do a “Think, Pair, Share” with a partner, discussing what René does to make his name special again. The Inquiry and Research project for this module requires students to make a “Who Am I” flap book by generating interview questions and sharing ideas. Using the information gathered from the interview questions, students write clues about their partner; later on, classmates use the clues to guess who is being described.
In Module 3, the texts Quinito's Neighborhood and ABC: The Alphabet from the Sky include anchor charts used to teach children how to sort and group words into categories. Students use illustrations and texts to read, hear, learn, or clarify word meanings and to synthesize new information. Students look at a group of words and answer the question “What do these words all have in common?” After listening to the read-aloud, students answer questions to demonstrate comprehension of the text: “Who do you think is telling us about his mami and papi? Why do you think Quinito says mami and papi instead of mom and dad? What is Quinito telling us about all his family and neighbors?”
In Module 5, students listen to the read-aloud Ish and draw a picture of their favorite thing to do (the main character of the book loves to draw). Students then write a sentence to match their pictures. Students determine how Ramon feels on page 8, what Marisol means by saying his drawing is ish on page 17, and why Ramon can now draw without worry on page 20.
In Module 8, students answer the Essential Question, “How do plants become food?” During Week 1, students find key details about the life cycle of a plant, beginning with a seed. The life cycle continues in Week 2 as students identify the most important idea—that seeds develop roots. In Week 3, students see the plants mature into a full-grown plant. Finally, students gather information about eating the rainbow (different colors of fruits and vegetables). Students are able to put each key detail together to develop their new understanding of how plants become food and how the cycle repeats.
In Module 9, as students read A Day and Night in the Desert, they learn many facts about the desert and animals in the desert. As students are setting a purpose for reading, the teacher asks students to state the purpose in a complete sentence. As students meet their purpose for reading, they discuss text evidence to prove their reasoning in sentences such as “I didn’t know coyotes hunt for food at night in the desert! That’s a new fact I learned!” In the end, students are asked to synthesize information and decide what adaptations animals have that help them survive in the desert. Questions include “What do desert animals do during the day and at night?” At the end of this module, students synthesize the information again to answer the Essential Question, “What makes a habitat a home?” Children learned about how black bears survive and thrive by gathering food in their habitat and could respond, “An animal’s habitat is a home because it provides shelter, food, and protection.”
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 2, students must identify the problem and solution in the contemporary picture book, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Students must closely read the text to collect evidence about how Wilbur, the naked mole rat, solves the problem of getting dressed. The materials state, “The problem is the other naked mole rats tease Wilbur for wearing clothes. The solution will be something that stops them from making fun of him.” Students then listen as the teacher reads aloud a portion of the text. Students “Think, Pair, Share” to figure out the solution to the problem. Wilbur’s grandfather never explicitly states that it is alright for him to wear clothes; therefore, students must infer that since his grandfather gets dressed, the main character learns it must be okay for him to follow suit. The materials tell the teacher, “Remind children that the naked mole rats care about what Grand-pah thinks and does.”
In Module 5, the text The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza and the anchor chart “Folktales” explain that an author uses folktales, made up tales using animals, to teach the reader a lesson. The materials ask students, “How do you think the little Red Hen feels when her friends say they will help do the dishes?” Students then read another folktale with the Little Red Hen as the main character, The Little Red Hen on Stage, in a shared reading. Students compare and contrast the authors’ purposes and craft in the two texts by answering, “What do you notice is the same about the little Red Hen in both stories?” Other discussion questions include: “What did you learn about the character from the words (the author uses)? How do the characters act? Why do the characters act this way?”
In Module 6, students read the book Apple Pie 4th of July and analyze how the author’s word choice communicates meaning that helps readers visualize the story in their mind. The teacher reads the sentence “I smell apple pie in Laura’s oven upstairs…” and explains how the author sometimes describes what the characters are experiencing to help the reader make a picture in their minds using the five senses.
In Module 7, students listen to the read aloud I Know the River Loves Me and view an anchor chart “Picture It,” which explains readers must pay attention to the five senses described within the text in order to visualize what is happening. The teacher asks students to close their eyes and visualize the text to help the readers understand what it means to picture the story in your mind. Students visualize cool and wet water as they imagine listening to the water flowing. The teacher asks the students to consider the author’s word choice in the following sentence: “I know the river loves me because I can hear her calling me as soon as I am close.” The teacher explains that these words are intended to help the reader visualize the sound of the rushing river as the main character moves closer.
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:
Throughout all modules, video visuals and vocabulary cards, the opportunity to talk with a partner via a “Think, Pair, Share” routine, and sentence frames support students who are learning English or who may experience learning differences.
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:
The materials build academic vocabulary throughout the year by systematically introducing content-specific words using picture cards before each read-aloud. The academic words for story elements—characters, setting, events—are introduced in Module 1 through the text Keisha Ann Can! Students learn that characters are who the story is about and the setting is when and where the story takes place. The students revisit story elements in the text A Squiggly Story. As students engage with this story, students learn that fictional stories are made up of characters, settings, and events.
The “Tabletop Minilessons” allow teachers to reinforce content vocabulary with the section “English Language Development.” Students look at an image and listen to a short paragraph read. Questions are asked to lead students to the word being taught, such as “Is orange a color?” “Is a carrot a fruit?” Students respond using a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Students are then given the definition and asked to classify the word using pictures to determine what is happening or using sentences to explain a process (“Tabletop Minilesson: Classify 5.1”).
In Module 1, the materials differentiate vocabulary instruction for English Learners (ELs) by providing tiered activities for beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high ELs. Beginning-level ELs act out the vocabulary words; intermediate-level ELs make up a sentence using the words; advanced ELs turn and talk with a partner, using the vocabulary words in a conversation.
The “Basic Vocabulary” chart in Module 1 gives teachers possible accommodations for students at various levels of English proficiency. Beginning EL students use labels to pronounce and practice academic words; intermediate ELs add additional examples to those stated in the routine; advanced/advanced high ELs use a sentence frame to support their thinking of an additional example of a category of things they will learn in Kindergarten.
In Module 2, content-specific words are introduced using academic vocabulary cards 3.1–3.4: community, location, neighbor, earn. In addition, students learn the term narrative and learn that writers use story elements when creating narrative writing.
After teachers introduce topic words in Module 4, they show a related “Get Curious” video that emphasizes morning routine and incorporates the new words. There is an emphasis on the word healthy. After the video, students then apply these topic words in context with a provided sentence frame: “What do you do to get a healthy start each day? One healthy thing I do is….”
Module 9 introduces different types of habitats through pictures—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 following sentence frame as they turn and talk with a partner: “What is one animal habitat you would like to live in? I would like to live in a(n)...habitat because….” The students will continue to use the habitat vocabulary across texts and in context throughout the week with the read-aloud books Why Living Things Need Homes and What Am I? Where Am I?
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:
The “Teaching and Planning Independent Reading” section includes lists of texts from which students may self-select based on their level for independent reading. Texts are provided via several resources:
According to the “Professional Learning Guide,” as students read, they record their learning and thinking in both “Reading Logs” and “Printables.” Printables provide a place for students to record their learning and thinking as it applies to skills and strategies they have learned during mini-lessons throughout the module. Teachers can use the printables as formative assessments to determine if additional scaffolds are needed to support learning.
The “Teacher Guide” describes how to plan independent reading goals by encouraging students to talk about their strengths and areas for growth during conferences. The Guide provides teachers with strategies to help students achieve their goals and to remind them to use the strategies when they read. Materials also include a reading-independence rubric in the Teacher Guide that helps teachers identify strengths and areas for development in independent reading.
Materials include a section titled “Building Reading Independence” in each module. This section explains how to use conferences with students to set goals when independently reading and ways to use strategies to meet the goals.
The Professional Learning Guide explains to teachers how students self-select texts using the Rigby Leveled Library, Start Right Readers, and “Predecodable” texts. It also provides a “Manageable Milestones” checklist so teachers can incorporate methods to deepen their practice. One such method is utilizing the assessment report to analyze student performance on the module assessment. After analyzing this data, teachers could then better suggest texts to students. The Teaching and Planning Independent Reading section of this document introduces self-sustained reading procedures within the context of “Literacy Centers.” Centers remain the same during the year to solidify the protocol. Routines and procedures introduced in Module 1 continue throughout the materials. Each literacy center is introduced one at a time and materials provide activities to support the week’s learning.
Module 1 introduces independent reading in the context of exploring different books. In this module, students explore alphabet books, nursery rhymes, and “Big Books” and their corresponding “Little Books.” In the “Reading Corner,” students choose from a variety of books to support their self-sustained reading, including choosing from fiction and nonfiction alphabet books, as well as using the Big Books to track their reading. Teachers set goals with students using sentence stems such as “I can…. I want to learn to….I will try to….” Materials remind teachers to periodically revisit these goals. To connect with parents and build awareness and consistency of reading at home, materials include a “Family Reading Survey” printable to get information on student reading habits and preferences at home and a “Family Letter” to outline topics for the module. During center time, students have a Reading Log to record what they read each day in the Reading Corner of Literacy Centers. The instructions on the form tell students: “Pick a book that is just right for you. Record what you read below. Try to read for more time each day.” The materials include a printable for students to record their thinking about the text, with space to draw pictures and write words, if they are able.
In Module 2, students read “Leveled Readers” and Start-Right Readers aloud to a stuffed animal. Students record books read on the Reading Log provided and use “Printable: Draw and Write 1” to record their favorite part of the books read. The materials suggest putting small versions of Big Books in this center for students to read. Students read poems aloud chorally and record rhyming words on the corresponding printable.
In Module 4, the Reading Corner is still the center used for self-sustained reading, but the activity has changed, as students have grown in their reading ability. Students now should choose their own books from the Rigby Leveled Library or Start Right Readers and whisper-read to themselves. Students also play teacher by choosing a book and reading to their classmates.
In Module 5, students choose Leveled Readers from their book bags to whisper-read into a toy microphone or reading phone and record the book titles in their Reading Log. There is also a component guide to a “Reader’s Theater” in which students practice the script The Little Red Hen with two to three classmates. Each child reads a part aloud while others listen and follow along. Students discuss what they know about the characters to help them read their parts with expression.
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 personal narratives that convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. The materials provide students with opportunities to write informational texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Module 2, students learn “What Is Narrative?” and analyze elements of narrative writing through mentor texts read aloud. Students write a narrative about the time they met a new friend. Students are encouraged to add details to their writing to support their thoughts and feelings. The teacher guides students to add these details by asking: “Who is in the story? When did this happen, and where did it happen?”
In Module 3, students write an informational text about helping others. Students are guided to write a central idea and key details about how to help others in their community. They publish their interactive writing on chart paper.
In Module 5, after reviewing parts of the narrative writing structure with texts read aloud by the teacher, students write a narrative about a time they were nervous. The writing “Literacy Center” provides prompts like “Write a story about a time you helped someone”; “Write a story about not quitting.”
In Module 6, students take their knowledge of an “Interactive Writing” project to help them answer the prompt “Write about one holiday you celebrate.” Students use “Model Writing” examples from “Display and Engage 6.4” and teacher conferences to strengthen their topics and writing.
Module 7 contains the “Inquiry and Research Project: My Five Senses.” As a class, students work to complete the poster, using a variety of books and media provided by the teacher to answer the questions “What do you hear? See? Smell? Taste? Feel?”
In Module 9, students write a research report about an animal. The report includes a topic sentence and three details. They use a research map graphic organizer, talk about writing with partners, and use mentor texts to guide their research writing.
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 1 begins with “Launching the Writer’s Workshop.” In this section, students are introduced to the idea of being a writer and what a writer does. Students read Keisha Ann Can! to brainstorm ideas to write about. The teacher models how to pick a topic and draw a picture of the topic. The picture is labeled and students work to write a sentence about the picture. Students use the “Draw and Write” page to practice.
In Module 5, students use the “Printable: Story Map” to plan and organize their narrative by drawing pictures and writing words about the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then, they revise their story by using a model story to edit and revise together as a class. The teacher then assigns a revision focus, such as “Does the story have a beginning, middle, or end?” They discuss their plans for the parts of their narrative with partners and use a story map graphic organizer to be sure they are following the structure they have learned. The map incorporates drawing and writing ideas down. In Lesson 4, they use their notes to write the story. Next, students edit their writing using the editing checklist provided in “Writer’s Notebook” (66). Subsequently, students publish their writing and create a cover for the story. Finally, they share their story with the class using their sharing voice.
In Module 6, students work to plan a how-to book. Students first brainstorm a list of their favorite games. A class list is started and students turn and talk with a partner about other games that can be added to the class list. Once students determine their topic, they draw a picture of their favorite game and write a sentence using the sentence frame “My favorite game is….” Using the “Organize a How-To Book” resource, students draw a picture and write the steps of how to play the game they picked. Students share with a partner or the class. In Lesson 9, students are shown “Display and Engage 6.2” as a model for how to revise their writing. Students peer conference with each other to make improvements to their writing.
In Module 7, the “Planning a Poem” resource guides students through the writing process with the goal of writing a poem. Teacher guidance is provided with the “Writing Process Anchor Chart.” It is posted and reminds children: “[P]lanning is the first step of writing a poem. Good poems can share a beautiful feeling or idea with readers. Good writers plan their poems before writing so that the reader can share the same feeling.” A connection is made to a mentor text, I Know the River Loves Me, and children are reminded how the girl in the book uses her senses to describe what she loves about her friend, the river. Students follow a familiar process to brainstorm ideas for a five-senses poem based on visuals and objects displayed by the teacher. The “Plan Your Poem” page in the Writer’s Notebook allows space for drawing and writing the poem. Teacher support is also given for conferring with children as they go through the writing process.
In Module 9, students encounter the idea of research writing. A related anchor chart is provided that explains that research is learning about a topic and using sources to find information. To plan their writing, students use a research map graphic organizer, talk about writing with partners, and make a plan that includes a topic and three details. In the follow-up lessons, students continue by looking at a mentor text and analyzing the features of research writing. They finish up the module by revising and editing animal research reports. In Lesson 6, students research a wild animal and write about where it lives. Students use page 118 in the Writer’s Notebook to record their thinking. This page asks students to draw and label a picture of a wild animal and write questions about where it lives. In Lesson 7, students continue their research by recording the central idea and three key details about their animal (Writer’s Notebook 119). Students revise and edit their writing and then publish and share at the culmination of Module 9.
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 “Oral Language” section in each module. Students are introduced to new words and given example sentences using the words; students have the opportunity to practice speaking in complete sentences. The “Engage and Respond” furthers students’ usage of academic language by having them apply their knowledge of punctuation and grammar when speaking.
In Module 1, students recognize that people’s names are nouns, identify and capitalize proper nouns, and focus on capitalization of the first letter in a sentence and name. First, the teacher defines nouns; the teacher asks students to point to different people, places, and things in the classroom and tells students that these are all nouns. The teacher displays the “Anchor Chart: Nouns 1” to introduce nouns for people. The teacher points out the examples on the chart and explains that a noun can be the name of a person: “Javier and Dr. Kelly are people’s names. They are nouns.” The teacher and students sing a song to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and say the name of a different child for each blank in the song: “If your name is…, say hello. If your name is…, say hello. If your name is or…or…, if your name is…, say hello. If your name is a noun, say hello. If your name is a noun, say hello. If your name is a noun, stand.”
In Module 2, in the embedded activity “Grammar: Color It In,” students identify and use adjectives for color in speaking and writing. Using “Anchor Chart: Adjectives for Color and Size 1,” students define adjectives and learn that writers can use adjectives to add details to their writing. The teacher explains that words for color are one type of adjective. The teacher shows students the examples on the chart:
Module 2 students study narrative writing by reading a focal text. As a class, a narrative is drafted and students review verbs. Using their interactive narrative, students identify past tense verbs and make edits. The sentence is read aloud to demonstrate appropriate usage and punctuation.
Module 3’s “Oral Language” section includes the following words and sentences:
In the “Engage and Respond” section of the module, students use sentence stems such as “One key detail is…. Another key detail is….” In completing the sentence stems, students are using appropriate grammar and punctuation in their speaking.
In Module 4, practice is provided to apply punctuation conventions by identifying and circling periods at the end of sentences, adding missing periods to sentences that are already given, and, finally, composing a sentence with correct punctuation: “Write a telling sentence. Start with an uppercase letter. Put a period at the end.” Lines are provided for students to write their own sentences.
In Module 5, students create personal narratives and learn about grammar in the context of their personal narrative. This module includes instruction in pronouns and singular and plural nouns. After learning about pronouns, the teacher uses the children’s names in sentences to model how to replace the names with pronouns. In Lesson 5, students work together to create sentences using the pronoun we with a partner. Students create an interactive writing piece together as a class, then edit the writing specifically for pronouns.
In Module 7, students learn about the prepositions in and out and practice using the “Write and Reveal” routine. Afterward, students engage in interactive writing where they must work as a class to write sentences using their prepositions. After students have created the sentences, they practice writing them with a partner.
In Module 7, writers learn to add punctuation. Students learn to use exclamation marks when they use strong feelings. Then, students listen to sentences read aloud and decide if the sentence needs a period or an exclamation mark. Students use their editing checklist to edit their writing. The checklist includes editing their writing for sensory words, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. This module includes the “Grammar MinilLesson” “Say It With Feeling,” where students use exclamations to convey feelings to their audience. The teacher reads sentences from “Display and Engage 7.3” and, using the Write and Reveal routine, students write the correct end mark. This skill is further practiced with interactive writing.
All modules include process writing and incorporate editing for conventions within the writing process. For example, in Module 8, in the “Writing Workshop” “Grammar: Let’s Fix It!” students evaluate sentences in a teacher model to see if they are complete. They discuss why sentences are incomplete. Partners “Turn and Talk” to decide what is missing from the sentence. The teacher asks children for suggestions to complete the sentence and rewrite it, and partners work together to complete the sentence; students read aloud their complete sentences. Later in the lesson, as in several other places in the materials, children use an editing checklist to make sure that they have written in complete sentences, used uppercase letters where needed, ended each sentence with an end mark, and checked their spelling.
In Module 9, students work to research animals to create informational writing. During this module, the teacher focuses grammar instruction on sentence types and ending punctuation. In Lesson 5, the teacher focuses the lesson on question marks. Students practice using question marks at the end of sentences by echo-reading and using a voice that shows the sentence is asking a question. Finally, students use the editor’s checklist to edit their writing for punctuation. Also in the Writer’s Notebook “Teacher Guide,” students practice using complete sentences, capitalization of the first letter in a sentence and in a name, and using punctuation marks at the end of declarative sentences.
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:
In Module 1, the teacher models the correct formation of the letter A as she describes it with the verbal pathway. Students practice the correct formation of the letter A, both upper- and lowercase. The teacher continues by modeling the correct formation of upper- and lowercase B with the verbal pathway. Then, students practice writing their letters. As each lesson continues, the teacher adds two more letters to the instruction. In Lesson 5 of that week, students practice all letters learned so far, A–F. In Lesson 14, students finish the alphabet by learning the correct letter formation of upper- and lowercase letter Z. The teacher models correct formation with the verbal pathway of the letter Z; then, students practice writing the letters. In Lesson 15 of this week and module, students review and practice all letters learned.
Materials include instruction in print for students. In Module 1, as students are introduced to the letters of the alphabet, the teacher uses letter cards and chants to teach the proper strokes to form the letter. For example, the letter E is taught using the verbal pathway “Start at the top, pull down straight, lift to the top, slide right short, lift to the bottom, slide right.”
Module 4 continues the instruction and practice of correct letter formation with the letter G by showing students the “Alphafriend Card.” These cards contain a student-friendly picture of the letter with an animal for association purposes to help students retain information. Students also practice their handwriting in the “Word Work Literacy Center” where a variety of words are written in a variety of ways. Module 4 Literacy Centers contain the “Rainbow Write” activity where students write given words six times using the colors of the rainbow.
Module 9 reviews all letters with students; in the “Writing Center,” students have four different activities to complete. While writing their research book, students must be able to complete the task with their best handwriting in order to convey their writing to the appropriate audience. Pictorial supports are given, and students write the correct word on lined paper, paying close attention to letter formation and using their best handwriting. This same expectation is continued through the remaining activities of “Write the Room” and “Handwriting Practice.”
Teacher support for handwriting development is provided in “Professional Learning,” “Guiding Principles and Strategies,” “Teaching and Learning” chapter, and “Establishing a Community of Writers, How Does Writing Develop?” Handwriting development stages are depicted in order on a pathway graphic: “Drawing—Pictures convey ideas and stand for writing. Scribbling—Random marks represent ideas. Letter-like Forms—Shapes imitate or look like letters. Letter Strings—Random long strings of letters, usually without spaces. Letters: Initial Consonants—Uses a letter to represent the first sound of a word. Letters: Initial and Final Consonants—Uses letters to represent the first and last sounds of a word. Letters: Vowel Sounds—Uses medial vowel sounds in some known words. Conventional Writing and Spelling—Includes short and long vowel spellings.”
As students practice their handwriting, teachers assess handwriting development using different methods. Writing rubrics are used at the end of each writing genre study. Students are rated in several writing areas, one being handwriting (Modules 1–4). The levels of proficiency include:
Students self-assess by circling their best-formed letters when practicing on the “Know It, Show It” pages contained throughout the materials (Module 1, Module 8, Module 9). Teachers have differentiated tasks to provide to students should they struggle with correct letter formation. Examples of this can be found in Module 4 when working with the letter G. If students struggle with the lowercase g and lowercase p, the teacher points out the differences between the two letters by stating: “[B]oth letters have a loop, and go straight down. The letter g curves up to the left at the bottom of the straight line.”
Materials support students’ listening to 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, while reading the text A Squiggly Story, students share the name of a book they have read that is fiction. After reading the story, students “Turn and Talk” with a partner to answer the following questions: “What is the boy writing? Who is the first character in the boy’s story? How can you tell? What happens in the middle of the story? Why do you think the boy says, ‘I flip the page to get away from the shark?’ What does the boy think of Alia’s idea? Why? How does the boy decide to end his story? In the beginning, the boy thinks he can’t write a story because he doesn’t know any words. What do you think- did he write a story?” Then, they share out with the class. Also in Module 1, students read the text Fish and discuss the key features of opinion writing. Students identify and record reasons and opinions to share information and ideas by speaking audibly and clearly using the conventions of language, following agreed-upon rules for discussion, including taking turns. Specifically, student partners use the strategy “Think, Pair, Share” to tell the reasons the writer gives for her opinion. The teacher provides a sentence frame and prompts students to use the word because to justify their response: “The writer likes... because….”
In Module 2, after listening to the text I Am René, the Boy, students use Turn and Talk to review characteristics of fiction, develop listening comprehension, discuss and share responses to questions about a story, and identify characters, setting, and main events in fiction. Students use text evidence to support their ideas and share the elements of plot development, including the main events, the problem, and the resolution for texts read aloud.
In Module 3, during a shared reading focused on text features, students are referred back to the “Essential Question” of the module, “What makes a community?” Students use the Think, Pair, Share routine and their “MyPal” book to discuss the answer to this question with a partner. Students are reminded to use their active listening skills as they interact with their partner, ask questions, and follow agreed-upon rules for discussion, such as “one person speaking at a time.” Later, students listen to Quinito's Neighborhood again, make inferences about the text, and respond to dialogic reading prompts, using evidence from the text. Students use the Turn and Talk routine to respond, using the following question frame: “What does Frank tell about in his letter?” The teacher provides the following sentence frame to respond: “He tells about.... (e.g., the library; the librarian; how the librarian reads to us/helps us find books).” Later in the module, students orally retell details from the text read. Students discuss details, or places, found in their community, draw them, and label the pictures. Students also practice summarizing the text they listened to and share the central idea of what they heard, with peers and the whole group. If students struggle, the teacher can provide sentence stems to help students rephrase their answers.
In Module 4, students learn about ways to stay healthy and how to get help. The teacher displays and reviews the “Anchor Chart: Rules for Discussion” active listening routine: “Remember to take turns talking and listening. Also, speak clearly by keeping your hands away from your face and saying each word so your partner can understand you. This is especially important when you're asking for help.” Examples and non-examples of how to use appropriate phrasing when speaking are modeled. Students discuss the question “What can you do every day to stay healthy?” To help guide their discussion, students use the sentence frame “I can…every day to stay healthy (eat good food; exercise; wash my hands; get rest).” Students synthesize the discussion by connecting it to books they have been reading. Finally, during independent practice, students use sentence frames from the “Printable: Asking for Help” as they practice thinking of situations in which they might need help. This contributes to their understanding of the topic—how asking for help is healthy, and when they might need to do that.
In Module 5, the “Tabletop Minilesson” flipbook provides a lesson on how to seek information. Students practice asking questions with words such as wonder, what, why, how, and learn. Students work with someone to ask questions about Jabari Jumps, such as, “What did he learn? I wonder what will happen next?” Partners take turns coming up with questions and listening as they are answered. The teacher provides feedback to each student pair to improve listening and speaking skills.
In Module 6, students listen as the teacher reads the poem “America the Beautiful” to the class. After reading, the teacher shows the “Display and Engage: Knowledge Map 6” concept map, which is a web connecting each lesson to the larger unit theme of “What makes the USA special?” After listening to the poem, partners use the Think, Pair, Share routine to engage in a discussion about the question: “How does the poem show that America is special?” The discussion allows students to relate details in the poem to the main idea of the lesson and module.
In Module 7, before reading, the teacher sets a purpose for children to pay attention to the pictures and text clues. During the read-aloud, the teacher stops periodically for children to use the Turn and Talk routine to discuss inference-related questions with peers, like “Do you think Jane liked the books about Tarzan and the Apes? How can you tell?”
In Module 9, when analyzing key details, students use the text “Why Living Things Need… Homes” to answer the questions “What do some living things do in their homes? How do these details give more information about the central idea?” Students use Think, Pair, Share to discuss the importance of the details provided in the story; students determine if the details are key details that provide more information about the central idea or if they are just interesting.
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 for:
Each module contains a text read aloud by the teacher; students use the Turn and Talk routine to participate in discussions, sharing what they know about a topic before a book is read or sharing what they remember from the story. Students also use the Think, Pair, Share routine to discuss ideas for writing. The teacher provides sentence stems with the appropriate standard conventions of the English language for students to respond with.
At the beginning of Module 2, the “Get Curious” video introduces students to the topic of the module. After viewing the video, students answer the question “What is something that makes you special?” using the sentence stem “I am special because….” As the module continues, students use a variety of sentence stems to answer questions and discuss information.
In Module 4, students express needs and wants using formal language, follow rules for discussion with partners and the whole group, and speak clearly and use appropriate phrasing. Students also share information and ideas by speaking audibly and clearly using the conventions of language. More specifically, the teacher models positive and negative examples of appropriate phrasing. First, the teacher models a negative example of expressing a need or want—not using phrasing, speaking quickly, and not pausing. Then, the teacher models using appropriate phrasing, introducing asking for help using “Printable: Asking For Help.” Students think of an example to complete each sentence, and they use the examples to practice asking for help with a partner. With a volunteer, the teacher models how to politely ask for help using a clear voice and appropriate phrasing.
In Module 7, students learn what it means to “zoom in” and focus on a topic. Students go outside, close their eyes, and practice listening closely. Students ask their partner the question “What do I hear when I listen closely?” Students practice adding details as they describe what they heard when listening closely. If they are describing the noise of children playing on the playground, students add details such as “the noise of the children laughing.” Students practice adding details as they listen actively by using the sentence stem “I hear…(a truck/an animal). It is…(a loud truck speeding down the street/a rabbit chewing on a crunchy carrot).” Also in Module 7, using the “Discussion Routine,” students practice how to engage in collaborative discussions. The Anchor Chart “Rules for Discussion” provides an explanation of the routine, and students practice each step. The teacher introduces the discussion question “How do you help at school or at home?” The teacher models a partnering voice and provides the sentence stem “I help at home/school by….” Students practice this with a partner as the teacher provides feedback on the routine.
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 materials provide practice 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 1, students begin by creating a guidebook to give future students information about Kindergarten. Students create a question-and-answer chart, which gives students a place to record a question and answer from books and from their own experience. Students meet with a partner to Think, Pair, Share a list of questions future students might have or questions they themselves had before entering Kindergarten; students can also include questions they still have. Students may use the following sentence frame for support as needed: “One question I had about kindergarten was…(what should I bring to school; what will I do in class).”
In Module 4, the anchor chart “The Writing Process” gives students the following five steps in their research plan:
Students begin by choosing a topic and asking questions. Students read books to find answers to their questions. Students consider the prompt “What is one way to exercise?” Then, they pick their intended audience and Think, Pair, Share to brainstorm questions about their topic. Students use “Writer’s Notebook,” page 50, to record one way to exercise, with words and pictures.
In Module 7, the teacher tells students they will create a “Five Senses” poster to teach others how the five senses let people “zoom in” on the world. The teacher introduces “Display and Engage: Project 7” to share the “My Senses Song” with the class. Students join the teacher in singing the song. Students review each sense and share examples of how the sense helps people “zoom in” on objects or environments. Students Think, Pair, Share while looking around the classroom, noticing objects by using each of their senses. Students use the following questions for guidance: “What do you see that you haven’t noticed before? What do you hear? Taste? Smell? Feel?” They record ideas on a chart.
The Writer’s Notebook for Module 9 includes planning pages, writing organizers, grammar practice, and editing checklists to use during the “Writing Workshop” for research writing. Students generate questions for formal and informal inquiry with teacher assistance, develop and follow a research plan, and gather information from a variety of sources. While researching animal habitats and what makes them unique, students learn about finding sources. Students learn: “Writers use sources like books, magazines, websites, videos, and even experts to find facts and examples for their writing….If I want to write about bears’ homes, I need to look for sources to learn more. I could read this library book about bears or watch an online video about bears’ homes. I could even visit the zoo or e-mail a park ranger to learn from an expert!” Students Think, Pair, Share with a partner to generate ideas for what they would like to research. As students share their topic, they receive source suggestions from both the teacher and fellow students, such as books and other print sources, websites, and people they could use as an expert source when doing research. Students “Turn and Talk” with partners to discuss their own ideas for sources.
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 learn about social communication skills: how to introduce themselves, greetings, taking turns, and actively listening. Using the read-aloud Keisha Ann Can!, students learn what it means to be a good listener: “[S]it on your bottom and raise your hands to ask questions.” The teacher reads the story and stops at certain points to question students: “Where do you think the kids are waiting to go? How do you know? What is Keisha Ann sharing with her class?” Students learn the letters of the alphabet during this module and brainstorm familiar ideas to write about. The focus of the student’s writing is ensuring their pictures and sentences match.
In Module 2, students use the “Essential Question” of the module, “What makes each of us special?” to anchor their thinking during the module. The teacher begins the module by showing the “Get Curious” video to set the purpose for the module and begin the discussion about the module. Students speak, using the strategy “Think, Pair, Share” to fill in the sentence stem “I am special because….” As students listen to read-alouds and shared-reading texts, they are questioned to determine their level of comprehension. Questions include, but are not limited to “How does René feel about his name? What does René learn about his name when he is writing his essay?” Students continuously refer back to the Essential Question of the module to anchor their thinking and remind them of the purpose of the tasks. During the “Writer’s Workshop,” students use “Turn and Talk” to discuss the setting of I Am René, The Boy. Students write about the setting on their graphic organizer and then independently brainstorm a short story. The teacher questions “Who is in your story? (Characters) Where is your story happening? (Setting).” During the “Oral Language” lesson, students learn vocabulary such as pronounce, participate, and research. The teacher uses these words as a jumping-off point for students to learn a word attack skill to be used when they are reading and are unsure of the meaning of a word. Using “Anchor Chart: Check For Understanding,” students learn that, when they do not understand what they are reading, they can use the pictures, reread the section, or look for clues.
In Module 4, students design a research plan by recording information and writing research questions about the way sleep helps people. Students generate ideas for writing through class discussions and drawings. They develop drafts in oral, vocabulary, pictorial, or written form to organize ideas. Finally, they dictate or write an informational text. With teacher assistance, students develop independence in following the research plan. They also narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail.
In Module 7, students listen to the read-aloud Last Stop on Market Street. Students learn academic vocabulary included within the text and discuss comprehension questions, such as “What do you think ‘the outside air smelled like freedom’ means?” Students Turn and Talk to retell the story in their own words to their partner. Students also compare this read-aloud and the previous read-aloud, The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza), to consider if these texts are creative writing. Students use the printable “Story Map” to write about the beginning, middle, and end of The Little Red Hen.
In Module 9, students listen to the read-aloud Polar Animals. During the reading, students stop to Turn and Talk about what the labels show and about the commonalities of polar animals. After reading, students discuss the central idea of the text. Finally, students use the Think, Pair, Share routine to discuss the question “What are some features that polar animals have that help them live in a polar habitat? (Warm fur; big feet; feathers; fat; flippers.)” Then, students pretend they are a polar animal and write words to describe themselves.
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:
The materials distribute practice of print concepts throughout the school year and gradually become more difficult as the year progresses. In Module 1, students begin learning routines and procedures for what it means to learn at school, such as how to sit still and listen. Students also learn about print concepts, such as the author and illustrator of the book. Students learn that “authors use words and pictures to tell a story or give information.” Students learn about book orientation and handling, such as turning pages and the parts of a book (front and back cover, title page). In Module 2, students learn new print concepts, such as text direction, one-to-one correspondence, and the concept of a word and a sentence. In Module 3, students continue to work on directionality, one-to-one correspondence, the features of print, the concept of a word, and the concept of a sentence. Module 4 spirals back through print concepts, while Module 5 introduces the print concept of the return sweep while reviewing text direction. Module 7 introduces the print concept of punctuation. The final modules review print concepts, including book parts, book orientation and handling, directionality, one-to-one correspondence, and features of print.
At the beginning of the year, students learn the routines necessary to effectively use discussion protocols during the year. Throughout the year, students use these routines to consistently engage in collaborative conversations allowing the exchange of ideas and development of vocabulary. In Module 1, students learn routines for introducing themselves and collaborative conversations. In Module 2, students use the “Think, Pair, Share” routine to brainstorm questions they could ask to learn more about their partner in the “Inquiry and Research” project. In Module 5, students use these routines as they brainstorm ideas and ways to make a difference in their community for the Inquiry and Research project. In Module 9, after listening to the read-aloud Why Living Things Need...Homes, students use the routines to respond to the “Essential Question” of the module, “What makes a habitat a home?”
In Module 1, when students write narratives, they orally tell stories to partners to brainstorm ideas and plan a writing piece as a class. When they edit writing in Module 1, the exercises focus on using capital letters, correct spacing between letters, and finger spaces between words. By Module 5, writing workshops focus on the features of narrative writing; revising for a clear beginning, middle, and end to a narrative piece; editing for punctuation; and correct spelling. Throughout the year, students move from writing as a class to independent writing.
Students begin the year working as a class to brainstorm, plan, and write; by the end of the year, they are able to complete these tasks on their own. Students begin learning the letters and sounds of the alphabet in Module 1 by putting letters and sounds together to form words. Students learn about opinion writing and the writing process using “Anchor Chart: Opinion Writing” and “Anchor Chart: Writing Process.” Students learn about the essential elements of the genre and about the writing process; as a class, they compose an interactive writing piece about their favorite activity in school. In Module 5, the students continue their foundational skills by isolating initial sounds and identifying the final sound. Phonemes are blended into words and students respond in complete sentences. These skills are reinforced in the editing portion of “Writer’s Workshop” as students edit for spelling within their narrative drafts. In Module 8, students return to opinion writing: They listen to the story Hey Little Ant and review the elements of opinion writing. Students use the “Turn and Talk” routine to determine the ant’s opinion and then record it using the printable “Opinion and Reasons.” Students use their knowledge of opinion writing to compose a piece in response to the prompt “What is the most important animal to have in the garden?” As students are working, the teacher confers with students using questions such as “Which animal do you think is most important? Now draw a picture. I see you’re still thinking. Look back at our class list and see if it can help give you an idea.”
Students consistently determine the author’s purpose of a text throughout the year. Module 2 uses the read-aloud Being Different Rocks and “Anchor Chart: Persuasive Texts” to discover the author’s purpose of a persuasive text. Students listen to the book and are questioned, “How do you think the author feels about being different?” Students also discuss the reasons the author provides to support their answer. In Module 6, students use Happy Birthday to the US in a shared-reading lesson. Students use “Anchor Chart: Author’s Purpose” and the Think, Pair, Share routine to identify the author’s purpose in the text. Students identify the text features used to support the author’s purpose.
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:
Materials distribute practice of print concepts throughout the school year and gradually become more difficult as the year progresses. In Module 1, students learn about book orientation and handling; for example, they learn about the front and back cover and turning pages. In Module 2, students learn about text direction and that words are made up of groups of letters that appear in a specific order. In Module 3, students continue to work on directionality, one-to-one correspondence, and the concepts of words and sentences. Modules 4–5 spiral back through previously-taught print concepts, and Module 7 introduces the print concept of punctuation. The final modules review print concepts, including book parts, book orientation and handling, directionality, and one-to-one correspondence.
In Module 1, teachers provide instruction in identifying the front cover of a book, holding a book correctly, and relating it to text: “Point to the name Daniel Kirk on the cover. Tell children that this is the author and illustrator of Keisha Ann Can! Explain the role of the author and illustrator. ‘The author is the person who writes the words in a book. He or she carefully chooses words to make the story interesting to readers. The illustrator is the person who draws the pictures in a book. He or she draws pictures to support the author’s words and to make the book interesting to look at. Sometimes, the author and illustrator are different people. In this book, Daniel Kirk is both the author and the illustrator.’ Think aloud to share what you notice about the cover illustration. ‘I see a girl smiling and waving. I wonder if that’s Keisha Ann!’”Children are asked to share what they notice about the cover. If needed, students are prompted to think about where Keisha Ann might be, who the other children are, or what might be happening in the picture.
In Module 3, students focus on one-to-one correspondence. Students are reminded: “We say one word for every print word we read. We match what we say to what we read.” Students practice one-to-one correspondence as they read the big book ABC: The Alphabet From the Sky. Students tap under each word as they read it.
In Module 4, students review how to hold the book correctly, reading from left to right and top to bottom. Students tell where to start reading and practice reading the first word, “Achoo!” together chorally as they read Germs Are Not for Sharing. The students watch as the teacher models reading left to right, top to bottom.
In Module 5, students practice recognizing that sentences are composed of words separated by spaces, recognizing word boundaries, and recognizing the difference between a letter and a printed word. Students identify all uppercase and lowercase letters and apply print awareness to text as they read Nuts, Not Rugs! The teacher is instructed: “Preview the story. Read aloud page 4 to introduce the story. Have partners think-pair-share to make predictions: Do you think Gus will help Pam? Review the short u sound and Words to Know. Have children point to the title, author, and illustrator as you read them aloud. Read the story together. Have children individually whisper-read one page at a time. Guide the group to use choral reading to reread each page.”
In Module 8, students use the “Literacy Center” “Let’s Play Teacher” to imitate being a teacher. They choose a book to read aloud to their group. Students are encouraged to point to the words, title, illustrations, and any other text features present as they read to their group.
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 learn about rhyming: “Guide children in identifying the differences and similarities in spoken words. ‘Listen: fish, dish. What is different about the sounds in these words?’ (Fish and dish start with different sounds.) ‘What is the same about the sounds in fish and dish?’ (Fish and dish both end with the same sound, -ish.)” Students then use thumbs-up or thumbs-down to show whether a pair of words rhyme. Also in Module 1, the teacher explicitly instructs students on how to count syllables; students respond by clapping appropriately. The teacher is instructed: “Model how to count syllables in a word. ‘I can clap to count the syllables, or beats, in a word. Listen: snowflake.’ Clap twice while you slowly repeat snowflake. ‘I clapped twice because there are two syllables in snowflake.’” The teacher continues saying familiar words such as bear, bedroom, man, and popcorn as students clap along to count the syllables in each word.
In Module 2, the teacher models how to blend onset and rime to make a word: “I will say a word in parts. Listen: /k/ /up/. When I put the parts together, I get the word cup. Listen: /p/ /ot/. What word? (pot).” Students practice blending onsets and rimes into words using some of the following examples:/b/ /el/ (bell);/k/ /ōt/ (coat); /c/ /Ub/ (cube).
In Modules 3–4, students continue practicing previously-taught phonological skills and engage in new learning to produce rhymes, segment words into onsets and rimes, and work with phonemes by identifying initial/medial/final sounds, recognizing alliteration, and blending phonemes into words.
In Module 5, students identify previously taught medial vowel sounds. Students respond as the teacher says, “Listen: red, hen. The middle sound in red is /ĕ/ and the middle sound in hen is /ĕ/.” Students identify the medial sound in a group of words, which include “rain, pen (no); ball, bill (no); met, pen (yes); pit, big (yes).” Students continue by blending previously taught sounds to make words. For example, the teacher says: “Let's play a listening game. I'll say each sound in a word. You put the sounds together and say the word. Listen: /p/ /ĕ/ /t/. When I put the sounds together, I get pet.”
In Module 6, students work in “Literacy Centers” to sort pictures of objects according to the sound blends they begin with, sort pictures of objects according to the short- and long-vowel sounds, and listen to videos to continue to hear and practice the letter sounds taught.
In Module 7, the materials provide explicit instruction in alliteration. Students listen as the teacher says, “Listen: Sam sails the sea. This is alliteration because Sam, sails, and sea all start with the same sound.” The teacher displays and names the picture cards for cat and rock. The teacher tells the students, “Listen: Cathy cuddles a…. Which word starts with the same sound as Cathy and cuddles? (cat)” Students continue practicing alliteration. Practice examples include “Ryan ran on the boat/rug (rug).” “Bailey bumped her boat/peach (boat).” “Pedro picked a peach/box (peach).”
In Module 9, students add and delete syllables and add, delete, and substitute phonemes. For example, students add syllables to solve riddles by listening as the teacher says: “Listen to my riddle: What can I use to heat food quickly? Add wave to the end of micro. When I add wave, I get the word microwave! The answer to the riddle is microwave!”
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 TEKS for Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten TEKS.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials systematically develop knowledge of grade-level phonics patterns as addressed in the TEKS for Kindergarten. Students begin the year by identifying and matching letters to the common sound they make. As the materials progress, students begin to use the sounds the letters make to decode different types of words, such as VC, CVC, CCVC, and CVCC words. The materials provide a scope and sequence outlining the order in which grade-level phonics are to be taught throughout the year in the “Professional Learning Guide.”
The materials contain 72 “Start Right Readers.” Two 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.
In Module 3, students practice spelling words with short i. Students use the precut letters d, i, n, p, s, and t to make words. Students watch as the teacher uses the word in in a sentence and then builds it with large letters in a pocket chart. Students use their letters to spell the word.
Students listen as the teacher gives the following instructions and manipulate the precut letters:
Add p to the beginning of the word (pin). Change the n to t (pit). Change the p to s. (sit) Change the t to p (sip). Change the s to d (sid). The same routine is followed in subsequent units. Module 5 includes words with double consonants and ck. Students use the precut letters c, f, g, h, n, r, t, and u to make words.
In Module 4, students use the “Decodable Text” routine to apply learned sound spellings, print concepts skills, and high-frequency words (“Words to Know”) in context with the Start Right Reader Big Bag. The routine specifies the letter-sound relationships for the teacher to focus on with students: “We will read words with /g/ as in gopher and /k/ as in kangaroo. Say /g/ gopher. Say /k/ kangaroo. We will also read Words to Know. Point and repeat after me: big, good, his, very.” Students apply their knowledge by first reading to themselves in a whisper voice, then reading chorally with the class. Further in the module, students practice reading high-frequency words in the decodable reader Big Bag. The book contains the following high-frequency words to know: big, good, his, very. Students again practice whisper-reading on their own, choral reading with the small group, and partner reading, students practice speed reading the high-frequency words at the end of the book: good, big, sits, and, ran, and very.
In Module 7, teachers introduce double final consonants -ss, -ff, -ll and -zz. Such words include but are not limited to bell, stuff, and fuzz. The teacher uses letter/sound cards to build words. The routine starts with r, then an o is added, and finally -ck. The teacher explains how to blend the sounds together. When students learn about the /ck/ sound, the teacher uses letter cards to build words and demonstrate how to blend the sounds. The students participate and practice using a choral-reading response. Additional words are given and the students repeat. In addition to double consonants, students learn about the /th/ and /wh/ digraphs using words such as this, then, that, whiff, whim, and whiz and practice using the decodable reader Chet!
Students participate in “Word Work” centers where they read, write, and spell high-frequency words following the Words to Know routine: see the word, say the word, spell the word, and write and check the word. During this routine, students watch as the teacher displays the word card provided in the materials, writes the provided sentence on the board, and gives students the context of the word. Students follow the teacher’s lead echoing the word in different voices. Students listen as the teacher counts the letters in the word, and they spell the word chorally. Finally, students write the word without looking at the word card. For example, in Module 1, students are introduced to the following words: a, the, see, and I. Students are introduced to one word at a time slowly throughout the module. Each week, students practice writing the words without looking before learning a new word. At the end of the module, students practice automaticity as they read the words quickly and with ease.
Not Scored in Kindergarten
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 and in the middle of the year. “For Kindergarten…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….” The Screening Assessments can effectively identify several areas directly related to success in early reading. Teachers can use information from this assessment, as well as other observations, to determine if a student would benefit from other interventions and plan small group instruction. Screening Assessments progress in a systematic order and include “Letter Identification” (lower- and uppercase), “Phoneme Segmentation,” “Nonsense Words” (CVC, CVCE, other), “High-Frequency Words,” “Oral Reading Fluency” passages for Grades 2–6, “High-Frequency Words,” and “Multisyllabic Words.” 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, and phonetic knowledge.
Examples include but are not limited to:
A variety of assessments are available for teachers to use for progress-monitoring purposes. The “Intervention Assessments” provide screening, diagnostic, and progress-monitoring assessments to identify students who are at risk for reading difficulties. Recommendations are provided on the amount of support students are likely to need during reading instruction. Upon entry into Kindergarten and again in the middle of the year, teachers use the “Letter Identification” and “Phoneme Segmentation” assessments to obtain an idea of a student’s skills. 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, on the “Calculate Letter Sounds Correct Per Minute” assessment, “Total Score — (student) Identified 7–8 letter sounds in one minute; Performance Level — Minimal Understanding; Instructional Description and Recommendations: A student at this level has a very limited understanding of letter-sounds. A student at this level could profit from activities such as: letter-sound identification activities, letter-sound fluency activities, oral language activities, language experience or diction activities.” “Progress-Monitoring Assessments” are used to monitor the progress of students who are receiving intervention instruction and to help determine when they are ready to exit the intervention program.
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.
Each module also includes a “Module Inventory,” which is a one-on-one assessment of foundational skills. For example, in Module 1, students are assessed on book orientation, book handling, and turning pages. The teacher prompts the students with words like “I am going to give you this book, and I want you to hold it like you are getting ready to read it. (Hand the child the book sideways, with the spine nearest the child and the back cover facing up.)” “(Open the book to page 2.) Show me how to turn the page as if you are reading, and turn the page again.” In Module 9, students are assessed on “Book Orientation: Book Handling”; “Book Parts: Front Cover, Back Cover, Title Page.” The teacher has students complete the following tasks: “I am going to give you this book, and I want you to hold it like you are getting ready to read it. (Hand the child the book sideways, with the spine nearest the child and the back cover facing up.)” “Point to the cover of the book. Show me the back cover. Show me the title page.”
Part 1 of the Module Inventory includes assessments in the following components of phonological awareness: blend phonemes into words, manipulate phonemes substituting, segment words into phonemes, and identify rhymes. Module 1 Inventory includes a “Phonological Awareness Inventory.” In this section, students identify rhymes, identify syllables, and blend syllables into words. As the students move throughout the modules, the inventories become increasingly more difficult. In Module 9, the inventory includes four parts. In Part 1, students demonstrate their understanding of phonological awareness, including adding and deleting syllables, adding and deleting phonemes, and substituting phonemes.
The Diagnostic Assessment includes a large component on assessing phonological awareness. The inventory begins with simple phonological awareness tasks and moves to more complex tasks. The “Diagnostic Inventory” includes assessments in the following components of phonological awareness: words in a sentence, blend syllables to make words, segment syllables, delete syllables, recognize rhyming words, produce rhyming words, categorize rhyming words, blend onset and rime, segment onset and rime, isolate initial, medial and final sounds, identify phonemes, categorize phonemes, blend phonemes, segment phonemes, delete phonemes, add phonemes, and substitute phonemes.
The Diagnostic Assessment also assesses Kindergarten students’ phonetic knowledge through a letter-sound correspondence assessment. Students demonstrate their letter-sound knowledge individually as the teacher points to a letter and the students tell the sound associated with the letter. Students who need additional progress monitoring throughout the year will receive the Progress-Monitoring Assessment, which includes the letter-sound correspondence assessment, as well as the decodable words assessment. Students who demonstrate mastery of letter-sound correspondence will sound out the letters and blend the sounds to make a word.
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 core 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 1, students look and listen for clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. The teacher displays the picture cards and states, “These pictures will be clues for new words in sentences I am going to say.” The teacher then uses an unfamiliar word in a sentence, such as “I just finished reading a great novel.” Children point to the picture card that shows the meaning of novel (book). The teacher says the sentence again and has children identify the word clue that helped them determine the meaning (reading). This is continued with other unfamiliar words throughout the material.
In Module 8, students recognize and retell events of a story in a sequence. The teacher provides a more challenging example for the book Plants Feed Me. Children recognize and retell in their own words the sequence of turning wheat into the common foods shown. Responses could include “First, seeds are taken from wheat plants. Next, the seeds go into a wheat grinder, and that makes flour. Finally, the flour is made into foods like bread, cereal, and pasta.” This text provides several examples of how plants are used as food. Students start applying the skills using a simple example, such as how a plant can produce fruit, and we eat the fruit; wheat requires more steps in a sequence in order to be edible and turned into foods we recognize today.
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 challenges for students who are 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.” This is consistent with expectations above the Kindergarten grade level.
In the “Build Independence” lesson, 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.
In the “Point of View” lesson, to provide more challenges for students who are above grade level, teachers are directed: “Supply a new or familiar text. As applicable, use questions and prompts such as those below to support application of the concept…. Is the narrator a character in the story? What pronouns do you see on this page? Does a first-person or third-person narrator use this pronoun? Is the story told in first-person or third-person point of view? How do you know?” As an example of above-grade-level instructional adjustment, students may “identify the pronouns used in the story and classify them as first person or third person; tell how the narrator describes the setting, characters, or the events in the story; identify the point of view of a story independently and tell how the story would have changed if it were told from a different point of view.”
Another option for differentiation can be found through guided reading groups, targeted skill practice, and targeted language development. In Module 8, students are matched to just-right books and meet in small guided reading groups as the teacher uses the appropriate “Take and Teach” lesson to match the book. For example, students reading at an instructional E level read the text Small Animals that Hide. Before reading, students make predictions and connections to the text. Students build vocabulary as the teacher uses the “Vocabulary Network Organizer” to target words such as protect, danger, and blend. Students use text evidence to answer questions during reading, such as “Why do small animals hide from big animals?” “What color is the fox’s coat in the first picture?” “What happens in winter?” and “How does this help the fox hide in snow?” After reading, students complete one of the following activities: “Research to find out more about the small animal”; “With a partner, look through the text and make a list of the adjectives you find”; “Think of another small animal that needs to hide from big animals. Write about the animal. Use this sentence frame: A… is a small animal that hides.”
During differentiated targeted skill practice, students isolate medial vowel sounds in one-syllable words. Students at the Advanced High level match picture cards according to medial vowel sounds and match words to their meaning by using the words in a sentence.
During differentiated targeted language development, students identify words authors use to persuade. Students listen to the read-aloud PB & J Hooray! and advanced students receive sentences to sort with partners. Some sentences are persuading sentences, while others are not. Students at the Advanced High level create sentences to persuade others to read the read-aloud text PB & J Hooray! and share their sentences with the class.
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.
In Module 1, students use picture and word clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. Using the “myBook,” students review the example “The flower’s long stalk helps it grow big and tall.” The teacher models by reading the sentence aloud and explaining, “The text says, ‘The flower's long stalk helps it grow big and tall.’ The picture on the right shows a tall flower with a long stem. The stem and the stalk must be the same thing!” Children turn and talk to give the meaning of stalks using the word and picture clues.
Additionally in Module 1, during differentiated targeted skill practice, students identify individual words in a sentence read aloud. Students at the Beginning level echo a short sentence after the teacher; after the teacher says the sentence slowly a few more times, students count the words in the sentence. During differentiated targeted language development, students identify words to persuade. Students listen to the read-aloud Keisha Ann Can! Students learn to ask for help when needed, using the words please, thank you, I need help, and excuse me. The teacher explains “that a school has many places and that they can ask for help to find a place, like the playground.” The students use the following sentence stem to practice asking for help: “Where is the…?”
Module 5 has students focusing on character traits and making inferences. The teacher reminds children that character traits are words that describe characters. An example of a character and the character’s trait from a familiar book or movie is given to support the explanation of a character trait. The teacher reads aloud a page from The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza). The teacher models how to use picture and text clues to identify the friends’ character traits: “I can see that the Little Red Hen’s friends are finally helping her! I know that we can use the word helpful to describe people who help out. I think we can use that word to describe the Little Red Hen’s friends, too.” Students then practice identifying character traits using a previously read fiction text. Teachers guide children to look at picture and text clues and think about what they know to identify the character’s traits.
During “Guided Reading” groups that meet daily during “Literacy Center” time, students are matched to just-right books and meet in small guided reading groups; the teacher uses the appropriate “Take and Teach” lesson to match the book. Students reading at an instructional A-level read the text Fun for All Seasons. Before reading, students make predictions and connections to the text using the following prompts: “What is the weather like where you live? What fun things do you do outside?” Students build vocabulary as the teacher uses the “Vocabulary Network Organizer” to target words such as summer, fall, winter, and spring. Students use text evidence to answer questions during reading, such as “What does the family do for fun? What are some fun things you do in summer? What are the kids doing? In which season do you rake leaves? What is the topic of this book? What is an example of a fun thing to do in fall?” After reading, students complete one of the following activities: “Draw new art for the book Fun for All Seasons”; “Discuss words that tell what you can do, such as swim, hop, skate, bike, and run. On a sheet of paper, write I can at the top. Make a list of can do words. Act out some of the words. Have the group guess the words.” Students on grade level are matched to texts and questions on their level.
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 scaffolds for students, the materials direct teachers: “As appropriate, tailor instruction to need by prompting children to point to details in pictures that identify the problem, draw the problem in the story, and describe the problem in solution, make a plot diagram that shows the beginning, middle, and end of the story, and suggest other solutions to the problem.” 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 that are 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 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 and Phonics” lessons, which include a variety of “English Learner Support” scaffolds to support word meaning.
In the Module 1 “Writer’s Workshop,” all students draw and write about a topic of their choice. Students at the Beginning level draw and tell about their pictures using their native language. Students at the Intermediate level draw and tell about their picture as the teacher dictates. Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels draw and try to write letters for the sounds they hear.
In Module 3, Lesson 6, “Targeted Language Development: Classify,” the lesson objective is to sort characters in a story, Quinito’s Neighborhood, by their relationship. Within the lesson, support is provided for various ELPS levels. Beginning-level ELs are assigned a single character to sort into two teacher-directed groups of people—In Quinito’s Family or Not In Quinito’s Family. Intermediate students flip through the story with the teacher and pause to decide where to place each character on a teacher-provided T-chart. Advanced students work with partners to discuss and decide how to sort story characters on the T-chart. Advanced High students create their own T-chart and record characters independently as the teacher reads the story aloud.
Students begin Module 5 by viewing a poster of a playground. Students at the Beginning level watch and listen as the teacher points to objects on the poster; they repeat the words as the teacher models. Students at the Intermediate level use a sentence frame to tell what the picture contains: “I see a….” Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels talk about the pictures with a partner by asking and answering the question “What do you like to do at recess? I like to….”
In Module 6, students use a vocabulary strategy to read and spell high-frequency words: “Ask children to write each “Word to Know” on an index card: said, win, cut, most. Mix up the cards and place them on the floor. Have one child fish for a card from the pond and read the word aloud. Have the group spell the word aloud. Continue asking children to take turns fishing, reading the word, and then spelling it.” Beginning EL support adds the step of having the teacher use each word in a sentence after saying it, such as “I cut the paper.” Advanced and Advanced High ELs create their own sentences using as many of the words as they can.
In Module 7, students listen to the text Not a Box. At the Beginning level, students look at specific pages in the book and use pictures to identify what the character is pretending the box is, responding with a few words in English or in their native language. Students at the Intermediate level use simple words to infer why the character is pretending the box is something different. Students at the Advanced level use the following sentence frame to describe their inference: “ I think the rabbit is pretending the box is a…because the drawing shows…(e.g., car/a steering wheel).” Students at the Advanced High level “Turn and Talk” with a partner; each partner picks a different page to describe the inference made.
In the Teacher’s Guide, “English Learner Support” notes frequently alert teachers to positive and negative language transfer that may help or hinder ELs. Transfer support includes phonics transfer issues, grammar transfer issues, and identification of cognates and false cognates. For example, in Module 3, the English Learner Support note for Phonics: Consonant “r” points out that students whose first language is Spanish, Hmong, Cantonese, Haitian Creole, or Korean may have trouble with the sound /r/.
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: “Phonological Awareness,” “High-Frequency Words,” “Decoding,” and “Print Concepts.” 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 with 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.
In Module 2, students practice identifying and spelling high-frequency words. They use the “Words to Know” routine with the words by, my, and to. After participating in the teacher-directed part of the lesson, students complete a daily formative assessment activity, “Know It, Show It.” The Weekly Assessment measures their retention of these same words. In the Module 2 Inventory, students identify syllables and spell high-frequency words they have learned in the unit. Module 2 also includes a Weekly Assessment in which students listen to a story read aloud, while viewing a picture. At the end of the story, students answer comprehension questions, such as “What happens in the beginning of the story?.... What is the problem in the story?” Students also answer foundational questions, such as “What letter does by start with?”
In Module 9, the inventory includes four parts. In Part 1, students demonstrate their understanding of phonological awareness, including adding and deleting syllables, adding and deleting phonemes, and substituting phonemes. In Part 2, students read grade-appropriate high-frequency words. In Part 3, students decode using an understanding of letter patterns. Finally, in Part 4, students demonstrate an understanding of print concepts (e.g., book orientation, directionality, one-to-one correspondence) and features of print (e.g., concept of a letter, word, sentence, ending punctuation).
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; it also includes 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 back side 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 nine modules, each with four 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, and 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 1, while reading Keisha Ann Can! students complete a “Reader’s Response” where they draw a picture and write something they do at school. White space is provided and students are provided lines to write their sentences on. The lines provided are grade-level appropriate.
In Module 2, in the read-aloud book I Am René, the Boy, the text appears on pages opposite the pictures. Although the text is presented in English and Spanish, adequate white space separates the text in the two languages, and only two paragraphs appear per page. The pictures on facing pages are related to the story; for example, on page 10, where René the boy meets Renée the girl from his class at recess, the picture is of this scene.
In Module 4, students draw and write about two key details that support the central idea of Being Fit. Students are provided appropriate white space to complete their drawings, as well as lines to write sentences. When students complete the “Big Idea: Use New Words” activity, they are provided a list of three sentences to pick from, with a picture to support understanding. Students have space to put a checkmark in the box next to the sentence they choose to use, as well as ample space to draw a picture completing the sentence chosen.
In Module 6, the big book In Our Country includes images of various parts of the country with a sentence describing them. The visuals are full color and relate directly to the sentences on the page. For each page, only one sentence appears, allowing students to focus on and discuss one part of the country at a time (rivers, lakes, canyons, prairies).
In Module 8, a writing model is given for students to look at. The font used for the model looks similar to student handwriting so that students can relate to the text. Sufficient white space is provided around the paragraph and between the lines to facilitate student reading and teacher discussion. A drawing of Lily with a peach appears to the side of the model, similar to what students include with their own writing.
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 can 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 the option for 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. At the end of each module, “Wrap-Up” videos readdress the lesson topics and provide a final perspective on material learned during the lesson. For example, in Module 3, “My Community Heroes,” in the Get Curious video “The Playground,” Willow, a young girl in the story, gets help from different community members to build a playground. At the end of the video, the question “What is something you do with your neighbors?” sets a purpose for further learning. To wrap up the community theme, the Wrap-Up video “Let’s Go To Work” follows a local firefighter as she goes out on a call.
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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