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The TRR reports for K–8 and high school science are now available. The new Instructional Materials Review and Approval (IMRA) rubrics for K–3 and 4–8 English language arts and reading, K–3 and 4–6 Spanish language arts and reading, and K–12 mathematics are now available for review. Provide public comment through December 15, 2023. Visit the instructional materials webpage to view the slides and recordings from the focus groups.
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. Spanish Language Arts and Reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
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The materials include high-quality texts for SLAR instruction that cover a wide range of student interests. The materials include some well-crafted and publishable texts that represent the quality of content, language, and writing that experts produce. There is a limited number of increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and multicultural diverse texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials include some high-quality texts for SLAR instruction that cover a wide range of student interests. Students have the option to either listen to the story or to read it independently. However, the materials include few complex contemporary or classical texts, and they use caricature graphics instead of real pictures. Text complexity is shown via Lexile level.
The following are examples of texts available in the materials to address SLAR:
El libro de la letra A by Rogelio García is an engaging children’s story that focuses on the grapheme and phoneme representation of uppercase A and lowercase a.
Árbol y abejas by Cristina Panadero is an engaging children’s story that teaches title, author, and illustrator.
Los Timbales de Tito by Cristina Panadero is an engaging children’s story that teaches how to read illustrations.
Las Lupas, written by Lilianna Suer, is an engaging children’s story that teaches the grapheme representation of letters m, p, l, s; syllables with u; and characters and setting.
Dos dados and Los niños de Ñuble by Cristina Panadero are realistic fiction stories that teach book and print awareness.
Los cien cerditos by Cristina Panadero is an engaging children’s book that teaches directionality (top to bottom, left to right). The text is a decodable booklet for students to learn about written language.
Mango y manzana by Cristina Panadero is an engaging children’s story that teaches that “words are separated by spaces and a sentence is composed of a group of words.”
Elsa y su elefante by Cristina Panadero is an engaging children’s story that teaches parts of the book: cover, back cover, and spine.
Los gatitos by Cristina Panadero is “an expository text that can be used to teach main ideas and details.”
Los niños de Ñuble by Cristina Panadero incorporates South American culture while teaching title, author, and illustrator.
The following are examples of texts available in the materials to address science:
Solo una Luna para esta Tierra by O.M. Ullola is a nonfiction poem teaching students about the moon.
Poema a la Luna madre by Rita Ricardo is a nonfiction poem also teaching students about the moon.
El huracán by Rogelio García teaches about hurricanes and the damages they can cause. It can also be used in social studies when talking about jobs and services. However, this decodable booklet is intended for students to learn about written language (reading direction) rather than any discipline content.
Jezabel y su tortuga by Rogelio Gracia is an informational text with scientific context and scientific vocabulary. It is, however, a decodable booklet intended for students to learn about written language (reading direction) rather than any discipline content.
The following are examples of texts available in the materials to address social studies:
El viaje a Kenia by Liliana Suero is a “story that can be used to teach the graphic representation of letters k, x, w; syllables with e, sequencing, and inference” while at the same time teaching students about Kenya.
El viaje a Kuwait by Liliana Suero is a “story that can be used to teach the graphic representation of letters k, x, w; syllables with u, sequencing, and inference” while at the same time teaching students about Kuwait.
!Exploremos Honduras! by Liliana Suero is a “story that can be used to teach the graphic representation of letters k, x, w; syllables with a, sequencing, and inference” while at the same teaching about Honduras.
!Vamos a México! by Liliana Suero is a “story that can be used to teach the graphic representation of letters k, x, w; syllables with i, sequencing, and inference” while at the same time teaching about México.
Even though there is some evidence that the materials include diverse texts, the texts do not have authentically rich plot lines. Some texts relate to the students’ backgrounds. Students might be able to identify with some of the characters in the texts. However, the materials are decodable booklets for students to learn specific letter sounds, syllables, sequence, and inference more than any discipline content.
The materials include some variety of text types and genres across content that meet the requirements of the TEKS, such as realistic fiction, fantasy, short stories, and expository texts. The materials include opportunities for students to recognize the characteristics and structures of literary and informational texts. The materials include some opportunities for students to learn about print and graphic features in a variety of texts. There are some informational texts about science and social studies. There are no persuasive texts that are connected to science and social studies. Students have some opportunities to use texts with captions or labels, diagrams, headings, bold words, labels, charts, or glossaries.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Students have opportunities to recognize characteristics and structures of literary and informational texts. For example, in Cycle 1, Lesson 1 teaches students to recognize parts of a book. The teacher introduces the lesson: “Hoy vamos a aprender las partes del libro. Los libros tienen tres partes: portada, contraportada y lomo. Estas partes sirven para proteger las páginas del libro.”
In Cycle 2, Lesson 7, “Identify or Recognize Character Traits and the Setting in a Play,” the materials provide content-rich texts created to teach characters, setting, plot (problem/solution), theme, and sequence. For example, students identify the character traits and setting of a play using illustrations. The teacher says, “Vamos a aprender a leer las ilustraciones de una obra. Esta estrategia nos ayudará a comprender las historias que leemos.” The teacher shows the students an illustration of students walking with backpacks on a visit to the zoo. The teacher asks questions about the book and about characters and places in the story. Students have time to answer questions. The teacher then continues discussing characters and scenes in the story. However, the lesson has students recall answers; it does not require them to analyze or synthesize to use higher-order thinking skills.
In Cycle 8, Lesson 1, “Comprensión de lectura,” students learn about the characteristics and structures of informative text. The teacher describes the main characteristics of an informative article. Students then use La historia del vuelo humano to identify titles and subtitles and underline them. This text also uses a graphic organizer. In Lesson 2, Comprensión de lectura, students learn about the four types of text structure using the texts “Insectos” and “El mar y el lago.” The teacher reviews the text structure and what authors use to build the text (i.e., graphs or images, title, cause-effect, and compare-contrast). Students use copies of each text to determine the utilized structure.
The materials lack opportunities for students to recognize characteristics of persuasive texts and to distinguish fact from opinion within the text. Some texts allow the students to grasp the differences between expository, poetic, and other varieties of texts.
Mi orca by Cristina Panadero is a fiction text that teaches the concept of directionality (reading from left to right and top to bottom).
Árbol y abejas by Cristina Panadero is a realistic fiction text that teaches concepts of print (e.g., title, author, illustrator).
Lluvia y sol by Cristina Panadero is a realistic fiction text that teaches description, sequencing, and cause and effect.
El jaguar y el mono by Rogelio Garcia is a fiction text that teaches about the main idea and details.
La visita especial by Liliana Suero is a realistic fiction text that teaches sequencing and inference.
La rana by Rogelio García is a children’s fiction story.
La Raya by George A. Mendez is a poem.
Cazadores de Fósiles by Istation is a comic.
Examples of science texts include:
El agua by Liliana Suero
Los gatitos by Cristina Panadero
Manchitas y Memo by Cristina Panadero
El árbol y las abejas by Cristina Panadero
El Bosque Amazónico en Peligro by Istation
Las arañas by Cristina Panadero
¿Cómo se forman las montañas? by Cristina Panadero
Examples of social studies texts include:
¡Vamos a la escuela! by Liliana Suero
¡Exploremos Honduras! by Liliana Suero
El viaje a Kenia by Liliana Suero
iVamos a México! by Liliana Suero
La mujer policía by Rogelio García
El viaje a Kenia by Liliana Suero
The materials include some texts that are appropriately challenging and at the appropriate level of complexity to support students at their grade level. The materials lack texts to support read-alouds and shared reading. The publisher does not include a text-complexity analysis. Materials include Lexile levels as an appropriate quantitative measure, but they lack an explanation of the qualitative features that guide placement within the grade level.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a text complexity analysis provided by the publisher; however, this analysis only measures Lexile levels. The Lexile levels are appropriate to the grade level. The “Guía de Istation Reading en Español: Libros y pasajes” helps teachers use the texts. This guide provides the program’s text titles and reading passages along with their Lexile numbers, the type of text, the “Cycle,” and skills and/or strategies addressed.
The interactive reading curriculum includes books and passages to support reading instruction for each teaching cycle. The materials include texts, both online and printable, that are connected to the students’ learning objectives for the lessons. However, the materials do not include a series of texts connected to other texts. All of the illustrations are caricature drawings and not real pictures.
The materials lack qualitative text features appropriate for the grade level. Most of the texts’ subject matter is common to most readers; they do not refer to other texts or ideas. Rigor in meaning or purpose is limited. Often, an obvious theme or point is revealed early in the text, with clear, concrete, narrowly focused, and explicitly stated language. The materials do not include read-aloud texts. The program states: “It is important to note that many books are meant to be read aloud and therefore may be beyond a student’s Lexile measure even though the book was encountered in the Istation curriculum.” The shared reading texts are above the complexity level of what students can read independently.
In Cycle 1, “Libro ABC,” with Elsa y su elefante by Cristina Panadero (200L), students focus on rate, measuring their progress toward fluency, as well as parts of the book. The text Iván y su iguana by Cristina Panadero is an engaging children’s story (200L) that teaches directionality (reading from left to right).
In Cycle 5, the text Jezabel y su Tortuga by Rogelio García is an engaging children’s story (240L); it teaches letters j, g/g/, g/j/, ch, syllables with e, and details and main idea. The text Chico y su tarántula by Rogelio García is an engaging children’s story (320L). Students need to read at a sufficient rate in order to comprehend the text; the focus is on the main idea and details.
In Cycle 7, Lesson 2, “Use Information from Picture Cards to Make Inferences,” students use information from a text and background information to make inferences using images. The materials provide teachers with guidance on the topics to cover the sequence in which to teach them. The lesson includes questions that address rigor, such as “¿Alguno de ustedes para que se usa este tipo de zapato? ¿Qué podemos inferir que el niño va a hacer? ¿Alguna vez han visto nubes grises o han usado una sombrilla? ¿Que podemos inferir que va a suceder?”
The materials contain some tasks that support students in synthesizing knowledge and ideas to deepen understanding and in identifying and explaining topics and themes. There are limited interconnected questions and tasks that build student knowledge, are text-dependent, and prompt students to synthesize new information. Some questions and activities grow students’ understanding of topics and literacy skills. Some formal and informal assignments and activities focus on texts students are reading or listening to. The materials lack opportunities for students to evaluate and discuss information from multiple places within a text.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide activities that focus on texts students are reading or listening to and require close attention to the meaning to demonstrate comprehension. For example, in Cycle 2, Lesson 4, students identify character traits and settings using the text “Lalo & Sami.” Comprehension questions include “¿Quiénes forman parte de esta historia? ¿En qué lugar está sucediendo esta historia? ¿Cómo se llaman las personas, los animales o cosas que forman parte de las historias? ¿Cómo se llama el lugar donde sucede la historia?” These questions support students’ ability to recall story setting and identify characters in the story, but they do not prompt students to synthesize new information.
The materials provide some questions and activities to grow students’ understanding of topics and literacy skills over each “Cycle.” Questioning in each cycle starts with recall. For instance, in Cycle 2, Lessons 4–7 focus on recognizing character traits and setting. The materials include questions such as “¿Cómo se llaman las personas, los animales o cosas que forman parte de las historias? ¿Cómo se llama el lugar donde sucede la historia? ¿Qué está pasando en esta historia? ¿En qué lugar está sucediendo esta historia?” The materials do not include questioning to discuss key vocabulary nor provide higher-order-thinking questions. Most of the questions included in the lessons are basic recall questions and do not provide opportunities for students to evaluate and discuss information from multiple places within a text.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 1, Tier 2, “Predicting with Texts of Fiction: Lesson 1,” students make predictions about the fictional text El zapato perdido. They write their ideas in a graphic organizer and use it to answer questions. The teacher explains that good readers use what they know from a story and pictures to predict what will happen next. The teacher asks, “What do you think it’s about? Have you ever lost a shoe? Yo también.” Teacher models thinking aloud, “Yo creo que este cuento se trata de alguien que ha perdido un zapato. Was my prediction correct, what will you do after finding the shoe? Yo pienso que va a jugar fútbol.” However, this type of questioning does not provide opportunities for students to evaluate and discuss information from multiple places within a text.
Some formal and informal assignments and activities focus on texts students are reading/listening to and require close attention to inferences to demonstrate comprehension. In Lesson 2, Tier 1, students make inferences using the texts La caja de juguetes and El tesoro. Students answer text-based questions such as “¿Qué pone Julián en su caja?” They then connect their new learning and the text. The materials ask basic recall questions such as “¿De quién es el libro? ¿De quién es el hueso?” The students answer either in multiple-choice form or by circling YES or NO.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 7, “Escritura,” students engage in expository and narrative writing exercises through questions and tasks that elicit an understanding of the story “The Rescue.” The lesson contains three writing exercises to help students practice expository and narrative writing. Students answer questions such as “¿Alguna vez te han rescatado o salvado?” Students work in partners to answer questions such as “¿Cuál fue tu parte favorita? ¿Qué parte fue confusa? ¿Cómo podría mejorarse?” The materials repeat the same questions in Cycle 3, Lesson 4, and Cycle 4, Lesson 5. Though these are text-dependent questions, they do not prompt students to synthesize new information nor deepen understanding and identify and explain topics and themes in the lesson.
In Cycle 6, Lesson 4, “Identify the sequence of events in a text,” students identify the sequence of events in the text “How Do Plants Grow?” using sequence cards. The teacher asks, “¿Qué es lo primero que sucede en la historia? ¿Qué sucede después? ¿Y después? ¿Qué sucede al final de la historia?” The lesson targets identifying and practicing story sequences. Students have access to the picture cards as a visual aid for recalling the story. In Lesson 6, students use the same text to identify the events in the story using sentence strips. The teacher says, “Ahora vamos a contar la historia nuevamente en la secuencia correcta. ¿Qué es lo primero que sucede en la historia? ¿Qué sucede después? ¿Y después? ¿Y después? ¿Qué sucede al final de la historia?”
Some questions and tasks require readers to produce evidence from texts to support their position. In “Writing” Lesson 3, students work on three narrative and descriptive writing exercises. The writing practice is based on the story “The Finish Line.” The materials remind students that this text is about two friends who are competing against each other. Students think about another story that is similar to this one. In Writing Lesson 4, three writing exercises help students practice narrative, expository, and descriptive writing. The writing practice is based on the story “The Routine.”
The materials make some connections to personal experiences, ideas in other texts, and society. For example, in the Cycle 4 “Escritura” lesson, the students read the story “Dia de campo.” After the reading, the teacher prompts students to write about a time they went camping. Another example can be found in the Level 3 “Comprensión Auditiva” lesson; the teacher closes the lesson by asking students to connect with the text: “¿Qué vegetales te gustan a ti?”
The materials do not contain questions and tasks that require students to evaluate the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. The materials do not provide questions and tasks to support students’ analysis of texts’ literary or textual elements. The materials do not ask the students to analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the author’s purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts. Students do not have opportunities to provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Moreover, the materials lack lessons for comparing and contrasting the stated or implied purposes of different authors’ writing on the same topic. Students do not analyze the author’s choices and how they influence and communicate meaning in a single text or across various texts. The materials lack lessons that allow students to confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of genre, and structures, either independently or with teacher assistance.
The materials do not include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary in and across texts. Materials include some scaffolds for vocabulary, but this vocabulary only covers high-frequency words, not academic words. There is no year-long plan for building academic vocabulary, and the materials do not include ways to apply words in appropriate contexts. There is no support for teachers to differentiate vocabulary development for all learners.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials do not include a year-long plan for building academic vocabulary or ways to apply words in appropriate contexts. The materials do not provide any evidence that the academic vocabulary is introduced in context or through word lists, repeated in a variety of contexts, and used across texts. Under the toolbox tab, the materials include the “Istation Español Scope and Sequence,” which provides a list of online activities and teacher-directed lessons by skill. The document follows a sequenced plan and shows the cycle where lessons can be found and the standard for each lesson. There is a “Vocabulary” section for each grade-level span, “Grades Prek- Kinder.” Within each Vocabulary section, there is a list of Vocabulary skills that teachers can identify within the cycle provided. The Vocabulary section includes lessons on “words are from universal themes such as family, home, food, body, clothing, feelings, animals, school, and community.” This document does not include a list of academic vocabulary words to be discussed within a year-long plan nor specific lessons on building academic vocabulary in and across texts.
Vocabulary lessons in the materials only include high-frequency word development in Cycles 1-8. For instance, in Cycle 3, Lesson 2, and Cycle 5, Lesson 2, students recognize and learn high-frequency words. The words include: “le, tiene, una, se, pone, tira, mira, los, todo, sin.” These lessons do not incorporate academic vocabulary, and there are no other teacher-directed lessons to address academic vocabulary development specified for Kindergarten.
The materials include limited scaffolds for vocabulary words (e.g., visuals that go with the vocabulary). There are “Vocabulary Cards” such as “Body Parts,” “Home,” “Geometric Shapes,” and “Animals.” The Vocabulary Cards do not specify a grade level or a “Cycle.” Another scaffold is located in the Spanish-language vocabulary tools, providing synonyms and antonyms, word families, personal pronouns (e.g., yo, tu, él, ellos), and word classification. These lessons help practice and reinforce the vocabulary for reading comprehension. However, the lessons do not target academic vocabulary, nor do they provide support for teachers to differentiate vocabulary development for all learners.
The materials do not include a clearly defined plan to support and hold students accountable as they engage in self-sustained reading. Materials do not include procedures and/or protocols with adequate support for teachers to foster independent reading. There is no plan for students to self-select texts and read independently for a sustained period of time; materials do not include planning or accountability for achieving independent reading goals.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials do not provide adequate support for teachers to foster independent reading. The online program called “Ipractice,” where the students work independently, offers students opportunities to interact with text. The materials assign texts for reading depending on students’ testing levels on the “ISIP” and read the story to the students. However, there are no clear procedures or protocols for teachers to foster independent reading. The materials do not include a plan to help teachers track independent reading or to help students select texts.
The materials allow students to set goals for improving their Lexile levels and write them on bookmarks; however, there are no reading logs or plans included in the materials to help the students set goals and plans for self-selecting and reading texts. The materials do not provide a plan for students to self-select texts and read independently for a sustained period of time, and there is no planning or accountability for achieving independent reading goals.
The materials provide some support for students to compose across text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students have opportunities to write literary texts for multiple purposes and audiences, such as personal narratives that convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. Students have opportunities to write informational texts, including reports and procedural texts. However, students do not write procedural texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide students some opportunities to write literary texts for multiple purposes and audiences. For example, in Cycle 2, Lesson 1, “Escritura,” the materials provide opportunities for students to dictate or write personal narratives that convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. The students review the story “Pepe,” which is about a boy who celebrates his birthday with his family. The lesson includes three writing exercises. In “Ejercicio 1,” the students practice procedural writing by writing about one of their own birthdays. The students write about how they prepared for their party and have the opportunity to share their own experiences. In “Ejercicio 2,” students draw and describe their favorite gift. In “Ejercicio 3,” students imagine and write a new story where Pepe celebrates his birthday party in a different place.
In Cycle 4, Lesson 5, Escritura, the materials provide opportunities for students to dictate or write personal narratives that convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. Three writing exercises, based on the story “Día de campo,” help students practice narrative writing. The “Mapa de secuencia” supports students’ composition skills. In Ejercicio 1, after reading the story “Día de campo,” students write about a time they went camping, including details about what they did. In Ejercicio 2, students reread page 8 and think about what other things Fatima might have in her basket; they then write a story and include the new things in their composition. In Ejercicio 3, students think about what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. They write a summary of the story using complete sentences.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 7, Escritura, materials provide opportunities for students to dictate or write personal narratives that convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience. Three writing exercises help students practice narrative writing. In Ejercicio 3, the students write about “¿Alguna vez te han rescatado o salvado? Escribe sobre esa experiencia. Si no has sido rescatado o rescatado, inventa y escribe una historia donde te rescatan.” Students use the prompts to write about a time they have been rescued or make up a rescue story.
The materials provide students opportunities to write informational texts, such as procedural texts and reports about topics. For example, in Cycle 3, Lesson 4, Escritura, the materials provide three activities about the text “La rutina.” In Ejercicio 1, students complete a sequencing activity by writing what happened first, next, and at the end of the story. In Ejercicio 2, students use a graphic organizer and list “what I know, what I want to know, and what I learned.” The students then use the internet or a library book to investigate and write a report on ballet. In Ejercicio 3, with the teacher’s help, students write a report about being a dancer. They write about what they feel is needed to be a dancer, describe the characteristics of a dancer, and use what they have learned and what they know to complete the activity. The lesson guides the students to use the internet or the library to investigate ballet.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 7, Escritura, three activities center on the text “El rescate,” the story of a child who celebrates his birthday with family. In Ejercicio 1, student pairs discuss which animals like and dislike water. They then use a graphic organizer to classify the animals. In Ejercicio 2, students investigate lifeguards using the internet or the library and write a report, including at least three details on the topic.
The materials lack opportunities for students to write procedural texts.
The materials provide limited opportunities for students to engage in the writing process to develop text in oral, pictorial, or written form. Materials facilitate students’ coherent use of some of the elements of the writing process, such as planning, revising, editing, and sharing/publishing. However, students do not engage in drafting when composing text.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials facilitate students’ coherent use of the elements of the writing process to compose text, including planning, editing, and sharing or publishing. For example, in Cycle 2, Lesson 2, “Escritura,” students review the story “Las Lupas,” which is about two girls who use a magnifying glass to observe different objects at home and at school. The lesson includes three writing activities. In “Ejercicio 1,” the students recall and write the story. In “Ejercicio 2,” the students draw what the girls observed in the story and then describe what they drew. The students share their information with a partner after going through the “Revisa tu escritura” section of the writing process. The revision section does not include guidance for the teacher or additional steps for the students. This section is a checklist for the students to ensure they include certain writing conventions (e.g., starting sentences with a capital letter and ending with punctuation). In “Ejercicio 3,” students make a list of words they can use to describe the characters in the story and then write complete sentences from the list.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 3, Escritura, students write about the story “La meta.” The lesson has three writing exercises. In Ejercicio 1, students write or draw about a time they challenged or competed against a friend. The graphic organizer “Mapa del Cuento” helps students plan their work. A Revisa tu escritura page once again supports revisions and edits. It states: “Recuerda: comenzar cada oración con letra mayúscula, escribir tus mayúsculas y minúsculas para que sean fáciles de leer por un compañero o maestro, usar oraciones completas, y terminar cada oración con un punto final.” A “Comparte tu trabajo” page guides students in publishing their work. The teacher says: “Antes de compartir tu trabajo, preséntate ante tu compañero, intercambia tu trabajo y discute las siguientes preguntas: ¿Cuál fue tu parte favorita? ¿Qué parte fue confusa? ¿Cómo podría mejorarse? When discussing your work with each other, be sure to speak one at a time. Share your work with others by posting it in a conspicuous place in the classroom or school.” The lesson’s writing process is missing drafting. Furthermore, directions and guidance for teachers to implement the writing process lack detail.
Cycle 5, Lesson 7, Escritura, uses the story “El rescate.” In Ejercicio 1, students write about animals that like water and ones that do not. During the brainstorming stage, the teacher prompts students: “Think and discuss with a partner about the animals that like and don't like water.” A graphic organizer helps students plan their work. A Revisa tu escritura page supports revisions and edits: “Recuerda: comenzar cada oración con letra mayúscula, escribir tus mayúsculas y minúsculas para que sean fáciles de leer por un compañero o maestro, usar oraciones completas, y terminar cada oración con un punto final.” The Comparte tu trabajo page supports students in publishing their work. It guides students to share via questioning: “Before sharing your work, introduce yourself to your partner, exchange your work, and discuss the following questions: ¿Cuál fue tu parte favorita? ¿Qué parte fue confusa? ¿Cómo podría mejorarse? Cuando discutan su trabajo entre sí, asegúrense de hablar uno a la vez. This activity helps guide the student in sharing their work. Comparte tu trabajo con los demás colocándolo en un lugar visible dentro del salón de clases o la escuela.” The lesson’s writing process is missing drafting. Directions and guidance for teachers to implement the writing process lack detail.
The program’s writing materials follow these same steps in all the writing lessons. There is no evidence that the students receive explicit instruction in the writing process with opportunities to connect learning to their own writing. The materials do not support teachers in providing students support to grow their composition skills.
Over the course of the year, students have some opportunities to apply grade-level standard Spanish conventions to their writing. The materials provide opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing. However, the materials do not provide opportunities to practice grammar, punctuation, and usage systematically, both in and out of context.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide routines and procedures for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing. There are some opportunities for students to receive explicit instruction in Spanish conventions both in and out of context. Cycle 2, Lesson 1, “Writing,” includes three writing activities based around the text Pepe. In “Ejercicio 3,” the students write a story about Pepe celebrating his birthday in a different setting with a new plot. This activity includes the “Revisa tu escritura” page, which supports students’ use of appropriate grammar. The teacher says, “Remember to use adjectives to describe your gift.” This lesson targets adjectives. Every writing lesson provides a “Recuerda” section that includes reminders: “usar adjetivos para describir las cosas, comenzar cada oración con letra mayúscula, escribir tus mayúsculas y minúsculas para que sean fáciles de leer por un compañero o maestro, usar oraciones completas, terminar cada oración con un punto final, y usa los pronombres yo, tú, él, ella.” Students have the opportunity to apply the grammatical rules they have learned. The lesson also provides students the opportunity to share and discuss their work with their classmates. During this time, students are reminded to take turns when speaking. The discussion activity provides opportunities for the students to apply conventions while writing and speaking.
The materials use the same grammar rules for all prompts. In Cycle 3, Lesson 4, “Escritura,” includes three writing activities based around the text La rutina. In Ejercicio 3, students write to describe the characteristics or traits of a dancer. After the students finish writing their personal narrative, they use Revisa tu escritura for assistance in checking their writing. Students check the following writing conventions: that they start each sentence with a capital letter; use uppercase and lowercase letters; use complete sentences; end each sentence with a period; and use the correct article for feminine and masculine nouns “(ej., el chaleco, la gata)”. The lesson provides students the opportunity to share and discuss their work with their classmates. During this time, students are reminded to take turns when speaking. The discussion activity provides opportunities for the students to apply conventions while writing and speaking.
Students have opportunities to practice and apply the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing, including punctuation and grammar. In Cycle 5, Lesson 7, Escritura, includes three writing activities around the text El rescate. In Ejercicio 3, students write about a time when they were rescued. The Revisa tu escritura page assists students with checking their writing. Students check the following conventions: using the correct article when listing the animals, using capital letters when beginning each sentence, using punctuation marks, and writing in complete sentences. The lesson provides students an opportunity to share and discuss their work with their classmates; they are reminded to take turns when speaking. This discussion activity provides opportunities for students to apply conventions while speaking and writing.
Although lessons allow students to practice and apply the conventions of academic language, no systematic and explicit teaching of Spanish grammar and punctuation was located in the materials.
The materials do not include instruction in print handwriting, handwriting practice for students to write legibly in print, or plans for procedures or supports for teachers to assess students’ handwriting development.
The materials do not include instruction in print; diverse opportunities for students to practice writing legibly are absent. The materials lack direct instruction on the correct format of writing letters, such as using lined paper to practice correct letter formation or print directionality. The materials do not include a plan for procedures and support for teachers to assess students’ handwriting development. The materials do not provide teachers year-long guidance for assessing, measuring, and supporting students’ handwriting development in print. The materials lack formal and informal procedures and protocols for tracking handwriting development. The materials do not provide intervention strategies to help with handwriting development. Lessons focus on identifying letter sounds as well as a cutting-and-pasting activity. There is no instruction or support for cursive writing. There is no year-long guidance for teachers to assess, measure, and support students’ handwriting. The materials do not include procedures or protocols for tracking students’ handwriting development. There is no evidence that the materials offer different activities for the students to practice their handwriting at all.
The materials provide opportunities for students to listen actively and to ask questions to understand information. Students have consistent opportunities to engage in discussions that require them to share information and ideas and to discuss their work and opinions with their classmates.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Cycle 2, Lesson 6, “Comprensión de lectura,” students have opportunities to listen actively and respond to questions based on text read aloud. During the read-aloud of “Pepe,” students listen actively to identify the text’s characters and setting. The teacher asks questions such as “¿Qué está pasando en esta historia? ¿Cómo se llaman las personas, los animales o las cosas que forman parte de las historias? ¿Cómo se sienten mamá y papá cuando Lalo y Sami encuentran las llaves?” Students respond with answers such as “Las personas, los animales o las cosas que forman parte de las historias se llaman personajes” and “el lugar donde sucede la historia se llama escenario.” The teacher makes sure the students comprehend or ask questions before continuing.
In Level 1, Lesson 3, “Vocabulario,” the materials provide opportunities for students to share ideas about a topic being discussed and to practice their oral language development and vocabulary. The teacher reads the instructions and asks questions such as “¿Quién ha tenido una fiesta de cumpleaños? ¿Qué tipo de cosas necesitamos para organizar una fiesta de cumpleaños?” The teacher encourages students to participate and guides them to say birthday-related words such as cake, piñata, gifts, food, ice cream, balloons, invitations. The teacher asks, “¿Qué tipo de actividades hacemos para divertirnos en una fiesta de cumpleaños?” Students practice more vocabulary, such as quebrar la piñata, comer pastel, abrir los regalos, jugar. The teacher asks several more open-ended questions to encourage the students to discuss and share information and ideas about the topic of the birthday party.
In Level 2, Lesson 7, “Comprensión auditiva,” the materials provide opportunities for students to engage in discussions and share information about a story read aloud. During the read-aloud of “Julian y su mascota,” students listen actively. After reading, the teacher asks questions such as “¿Qué recuerdan del cuento?” “¿Dónde vive Julián?” “¿Qué animal es Poncho?” “¿Cómo se siente Poncho cuando Julián le da de comer?”
In Level 3, Lesson 6, “Comprensión auditiva,” students have opportunities to listen actively to a story and to ask questions to understand information. The teacher reads the story “Palomitas.” The material offers suggestions for stopping points within the selection for teachers to give students an opportunity to ask for clarification. The teacher uses picture cards from the story and directs students to retell the story. After the students explain each picture, the teacher reaffirms what is happening, one picture at a time.
In “Writing” Lesson 3, students engage in discussion that requires them to share information and ideas about the topic they are discussing. The teacher provides the students with questions on an assignment. After students listen to the read-aloud of “La meta,” they write about the story’s characters and setting. The teacher asks, “Después de leer el cuento ‘La meta,’ escribe o dibuja acerca de una vez que retaste o competiste con un amigo o amiga.” The teacher reminds students: “Cuando discutan su trabajo entre sí, asegúrense de hablar uno a la vez.”
In Writing Lesson 7, students engage in discussion about the text “El Rescate.” The lesson introduction has an error, as it describes a completely different book. It states that the text is about a child who celebrates his birthday with family. However, the text is about animals getting rescued. The lesson contains three activities. Activity one asks students to recall events in the story; activity two has students conduct research about “salvavidas”; activity three has students make a text-to-self connection in their writing. After completing the activities, students share their work with a partner. They discuss: “¿Cuál fue tu parte favorita? ¿Qué parte fue confusa? ¿Cómo podría mejorarse?” The materials direct the students to talk one at a time.
The materials engage students in some collaborative discussions. The materials lack opportunities for students to practice grade-appropriate speaking skills using the standard conventions of Spanish language. There are limited opportunities for students to develop social communication skills that are appropriate for kindergarten.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Cycle 1, Lesson 6, “Vocabulario,” students practice appropriate speaking skills. The teacher gathers objects in a bag to use with students during a guessing activity. The teacher provides clues for the students to guess objects; students guess by describing the object. Students who guess correctly can describe an additional characteristic of the object before placing it on the table. The teacher provides support with the additional characteristic if needed. The students then work with a partner and provide clues for their object so their partner can guess the object. For example, the student says: “Es redonda. La puedo agarrar con una mano. Es dura, se usa para jugar un deporte y no rebota. ¿Adivinan qué es?” Students have an opportunity to use grade-appropriate skills. Although the students engage in discussion, the students are not guided to develop social communication skills that are appropriate for kindergarten.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 4, “Comprensión de lectura,” students discuss a story. The teacher reminds the students of what a good listener is and reminds the students that good listeners ask questions. The teacher reads Clara y Zara en la escuela. The teacher models asking who-what-when-where questions. The teacher then reads Bienvenido a casa Max three times, and the students practice asking the questions. In Lesson 7, “Comprensión auditiva” the teacher reads the story “Julian y su mascota. After the reading, the teacher asks the students recall questions, such as “¿Qué recuerdan del cuento? ¿Dónde vive Julián? ¿Qué animal es Poncho? ¿Cómo se siente Poncho cuando Julián le da de comer?” The teacher uses picture cards, asks questions, and allows the students to discuss their answers. The materials guide the teacher to model how to eliminate wrong answers and explain and support correct answers. Although students engage in discussion, there is no guidance for using grade-appropriate speaking skills and Spanish language conventions.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 3, “Escritura,” students speak and answer provided questions that facilitate conversations. The teacher asks the students to recall the story La meta. Students look at the characters on page 10 and describe how they think Nena felt when she lost; they share their ideas with a partner. Materials guide students on how to engage in a discussion with a partner and to take turns speaking. Students are to ask: “¿Cuál fue tu parte favorita ¿Qué parte fue confusa? ¿Cómo podría mejorarse?” These questions provide opportunities to talk and help facilitate conversations. In Lesson 4, “Writing,” the teacher reads a story. Students use the questions “¿Qué crees que se necesita para ser un bailarín o bailarina? ¿Describe las características o rasgos de un bailarín?” to discuss their completed work with a partner. The teacher reminds students to take turns while talking. However, the materials do not provide opportunities to practice grade-appropriate speaking skills using the standard conventions of Spanish language.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 7, Escritura, students engage in discussion. Students recall El rescate, think about a time they may have been rescued or saved, then write about this. Then, they share their work with a partner and discuss open-ended questions about their work (e.g., “What was your favorite part? What part was confusing? How can it be improved?”) The material reminds the students to take turns speaking and use the open-ended questions as guides during the discussion. The ISIP lesson "Comprensión auditiva, Nivel 2, Lección 1" gives information about guiding students to develop social communication skills that are appropriate for kindergarten.The lesson states, “En la escuela nuestro trabajo es escuchar bien al maestro(a). Debemos escuchar para recordar lo que dice. Así aprendemos mejor. Levantamos la mano solamente cuando tenemos una pregunta. No debemos interrumpir al maestro(a). Debemos esperar hasta que termine de leer. Muestre el dibujo Los buenos oyentes a los estudiantes. Este dibujo muestra cómo los niños escuchan a su maestra. ¿Cómo están sentados? ¿A quién miran? ¿Quién está hablando? ¿Dónde tienen las manos? Acepte respuestas y afirme. ¡Sí! Están bien sentados. Todos están mirando a la maestra. Solamente la maestra está hablando. Un niño levantó la mano. ¿Por qué levantó la mano? Acepte respuestas y afirme."
The materials provide students with limited engagement in short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for different purposes. There is limited instructional support for students to ask and generate general questions for inquiry with adult assistance. Materials lack instructional support for students to generate and follow a research plan with adult assistance; to identify relevant sources based on their questions with adult assistance; and to understand, organize, and communicate ideas and information in accordance with the purpose of the research.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
While the materials provide some suggestions for topics to investigate, there are no lessons or materials that support students in identifying relevant sources for student-generated or provided research topics. Students do not learn how to decide which sources to use when gathering information. The materials provide instructions for students to use the internet or other books to research broad subjects. However, no lessons explicitly teach how to develop a research plan, and there are no instructions on how to generate quality questions or on how to complete a research plan with adult assistance. Research projects identified for the beginning of the year do not differ in rigor from those identified for the end of the year. The materials fail to provide explicit instruction in research skills that directly align with the instructional unit. Research opportunities are not provided throughout the year’s curricular material. There is no year-long plan that would show how the research skills will be included throughout the year, and the skills do not build on each other. The materials lack the opportunity and support for students to practice understanding, organizing, and communicating ideas and information in accordance with the purpose of the research. The assignments that are provided have no direct instruction. Students do not have the opportunity to engage in the research process at the end of each unit. They also do not generate a research plan and see it to completion. Most of the research opportunities are either an enrichment activity or a last activity in the lesson; these opportunities simply ask students to go online or to find a book to learn more about the given topic.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 4, “Escritura,” with adult assistance, students identify relevant sources based on their questions and write a report. Students read the story La rutina and complete a graphic organizer. Teachers instruct: “Después de leer La rutina, usa el organizador gráfico: Lo que sé, Lo que quiero saber y lo que aprendí (S-Q-A), investiga sobre el ballet. Usa un libro de la biblioteca o Internet. Escribe un reporte acerca de lo que investigaste con ayuda de tu maestra.” The graphic organizer provides questions to guide students as they research. With teacher assistance, students write a report about ballet. Materials provide the students with the topic to research and include an enrichment statement: “Enriquecimiento: usa otros recursos, como un vídeo o libro que trate del mismo tema, para completar los ejercicios.” Students do not have the opportunity to generate their own questions.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 7, Escritura, with adult assistance, students identify relevant resources based on their questions. The students read the story El Rescate. Activity two instructs students to research the responsibilities of a lifeguard using the internet or library book. The materials provide the topic for the students to research and tell the students where to go to look for information rather than allowing the students to identify the relevant resources (i.e., “Usa el Internet o libros de la biblioteca.”) There is also no support for the instructional component of the research and no guides for the teacher or the students to help them target the research skill needed to generate questions on a topic.
The materials contain questions and tasks that are designed to build and apply student knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, and language. Tasks in lessons and writing activities provide many opportunities for students to ask questions to build and apply knowledge; these tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking. Tasks include components of vocabulary and comprehension and provide opportunities for increased independence.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Cycle 1, Lesson 3, “Comprensión de lectura,” students summarize a nonfiction text. The teacher introduces summarizing and models, using an illustration of a school bus picking up students. The teacher guides and supports students to discuss the main details and develop a summary. The teacher reads La granja, and students practice writing a summary. The teacher guides students to find the important details. Students discuss with their partners to determine the most important detail of the story. The teacher asks, “¿Cual es más importante, los animales de la granja que producen alimentos o la vaca que produce leche?” Students discuss which animals are more important, the producers or the consumers, and provide the most important details. The teacher continues to provide discussion prompts for students to answer with their partners. At the end, the teacher provides a summary of the story. In Lesson 8, “Comprensión auditiva,” students have an opportunity to listen, think, and speak about a story. The teacher reminds students of the characteristics of good listeners. During the fourth reading of Fifi y Fito, the teacher pauses so students can “fill in” what is happening in the story; students retell the story. The teacher then moves on to read Lalo y la leche. Once again, during the fourth reading, the teacher pauses and asks students to fill in the story. Students then pick one of the two stories and retell the story to a partner. The teacher monitors and supports as needed.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 2, “Las lupas” is a decodable book at ≤200 Lexile. Students in this grade level are learning about the letters M, P, L, S; syllables with the letter U; and reviewing characters and setting. After reading the story, students choose from three different writing exercises to help them practice expository and descriptive writing. The first exercise is to make a list of all the things students can see in the story. The second exercise asks students to draw the objects that the characters Lulu and Lupe observe around the classroom. In the third writing exercise, using complete sentences, students make a list of words that describe the main characters. After this, students answer the following questions with a partner: “Which was your favorite part? What part was confusing? How could it be improved?” The lesson includes reading, speaking, and thinking; however, there are no sentence stems for teachers to use to facilitate students’ discussion, and there are no higher-order-thinking questions.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 1, “Vocabulario,” the materials support students’ development of oral language and vocabulary. The teacher guides students to use their previous knowledge of pets and pet needs to make connections to new concepts. Students discuss if they own pets and, if so, what are the pets’ needs. The teacher groups students in pairs and assigns them a pet. Students work together to answer the following questions: “¿Qué es lo que la mascota come? ¿Qué es lo que la mascota bebé? ¿Qué tipo de hogar necesita la mascota? ¿Qué le gusta hacer a la mascota? ¿Cómo debemos cuidar a la mascota?” Students then roleplay being the pet and the pet owner. Students sit in a circle as a pair of students acts out the owner and pet roles (e.g., feeding, watering, shelter, and playing with their pet). While the pair is acting, the rest of the students try to guess the pet. At the end, students write a story using three words that they learned, such as needs, pet, food, water, shelter. Students have an opportunity to listen, act out, and write about pets. The lesson concludes with independent practice. Students use three words they learned to write a story about their pet: “Estas pueden ser mascota, necesidades, alimento, bebida, hogar, entre otras. Cuando terminen de escribir el cuento, deben hacer un dibujo y colorearlo.”
In Cycle 3, Lesson 4, “Writing,” students read, listen, write, speak, and think about a specific topic. The teacher reads aloud “La rutina,” reviews the story, and discusses how this story is like other stories students have read before. Students are prompted to retell the story: “En la historia ‘La rutina,’ Lupe y Tati van a su clase de ballet. Escribe qué hacen primero, después y al final.” Students use the “Mapa de secuencia” graphic organizer to record their responses. The teacher urges students to apply writing conventions in their responses (e.g., “comenzar cada oración con letra mayúscula, usar oraciones completas, y terminar cada oración con un punto final”). From Cycle 2 to Cycle 3, the writing expectations and level of rigor increase, allowing opportunities for increased student independence. Students then have the opportunity to share their writing with a partner. They are prompted to answer the questions “Which was your favorite part? What part was confusing? How could it be improved?”
The materials provide some support for distributed practice over the course of the year. The materials incorporate some scaffolds for students to demonstrate integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide some support for distributed practice over the course of the year. A “Scope and Sequence” outlines the framework of skills that are taught, practiced, and reviewed in the program. The materials are divided into sections based on grade-level bands. There are two components in each section: the interactive curriculum and teacher-led small group instruction. The interactive reading curriculum is organized into “Cycles of Instruction.” Each cycle provides intensive and direct instruction, practice, and repetition, with multiple opportunities for skill application. Student placement in the Scope and Sequence and the skills taught and practiced in a cycle are based on the student’s needs.
At the beginning of the year, students take an “ISIP” test for initial program placement; they then take it every four weeks thereafter in animated game-like episodes of “¡A ver cuánto sabes!” Examples of grade-level skills include listening, phonemic awareness, phonics, writing, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. For listening, students follow the directions of peer tutors and the narrator. For phonemic awareness, students identify and isolate the initial sound in spoken words in each letter lesson. For phonics, in Cycles 1–8, students listen to and participate in the alphabet and letter song to learn letter names and their proper order. For writing, students learn to correctly spell high-frequency words. For vocabulary, students recognize and use words that name locations, such as beginning, middle, end, top. The words used in Cycles 1–8 are associated with universal themes such as family, home, food, body, clothing, feelings, animals, school, and community. For fluency, students develop automaticity in letter naming and sound/symbol recognition through animated games. For comprehension, students read simple sentences using all previously taught skills or match pictures to text and text to pictures.
The materials’ design includes some scaffolds for students to demonstrate integration of some literacy skills that spiral over the school year. The “ISIP Español Priority Report” recommends interventions. It suggests small group lessons to provide for students demonstrating weakness in certain areas. The program allows students to practice skills across all language domains. The lessons are self-paced. In the Scope and Sequence, scaffolding for struggling students starts at the prekindergarten level and continues through Cycle 8. The questions and tasks are not highly rigorous; rather, they are at the lower end of Bloom's taxonomy. Intensive and direct instruction, practice, and repetition help address the standards across units to ensure mastery to the full intent of the standard; thus, materials spiral all the skills the student needs to master throughout the year. However, materials do not label the different levels of questions (e.g., evaluation, analysis, synthesis) to allow teachers to guide students to meet the rigor of the standard; most of the activities do not increase in complexity and rigor. There is also a limited focus on comprehension skills.
“Istation Reading: Cycle of Instruction” lists the various skills included in Interactive Instruction. The materials include some opportunities for students to demonstrate integration of skills that spiral throughout the cycles. For example, Cycle 1 introduces A, E, I, O, U; Cycle 2 introduces T, R, N, D and letter recognition; and Cycle 3 focuses on letters T, R, N, D along with letter recognition. The materials distribute practice and review throughout the cycles and list the skills in each cycle. Cycle 1 addresses the following concepts of print: title, author, parts of a book, and print directionality. These concepts are reviewed in Cycles 2–5 and beyond. Each cycle reviews or builds on the previously taught concepts and skills. The Cycles of Instruction integrate literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
The “Spanish Language Arts and Reading Strands Summary” provides resources to support distributed practice of some skills over the course of the year. Different tasks, teacher materials, and correlated resources reinforce skills that still need to be mastered. An overview shows skills that are taught at the beginning of the year versus those taught at the end of the year; complexity and rigor increase to allow students additional opportunities to demonstrate mastery. This document includes a list of all the TEKS and the SLAR expectations for the grade level. It includes the location of the activities to teach these skills for quick teacher reference. For instance, when the teacher is teaching phonemic awareness (identifying a sentence is made up of a group of words), the teacher assigns the online activities, letter books, and quizzes in Cycles 2, 4, 5, 7; else, the teacher can use the teacher-directed lessons in Cycles 2 and 4: “Conceptos básicos de la letra impresa: Las palabras se separan por espacios.” When teaching the students the relationships between letters and sounds and morphological analysis to decode written Spanish, the teacher can assign online activities such as “Letter Teach,” “Target Letter Song,” “Letter Trace—‘Lalo el lápiz,’” “Syllables with Target Letter.” Suggested teacher-directed activities for the skill include “sonidos de las vocales” and “correspondencia de letra y sonido.” This document is designed in the same way for each of the TEKS for this grade level.
The materials provide explicit instruction in some print concepts with some opportunities for student practice. The materials provide opportunities for students to connect some print awareness knowledge to texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Cycle 1, Lesson 1, “Concepto de la letra impresa,” provides explicit instruction on concepts of print and parts of a book. The teacher says: “Los libros tienen tres partes: portada, contraportada y lomo. Estas partes sirven para proteger las páginas del libro.” The teacher provides a brief explanation of each part of the book and explains its purpose. The teacher introduces what is found on the front cover: the title of the book, a drawing of the story, and the author’s and illustrator’s names. The class practices naming parts of different books together. The lesson concludes with students creating their own small book. The materials include activities in which children practice handling a book and finding different parts of a book.
In Lesson 2, Concepto de la letra impresa, the materials provide explicit instruction in concepts of print. The teacher shows students that we read from left to right and top to bottom. The teacher says, “Las oraciones se leen de izquierda a derecha y de arriba hacia abajo.” The teacher uses a page with paragraphs to model how to read and points to the words as they read. The teacher provides students with a bracelet that goes on the left hand that reminds students to start reading on that side. Students use the page with “Oraciones” to show with their fingers the correct directionality for reading: “Mamá me ama a mí. Mamá me mima a mí. Yo amo a mamá. Yo mimo a mamá.” Students use these four sentences to practice reading from left to right. However, the materials do not provide “big books” for teachers to use to help students notice and learn to recognize words that occur frequently. The stories the materials contain do not have large print. There aren’t any activities that encourage students to play with print.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 1, Concepto de la letra impresa, the materials provide opportunities for students to connect print awareness knowledge to texts. The teacher tells students that sentences are made up of words. The teacher models that the first word in the sentence is John. The teacher rewrites it and leaves a space after John to model that we need a space between the first word and the second word. The teacher follows the same steps throughout until the sentence reads “John has a cat.” Students receive a loose leaf of paper with some scrambled up words; they cut out each word and make their own sentences. Although these lessons cover some essential components of print awareness, there is no evidence that the materials teach children that written language carries meaning.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 1, Concepto de la letra impresa, students connect print awareness to text by identifying uppercase and lowercase letters. The teacher explains that all the letters of the alphabet have an uppercase and a lowercase version except rr. The teacher displays uppercase and lowercase letters and explains the differences in height and curves. Students practice identifying uppercase and lowercase letters. The materials provide students with opportunities to sort the letters into groups of uppercase and lowercase letters.
In Cycle 8, Lesson 1, Concepto de la letra impresa, students connect print awareness to text by identifying uppercase and lowercase letters. The teacher explicitly models how to locate the top line, middle hatched line, and the bottom line on cards and models how to write the letters using the lines as a guide. The teacher explains the characteristics of some lowercase letters: some are tall like h, b, d; some have tails like p, q, j, g; and some have curves like o, c, and s. The teacher explains that uppercase letters are used at the beginning of a sentence, in the first word of a title, and when we write proper names. Students receive pictures of two thumbs to use as they play a game to identify uppercase and lowercase letters.
Materials provide limited opportunities for explicit instruction in phonological skills and student daily practice in rhyming, syllabication, blending, and segmenting, but not manipulation. Materials provide minimal opportunities for students to practice via oral language activities. Materials do not provide opportunities for explicit instruction in each newly taught sound, sound pattern, sound/phoneme, and syllable pattern. The materials do not provide opportunities for students to practice blending spoken phonemes to form syllables and multisyllabic words. The materials do not provide opportunities for students to practice manipulating syllables to form new words.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include many lessons labeled “fonológica/fonética,” however, due to the direct instruction portion including the use of print, these lessons are more geared towards phonics instruction and not phonological awareness. The materials provide few opportunities for students to practice previously taught oral language concepts. Students practice oral language activities by blending spoken phonemes and segmenting spoken words into individual syllables, but do not have opportunities to manipulate syllables to form new words.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 6, “Destreza fonológica/fonética,” the materials provide opportunities for students to practice blending spoken phonemes to form syllables and syllables to form multisyllabic words through the use of print. The teacher uses previously taught syllable cards and “Acordeones de palabras” to teach and reinforce combining syllables. The teacher points out and reads the “silabario” with the students. The teacher displays ma and no and explains how to combine the syllables. The teacher explains that when the two syllables are joined, they make the word mano. The teacher displays the accordion of words. The teacher reads the first word, ca-ra, and explains that it has two syllables. The teacher models how to change the page to make the word ca-sa. The teacher continues to model how changing the syllables changes the words. Students practice reading the words from the accordion. The teacher observes students and provides support as needed. The lesson concludes with an activity called “Dan el detective.” The teacher manipulates syllable cards to allow the students to practice making words. The students use their new knowledge to put syllables together to form words.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 8, Destreza fonológica/fonética, the materials provide opportunities for students to practice blending spoken phonemes to form syllables and syllables to form multisyllabic words. The students combine syllables to form words with the letters t, r, n, d and the vowel a. The teacher models and reviews using different syllables and combining them with the letter a to form different words. The students use their picture cards to create words. The teacher says: “Ahora vamos a jugar un juego de palabras. En este juego vamos a ver los dibujos de algunas palabras que tienen las sílabas ta, da, ra, na. Van a usar sus sílabas para formar las palabras.” This game includes a die for the students to roll to help them fill in the missing syllables for each picture in a game. This lesson provides the opportunity for students to see the separate syllables and the combined words. However, it provides phonics instruction, not phonological awareness, due to the use of print.
In Cycle 7, Lesson 4, Destreza fonológica/fonética, the materials provide explicit instruction for sound patterns of q, z, and h. The teacher writes the letters and displays the key pictures for zapato, queso, hormiga, zoologico. Students then identify the initial sound for each word. The teacher distributes “Juego de letras y sonidos” to each student. The teacher says a sound, and the students find the letters that correspond to the sound and color it. The materials guide the teacher to observe and provide support as needed. Like in the example above, this lesson provides instruction in phonics, not phonological awareness, due to the use of print.
In Level 3, Lesson 1, “Fonética,” the materials provide an opportunity for students to practice segmenting spoken words through the use of print, not orally. The teacher uses picture cards like Taza to support students’ ability to segment the spoken word. The students repeat the word to sound out the parts of the word. The students continue to practice with other picture cards and words. The teacher monitors for comprehension. The lesson includes many different picture cards for the students to practice the new concept.
The materials provide explicit systematic instruction in phonetic knowledge and opportunities for students to practice both in and out of context. Materials include a research-based sequence of grade-level foundational skills instruction and opportunities for ample student practice to achieve grade-level mastery. Materials systematically develop knowledge of grade-level phonics patterns as addressed in the SLAR TEKS for grades K–2. The materials build spelling knowledge as identified in the SLAR TEKS. However, the materials provide limited opportunities for students to apply grade-level phonetic knowledge to connected texts (e.g., decodable readers) and tasks.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a research-based sequence of grade-level foundational skills instruction. The materials systematically develop knowledge of grade-level phonics patterns as addressed in the SLAR TEKS and include teacher-directed lessons in Cycles 2 and 7. A chart shows where each TEKS is targeted in the program’s online activities and in the teacher-directed lessons. For example, in Cycle 2, Lesson 3, “Fonética,” the materials focus on rhyming words. The lesson guides the teacher to directly teach rhyming words using familiar children’s rhymes. The teacher identifies the rhyming words and supports the students in identifying the rhyming words in each phrase. The lesson continues with a direct teach of the rhymes using the hands-on wheel that is included in the lesson for each student (the teacher puts the wheels together prior to the lesson). The students continue additional practice with rhyming words, exchanging wheels for continued practice. The materials follow the sequence of introducing the rhyming words, then teacher-directed lessons, guided practice, and independent practice.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 8, “Destreza fonológica/fonética,” the materials include opportunities for students to practice for grade-level mastery. Students combine syllables to form words with the letters m, p, l, s, and a, using images. The students use “Formar palabras” to cut syllable cards, then write the correct word next to the picture they represent.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 4, Fonética, students identify words that rhyme using provided cards. The cards are prepared for the students to self-check. The lesson includes a direct teach of rhyming words. The guided lesson guides the teacher to model and show the students how to use the cards to identify rhyming words. The students then practice independently while the teacher monitors and provides support as needed.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 12, “Destreza fonológica/fonética” the students play a game, combining syllables with letters t, r, n, d and the vowels a, e, i, o to make words. The teacher introduces the lesson: “Hoy vamos a practicar las sílabas con las consonantes t, r, n, d y las vocales a, e, i, o.” The students use their syllable cards to fill in the missing syllable, creating as many words as possible to win.
The materials provide limited opportunities for students to apply grade-level phonetic knowledge to connected texts and tasks. Students apply grade-level phonetic knowledge to tasks such as reading words formed by syllables taught in the lessons and in some books. For example, in Cycle 1, Lesson 7, “Comunicación escrita,” the materials guide the teacher to introduce tri-syllable high-frequency words. The students then practice reading the high-frequency words from a list. Students practice writing the high-frequency words that are taught in this lesson. The teacher provides support and guidance.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 3, Fonética, the teacher explains how to identify the initial sound in words. The students review the sounds of the alphabet. The teacher displays and reads the book El pan de pasas. The teacher works with the students to identify words with the letter p. The teacher distributes a copy of the book, and the students mark words with the letter p.
The following are examples of the decodable books included in the materials: El libro de la letra Aa 1 is a decodable book for the beginning reader found in Cycle 1; students use it to apply knowledge of uppercase and lowercase a and its initial sound and take a picture walk. The decodable beginner reader La sala is found in Cycle 2. It is used to teach syllables with M, P, L, S, and A, for a picture walk, and to teach characters and setting. With iA comer tacos! by Liliana Suero (200L), students read CVCV/CVC words, learn syllable patterns such as co, fon, bó, and learn words like dos, taco, helado, and coco. The text can be used for teaching the sound of letters c /k/, c /s/, f, b; syllables with o; and the main idea and details. iVen a cantar! by Liliana Suero (200L) has students read CVCV/CVC words; learn syllable patterns such as ñe, ve, lle, yen; and learn words like maestro, toca, bailar, and verde. The text can be used to teach the graphic representation and sound of consonants ñ, v, ll, y; syllables with e, sequencing, and inference. There are 30 grade-level decodable readers written at the 200 Lexile level. Even though the materials include decodable readers, the decodable books are not linked to lessons, only cycles. Thus, when using the “Search Wizard” to quickly access decodable books for this grade level, the engine displays “No libro de recursos” available. No books are displayed for this grade level to apply grade-level phonetic knowledge to connected text.
The instructional materials provide opportunities for students to read high-frequency words both in and out of context. The students are able to use their high-frequency words in many of the readers provided. In Cycle 3, Lesson 2, “Recognize and learn high-frequency words,” students learn high-frequency words using the passage “Teo and Thomas” and a memory game. The students practice the high-frequency words le, tiene, una, se, pone, tira, mira, los, todo, sin.
In Cycle 4, Lesson 1, Recognize and learn high-frequency words, students learn high-frequency words using the passage “Walking to School” and a bingo game. The teacher calls out high-frequency words, and the students mark them on their bingo cards. The students read the story using their knowledge of high-frequency words.
The materials include some building of spelling knowledge as identified in the SLAR TEKS. In Cycle 2, Lesson 8, Destreza fonológica/fonética, the lesson focus is decoding and combining syllables with the letters m, p, l, s and the vowel a. The lesson includes a direct teach of syllables with the letters and a guided practice section. During guided practice, students form words using cards with the syllables (e.g., mamá, pasa, mapa, pala, mala, masa, papá). For independent practice, students continue to use their syllable cards to form the words from the activity “Formar palabras.” The students then write the words that they formed.
In Cycle 3, Lesson 8, Destreza fonológica/fonética, the lesson focus is on syllables with the letters t, r, n, d and the vowel a. The lesson includes a direct teach of syllables; students practice reading the syllables. During guided practice, students form words using the syllables they learned in the direct teach section. The teacher and students play a game to practice the syllables further. For independent practice, students write words represented by pictures using the syllables they learned.
The materials include developmentally appropriate diagnostic tools (e.g., formative and summative progress monitoring) and guidance for teachers, students, and administrators to monitor progress. The materials include a variety of diagnostic tools (e.g., observational and formal) that are developmentally appropriate and provide guidance to ensure consistent and accurate administration of diagnostic tools. The materials include tools for students to track their own progress and growth. The materials include diagnostic tools to measure all content and process skills for SLAR, as outlined in the SLAR TEKS.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a variety of diagnostic tools that are developmentally appropriate. The “ISIP Assessments” are used for benchmarks and continuous progress monitoring. The ISIP Assessments are computerized adaptive testing (CAT) tests, which adapt to measure students’ abilities using subtests. If the student performs poorly on the initial assessment, the next assessment will give a set of subtests at a lower difficulty level to determine the student’s placement at any point throughout the school year. Once a student displays mastery on any two consecutive ISIP Assessments, the student will receive subtests at a higher difficulty level for areas like “Listening Comprehension,” “Phonemic Awareness,” “Letter Knowledge,” “Vocabulary.” The “Teacher Resource” states: “Additional On Demand Assessments can be given at any time during the school year,” if desired. The assessments are developmentally appropriate; they build on the skill and development continuum, from kindergarten to grade 1 and then to grade 2.
The materials include observational tools that can be used by the teacher to gather informal data regarding student progress. For example, for Listening Comprehension, Level 1, Lesson 3, the teacher asks a series of questions about the story students just read. The teacher reads each question and its respective options. By observing how well the students perform in completing this task, teachers collect anecdotal notes. For Phonics, Level 2, Lesson 2, the students listen to identify the difference between the letters Bb and Vv. Based on how well the students respond to this task, the teacher can write down anecdotal notes and gather data to review each student’s progress.
The materials provide guidance to ensure consistent and accurate administration of diagnostic tools. A variety of guides help the teacher with the diagnostic tools. Links to the “Guidance” section of the program can be found in the Teacher Resource and “Help Center.” Links include “ISIP Oral Reading Fluency—How To Guide,” “Assessment Day Script,” and “ISIP Lectura Temprana Technical Manual.” Multiple videos support teachers with consistent and accurate administration of diagnostic tools (e.g., “ISIP Modeling,” “Power Path—ISIP Only—Tutorial Video,” and “ISIP Summary—Tutorial Video.”
The “Istation Application” section includes resources to support the teachers with consistent data collection. Supports include “Assessment Day Scripts” as part of the test instructions, student accommodation, student encouragement, and a guide for how to handle student questions and behavior during the ISIP assessments. The Assessment Day Script is read aloud every time the students take a diagnostic assessment or progress monitoring assessment, ensuring consistent and accurate administration of these tools. The materials include a “Modeling for Reading” video to help students become familiar with the test activities, directions, and questions. The materials guide the teacher to ensure that students log off the program properly in order to ensure that data is properly recorded. Teachers also receive information about ISIP subtests for each grade level, including how subtests work and what skills are measured.
Materials include diagnostic tools to measure all content and process skills for SLAR K-2, as outlined in the SLAR TEKS. The SLAR TEKS assessed include reading, writing, oral and written conventions, research, listening and speaking, and comprehension skills. ISIP assessments target areas based on SLAR TEKS and early reading curriculum expectations from both the U.S. and Latin American countries: “Destreza fonológica (Phonemic and Phonological Awareness), Comprensión auditiva (Listening Comprehension), Vocabulario (Vocabulary), Comprensión de lectura (Reading Comprehension), Lectura con fluidez (Text Fluency), Comunicación escrita (Written Communication).” For example, the “Oral Reading Fluency” (ORF) assessment allows teachers to “automatically measure oral reading fluency from digitally recorded passages for students in grades K through 5 in both English and Spanish.” However, ISIP assessments do not address research standards based on SLAR TEKS.
Students have tools to track their own progress and growth in the “Tracking Student Growth” section of the Teacher Resources. Teachers are encouraged to help build motivation and maximize student growth through individual student goal setting. The teacher can select from a variety of tools to support students’ goal setting and growth tracking. The pledge “To Do My Best on Istation” allows students to set personal goals on their individual sheets. Students identify, analyze, and use data from their learning to help them become active agents in their own growth. For example, “Mi Kinder Objetivos de la ISIP Lectura Temprana” has a graph on which students shade in scores, goals, and a target focus. Students can also set their own goals with the “Setting Personal Istation Goals” sheets. Students’ growth can be displayed on a bulletin board without revealing exact student performance. In “Power Path,” an “ISIP Results Dashboard” allows students to access recent assessment results, assessment history, goals, and subtest scores. The students can see how many stars they have earned with their scores and their ISIP results. The teacher can use the dashboard to complete one-on-one conferences to help students complete their tracking sheets. Students use the dashboard to visually monitor their growth and progress.
The materials include guidance for teachers and administrators to analyze and respond to data from diagnostic tools. Materials support teachers with guidance and direction to respond to individual students’ needs in all domains, based on measures of student progress appropriate to the developmental level. Diagnostic tools yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning instruction and differentiation. Materials provide a variety of resources and teacher guidance on how to leverage different activities to respond to student data. Materials provide guidance for administrators to support teachers in analyzing and responding to data.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The program has several diagnostic tools that target many domains. The diagnostic tools yield a wealth of information presented via various reports. These reports provide data on usage levels, reading levels, and specific skill needs. Materials provide resources for teachers to target the specific skill needs of their students based on the data provided in the reports. Although there is a lot of support and guidance for the teachers, there is a lack of guidance for administrators to support teachers in responding to the data. The materials guide the administrators to help with data analysis but not with responding to the data.
The materials support teachers with guidance and direction to respond to individual students’ needs in all domains, based on measures of student progress appropriate to the developmental level. The diagnostic tools yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning instruction and differentiation. The “ISIP Summary Report” provides an overview of student progress within the program, the student’s most recent score, and a percentile rank identifying the student’s results as compared to national norms. The Summary Report shows student performance data from the most recently completed assessment, including growth charts tracking overall progress and subtest/domain progress. This report includes the student’s current “Lexile Measure” based on the most recent “Reading Comprehension” subtest. The results help the teacher evaluate the student’s intervention plan, identify the student’s skill weaknesses, and discuss the student’s performance with administrators and intervention teams. The Skill Growth Report shows each skill assessed, student progress and reading ability, the class average for the month, and the progress made by the class in the current month.
The “Individual Student Session Report” provides information regarding student behavior and practices while using the application. The “Critical Intervention Report” highlights students whose scores are in the 10th percentile or lower and students who are in need of intense intervention; it also provides recommendations for teacher-directed lessons in the curriculum. Based on the reports’ data, teachers can identify individual students’ strengths and weaknesses for planning and intervention. A “User’s Guide” provides guidance and direction to respond to students’ needs based on measures of student progress; it yields meaningful information for teachers to use for planning and differentiation.
The materials provide a variety of resources and teacher guidance on how to leverage different activities to respond to student data. Each report provides data to help guide teachers in their classroom instruction. The “Classroom Summary Report” helps teachers identify students in need of additional support, group students for small group instruction, and identify the skill level of materials for small group instruction. The “Priority Report” helps the teacher select students for small group instruction and obtain teacher-directed lessons and materials. It also helps teachers document provided interventions and discuss student performance with administrators or intervention teams. The “Student Detail Report” helps teachers monitor student progress in interactive instruction, assist with specific skill instruction, view student writing responses, and monitor growth in specific writing skills; teachers can also use it for individual writing conferences or instruction. The materials include videos with directions for teachers to follow to understand the data.
The “Lexile Trend Report” allows teachers to view students’ Lexile levels in order to help students choose the right books. After students are placed in their instructional path based on their initial assessment score, interactive instruction moves students through the program at their own pace. Students can advance on their learning path based on assessment performance; assessments are intended to be used to differentiate for each student’s needs. Additionally, teachers can assign additional practice activities to small groups of students or individuals; select practice lessons for students to complete at home or at school; and track the progression and completion of assigned lessons. Teachers can run the reports to help with planning and intervention. Reports support teachers in identifying intervention areas and help with purposeful planning.
The materials provide guidance for administrators to support teachers in analyzing and responding to data. A provided guide for administrators focuses on running reports for the campus and classroom. The administrator can run reports to compare classrooms and to compare a campus with the rest of the district. The administrator is able to filter reports by grades and classrooms to help target teachers’ professional development needs. The guide includes information to help administrators understand the various reports and comparisons. The reports can help administrators identify specific areas for program improvement based on campus performance. For example, the “Executive Summary Report” provides campus-wide overall diagnostic assessment data. The report shows students’ percentile at each “Tier” for each grade level and skill growth by Tier for each grade level. The report provides campus administrators a brief overview of the current assessment or month’s data; it also shows the number and percentage of students at each instructional Tier/level by grade for the current month.
The “Tier Movement Report” shows the percentage and number of students in each Tier/level by month and tracks student movement between Tiers/levels. The report helps administrators evaluate student growth throughout the school year; evaluate the effectiveness of instructional support; and monitor for an increase of Tier 1 (i.e., Level 3, 4, and 5) students and decrease of Tier 2 and Tier 3 (i.e., Level 2 and 1) students. The materials provide administrators with data in three different areas: Levels (Quintiles), Instructional Tiers, and RTI. This data helps administrators plan for content area professional development to support areas of need. The “Campus” page is available to district and campus managers. Administrators are able to gather the needed data to support teachers with purposeful planning and intervention, but there is no direction for administrators on how to help teachers with instructional delivery or planning. Guidance for administrators helps support teachers with data analysis.
The materials include frequent, embedded opportunities for monitoring progress. Routine and systematic progress monitoring opportunities accurately measure and track student progress. The frequency of progress monitoring is appropriate for the age and content skill.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include routine and systematic progress monitoring opportunities that accurately measure and track student progress. “ISIP” is an automated computer-adaptive testing system that automatically assigns an assessment to each student. The ISIP assessments are automatically given the first time a student logs on during the month. The monthly ISIP for kindergarten measures “Phonemic and Phonological Awareness, Listening Comprehension, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Text Fluency, Written Communication.” Students complete the initial assessment and are placed at their appropriate developmental level within the program. From there, students are assessed on a monthly basis via ISIP to measure progress and continued growth in reading. The teacher uses this monthly ISIP data to plan intervention for small group lessons or teacher-directed lessons.
Teachers can give an “ISIP On-Demand Assessment” at any time during the year. ISIP assessment data is presented in many different forms, as addressed by a variety of reports. The reports provide guidance for teachers to monitor and track students’ performance over time. The “Priority Report” alerts teachers of students needing additional support and provides lessons based on demonstrated weaknesses. The “Progress Report” shows student progress through the “Cycles of Instruction” by reading areas. The “Student Summary Handouts” provide student performance data from the most recently completed ISIP assessment.
The materials provide some opportunities for teachers to use informal assessments to observe and document students’ learning. In ISIP, Level 3, Lesson 1, “Comunicación escrita,” teachers use flash cards and a checklist to monitor students’ acquisition of one-syllable high-frequency words. Materials state: “Los estudiantes deben tener múltiples oportunidades para demostrar su dominio de la destreza. Observe y marque el progreso de los estudiantes. Utilice esta información para planear instrucción de grupos pequeños.”
The frequency of progress monitoring is appropriate, based on student age and content skill development. ISIP integrates computerized-adaptive testing that accurately reflects the reading ability level of each student and measures growth over time. Test questions range from easy to hard for each reading domain for prekindergarten through grade 12. To identify a student’s overall reading ability and individual skill ability, the assessment adapts to precisely measure student ability within subtests, based on immediate student responses. Oral reading fluency is not used in determining the “Overall Reading Ability” index. Once the areas of strength and weakness are determined by the ISIP, the teacher is able to use the teacher-directed lessons to help students target areas of need. Students making appropriate progress continue working at their own pace through the online portal of the program. If progress is not being made, students may also be moved to test in lower-grade-level TEKS.
The “Tracking Student Growth” report is intended to track goals and “focus areas” for each student based on the reports from the ISIP. The tracking sheet is the same for all the grade levels and can be used to work with students to practice individual goal setting to “help them build motivation and maximize student growth.” “Tracking Individual Student Growth” can be used for the student to track their own yearly progress based on monthly results from the ISIP assessments. The tracking charts list the school year’s months; students fill in their score (points) to complete a graph that tracks their progress from month to month. These charts help the students visually track their own progress. Additionally, after students have completed the ISIP Assessment, teachers will have access to reports by logging in to www.istation.com. The reports include ISIP Summary Report, Classroom Summary Report, ISIP Skill Growth, The Priority Report, The Student Summary Handout, The Progress Report, and The Usage Trend Report.
The materials include guidance, scaffolds, support, and extensions that maximize student learning potential. Materials provide recommended targeted instruction and activities for students who have not yet mastered the content. The materials provide some targeted instruction and activities for students who have mastered the content. However, the materials do not provide additional enrichment activities for all levels of learners.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide guidance, scaffolds, support, and extensions, as well as recommended targeted instruction and activities for students who have not yet mastered the content. A placement assessment assigns activities according to students’ screening testing results. In Cycle 1, Lesson 11, “Identify the sounds of vowels Aa Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu,” the materials provide recommended scaffolded instruction and activities for students who have not yet mastered the content. The teacher uses the five vowel sounds in the alphabet to say the words in dark print. The students then classify the picture cards with the letter sounds they go with. The teacher says, “Ponga las tarjetas de las vocales sobre la mesa y señale cada uno de los grupos. Este es el grupo de la vocal Aa.” The teacher models the rest of the vowels: Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu. Materials provide the vocabulary list. The lesson provides targeted independent practice for the students.
In Cycle 2, Lesson 6, “Identify or Recognize Character Traits and the Setting of Lalo and Sami,” the materials provide recommended targeted instruction and activities for students who have not yet mastered the content. The teacher models combining syllables with the letters m, p, l, s: “Las palabras se forman de sílabas. Hoy vamos a juntar sílabas para formar palabras. Aquí tengo tarjetas de seis sílabas. Veamos cuántas palabras podemos hacer.” The independent practice worksheet “La actividad del estudiante” has students write their own words using the syllables. The teacher observes to ensure comprehension.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 1, “Recognize and Learn High-Frequency Words,” provides targeted instruction for students who have not yet mastered the content. In the lesson, students learn and recognize high-frequency words using word cards and high-frequency sentences. The materials provide the teacher a script, indicate which resources to use, and provide the sequence for activities. Students receive direct teaching and instructions in high-frequency words, then guided practice, and finally independent practice. During instruction, the teacher explains which words are high-frequency words. The teacher shows a card with a word and asks the students to read it quickly; then, students help the teacher find that word in a sentence shown to them. Students find, circle, and rewrite the high-frequency words: “Muestre las tarjetas con las palabras y espere a que los estudiantes busquen y escriban la palabra. Brinde apoyo si es necesario.” The material provides printable activities that offer guidance and scaffolds and support the learning of specific skills in order to help students to master the content.
The materials include some targeted instruction and activities for students who have mastered content. After each “ISIP” assessment, students who have mastered the content are assigned activities according to their level, which may move them up to other cycles, even if these cycles do not belong to the student’s grade level. For example, if a kindergarten student masters the assessment, the program may assign activities from grade 1 or another grade level. No evidence was located of teachers directing students who have mastered a skill to work on a different activity while the teacher works with those who have not yet mastered the skill.
The materials provide additional activities for all levels of learners. After the assessment, students are placed in a cycle according to their level; the program suggests lessons and printed activities to use according to the student’s needs. Each cycle includes the “Teachers Resources” section, which provides guidance for differentiating support for students struggling to master content.
The materials do not include enrichment activities that provide students opportunities to explore and apply new learning in a variety of ways. The materials state: “Early reading assessments of Spanish literacy development need to (a) identify students at risk for reading difficulties, students that may need extra instruction or intensive intervention if they are to progress toward grade-level standards in reading by year end; (b) monitor student progress for skill growth on a frequent and ongoing basis and identify students that are falling behind; (c) provide information about students who will be helpful ISIP Español Technical Manual 1-4 Chapter 1: Introduction in planning instruction to meet their needs; and (d) assess whether students achieved grade level reading standards at the end of the school year. The program targets most students to fill in areas of weakness to help students achieve grade level.”
The materials provide a variety of instructional methods that appeal to a variety of learning interests and needs. A variety of instructional approaches engage students in the mastery of the content and support some developmentally appropriate multimodal instructional strategies (visuals). The materials support multiple types of practices and provide guidance and structures to achieve effective implementation. The materials support flexible grouping. However, there is no guidance to differentiate lessons, and the materials do not provide multiple types of lessons.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a variety of instructional approaches to engage students in the mastery of the content. In the prescribed online program, students interact with a computer-generated character who guides them through learning reading skills; placement is based on a monthly “ISIP” assessment. The materials also include lessons for teachers to use. For example, in Cycle 1, Lesson 10, students identify the sound of the vowels Aa, Ee, li, Oo, Uu by using picture cards and playing bingo. The materials include a practice worksheet: “En esta hoja podemos ver varios dibujos. Al lado de cada dibujo hay un recuadro en el cual ustedes van a escribir el sonido inicial de la vocal con la que empieza cada palabra correspondiente a cada dibujo.” The lesson provides students opportunities to engage in indirect learning through discovery, as teachers observe, guide, and conference with them.
In Cycle 4, Lesson 1, students identify the details and main idea of a text using illustration cards. In the lesson “Idea principal y detalles,” students complete a worksheet to identify the main idea. The teacher says: “En esta hoja vamos a identificar la idea principal. En cada ejercicio hay un grupo de ilustraciones que son los detalles que apoyan la idea principal. Ustedes van a identificar cuál es la idea principal que se relaciona con los detalles. Al lado de cada grupo de detalles hay tres opciones distintas de ideas principales. Van a encerrar en un círculo la respuesta correcta.”
The materials support developmentally appropriate multimodal instructional strategies. The cycle lessons provide teaching strategies for each lesson that encourage participation through questioning, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. For example, in Cycle 1, Lesson 2, “Concepto de la letra impresa,” teachers incorporate hand gestures in their instruction. The teacher says: “Muéstrenme su mano izquierda. Si el estudiante no reconoce su mano izquierda, muestra al estudiante cuál es su mano izquierda….Recuerden que deben empezar por el lado izquierdo, donde está el brazalete. Ahora muéstrenme cómo camina su dedo por las oraciones cuando lees. Si el estudiante no lee en la dirección correcta, corrija e intente de nuevo.”
In Cycle 6, Lesson 1, Concepto de la letra impresa, the teacher models how to read a poem. Then, the teacher says, “continúen la lectura con su dedo,” which encourages students’ participation through questioning and kinesthetic learning.
The materials provide direct instruction and flexible grouping (i.e., individual, small, or whole groups) for students who are struggling. Lessons target areas of weakness for individual students as they work on the self-paced program. The teacher uses reports and targeted lessons with students who are struggling on a specific TEKS.
The materials offer flexible grouping. For example, in ISIP, Level 3, Lesson 1, “Comunicación escrita,” the teacher targets high-frequency words with one syllable. The teacher directs the whole class: “Ahora vamos a combinar sonidos para formar palabras y escribirlas.” Teachers observe each student and provide support as needed. Materials state: “Students must have multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of the skill. Observe and mark the progress of the students. Use this information to plan training instruction for small groups.” The materials do not include read-alouds books, morning message, or interactive writing activities. The materials do include read-aloud passages or text in cycle lessons 2 to 8 that provide explicit opportunities for teachers to read aloud to students.
The materials support multiple types of practices and provide guidance and structures to achieve effective implementation. For example in each Cycle 1–8, all lessons include the following sections: “Materiales, Enseñanza, Práctica dirigida, Práctica independiente.” In Cycle 4, Lesson 6, students use a graphic organizer to identify details and main ideas. The students work independently to create their own graphic organizer at the end of the lesson. In Cycle 5, Lesson 1, students identify uppercase and lowercase letters. They also play a game: “Ahora vamos a jugar. El círculo que muestra el dedo hacia arriba quiere decir mayúscula, y el que muestra el dedo hacia abajo quiere decir minúscula. Te voy a mostrar una letra y me debes indicar con los círculos si es mayúscula o minúscula.” The teacher creates a T-chart for students to place their answers.
The materials do not support English Learners (ELs) in meeting grade-level learning expectations. They do not include linguistic accommodations (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency. The materials do not encourage strategic use of students’ primary language to develop linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic skills in the target language.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials do not include linguistic accommodations for ELs with various levels of English language proficiency. The materials are in Spanish, and there is no guidance or support for English instruction. The program description states: “Istation Español is different from a translated literacy program that has been trans-adapted from English to Spanish. Learning is enhanced through purposeful lessons with Latin culture and literature.” The materials do not use Spanish to develop linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic skills in English; the intent of the materials is to develop Spanish literacy skills. The materials include, in some instances, translations of vocabulary words into English, but there is no guidance regarding how to use these translations.
The materials lack a year-long plan, but there are some practice and review opportunities that support instruction. Although the materials provide a vertical alignment document that is intended to build instruction year to year, the document shows alignment of two grade levels at a time; it lacks a cohesive, year-long plan to build students’ knowledge and skills in all domains throughout the span of the curriculum. There is some spiraled review and practice of knowledge and skills in all domains throughout the span of the curriculum, including various methods for instruction and review such as cutting, pasting, partner work, songs, and movement.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials lack a cohesive, year-long plan that builds students’ concept development. The materials are accompanied by a “Spanish Language Arts and Reading Strands Summary” and a “Scope and Sequence” outlining the essential knowledge and skills that are taught in the program. However, the scope and sequence shows how knowledge and skills build and connect across two grades levels at a time, thus limiting the visualization of a vertical alignment of the whole program. Due to Istation’s adaptive nature, the Scope and Sequence reference what cycles a student could progress through depending on their ISIP score. The Spanish Language Arts and Reading Strands Summary reflects the alignment of most skills taught in “ISIP” year to year. However, the summary is organized by SLAR-TEKS and not in chronological order as presented in the lessons. The summary includes the TEKS, the online activities that address the SLAR-TEKS, the “Cycles” in which the SLAR-TEKS are targeted, and the teacher-directed lessons. The document does not specify skills taught in each strand.
The materials provide some spiraled review and practice of knowledge and skills in all domains throughout the span of the curriculum. ISIP integrates computerized adaptive testing that accurately reflects the reading ability level of each student and measures growth over time. The “Interactive Reading Curriculum” is organized into “Cycles of Instruction.” Each cycle provides intensive and direct instruction, practice, and repetition, with multiple opportunities for skill application. The “Adaptive Assessments” use interactive content to measure a student’s reading ability and skill development and designs a personalized plan based on the student’s assessment results. Although overall the online portal provides many opportunities for students to review and practice knowledge and skills when they struggle, materials do not spiral for students that master the TEKS. While the teacher can plan face-to-face intervention based on “Priority Report” recommendations, teacher-directed lessons are limited and are not presented in any specific order.
The “Istation Español Curriculum Correlated to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Spanish Language Arts and Reading” document lists a spiral review of knowledge and skills that spans the curriculum. The skills are grouped by general categories (domains): “Listening, Book and Print Awareness, Phonological and Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Word Analysis, Letter Writing and Spelling, Technology, Vocabulary, Fluency, Comprehension.” The general categories are broken into skills. The document also lists the skills taught in each cycle. The materials provide some spiral reviews. For instance, in grade K TEKS K (1)B, “Restate and follow oral directions that involve a short, related sequence of actions” is targeted in various lessons in Cycles 6–9. This TEKS is also targeted in a writing activity in Cycles 3, 4, 6, and 7. In kindergarten, TEKS 1(A), students recognize that spoken words can be represented by print for communication; in grade 1, TEKS 1(A), students recognize that spoken words are represented in written Spanish by specific sequences of letters.
The materials include some implementation support for teachers and administrators. An SLAR TEKS-aligned scope and sequence outlines the essential knowledge and skills that are taught in the program, the order in which they are presented, and how knowledge and skills build and connect across grade levels. Support helps teachers implement the materials as intended. Resources and guidance help administrators support teachers in implementing the materials as intended. The materials include a school year’s worth of literacy instruction and routines; however, realistic pacing guidance is difficult to gauge since this is based on student performance.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials are accompanied by an SLAR TEKS-aligned scope and sequence outlining the essential knowledge and skills that are taught in the program. The scope and sequence shows how knowledge and skills build and connect across two grade levels at a time. The “Spanish Language Arts and Reading Strands Summary” reflects the alignment of skills taught in “ISIP” year to year. Due to Istation’s adaptive nature, the Scope and Sequence reference what cycles a student could progress through depending on their ISIP score. The summary is separated by TEKS; the SLAR-TEKS are addressed through online activities such as books and songs. “Cycles” are online and target the SLAR-TEKS; there are also teacher-directed lessons. The summary shows lessons in alignment with TEKS, rather than showing the lessons according to skill progression.
The materials include teacher support to implement the materials as intended. In the “User’s Guide,” “Getting Students and Teachers Started with Istation,” the materials provide guidance for setting up the program in the classroom (e.g., setting up student accounts, login information, and best practices). There is guidance on using and applying the data gathered through assessments for instructional planning. The User’s Guide is the same for all the grades. The “Beginning of Year Implementation Guide” includes the “Before the First Assessment, Monthly Activities, Weekly Activities, Recommended Weekly Usage, and Reports” section, which provides teachers with information on how to implement the program. There is support for teachers to plan student use of technology, face-to-face intervention based on “Priority Report” recommendations, and daily student usage (e.g., 30 minutes per day for Tier 1). “Teacher Resources” include reports for student progress monitoring and implementation of classroom materials. In the “Data Analysis” section, the materials provide guidance for small group work, mini-lessons and reteach lessons, tutorial videos for best practices (e.g., on setting up the program, on using reports), and on tiers and progress reports. The materials include board cards that have personalized teaching tips.
Resources and guidance help administrators support teachers with program implementation. The online portal includes an administrator page for campus and/or district administrators and a user guide. Videos with technical instructions help the administrator navigate the program; they cover, for instance, adding and removing users, reports for usage, and reports for assessment compilation. The user guide addresses class setup, student data imports, and reports. The “Administration” tab provides school administrators access to district or campus information at a glance, classroom reports, and student progress monitoring. Administrators have the ability to share reports with teachers for collaborative purposes. The “Administrator Implementation Checklist” addresses technology requirements for program usage and implementation. Guidance for administrators focuses on the technology aspect and overseeing the usage of the program on the campus rather than providing resources and guidance to help the administrator serve as the educational leader of the campus.
As stated in the “Interactive Instruction Guide,” once students have completed their initial assessments, they are placed on their own instructional path. The Teacher Resource section in the guide states: “Students move through Istation Interactive Instruction at their own pace after being placed in their instructional path based on their initial ISIP score. The initial placement cannot be changed by students or teachers; however, students can advance their learning path based on subsequent ISIP scores.” Therefore, the materials do not offer a pacing guide. Students advance on their learning path and continue to work on TEKS-based instruction throughout the year. The materials include teacher-directed lessons for teachers to enhance the learning experience. Through these lessons, teachers can pick and choose which direct instruction lessons to use. The materials lack teacher-directed lessons to cover the entire year.
The materials provide implementation guidance to meet variability in programmatic design and scheduling considerations. The materials provide guidance for strategic implementation without disrupting the sequence of content that must be taught in a specific order following a developmental progression. The materials are designed in a way that allows LEAs the ability to incorporate the curriculum into district, campus, and teacher programmatic design and scheduling considerations.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include strategic guidance on implementation to ensure the content sequence is taught consistently with the developmental progression of foundational literacy skills. This adaptive program allows students to work at their own pace and at their own level. The materials provide guidance to support the teaching “Cycles” most appropriate to the classroom. The scope and sequence includes information on the developmental progression of skills across the various grade levels. The document lists the SLAR-TEKS and the corresponding cycles in which they are taught. The scope and sequence document is presented in order by TEKS.
The materials are designed to allow LEAs the ability to incorporate the curriculum into district, campus, and teacher programmatic design and scheduling considerations. The materials are designed to be easily assimilated into any district curriculum framework. The different curriculum components (digital, teacher station, teacher-directed lessons) can be tailored to meet the scheduling needs of the classroom while still meeting the academic needs of the students. The materials include instructional planning templates to help teachers, districts, and schools decide how they want to implement and use the curriculum. The suggested usage for the digital component is 30–40 minutes. There are no specific days and times for each lesson. The curriculum provides the teacher with resources to implement lessons and target skills as needed in the “Teacher Station” and “Teacher-Directed Lessons.” Each lesson is TEKS-based and can be implemented in any curriculum. Although the materials can be adjusted to fit scheduling and program needs, they do not provide guidance on the strategic implementation of the materials since the adaptive technology adjusts to each individual student’s needs.
The materials provide guidance on fostering connections between home and school. Materials support the development of strong relationships between teachers and families and specify activities for use at home to support students’ learning and development.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials support the development of strong relationships between teachers and families. They include multiple ways for teachers to stay connected with families to help continue students’ reading development at home. Activities are provided in both English and Spanish. Parents receive a monthly “ISIP” results letter, the “Carta para padres de ISIP Español.” The letter describes the program to the parents and the areas of assessment. The letter includes the areas on which the teachers will be working with the students and how they will work together to help the students succeed in reading. The letter also communicates to parents the value of their partnership: “¡Estamos seguros de que con su ayuda y compromiso su hijo(a) desarrollará su máximo potencial de lectura!”
The materials specify activities for use at home to support students’ learning and development. A “Parent Portal Walkthrough Video” provides parents with an in-depth description of how the program works and helps them learn how they can help their students at home. “Guia para Padres” includes a welcome letter for parents and a program overview. The parent introduction section includes an “Istation at Home Manual.” The parent guide covers all of the sections and “Cycles” of the program (across all grades). It also provides advice for parents on how to use the program at home, shows the design of the program, explains how to connect at home, and provides other resources they can use at home. A section with parent tips includes ideas for establishing a routine for children as they learn from home, creating a classroom at home, integrating the vocabulary the child is learning throughout the day, giving students breaks in between lessons, creating a schedule, and rewarding students for their work. The materials also provide a “Planning for a Powerful School Year” resource: “This new parent guide is practical and easy to use with simple tips for parents, including daily and weekly schedule samples for home.”
The “Manual de Istation para el hogar” guides parents on navigating the program at home. The manual features high-level teaching tips and video series and provides specific activities for use at home to support students’ learning and development. There is parental guidance on the various sections of the program and on using the parent portal. The parent portal provides a wealth of information to help parents work with their students at home and help support their learning. The portal also provides printable resources specific to students’ academic needs, printable books in different Lexile reading levels and passages, parent-facing data on the student’s work in the program, and a summary of the skills the student is working on and their progress. The portal allows parents to monitor their students in the same way the teacher does at school; they are able to view the accumulated data and help students in areas of need. The Manual de Istation para el hogar is for all the Istation instructional materials and is not grade-specific.
“La conexión desde el hogar: Ipractice” explains in detail how the program has been developed, so parents can understand how the digital lessons and interactive books engage students through songs and games; it also guides the parents on what is available for the students to use at home. “Ipractice” has lessons, games, and activities that the students can use to practice skills. The home practice section includes activities the parents can complete at home to help support their student’s learning, such as “Tarjetas de fonogramas” and “Tarjetas del banco de palabras.” Many available resources help parents support their student’s learning at home. The guide also provides parents with practical tutorials and webinars to help their children using “Read-Alouds,” “Vocabulary Development,” “Interactive Writing,” and “Segmenting Syllables” at home. These resources provide specific at-home activities to support students’ learning and development. The “Registro de estudiantes” guides the parents through downloading and using the program at home.
The visual design of the student and teacher materials (whether print or digital) is neither distracting nor chaotic. Materials use white space appropriately and employ design that supports and does not distract from student learning. Pictures and graphics are supportive of student learning and engagement without being visually distracting.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Cycle 2, graphics support student learning and are not distracting. Letters cards for the uppercase and lowercase letters M, P, L, and S are clear (in terms of size and font); they appear in rectangles that can be cut for use during instruction or independent work. All the letter cards in the lessons follow the same format. The design of Lesson 2, “Escritura,” supports student learning by providing consistent graphics and a general outline of the lesson. The three activities in each lesson are identified with the same pencil graphic. In Lesson 6, “Destreza fonológica/fonética,” pictures and graphics support student learning. The vocabulary cards are clear and use authentic pictures. The “Tarjetas de sílabas” include cards for mapa and sapo; the words are placed over the picture of a frog and a map. A dark line clearly divides the words into syllables. The connection between the word and the picture helps support students in learning new vocabulary words. The design of Lesson 9 includes a short description of the skills the students are going to be learning; this is followed by a list of materials the teacher will need to teach the lesson, an explicit teacher script, guided practice instruction, and independent practice for the students. The teacher's script is in bold to draw the teacher’s attention to what needs to be said. The student materials are visually clear and demonstrate appropriate use of white space and design that supports and does not distract from student learning.
In Cycle 5, Lesson 1, Destreza fonológica/fonética, the lesson design includes an explicit teacher script, guided practice instruction, and independent practice for the students. The student materials are visually clear and demonstrate appropriate use of white space and design that supports and does not distract from student learning. The materials provide “Tarjetas didácticas”—large picture cards for the teacher to show to students and small ones for the students to choose their answers. The graphics are visually easy to identify and connect to student learning. The letter-sound connections are clear and match the pictures.
The materials provide many leveled books, such as Los cien cerditos by Cristina Panadero. The little reader’s pictures are authentic, in color, and align with the written content. The students are able to read it and enjoy the graphics, which are easily identifiable by the students and supportive of the students’ learning. The materials do not include any big books. The pictures support the students’ understanding of the story and are supportive of the students’ learning and engagement without being visually distracting. There is sufficient white space with grade-level-appropriate sizing and spacing.
This item is not scored.
Materials do not provide clear guidance specific to a bilingual program model. The materials do not include any guidance or recommendations on how the curriculum can be applied within a particular bilingual program model.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials do not include an introduction with an overview and recommendations for implementation within a DLI bilingual program model. The materials do not provide direct guidance to show how to implement dual language instruction or transitional bilingual education. Although the materials provide instruction in Spanish and English, there is no guidance or recommendations on how to apply the resources within a particular bilingual program model, as explained above. The materials do not include current and relevant research on Spanish literacy development or second language development and acquisition. The materials have limited citation of current, relevant research on Spanish literacy, including the development of Spanish foundational literacy skills. The materials do not include research on the common underlying proficiency that addresses language interrelatedness as it applies to second language development and acquisition.
The “Program Description” states: “The materials domains and the order in which the domains and skills are presented in ISIP Espanol are based on an analysis of the findings and recommendations of the United States National Reading Panel and Europe and Latin America research, including the latest publications from the Marco Comun Europeo de Referencia para las Lenguas: aprendizaje, ensenanza, y evaluación (Instituto Cervantes, Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte, Espana: 2021).” “ISIP” is “an assessment tool that uses authentic research-based Spanish-language content to deliver accurate and precise analysis of student proficiency.” The materials also include articles, written by the publisher, that contain guidance and best practices for an effective dual language classroom. This is backed by research by Irene Fountanas, Guy Su Pinnell, Gail Boushey, and Joan Moser. However, these are “white papers,” meaning that the materials use other research and apply it to the materials themselves rather than basing the materials on these articles.
This item is not scored.
Materials lack teacher support for understanding the connection between content presented in each language and lack guidance on how to help students understand this connection. Materials do not highlight opportunities for students to make cross-linguistic connections. Materials allow for limited equitable instruction in both languages, in terms of quality and quantity of materials. Materials do not support teacher and student understanding and application of the connection between the languages (i.e., skills that transfer).
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The teacher-directed lessons and the digital lessons do not highlight opportunities for students to make cross-linguistic connections; they lack guidance for teachers to define and explain the benefit of cross-linguistic connection opportunities. The materials lack opportunities for cross-linguistic and in-context connections as an integral part of the lesson. The Spanish lessons focus on Spanish TEKS, and the English lessons focus on English TEKS. The materials do not include lessons connecting the languages or an explanation about similarities or differences between Spanish and English.
The materials do not allow for equitable instruction in both languages, in terms of quality and quantity of materials. Teacher-directed lessons and digital lessons are in either Spanish or English, and most of the “Cycles” include the same number of decodable books. The materials do not provide the same equitable quality of activities in Spanish as they do in English. For example, in the writing assignments, the English program has more exercises that explicitly teach letter tracing.
The materials do not support teacher and student understanding and application of the connection between the languages. The materials do not include detailed and explicit guidance for teachers to support second language acquisition by making connections between the languages. The materials do not provide guidance and strategies regarding skills that transfer in different parts of the languages (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax, comprehension skills, and vocabulary development). The materials do not provide in- and out-of-context application opportunities to connect between the languages. The “Istation Reading” and “Istation Español” materials do not make any connection to each other in teacher-directed lessons or in digital lessons.
This item is not scored.
The materials in Spanish are authentic and culturally relevant. Both teacher and student materials are presented in authentic and academic Spanish or are quality transadaptations or translations, as appropriate for the purpose and context of the activity. Materials provide limited opportunities to support the development of socio-cultural competence. Materials represent the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Both teacher and student materials are presented in authentic and academic Spanish or are quality transadaptations or translations, as appropriate for the purpose and context of the activity. In Cycle 3, Lesson 1, “Comprensión de lectura,” focuses on character traits. The materials include a script for the teachers in various sections of the lesson. The teacher discusses the various types of texts and characters. The teacher says, “Si un personaje habla de una manera muy respetuosa, sabrán que es cortés.” Students thus learn the meaning of respetuosa and cortes. The teacher then explains character traits: “personaje nos muestra sus sentimientos, pensamientos, gustos y disgustos.” The terms personaje for characters, sentimientos for feelings, and pensamientos for thoughts are appropriate academic terms. The students are exposed to authentic Spanish. Some text examples include Árbol y abejas and Unicornios y uñas rosadas by Cristina Panadero, which teach print awareness. These books suit the purpose and context of the activity. Books are written in high-quality and age-appropriate academic Spanish.
The materials provide limited support for the development of socio-cultural competence. In Cycle 2, Lesson 1, “Escritura,” the teacher reminds the students of the story Pepe, which is about a child who celebrates his birthday with family. The lesson includes three activities. In Activity 1, students write about how they prepare for their own birthday party. In Activity 2, students write about their favorite birthday gift. In Activity 3, students imagine and write about celebrating their birthday in a different place. After Activity 1, the materials guide the students to share their writing, which allows them to share and hear about different socio-cultural traditions. This was the only evidence located in the materials of support for the development of socio-cultural competence. The materials lack units with cultural objectives embracing heritage, including cultural family traditions, beliefs, holidays, and values and how students fit into their communities and society. The materials do not provide specific practices for promoting and developing socio-cultural competence. The materials lack lessons with a teacher-led discussion on the importance of diversity awareness and respect.
The materials represent the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. There are various representations of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. Some books include Hispanic culture in the pictures and use proper vocabulary. For example, ¡A comer tacos! by Liliana Suero is a children’s story that can be used for teaching the sound of letters c /k/, c /s/, f, b; syllables with o; and the main idea and details. The book includes daily vocabulary used by many students in a Hispanic home during dinner. Los timbales de Tito by Cristina Panadero is a children’s story that can be used to learn to read illustrations; it includes Hispanic music culture.
The materials include a variety of authentic Spanish texts written by Hispanic authors that intentionally develop storylines that reflect Hispanic cultures, traditions, customs, values, and beliefs with which students can identify and connect to aid comprehension and self-validation. For example, the book Chile y chocolate by Cristina Panadero includes pictures and words that begin with the letter ch. The text is about Chuy, who prefers chocolate, chile, and chuletas with aguacate. The text in the book includes the nickname for Jesus, Chuy. The book Mi amiga Yur by Cristina Panadero teaches about the letter Y and the word Uruguaya. The text includes the character pointing to Uruguay on the globe. Another Latin American country showcased by the materials can be found in the book El helado by Cristina Panadero. This book teaches that the letter h is silent in Spanish; the book includes words like helado, hormiga, hormiguero, and hermano.
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