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The quality review is the result of extensive evidence gathering and analysis by Texas educators of how well instructional materials satisfy the criteria for quality in the subject-specific rubric. Follow the links below to view the scores and read the evidence used to determine quality.
Section 1. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
TEKS Student %
TEKS Teacher %
ELPS Student %
ELPS Teacher %
Section 2. Texts (what students read, see, and hear)
Section 3. Literacy Practices and Text Interactions: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Thinking, Inquiry, and Research
Section 4. Developing and Sustaining Foundational Literacy Skills
Section 5. Supports for Diverse Learners
Section 6. Ease of Use and Supports for Implementation
Section 7. Technology, Cost, and Professional Learning Support
|Grade||TEKS Student %||TEKS Teacher %||ELPS Student %||ELPS Teacher %|
The materials include well-crafted texts that are of publishable quality. Many texts are written by published authors, while some are written for the program. Materials include texts that are appealing and engaging for Grade 1 students, including illustrations and graphics. Materials include increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Through Georgia’s Eyes by Rachel Rodriguez is a biography about the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. It engages students by providing several illustrations throughout the text. The illustrations paint a picture of how Georgia viewed the world and describe the prairies in Wisconsin where she grew up.
Jackie Robinson by Wil Mara is an informational text that uses black-and-white pictures to describe the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson. It teaches students about Robinson’s accomplishments and why being an African American playing baseball during that time was significant. This content is both engaging in that it focuses on sports, and it also focuses on a historical figure important to the Civil Rights Movement.
The Life Of A Frog by Rene Saldana is a cross-curricular informational text in the discipline of science that discusses the life cycle of a frog. The pictures and graphics help students deepen their understanding of the topic.
Signs of Winter by Colleen Dolphin is a cross-curricular informational text in the discipline of science that explores winter. Teachers and students discuss holidays and festivals that occur during this season, including what different cultures do in the winter.
Eleanor Roosevelt by Mathangi Subramanian is a biography that describes the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. The pictures and graphics in the text help to explain her contributions to American history, and the text includes a map to describe how and where she traveled.
Aesop’s Fables are short stories that teach a moral or lesson. In most of these stories, characters are animals with human traits. Stories each contain hybrids of myth, legend, and social parable. Aesop’s Fables are very famous and may even be something students already have context and experience with.
“The Cow and the Tiger” by Sudha Ramaswami is a short story in which four friendly cows graze together and stay together to avoid tigers and lions. One day, a fight breaks them apart. This social conflict can be relatable to students of this age.
The Clever Monkey told by Rob Cleveland is a classic folktale from West Africa. One day, two greedy cats discover a large piece of cheese. They want to share their piece of cheese but cannot decide how they can divide it fairly.
The materials include a variety of text types and genres across content areas that meet the demands of the Grade 1 English Language Arts and Reading TEKS. The materials provide opportunities for students to analyze the use of print and graphic features within a variety of texts.
Examples of literary texts include but are not limited to:
Henry on Wheels by B.B. Bourne (realistic fiction)
“The Long Sleep” by Chitra Divakaruni (poem)
Bigger Shoes for the Big Race by Wade Hudson (drama)
The Blackout by Zetta Elliott (realistic fiction)
Examples of informational texts include but are not limited to:
The Life of a Frog by Rene Saldana, Jr. (informational text)
Look Both Ways by Janet Klausner (informational text)
“Thumbs Up for Art and Music” by Greg Leitich Smith (persuasive text)
“In Spring” by Angela Johnson (persuasive text)
Examples of print and graphic features include but are not limited to:
In Unit 2, while reading The Cycle of a Sunflower by Linda Tagliaferro, students analyze print and graphic features while recognizing the structure of the text (chronological order). Students underline the words that tell them what happens after the sunflower seeds get what they need. This text is accompanied by a picture on the page that illustrates what happens in the text.
In Unit 4, with Eleanor Roosevelt by Mathangi Subramanian, students analyze graphic features when the teacher asks: “Looking at the pictures and the text together can help me better understand what I am reading. What do the pictures on these pages tell you about the people Eleanor helped?”
The materials include appropriately challenging texts at an appropriate level of complexity to support students at their grade level. The materials provide text complexity analyses including quantitative, qualitative, and reader-and-task considerations of the texts used in “Shared Reading” through the “Text Complexity Chart” in the “Pearson Realize” digital feature. In addition, read-aloud and shared-reading texts are above the complexity level of what on-level students can read independently.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, Henry On Wheels by B.B. Bourne has a Lexile level of 300. Qualitative features include level of meaning: simple, with an easy-to-follow plot; text structure: simple, with a chronological, third-person point of view and illustrations that directly support the text; language conventionality and clarity: median range, with easy-to-understand vocabulary in context and simple sentences.
In Unit 2, How Do Baby Animals Grow? by Caroline Hutchinson has a Lexile level of 320. Qualitative features include level of meaning: author’s purpose is simple; text structure: simple, and follows an easy-to-predict pattern with direct support from photographs; language conventionality and clarity: simple, with simply, easy-to-understand sentences that include repetitive phrases; knowledge demands: median range, because students may need support to understand that animals care for their young differently, though the concept of animal babies is common and familiar.
In Unit 4, Through Georgia’s Eyes by Rachel Rodriguez has a Lexile level of 540. Qualitative features include level of meaning: simple author’s purpose; text structure: median level, due to chronological order with signal words; language conventionality and clarity: median, with longer and unconventional sentence structures; and knowledge demands: simple-to-understand text about art and Georgia O’Keeffe’s life.
In Unit 5, Seasons Around The World by Ana Galan has a Lexile level of 510. Qualitative features include level of meaning: median range, because an implied author’s purpose is present in the text; text structure: median range, as informational text features are explicit, but text also has additional information in call-outs and maps; language conventionality and clarity: median range, due to complex sentence structures; and knowledge demands: median range, as students may be unfamiliar with season features and graphics.
The materials contain quality questions and tasks that support students in synthesizing knowledge and ideas to deepen understanding and identify and explain themes. Conceptual knowledge and literacy skills are built through text-dependent questions and tasks that support the synthesis of knowledge and ideas. Questions and activities are included throughout to support students as they identify and explain themes. Most tasks and assignments are text-dependent, requiring close attention to meaning and inference making. Students evaluate and discuss information from multiple places within a text to demonstrate their comprehension.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each unit begins with an “Essential Question” that ties to the unit’s theme. Throughout the unit, “Weekly Questions” return to this theme. Students synthesize their learning by making connections across texts within the unit.
In Unit 1, students deepen their understanding of topics through the Essential Question “What is a neighborhood?” and the Weekly Question “What can I see in a neighborhood?” Through the read-aloud text A Neighborhood Walk, students create an understanding of setting in realistic fiction, using an anchor chart. In the main selection for the week, Henry On Wheels, the “Close Read” activity asks students to determine the setting of the story based on where Henry says he will ride his bike. In the “My View” section of the “Teacher Edition,” teachers find guidance to help students connect their own experiences and neighborhoods to the text.
In Unit 2, the materials provide students multiple formal and informal assignments that help them infer and gain meaning through the text How Do Baby Animals Grow? The mini-lesson asks students to build a framework for informational text. Teachers review the read-aloud Animal Babies Change to support their students’ understanding of the main idea and details; they reference the anchor chart.
In Unit 3, the materials engage students in an understanding of a persuasive text. Through a genre mini-lesson, the materials expose students to this information with the brief text Soccer Is Great. Students and the teacher discuss how the text connects to the “Persuasion” anchor chart. Students apply these concepts in a shared reading through the close-reading protocol established in Unit 1. Students continue to apply the concepts of persuasive text through a closing “Check for Understanding.”
In Unit 4, students compare texts. Students engage in listening to two stories: The First Thanksgiving and The Big Feast. After listening, students engage in a compare-and-contrast activity utilizing a Venn diagram. During shared reading, students again compare and contrast two informational texts by engaging with What Is the Story of Our Flag? and The First American Flag; close-reading tasks ask students to think about commonalities. This is concluded with a student interactive activity where students identify the shared topic and also respond with the differences.
The materials contain questions and tasks that require students to evaluate the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Students use text evidence to analyze the author’s word choices to understand the author’s purpose and the message of a text. By comparing and contrasting texts within and across genres, students are able to explore the various choices authors make to influence and communicate meaning, with adult assistance. The materials provide students with opportunities to read, listen, and respond to texts from various cultural, historical, and contemporary backgrounds.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In the Unit 3 “Reading Workshop,” teachers explain that “a persuasive text tries to tell readers how to think or act.” Teachers read from a page in the “Student Interactive” workbook and demonstrate how to tell the text is a persuasive text—“The first line tells an opinion: Soccer is the best sport.” Teachers then use an anchor chart in the Student Interactive workbook to discuss how to identify features of persuasive text. Students discuss with a partner (with teacher guidance if needed) how persuasive text is different from a traditional story, and students who are working independently record in their notebooks how the texts they are reading on their own are different from persuasive texts.
In Unit 4, with Eleanor Roosevelt by Mathangi Subramanian, students use the shared-read text to extend their understanding of the main idea in a biography, through a mini-lesson given by the teacher and an anchor chart from their Student Interactive. In addition, teachers teach the concept of third-person text—“authors can write third-person text to tell another person’s story”—and ask students to look for words in the text that show that they are reading a third-person text. In the mini-lesson following the shared read, teachers review the concept of the main idea and ask students what the main idea is or why the author wrote the story of Eleanor Roosevelt. Students review their responses to the “Close Read” questions “How did Eleanor help people?” and “What question could you ask about how Eleanor helped people?” and use them to formulate their main-idea statements for the text. Students are also asked to reread a page about Booker T. Washington from their Student Interactive to compare it to a page about Eleanor Roosevelt; they write a comparison of the two texts/people.
In Unit 5, with My Autumn Book by Wong Herbert Yee, teachers remind students that authors use details to tell about a topic, and students analyze the choices the author makes by underlining the specific text that tells about the topic. Students analyze the language the author uses, identifying sensory words in the text and responding with the senses they appeal to: crisp air (touch), gray sky (sight), crickets chirruping (hearing). In another word choice “Close Read” activity, the teacher identifies the words twirling, sway, whirling, and whirlwind and asks what they mean (moving). Students stand and twirl, sway, and whirl, and then explain how these words are different from moving, therefore reinforcing that when an author chooses a specific word that means move, that word choice affects the reader in a specific way.
The materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary in and across texts. Each unit begins with a vocabulary overview, and instruction follows a regular and predictable routine for students and teachers. Lesson plans offer teachers opportunities to differentiate vocabulary development for students who are either struggling or ready to work on vocabulary independently.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Grade 1 materials include an “Academic Vocabulary” feature in the “Reading-Writing Bridge” section of each week; it focuses on morphology and conceptual ideas of vocabulary and provides two options for formative assessment. “Small-Group Reading Workshop” lesson plans offer teachers opportunities to develop vocabulary with strategy groups, “Reading Workshop” conferences, and leveled readers connected to the main selection.
Explicit vocabulary instruction for Grade 1 begins in Unit 1. According to the “Teacher’s Edition,” teachers use an “Academic Vocabulary Word Wall” to list vocabulary words related to the unit as they are encountered. Academic vocabulary follows a consistent structure, beginning with “Preview” prior to “Shared Reading,” “Develop” after the second Shared Read, and “Formative Assessment” at the end. Each formative assessment includes two options for teachers to differentiate according to student ability: One option is tailored to struggling students, while the other option is for students who are ready to work independently. Also, the Shared Readings provide definitions as text additions as students read. The Small-Group Reading Workshop lesson plans further allow for differentiation; options include strategy groups, Reading Workshop conferences, and leveled readers connected to the main selection.
Students are supported as they work independently to use illustrations and context clues to understand vocabulary words. The “Notice and Assess” section guides teachers in determining what supports to provide during small-group instruction.
In addition to the scaffolds and supports provided to teachers in the above-mentioned routine features of vocabulary instruction, the “Language Awareness Handbook” associated with these materials provides support for differentiated instruction for English Learners specifically, as well as for all learners.
The “Picture Dictionary” and “Glossary” sections teach students to use pictures to better understand word meanings. Words in the dictionary in Units 1–4 are organized by topic; in Unit 5, there are multiple topics organized into categories. In the Picture Dictionary lesson in Unit 5, the teacher guides students in understanding to which category a word belongs and why. Students then practice putting other words in the category and using the words in a sentence.
In Unit 1, students are taught to use academic vocabulary within the selections to understand how the words in the text describe the actions of the characters. As part of guided reading, students receive prompts requiring them to assess the meaning of words in a text based on context. In the texts Garden Party and Click, Clack, Click, the teacher asks: “Remind yourself of the word’s meaning. Think about why the author chose to use this word. What information is the author trying to give the reader?”
In Unit 2, students preview academic vocabulary at the beginning of the unit. After receiving the words reason, notice, nature, and pattern, students discuss them with a partner using the pictures in the “Student Interactive.”
In Unit 3, students preview vocabulary words for The Clever Monkey by discussing what they already know about the words sadly, fairly, exactly, and carefully. Later in the “Vocabulary” lesson, the teacher models and discusses how authors add affixes and how the affixes change the meaning of the word. Students then complete sentences to demonstrate understanding, and they discuss new word meanings with a partner.
In Unit 4, the “Assess and Differentiate” section provides teachers with guidance for small-group instruction to assist students who are struggling with understanding how past-tense words describe something from the past. Materials support Intermediate English Learners with suggested strategies: “Display simple sentences that include the vocabulary words. Have students take reading the sentences to a partner.” In the “Reading-Writing Bridge,” students demonstrate their understanding of words from the text by completing sentences using these words; for example, “My sense of smell is important because….” Teachers guide students to complete these sentences using details they learned from the unit.
In Unit 5, the materials introduce cross-content vocabulary related to seasons and animal life, and the teacher guides students to use context clues and pictures to identify the words. Materials direct that students who need additional support should complete an activity in the Student Interactive, while students who have mastered these words should look for and list unfamiliar words in their own independent reading books. Materials note that teachers may provide additional differentiation in small groups as needed.
The materials provide a clearly defined plan to support and hold students accountable as they engage in self-sustained reading on a daily basis. Materials provide support for teachers on implementing procedures and protocols to foster self-sustained reading in their classrooms. Each unit provides a plan for students to self-select text, read independently, and complete a reading response log to demonstrate accountability.
Examples include but are not limited to:
“Small Group Independent Reading” procedures allow students to choose to reread a previously selected text, select a different trade book tied to the theme, reread or listen to the “Shared Read,” or partner-read a text with another student. Materials provide supports for teachers on each daily “Small Group Strategy” plan, including how to help students choose material and “Literacy Activities” tied to a student’s choice of independent reading. “Reading Workshop Small Group” plans in the “Teacher Edition” always have an “Independent Reading” subtitle with several bulleted statements that suggest what a student could choose to read.
The “Student Interactive” edition for each unit provides students with an introduction to a topic in Independent Reading. Directions for reading are included: “1) Choose a book. 2) Start at the front cover. 3) Turn the pages gently. 4) Put the book back when you are finished.” For accountability, a reading log is included for students to record titles and their responses to those titles. Directions state, “Have students complete the chart to tell about their independent reading.”
In Unit 1, students are guided through self-selecting a book to read during independent reading. The materials include a chart that helps students decide if the book is appropriate for their reading level. Teachers ensure students record the time they spend reading independently in a reading log.
In Unit 2, students read books with their teacher as well as independently. In class, they read informational text, poetry, and drama and can choose a book from these genres for self-sustained reading. Some sentence stems and prompts to guide this choice include “I want to read: Informational Text/Fiction/Poetry” and “What is your purpose for reading? I want to: Learn facts about…/Read a story for fun/Read something new to me.” Materials provide further guidance in the “Assess and Differentiate” and “Independent/Collaborative” sections for teachers to differentiate; teachers provide three independent reading options depending on the student’s reading ability—“read a text of their own choosing, read the poem on pp. 158–159 in the Student Interactive, read or listen to a text they have already read.”
Within the Teacher Edition, Unit 3 contains prompts for teachers to use in their independent reading conferences with students: “Talk About Independent Reading,” “Possible Conference Prompts,” and “Possible Teaching Prompts.”
In Unit 4, the teacher sets guidelines for independent reading focus, including setting goals for reading and making connections with text to self and to other texts. The student should focus on continuously increasing stamina in reading for an extended period of time and also increasing the number of pages read each day. At the beginning of the unit, the teacher encourages independent reading options: Students may choose to revisit a previously read leveled reader, read the “Realize” reader, or select a new trade book.
In the Unit 5 “Introduction,” instructions for Independent Reading include prompts to help students read for longer periods of time. Instructions include: “Select a text and try to read for longer periods of time. Prepare to Think, Talk, and Share [your] independent book with a partner. Record the time [you] spend interacting with the text independently.”
The materials provide sufficient support for students to compose across text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students have multiple opportunities to write personal narratives, poetry, correspondence, and different types of informational texts. Students display comprehension of personal narrative through both speaking and writing, and tasks prompt students to convey their thoughts and feelings about an experience.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, the “Reading-Writing Bridge” offers students an opportunity to begin exploring first-person texts. While previewing “Writing Clubs,” students recognize they will have to share their feelings and experiences with the classroom. Teachers guide students through identifying words such as I, me, my, and we to know that a story is being told by a character in the story. Students then write a story about something that happened to them. A different text type is introduced during the Reading-Writing Bridge in Week 5, when students learn “how authors choose words to show the order of steps.” After reading a procedural text and creating an anchor chart for understanding, students practice writing sentences “that tell how to make or do something.” While the composition of procedural texts remains limited to sentence writing in Unit 1, students return to procedural writing later in the year.
The Unit 2 writing focus is correspondence. Students research an animal and write a letter to their local zookeeper requesting that the animal be added to the zoo’s collection. Teachers use Schools Need Bird-Watching Clubs as an exemplar text for persuasive writing. After exploring the characteristics of persuasive text with a partner, students research their animal using print and digital sources. After a short mini-lesson on writing an opinion letter, students write, revise, and edit their letters before pairing their writing with a picture of their animal.
The “Writing Workshop” in Unit 3 is dedicated to writing poetry. Prior to writing poetry, students examine exemplar poems, explore what poetry sounds and looks like, practice using imagery, and mimic sound and rhyme. While writing, students listen and name interesting words before brainstorming words that describe an animal. In small groups, students work through the writing process to create and publish this poem. In Week 5, students are assessed in poetry when they write a poem about something they like to eat or drink. The “Project-Based Inquiry” for this unit shifts the writing focus towards writing a persuasive text. After the teacher models how to understand the characteristics of persuasive text and demonstrates how to determine the central message of a persuasive text, students practice writing independently.
During Unit 4, the Writing Workshop is dedicated to personal narrative. Instructional lessons focus on characters, setting, plot, narration, problem, and solution. Students plan their personal narrative in Week 1, focusing on a narrative telling of a real event in their own lives. The assessment prompt for this unit asks students to write a personal narrative about a really great day. During the Unit 4 Project-Based Inquiry week, students complete an interview with the intention of writing an informational text about their life. Students then return to correspondence writing when they write a thank-you note to the person they interviewed. Before writing independently, they learn how to interview a person, and they revisit the characteristics of an informational text. Students receive direct instruction in writing a thank-you note and are guided through dictating or writing their notes.
In Unit 5, students have another opportunity to write a procedural text. Teachers use a text from the “Mentor Stack” to discuss the characteristics of a how-to book, including looking for “instructions, or directions, that tell how to do or make something.” Students spend most of their time generating ideas and planning their how-to book. Some mini-lessons focus on instructions and graphics, introductions and conclusions, and using the organizational style of information text. The assessment prompt for this unit asks students to write a how-to book explaining how to get ready for school. Students are provided with a checklist to support this task, and they work through the steps of the writing process.
The materials facilitate student use of the writing process, including planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing. During the drafting stage, students utilize drawing and brainstorming. During the writing stage, students plan and organize by a combination of speaking, drawing, and writing. In Grade 1, the program follows a sequential pattern of writing instruction and application.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In “Front Matter,” the publishers describe the “Instructional Model” for writing instruction. The “Writing Workshop” model includes direction and resources for “Mini-Lessons,” “Mentor Stacks,” “Independent Writing,” “Stapled Books,” “Portfolios,” and “Writing Clubs.” Each unit follows a consistent format of “Immersion/Introduction” in Week 1, “Developing Elements” in Week 2, “Developing Structure” in Week 3, “Writer’s Craft” in Week 4, “Publishing, Celebrating, and Assessing” in Week 5, and a “Project-Based Inquiry” collaborative project in Week 6. Each lesson has a daily writing plan that includes mini-lessons, independent writing, and share-out options. In Writing Clubs, students meet to conference about their writing and then share their writing upon completion.
To begin Unit 1, teachers model the writing process using texts from the Mentor Stack and guided practice. Students are introduced to what an author does, what they will do as good writers, and what they will be doing in Writing Clubs. To prepare, students make a list of things an author does when working through the stages of writing; they complete this overview by tracing the steps of the writing process using a graphic organizer. In Week 2, via mini-lessons focused on generating ideas, students explore how authors get the ideas they have for writing. Following this, students generate (draw or write) their own ideas for topics. In Week 4, students learn to add details to their illustrations and word choices as they revise their writing drafts; they can practice these skills in isolation before applying them to their own writing. In Week 5, students choose what to publish and learn how to edit, present, celebrate, and assess. Each unit ends with a week-long Project-Based Inquiry; students work with a partner to write an informational text “explaining what a worker in their neighborhood does.” Teachers guide students through conducting research, model how to use print sources, and lead students through taking notes about their topic. After modeling the structure of an informational text, the teacher then models how to identify relevant sources. At this point, before their writing is read aloud, students create a drawing of their worker to share with the class. The unit concludes with students working in pairs to revise and edit their writing using a checklist.
In Unit 2, teachers provide guidance to help students understand how writing can be structured; this includes activities that support the organizing of drafts. In this unit, students write informational texts. Specifically, students learn about informational books before writing their own informational text about a topic of their choice. Books found in the Mentor Stack provide examples of informational text. Through these Mentor Stacks, students review text structure, text features, simple graphics, and introduction and conclusion. Students “share their thinking about how they identified the main idea and details” in the text. The lesson concludes with the teacher modeling and students writing the introduction and conclusion for their informational text. Students then meet in Writing Clubs to discuss their writing and provide feedback to peers specifically on these concepts.
In Unit 3, students write a poem by first drawing pictures to brainstorm their ideas. After brainstorming, students learn about third-person narrative writing so they can use this style in their individual poems. They are then provided another map to plan and draft their poem. Each activity takes students through the writing process; students display their drafts through drawing and writing. Once students complete a draft, they then edit their work for pronouns, spelling patterns and rules, and adverbs that convey time. Using books from the Mentor Stack, students work in partners “to identify rhyming words that follow a spelling pattern and then brainstorm and find more words that follow the pattern.” Students review and edit the poem to include some of these words.
In Unit 4, students continue writing personal narratives. Through Mentor Stacks, students learn how to organize information by “what happens first, what happens next, and what happens last.” Students then demonstrate their understanding by adding these sections to their personal narrative plan. Students meet in their Writing Club to discuss their writing and provide feedback to peers. To end the unit, students are guided through the interview/research process to develop and write an informational essay about an important person in their life. Students work collaboratively to draft, revise, and edit their essays. They publish, share, celebrate, and reflect on their work using the “Student Interactive” resource.
In Unit 5, students learn how pictures and illustrations in text “help readers learn more information.” During the Writing Workshop, students explore and apply simple graphics in their procedural/how-to books; with a partner, they work to add pictures and illustrations to their work, increasing understanding of their procedure. The supports provided to teachers are meant to assist students in sharing and reflecting. At the end of the unit, students share and reflect with peers and extend their writing skills through playwriting. The end-of-the-unit project requires students to use all aspects of the writing process applied to a play instead of a narrative or informational piece.
The materials provide opportunities for students to practice and apply grade-level standard conventions in their writing. The materials provide opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing, including punctuation and grammar, both in and out of context.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Over the course of the year, the materials systematically include the “Reading-Writing Bridge,” “Language and Conventions” section, which focuses on conventions of the English language (i.e., singular and plural nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions). In addition, through the “Writing Workshop,” students explore and practice applying punctuation and grammar in their own writing (i.e., capitalization, end sentence punctuation). The program components also list “Language and Conventions Online Student Resources” as an additional support for teachers. The “End Matter” section provides a scope and sequence for “Conventions of Language,” including spelling, grammar and usage, and capitalization and punctuation.
In the Unit 2 Writing Workshop, students explore capitalization by first discussing uppercase and lowercase letters, then identifying and explaining words with capital letters in a book selected from the “Mentor Stack.” Teachers and students continue reviewing sentences and discussing which words should be capitalized. Students then complete a page in the “Student Interactive” workbook to practice editing sentences for capitalization. Students “should continue writing their books using correct capitalization” and “review their earlier writing for capitalization errors and correct any they find.”
In the Unit 4 Reading-Writing Bridge, teachers guide students through reviewing past-tense verbs and understanding future-tense verbs; the lesson explains that “verbs are action words that can tell about an action that will happen later, in the future.” Students practice changing verbs from present to future tense by editing sentences in the Student Interactive workbook. During the Writing Workshop, teachers guide students to “pay attention to verb tense” and “include will as part of the verb to show any action that will happen in the future.” For further practice, students complete a Language and Conventions page found in the “Download Resource Center” to change verbs to the future tense.
In the Unit 5 Writing Workshop, students explore punctuation marks: The teacher models punctuation found in declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences. Students review their own writing to edit for punctuation marks and then edit sentences for punctuation in the Student Interactive workbook.
The materials include instruction and practice for students to write legibly in print. Plans and supports are present for teachers as they instruct students, and teachers have adequate guidance to assess students’ handwriting development.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide weekly practice for students to write legibly in print. Students can model their letters after both the “Manuscript” and “D’Nealian” models. The handwriting lessons exist in the “Reading-Writing Bridge” of the instructional model and proceed throughout the year to provide a plan to support teachers as they instruct students. This resource includes instruction on writing posture, paper positioning, and pencil gripping techniques.
Handwriting instruction is embedded within the units, and the materials provide opportunities in the “Phonics/Phonological Awareness” instruction section in the “Foundational Skills” section of the “Reading Workshop.” Students practice writing the letters introduced in the section. As students practice letter sounds, they practice writing the letters in the air as well as tracing them, then independently write them in the “Student Interactive” workbook. Handwriting instruction also occurs in the Reading-Writing Bridge section of each unit. In addition, there are “Handwriting Models” found at the end of each unit. In the “Front Matter” section, the program components list “Handwriting” practice in online student resources. The “End Matter” section provides a scope and sequence for teachers to use as they teach handwriting. Students practice independently writing letters and words, and then teachers revisit the skills for struggling and independent levels during small-group instruction. Handwriting instruction is embedded throughout the materials, and instruction, support, and guidance for assessment can be found in the curriculum “Assessment Guide.” Additionally, the materials provide teachers with direction on how to model proper techniques for handwriting development through the “Getting Started” or “Resource Download Center.”
In the Grade 1 Assessment Guide, teachers receive a summary of the “Writing Strategy Assessment Checklist,” describing the document, explaining its use, and directing teachers how to utilize it. The Writing Strategy Assessment Checklist is an observation form meant for teachers to observe students’ writing ability at the beginning and throughout the year. With this document teachers can assess whether students can hold their pencil and position paper correctly, write all letters of the alphabet (both uppercase and lowercase), and write necessary words like their name. Teachers can utilize the “Writing Behaviors Observational Assessment Guide” (in the “Assessments and Practice” section within “Teacher Resources”) to note and track student writing progress.
In Unit 1, teachers model the proper sitting position for writing and provide additional focus on the appropriate paper and pencil position using a page found in “Handwriting” in the “Resource Download Center.” The materials also provide guidance for teachers to model proper pencil grip and movement. Students practice tracing and writing vertical lines on a Handwriting page in the Student Interactive workbook. Later, teachers present the concept and movement for horizontal lines, and students participate in guided practice until they complete an independent practice page in the Student Interactive workbook. After practicing horizontal lines, the teacher provides an introduction to making backward circles. The students follow the guided lesson until they practice independently on a Handwriting page from the Resource Download Center.
In Unit 2, the weekly Reading-Writing Bridge is about forming the letters Oo and Cc. The practice, as in all units, features two lessons on handwriting and two student practice pages from the Resource Download page.
In Unit 3, the Reading-Writing Bridge includes instruction on forming the letter Ss. Students practice writing the letter in the air and then practice writing the letter s on a handwriting page found in the Resource Download Center.
The materials support students’ listening and speaking about texts. Each unit provides multiple opportunities for students to listen actively (i.e., “Read Aloud”/“Think Aloud”), respond to questions to demonstrate understanding (i.e., discussion of the unit’s goals and academic vocabulary after watching unit introduction videos), and engage in teacher-led discussions to share information and ideas about the topics in each unit (i.e., “Turn and Talk,” “Turn and Talk and Share,” “Reading Workshop” and “Small-Group Instruction,” “Writing Club,” and “Book Club”). Throughout the materials, students consistently have opportunities to interact with the content, gather ideas, and communicate those ideas via listening and speaking.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each unit contains several Turn and Talk as well as Turn and Talk and Share opportunities. During the Reading Workshop, students discuss texts they are reading; during reading conferences held during small-group instruction, students explain their understanding of various texts read either independently or during guided reading.
In Unit 1, teachers lead students through the read-aloud A Neighborhood Walk in order to preview realistic fiction. Before reading, the teacher ensures students engage in active listening by telling students to look at the teacher and asks them to “think about the characters and where the story takes place.” To check for understanding, the teacher asks students to summarize the book; in order to ensure a correct retelling of the story, the students brainstorm main events through discussion and list main events on the board. To aid in this discussion, the teacher provides sentence frames, like “The characters in the story are…. They go on a…to a…. They decide to….” To wrap up this text, students discuss the question “What do Lila and Jacob see on their walk?” The teacher uses an anchor chart to record these verbal responses. Next in the unit, students read the text Henry on Wheels either independently, in pairs, or as a whole class. In this book, a character is riding his bike and stops to watch a group of people; he tries to find out what the people are doing. To connect this book to the topic of realistic fiction, the teacher asks students the question “Why are the people standing in line, does the small picture give clues about the answer?” Students share their interpretations, using the picture as a reference. After reading, students share their initial responses to Henry on Wheels by discussing the following questions: “Tell a partner about the part of the story that is most like an experience you have had. How are they the same? Share with a partner how you feel about Henry. Is he someone like you? Do you like to do the same types of things? Does he seem like a real person to you?” Through these questions, students are getting closer to a complete understanding of realistic fiction.
In the Unit 3 Book Club, students ask and respond to questions, with guidance from the teacher if needed, about a teacher-selected read-aloud text, Imagination at Work. During group discussion, students ask and respond to questions: “What words let you know what the book is about? How are the photographs alike? How are they different? How did the designer use bright colors?” Other prompts for students to discuss include “Are there any words you do not understand? What tools do all artists use? What do street musicians do?”
In Unit 4, in a recurring routine throughout the curriculum, teachers preview the selection text with a reminder about “First Read Strategies.” These include for students to look at the title and pictures and decide what questions they have; to read or listen as the teacher reads; to listen to the order of events in the main character’s life; for the teacher to ask what questions students have about the text or parts that were confusing; and for the students talk about what they learned from the text with a partner.
In Unit 5, “Compare Across Texts,” students connect to the unit theme and “Essential Question”; they Turn, Talk, and Share to find a phrase from each selection that describes a season and include those words/phrases in their “Student Interactive” workbook. In the “Project-Based Inquiry” project, students pair to generate questions about their research topic and their culminating persuasive text about their favorite season. The research process has students generate questions for research with their partners.
The materials provide consistent opportunities for students to engage in collaborative discussions and practice grade-level-appropriate speaking skills using the standard conventions of the English language.
Examples include but are not limited to:
During the “Weekly Launch” in each unit, students explore and discuss an infographic related to the unit’s theme. During the culminating end-of-unit project, students practice speaking using the conventions of language and practice rules for discussion during the “Writing Workshop.” Teachers remind students to “practice taking turns reading, show consideration as they listen, ask questions to provide helpful feedback.” Ideas for teachers to encourage students’ discussions include students sharing their writing ideas and plans and using the feedback to strengthen their writing.
In Unit 1, “Reading Workshop,” teachers introduce academic vocabulary words (school, library, and buildings). Teachers ask students questions such as “What can you find in a library? Why do people go to stores? What can be inside buildings? What do you do at school?” Later in the unit, teachers model using academic vocabulary, and then students use the “Student Interactive” to practice using academic vocabulary (type, groups, various, settle). Prompts include the following: “Use the sentences to talk with a partner about neighborhoods.” “Describe different types of neighborhoods.” “How can groups of people help neighborhoods?” “Name the various places you can find in a neighborhood.”
In Unit 2, students participate in “Writing Club” where they are given conversation starters to assist them in their discussions with their partners. For example, in a week during which they are working on informational writing, they confer with their teacher and each other about identifying other main ideas they might include in their writing, discussing one fact they have included in their writing and a picture they could draw to accompany the fact, and helping each other decide if the facts and graphics they’ve included in their writing “help their reader better understand the information in their book.” In another week when they explore labels for graphics, logical order, introductions and conclusions, and informational book writing, they share their drafts and confer with each other about details, features, graphics, introductions, and conclusions; students ask each other if their draft is organized in a logical order, if it is interesting, and if it is clear.
In Unit 3, in the “Preview Vocabulary” routine before the shared read, students explore academic vocabulary words. Teachers introduce the words, ask students what they already know about the words, and prompt discussion with questions like “What happens if you don’t work carefully? Why should you do things fairly?” Next, students demonstrate what they now know about the word by acting out how someone might do something sadly or carefully. In another preview of academic vocabulary, teachers again introduce the words and ask students what they know about the words learn, concentrate, think, and remember. Teachers prompt discussion by asking them to talk with each other about “topics they would like to learn more about, or strategies they use to remember new vocabulary words.” Also, in a “Reading-Writing Bridge” “Academic Vocabulary” lesson, students draw a picture to illustrate the following sentence: “In my imagination, I can create things that are supposed to be impossible!” Then, they “Turn and Talk” with a partner to explain how their picture connects with the sentence.
In Unit 4, students meet in the Writing Club to share their writing, showing how they have applied the grammar skills they previously learned in their writing. Specifically, students share their writing and explain why they used capitalization and where they edited for punctuation marks. Students are given prompts for discussion, such as “How did you check for capital letters, punctuation marks, and verb tense? I like that you used the verb...to tell about…. What edits did you already make?” Students collaborate and use the established rules for speaking and listening in Writing Club, which the teacher previously highlighted and modeled for review, before proceeding with sharing their research information. The students follow these procedures, including using complete sentences in responses in order to practice grade-appropriate speaking skills. Later in Unit 4, the teacher leads a discussion about the informational essay project (about a person that is important to them), and students work with partners to generate questions for their interviews. During the “Celebrate and Reflect” section of the project, the teacher models asking relevant questions when listening to other students orally present their essays to the class. Students are prompted to ask and answer questions during the essay presentation. While students listen to presentations, they listen for unclear information and follow up with a clarification question.
Materials engage students in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for different purposes. They provide support for students to ask and generate questions, generate and follow a research plan, identify relevant sources based on their questions, and provide practice to understand, organize, and communicate ideas and information that reflect the purpose of the research.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Students complete a research project in each unit. The lessons, tasks, and activities include components such as inquiring, exploring and planning, conducting and refining, and collaborating and discussing. Through these activities, students receive guidance and practice independently; they ask and generate questions, find sources and gather information, take and refine notes, work with a partner and conference with the teacher to revise and edit, and share their research with the class.
In Unit 1’s “Project-Based Inquiry,” students work with partners to choose a neighborhood worker to research; they write an informational text explaining what the neighborhood worker does. Collaborating with a partner, students write words and draw pictures to brainstorm about neighborhood workers. Students use academic vocabulary words to discuss their neighborhood and a picture in the “Student Interactive” workbook. After discussion, students work with a partner to generate two questions to answer in their research, thereby generating and following a research plan.
In Unit 3’s Project-Based Inquiry, “Explore and Plan,” students read an article, and teachers guide them through understanding characteristics of persuasive texts. After learning how to use video and audio sources to take notes for research, students work with a partner to view a folktale and take notes while they are viewing.
In Unit 5’s Project-Based Inquiry, “Conduct Research,” students learn and practice how to search for information online and brainstorm key ideas and phrases. The teacher also discusses creating a fact sheet to help students organize the answers to their questions as they conduct research. Students then work in pairs to complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook to “write three facts about seasons from relevant sources.”
Throughout the units, the interconnected questions and tasks are designed so that students build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking. Tasks integrate these components, including vocabulary, comprehension, and syntax, to provide opportunities for increased independence.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each unit includes opportunities for students to listen, read, write, and think about texts through “Foundational Skills,” “Academic Vocabulary,” “Listening Comprehension,” “Small-Group Instruction,” the “Book Club,” and the “Writing Workshop.” The materials provide multiple opportunities for students to practice both with teacher guidance and independently. The tasks provided include students using vocabulary to build comprehension. Students are consistently engaged in tasks and activities, where they are given sentence stems/frames to help them ask and answer questions. Within the formative assessments and throughout the “Student Interactive” notebook, students are prompted to reflect on their learning.
In Unit 1, students listen, think, and talk about the “Weekly Question” “How can I get to know my neighbors?” and its relationship to the “Unit Question” “What is a neighborhood?” Students “Turn and Talk” about what activities they might plan for their neighborhood based on the infographic and also discuss activities within their neighborhood. Students learn to speak clearly as they discuss their ideas with their partner. During the shared read “Welcome To The Neighborhood,” students explore the elements of realistic fiction and compare and contrast two characters from the story. Students make connections within a mini-lesson on realistic fiction, which includes a video for students to analyze, an opportunity to Turn and Talk, and an anchor chart. Within the “Foundational Skills” section, students learn about sounds and then decode words with the sounds. The teacher points to a word and says the sound, and then students practice saying the sound in other words. Students review the rules for high-frequency words. The teacher then reads words; students repeat the words and spell them, “tapping their knees as they say each letter.”
In Unit 3, students preview vocabulary, including via a discussion led by the teacher. The words, with definitions, appear in inset text and in the “Close Read” activity; students are asked to use context clues to support word meaning. In the “Develop Vocabulary” mini-lesson, students categorize the academic vocabulary and associate it with the topic of their shared read. Students demonstrate competence with a practice page. In Small-Group Instruction, students extend the lesson on context clues; they practice with their partner during independent reading of the text.
In the Unit 5 “Read Aloud” lesson, teachers share “Think Alouds” that help students identify that informational texts have facts and details. In the next lesson, students learn that those facts and details can come in the shape of pictures and labels in an informational text. They are provided with an exemplar text, an anchor chart, and an opportunity to Turn and Talk about their purpose for reading the text based on the title, pictures, and labels. In Small-Group Instruction, the lesson about pictures and labels continues; students are given opportunities to identify pictures and labels in their independent reading with a partner. In the main selection, students underline the information in the text that the picture and labels help them understand.
The materials provide spiraling and scaffolded practice designed to build on knowledge and skills over the course of the year. Materials support distributed practice, and the design includes scaffolds for students to demonstrate the integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials describe the interrelated nature of the “Reading Workshop,” “Writing Workshop,” and “Reading-Writing Bridge” and support modeling and practicing throughout each component. Within each “Mini-Lesson,” students are prompted to read, reflect, share, respond, and write. At the start of the year, the materials focus on “Phonological Awareness,” “Print Awareness,” and “Listening Comprehension,” including an introduction to a “Book Club” and a “Writing Club.” Throughout the year, the Reading-Writing Bridge and culminating project at the end of each unit provide opportunities for review, scaffolding, and integration of previously taught skills. Distributed practice exists within the course of units and also over the course of the year; it includes mini-lessons, main selections, and small-group strategy lessons.
Each unit contains a “Phonics: Spiral Review” lesson, where teachers review previously learned letter names and sounds. For example, in Unit 1, teachers write words on the board, then point to each word and have students read it. Teachers then ask students to point out previously learned letters in each word. In another lesson, teachers write previously learned letters on the board and ask student volunteers to point to a letter and name it. The materials instruct teachers to “review the sound for each letter as you say the sound.” Teachers then say sounds and ask students to point to the letter that makes the sound. In addition, each unit contains a “Reading-Writing Bridge: Language and Conventions” section, which includes a “Spiral Review” flexible option for a weekly lesson. In Unit 1, teachers have students “recall” previously learned spelling rules by reading aloud words and having students spell them. Students then “work in pairs to sort the words by how their medial sounds are spelled.”
In Unit 2, after studying how living things grow and change, students produce a persuasive piece of writing addressed to a zookeeper suggesting a new animal to be included in the zoo collection. Teachers introduce persuasive writing with a mini-lesson that includes an exemplar text, and they continue to build students’ understanding of persuasive writing via modeling. A rubric for the project defines quality persuasive writing for teachers and students. Students revisit persuasive text in Unit 3, with a “Read Aloud” introduction, mini-lesson, exemplar text, and anchor chart. The main selection for the week continues to expose students to persuasive text and is followed by another mini-lesson on persuasive text features. Small-group strategy lessons scaffold and support students as they deepen their understanding of persuasive text. The “Project-Based Inquiry” lesson requires students to extend their understanding of persuasive text by writing an opinion piece on why people should read traditional folktales. In Unit 5, students spend another week visiting persuasive text, beginning with a read-aloud and moving to the shared read; this includes whole-group mini-lessons and small-group strategy lessons.
In Unit 3, the fable is introduced in the read-aloud. Students further their knowledge of fables in a whole-group mini-lesson and with an exemplar text and anchor chart. English Learner (EL) “Targeted Support” is provided for the mini-lesson in the “Teacher Edition.” Small groups meet to clarify their understanding of fables; then, students read the fable selection as a Shared Read and Close Read. A mini-lesson on plot follows the main selection; small groups meet again to analyze the main selection’s plot, to scaffold their understanding of a fable. An intervention lesson on plot is available in the “myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide” to further support students.
In Unit 4, historical fiction is introduced in the read-aloud. Students further their knowledge of historical fiction in a whole-group mini-lesson and with an exemplar text and anchor chart. EL Targeted Support is provided for the mini-lesson in the Teacher Edition. Small groups meet to clarify their understanding of historical fiction; then, students read the historical fiction main selection as a Shared Read and Close Read. A mini-lesson on theme follows the main selection; small groups meet again to analyze the main selection’s theme, to scaffold their understanding of historical fiction. An intervention lesson on elements of fiction is available in the myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide to further support students.
The materials provide explicit instruction in print concepts and awareness, with opportunities for student practice that connect print awareness knowledge to texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials cover print awareness information multiple times throughout Units 1–5. Topics include: identifying authors, illustrators, and titles; holding books correctly; sequences of letters of words; distinguishing between letters and words; left-to-right progression; top-to-bottom progression; distinguishing between sentences and words; and space between words. The “Language Awareness Handbook” provides suggested print awareness activities for use during instruction.
In Unit 1, “Writing Workshop: Explore Features of a Fiction Book Mini-Lesson,” the materials support print awareness regarding specific information provided by different parts of a book specific to the fiction genre through the front and back cover and title page. The materials highlight here that the interior pages differ from most others in that the interior pages make up the story. The teacher explicitly models this, using a stack of books, opening and showing while stating each element of the book. For example, the front cover contains the title, author, illustrator, and some type of graphic relating to the content of the story of the book. The modeling continues as the teacher presents the back cover and title page. From a stack of books, the teacher models each part if identified in each type of book in the stack, after which the teacher has the students assist in identifying and calling out the parts of the book as the teacher passes through the different parts of the book.
In the Unit 2 Introduction, students select a text to read independently, and teachers remind students to select a text that is not too hard and not too easy. Students “demonstrate how to hold and handle the book, where to start reading, and how to put the book away upon completion of reading.” After reviewing steps for independent reading and selecting a book, students demonstrate understanding of the steps by “choosing a book, starting at the front cover, turning the pages gently, and putting the book back when they are finished.”
In Unit 3, teachers ask students to demonstrate print awareness by answering the question “What information is provided on this page?” while looking at their “Student Interactive” workbook. Students identify the title, author, and illustrator of the “Shared Read” passage.
In Unit 5, “Reading Workshop,” teachers model and demonstrate how to identify features of informational text. Teachers describe the features of informational text and how authors organize and connect ideas for this type of text. Using the text Winter, from the Student Interactive, teachers point out what the text is about and explain how the words in the text describe the topic.
Materials provide explicit daily instruction in phonological skills and opportunities for daily student practice. The materials provide explicit instruction in each newly taught sound and sound pattern and opportunities for students to practice each newly taught sound and sound/phoneme pattern. Throughout the materials, sounds are systematically introduced; the teacher explicitly instructs how to make the sound, routinely following up with guided and then independent practice.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In the “Front Matter,” the “Instructional Model” includes foundational skills (phonological awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, decodable text) as part of the “Reading Workshop.” Foundational skills are taught “daily and systematically” to meet the demands of the Grade 1 English Language Arts and Reading TEKS.
In Unit 2, students practice rhyming words through the consonant digraphs sh and th. Students read each word on the page and focus on the letters that make the sounds. On the following page, students orally decode new words on the page with a partner.
In a Unit 3 “Phonological Awareness” lesson on removing phonemes, teachers segment the phonemes in the word farm. Teachers then say the words farm and arm, and ask students to identify the difference in the two words. Students identify that the phoneme /f/ was removed to make the new word arm. They repeat the practice in their “Student Interactive” workbook using pictures for farm, rice, and sand to make the new words arm, ice, and and.
In Unit 4, students practice different sounds through diphthongs ow, ou. Students write a word from the box to complete the sentences on the page. On the following page, students continue to practice different sounds by listening for sounds that are alike and different. They say each picture’s name while listening to the middle sounds and stating which picture has the long /a/ sound and short /a/ sound. In another phonics lesson, the teacher teaches decoding words with the ai and ay digraphs. Teachers use the “Sound Spelling” card for snail and have students repeat the word several times, listening for the long /a/ sound. Teachers write snail on the board, then teach that the long /a/ sound can have different spellings, like hay. The teacher displays the Sound Spelling card for hay. Next, teachers segment and blend the word rain and day orally, while writing the words on the board. Using their Student Interactive workbook, students practice segmenting and blending the two words independently while teachers check for understanding. In the second phonics mini-lesson for the same week, teachers model identifying ai and ay in one-syllable words, and students use their Student Interactive workbook to decode a list of words using those spellings with a partner on one page, then independently underlining words using those spellings on the next page.
In Unit 5, teachers model and demonstrate decoding and writing the long /o/ sound, spelled oa, ow, and oe. After writing words on the board, teachers have students repeat the words after them and then underline the vowels that make the long /o/ sound. Students then practice saying words that make the long /o/ sound with a partner using the Student Interactive workbook. Two options for assessment and additional practice include writing words with the long /o/ sound and then reading the words and using “Letter Tiles” to form words with the long /o/ sound and then naming the letters that make the sound.
The materials provide explicit systematic instruction in phonetic knowledge, including grade-appropriate phonics patterns, high-frequency words, and spelling as addressed in the Grade 1 English Language Arts and Reading TEKS. The materials provide opportunities for students to practice and apply phonetic knowledge both in and out of context in order to achieve grade-level mastery.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, phonics activities are first taught through a whole-group lesson where teachers point to pictures and sound out words. Teachers say each sound and then “hold up [their] index, middle, and ring fingers to indicate the number of sounds.” Teachers sound out a word with short /a/ as the medial sound, stressing the medial sound, and then ask students to identify the medial sound. Teachers continue practicing with different words with the short /a/ sound. Later, in a phonics mini-lesson, teachers use a “Sound Spelling” card to introduce to students how to spell the short /a/ sound. The picture shows an astronaut; teachers explain what the picture is and that the word astronaut begins with the short /a/ sound. Teachers repeat the sound three times and then ask students to repeat the sound several times. Teachers ask students, “What sound does astronaut begin with?” and elicit responses. Teachers point to the letter at the top of the card (Aa) and tell students “the sound a is called the short a sound and is spelled with the letter a.” Students then look at pictures at the bottom of a page in the “Student Interactive” workbook, say the names of the pictures, and “listen for the middle sound in each picture name.” Teachers tell students, if they hear the short /a/ sound, to write the letter a on a line below the picture. The teacher points to words and sounds them out in whole-group lessons to teach phonics. Students first listen and then practice using the same method on their own.
In Unit 3, “Reading Workshop,” teachers continue to teach the sound/spelling of -r controlled vowels -er, -ir, and -ur. The lesson includes teachers using the sound-spelling card for the word fern and then asking students to generate lists of words that have the same sound and identify the correct spelling. In addition, students return to a previous passage in the “Student Interactive” workbook and identify the words, and their spellings, that have the same -r controlled vowel sound. A second lesson on syllable patterns is available for struggling students in the “myFocus Teacher’s Intervention Guide” and includes teachers teaching common syllable types, syllables with C -le, and VCCCV patterns. Independent practice pages for students to demonstrate understanding of each syllable type are also part of the lesson.
In Unit 4, “Assess and Differentiate,” small-group instruction, using a “Word Work” strategy lesson, teachers provide interventions for students who need additional help to understand the spelling sound /oi/ spelled with diphthongs oi and oy. The “Language Awareness Handbook” has additional student practice with these spelling patterns. Some suggestions include making a two-column chart to list words and playing a memory game using words spelled with either diphthong. Further intervention guidance includes using a lesson from the “myFocus Intervention Guide,” an online resource, and having students build words with the oi or oy spelling pattern.
In Unit 5, “Reading-Writing Bridge,” the “Spelling” section provides additional practice for vowel teams learned earlier in the unit. Students practice spelling words with vowel team ue, ew, and ui through activities such as a spelling assessment for teachers to evaluate prior knowledge, reading and circling words spelled with the vowel teams, and completing a spelling practice page. At the conclusion of these lessons, teachers again assess understanding by having students spell the words with vowel teams that the teacher uses in a sentence. Additionally, the teacher presents each high-frequency word (mother, father, picture, another, through), counts and names the letters, and uses each word in a sentence. Students then practice the words by reading, writing, and using them in sentences in the Student Interactive workbook. Prior to reading the decodable reader Spring Rain for in-context practice, the teacher reviews the high-frequency words by pronouncing them and having students say the words. Students also have opportunities to continue practicing high-frequency words during independent and collaborative stations. For example, one station directs students to write the high-frequency words I, see, a, his, and is, then practice reading each word aloud with a partner.
Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to practice and develop fluency while reading a wide variety of grade-level texts at the appropriate rate with accuracy and prosody. The materials include explicit instruction on fluency as well as opportunities and routines for teachers to regularly monitor and provide corrective feedback on fluency, including rate, accuracy, and prosody.
Examples include but are not limited to:
“Cold Reads for Fluency and Comprehension” exist throughout the materials: “This book contains three Cold Read tests for each week. They are intended to be used independently from the reading workshop text selection in myView Literacy. Each test includes a ‘Cold Read’ leveled selection and related comprehension items that assess the weekly comprehension focus, associated TEKS, and previously learned skills. Each test also includes items that are TEKS Test formatted to help students practice and prepare for state-wide tests. These items use language and a format similar to those found on the state-wide test. Across each unit’s Cold Read selections, high-frequency words are strategically placed within the text to give students an additional opportunity to practice reading these words in context for meaning and fluency.” The materials provide charts for tracking individual student fluency results and class results as well as support for interpreting those results. As an example, they suggest that teachers consider this: “If a student’s reading rate is lower than the suggested rate for his or her grade level, your notes on the student’s miscues may help you determine why the rate is low. Does the student make errors that indicate his or her decoding skills are poor? If so, further instruction in phonics may be needed. Do the errors reflect a lack of comprehension or limited vocabulary? If so, instruction in comprehension strategies and exposure to more vocabulary words may help. A lack of fluency may indicate a lack of exposure to models of fluent oral reading. It may also mean the student is not reading enough material at his or her reading level. Encourage the student to read more books or children’s magazine articles at an accessible or comfortable level of reading for him or her.” They also caution teachers in a section named “Fluency and Qualitative Measures” that reading rates are the result of stronger fluency, not vice versa, and that as students become stronger readers, fluency results are a measure of prosody and syntax. The resource provides a four-point rubric for assessing fluency with these categories: “Volume and Expression,” “Syntax/Prosody,” “Accuracy,” “Rate.”
In Unit 1, “Reading Workshop,” using The Neighborhood Walk, the teacher explicitly instructs by explaining and modeling fluency and prosody. The teacher explains and then models that prosody is reading text with expression. Students practice prosody when they read Henry on Wheels in the student materials. The materials prompt the instructor to remind students, during the “Close Read” of Henry on Wheels, that fluent readers read with prosody and to offer them the time to practice reading with prosody while reading Henry on Wheels with a partner. In addition, the “Teacher Edition” “Fluency” lesson instructs teachers to assess two to four students during small-group time using the Cold Reads for Fluency and Comprehension resource. The purpose of cold reads in the program is to “track student progress each week using fresh reading passages,” to assess comprehension and fluency. The materials include protocols to check for oral reading rate and accuracy: “A fluency test measures a student’s reading rate, or the number of words correctly read per minute (WCPM), on grade-level text the student has not seen before. Although the speed at which a student reads is part of determining fluency, it is not the only measure. When students read fluently, they read aloud as they would speak conversationally. Appropriate expression, prosody, reading rate, and comprehension are all part of reading fluently.” Students work in pairs to practice reading the passage “smoothly” (prosody). The next day, teachers assess another two to four students during small-group time, again assessing for reading rate and accuracy, while other students pair to practice reading “smoothly” with their leveled readers.
In Unit 2, the materials provide decodable stories for the teacher to use to guide instruction. The materials provide instructions to the teacher on how to guide students to read decodable text, paying close attention to words with final -s and the sounds for final -s. (In this unit, the materials include phonics practices that focus on consonant blends and phonemes.) Teachers target and assess students’ accuracy and fluency with resources provided in the small-group section of the Reading Workshop. Decodable readers and Word Work activities center around fluency. In “Assess and Differentiate,” teachers focus on prosody and ask students to take turns practicing reading a leveled passage with a partner “smoothly, until it sounds like normal conversation.” Teachers listen and model reading with expression as needed. Teachers then assess students’ fluency and track their progress using pages from the “Cold Reads and Comprehension” supplemental guide.
In Unit 3, Reading Workshop, teachers model how to read at an appropriate rate and remind students that an “appropriate oral reading rate is neither too slow or too fast.” Students have additional opportunities to practice using pages from the Student Interactive workbook. Later, in Assess and Differentiate during small-group instruction, teachers have student pairs read a poem with appropriate expression and phrasing.
In Unit 4, Assess and Differentiate, teachers ask students to take turns reading aloud a passage with a partner “at an appropriate rate.” Teachers then assess students’ fluency and track their progress using pages from the Cold Reads and Comprehension supplemental guide. After assessing, students practice reading the passage with a partner.
In Unit 5, Assess and Differentiate, teachers ask partners to take turns reading the first two pages of the unit selection with appropriate phrasing and expression. Teachers remind students to think about the rhythm as they are reading. Teachers then assess students’ fluency and track their progress using pages from the Cold Reads and Comprehension supplemental guide. After assessing, students practice reading the passage with a partner. In Reading Workshop, during the shared read, students read with a partner using pages from the Student Interactive workbook to “practice using appropriate fluency by reading for accuracy.” During small-group instruction, students read short passages from a leveled reader with a partner at an appropriate rate, and teachers remind students to “pay attention to punctuation such as commas.”
Materials include placement assessments and provide information to assist in foundational skills instruction. Materials include support and direction for teachers to assess students’ growth in and mastery of foundational skills. Assessments yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning small-group instruction and differentiation.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Assessment Guide” provides information on all of the assessments found in the online resources for the program. Assessments listed in the guide include baseline tests, “Cold Reads,” “Progress Check Ups,” unit tests, middle- and end-of-year tests, and “Project-Based Inquiry.” The materials provide guidance on which assessments teachers should use based on the type of data they are seeking, and the guide gives teachers information on how to use the data to make instructional decisions. The Grade 1 Assessment Guide encourages talking about using data, answering questions like these: “How can I use questioning strategies as informal assessment? How do I use independent activities for assessment and what can I learn from them? How do I make in-the-moment decisions in response to assessment data? How do I isolate data about individual students when they are working in small groups? What are the best ways to document and synthesize the different types of data I will get from ongoing assessment? How can I use discussion during day-to-day instruction as an ongoing assessment tool?”
The Progress Check Ups support instruction in that they provide ways for teachers “to measure students’ progress based on the high-frequency words, phonics, comprehension, and writing taught in each week of instruction.” Progress Check Ups are meant to be given at the end of an instructional week. The guide lists exactly what concept or skill is being assessed and which lesson teachers should use to provide remediation. The materials provide a variety of charts to assist the teacher in using data to differentiate and plan for small-group instruction. When planning to organize small groups, the teacher can utilize the small-group guide. The writing scoring guide found in this resource provides a rubric and lists items teachers should see in “top-level responses.”
The “Summative Assessment Guide” provides guidance for teachers to administer baseline assessments to help teachers “determine students’ instructional needs at the beginning of the school year and to establish a starting point for students.” The guide helps teachers after scoring the baseline assessments by providing guidelines “to determine how best to help improve students’ areas of need and build upon students’ areas of strength.” The guide also offers unit and middle-of-year assessments to help teachers evaluate progress, as well as an end-of-the-year assessment.
Each unit includes a summative assessment with teacher scripting on what to say to the student during the assessment to track student growth. Each unit also includes a scoring and rating rubric with directions at the end of the assessment on how to score the student record chart and class record chart. Students are assessed on high-frequency words, phonological awareness, phonics: letter-sound correspondence, writing, and listening comprehension. Because Grade 1 is a transitional grade for reading, students move from the comprehension of image-based “stories” into text-based reading. The Grade 1 Cold Read tests are unique to Grade 1. In the Cold Reads, an “Item Analysis Chart” provides a section of “Developing, On-Level, and Advanced” scoring for the teacher to use to assess by week and by unit. “Fluency” and “Individual Fluency” progress charts/assessments are also provided within this booklet for the teacher to assess students’ fluency growth over time.
In Unit 1, “Reading Workshop: Word Work,” teachers have two options to formatively assess students’ ability to decode and write words with the short /o/ sound. The first option has students read words with the short /o/ sound in the Student Interactive workbook, say the names of objects with the short /o/ sound, and complete sentences, adding an o to the middle of the words. The second option has students create a picture book of short /o/ words.
In Unit 3, Reading Workshop, teachers have students read words with the vowel sound /y/ and use letter tiles to spell words ending with y. Students complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook to “say what sound the letter y spells in each word.” Teachers ask students to complete sentences by writing the letter y at the end of words, and students then read the sentences. Afterward, students write their own sentence “that includes a word with the vowel sound spelled y.” While reading a decodable story, students identify words in the story that have the sound of long /e/ spelled y and long /i/ spelled y. Finally, while reading the lesson’s text selection, students identify words in the story that have the sound of long /e/ spelled y and long /i/ spelled y.
In Unit 5, Reading Workshop, teachers assess students’ ability to remember high-frequency words by asking students to tell them a sentence using the words. Students then read the high-frequency words in the Student Interactive workbook and write the correct word in fill-in-the-blank sentences. Later, students practice spelling and reading the high-frequency words with a partner.
Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress as indicated by the program scope and sequence. The materials support teachers with guidance and directions to respond to individual students’ literacy needs. The materials include assessment opportunities to assess student understanding of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonetic knowledge, and reading fluency.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide summative assessments, “Progress Check Ups,” and small-group guides, through which the teacher is able to address individual students’ literacy needs. These assessments embody balanced literacy. For example, within the Progress Check Up, students are assessed on high-frequency words, phonics, listening comprehension, and writing, throughout each week of each unit. The Progress Check Up lists provided are separated by sections, depth-of-knowledge levels, focus/skills (i.e., high-frequency words, plot, consonant digraphs), and remediation opportunities. In addition, phonological awareness and print concepts are assessed through the letter recognition summative assessments that are provided in the “Summative Assessment Booklet.” The materials provide teachers with a script and a sample on how to assess each student, as well as a print concept checklist that the teacher can use to track if the student grasped the concept or not. A baseline assessment item analysis chart and how to interpret the results are provided so that the teacher can know what focus/skills are assessed and the correlated TEKS. Unit, mid-year, and end-of-year assessments item analysis charts are provided to give the teacher “myFocus Remediation” opportunities, lessons for intervention are listed. The “myFocus Intervention Guide” provides lessons “that cover the spectrum of students’ intervention needs, from foundational skills to reading literature, reading informational text, writing, and language.”
Formative assessments in the daily routines of the “Teacher Edition” include the following: “Quick Check,” “Assess and Differentiate,” “Assess Prior Knowledge,” “Assess Understanding,” “Observational Assessments,” “Conferencing Checklists,” and “Rubrics.” An example of a “Reading Conferencing Checklist” for a student has these categories: “Sets own purpose for reading”; “Predicts and asks questions”; “Retells/summarizes”; “Reads fluently”; “Understands key ideas”; “Uses decoding strategies”; “Makes text connections”; “Other.” A summative assessment section titled “Comprehension Check” in the Teacher Edition is found at the end of each week’s lesson and consists of tasks and writing activities for teachers to check students’ understanding of the text selection for that week.
In Unit 1, teachers assess print concepts when students identify each part of a book by holding up the “Student Interactive” workbook and showing the parts to the teacher. Later in the unit, after a mini-lesson to model the parts of a book, students complete a page in the Student Interactive to match the words that describe the parts of a book (front cover, back cover, title page) with pictures. Later in the unit, students complete another page in the Student Interactive to identify the title page, front cover, and back cover of the book pictured.
In Unit 2, “Reading Workshop,” after instruction on decoding and writing the sound /k/ spelled ck, teachers assess students’ ability to decode and write words with final ck by having them complete a page in the Student Interactive workbook. Students work with a partner to complete words with ck and read the sentences; students then work independently to say and write words with ck. While students are working, teachers “Notice and Assess” and are guided to address gaps in understanding or provide extension during small-group instruction. Online resources provide guidance for teachers to implement these interventions or extensions.
In Unit 5, the phonological awareness lessons are tied to segmenting and blending individual sounds from words, and teachers model and students practice saying individual sounds in a word to hear the phonemes. Teachers continue to teach the sound; through small-group lessons, teachers notice which students are struggling and which students can extend the lesson in their independent work.
“Cold Reads for Fluency and Comprehension” in the “Downloadable Resources” provide assessment in fluency and next steps for teachers when addressing gaps in fluency and comprehension. Questions for teachers to consider after assessing include “Does the student make errors that indicate his or her decoding skills are poor? Do the errors reflect a lack of comprehension or limited vocabulary?” The materials make suggestions based on the answers to those questions to assist teachers in addressing the gaps through small-group intervention activities.
Materials provide planning and learning opportunities (including extensions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills above that expected at the grade level. Resources include a “Leveled Readers Library” with leveled books according to students’ instructional level, suggested activities for small-group instruction, and independent extensions.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, “Reading Workshop,” after a mini-lesson to introduce the unit’s genre (informational text), students who are reading independently read realistic fiction texts and “place sticky notes on each text feature, such as a heading, they find.” During small-group instruction, independent readers “reread or listen to a previously read text from the unit Look Both Ways!, read a self-selected trade book, or read their book club text.” Literacy activities for students who demonstrate above-grade-level literacy skills include to “write about their reading in a reading notebook, use an anchor chart from the Student Interactive and tell a partner about the problem and resolution in a story they are reading, or play a game available in the Accessible Student Home Page in the online resources.”
In a Unit 2 “Small-Group On-Level/Advanced” call-out box, students use a plant diagram to generate questions about plants; then, they choose a plant to research independently. The digital resource “Extension Activities” is referenced in the “Teacher Edition.” The resource provides a tic-tac-toe board for students to choose how to present their information; a “Talking and Writing About Resources” question page for students to use while they take notes; and three “Inquiry Reading” pages that allow students to organize their topic, research sources, and questions.
In a Unit 3 Small-Group On-Level/Advanced call-out box, students use an infographic about types of music and art to generate questions about why music and art classes are important, then search for answers to one of their questions using the digital resources from Extension Activities. The resource provides both a “Fiction” and “Nonfiction” “Response Menu” for students to share their research as well as a “Character, Setting, and Plot Menu” and a “Vocabulary Menu” for demonstrating what they learned.
In Unit 4’s “Project-Based Inquiry,” “Differentiated Support” extensions for advanced students include students generating questions that require detailed responses instead of yes-or-no answers, student pairs practicing interviewing one another in preparation for their project interview, and students extending their writing by checking for interesting adjectives and checking their interview to add adjectives.
In Unit 5’s Project-Based Inquiry, after students read the article “Summer and Winter Sports,” as an extension activity, teachers “have student pairs complete a KWL chart about what they know about seasons, what they want to know, and what they learn from the research article.” After a lesson on brainstorming keywords and phrases about a topic in the “Conduct Research” section, teachers extend the lesson for students who demonstrate mastery by having them “begin searching online using their keywords and phrases.” As an extension to the research activities, after students explore using props and costumes in a persuasive play, students who demonstrate mastery “practice performing their plays with props, costumes, and visuals.”
Materials provide planning and learning opportunities (including interventions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected at the grade level. Resources include a “Leveled Readers Library” with leveled books according to students’ instructional level, suggested activities for small-group instruction, and various intervention activities that can be done throughout the units.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide resources for teachers to support students who demonstrate below-grade-level literacy skills. Resources include a Leveled Readers Library with leveled books according to students’ instructional level, suggested activities for small-group instruction, and various intervention activities that can be done during the “Reading Workshop,” “Writing Workshop,” and the “Project-Based Inquiry” sections. In addition, the “Language Awareness Handbook” found in the “End Matter” section of the “Teacher Edition” provides guidance for teachers to support struggling writers. Through the “Accessible Student Home Page,” teachers have access to resources such as the “Leveled Reader Teachers’ Guide,” “Intervention” section, and a “Small-Group Guide,” to address the needs of students who demonstrate below-grade-level literacy skills.
In Unit 1, within the Project-Based Inquiry section in the “Teacher’s Guide,” the teacher receives “Targeted Support” to assist students who are at beginning or intermediate levels. Activities meet students where they are. For example, “Have students draw what their pet needs. Help students label their pictures.” This example allows the teacher to provide assistance as needed for those students who are performing below grade level.
In Unit 2, within the Reading Workshop, “Word Work,” “Foundational Skills” section of the Teacher’s Guide, there is a section for differentiated support for teachers to assist students who are at beginning or intermediate levels. Targeted support for this lesson includes the students building words that end with the sound /k/ spelled ck. Instructions are meant to meet the students who are struggling. For example, “Have each student write i, r, d, or s on a slip of paper. Write ock on the board. Then have students take turns forming a word by adding their letter in front of the ock and reading the word aloud.”
In Unit 3, the Leveled Reader array in one particular week ranges from Level B to Level I, within the range of first-grade readers. The Leveled Reader Teacher’s Guide provides planning and support to teachers, including identifying text structures and features, launching text ideas, observing and monitoring, and discussion questions for guided reading; these are tied to the genre and mini-lessons for the week. Additionally, in the Unit 3 Reading Workshop, “Assess and Differentiate,” “myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide,” the on-level strategy group receives syllable pattern VCCV; the teacher shows the card, says that words have two syllables, divides the words into two syllables, and draws attention to the way they are divided—between the consonants. The intervention group follows a lesson of explicit instruction from the myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide in which they are reminded about the concept of a syllable; students use clapping to indicate the syllables. Students also use a passage to read and see the words as they are read aloud. Step by step, the teacher covers one syllable as the students read on; then, the teacher covers the other syllable, and the first is revealed. Students read the word together with the teacher.
In Unit 4, Writing Workshop, students are supported with “Mentor Stacks” as they
prepare to write a personal narrative. Teachers model writing, and students share their writing with each other. Intervention for the personal narrative is provided in the “Small-Group Guide.” Additionally in this unit, as students begin to prepare to interview someone in their community, the “Differentiated Support” guidance for teachers has them provide question words for students to use to begin their questions, complete a “Know-Want to Know-Learned” chart with the student about the person they will interview, and use a mentor text to help the student revise their own thank-you note to their interviewee.
In Unit 5, Project-Based Inquiry, after reading the article “Summer and Winter Sports,” teachers help students brainstorm what they know about the weather, landscape, and activities for each season by creating a chart and having students describe the aspects for each season. Students then use the chart to determine which season they like best, and they generate two questions about seasons.
Across materials, Reading Workshop, Assess and Differentiate, “Intervention” activities found within the Teacher Edition, Small-Group Guide, myFocus Intervention Teacher’s Guide are recommended for those students needing additional support.
Materials include supports such as scaffolding questions, background information, visuals and vocabulary enhancements for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations; materials provide high-quality instruction to teachers to better assist ELs with vocabulary and language support. Materials include accommodations that are commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the ELPS.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials provide guidance, activities, and resources for teachers to provide targeted support for ELs, which can be found in various sections throughout the materials. Throughout the “Reading Workshop,” there is a box labeled “ELL” (English Language Learner) “Targeted Support.” This section contains instructions for supporting ELs at the “Beginner,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced,” and “Advanced High” levels as well as ELPS alignment denoting to which specific ELPS the strategies are aligned. The “Reading-Writing Bridge” also contains the ELL Targeted Support section. The “Language Awareness Handbook” is designed to provide “integrated reading and writing support in whole- and small-group instruction during Reading or Writing Workshop.” The materials also provide online resources found in the “Accessible Student Home Page,” such as “Professional Development Resources” and a “Dual-Language Program Planning and Implementation” guide, which assist dual-language teachers in developing and implementing English Language Arts instruction in both English and Spanish. The “Dual-Language Program Planning Guide” (DLPPG) provides planning and pacing tools for Language Arts and Reading instruction in English and Spanish with an aim for biliteracy and “complete standards coverage of literacy standards in both languages.”
In Unit 1, Reading-Writing Workshop Bridge, “Language and Conventions,” the teacher provides support to help ELs understand singular nouns. Teachers provide objects and pictures and have students use vocabulary to give information about them by naming the nouns. For example, teachers show students a picture of a noun such as lion. Then, teachers state, “This is a lion, a lion is an animal.” Students repeat the word lion after the teacher. Teachers also make simple sketches of people and lions and label the sketches “nouns.” Students then identify what type of noun the sketch is, a person or an animal. Students also draw pictures of animals and label them with the appropriate noun.
In Unit 3, in the Reading Workshop, “Word Work,” “Phonological Awareness,” “Manipulate Phonemes,” after the teacher provides a mini-lesson on the topic, the teacher targets ELs at various levels to extend the practice of listening to and manipulating the sounds in words. Beginner ELs will revisit this activity as the teacher explains each step, first concentrating on basic segmentation of the sounds /b/ /a/ /t/, reinforcing the terminology and practice of first, initial, and last, final sounds. Then, the teacher provides and models the sounds with the first and last sounds switched or manipulated; the teacher then names the word and asks the students to repeat the word. For Intermediate ELs, the teacher practices segmentation again, with /t/ /o/ /p/, and asks students to identify first and last sounds. Then, the teacher models the sounds /p/ /o/ /t/ and asks students to manipulate these sounds to name the word themselves. The teacher adjusts the practice for Advanced ELs by extending the role and initiative of the students. First, the teacher models quickly changing bat to tab without as much explanation, encouraging students to use their partner to seek clarification; then the teacher tells students to manipulate (switch) the first and last sounds in top. For Advanced High ELs, the teacher models once for net to say ten. The teacher reminds students to seek clarification with their partner and indicates that they should manipulate the first and last sounds in bat and top. In this, we see a gradual decline in teacher support and guidance as the ability level increases.
In Unit 4, the Language Awareness Handbook provides a scaffolded lesson tied to a shared-read text, Through Georgia’s Eyes. This includes a phonics review of -r controlled vowels; a reread of the read-aloud, with a stop after each paragraph to talk about the events in the biography; and a sentence frame for summarizing the lesson in the story. As students read the main selection, they engage in routines in order to support understanding: “Classroom Academic Talk Sentence Frames” and a Venn diagram to compare the two stories. There are also supports for vocabulary, spelling, and language conventions that are part of that week’s lesson. As students prepare to write a personal narrative, the “Sequence Events” activity is referred to as a means to scaffold instruction.
In Unit 5, “Writing Workshop,” during a mini-lesson exploring the use of introductions and conclusions in writing, teachers support ELs by “working one on one with students to help them compose an introduction and a conclusion.” For Beginning ELs, teachers transcribe their words and read them aloud. Intermediate ELs recall what the topic is about, work with the teacher to say the introduction, and then write it. Students and teachers repeat this process for the conclusion. Advanced ELs create an oral draft of their introduction and conclusion prior to writing it; Advanced High ELs identify details they would like to include in their introduction and conclusion.
Throughout all units, prior to reading selections, the text provides EL scaffolds, such as short summaries to learn key elements for comprehending the story; teachers work with scaffolding vocabulary, such as pointing out cognates to connect known to new vocabulary through transfer. Also, students have opportunities to focus on new vocabulary that is key to understanding the text. The digital resources available for all students from this publication include, but are not limited to, audio recordings for all main selections and assessments, sound-spelling cards, picture cards for vocabulary, videos to introduce the unit, video learning games for sounds, and audio recordings for leveled readers.
Materials include assessment and guidance for teachers and administrators to monitor progress, including how to interpret and act on data yielded. Formative and summative assessments are aligned in purpose, intended use, and TEKS emphasis. Assessments are connected to the regular content to support student learning, and scoring information provides sufficient guidance for interpreting and responding to student performance.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials include baseline tests to determine the level of proficiency in concepts of print, letter recognition, listening comprehension, and phonological awareness. Each unit consists of a unit test to monitor skills and standards taught in the unit; skills and standards include high-frequency words, listening comprehension, phonics, phonological awareness, and writing. A middle-of-the-year test monitors skills and standards taught through Unit 3. The end-of-the-year test provides a final progress update for these same skills and standards. The data-driven assessment guide provides guidance, strategies, and tools for all types of literacy assessment. Teachers can also use the “Pearson Realize–Online Assessment” to prepare customized digital assessments by material, skills, and standards. The Student/Class/District “Data and Reports” section gathers and tracks usage and growth for on-grade-level knowledge and skills, based on TEKS.
In the first chapter of the “Assessment Guide” handbook or in “myView,” the guide suggests that there are three different types of assessment available to teachers: “Within the myView Assessment program, there are assessments from three different categories, each with a focus on gathering different types of information.” The handbook provides student and class progress monitoring charts, an overview of assessed items each week with TEKS correlation, teacher scripts for each assessment, and reproducible copies of each weekly assessment. The online version is editable and could be used to create digital reports for student, class, and district data. The Assessment Guide explains how to collect data from assessments in the program, where assessment tools are located within the program, and how to make instructional decisions based on the data gathered. Additional chapter headings in Part One include “Building Blocks of Literacy,” “Benchmark Assessment and Instructional Grouping,” “Ongoing Assessment,” “Assessing Writing,” “Project-Based Inquiry and Other Performance Assessments,” and “Guide to Conferring.” The Assessment Guide has four parts and provides tools and tables, support for English Learners, support for conferring with families, test preparation guidance, and teacher reflection.
In the section titled “Interpreting Baseline Assessment Results,” the materials provide specific guidance for students scoring in different bands: 90% or above, 69 to 89%, and below 60%. In the below 60% band, the materials state students might benefit from “intervention activities in critical skills in small-group instruction that allow for more response time, decodable books to practice word reading skills, better leveled reader matching, and more frequent and intensive instruction.”
In Unit 1’s “Reading Workshop,” after a phonics mini-lesson on decoding and writing words with short /i/, students complete a page in the “Student Interactive” workbook to practice saying and writing words with short /i/. Later, students complete the same activity and read the words so teachers can evaluate students’ ability to read and write words with short /i/. The “Notice and Assess” section provides guidance on how teachers can respond either with interventions or extending instruction for students.
In Unit 3, a folktale mini-lesson is accompanied by the formative assessment routine with two options. In Option 1, students “Turn, Talk, and Share” as they read The Tricky Wolf, naming the problem the characters have in the story, how they know the wolf is tricky, and the moral of the story. In Option 2, students use their independent folktale texts to write about the tricky character and the moral of the story. The teacher also uses the “Quick Check” routine at this time to monitor students’ understanding of the genre. Materials offer a specific small-group lesson about folktales for students who struggle, while providing a different lesson to extend understanding for students who grasp the concept.
In Unit 4, “Word Work,” the materials provide formative assessments to the teacher for use after the lesson. Options for assessment and “Quick Checks” are also provided. For example, if students struggle, the materials suggest the teacher revisit instruction for phonics in small groups; if students show understanding, the teacher should extend instruction for phonics in small-group practice. This aligns with the TEKS and objective to decode words with closed syllables.
In Unit 5, the “Assess and Differentiate” area suggests that teachers conduct small-group intervention lessons. This section provides matching texts to learning objectives and “Guided Reading” prompts for the teacher to use as an assessment. Quick Checks are also provided to determine small-group instruction.
The materials include year-long plans and supports for teachers to identify the needs of students, engage students in multiple structures, and provide differentiated instruction to ensure grade-level success by meeting the needs of a range of learners. The “Teacher Edition” and ancillary materials provide overarching year-long support for differentiation, student engagement, and implementation of material.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide five comprehensive unit plans, with six weeks of instruction, that include differentiation for students demonstrating proficiency above and below grade level, along with annotated support for English Learners at four ELPS levels. The units are based on a theme within which skills are presented and practiced at continuing levels of complexity. Additionally, some skills build upon others as needed. Thematic practice of knowledge and skills culminates within each unit with a project based on the activities and material completed. This continues through all five units of material.
A “Small-Group Guide” teacher handbook provides rationale, discussion of issues, and implementation instructions for creating multiple grouping structures throughout the year. This document includes online support and covers these five topics: “Small Groups in myView,” “Forming and Organizing Groups,” “Managing Small Groups,” “Small Groups in Action,” and “Independent and Collaborative Work in Action.” The Small-Group Guide is referenced weekly in the Teacher Edition to support teachers as they provide differentiated instruction in this portion of the instructional model.
Sections in the Teacher Edition are color coded, and a “Quick Start” guide explains how the resources are designed and implemented. The “Small-Group Instruction” section found within each unit includes support for “Guided Reading, Strategy Groups, Intervention, On-Level and Advanced Activities, ELL [English Language Learner] Targeted Support, Conferring, Fluency, and Independent and Partner Activities.” Prior to small-group instruction, teachers refer to the “Assess and Differentiate” section for guidance in intervention and extension opportunities. The section includes sub-sections titled “Strategy Group,” “Intervention Activity,” “On-Level,” and “Advanced.” Ancillary materials and support are directly related to each unit’s theme and content taught during the unit. The materials include an online downloadable teachers’ guide for intervention which can be accessed through the “Accessible Student Home Page.” The guide “is designed to help teachers target and address students’ intervention needs, whether students require minor or intensive remediation.”
In Unit 2, “Writing Workshop,” teachers support students’ understanding of using main ideas in their writing through completing a think-aloud using a “Mentor Stack” text. Students discuss “how they decided what the main idea of their writing is” and move from deciding on their writing topic to formulating at least one main idea for their book. Additionally, supports to build vocabulary are introduced in the introductory section of the unit. The Teacher Edition also instructs teachers to create a “Word Wall” to display and generate new vocabulary. A “Targeted Support” area is also provided to assist students at all levels as they learn new vocabulary.
In the Unit 3 “Student Interactive” workbook, students demonstrate understanding of vocabulary words by reading clues and completing a crossword puzzle. Students then complete another page to answer comprehension questions about the text The Cow and The Tiger. During small-group instruction, the “Work Activity” sub-section provides differentiated options for students who are working independently: Use letter tiles to form words or play the “Letter Tiles” interactive game found in the online resources.
In Unit 4, after a mini-lesson discussing features of a poem, teachers use an anchor chart from the materials or create their own to identify rhyming words and examples of rhythm. When reading new poems, teachers add examples to the anchor chart and model poem features. As students attempt to identify features of a poem, the teacher can utilize the “Assess and Differentiate” section to provide support for students who struggle and extensions for students who are proficient.
In Unit 5, a small-group mini-lesson on opinion in persuasive text has students rereading the shared-read text with the teacher to identify opinions. Students who struggle to understand use a “Persuasive Text” lesson from the “myFocus Teacher’s Intervention Guide” to access the materials. English Learner targeted support is also provided in the “Language Awareness Handbook” for the same lesson. Using the materials from “Extension Activities” in the “Resource Download Center,” students who are ready to extend their understanding spend a week independently researching what happens during their favorite season.
The materials include a TEKS-aligned scope and sequence that outlines important details about the program. Additionally, there are many supports to help teachers implement the materials as intended, as well as additional supports to help administrators support teachers in this implementation. There is a school years’ worth of literacy instruction with realistic pacing and routines for a 180-day schedule.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Teacher Edition” contains a TEKS correlation section that includes the unit(s) where specific TEKS are taught, both in the printed materials and online resources. Each unit has a “Planners” section containing a scope and sequence for the unit and provides an explanation of content taught each week. This section also lists what standards are covered and where they are found in the unit.
The “Accessible Student Home Page” contains online resources for teachers to implement the program. Online resources include a guide to accessing and using both the print and online resources. This resource includes a program overview, program components, a video guide to access the printed and online resources, and guides for providing interventions and supporting English Learners. Online resources also include all resources mentioned in the Teacher Edition: a “Leveled Reader Library,” decodable texts, “Book Club” trade books, interactive games, a “Dual Language Implementation Guide,” and small-group and intervention guides.
The “Scope and Sequence” in the Teacher Edition provides an overview of program components and the reading and writing skills taught in each unit. Sections include foundational literacy skills (i.e., print concepts and phonological awareness) and reading comprehension topics such as genre characteristics and text analysis.
The Teacher Edition includes a daily plan and a literacy instructional model for teachers to follow. At the beginning of the “Reading Workshop,” there is a small-group instructional model that includes the student and teacher actions. During subsequent weeks of study, the materials provide a weekly focus, weekly plan, and objectives. The “Introduction” into the “Writing Workshop” provides teachers specific resources so they can understand all materials relevant to instruction. Within the Writing Workshop, there is an outline of the instructional resources so teachers can provide support to students. At the beginning of each unit, there are sections titled “Unit of Study,” “Unit Overview,” “Skills Overview,” and “Unit at a Glance: Workshop Overview.”
The materials include an overview of the “Leveled Readers Library.” Within this section, there is a sub-section for teaching support. A teacher’s guide explains guided reading, differentiation, guided writing, and suggested plans for the Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop. For support, each unit begins with a weekly overview that includes daily plans, steps to getting students to write independently, mini-lesson support for the teacher, a week-at-a-glance, and a suggested weekly plan.
The “Front Matter” of the Teacher Edition includes information to orient teachers to the materials: “Component Array, Instructional Models, Assessment, Writing Workshop, Letter Recognition, and Content.” In the Content section, there are two pages devoted to the “Quick Start Guide,” reminding teachers that they can navigate the materials using the color coding system for the different “Instructional Components,” a “Weeks 1–5 Overview,” a “Week 6 Overview,” and a “Planning and Pacing Overview,” with features of the “Workshop Overview” and the “Weekly Plan” detailed. There is also a section called “Additional Supports,” which reminds teachers that they will regularly see references in the Teacher Edition to other support components found in print or online, including the “Small-Group Guide,” the “Language Awareness Handbook,” the “Assessment Guide,” the “myFocus Intervention Guide,” and the “Leveled Reading Lesson Plans.” The Assessment Guide, specifically, can be used by administrators and teachers to analyze and synthesize data to drive instructional decisions and deliver the materials of the program as intended.
The “End Matter” of the Teacher Edition and “myView Literacy Digital Resources” include a “Scope and Sequence Chart” providing an outline of knowledge and skills taught in the program and the grade levels in which they are taught. The Scope and Sequence Chart is organized by the material’s “Instructional Model,” including color coding for Reading Workshop (“Foundational Skills, Reading Comprehension”), “Reading-Writing Workshop Bridge” (“Vocabulary Acquisition, Analyze Author’s Craft, Develop Writer’s Craft, Conventions of Language”), Writing Workshop (“Foundational Skills For Writing, Composition”), Oral Language (“Speaking, Listening”), Project-Based Inquiry (“Collaboration, Research Skills and Process, Test Preparation”).
The myView Literacy Digital Resources include a comprehensive introductory system, called “Getting Started,” that includes both video and print materials in the following categories: “Program Overview,” “How-To,” and “Planning Resources.” Program Overview, alone, has these titles: “Program Over, Program Components, Digital Resources, Digital Walkthrough Realize (Online Platform), Digital Walkthrough Realize Student (Online Student Edition), and ELL [English Language Learner] Support.” Other important documents for the program are available in this section, including but not limited to “TEKS Correlation Charts, ELPS Corrections Charts, Text Complexity Charts, Using Examview, Customizing myView Literacy, and Google Classroom Integration.”
Additionally, there are administrator-specific resources in the myView Digital Resources, including on-demand training, live webinars, and live chats with educational specialists. Through “Pearson Realize,” administrators can customize and differentiate their dashboard, focusing on teacher support. Among other things, these options allow educators to view standards mastery and usage across classroom, create teacher PD and training plans, and streamline school data analysis.
The visual design of the “Student Edition” (whether in print or digital) is neither distracting nor chaotic. The materials include appropriate use of white space and design that supports student learning without distraction. Pictures and graphics are supportive of student learning and engagement without being visually distracting.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials use pictures (illustrations; drawing; and pictures of real objects, people, and environments) and graphics such as charts to support student learning and engagement. Most unit images are colorful, do not contain text, and are not distracting. Images do not crowd the page and are familiar to young children. Graphic organizers and words on practice pages support student learning, and spacing is adequate, including an appropriate use of white space.
The decodable readers and trade books are simple and clear, with no distractions noted. The “Student Interactive” downloadable practice pages provide clear handwriting lines with enough space for students to respond to the required task.
Each unit in the Student Interactive workbook has a reading log at the beginning and contains a chart with rows and columns titled “Date,” “Book,” “Pages Read,” and “My Ratings.” “Happy” (smiling face), “Okay” (straight face), and “Sad” (unhappy face) title each row for students to rate books they are reading.
The downloadable “High-Frequency Word List” cards contain one word per card, written in bold in the center of the card.
In the leveled reader A Rainbow of Food, there are simple sentences and questions; the text has pictures of children eating a variety of colorful snacks throughout the text. In addition, in the leveled reader Bebe and Bessie in the Clouds, a digital resource, the opening pages include the title page on the right side of the screen and a “Before You Read” page on the left side. The Before You Read page includes a video link at the top for a video to build knowledge. The 51-second video introduces the reader to the book using pictures and vocabulary from the book and introduces the /ar/ sound in words like yard and arm. The left side also introduces vocabulary, including clouds, pilot, planes, and sky. Also on the page are the theme, word count, and text level. Each section is divided by a blue line and is easy to recognize. The actual book tells the story of Bessie Coleman to a young girl and boy. Text fits either above or below the illustrations, and there is ample white space on each page. There is white space around three sides of the screen.
In Unit 2, in the Student Interactive workbook, the “Weekly Launch” resembles a website and contains an appropriate amount of words and pictures. The pictures are all of the same figure, and captions and other text on the page are simple. The words and pictures are not distracting and support student learning.
In Unit 4, in the Student Interactive workbook, both in print and digital resources, the “Shared Read” selection includes photographs of flags and maps that match the text. The print alternates from the bottom of each page to the top of each page. There are three pages that have a close-read instruction box on the bottom of the page that does not distract from the illustration. These boxes appear routinely in selections in the Student Interactive workbook, and teachers and students would know how to predict their use. There is ample white space on pages where the picture does not need to cover the page. There are four labels in bold print, and a red arrow points to specific parts of an image.
The materials include online resources that support and enhance student learning with appropriate teacher guidance. The “Accessible Student Resources” section has age-appropriate navigation options and interface for early learners.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Pearson Realize Teacher Digital Resources” include a wide range of online supports for teachers to guide student learning, such as “Getting Started with myView”; customizable and flexible content arrangement from the “Teacher Edition”; customizable assignments for the whole group, small groups, and intervention groups; and “Examview.”
Accessible on any device, the Accessible Student Resources section includes the “Student Edition Selection,” which provides audio versions of all readings and texts found in each unit, including decodable texts and Student Edition PDFs.
Each unit has “Unit Launch Videos,” videos used along with the Teacher Edition to introduce each unit. Online reading selections also have introductory videos to build content and topic knowledge with which students may not be familiar. Students are also able to access videos for their project-based inquiry assignments.
Student resources also include “Word Work Phonic Practice” (PDF, printable blank practice sheets to extend phonics instruction from each unit), “High-Frequency Word Practice” (PDF, printable practice sheets to extend high-frequency word instruction from each unit), “Spelling Practice,” and “Speaking and Listening Practice” (to assist teachers as they guide students’ collaborative conversations). These practice sheets detail whole-class, small-group, and paired discussion.
Student resources also include “School to Home Connection” and “Reading Spot.” School to Home Connection grants students access to digital assignments and games for off-campus use, while Reading Spot grants students access to a collection of “thousands” of digital books.
Read the Full Report for Professional Learning Opportunities
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Read the Full Report for Additional Language Supports
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