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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. Spanish Language Arts and Reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
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ELPS Student %
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Section 2. Texts
Section 3. Literacy Practices and Text Interactions
Section 4. Developing and Sustaining Foundational Literacy Skills
Section 5. Progress Monitoring
Section 6. Supports for All Learners
Section 7. Implementation
Section 8. Bilingual Program Model Considerations
Section 9. Additional Information
|Grade||TEKS Student %||TEKS Teacher %||ELPS Student %||ELPS Teacher %|
The materials include high-quality texts for Spanish Language Arts and Reading instruction and cover a range of student interests. The texts are well crafted by experts in various disciplines and provide high-quality content, language, and writing experiences for students. Reading selections encompass increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and multicultural texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Unit 1 begins with the genre of narrative nonfiction and the theme of “La comunidad.” For two weeks, teachers guide students to examine the “Essential Question,” (i.e., “¿Cómo contribuyen las personas de diferentes culturas a una comunidad?”) The anchor text is Gary el soñador by renowned author and poet Gary Soto. Soto’s autobiographical text is paired with an expository text entitled Compartir culturas, in which students learn about the work of Pat Mora and Kadir Nelson and what inspires them to read, write, and draw. Unit 1 also features realistic fiction that explores the theme of “Tradiciones.” Students read “Los tamales del guanaco” by María Lourdes Victoria and then go deeper into the theme through a paired expository text entitled Tradiciones de familia. Unit 1 concludes with two weeks of study on argumentative text. Students read an expository piece entitled Protejamos nuestros parques and deepen learning through a Time for Kids article, “El fútbol es el juego de los Estados Unidos” and a “Reader’s Theater” called “Llevame a tu basura.” This general structure of interwoven themes and genres continues through all the units.
The theme of Unit 2 is “Resuélvelo.” It explores the topics of government, immigration, and ideas through expository text, historical fiction, and poetry. The Essential Question “¿En qué forma contribuimos a que funcione el gobierno?” frames close reading of the anchor text ¡A Votar! by Eileen Christelow. The next genre of study in Unit 2 is historical fiction; the anchor text is La tienda de mamá y papá by Amelia Lau Carling, the daughter of Chinese immigrants to Guatemala.
In Unit 3, students enjoy “cuentos folclóricos.” The theme is “Ser único,” and the anchor text is Carmen Agra Deedy’s Cuban folktale, Martina una cucarachita muy linda, the 2008 winner of the Pura Belpré Award. For shared reading in Unit 3, teachers and students closely read a Time for Kids article entitled “El progreso de los Estados Unidos” and learn about the history of the automobile, specifically the Model T Ford.
In Unit 4, students explore the Essential Question, “¿Cómo usas tus talentos para ayudar a los demás?” through the reading of the realistic fiction story ¿Flor o caracol? by Elena Dreser. The next genre of Unit 4 is expository text; students read Lobo gris, zorro rojo, an informational text with a compare-and-contrast text structure. To conclude Unit 4, the teacher and students read a free verse poem entitled “Me gusta” by Hugo Garcia and contrast it with the anchor poem “Gato embotado y enamorado” by Silvia Dioverti.
Unit 5 begins with a shared reading of the biographical text Irma Rangel, legisladora de Texas. Next in Unit 5, students learn about the characteristics of fairytales through the anchor text Rosas, piedritas, y mariposas by Chilean author Cecilia Beuchat. The unit concludes with two weeks of study of expository text. Students learn about energy through two texts: La energia solar and El poder del viento.
In Unit 6, students study drama and myths through a shared reading of Perdix, el inventor and De cómo los aztecas consiguieron el maiz by Sebastian Olaso. Then, students focus on poetry and point of view with the paired poems “Risa” and “Se vende todo.” Unit 6 also includes oral reading practice through classic Latin American “adivinanzas” and “trabalenguas.”
The “Libros por nivel,” found in the “Carpeta de recursos,” provide additional readings that vary in reading complexity, genre, discipline, and cultural background. For example, the Korean folktale El conejo inteligente reveals a worldview that values cleverness as a source to overcome obstacles in life. The Carpeta de recursos also contains diverse expository texts, such as Dragones en el agua about the ancient tradition of boat racing in Hong Kong and a biography about Franklin Chang Diaz, an astronaut born in Costa Rica.
The materials include a variety of literary genres and informational text types that meet the requirements of the TEKS. Informational texts feature exposition, argumentative, and procedural text types. Materials include print and graphic features of a variety of texts. The informational and argumentative texts correspond to third-grade science and social studies TEKS. The materials also provide opportunities for students to recognize and analyze characteristics of multimodal and digital texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 1, students read a variety of text types and use print and graphic features to support comprehension of argumentative texts. For example, during a shared reading of “Preservar y proteger,” an article from Time for Kids, students consider rules for protecting national parks. The teacher begins by activating background knowledge about national parks and then asks students to think about the “Essential Question,” “¿Cómo nos ayudan los monumentos a entender la historia de nuestro país?” Students evaluate details to identify the claim and explain the author’s use of print and graphic features to achieve specific purposes. The teacher draws attention to text features with questions such as “¿Por qué incluye el autor subtítulos con las palabras posición y contraposición?”
The study of argumentative text and text features extends to the anchor text on national parks, “Protejamos nuestros parques.” The teacher says, “Señalen el mapa de la página 52 y la nota al margen de la página 53. Explique que los textos argumentativos suelen incluir estos tipos de características de texto.” As they read about various national parks, students use headings, maps, photos, captions, and bold text to support their understanding of the argumentative text.
Units 2 and 3 feature expository, multimodal, and digital texts that address third-grade social studies and science TEKS. In Unit 2, students learn about government, good citizenship, and voting by reading “Cada voto cuenta” and “¡A votar!” The teacher models and reminds students to access multimodal features of digital text such as “los hipervínculos, los mapas, y las fotografías.” In Unit 3, students read an expository text called “La Tierra y sus vecinos” and learn about the impact of Galileo’s invention of the telescope on our understanding of space. Then students read “La Tierra” by Jeffrey Zuehlke, an expository text that outlines the differences between the Earth, the Moon, and the other planets. The texts have digital annotation capabilities as well as text-to-speech features.
In Units 4 and 5, students read science content that highlights print and text features. During a shared reading of “Lobo gris, zorra rojo,” the teacher draws students’ attention to signal words and phrases for compare/contrast text structure such as “relacionados, mismos, y a diferencia de.” Students utilize text features such as photos, captions, and a “clave/leyenda” with multimodal features for annotation. The teacher directs students to circle where the red foxes and gray wolves live on a digital map. In Unit 5, a Time for Kids argumentative text about a solar wind farm supports learning about third-grade science TEKS on force, motion, and energy. Diagrams, graphs, and photos reinforce student learning, and digital read-aloud features support comprehension of the text.
The genre studies of Unit 6 represent the diverse literary and informational text found throughout the instructional materials. The unit begins with a biography of astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., “Hacia el espacio.” The anchor text, “Ellen Ochoa, una mujer admirable,” details the accomplishments of the first female astronaut of Hispanic origin. The next genre is drama/myth; students read the play De cómo los aztecas consiguieron el maíz by Sebastián Olaso. Students discuss the elements of drama such as characters, dialogue, setting, and acts while also learning about the characteristics of mythology. For example, the teacher asks questions such as “¿Qué hace Teotl cuando dice que ya han probado todo para conseguir maíz?” The teacher explains that dramas are broken into different acts, directing students to pay attention to the scenography and the characters as the plot moves into a different scene. Unit 6 concludes with poetry by Cecilia Beuchat: “Risa” and “Se vende todo.” The teacher guides discussion of poetic devices and the meaning of punctuation with suggested questions such as “In the first two stanzas, what punctuation marks do you see? Why are there so many commas?”
In the “Carpeta de recursos,” the teacher has access to leveled books that connect to science and social studies standards. For example, the expository selection “Alcanza las estrellas” is a biography that teaches students about the scientific process and space science. The biography “El asombroso Benjamin Franklin” explores how an important person from the past helped to shape our nation. The online leveled readers allow students to annotate and make notes digitally while reading.
The materials are appropriately challenging and are at an appropriate level of complexity to support third-grade students. The publisher provides a text-complexity analysis that includes information about the quantitative and qualitative features of the texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Quantitative and qualitative considerations guide the teacher to understand the factors for text complexity. The digital “Teacher’s Edition” includes an overview of text complexity and multiple videos that explain aspects of complexity (e.g., genre in informational text, organization in literature, and sentence structure in informational text). The teacher guide offers an overview of the unit’s reading selections and includes a rationale for the educational purpose of the texts as well as their Lexile levels. For example, Unit 2 has an expository genre guide that explains why the texts Cada voto cuenta (Lexile 600L), Un legado para la gente (Lexile 550L), and ¡A votar! (Lexile 440L) were grouped in the same week. The guide states: “Students read and write about how people make government work” while exploring the “Essential Question” “¿En qué forma contribuimos a que funcione el gobierno?”
The “Guía del maestro” resource includes “Suggested Lesson Plans” for each day of the genre study. The daily plans recommend a sequence of activities for whole group and small group instruction. Teachers find best practices ideas throughout this resource. For example, the second genre study of Unit 2 is historical fiction. The resource suggests previewing the historical fiction genre by creating an anchor chart. The teacher guides “students to add characteristics of the genre to the anchor chart.” Though minutes of instruction are not included in these resources, the clear text analysis and unit overview give teachers a foundation for pacing the lesson and provide the support needed for students to master the content.
In addition, each whole group anchor text lesson in the digital Teacher’s Edition includes a “¿Qué hace complejo este texto?” tab. Teachers have access to a bulleted list of points for consideration that are particular to the text. For example, the Unit 3 anchor text for folktales is Martina una cucarachita muy linda by Carmen Agra Deedy. The text complexity tab informs teachers that specific vocabulary, genre, connection of ideas, and sentence structure contribute to the complexity of the selection. Teachers address these points through tips and strategies within the lesson plan.
The “Carpeta de recursos” includes a Guía del maestro for every unit with an overview and three genre booklets that address the complexity of the texts. Each booklet is organized in a similar manner: key features of the genre, active engagement in learning, student outcomes, text set information, and suggested lesson plans. In the text set information portion of the guide, teachers find the Lexile level for the texts and a designation as “Approaching, On Level, or Beyond.” The genre guide also includes text complexity information about the “Leveled Readers with Paired Reads” and “Genre Passages” recommended for small group intervention and extension. In addition, the digital edition allows teachers to search for leveled texts by guided reading or DRA level.
The digital Teacher’s Edition has an “Organizador semanal” in the “Plan” section. The outline for the week provides teachers with an overview of the whole group, small group, and Beyond level lessons for reading, writing, and spelling. By clicking on a specific date, teachers have access to lesson plans for listening comprehension, shared reading, vocabulary, grammar, independent reading, and more. Unfortunately, Lexile levels for the texts do not appear in the digital Organizador semanal. Teachers have to navigate through multiple clicks to the genre guide for specific readability information.
Two additional resources for teachers support best practices for instructional delivery. The “Instructional Routines Handbook” and the “Wonders Suggested Lesson Plans and Pacing Guides” provide detailed information for teachers that address day-to-day instruction for 60- or 120-minute blocks of instruction. The pacing guide includes multi-tiered instructional tips for reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar and indicates suggested minutes for each component.
The materials contain questions and tasks that support students in analyzing and integrating knowledge, ideas, topics, themes, and connections within and across texts. Most questions and tasks are text-dependent, build conceptual knowledge, and integrate multiple TEKS. Through the questioning and tasks, students make connections (to self, to text, to the world) and discuss important ideas, themes, and details.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 1, the students read an expository text about how two authors, Pat Mora and Kadir Nelson, share their cultures. Prior to reading, the teacher asks students to engage in an analytic writing task regarding the “Essential Question” “¿Cómo contribuyen las personas de diferentes culturas a una comunidad?” The teacher asks students to compare and contrast this selection with the narrative nonfiction text from the previous lesson (Gary el soñador). Students reread the selection to draw conclusions about the author’s choice of words. The teacher asks, “¿De qué manera el autor usa palabras y frases para ayudarlos a visualizar cómo las personas comparten sus culturas?” The students locate details in the text, such as “orgullosa de su cultura,” and descriptions of artwork, such as “coloridas y realistas.”
In Unit 2, the leveled text for small group instruction La carrera por la presidencia complements the main expository lesson text, ¡A Votar! by Eileen Christelow. The lesson reinforces the Essential Question, ”¿En qué forma contribuimos a que funcione el gobierno?” The materials provide questions that guide students to analyze the author’s purpose and the structure of the text (i.e., “¿Qué creen que quiere contarle la autora al lector?” and “¿Qué pistas nos cuentan acerca del propósito de esta selección antes de comenzar a leer?”) Students find evidence and take notes on a graphic organizer about points of view and supporting details.
In Unit 3, students build knowledge about space through a close reading of an expository text: “La Tierra y sus vecinos.” The materials connect this selection to science and social studies TEKS and provide literal and inferential questions for the teacher. The first reading of the text (“Leer”) is color-coded red for depth of knowledge (DOK) 1–2. The “Teacher’s Edition” provides questions such as “Según la fotografía, ¿creen que la Tierra tiene más tierra o más agua? ¿Por qué?” The second reading (“Releer”) includes questions at DOK 2–3 that are color-coded green, e.g., “¿Cómo los ayudan los diagramas y rótulos a comprender más sobre el sistema solar?” The student book, “Mi libro de lectura y escritura,” also has color-coded questions for Leer and Releer to extend student learning. The final phase of the unit involves an analytical writing task. The teacher asks students to summarize the selection orally with a partner using their notes. Then, students write the summary in their “Writers’ Notebooks.”
Unit 4 focuses on realistic fiction and includes questions and tasks that gradually increase in complexity. For example, during the initial reading of ¿Flor o caracol? the teacher asks basic recall and reasoning questions such as “¿Quién es el personaje principal que se presenta en la introducción?” and “ ¿Cuál es el problema de Jacinta?” As students progress to rereading the text, they employ complex reasoning and extensions. For example, the teacher asks, “¿Qué detalles sobre el ambiente y los personajes indican que el cuento es una ficción realista?” In the final task for the unit, the questions and tasks involve integration of knowledge. Students make connections that address the Essential Question “¿Cómo usas tus talentos para ayudar a los demás?” when asked “¿Qué talento tiene Jacinta? ¿Cómo lo usa para ayudar a otros? ¿Conoces otros ejemplos en el que alguien respeta las diferencias y necesidades de cada persona?”
In Unit 5, the students read a fairytale and answer questions that require close reading of the text (e.g., “¿Qué sucedió para que la princesa superar su problema?”) While reading the anchor text, the students use text details to understand the author’s point of view. The teacher guides students to make inferences through questions such as “¿Qué aprendieron sobre la princesa a partir de estos detalles?” The student workbook also includes several tasks that require students to provide text evidence. For example, students respond in writing to the question “¿De qué modo usa la autora el lenguaje para ayudarte a visualizar el diálogo entre la princesa y el hombre?” The teacher also asks students to apply the think-aloud strategy to summarize how the princess responds and asks students to share the events in order.
Throughout the units, the color-coding system of questions and tasks by the depth of knowledge is consistent, guiding teachers to build toward complex cognitive tasks by the end of the unit. In addition, each genre study includes a two-week science or social studies research project. Students learn a specific study skill as they work on their project and present it to the class upon completion.
The materials contain questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Questions and tasks support students’ understanding of texts’ literary and textual elements by asking students to analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the author’s purpose. Students also compare and contrast different authors’ stated or implied purposes and authors’ choices for communicating with readers. The questions and tasks require students to make and correct or confirm predictions and study the language within texts to support understanding.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 1, the shared reading lesson on “Un nuevo hogar en el valle” includes guiding questions for students to make inferences and predictions before, during, and after reading. For example, the following “Essential Question” is embedded in the text: “¿Qué aprendemos de las culturas a través de las tradiciones?” The sidebar prompts students to preview the text and make a prediction before reading. Students make notes within the text about key details, illustrations, and interesting words while reading. Students answer questions about sequence and dialogue, citing evidence by circling details in the text. After reading, the student text includes pages titled “Visualizar” and “Ilustraciones y diálogo” that guide students to deepen their understanding of the story’s characters and sequence of events.
In Unit 2, students analyze literary and textual elements while reading historical fiction about a Chinese family that emigrated to Guatemala. The selection includes questions that ask students to make predictions about the text and confirm them as they read (e.g., “¿Por qué se mudó esta familia a Guatemala? ¿Crees que echan de menos a su país natal? ¿Confirmaste tus predicciones?”) The teacher models making predictions by thinking aloud during the lesson cycle on the anchor text (La tienda de mamá y papá). The lesson plans also include sections called “Enfoque en el lenguaje” for studying the language. For example, the teacher points to the word almacen as a synonym of store and asks about other words students may know with the same root word.
In Unit 3, the shared reading lesson on Anansi aprende una lección provides multiple questions for the teacher to ask to deepen comprehension. Questions address cause and effect, problem and solution, multiple meanings, text features, and more. As they read, students make annotations “to note their questions, list interesting words they would like to learn, and identify key details from the text.” The teacher models critical thinking about the text with prompts such as “What do the words ‘No te quiero molester’ tell you about Tortuga?” and “How does the author use dialogue to help you understand what Turtle is like?”
In Unit 4, students read an expository text about how animals survive in the Mojave desert. The anchor text lesson emphasizes the skill of compare and contrast. Students make notes on a Venn diagram while reading, using specific vocabulary from the story. The following lesson engages students in text analysis through close reading. The teacher asks students to reread the text to deepen their understanding of the selection prior to writing a summary. The student book, “Mi libro de lectura y escritura,” includes questions and tasks that involve analysis of text elements. For example, students analyze the author’s choices with the question “¿Cómo el autor te ayuda a entender cómo sobreviven en el desierto los animales de colores claros y obscuros?”
In Unit 5, students learn about the author’s point of view through a series of lessons on a biography of the author and suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, titled Elizabeth y el derecho al voto. The teacher frames the lesson with the Essential Question “¿Qué hacen los buenos ciudadanos?” and guides students to closely analyze details in the text that support the author’s thinking about being a girl in the 1800s. The teacher draws attention to print features such as italics and bold print while students note key details about point of view on a graphic organizer.
Each unit includes three genre studies, and each genre study has paired texts that require students to make cross-text comparisons through reading and writing experiences. The lesson cycles follow a three-part close reading routine: 1) “Leer”: Students read the paired selection and answer specific questions to grasp the basic, literal meaning of the text. 2) “Releer”: Students reread the selection to answer deeper questions about craft and structure. 3) “Integrar”: Students synthesize and evaluate information from the two texts by looking back at the anchor text and paired selection to respond to the Essential Question and text-to-text prompts.
The materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary in and across texts. The lessons provide ways to apply words in appropriate contexts as well as scaffolds and supports for differentiation of vocabulary instruction.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The teacher resource folder has a “Plan general del curso” with an annual scope and sequence that addresses vocabulary. For each genre study, the materials provide a target word list and additional word list as well as a vocabulary strategy. Strategies include compound words, context clues, multiple-meaning words, affixes, and more.
In Unit 1, the first genre study is narrative nonfiction. The target vocabulary words are admirar, asustar, biblioteca, comunidad, contribuir, practicar, pronunciar, and tropezar; the additional words are chachachá, espolvorear, municiones, tambalearse, and tropical. The lesson plan for shared reading has two parts: “Words in Context” and “Compound Words.” For Words in Context, the teacher follows the explicit routine on the “Visual Vocabulary Cards.” Cues on the digital cards prompt the teacher to define, provide an example, and ask a question with each word. After learning the words, the teacher encourages students to use newly acquired vocabulary in their discussions and written responses about the texts. The lesson on Compound Words includes an explicit sequence for the teacher to follow: explain, model, guided practice, and independent practice in the student workbook.
In Unit 2, the anchor text is ¡A Votar!, an expository text by Eileen Christelow. To introduce the book, the teacher reviews the vocabulary words that students will encounter in the story. The teacher gives an example of each word and asks a question that encourages the student to use it in their words. For example, after introducing the vocabulary word decisiones, the teacher asks, “¿Qué dos decisiones tomas todos los días?” The materials also provide online practice with target vocabulary words. The students read a definition, see an example, and answer a question regarding the meaning of each word. Students use digital tools to build understanding. While studying prefixes, students highlight the prefix and underline the verb, then receive feedback about their answer.
In Unit 3, the focus vocabulary strategy is synonyms and antonyms. While learning words such as arrogante, atento, and atrevido, the teacher defines synonyms and explains that synonyms can be used to find the meaning of unfamiliar words. The teacher guides students to find the meaning of the word audaz in a leveled reader text by using context and a synonym from the vocabulary list (i.e., atrevido). Students practice using synonyms to define unknown words in their student workbooks as part of the same activity.
In Unit 4, the teacher provides differentiated vocabulary instruction to students in small groups. Using the gradual release framework, the teacher scaffolds instruction about metaphors. For example, the teacher conducts a think-aloud about metaphors (“I do”) and defines the literary device for students. Then, the teacher provides another metaphor and guides instruction about its meaning (“We do”). Finally, the students analyze more metaphors, discussing each one with one another and reviewing them with the teacher (“You do”).
In Unit 5, the teacher follows a vocabulary routine to differentiate for small groups of students. In the lesson for “Approaching Level” students, the routine states, “Display the word, read the word, and spell the word.” Students use each word in speaking and writing. The teacher provides cloze sentences to support students’ oral expression with the words (e.g., “Me olvidé el agua en el refrigerador y se...”) and guides students to write sentences with the words in their “Writers’ Notebooks.” “On Level” and “Above Level” students review the target vocabulary words with the visual vocabulary words and then work with partners to write sentences with each word.
Direct teaching of vocabulary is complemented by digital and hands-on games. The teacher resource folder includes the following games: “¡Ordénalas!, Ta-Te-Ti de antónimos, Fábrica de palabras, Igual y diferente, Arma la palabra, Bingo de sinónimos, ¿Qué quieres decir?” Each game includes materials, objective, preparation, and simple directions for how to play.
The “Instructional Routines Handbook” has a “What You Need to Know about Vocabulary” section. It defines Tier I, II, and III words and provides examples. The handbook describes opportunities for students to learn and practice new vocabulary throughout the units (e.g., mini-lessons, Visual Vocabulary Cards, and spiral reviews). It includes the rationale for strategies and techniques. Though the Instructional Routines Handbook provides general information that applies to all units of instruction, it does not specifically address the acquisition of Spanish vocabulary in a dual language or bilingual classroom. This routine is written in English and is identical to the handbook for the English version of the materials.
The materials include a clearly defined plan to support and hold students accountable as they engage in independent reading. The procedures and protocols are accompanied by adequate support for teachers and foster independent reading. The plan for students to self-select texts and read independently for a sustained period of time includes planning and accountability for achieving independent reading goals.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Instructional Routines Handbook,” found in the teacher resource folder, includes detailed information about independent reading in intermediate grade classrooms. The resource is not grade-specific, nor is it connected to specific lessons. The handbook provides guidance about independent reading time and supplies resources to support its implementation in language arts classrooms. However, the handbook does not provide supporting materials, such as the reading log, in Spanish. It is written for the English version of the program and would benefit from being adapted to include all materials in Spanish.
The handbook illustrates the importance of independent reading time for young readers by stating, “Daily independent reading provides your students with the opportunity to apply reading strategies and skills they are taught in class, and helps them make connections to what they are learning.” The handbook also notes the evidence from research that independent reading increases students’ comprehension, builds their vocabulary, and enhances background knowledge. The handbook recommends that students in the intermediate grades engage in independent reading for 30–40 minutes daily. The handbook draws attention to the program’s resources for engaging with independent reading (i.e., selections in the anthology, differentiated genre passages, classroom library trade books, bonus leveled readers, online leveled library, and Time for Kids online digital articles).
The handbook includes the section “Additional Strategies for Independent Reading.” This section provides ideas for implementing a systematic, independent reading routine that emphasizes self-selection of books. Subheadings in this section include “How to Choose a Book,” “Journal About Books,” and “Share Time.” This section also contains information about reading logs and lists the information to be recorded in the logs, where to find a template, and how to use reading logs to set future reading goals.
The instructions for the “Independent Reading Routine” state, “Teach this routine to students so they can choose books and read independently while you work with groups or confer with individuals.” The students first select a book that interests them. To support good choices, the teacher educates the students about determining the book’s difficulty by using the “Five Finger Rule.” Secondly, the students read their book every day during independent reading time and use the skills and strategies they have been working on in class. Third, the students think about what they are reading. Fourth, the students use their reading log to record what they read at the end of each session. Fifth, the students share their opinions about the book they read. Finally, they restart the process all over again with a new book.
The handbook recommends that teachers circulate during self-selected reading time to ensure that students are on task and have chosen an appropriate book. If not, teachers remind students that it is okay to abandon a book that does not fit their interest or reading level and help them find a more appropriate one.
The materials provide options for students to share what they are reading with others. For example, the section “Help Students Respond to What They are Reading” in the Instructional Routines Handbook describes strategies such as “Journal About Books, Literature Circles, Thinking Codes, Share Time, Perfect Pitch, Design a Movie Poster, Sketch a Selection, Book Talks.” The handbook also describes and encourages peer conferences about independent reading to build motivation and hold students accountable.
Teachers foster student ownership of their reading by providing a reading log that notes the date, title, pages or time read, and any other information that the teacher wants to emphasize. In addition, the “Respuesta del lector” tracking sheet allows students to give books a star rating, write a recommendation, and respond to a question regarding the book.
The materials also provide opportunities for students to read independently during whole group and small group instruction. Close reading routines embedded in the shared reading and anchor text lessons include time for rereading and independent study, framed by modeling and questioning from the teacher. Small group differentiated lessons include independent reading opportunities as well. Students choose from the leveled reading library during genre studies to reinforce learning during whole group lessons. The teacher sets a purpose for reading in small groups and guides students to discuss the book and its connections to the anchor text featured that week.
The materials provide support for students to develop composition skills across multiple text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students have opportunities to write literary, informational, and argumentative texts as well as professional and friendly correspondence.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Instructional Routines Handbook” includes a systematic writing process routine found throughout the units. Units of study begin with analyzing the expert models (i.e., the anchor texts) and discussing the features of the genre. During the planning stage, students brainstorm and choose a topic, discuss purpose and audience, and gather relevant information. The next stage is drafting. The teacher and students discuss developing the topic, organizing the writing, and writing a draft. Students use checklists and apply partner and teacher feedback during the conferencing and revising stage. Finally, students edit and proofread revised drafts using editing checklists before publishing, presenting, and self-evaluating their writing with a rubric.
In Unit 1, the students go through the writing process to craft a personal narrative. The teacher reminds students that authors tell stories in sequential order and demonstrates through analysis of the anchor text Un jardín para todos. The teacher points out signal words such as first, then, and finally and provides students with sentence starters before placing them with partners to rehearse orally. Students share their special memory with their partners and then plan using an online sequence graphic organizer. Students spend several days drafting their stories. When the composition process is complete, students engage in peer conferencing, editing, and proofreading before publishing and presenting the final piece.
Unit 1 includes specific supports to guide the teacher and students through the writing process. For example, the lesson plan in the “Reading/Writing Companion” provides step-by-step instructions for the peer conferencing routine as well as teacher tips for how to listen to and monitor partner feedback. The student workbook has guidance for the student during the brainstorming process, such as “¿Quién leerá tu narrativa personal?”
In Unit 2, students write an expository essay about how people make government work after reading the anchor texts ¡Cada voto cuenta! and ¡A votar! The teacher prepares students for the genre by explaining the form, purpose, and features of an expository essay and guides students to analyze the expert models. The teacher explains that students need to conduct research to write their essays. The teacher demonstrates that expository essays have interesting introductions, present facts and details in a logical order, and provide a conclusion that restates the theme. The materials provide guidance for students to draft their essays in print or cursive or use specific resources for digital writing.
Unit 2 presents an opportunity to practice correspondence writing regarding the “Essential Question” “How do people make government work?” Students draft a thank-you note to a person who works in their town. The teacher discusses reasons to write correspondence, such as sending notes to thank someone or to share information. The teacher creates a web to brainstorm details about what is appropriate to include. The teacher models how to write a thank-you note, explaining the parts of the letter, such as the greeting and closing. Students work with partners to choose a community leader as the recipient of their thank-you letter. The teacher explains they will be working on the project over the next two weeks.
In Unit 3, the anchor texts, La Tierra y sus vecinos and La Tierra, serve as expert models for writing expository text. The teacher and students create an anchor chart with features of expository essays (i.e., type of expository text, facts and information, text features, and an engaging introduction and strong conclusion). The teacher explains that the expert models guide students in their development of an interesting introductory sentence to engage the reader. The teacher asks, “How does the way the author starts the selection make you want to read more?” The teacher explains that the author wrote an interesting question and then answers it. The teacher encourages students to write their own introduction using this method.
In Unit 4, students explore the Essential Question “How can others inspire us?” through writing narrative poetry. After reading the anchor poems, “Gato embotado y enamorado” and “Me gusta,” students make a list of inspiring people and discuss what makes them inspirational with partners. The teacher guides the student to think about the purpose of the poem and the language they use to express themselves in their “Writers’ Notebooks.” Then, students free-write for a few minutes after the teacher reminds them that “freewriting is a time to write down all of their ideas, so they should not be concerned about mistakes.” Over the course of the following lessons, a rubric and mini-lessons guide the students to craft their narrative poems.
In Unit 5, students write an opinion essay about energy sources based on the model texts El poder del viento and La energía solar. The teacher points out that an opinion essay is a type of argumentative text that includes convincing reasons and facts. Students need to conduct research in order to support their opinion and convince their audience to agree with them. To prepare to write, the teacher and students create an anchor chart that lists the features of an opinion essay. The lesson plan also includes time for students to collaboratively brainstorm prior to writing. As students discuss, the teacher encourages them to use sentence starters listed in the “Reading/Writing Companion” to guide the discussion.
In Unit 6, the materials provide an opportunity for students to extend their writing experience by writing a blog post. The teacher shares examples of simple blog posts, and students discuss with partners the theme of “real-life heroes,” in particular first responders in the community. The teacher explains the characteristics of online articles (i.e., headlines and text features), and students deepen their understanding by scrolling through the article “Botes de rescate.” Students work in groups to compile a list of questions about their first responder and research the position before writing their blog post.
The materials provide written tasks that require students to use clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate the knowledge gained through analysis and synthesis of texts. Students have opportunities to use evidence from texts to support their opinions and claims and demonstrate in writing what they have learned through reading and listening to texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Instructional Routines Handbook” includes an analytical writing routine found throughout the units. The materials state, “This routine aligns with lessons provided in the Teacher’s Edition, but you can also use it when students respond analytically to any text.” Step 1 of the routine is to analyze the prompt. The materials suggest that students work with partners to analyze the prompt by identifying key language and what it is asking them to do. The teacher supports students by defining difficult academic terms in the prompt. Step 2 is to state a clear topic or opinion. The teacher models how to use sentence stems to respond concisely to the prompt and encourages their use during group and partner discussion. Step 3 is to cite text evidence. Students revisit the text to find evidence to support their ideas. The teacher encourages students to evaluate the strength of the evidence, make inferences, synthesize information, organize their notes by grouping related ideas together, and link reasons for opinions or arguments together. Step 4 is to provide a strong conclusion. The teacher reminds students that well-developed analytical writing ends with a conclusion that restates the topic or opinion and models how to write a strong conclusion.
In Unit 1, students write about the anchor text, Gary el soñador, by responding to the prompt “¿De qué manera Gary Soto muestra cómo sus sueños lo ayudaron a convertirse en escritor?” The teacher guides students to analyze the prompt and asks scaffolding questions. The teacher instructs students to refer back to specific pages of the anthology and answer questions, such as “¿Como crea Gary una ‘guerra divertida’ sin usar juguetes?” and “¿Por qué es esto importante?” During the discussion, the students gather evidence from the text by filling out a bubble map in the student workbook. The students discuss their evidence with a partner or in a small group and respond to the prompt in writing.
In Unit 2, the teacher and students receive specific instruction for using text evidence in the section “Reading Digitally.” The teacher guides students to closely read the online article “Una búsqueda para ayudar a las ranas.” As the shared reading lesson progresses, the teacher asks questions to focus students on how and why scientists are searching for frogs and toads and what is causing them to disappear. After each section, students turn to partners and paraphrase the main ideas, giving text evidence. Students access interactive features in the digital text to seek text evidence while discussing and writing their responses.
In Unit 3, the anchor text is a Time for Kids article titled “El nacimiento de un himno.” A prompt titled “Respuesta a la lectura” is embedded in the digital text. The directions say, “Usa detalles importantes del texto para resumir,” which guides students to use important details from the text. Additional tips in this box prompt students to consider how Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” and when we sing the national anthem. Students address these questions in their summary of the text.
In Unit 4, the response tasks require students to closely read La impresionante naturaleza del Mojave and cite text evidence to support their answers. The student workbook prompts students to respond to how the author helps the reader understand: “¿Cómo el autor te ayuda a entender cómo sobreviven en el desierto los animales de colores claros y obscuros?” Students begin by analyzing the open-ended question. Next, students reread a section of the text and discuss it with a partner, recording text evidence on a graphic organizer. Finally, the students cite their text evidence in a two-column table with the headings “Animales de colores claros” and “Animales de colores obscuros.”
In Unit 5, students respond to prompts about the author’s point of view during a shared reading lesson on Irma Rangel: Legisladora de Texas. The lesson plan tells the teacher to model how to underline text that shows what the author thinks about how Irma’s parents grew up. The “Teacher’s Edition” also includes questions to ask, such as “What questions can you ask and answer about Irma’s parents? What questions can you ask and answer about being a good citizen? What does the author think of the fact that few women worked in government?” As the teacher and students discuss each question, the teacher models how to circle text evidence and record it on a graphic organizer. The following lesson guides students to use the evidence collected to respond in writing to the prompt “How does the author help you understand that Irma Rangel is a good citizen?”
The materials apply composition and convention skills in increasingly complex contexts and offer opportunities for students to publish their writing. Students utilize the writing process elements for composing texts. They have opportunities to practice and apply the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing. The materials include systematic instruction on grammar, punctuation, and usage, both in and out of context, and provide editing practice throughout the year.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Instructional Routines Handbook,” found in the teacher resource section, includes a writing process routine for teachers and students to follow as they progress through the genre studies in each unit. The routine specifies the following steps: 1. Study, analyze, and discuss the features of the expert model in the genre study. 2. Plan the writing by brainstorming about the topic, discussing the purpose and audience, and gathering relevant information. 3. Write the draft after developing the topic and organizing the writing. 4. Revise the writing using checklists and partner feedback from conferences. 5. Edit and proofread revised drafts using editing checklists. 6. Publish, present, and evaluate with a rubric to self-evaluate. Each genre has a four-point rubric with specific categories. For example, the categories for informational text are “enfoque, organización, apoyo, y normas.” The materials promote different modes of publication and presentation (e.g., print, digital, audio, and video).
In Unit 1, the narrative anchor text is Gary el soñador by Gary Soto. Students plan their own personal narrative using planning pages in the student workbook that encompass the entire writing process. First, students revisit the model text to activate prior knowledge about the elements of the genre and make notes about the features of personal narrative composition. The following pages include planning, drafting, revising, sharing with a friend, and publishing. In each step of the process, there are explicit directions to guide the students. For example, on the revising page, the directions tell students to vary the length of their sentences and use different types of sentences. The students have space on the page to practice revising a few sentences from their own writing. Also, in Unit 1, the grammar focus is on punctuation, and students rewrite incorrect declarative and interrogative sentences. For example, the first incorrect sentence is “hoy Stan fue a pescar por primera vez.” Students correct the sentence by writing or typing it on the line below. The exercise ends with a prompt for students to write about their favorite activity, emphasizing the use of complete sentences with proper punctuation.
In Unit 2, students compose an expository essay about the unit’s theme: voting and how people make government work. The materials provide a main-idea-and-detail graphic organizer to help students collect information about the topic. Over two weeks, the teacher provides instruction about conducting research, paraphrasing, and note-taking. The expectation is to incorporate “text features such as photographs, captions, illustrations, or bar graphs” in the essay; the teacher models techniques. As students draft and revise, the teacher supports them with questions such as “¿Sus ensayos terminan con una conclusión sólida?” The students have the option of publishing their work in print or digitally.
In Unit 3, the materials include various supports to guide students through the writing process of writing an informational essay about the solar system. For example, students refer to sentence starters while brainstorming with partners. The teacher reminds students to utilize the “Quick Tip” box, which provides examples of facts or information important to include in an expository essay about a planet. Also, students use a graphic organizer to plan their writing and preview a rubric to understand expectations for the assignment. Peer conference partners follow a specific routine to provide feedback to one another. During the editing phase, students use a checklist for careful proofreading and error correction.
In Unit 4, students compose a realistic fiction piece about a favorite character and access the digital “Writers’ Notebook” to support the writing process. The digital notebook has several tabs to guide students as they write their essays. The tabs are planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. In each tab, the notebook includes links to editable documents such as checklists and graphic organizers. This online resource also provides multiple videos that students can access to support the stages of writing. For example, in the planning tab, students can watch a video about paraphrasing an idea. In the publishing tab, students can view ways to present their writing. This resource also has a genre-specific rubric displayed in the margin as the student digitally drafts the piece.
In Unit 5, the materials guide the teacher to focus on grammar skills while revising writing. For example, during the writing process, the teacher asks questions such as “¿Utilizaron un sustantivo y un verbo en cada oración para completarla?” While students are editing and proofreading their composition, the teacher asks, “What might happen if sentences were missing capital letters at the beginning and punctuation at the end?” In the same unit, the teacher provides explicit instruction about object pronouns, explaining that lo, los, la, and las can replace a direct object that answers the question “What?” or “To whom?” The students complete an exercise on object pronouns in the student workbook and engage in a writing activity to practice the skill. The prompt is “Describe how you could earn money during the summer.” It includes the direction to include object pronouns in the response. In Unit 6, the materials focus on adverbs during the two-week genre study. The teacher introduces the concept through direct instruction, and students take part in a partner activity. Students write two sentences and then exchange to add adverbs. Also, multiple practice pages deepen understanding.
The materials provide practice for students to write in cursive, including an instructional plan for procedures and supports for teachers to assess students’ handwriting development.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Teacher’s Edition” includes explicit instruction in cursive handwriting for grades 3–6 by unit. The cursive lessons have objectives (e.g., “Alignment and Margins: To write a sentence; to keep within the margins of the paper, and; to have letters sitting on the bottom line.”) The lessons have a clear sequence for the teacher to follow: 1) Getting Started, 2) Using the Page, 3) Extension, and 4) Evaluate. The first three units focus on lowercase letters; the last three emphasize uppercase letters.
The student workbook, “Caligrafía, Grados 3–6,” provides multiple pages of practice for students learning to write in cursive. The practice workbook is arranged by unit with letters grouped by movement. The student workbook has tips for posture, pencil pressure, and position of the paper to support students’ handwriting development.
In Unit 1, students self-assess their cursive handwriting by circling their best attempts at cursive formation and completing a series of sentences that assess vocabulary related to handwriting. The student practice pages provide explicit tips on letter formation but also include opportunities for students to show their developing skills. For example, after practicing the letters m, n, v, x, y, and z, students come up with their own words that curve over themselves. As the units advance, the tasks become more complex, moving from letter formation to word practice to copying sentences and eventually to answering open-ended questions in cursive. Each unit ends with a quiz that allows students to demonstrate growth.
Unit 2 addresses letters that involve “trazos hacia arriba” (strokes that curve up). The lesson on e and i begins with the teacher modeling how to write the letter e on the guidelines while saying: “Comiencen en el renglón inferior. Hagan un bucle hacia la izquierda en dirección al renglón inferior. Hagan un trazo curvo hacia arriba en dirección al renglón central.” The students practice by tracing the letter e with their fingers, then writing a line of the target letter. The teacher repeats the process with the letter i. The teacher reminds students that they have learned four letters that use the same stroke (e, i, l, and t). The student workbook lists words with these letters (e.g., el, ele, elle, tele, tile), and students practice these words. The extension activity is multisensory; students practice forming the letters e, i, l, and t on construction paper with glue and yarn or glitter.
Unit 3 addresses “trazos que conectan” (connectives). Students practice appropriate size and form as well as the distance between words. In the lesson on b and f, the teacher models the formation of the b while saying, “Comiencen en la línea inferior y hagan un trazo curvo hacia arriba.” The teacher draws attention to f as a dropped letter by modeling and saying, “Hagan un bucle hacia la izquierda y hacia abajo hasta llegar a la línea superior de la línea guía que hay debajo.” The teacher demonstrates how to connect b and f to other letters, and students practice writing words such as boa, faro, bebe, oficio, falda, and fina. For the extension, the teacher challenges students to think of and write three- and four-letter words that begin with b and f that only include previously learned letters (e.g., bala, fama, buena, faena).
In Unit 4, students begin to study the formation of capital letters. Each lesson emphasizes a pair of letters (e.g., A and O). The teacher demonstrates the target letters’ size and shape and continues to give reminders about posture and grip. Students write complete sentences in the workbook, such as “Alicia vive en Alaska” and “Olga viaja a Oregon.” The extension challenges students to write tongue twisters with a and o.
Unit 5 completes the study of capital letters with an emphasis on spacing letters and words. The final two lessons of the unit focus on the importance of learning to respond to prompts on tests in cursive. Students read the prompt and sample response in cursive, then copy it in the first lesson. In the next lesson, students read a similar prompt and craft their own responses in cursive. The teacher reminds students that the composition must be easy to read to receive a good grade.
Unit 6 emphasizes alignment, margins, and fluent reading and writing in cursive. Students read and copy a short story, a news article, a report, a letter, and more. Students practice additional skills, such as the use of punctuation. Students read sample sentences in cursive that end with different punctuation marks, emphasizing expression. The teacher selects a student to read aloud a short story. The “Evaluate” section of the lesson plan includes questions to prompt student self-evaluation (e.g., “¿Puntuaron de manera correcta?” and “¿Se inclinan sus letras de manera uniforme?”) The extension activity invites students to continue the story and write possible endings. In the final lessons of Unit 6, students transition from writing with the midline to writing without it. Seven lessons emphasize this skill.
The materials support students’ listening and speaking about texts. Students demonstrate comprehension through oral tasks that require the use of clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims as they analyze and synthesize texts.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Instructional Routines Handbook” includes “Collaborative Conversations,” a sequenced protocol for interacting with partners and small groups. The teacher displays prompts and response frames in the classroom for student reference and provides reminders for turn-taking procedures and accountable talk during discussions. The materials include two visual checklists for students: “Sentence Starters” and “How to Have a Collaborative Conversation.” In addition, the Instructional Routines Handbook refers teachers to videos on Collaborative Conversations that feature simulations by students and a teacher on various genres. However, the handbook and videos are provided only in English, and Collaborative Conversations is the sole protocol for small group discussions explicitly suggested throughout the program.
In Unit 1, students practice speaking and listening during a lesson called “Wrap Up the Unit.” The teacher writes the “Essential Question” on the board, “¿Cómo nos ayuda a crecer el aprendizaje?” and focuses the lesson on text-to-text connections. The teacher models how to compare pertinent information in texts by using examples from leveled readers. After reminding students about the Collaborative Conversation guidelines, the teacher divides the class into small groups. Students review their class notes and complete graphic organizers before beginning the discussion. When students finish their discussions, a volunteer from each group reads their notes aloud. The teacher facilitates the conversation by asking, “What are the five most important things we have learned about how learning can help us grow?” At the end of the discussion, students verbally reflect on their collaboration and acknowledge one another’s contributions.
In Unit 2, the teacher and students discuss the anchor text ¡A Votar! In the introduction of the lesson, “Talk About It,” the teacher displays a picture of children voting and explains that voting lets people express what they think and gives people the power to make decisions. Pairs of students discuss three questions presented on an anchor chart in front of the room: “What decisions do you think the students are voting on in the picture? How do you think it will make a difference? How does voting help make the government work?” Students share what they discussed and learned about voting in a whole group discussion, verbally generating related words or phrases as the teacher lists them on the board.
In Unit 3, the teacher introduces the Essential Question “¿Qué hace que un evento histórico sea único?” After explaining that valuing the past involves understanding how inventions have changed our society, the teacher asks the following questions: “How is the Wright brothers’ airplane different from modern airplanes?” “What makes their flight a unique event in history?” The teacher models how to use a graphic organizer to generate words and phrases related to the topic and instructs students to discuss the questions in pairs or groups. Students collaborate to add ideas and examples to the graphic organizer while the teacher visits groups to support discussion and content and give reminders for Collaborative Conversations, such as “Stay on topic.”
In Unit 4, students study how animals adapt to changes in their habitat. The teacher models how to create a “Four-Door Foldable” for notes. Students meet in small groups to verbally discuss the photos and illustrations provided in the unit’s anchor texts. The teacher guides students to make connections while facilitating the small group discussions. Students use the foldable to respond in writing to a prompt that asks them to explain how the visual features contribute to an understanding of animals’ adaptations to environmental challenges. The students share and discuss their responses when finished.
In Unit 5, the teacher displays an image of a young child placing flags on soldiers’ graves in a cemetery. Discussion is framed by the Essential Question “¿Qué hacen los buenos ciudadanos?” The class discusses how the boy is helping his town honor its heroes, focusing on details in the picture that demonstrate good citizenship. The teacher asks, “What do good citizens do?” and students turn and talk about their ideas. The teacher closes the lesson with a whole group discussion. Students share ideas verbally, while the teacher creates a graphic organizer with student contributions.
In Unit 6, students make text-supported claims in discussions regarding poetry. Students collaboratively discuss questions in the student workbook, such as “¿Cómo se siente el personaje cuando queda al revés” and “¿Cómo se siente el narrador con relación a los pies?” Students discuss the questions in pairs before annotating and completing the questions in the workbook, citing evidence from the text.
The materials engage students in productive teamwork and student-led discussions in both formal and informal settings. Students use grade-level protocols for discussion to express their thinking and practice social communication skills. The materials have opportunities for organized presentations and performances that include nonverbal techniques for communicating with an audience.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Instructional Routines Handbook” has a section on “Collaborative Conversations,” a protocol used throughout the units that details specific steps for student-led discussions. The steps are: “1) Introduce the focus of the conversation; 2) Review relevant guidelines to support student participation; 3) Provide specific information, so students know exactly what to do; 4) Monitor student conversations and provide corrective feedback as necessary; and 5) Close the conversation(s).” The handbook also provides visuals of sentence starters and procedural checklists for students, as well as guidelines for self-evaluation and peer feedback. The materials include an instructional video about Collaborative Conversations featuring teacher and student actions in a classroom setting. However, the handbook checklists and video are in English, and Collaborative Conversations is the sole protocol for small group discussions explicitly suggested throughout the program.
The Instructional Routines Handbook provides guidelines for planning, presenting, and listening to presentations. Presenting is a regular practice in each unit; each two-week genre study concludes with drafting, publishing, and presenting a piece of writing. The materials include an instructional video in Spanish called “Diseñar una presentación” that gives specific tips for creating an audiovisual presentation. The online “Writers’ Notebook” has links to videos that guide students as they prepare to present. The video “Grabar y editar un audio” explains how digital devices can be used to record audio clips in Spanish. The video titled “How to Give Presentations” provides a helpful simulation of students providing feedback to one another as they prepare. However, the students in the video are speaking in English, and though subtitles are provided, it is difficult to follow due to the pace of the conversation.
In Unit 1, the teacher introduces students to Collaborative Conversations. The teacher guides students to understand that there are agreed-upon rules, norms, and protocols to use during discussions. Students learn the following guidelines: “a) Escuchar activamente: mirar siempre a la persona que habla; b) hacer preguntas relevantes sobre el tema para aclarar información; c) hacer comentarios pertinentes sobre el tema.” After learning about the routine and the norms, students collaboratively discuss the anchor text, Gary el soñador, and the teacher monitors and facilitates.
In Unit 2, students prepare to present thank-you notes. Students use the guidelines for presentations from the “Reading/Writing Companion.” The guidelines remind students to practice reading the card before presenting, make visual contact with the audience, speak clearly and concisely when presenting, and listen to details when the audience asks questions. The teacher guides the student audience to participate by jotting down questions, stating that “escribir las preguntas los ayudará recordar sus preguntas cuando los expositores hayan finalizado.”
In Unit 3, the students present their final composition in front of the class. The teacher reviews the bulleted points on the rubric under Level 4, which represents meeting all expectations. To support students as they prepare, the digital Writers’ Notebook contains a sidebar with tips to ensure good performance, such as “Habla lentamente y con claridad.” “Explica las tablas o los diagramas que incluyas en tu ensayo.” After the presentation, the teacher guides the student to self-assess with questions such as “Did you clearly introduce your planet and explain its relationship to the Sun? Did you include many supporting details and a strong conclusion?”
In Unit 5, the teacher reviews the Collaborative Conversation protocol to prepare students to discuss argumentative texts with peers. The teacher provides guiding questions and a graphic organizer to support focused discussion. The materials provide helpful videos called “Charlas con compañeros” for different genre studies. The simulation videos demonstrate how students discuss text-related questions and collaboratively build understanding. However, the students in the videos converse in English with subtitles in Spanish.
In Unit 6, students prepare to present their writing compositions and refer to a section of the sidebar in the Writers’ Notebook called “Comprobar la presentación.” This sidebar includes nonverbal communication tips for students, such as “Mira al público.” “Párate derecho.” “Piensa bien antes de responder.”
To support social communication skills, the materials provide the article “Building Social and Emotional Learning Into the School Day: Seven Guiding Principles.” The sixth guiding principle focuses on how to communicate. This article by Dr. Annie Snyder offers strategies to effectively communicate with families, school staff/colleagues, and community partners. For example, the resource suggests: “Learn about your students’ families, ideally through face-to-face interactions. This will help ensure your SEL instruction is culturally responsive and builds on the strengths and habits of families.” In addition, the supplementary materials include the teacher resource “Oraciones para completar oralmente,” with sentence starters and frames to support students’ use of social and academic language when speaking with others. For example, in the section “Hacer comentarios positivos,” the resource includes frames such as “Me gusta la idea de...acerca de….” “Estoy de acuerdo con...acerca de….”
The materials engage students in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes to confront and analyze various aspects of a topic using relevant sources. The materials include identification and use of high-quality primary and secondary sources. Students organize and present their ideas and information in accordance with the purpose of the research and the appropriate grade-level audience. The materials guide students to use an appropriate delivery mode, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The teacher resources folder includes a specific routine for research and inquiry in the “Instructional Routines Handbook” for grades 3–6. The routine is followed throughout the units and specifies five steps for the research process. Step 1: The teacher introduces the project, identifies the research focus, and states the final product. Step 2: The teacher provides examples of quality sources (e.g., texts read in class, digital media, print sources, and interviews with experts). Step 3: The teacher and students identify reliable sources and relevant information; the students take notes relevant to their inquiry question and cite sources. Step 4: Students organize their information by annotating, highlighting, and using a graphic organizer to sort and clarify categories of related information; students identify any need for further information. Step 5: Students synthesize their learning, create the final research product, and present their findings.
The teacher resources folder also includes a slide presentation that guides students through the process of evaluating whether a source is reliable or not. This presentation provides questions for evaluating sources, beginning with general questions such as “¿Quién es el autor?” and moving to in-depth questions such as “¿Es el autor un experto en el tema?” The materials include a multimedia article titled “Enfócate en las fuentes: como hojear y analizar.” This video article is in Spanish and shows students how to identify useful sources using a “leafing through” and analysis strategy.
In Unit 1, students map a place in their community (e.g., park or school). The anchor story for the week, Un jardín para todos, includes a map within the text. The teacher tells students: “Un mapa es un dibujo plano de un lugar. Pueden obtener mucha información de un mapa.” The teacher models ways to read a community map for the students. Students learn the map’s features (i.e., “el título, símbolos, rosa de vientos y leyenda”) and answer questions while studying a map of Texas. The teacher guides students to plan their community map using an online “Four-Door Foldable.” Students work with partners to create a map that includes a title, symbols, compass rose, and legend. They prepare to present to the class. The teacher demonstrates how to use direction words when describing the location of the places on the map. On the day of the presentation, the teacher models how to behave during a presentation and directs the audience to write down any questions during the presentation.
In Unit 2, the study skills lesson focuses on primary and secondary sources and provides examples in the student workbook. The teacher defines primary sources as “información que creó alguien que vio el suceso que se está analizando o fue parte de él” and secondary sources as “información que surge luego del suceso y proviene de personas que no estuvieron presentes cuando ocurrió.” The teacher models how to find and use print and online resources and how to identify them as primary or secondary. The students engage in a guided practice activity to find images for their research project on immigration. The teacher refers students to the official site for Ellis Island and points out primary sources on the site, such as photos and diary entries.
In Unit 3, students conduct a research project on an animal or insect’s life cycle after reading the anchor text Martina, una cucarachita muy linda. The teacher models how to use keywords and a search engine to locate relevant information about the life cycle of frogs. The teacher says, “Las palabras del diagrama sobre ranas son palabras clave.” The teacher helps students plan their research using the online “Layered Book Foldable” to record keywords. Students write questions about the life cycle of another animal or insect. The teacher provides an online research roadmap and reviews the five steps of the research process. Students conduct research online and prepare a poster or digital slide show to present to the class. The student workbook includes a presentation checklist for students with indicators such as “Me aseguraré de que cada palabra en mi cartel o presentación está escrita correctamente.” “Señalaré la información en el diagrama.”
In Unit 5, the students present research and inquiry projects on local community issues. The teacher reviews guidelines in the student workbook that support presentation skills. For example, the sidebar “Acúerdate” has an action list that reminds students to place their poster in a visually accessible location and “asegurar de que mi cartel sea fácil de leer.” The teacher models ways to read and present a digital or traditional poster and reminds students to listen actively to each other’s presentations. The materials encourage the teacher to review and model an effective listener’s behaviors and show the students the “Listening Checklist” from the online “Writers’ Notebook.” During the presentation, the teacher tells students to write questions for the presenter.
In Unit 6, the teacher discusses multi-modal elements, such as illustrations, photographs, or other visuals, that give the audience additional information about the topic. The teacher models ways to highlight important information with text features. For example, the teacher demonstrates how diagrams, maps, timelines, and hyperlinks enhance the product and presentation. For this final project, the teacher encourages students to add audio to their presentation, such as clips from experts on the topic, their own voice-overs, and music. The teacher demonstrates how to find and use online sites with audio available for download. The student materials include videos to support student publication and presentation (i.e., “Cómo dar presentaciones,” “Diseñar una presentación,” “Grabar y editar un audio”). The students publish a final draft of their project and meet in small groups or with a partner to talk about their presentation plans.
The materials contain interconnected tasks that build student knowledge and provide opportunities for increased independence. Questions and tasks help students build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, and language. High-quality, text-dependent questions and tasks require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts. Tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking and include components of vocabulary, syntax, and fluency.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 1, the teacher shares the objectives and introduces the Essential Question, “¿Cómo contribuyen las personas de diferentes culturas a una comunidad?” The teacher generates words and phrases related to the theme and models using a graphic organizer. The students work with a partner to talk about the topic and complete the graphic organizer. As the students engage in collaborative conversations, the teacher helps them understand the importance of following agreed-upon discussion rules, norms, and protocols, such as “Esperar a que la otra persona termine de hablar. No deben hablar por encima de los demás.” The teacher shares the “¿Quién hizo eso?” “Blast” assignment. In this assignment, the students post a social media-like message of 140 characters or less, answering the question “¿Cuáles son algunas contribuciones importantes de los inmigrantes que llegaron a Estados Unidos?” The Blast also includes a “StudySync Blast Info” short read to build background on the topic and a “StudySync QuikPoll” in which students give their opinion about which invention has influenced their lives the most.
In Unit 2, students read expository texts about how people make government work. While reading the anchor texts ¡A votar!, Cada voto cuenta, and Un legado para la gente, the teacher asks questions such as “¿Qué piensa el autor que es importante sobre votar?” Students read and find evidence to discuss with partners and small groups. The unit concludes with a research project on how people make government work and a final writing task: a thank-you note to a person who works in their town.
In Unit 3, the teacher guides a shared reading lesson on the expository text La Tierra y sus vecinos. The teacher and students collaboratively create an anchor chart about the text’s main idea and key details. Students work in pairs to reread and find key details about astronauts and space, adding details to the graphic organizer in their workbooks. When the graphic organizer is complete, the partners work together to write the summary of the text. The lesson concludes with informal presentations of the summaries to the class; students also explain how they found the key details for the written summary.
In Unit 4, the teacher and students engage in a shared read of Lobo gris, zorro rojo. During the lesson, the teacher asks questions that target various skills and strategies (e.g., using context clues to determine the meaning). The teacher models how to answer the questions using text evidence by performing think-alouds. Later in the lesson, the teacher provides opportunities for students to think aloud with partners. The students answer questions in the student workbook, such as “Encierra en un recuadro las claves del significado de hábitats.” “¿Por qué es Lobo gris, zorro rojo un buen título para esta selección?” Sidebars in the student workbook incorporate syntax and writing. For example, the sidebar “Enlace gramatical” reminds students what a complex sentence is, gives them an example from the “Shared Read” selection, and encourages them to use complex sentences in their written response.
In Unit 5, students read paired texts to explore the Essential Question “¿Qué tipos de energía existen?” The teacher guides students to closely read Energía para todos and take notes about the types of energy. The teacher asks students how the text compares to the anchor text El poder del viento. The students discuss similarities and differences with partners and prepare to write an argumentative piece about energy sources that are good for the Earth and good for humans.
In Unit 6, students study the biography genre and develop vocabulary while reading the anchor text Hacia el espacio. The teacher demonstrates the Greek and Latin roots of key terms. For example, after reading the first paragraph, the teacher points out astronauta and says, “La palabra astronauta está compuesta por astro (‘estrella’) y nauta (‘navegante’),” and then clarifies understanding by asking, “¿Que hace un astronauta?” Students complete vocabulary word work in the student workbook. For example, the first word is aplomo. The question says, “¿En qué situaciones se necesita actuar con aplomo?” Students click on the word to open a digital mini-lesson that includes a definition and four-step vocabulary routine. Students also record words that they find interesting and include a synonym and antonym to deepen their understanding of each word. The vocabulary instructions prompt students to share the selected words with a partner.
The materials provide distributed practice over the course of the year. The design includes scaffolds for students to demonstrate the integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 1, during the first week of the unit, the teacher introduces the strategy of creating mental images to deepen understanding. Week 3 contains five lessons that address the same standard. On the first day of Week 3, the teacher reviews the strategy through shared reading of the selection Un nuevo hogar en el valle. The teacher directs students to close their eyes as they read and instructs them to picture the valley. The teacher asks, “¿Qué imágenes te ayudaron a imaginarte el valle?” On Day 2, the “Comprehension Strategy” mini-lesson is dedicated exclusively to visualization. The teacher explains the strategy, creates an anchor chart, models, and engages students in visualization. For the next three days, students use the strategy with the anchor text Los tamales del Guanaco and during small group differentiated instruction. Standards not only spiral within weeks and units but also throughout the year. For example, in Unit 4, students use the strategy of visualization to connect ideas and identify the author’s craft.
The Unit 2 overview includes a “Key Skills Trace” section stating when the skill is introduced, reviewed, and assessed. For example, the teacher introduces the author’s point of view during the first genre study of Unit 2 and formatively assesses understanding at the end of the unit. The teacher and students review points of view during Unit 5, and the teacher assesses again at the end of the unit. The units also include a standards overview with hyperlinks to lessons that address the week’s standards.
In Unit 3, the teacher revisits and supports the week’s objectives during the small group differentiated lesson for “Approaching Level” students. The teacher guides the analysis of plot elements, including sequencing, conflict, and resolution. The students read aloud to the teacher from the short story “La paloma vanidosa.” The teacher models how to identify the problem on the first page of the story, pointing out specific details of the problem and asking, “¿Cuál es el problema? ¿Quién intenta solucionar el problema?” The teacher models the steps the character took to solve the problem in the story and lists the steps on the board. The students read the rest of the short story and describe how the queen solved her problem using the same techniques the teacher used.
In Unit 4, students revisit the strategy of visualization while reading two poems, “El río” and “El manzano.” When the strategy was first introduced in Unit 1, the teacher explicitly taught the strategy, and the students used it for comprehension purposes. In Unit 4, the students apply the strategy to analyze the author’s word choices that help the reader visualize what is being described in the poem. The materials include scaffolds throughout the unit to help students meet the standard. For example, the teacher asks questions that prompt students to visualize and understand words. The teacher asks, “En la primera estrofa, ¿qué dice el poeta que hizo el río por la mañana?” and “En la segunda estrofa, ¿cómo describe ella el río?” In the following lesson, the teacher asks, “¿De qué manera la autora usa las palabras y las frases en ‘El río’ para ayudarlos a visualizar lo que escribe en el poema?” The student workbook includes other supports to reinforce the strategy. A prompt in the sidebar directs students to find verbs that help them visualize the river and what is happening with it.
In Unit 5, the teacher provides vocabulary instruction in the lesson component called “Palabras en contexto.” The teacher follows a specific routine to introduce essential vocabulary for each genre study. Students learn words such as carcajadas, soberano, and trueque to facilitate comprehension of the anchor text El granjero y el duende. The teacher displays the “Visual Vocabulary Card,” introduces the term, defines it, provides an example, and asks a question for clarification. The lesson component called “Raíces de las palabras” supplements the “Words in Context” routine. The teacher draws students’ attention to word roots. For example, the teacher says: “Veo la palabra delicadeza. Creo que la raíz es delicado y sé que delicado significa suave o fino.”
In Unit 6, the teacher reminds the students that it is sometimes necessary to go back and reread to understand the text better when they read a complex text. During the shared reading of Hacia el espacio, the teacher models how rereading can help the reader understand how James A. Lovell became a pilot. The teacher rereads the section “Sueños de alto vuelto” and explains that by rereading, the teacher learned that James went to school to be a pilot. The teacher asks students to closely read to find out how James got Apollo 13 back to Earth safely. Students work with partners to reread parts of the text with a partner to answer the question “¿Cómo consiguió James el Apolo 13 de regreso a la Tierra de forma segura?" The practice of close reading (“Volver a leer”) is part of every shared reading lesson throughout the materials.
The materials provide systematic instruction and practice of foundational skills, including opportunities for phonics and word analysis skills. Teachers follow a research-based sequence of grade-level foundational skills instruction, and students have ample opportunities to practice to achieve grade-level mastery. The materials provide opportunities for students to practice word recognition skills and apply word analysis skills both in and out of context. The lessons build spelling knowledge and include systematic instruction of orthographic rules and patterns identified in the TEKS. The materials include support for students in need of remediation.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials provide a scope and sequence document that includes information about target skills in each unit, including phonics and spelling. For example, the document shows that, in Unit 1, students study three specific word patterns. The orthographic patterns of focus are words with c, s, z, and x; words with bv and nv; and words with mb and mp. The teacher follows an explicit routine for introducing the words. First, the teacher displays and pronounces each word, emphasizing the focus pattern. Next, the teacher points out the orthographic pattern and provides a sentence from the “Oraciones del dictado” list (e.g., “cebra, énfasis en ce, hay una sola cebra en el zoológico”). Then, the students take a pretest and self-assess. The materials provide differentiated spelling lists for each pattern.
The units include intervention lessons for the orthographic patterns in addition to the differentiated lists. To support understanding of s, z, and c, the materials direct the teacher to use the resource “K–2 Intervención: Fonética y taller de palabras.” The lesson on s, z, and c suggests that the teacher build understanding with the “Sound-Spelling Cards.” The explicit routine includes modeling, choral response, and articulation of sounds: “Esta es la letra s. Representa el sonido /s/. Escuchen: /sss/. Digan: /sss/.” The teacher writes words on the board (e.g., sapo, cine, zapato), names each letter, and produces its sound. Students practice with additional words, chorally saying the letter names, making the sounds, then blending the sounds to read the words. The lesson also includes “Tarjetas armapalabras” with step-by-step instructions to practice building words and creating new ones by changing, adding, or removing letters.
In Unit 2, the small group differentiated lesson for Approaching-Level students includes an intervention lesson, “Phonics: Repasar palabras con c, q, and k.” The teacher follows the “Yo, Juntos, Ustedes” routine to model, provide guided practice, and check for understanding. In the “I do” section, the teacher reminds students how to pronounce each letter. For example, the teacher says, “La letra c suena como k cuando se escribe delante de a, o, u. Cuando se escribe delante de e, i suena como s.” The teacher circles the syllable with the c, k, and q sound in each of the three words “cuello, koala, querer.” In the “We do” step, the teacher writes the words “explicar, porque,” and “sacar” on the board. The students identify the k sound in each word, and the teacher explains that “la u en las sílabas que y qui no se pronuncia.” In the “You do” step, the students read “aunque, correcto,” and “quemado” aloud and identify the syllable with the k sound in each word as the teacher points to the words in random order.
In Unit 3, the students learn about “Palabras con x, x como j, y cc,” followed by “Palabras con ll e y.” The teacher presents the spelling words, reads them aloud, and emphasizes the syllables with x, x as j, cc, and the ending -cción. The teacher writes words on the board that exemplify the spelling patterns and models how to sort them by the sound the letter patterns produce. For example, the teacher places “oaxaqueno” under “x como /j/” and “exagerar” under “x como /ks/.” The students practice pronouncing the words, reading them in a sentence, and writing the words. The students engage in independent practice by cutting apart spelling cards available for print online, reading them aloud, and sorting them by spelling pattern.
In Unit 4, students study words with “diptongos au, eu, ia, ie, io, ua, y ue.” The teacher follows the routine to introduce the words: display the word, enunciate the word, dictate sentences, read the sentences, and repeat the words. The students take a pretest on the first day of the week and self-assess. Students complete a “clasificación abierta,” sorting the words with partners and recording the word sort in their “Writers’ Notebook.” Throughout the week, the teacher supports Approaching-Level students with small group spelling lessons. For example, the teacher writes the words “nuevo” and “piedra” and explains that diphthongs can be formed by two close vowels or one open vowel and one close vowel in the same syllable. The teacher underlines the diphthong. Students read words aloud, separate them into syllables, and point out the diphthongs. The teacher adds words to the list (e.g., “renacuajo, fiel, canción”) and guides students to read each word aloud and underline the diphthong. For independent practice, the teacher adds “sueño, aplauso,” and “estudio” to the list. The students identify and underline the diphthongs. The teacher points to the words in random order as students read them aloud.
In Unit 5, students apply decoding strategies to read vocabulary words in context with prefixes and suffixes. The digital activity prompts students to “usa el pincel para marcar los sufijos y prefijos y encontrarás una palabra para pintar en cada oración.” Students practice identifying the affixes and highlight the root words for eight vocabulary words that accompany the anchor text.
In Unit 6, students use decoding strategies to determine the meaning of words. The teacher models how to find the suffix and cross it out to identify the root word. The vocabulary lesson plan states, “Explíqueles que la raíz es la parte más simple de una palabra y que no tiene prefijos, sufijos ni terminaciones.”
The materials include diagnostic tools and provide opportunities to assess student mastery, in and out of context, at regular intervals for teachers to make instructional adjustments. The assessment tools support and direct teachers to measure students’ growth in and mastery of foundational skills. The materials provide guidance and direction to meet students’ literacy needs based on assessment data. The materials support teachers in helping students to self-monitor for comprehension and reread when appropriate.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a comprehensive collection of diagnostic tools to support and direct teachers to assess students’ growth in foundational skills. The collection is called “Evaluación del nivel y diagnóstico” and is intended for grades K–5. It contains inventories to assess Spanish phonological awareness, letter naming, phonics, oral reading, and spelling. The tool includes an informal reading inventory to assess comprehension and accuracy, as well as quick-check observation forms for primary and intermediate grades. The overview explains the rationale for using multiple measures for assessment and includes a planning and pacing guide. The introduction provides information for teachers about the types of assessments. For example, the resource defines a screening test as “a short, skill-specific instrument that can be administered quickly to give a general idea of what a student knows.” Diagnostic assessments are described as “expanded screening tests that provide more items and additional ways to determine a student’s knowledge of a skill and to monitor the student’s progress with that skill throughout the school year.” The resource defines and discusses other assessments (i.e., placement tests, progress monitoring assessments, and summative assessments).
Each section in the placement and diagnostic assessment resource begins with an introduction and directions for administration and scoring. For example, the phonics survey called “Fonética y descodificación” has scripted steps for teachers while delivering the test. Step 1 tells the teacher to state: “Voy a pedirles que lean algunas letras, palabras y oraciones. Así sabré qué palabras leen con facilidad y qué palabras necesitan aprender.” There are ten tasks that progress from beginning skills, such as letter naming and open and closed syllables, to more complex tasks, such as diphthongs and hiatus and prefixes and suffixes. The survey indicates suggested grade levels for the tasks on the teacher scoring sheet. It provides tips for where to start and when to discontinue the assessment due to lack of mastery or frustration.
The most extensive component of the placement and diagnostic assessment book is the “Prueba informal de lectura (PIL),” or informal reading inventory. This assessment provides feedback on the student’s comprehension and accuracy and provides the teacher with the student’s independent, instructional, and frustration reading level. Teachers identify an appropriate starting point for the student by administering a graded word list that includes Dolch words, story words, and words with appropriate sound-spelling sequences for that level. The materials provide steps for administering the PIL, including a detailed example of how to code a running record. There are two fiction and two nonfiction passages per grade level, and students read orally to assess fluency and silently to measure comprehension.
The placement and diagnostic assessment book provides guidance on how often to use the assessments. For example, in the introduction to the fluency assessment, the tool contains a chart with the three recommended benchmarks for fall, winter, and spring. It explains how each grade level should show growth according to the norms. In addition, the assessments in the resource explain how the diagnostic tools inform instruction. The developmental spelling inventory, for example, includes a feature analysis and “Words Spelled Correctly Planning Chart” that indicate instructional and generative word study objectives for students based on their performance.
The materials include a complementary resource to the diagnostic and assessment book called the “Manual de evaluación.” It is divided into three parts: “Part 1: Assessment Options”; “Part 2: Using Assessment to Guide Instruction”; and “Part 3: Additional Resources and Included Forms.” The overview for this resource explains that the purpose is “to help you manage the use of multiple assessments.” It includes basic definitions and clear guidance about how assessment data helps teachers address student needs. The manual provides a chart on assessment options that indicates the component (e.g., placement, fluency, progress monitoring, etc.) and how and when to administer the assessment.
The materials embed guidance about assessment and instructional support at regular intervals throughout the units. Each two-week genre study includes a chart on formally assessed skills (e.g., problem/solution) and indicates informal sources of data for teachers such as the “Reading/Writing Companion” and the student workbook. A section called “Making the Most of Assessment Results” accompanies the chart and explains tools for analyzing assessments as well as reteaching/intervention opportunities online and suggestions for regrouping students per assessment results. The “Teacher’s Edition” refers teachers to collections of intervention lesson plans specifically for the different reading components (i.e., comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, phonics, and writing/grammar).
In addition, the materials emphasize the strategy of rereading to monitor comprehension and deepen understanding throughout the units. For example, the guide includes a section called “Volver a leer” when students read the anchor text Cada vota cuenta! The teacher reminds students that when they read an expository text, they may come across unfamiliar concepts and detailed explanations. The teacher says, “Los buenos lectores vuelven a leer algo que no comprenden.” The teacher models the strategy and guides students to create an anchor chart with points about rereading. In the student workbook, there are embedded prompts and questions in green font that say “Volver a leer,” encouraging students to regularly engage in this practice while reading stories, poems, and articles.
The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to practice and develop oral and silent reading fluency while reading a wide variety of grade-appropriate texts at the appropriate rate with accuracy and expression to support comprehension. The materials include explicit instruction in fluency and provide opportunities and routines for teachers to regularly monitor and provide corrective feedback on phrasing, intonation, expression, and accuracy.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include a handbook for teachers called “Evaluación de fluidez, Grados 1–6.” This resource provides an introduction to fluency and answers questions such as “¿Qué es la fluidez?” and “¿Por qué la fluidez es importante?” The handbook guides teachers to understand how and when to assess fluency for letter naming, sounds, syllables, words, and passages. Charts provide the Lexile levels for the passages and national norms for rate (words per minute) for grades 1–6 in the fall, winter, and spring. In addition to measuring words read per minute, the passages assess prosody and check for comprehension. The teacher rates prosody on a rubric with four levels. The Level 1 descriptor states: “El estudiante lee palabra por palabra, con algunas frases más largas; no tiene un fraseo adecuado o una velocidad apropiada; lee el pasaje con excesiva lentitud.” A Level 4 reader “lee frases largas y con sentido; ocasionalmente puede repetir palabras o frases cortas, pero la estructura y la sintaxis general del pasaje no se ven afectadas; lee a un ritmo adecuado y con expresividad.” The systematic directions for the teacher indicate that the student reads aloud for one minute, finishes the passage, and answers two comprehension questions; an answer key is provided.
In Unit 1, the teacher explains that reading with appropriate phrasing means knowing when to pause briefly and when to stop. The teacher draws attention to print features that cue phrasing, stating, “Los signos de puntuación, como las comas, los guiones y los puntos, ayudan a agrupar frases al leer para transmitir mejor el sentido.” The teacher models reading an excerpt from Compartir culturas, emphasizing pauses at the commas and stops at the periods. To practice the skill of brief pauses and stops, one group of students chorally reads the paragraph, one sentence at a time. A second group echoes each sentence, using the same phrasing; then, the groups switch roles.
In Unit 2, the teacher leads a shared reading lesson on the anchor text Del puebla a la ciudad. The teacher reads aloud as students follow along, demonstrating think-alouds and close reading techniques such as rereading and annotating. The teacher models reading with expression and prompts, “Comenten cuáles son los sentimientos de los personajes y cómo los estudiantes pueden mostrarlos mientras leen.” Students practice expressive reading of sections of the text with partners. After the shared reading lesson, the students read the story independently. Students analyze the text, craft, and structure through embedded prompts in the sidebar of the student anthology. For example, on the second page of the story, students look for evidence and answer a question about similes: “¿Qué símil acerca de los edificios hay en el párrafo 1? Subraya la evidencia en el texto.” The sidebar prompts remind students to reread as well: “Releer: ¿Qué detalles usa el autor para ayudar a los lectores a visualizar el quipu?”
In Unit 3, the students practice fluency and reading comprehension during small group differentiated instruction. The teacher asks the “Essential Question,” and students read the title to make predictions about the text. The teacher explains that a folktale “se transmite de padres a hijos” and “suele tener un mensaje.” After reviewing the genre, the students participate in a close reading routine. The lesson closes with the teacher modeling how to read a section of the text with proper accuracy, expression, and phrasing as the students read along. The students practice reading fluently by reading the section again with a partner.
In Unit 4, the students take part in a “Reader’s Theater” of the folktale El vecino del panadero. The teacher explains the genre and setting, building background about the time period and ancient Peru. The teacher reviews the features of drama and the roles of Atahualpa, Manco Capac, and other characters. For the first reading of the Reader’s Theater, the teacher models fluency. The lesson plan states, “Al leer cada parte, diga el nombre de cada personaje y lea su parte, remarcando la expresión y el fraseo adecuados.” During the shared reading, the teacher also focuses on vocabulary by stopping to discuss words such as ganancia, molesto, mano de obra, desafortunadamente, and aroma. After the whole group lesson, the teacher divides students into groups to practice the play. The guide suggests the teacher pair fluent readers with less fluent readers. Pairs echo-read or chorally read while the teacher works with less fluent readers to note pauses in their scripts using one slash for a short pause and two slashes for longer pauses.
In Unit 5, students practice phrasing during the fluency component of a lesson on the biography of Susan B. Anthony. The teacher defines phrasing as “hacer pequeñas pausas en las comas y dividir en frases las oraciones largas” and explains that proper phrasing helps convey meaning. The teacher models phrasing by pausing at commas and periods. Then, the teacher splits the class into two groups. The first group reads a sentence chorally, and the other group reads the next sentence. Groups continue taking turns to finish reading the paragraph. The materials suggest close monitoring of students’ phrasing and additional modeling as needed. The lesson plan refers the teacher to additional practice with phrasing: a biography on Hiram Revels in the “Leveled Readers” resources.
The materials include a handbook specifically for fluency called “Intervención: Fluidez, Grados 3-6.” The resource contains multi-tiered lessons on fluency routines, high-frequency words, precision, and other fluency skills such as intonation, expression, and rate. For example, Lesson 3 focuses on a choral reading routine. The lesson is broken into a teaching/modeling section, guided practice, and application. The lesson also has a “Fluent Reading Checklist” that highlights behaviors such as “Leer oraciones en fragmentos o en frases.” “Enfatizar palabras importantes.”
The materials include a variety of developmentally appropriate diagnostic tools for formative and summative progress monitoring. The materials provide guidance for consistent, accurate administration and tools for students to track their own progress and growth. The diagnostic tools address content and process skills for SLAR, as outlined in the TEKS.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The teacher handbook “Evaluación del nivel y diagnóstico” includes screeners and diagnostic tests that evaluate “reconocimiento fonológico y fonético, nombrar letras y visualización de palabras, decodificación, fluidez, prueba informal de lectura, ortografía, vocabulario, comprensión.” The introduction gives an overview of assessment and guidance for placement decisions for grades K, 1, 2–3, and 4–5. The introduction explains that assessments can be used for screening and placement into the following instructional levels: “On Grade Level,” “Beyond Level,” or “Approaching Level.” The handbook provides an “Assessment Planning and Pacing Guide” and “Assessment Record Sheets.” Assessment directions in the Evaluación del nivel y diagnóstico include scripted directions in Spanish for assessment administration for the teacher. However, most information for teachers in this handbook is provided only in English.
Informal assessments in the handbook include “Quick Checks Observation Forms” for primary and intermediate levels throughout the units. The materials state, “Every assignment or activity allows you to assess reading behaviors.” The materials encourage teachers to be systematic in their approach to informally observing and recording data. The Quick Checks Observations Form includes space for teachers in the intermediate grades to record data related to the student’s “Phonics/Word Study,” “Fluency,” “Comprehension,” and “Vocabulary” performance.
Teachers find guidance for consistent and accurate administration of diagnostic tools. For example, the Evaluación del nivel y diagnóstico handbook includes an assessment of “Vocabulario” called the “Critchlow Verbal Language Scales, K–5.” For this assessment, the examiner provides a series of spoken words in increasing order of difficulty, and students say the opposite of each word. Before beginning the test, the teacher determines that the student understands what an opposite is by saying, “Si no es de día es de...” and “En la escuela hay niños, y también….” The directions specify administration conditions (i.e., “individual and approximate testing time of 15 minutes”).
In the “Carpeta de recursos,” the teacher has access to an extensive collection of benchmark books for conducting running records. This guide, written in Spanish, includes multiple books at different levels for grades K–5. The table of contents includes a chart with correlations between the “Reading Wonders Benchmark,” “Guided Reading,” DRA, and Lexile levels. The introduction explains that “Running Records ayuda a los maestros a identificar el nivel de lectura, el estilo y el uso de las estrategias de lectura del estudiante.” The guide recommends that the teacher administer running records every three to four weeks “para controlar el progreso y documentar las estrategias de desarrollo del estudiante.” The guide includes explicit directions for administration and scoring as well as details regarding how to diagnose the student’s reading level accurately.
The unit evaluation handbook, “Evaluaciones de la unidad,” is written in Spanish and explains summative assessment opportunities in Units 1–6. The teacher learns about the objective, focus, and purpose of these assessments in the “Introducción para el maestro.” The materials state that the unit assessments “se centran en áreas clave de las artes del lenguaje en español identificadas por los conocimientos y destrezas esenciales de Texas (TEKS).” Each unit assessment includes fiction and informational passages with multiple-choice questions that focus on the unit’s standards. The answer key for the multiple-choice questions includes the content focus for each question, the TEKS, the complexity level of each question (DOK), and an explanation of the answer choices. Also, the unit assessments for grades 3–5 include revising and editing items as well as a written composition prompt accompanied by a scoring rubric.
Students monitor and reflect on their own progress with the “Autoevaluación de la lectura.” This checklist asks students to reflect on how frequently they demonstrate certain behaviors before, during, and after reading. For example, in the “Antes de leer,” or “Before Reading” section, students self-assess whether they never, seldom, or always comprehend the purpose of their reading. Another tool students can use to reflect on their own progress is found in the “Evalúa tu progreso: ¿Qué Aprendi?” sections of the “Mi libro de lectura y escritura.” At the end of each unit, students complete a rubric to self-assess on SLAR skills from the three genre studies, e.g., “Punto de vista del autor,”“Causa y efecto,” “Prefijos y sufijos,” and “Homófonos.” The rubric has four levels; Level 4 is “Puedo identificar con éxito todos los ejemplos de esta destreza”; Level 1 is “Necesito trabajar más en esta destreza.” In writing, in their workbook, students reflect on the skill they need to work more on and why. The materials also include student self-evaluations for writing portfolio pieces.
The materials include guidance for teachers to analyze and respond to data from diagnostic tools. Diagnostic tools yield meaningful information for teachers to use when planning instruction and differentiation. Teachers receive guidance and direction about responding to individual students’ needs in all domains, based on student progress measures appropriate to the developmental level. The materials provide various resources and teacher guidance on how to leverage different activities to respond to student data. The materials provide guidance for administrators to support teachers in analyzing and responding to data.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Manual de evaluación” provides an overview of assessment and the options available to teachers. Part Two of the manual contains information on “Using Assessment to Guide Instruction,” with seven subsections: “Using Multiple Measures, Managing the Information, Forming Groups, Assessment Opportunities, Feedback, Making Instructional Decisions, High-Stakes Testing.” The manual explains how teachers can use assessment data to inform instruction. For example, the materials encourage teachers to interpret the data collected from various assessments to decide, “What can you do to meet the student’s learning needs?” The guide recommends that teachers continually collect information about students’ progress and modify or adjust instruction if students are not achieving the expected results. The subsection includes a series of questions that help teachers make instructional decisions for grouping, learning goals or objectives, materials, methods, and rate of instruction, such as “Which goals or objectives will I teach?” and “How much time should be allotted to each lesson?” Part Three of the manual contains additional resources to support teachers in using assessment to inform instruction: “Accommodations, Response to Intervention, and Recording Forms.”
The Manual de evaluación is written in English with occasional references to Spanish assessments. The manual does not consistently include Spanish materials or explanations of the availability of assessments in Spanish. For example, the manual refers to the Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) as a diagnostic and progress monitoring assessment without reference to Tejas Lee, the Spanish counterpart. The manual also refers to DIBELS Next as a progress monitoring tool but does not mention that many of the DIBELS Next probes are not in Spanish.
The “Running Records/Benchmark Books” for K–5 include guidance for teachers in Spanish on how to use running records to respond to students’ needs. The guide explains, “Running Records ayuda a los maestros a identificar el nivel de lectura, el estilo y el uso de las estrategias de lectura del estudiante.” The guide recommends that teachers administer running records every three to four weeks and use the information to determine the student’s reading level. The guide explains how to gather data regarding comprehension through “Volver a contar” and “Comprobar la comprensión.” The teacher scores the retelling on a four-point rubric, records the student’s oral answer to the comprehension questions, calculates the student’s accuracy rate, and checks off observed reading behaviors. The running record form helps the teacher compile the information, analyze the results, and use the data to differentiate instruction according to students’ needs.
The “Evaluación del nivel y diagnóstico” tool guides teachers to make placement decisions based on student data. For example, the “Grades 2–3 Placement Decisions” flowchart indicates that students who score in the 50th percentile or higher on the “Oral Reading Fluency Assessment” and 80% correct or higher on the “Reading Comprehension Tests” should begin instruction with “On Level” materials. The flowchart indicates that teachers can move students who score high on placement assessments and easily complete On Level assignments to “Beyond Level” materials. The Placement Decisions flowchart recommends that teachers use additional assessments and subtests such as phonics subtests and sight word fluency assessments to determine placement and instruction for students at “Approaching Level.”
The materials provide an administrator’s observation tool that includes beginning-of-the-year, mid-year, and end-of-year forms. The tool includes sections for teaching whole groups and small groups. The checklist allows administrators to rate evidence of the indicators as “yes,” “in progress,” “no,” or “not observed.” Indicators include expectations for proper use of diagnostics to inform instruction (e.g., “Teacher administered placement and diagnostic assessments at beginning of year and set up groups for differentiated instruction.”) The mid-year and end-of-year observation forms have sections on “Using Assessments,” with indicators to ensure teachers complete progress-monitoring assessments, take unit assessments, and complete a benchmark exam or a test prep assessment. The “Using Data and Reports” section includes indicators such as “ensure online assessments and downloadable resources are used to provide students with targeted support.”
The materials offer a short video titled “Administrator Tips: Best Practices for Implementation.” The tips in the video address sharing research, providing central oversight, setting up curriculum advisory boards, and organizing ongoing training. However, the five-minute video is in English and does not address specifics such as how administrators can support teachers with data analysis and planning differentiated instruction.
The materials include frequent, embedded opportunities for monitoring progress. Routine and systematic progress monitoring opportunities allow teachers to measure and track student progress accurately. The frequency of progress monitoring is appropriate for the age and content skill.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Manual de evaluación” includes a section titled “What Is Progress Monitoring Assessment?” and a bulleted list of definitions. The manual includes explanations of various diagnostic assessment tools that teachers use for progress monitoring of phonological awareness, phonics and decoding, spelling, fluency, and reading comprehension. The guide recommends that teachers “use the results of progress monitoring assessment to guide instructional decision-making.” The manual makes recommendations for how to manage student placement with assessment results. For example, the guide states: “Place the student in a small group and continue to monitor his or her progress with additional assessments to make sure your hypothesis was correct. If it wasn’t, change the placement and the instruction.” The manual introduction includes an “Assessment Options” chart that lists the progress monitoring assessments found at the end of each genre study and unit for reading comprehension, vocabulary strategies, literary elements, text features, grammar, mechanics, usage, and writing.
The genre studies follow a pattern of Weeks 1 and 2, Weeks 3 and 4, and Week 5 in every unit. Week 6 is dedicated to spiral and review. Each study concludes with a progress monitoring assessment of the genre study’s comprehension skills and vocabulary strategies. The materials provide assessments digitally or as printables. The tests include fiction and informational passages with multiple-choice questions and an answer key with the correct response, the content focus, the TEKS, and the complexity level (DOK). The “Evaluaciones de la unidad” occur every six weeks and evaluate students’ progress on the reading and writing TEKS addressed in the unit. The unit tests include passages for comprehension assessment as well as multiple-choice questions for usage and editing. The third component of the unit tests is writing composition, which the teacher scores with a four-point rubric. However, the genre study and unit assessments do not include reading responses. Opportunities to respond to text in writing are frequent in the student workbook. Teachers monitor progress on reading response informally throughout the units, but the inclusion of reading responses on the assessments is recommended.
The “Evaluación del nivel y diagnóstico” handbook includes “Quick Checks” as a type of informal assessment. The Quick Check approach reminds teachers “to observe students and see if any of them are having difficulty with a skill they have just learned.” The guide recommends that the teacher use the Quick Check information to decide if the skill needs to be addressed further in small group instruction. The materials provide a “Quick Check Observations Form” for intermediate students, including columns for phonics/word study, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. The handbook also explains that every assignment allows the teacher to assess reading behaviors. Anecdotes from observation and analysis of the assignments are treated as potential sources of information about what students know, what they still need to learn, and what their misconceptions or difficulties are. The handbook also recommends classroom observations in which teachers observe students at work and play, working alone, and interacting with other students. The guide states, “Be systematic with the way you do and record observations.”
The materials recommend specific guidelines for the frequency of progress monitoring as appropriate for age and content skill. For example, the “Evaluación de fluidez” manual explains how and when to assess fluency. The guide does not recommend formally evaluating a student’s oral reading fluency in K–1 until the student acquires phonemic awareness and can recognize multiple sight words. The guide recommends that students in kindergarten and the first half of first grade develop fluency through “escuchar la lectura de libros en voz alta e imitar modelos auditivos de expresión natural.” The guidelines specify that students in the second half of first grade to sixth grade participate in oral reading fluency assessment three times per year or at the end of each unit. The materials provide 30 fiction and 30 nonfiction oral reading passages for each intermediate grade level. The materials include a Lexile chart for the passages as well as a norms chart to assess student performance. The teacher records words read per minute and assesses prosody with a four-point oral reading fluency scale.
The Assessment Options charts found in the Manual de evaluación address developmental and grade-level appropriateness for assessments. The charts detail the assessment options with columns noting the assessment component (e.g., progress monitoring, unit assessments), the test names, the grades, the type of test, when and how to give the tests, and additional information. For example, the “Phonological Awareness Subtests,” which measure phonological and phonemic awareness, are intended only for grades K–3. On the other hand, the “Phonics Survey” can be used with K–6 students as a screening and progress-monitoring tool for phonics. The chart states that teachers use the phonics survey every four to six weeks in grades 1–3 until students achieve mastery of needed skills. For grades 4–6, teachers use the phonics survey as needed.
The materials include guidance, scaffolds, supports, and extensions that maximize student learning potential. Activities guide students who have not yet mastered the content as well as those who have achieved grade-level mastery to understand the unit objectives. In addition, the instructional materials provide enrichment opportunities for all levels of learners.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials offer small group and whole group instructional guidance for all levels of learners (i.e., “Approaching Level, On Level, Beyond Level”). In Unit 1, the “Teacher’s Edition” divides small group activities into two sections: “Review Sequence” and “Self-Selected Reading.” During the review sequence, the teacher reminds Approaching Level students about text structure and signal words such as primero, luego, después, y por último. Next, the teacher “points out words that signal sequence” as students read leveled text. Students work in pairs or small groups to order the steps of the story or passage using signal words. Meanwhile, students who have mastered the content engage in an independent reading activity. Students select a narrative nonfiction book for sustained silent reading and make notes using the “Sequence Graphic Organizer 128.” The Teacher’s Edition also provides a detailed instructional sequence for the whole group lesson. For example, the introduction of the Week 3 lesson starts with the “Essential Question” “¿Qué aprendemos de las culturas a través de las tradiciones?” Additional questions follow: “¿Cuáles son algunas tradiciones que tienen en sus familias?” and “ ¿Qué les enseñan sobre la historia y la cultura de sus familias?” Students complete a graphic organizer in pairs or small groups, generating words related to traditions and commenting on what they have learned about traditions.
In Unit 2, teachers guide students who have not yet mastered the content (“Nivel inicial” or Approaching Level) with the gradual release framework (i.e., “Yo, Juntos, Ustedes”). Teachers show the vocabulary cards, then model reading and spelling the words. In the Juntos step of gradual release, both the teacher and students say and spell the words. Then, the teacher provides a sentence using the word, and students repeat it. Finally, in the Ustedes step, the teacher shows the vocabulary card, and students read and spell it. The following activity expands vocabulary understanding for all levels of learners: The teacher first practices the week’s vocabulary by asking students questions that include the target word in context. For example, “¿Por qué algunos juguetes de bebé tienen cascabeles?” The vocabulary word is cascabeles. However, the Teacher’s Edition does not provide specific examples of how to review the vocabulary words except for the questions for students. Later, in the same vocabulary expansion activity, students discuss important academic words such as idea and resolver. The teacher presents the words idea and idear and asks students to find the meaning of the related words with a partner. The “Expand Vocabulary” routine is consistently used throughout the units.
The instructional materials provide extensions for students who have mastered the content. For example, in Unit 3, the teacher reviews expository text characteristics, reminding students that it gives “facts, examples, and explanations about a topic.” Students do a close reading of Porqué el Sol es rojo? They note key ideas, details, unfamiliar words, and questions. During “Differentiate and Collaborate,” the teacher asks students, “What do the texts inspire you to do?” Students have two options for response: “a) make a travel brochure that illustrates and teaches facts about Mars” and “b) write a news article about scientists' plans to send humans to Mars.”
In Unit 4, the materials provide suggestions for targeted instruction for all students. For example, in the listening comprehension part of the lesson, the teacher begins by making connections to the genre and “El concepto clave: Inspiración.” The teacher then previews the text, provides instruction about the text structure, and finishes with a read-and-respond section. Though the materials provide explicit guidance for teachers to question and engage in discussion during the whole group listening comprehension lesson, there are other sections, such as vocabulary, where little guidance is provided. For instance, one of the vocabulary words is reposo. The teacher guide states, “Reposo significa descanso.” However, it does not include a process for teaching students to use context clues to understand that reposo means resting.
Unit 5 provides guidance for extension activities for students who have mastered the content, divided into vocabulary and comprehension sections. The teacher reviews the meaning of vocabulary words and models writing sentences with the target words. Students work in pairs to discuss the meaning of new words and write their own sentences. For comprehension practice, students read and complete the digital “Point of View Graphic Organizer 146.” Lesson extensions direct the teacher to have “gifted and talented students write summaries in their journal.” To conclude, students share their opinions about a character’s point of view.
Finally, the “Carpeta de recursos” provides an array of supporting instructional materials for all learners, e.g., articles from Time for Kids, short readings that support each unit, leveled readings, and “Reader’s Theater.” The Carpeta de recursos also offers games and interactive activities and an “Espacio de investigación” for differentiation and extension.
The materials provide a variety of instructional methods that appeal to a variety of learning interests and needs. The instructional approaches are developmentally appropriate and engage students in mastery of the content. The strategies are multimodal and support flexible grouping of students. Guided, independent, and collaborative practices provide guidance and structures to achieve effective implementation.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
Unit 1 engages students with a four-part lesson focused on a Time for Kids magazine article titled “El fútbol es el juego de los Estados Unidos.” Instructional strategies include “hacer conexiones, búsqueda en línea, inspirar a la acción y estudio independiente.” Students compare the theme from the article with other texts in the unit. The teacher models how to use and bookmark hyperlinks. Then, the teacher guides students to inspire action by writing an argumentative piece that addresses the question “¿Deben los niños aprender a jugar al fútbol?” The final element is independent study; students choose a question to research that connects to the unit theme.
In Unit 2, students learn about immigration through the anchor text La tienda de mamá y papá. The teacher guides students to use a graphic organizer to record key details related to the “Essential Question,” “¿Por qué la gente emigra a otros lugares?” The teacher models think-aloud and visualization strategies, using the illustrations to make predictions. The teacher then releases responsibility to the students, prompting them to discuss the theme, vocabulary, and illustrations with a partner.
Unit 3 instructional materials include multimodal strategies for summarization. The teacher introduces an anchor chart that explains a summarization strategy. The teacher conducts a think-aloud to demonstrate the strategy and models how to retell the important points of the text. The student book, “Mi libro de lectura y escritura” includes visuals to guide students through the process of finding evidence for summarizing. The students study a picture from the expository text with a prompt to draw an arrow to the appropriate caption. The digital version of the student book has a text-to-speech feature that reads the pages, questions, and sidebars to support students’ development of summarization skills. This unit also provides student choice options for small group time, independent reading, reading across genres, leveled readers, self-selected reading, and differentiated workstation activities. For example, the differentiated workstations include “problema y solución, fluidez, y clasificación de animales.”
Unit 4 supports instructional moves from teacher-led instruction to independence with newly taught literacy skills. For example, the teacher and students create an anchor text with the title “La impresionante naturaleza.” The lesson shifts to small group instruction with flexible groups (i.e., “Approaching Level, On Level, Beyond Level”) and continued use of the anchor chart to take notes on key details related to animal survival in the Mojave Desert.
In Unit 5, the lesson plan sidebar has a section titled “Conectar con el contenido,” which provides explicit guidance to the teacher. For example, while reading Elizabeth y el derecho al voto, the teacher shares that the main character performed civic duties to become a better civilian. The lesson plan also has a section titled “Strategy, Ask and Answer Questions: Teacher Think Aloud.” The teacher models thinking aloud for the students, using questions from the story. For example, the teacher says: “One question I asked myself is why a woman would have her farm taken from her. To find the answer, I can reread the last sentence on page 367 and retell it in my own words.” The responsibility then shifts to the students to do a think-aloud during the continued reading of the story. The unit offers teacher guidance for three leveled reader groups. The small group differentiated lessons include previewing and predicting, reviewing the genre, and close reading with a graphic organizer. The close reading activity involves guided reading practice through chunking and questioning. For example, after reading the first two pages, the teacher stops and gives students the following directive: “Busquen relaciones de causa y efecto en la página…. Explíquelas a un compañero y comenten qué les ayudó a identificarlas.” Scaffolded supports during the small group lessons include clear directions for the gradual release of responsibility. However, lessons for students in need of one-on-one support are not included.
Throughout the units, there are opportunities for students to engage with concepts through games. Students create their own vocabulary cards and use them to play “Memory,” “Pick It Up,” “Back to Back,” and “Making Pairs” games. Whole group games led by the teacher also reinforce learning. For example, during the game “Círculos: adentro y afuera,” the inside circle asks the outside circle to state the meaning of the term on their card in their own words, and students rotate clockwise every 30 seconds.
The “Instructional Routines Handbook,” found in the “Carpeta de recursos,” provides clear guidance to teachers about dozens of routines for word work, reading, writing and grammar, and research and inquiry. For example, the section called “How Does Wonders Teach Close Reading?” provides a chart with specific components used to teach, model, and guide students to closely read. The chart is divided into eight steps: introduce the genre, teach the shared read, teach craft and structure, respond to reading, read the anchor text, make connections, teach in small groups, and encourage independent reading.
The materials do not include supports for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations. The materials do not include accommodations for linguistics commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency. The materials do not encourage strategic use of students’ primary language as a means to develop linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic skills in the target language.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials are in Spanish and dedicated to the development of literacy skills in the Spanish language. Units 1–6 support Spanish language acquisition through the use of videos, visuals, and high-quality texts in Spanish. However, there is no evidence that the materials provide accommodations for ELs with various levels of English proficiency. The materials do not encourage strategic use of students’ primary language as a means to develop linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic skills in English. The goal is to develop literacy skills in the Spanish language that will serve as a bridge to literacy in English.
The materials include year-long plans with practice and review opportunities that support instruction. The year-long plan is cohesive and builds students’ concept development from year to year. The materials provide spiraled review and practice of knowledge and skills in all domains throughout the span of the curriculum.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In the “Carpeta de recursos” tab, the “Wonders Research Base Alignment” guide (available only in English) states, “It is vital that curricula are aligned with rigorous research and learning standards.” The guide provides information on how the materials align with standards, research, and curricula with a focus on the following key processes: text comprehension, speaking and listening, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, vocabulary and language, conventions, writing, and social-emotional learning. The guide includes a chart that provides examples of alignment for each of the key processes. For example, under text comprehension research recommendations, specifically “Analyze the meaning of text through group discussion,” the guide notes the location of aligned lessons throughout the grade levels. The guide describes the materials’ regular practices, such as “Shared Read, Talk About It, and Collaborative Conversations,” as evidence that students have frequent opportunities to make connections, discuss, summarize, and listen within each unit of instruction across the grade levels.
The teacher resource section includes a scope and sequence document for the year called “Plan general de cursos.” This document outlines the genre studies within the six units and the concepts the students learn each week. For example, in Unit 1, students learn about text features in three genre studies: narrative nonfiction, argumentative text, and expository text. Students receive additional instruction in text features in Units 2 and 3 while reading expository text; in Unit 4 while reading biography and argumentative text; and in Unit 5 while reading expository text. The materials provide spiraled review of various standards in this manner.
The materials include focused practice of foundational skills within the units and spiraled review across the span of the curriculum. For example, in Unit 1, the students practice phrasing in their fluency lesson during Week 1. In Week 4, the materials emphasize instruction on expression in the fluency lesson. To close the unit, students read a science fiction “Reader’s Theater” titled Llévame a tu basura. The teacher models reading fluently with proper phrasing and expression. The students practice fluency skills as they rehearse and prepare to perform the play. The lesson plans include similar strategic work on fluency throughout the year.
Within the units, the materials include clear plans to introduce new content and build upon prior knowledge. For example, in Unit 2, spelling lessons focus on “Palabras con c, q, k.” The teacher uses the “Oraciones de dictado” during the pre-test, and students self-assess when finished. The teacher then displays the week’s spelling cards, and students identify the spelling pattern for each card. Throughout the week, the teacher guides practice with the words. For example, the teacher and students collaborate on sentences with the spelling words and a brainstorming activity on word families for c, q, and k. Students engage in extended practice by completing open and closed word sorts as well as digital activities with error correction and syllable division.
The materials demonstrate developmental advancement as the year progresses. For example, in Unit 1, while reading the argumentative text Protejamos nuestros parques, students review “main idea and key details,” a skill learned in the primary grades. Students revisit the “main idea” in Unit 3 during a genre study of expository text. The materials build on student understanding of the main idea with the study of theme. In Unit 2, students explore theme in historical text in Unit 4 while reading poetry and in Unit 6 while reading drama. Identifying the theme requires students to look at the overall message of the entire text, which is a more complex task than identifying the main idea.
The plans include clear and explicit guidance for content instruction. An “Essential Question” frames each genre study. For example, the first genre study of Unit 1 is argumentative text; the Essential Question is “¿Cómo nos ayudan los monumentos a entender la historia de nuestro país?” In the “Weekly Organizer,” the plans include an overview of the whole group and small group lessons. The design is systematic across the week and includes essential elements such as listening comprehension, shared reading, comprehension strategy instruction, vocabulary, and grammar. Each lesson includes semi-scripted directions in Spanish and English for the teacher and tabs to explain key points such as standards, learning objectives, and routines. Links to the student workbook, the “Reading/Writing Companion,” and other materials provide access to supporting and extension activities for the students.
The materials include implementation support for teachers, including a TEKS-aligned scope and sequence that outlines the essential knowledge and skills taught in the program. The materials provide support for teachers to implement the materials as intended and include a school year’s worth of instruction with realistic pacing guidance and routines. The materials include sufficient resources and guidance to help administrators support teachers in implementing the materials as intended.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The teacher resource section includes the “Plan general del curso,” a scope and sequence document that outlines the TEKS-aligned concepts and skills to be taught at each grade level in the order in which they should be implemented by the teacher. The guide is organized by unit and identifies the three genre studies within each unit, framed by “Essential Questions.” The document lists the titles of texts to be read in each genre study as well as basic details about the objectives for comprehension; vocabulary; phonics and spelling; fluency; writing and grammar; and research and inquiry. The Plan general del curso provides an overview of the unit’s objectives for “Read Aloud,” “Shared Read,” “Literature Anthology,” “Leveled Readers,” and “Vocabulary.”
A menu of videos address the following themes for a teacher new to the program: “Overview, Structure and Resources, Teacher Materials, Set Up the Classroom, Get to Know Your Students.” The overview informs teachers that there are six units of instruction and three genre studies per unit. The first two genres of each unit are two weeks long, the third genre is one week long, and the sixth week of each unit is “Review, Extend, and Assess.”
The genre study guides, located in the teacher resource tab, catalogs the TEKS addressed in each two-week genre study cycle. The study guide, available online as a PDF, includes lesson plans with TEKS-aligned objectives and details to support implementation. Each lesson plan in the study guide is sequenced and semi-scripted, providing teachers with necessary questions, scaffolds, and extensions. Teachers access lesson plans in the digital calendar called “Organizador semanal.” This calendar provides an overview of the week for the teacher and facilitates navigation to daily lesson components. The daily components include the essential knowledge and skills for the day’s lessons. The TEKS can be viewed at a glance in the “Estándares semanales” tab. This tool lists the standards for the lessons and how many times each standard is taught in a given week.
The materials provide a pacing guide that suggests a timeline for implementation to ensure the delivery of a year’s worth of instruction. The “Professional Development: Suggested Lesson Plans and Pacing Guides” handbook includes three flexible pacing guides for grades 3–6: 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes. Each model includes the number of suggested minutes for whole group and small group lessons as well as options for modification and extension.
The “Instructional Routines Handbook” outlines important concepts for teachers such as the gradual release of responsibility, student-driven learning, and differentiated learning. The handbook explains the program model and philosophy, followed by sections on “Collaborative Conversations”; “Word Work”; “Reading”; “Writing and Grammar”; and “Research and Inquiry”. Within each section, the teacher finds explicit and sequenced routines to follow in the classroom such as sentence segmentation, “Define/Example/Ask,” and close reading. More than 40 routines are described.
Materials include resources to guide administrators in understanding appropriate learning environments, structures, and approaches to Spanish Language Arts and Reading in grades 3–6. Administrators can watch a three-minute video overview of the program’s instructional focus as well as a video on administrator best practices. The “T-TESS Coaching Guide” explains how the curriculum supports teachers in the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) dimensions. This guide recommends that the administrator “reviews the instructional element and uses coaching questions to facilitate reflection to ensure quality instruction is embedded, embraced, and taught with fidelity.” Furthermore, materials provide feedback templates to assist administrators in providing effective feedback to classroom teachers that specifically aligns to the implementation of the publisher’s materials. Guidance and questions assist administrators in providing feedback.
The materials provide implementation guidance to meet variability in programmatic design and scheduling considerations. The sequence of content is explicit and follows a developmental progression. The materials allow LEAs to incorporate the curriculum into district, campus, and teacher programmatic design and scheduling considerations.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The teacher resources include a scope and sequence chart called “Plan del curso.” This tool shows the progression of standards for the foundational skills (i.e., phonics/spelling, grammar, and fluency). In addition, the document lists the titles of texts for each genre study as well as basic details about the objectives for comprehension; vocabulary; phonics and spelling; fluency; writing and grammar; and research and inquiry.
The “Plan” tab allows the teacher to see the layout of all six units by week and the genre study for each two-week period. Each genre study begins with an introduction to the “Essential Question” and characteristics of the genre, followed by shared reading, vocabulary, grammar, and phonics/spelling. The teacher and students revisit and extend understanding of these components during the two-week cycle through comprehension strategy and skill instruction as well as small group and independent reading experiences. Reading response is embedded in the student workbook, called the “Reading/Writing Companion.” During each genre study, students take a related writing piece through the writing process. For example, while reading realistic fiction anchor texts, students draft, revise, and publish personal narratives. Each six-week unit culminates in a research and inquiry project and presentation that address the Essential Question explored throughout the unit.
The genre study guides explain lesson implementation and include detailed plans for whole group and small group instruction (“Approaching Level, On Level, Beyond Level”). For each lesson, teachers receive guidance regarding lesson delivery, questions to ask, and follow-up activities. The lesson plans include TEKS, learning objectives, close reading routines, vocabulary, and more. Lesson plans are semi-scripted in Spanish and English with color-coded subheadings such as blue for skills and strategies (e.g., “Volver a leer” and “Comparar y contrastar”), red for “Leer,” and green for “Releer.”
In the Plan home page, the teacher clicks on “Opciones” to eliminate non-essential lessons and hide inactive lessons. This option allows teachers to focus on literacy basics in the time allotted by the district and school. In the planning calendar, the teacher has the ability to edit to modify the schedule. For example, teachers add “un día de no enseñanza” or expand the lesson blocks to add an extra day in the sequence. The teacher also edits the order of the lessons or removes lessons as necessary. The teacher views the schedule adjustments in the “Organizador semanal,” an overview of the week.
The flexible pacing guides suggest 60-minute, 90-minute, or 120-minute timetables for implementation. Each model includes the number of suggested minutes for whole group and small group lessons as well as options for modification and extension. The pacing guides indicate activities that may be taught in small groups or in lieu of an activity in the core column. Furthermore, the resource includes a “Small Group Options” page that outlines how the 30 minutes allotted to small group instruction may be used with the different level groups.
The materials provide guidance on fostering connections between home and school. The materials develop strong relationships between teachers and families with specific activities for use at home to support students’ learning and development.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In the resource folder, teachers find back-to-school resources to support home-school connections. Resources include a digital scavenger hunt for grades 2–6 in Spanish, a digital scavenger hunt template, an “Introducing...Family Letter Template” in English and Spanish, a “Systems Requirement” document, and an “Introducing...Family Presentation” slideshow. The slide presentation provides important information about weekly letters and suggested at-home activities to enhance learning. Unfortunately, the slideshow presentation is only in English, but it is editable. The systems requirements information is only in English.
An online space called “De la escuela al hogar” allows students to view and complete school work from home. The “Para la semana” section includes weekly activities for students in three categories: “Trabajo con palabras, Chequeo de comprensión, y Listas de ortografía.” Families find weekly letters that list student learning goals on “De la escuela al hogar” and can communicate with the teacher in the “Mis mensajes” tab. The program automatically generates the letters to match the weekly objectives, but teachers can personalize as needed. Students can play digital games for skills practice from home and access the digital library. An informational document in Spanish explains how to access the digital resource at home. The step-by-step instructions include screenshots for support.
In Unit 1, families receive a letter that welcomes them to the program. The letter has two headings: “¿Cómo será la experiencia de su niño/niña en la clase?” and “¿Cómo será la experiencia de su niño o niña en casa?” Families can log in to see bimonthly study topics and information from the teacher. For example, in the third week of Unit 1, families learn that the class is studying the genre of realistic fiction and “Nos centraremos en las tradiciones.” The materials encourage families to review the vocabulary about traditional festivals and have conversations “acerca de las diferencias entre esta celebración y las de otros días festivos.”
In Unit 2, the weekly letter specifies “Objetivos de aprendizaje del estudiante” and explains the comprehension skill (i.e., “Author’s Point of View”). The spelling lists address three levels: “Approaching Level, On Level, and Beyond Level. Families access the list and find activities for studying, such as “Escriba las palabras en unas tarjetas en blanco.” “Inventa una oración para las palabras y haga una pausa en silencio en el lugar de palabra.”
In Unit 3, the home-to-school letter encourages families to help the child put checks next to the learning goals (s)he completes (e.g., “Vocabulario, Repaso en espiral, Palabras de ortografía, Comprensión”). For example, the spiral review suggests “Word Bingo” to review spelling words, past and present. The comprehension skill is “main idea and key details.” The parent and child read a passage called “El viento solar” and discuss what it is, how we study it, and what it causes. Then, the student identifies the main idea of each paragraph in the passage.
In Unit 4, the family letter suggests a vocabulary activity called “Repaso en espiral.” The family member and student review the words (e.g., pacientemente, imprudente, reojo) and then collaboratively write a story. The directions state, “Nos turnaremos para formar oraciones que incluyan las palabras, y de ese modo crear un cuento.”
In Unit 5, the family letter explains that students are learning about cause and effect. To practice comprehension, the materials suggest: “Juntos, lean el texto sobre la energía hidráulica en el que se explica cómo se obtiene energía del agua. Luego, su niño deberá completar una tabla de causas y efectos para mostrar cómo un suceso lleva a otro.” The passage includes an example of a cause-and-effect table.
In Unit 6, the letter informs families that the class is studying the problem and solution. The comprehension activity is a logic story in which the child and family member complete a matrix. For vocabulary practice, the materials suggest that the family member give the student clues until the student guesses the word. After guessing the word, the student spells it. The Listas de ortografía include Approaching Level, On Level, and Beyond Level. The focus pattern for all three lists is diacritic accents.
The visual design of student and teacher materials is neither distracting nor chaotic. The materials include appropriate use of white space and design that supports and does not distract from student learning. The pictures and graphics support student learning and engagement.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The digital teacher materials are efficiently organized and support easy navigation of resources. The top and side toolbars have clear labels and allow the teacher to locate information quickly. For example, the top toolbar is color-coded in dark blue and lists the following tabs: “Plan, Recursos, Evaluar y datos, Escritura e investigación, Administrar y asignar, Carpeta.” Each tab has a dropdown menu of two to six items. The unit lesson plans are systematically organized with the genre study and “Essential Question” at the top. Teachers can view a weekly overview of linked lesson components organized by day. Each link in the weekly organizer opens the page with daily lesson plans. The whole group and small group lesson components are displayed on the left toolbar with clear, colorful labels. The whole group tab opens a series of lesson components (e.g., “Introduce the Concept, Listening Comprehension, Shared Read, Vocabulary, Grammar, Spelling”). The small group tab opens lessons for “Approaching Level, On Level, Beyond Level.” Lesson plans are presented in the middle in detailed, sequenced steps with multiple print features to support understanding (e.g., bold print, italics, and key terms in red). On the right, the toolbar displays other important information, such as “Normas, Objetivos, Rutina de lectura atenta, Lectura diferenciada.”
The digital student workbook displays the story in the middle and color-coded sidebars with tasks and prompts to engage the student. The sidebars have clear headings (e.g., “Texto principal: Los tamales de guanaco”; “Lectura complementaria: Hacer conexiones”). The student workbook uses consistent icons and headings throughout the units. For example, the magnifying glass indicates “Buscar evidencias,” and the green speech bubble labeled “Releer” indicates close reading. Clipart of two students talking has a label that reads “Colabora” to prompt students to read the “Tu turno” conversational prompt. The workbook includes many editable graphic organizers throughout the units to help students record text evidence and complete higher-level-thinking tasks.
In Unit 1, during a shared reading of the expository text Un jardín para todos, the student digital anthology displays clean and concise text. The sidebars are clearly identifiable with a white background and a blue banner at the top that reads “Lectura compartida” on the left and the genre of the text, “Ficción realista,” on the right. The questions and prompts in each column are clearly visible with bold, black text on a white background. The text of the story has colorful graphics and clear maps to support the content. The pictures are realistic drawings that connect to the content of the story.
In Unit 2, the teacher finds tabs in the digital guide that provide brief but important details about the lesson. For example, on the first day of the unit, during the “Introduce the Concept” lesson, the teacher sees the following tabs on the right: “Normas, Objetivos, Lenguaje académico, Apoyo vocabulario.” The objective is “Develop social communication such as conversing politely in all situations,” an indication that students will participate in “Conversaciones colaborativas” during the lesson. The “Academic Language” tab displays “Emigrar y oportunidad” and “Cognados: migrate and opportunity.”
In Unit 3, the teacher uses quality visuals (“Tarjetas de vocabulario”) and a systematic routine to teach vocabulary from the anchor text. The guide explains that “las tarjetas introducen visualmente el vocabulario específico del programa.” The whole group instructional steps are “1) Definición 2) Ejemplo 3) Pregunta/Pida, así como los cognados, cuando corresponda.” For example, prior to reading the anchor text La Tierra y sus vecinos, the “Visual Vocabulary Cards” include astronomía, cantidad, permitir, rocoso, temperatura, terráqueo, sistema solar, and superficie. Each card has a clear, professional image on one side, with the word in bold print above it and the routine on the other side of the card. The teacher begins by reading the definition for a word (e.g., “astronomía: el estudio de las estrellas y los planetas”). Next, the teacher gives an example: “Kia observa las estrellas cuando estudia astronomía.” Then, the teacher checks for understanding with a question: “¿Les gustaría aprender sobre astronomía?” Finally, the teacher flips the card to display the image of children viewing the stars and provides additional information: “Este telescopio se usa para observar estrellas y planetas. Es importante estudiar astronomía porque nos permite conocer más del mundo que nos rodea.”
In Unit 4, the expository text titled Lobo gris, zorro rojo is a shared read through which students learn about the natural habitats of wolves and foxes. The photo of a gray wolf and red fox on the first two pages of the digital text fills the page with the title in bold gray and red print at the top and the “Essential Question” at the bottom. Borders that represent natural twigs create clear divisions between the text, maps, and images. A brief caption in bold print accompanies each photograph. The map of the United States is titled “Donde viven” and includes a “clave/leyenda” for the color-coded regions of the animals’ habitats.
In Unit 6, under the dropdown menu for whole group lessons, there is a spelling lesson on “Palabras esdrújulas.” The teacher guide has “Oraciones de dictado,” with sentences such as “Es difícil quitarle la cáscara a la manzana.” “Su sonrisa fue un regalo simbólico.” The lesson plan explains that the teacher will present each word in a clear voice, “haciendo énfasis en la separación de sílabas.” Guided practice includes a task in which students cut apart the spelling words with digital tools such as a ruler, a paintbrush, a saw, and an eraser. The activity is engaging and easy to use; students check the syllable division for each word before proceeding to the next.
The materials provide clear guidance specific to bilingual program models. The materials include recommendations for how to apply the guidance and cite current, relevant research on Spanish literacy development and second language development and acquisition.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include the following videos: “Dual Language Versus English Language Instruction, How is Dual Language Instruction Different, One-Way and Two-Way Dual Language Instruction, Lesson Planning in a Dual Language Classroom, Student Interaction in a Dual Language Classroom, Setting Up a Dual Language Classroom, Effectively Pairing and Grouping Students, Dual Language: The Roles of Teacher and Student, Best Practices for Building and Maintaining Two Languages, Bridging Lessons: Transfer Learning Between Languages, Building First Language Proficiency, The Reciprocal Nature of Language Arts and English Language Instruction.”
In One-Way and Two-Way Dual Language Instruction, Dr. Josefina Tinajero discusses the differences between one-way and two-way dual language instruction. She states that one-way models include “all students from one language group,” while two-way models serve monolingual English and monolingual Spanish speakers as well as students who are bilingual. She communicates the exciting opportunities offered by dual language classrooms to increase biliteracy and raise the prestige of bilingualism.
Lesson Planning in a Dual Language Classroom addresses the scheduling and fundamentals of dual language instruction, though it does not refer to a specific model such as the 90-10 or 50-50 ratio model. The presenter, Peggy Cerna, states, “Each district or school decides which content area will be taught in each language.” The presenter also emphasizes that content should be taught once in the language of instruction; there is no need to repeat objectives in the partner language. Bridging lessons connect the concept to the other language. She notes the helpful role of color-coding the language of instruction in the bridging lessons and highlights the importance of weekly bridging lessons that occur only after the teacher “is sure that her students have mastered the objective that they are working on.”
In The Reciprocal Nature of Language Arts and English Language Instruction, Dr. Jana Echevarria emphasizes the reciprocal processes of language arts instruction and language development. She discusses the concept of redundancy: “Students need to have multiple exposures to the same words to really internalize them.” Schools should strive to establish coherence between the English language arts and English language development programs, focusing on overlapping skills, vocabulary, and strategies to provide the multiple exposures students need to master literacy and language objectives. Though she does not explicitly connect these points to Spanish language learners, she communicates that all language learners need meaningful, strategic lessons that pair language arts and language development goals.
The materials provide a handbook called “Research Base Alignment: A Summary of Key Research and Demonstration of Program Alignment.” The handbook has sections on the pillars of language arts (e.g., text comprehension, phonological awareness, phonics, and word recognition) but does not specifically address dual language classrooms or Spanish language literacy. The teacher resources folder contains multiple white papers written by literacy experts such as Donald Bear and Tim Shanahan; these papers contain information applicable to all language arts classrooms. For example, Dr. Douglas Fisher defines close reading as “the instructional practice of having students critically examine a text, especially through multiple readings” in the white paper “Close Reading in Elementary Classrooms.” These resources are instructive for all teachers of language arts. However, white papers specific to dual language instruction would be valuable complements to the videos.
The “Dual Language Planner” includes side-by-side Spanish and English lessons for each unit. Transferable lessons for core instruction pair the anchor texts in the partner languages. This resource also highlights non-transferable lessons that should be taught in both languages, typically for “Grammar/Gramática” and “Spelling/Ortografía.” For example, the resource lists “Gramática el verbo: infinitivo y tiempos verbales” and “Grammar Action Verbs” as non-transferable lessons. The Dual Language Planner also provides optional instructional topics to cover if the teacher chooses. The optional lesson topics include phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and more.
In the “Carpeta de recursos,” there is a guidebook called “Guía de transferencias lingüísticas” that clarifies the connection between the two languages and identifies grammar skills and phonics sounds that are transferable and non-transferable. In the introduction to “Cognate Knowledge and Reading Comprehension,” the guide states: “Studies indicate that—under some circumstances—English learners whose first language shares cognates with English are able to draw on first language knowledge to figure out the meanings of cognates in their second language.” The guide references current research that supports the importance of cognate instruction in dual language classrooms: “Students use their first-language knowledge in inferring the meaning of unknown second-language words that are cognates (August, 2009; August, Branum-Martin, Cardenas-Hagan, & Francis, 2009; Carlo et al., 2004).” “Once taught, the transparency of cognate pairs may enhance bilingual students’ reading comprehension (August & Shanahan, 2009).”
The materials support teachers’ understanding of the connections between content presented in each language and provide guidance on how to help students understand this connection. The materials highlight opportunities for students to make cross-linguistic connections and allow for equitable instruction in both languages. The materials support teacher and student understanding and application of transferable skills between the languages.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The “Guía de transferencias lingüísticas” (“Language Transfers Handbook”) includes charts and instructional information about “Sound Transfers,” “Grammar Transfers,” and “Cognate Knowledge and Reading Comprehension.” The section “How to Use the Sound and Phonics Transfers Charts” guides teachers through three tasks: “1) Highlight Transferable Skills, 2) Pre-teach Non-Transferrable Skills, 3) Provide Additional Practice and Time.” The Grammar Transfer Chart has three columns: “Grammatical Form, Transfer Mistakes in English, Cause of Difficulty.” The handbook states that the information can be used “to address common mistakes that some English learners make when they transfer grammatical forms from Spanish into English,” such as the overuse of articles. The guide identifies the cause (e.g., the common use of articles in Spanish) and explains how teachers can help students transfer skills efficiently and proficiently.
The Guía de transferencias lingüísticas provides sample lessons and suggests practice activities for multiple transferable skills. For example, in the section on Sound Transfers, the guide identifies sounds /b/, /k/, and /d/ as positive transfers. In the section on cognates, the teacher explains cognates, models differences and similarities in sample cognates, and gives students an opportunity “to find cognates in authentic text.” A sample teacher lesson on the cognate word pair liberty/libertad illustrates how to present a cognate lesson and provide students with opportunities for practice.
In the daily lesson plans, cognates are highlighted as well. For example, the guide regularly includes vocabulary mini-lessons called “Palabras en contexto” that recognize cognate pairs. In addition, the “Apoyo de la lección'' sidebar has a dropdown section for “Lenguaje académico.” Content vocabulary terms that are cognates are noted in this area, such as context/contexto and synonym/sinónimo.
The “Dual Language Planner” provides side-by-side lesson plans in English and Spanish. The planner pairs skills that transfer with applicable anchor texts and highlights non-transferable lessons in yellow. The planner identifies transferable skills in multiple areas (e.g., writing, grammar, vocabulary, fluency). The non-transferable skills are typically grammar and spelling. For example, the resource lists “Gramática el verbo: infinitivo y tiempos verbales” and “Grammar Action Verbs” as non-transferable lessons. The Dual Language Planner also provides optional topics of instruction to support student learning, which include phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and more.
The genre studies regularly include opportunities to focus on language transfer. The unit overview includes a specific section on the topic, and the daily lesson plans note opportunities to teach transferable and non-transferable skills. For example, the teacher explains similarities, (i.e., transfers between Spanish and English verb forms) by explaining that both Spanish and English have gerund forms of verbs and verb infinitives. The teacher emphasizes a non-transferable skill by teaching students that the letter h is silent at the beginning of words in Spanish. In English, the letter h sounds like a puff of air.
The Spanish “Literature Collection” includes diverse texts that represent world cultures. For example, in Unit 1, students explore the “Essential Question” “¿Cómo contribuyen las personas de diferentes culturas a una comunidad?” During the unit’s three genre studies (narrative nonfiction, folktales, and argumentative text) students read multicultural selections: Gary el soñador about author and poet Gary Soto; Anasi aprende una lección, an African folktale; and “Protegamos nuestros parques,” a magazine article from Time for Kids. In other units, students read Martina una cucarachita muy linda, a Cuban folktale; De cómo los aztecas consiguieron el maíz, a drama/myth about the Aztec Indians; and Ellen Ochoa, una mujer admirable, a biography of the life of the first Latinx woman to travel to space. Each anchor text concludes with biographical information about the author and illustrator, representing a wide array of cultural and linguistic diversity.
The instructional materials include an extensive library of “Leveled Readers” available in both English and Spanish, with very diverse characters to which students can relate. There are over 270 leveled reader books for “Approaching Level,” “On Level,” and “Beyond Level” reading groups. The leveled readers align with the genre studies and extend student understanding of instructional concepts and the world. For example, during a unit on narrative nonfiction, students read Judy Baca, a short chapter book about a Mexican American muralist from Los Angeles, during small group lessons. The story is provided for all three levels of readers.
The Spanish language materials for teachers and students are authentic and culturally relevant. The materials are originally written in academic Spanish or are quality transadaptations or translations. The materials support the development of socio-cultural competence and represent the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 1, the shared read text Un jardín para todos explores an intercultural friendship between two young girls and the science of growing plants. Kiku, a Japanese American girl, and her American classmate Jill learn about the Japanese botanical gardening tradition through the stories of Kiku’s mother and grandmother. The teacher guides “Collaborative Conversations” with questions such as “Kiku nos dice que la asustaba ir a la escuela. ¿Qué sucedió en su vida antes de comenzar la escuela?” Students respond in writing to questions about author’s craft, such as “¿Cómo te ayuda el autor a comprender cómo se sienten todos con respecto a mamá y papá?”
In Unit 2, students read A votar by Eileen Christelow, a high-quality expository text that was translated appropriately from the English version. During the shared read lesson, the guide includes authentic comprehension questions in Spanish for the teacher to ask, such as “¿Qué pistas nos cuentan acerca del propósito de esta selección antes de comenzar a leer?” Through questioning and group discussion, students develop an understanding of the theme of the text: “Es importante que las personas voten.”
In Unit 3, students read an authentic Spanish folktale authored by Cuban writer Carmen Agra Deedy. The text, a 2008 Pura Belpré Honor Book, is titled Martina, una cucarachita muy linda. The “Teacher’s Edition” includes guiding questions and a think-aloud script in Spanish for teachers to follow during the lesson. The academic Spanish language is appropriate for the context and purpose of the activity. For example, during shared reading, the teacher says: “Mientras leo, usaré el texto como ayuda para visualizar que sucede en el cuento. El texto describe mucho más de lo que hay en la ilustración. Usaré el lenguaje específico y descriptivo de la autora, como inflado y relucientes, como ayuda para imaginar los sucesos del cuento.” The entire student workbook uses authentic, academic Spanish. The workbook includes response questions for students, such as “¿Cómo te ayuda la autora a visualizar cómo se siente Martina con relación a Don Cerdo?”
In Unit 4, the first genre study is realistic fiction and begins with a shared reading of ¡Una idea genial! by Virginia Segret Mouro. The teacher introduces students to the “Essential Question,” “¿Cómo usas tus talentos para ayudar a los demás?” and guides conversation about the author’s point of view and literary elements. Students discuss the multi-family household, in which the characters help one another through tough times. Students develop sociocultural competence and empathy as they read and talk about Mr. Perez, a character who has lost his job, and his project to create a beautiful garden for all the families to enjoy. The paired anchor text for this unit is ¿Flor o caracol? by Argentinian author Elena Dreser. Through this story, students revisit the topic of gardening as well as the theme of overcoming problems with the help of others.
In Unit 5, the shared read text is a fairytale called Rosas, piedritas, y mariposas by the Chilean author-illustrator team of Cecilia Beuchat and Mario Gómez. At the end of the story, the short bio is titled “Esta autora y este ilustrador nos ayudan a tener confianza.” The bio explains the socioemotional themes in the book: “El tema principal de los cuentos de Beuchat son niños comunes de carne y hueso que tiene problemas, y su relación con los adultos.” Beuchat wants her young readers to know that “la realidad está llena de magia por cualquier parte que se mire” and that “uno siempre está imaginando.”
In Unit 6, the students read a play version of a Mexican myth: De cómo los aztecas consiguieron el maíz. The text is written by Argentinian author Sebastian Olaso. The play includes authentic, indigenous names such as Xitlali, Teotl, and Quetzalcóatl. The teacher shares the meaning of the names and explains historical information about the characters. For example, students learn that the name Quetzalcóatl means “plumed serpent” and that he was regarded as the Aztec god of wind and rain.
Unit 6 includes the realistic fiction text El mejor día de la semana. Students develop sociocultural competence while reading the story of twins Felipe and Antonia who love Sundays. Every Sunday, the twins and their family have lunch with their grandparents. Grandma teaches Antonia about the wonderful birds that visit her garden, while Felipe discovers grandpa’s old photos. Through those experiences, Felipe and Antonia learn to value other things. The story calls students to reflect on the fact that family is more important than material things with this question at the end of the text: “¿Qué otros cuentos has leído que te hayan hecho reflexionar sobre lo que es importante?”
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