Interpreting the Summary Charts


By the completion of the 2001-2002 K-5 science curriculum materials adoption process there will be one summary chart created for each science unit as outlined in our K-1 proposal and DRAFT 2-5 science pacing guides. We expect to have evaluations of fall semester units completed by the end of January 2002 and spring semester units completed by the end of March 2002. Additional details of the evaluation process can be found in the proposal for the 2001-2002 academic year K-5 science curriculum materials adoption process. You can also view a list of the sources and modules being evaluated for possible adoption.

At the top of each summary chart is the grade and session at which the LSD science unit is taught (e.g., "2c" indicates second grade, third session), followed by the unit name.

Next within a unit summary chart you will find a table listing the various curriculum modules examined for potential adoption for that unit. For each row in the table, the left column indicates:

    1. The publisher or source of the module
    2. The grade level for which the module is intended [in brackets]
    3. The title of the module
    4. The teacher(s) who evaluated the module and the school(s) where they teach

The next several columns of the table indicate the Michigan Curriculum Framework (2000) science benchmarks that define the core content of the unit. These are indicated at the top of the columns by their MCF codes. These codes are repeated below the table, along with the text of each benchmark. For more details about the intent of each benchmark, its relationship to the larger science unit in which it is included, and its place in the MCF, we urge you to refer to your DRAFT 2-5 science pacing guide and the MCF (2000) science benchmarks.   MI-CLiMB and MI-BIG may also be resources worth your consideration.

Using the "Content Analysis" procedure, each module is rated in relation to each benchmark for the unit. The "Ratings Scale," which appears on each summary chart to the right of the benchmark texts, indicates if the module’s content match to the benchmark is:

Although we tried to avoid finer gradations in the ratings, in some cases, the numeric rating is followed by a plus sign or minus sign to indicate a rating that is slightly higher or slightly lower respectively than the numeric value alone.

Note that in a few cases we have found a benchmark that is associated with a science unit (as defined by our district’s 2-5 science pacing guides) but which is not covered by any modules evaluated for possible adoption for that unit. For example, the second session unit for first grade (1b: Properties that Make Materials Useful) includes a benchmark about using materials taken from the earth (i.e., V.1.e.5). None of the modules evaluated for this unit address this idea. This dilemma may be resolved in several ways. For example, we may decide to keep this benchmark associated with this unit and develop supplemental materials to support its teaching and learning during the unit, in conjunction with adopting one of the otherwise highly recommended modules for this unit. Alternatively, we may decide that this benchmark can be developed sufficiently in another unit and so can be dropped from this unit without jeopardizing students’ eventual mastery of its content. How situations like this get resolved will eventually have to be addressed by our Elementary Science Steering Committee (ESSC). If you have suggestions along these lines, please share them with your building’s representative to the ESSC or your area’s Elementary Science Teacher Specialist (ESTS).

To the right of the individual benchmark ratings, a "Content Analysis Summary" rating is given to each module. Since some benchmarks may be deemed more or less important in a unit, the summary ratings are necessarily not just a simple average of the individual benchmark ratings for a module. For example, the second session unit for Kindergarten (Kb: Sorting Materials) lists six benchmarks. But the benchmark about classifying objects (i.e., IV.1.e.1) is deemed to be much more important to the main intent for that unit than are any of the other five benchmarks, and so its rating is more heavily weighted in determining the summary score.

The four columns to the right of the "Content Analysis Summary" column indicate ratings for each module in relation to four criteria for evaluating the module’s instructional approach. A brief statement of each criterion is listed below the table and the benchmark texts. More details about these criteria can be found in the "Instructional Analysis" procedure. Like the Content Analysis, there is also a column with a rating for the "Instructional Analysis Summary."

In some cases where a module did very poorly on the content analysis, it was deemed unnecessary to bother with the instructional analysis. Thus, some modules do not have ratings in the instructional analyses columns.

At the far right side of the table, each module is assigned an "Overall Recommendation." We tried to arrive at a consensus for these ratings among the members of the field test study group after comparing and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each module. We also tried to limit these to a simple "Yes" or "No." However, in a few cases, either consensus was not achieved, or a module was seen as being possible for adoption, but not as strong as some other alternatives – for example, possibly because it was less "teacher friendly" or would require more supplementation – and so it received a "Maybe" in the "Overall Recommendation" column.

As time and energy permit, and interest warrants, we hope to add links from the summary charts to brief narratives describing the strengths and weaknesses of each module, as well as the more detailed evaluation reports written for each content and instructional analysis for each module. We also encourage you to contact the teachers who did the evaluations to discuss their work in more detail or to answer questions you may have about some of the modules. We have also made arrangements for interested teachers to borrow copies of the evaluated modules for their own short-term examination prior to the district-wide vote on adoptions. Also, a "curriculum fair" with the evaluated materials was held in the Oak Room at the Hill Center for all district teachers on March 12, 2002. As additional information or details related to the K-5 science materials adoption processs become available, we’ll be posting them to this web site and announcing them via the meetings of the Elementary Science Steering Committee. Please let us know if you any questions or suggestions for improving how we share the results of our K-5 science adoption process.



Notes for Viewing and Printing Summary Results Charts

Viewing:   It is likely that all of a summary results chart will not be visible on your computer screen with your current display settings. If you can reset your display settings to "1600x1200" and then re-size your browser window to fill the whole screen, you should be able to view the entire width of most summary results charts.

Printing:   Although web browsers, computer hardware and software, and printers and print drivers can vary widely in how they reproduce a web page on paper, it appears that each of the summary charts can each be printed successfully to a single sheet of paper by setting your printer options to print in "landscape" mode and reduction to between "35%" and "50%" (depending on how wide you want your page margins).


This page was last updated:  2002.03.26 by RTSmith