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Using Wonders Literacy system????
Old 06-22-2016, 03:31 PM
 
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Is anyone using the Wonders Literacy system of books (from McGraw Hill)?

Our school is getting it for the next school year and I'm just wondering how much time you had outside of the wonders stuff for other seasonal and themed activities.


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Sorry to be negative
Old 06-22-2016, 04:52 PM
 
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but I really hated Wonders. It has online components (you'll get a code to unlock them) and there's a hard copy anthology.

To be fair, I hate all basal/anthology series because teaching reading is really, really my forte and I don't need a bunch of packaged crap. If math is more your strength and teaching reading isn't your strongest suit, you'll be fine, but if you're a really good reading teacher, you're gonna hate this.

One specific thing I didn't like was what passed for comprehension questions at the end of reading selections. They were obviously written by people who don't know a lot about teaching reading. I came up with my own, better questions.

Their reading selections are not great. Some of the nonfiction is okay, but when I see a disembodied piece of Bud, Not Buddy, I have to scream inside my head, "Why not have them READ THE BOOK?" There's something sacrilegious about a condensed book. It's like those Reader's Digest Condensed Books. It just shouldn't happen.

McGraw Hill is a corporation. They're retailers; they're not teachers. Two things are very sad about teaching reading these days:

Corporate writers, who know nothing about kids or teaching reading, are now writing the curriculum you have to use. Disrespectful to teachers at the very least, educational malpractice at the worst.

These corporate know-nothings have succeeding in convincing districts, and some teachers, that teaching reading, which is as easy as falling off a log, is this mysterious and difficult thing to teach.

Good luck with this. I hope it works out okay for you. Maybe someone who likes it will post and they'll have good things to say. I really have nothing good to say about Wonders.

I would need and want a math program. I don't need a reading program.
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I agree with maryteach.
Old 06-22-2016, 05:35 PM
 
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Fortunately, my district asked us to use Wonders as a "resource" and I used it occasionally for this. It is very similar to Treasures if you're familiar with that. If you have to use it with fidelity (boy, do I hate that word) you won't have a lot of other time in a 90 minute block.

One positive note -- it is nice to have the pieces laid out in sequence if you feel like you might be missing things.
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Wonders
Old 06-23-2016, 06:11 AM
 
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We also have it and I don't use it religiously. I use it more at the very beginning of the year and in fact didn't use it all second semester. I don't like most of the stories and the it seems to be a lot of reading fluff instead of actual skills.
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Wonders
Old 06-23-2016, 07:54 AM
 
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Does the "literacy system " differ from the rest of the Wonders program? I checked the website, but didn't see it. I tolerate Wonders out of necessity. I integrate parts of the program, but don't follow it to a tee.


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Old 06-23-2016, 11:56 AM
 
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I love your comments Maryteach! We are getting Wonders (really already have them stacked in my room) for the next school year. We had HM since 2000 and this seems very similar just with "common core" questions and new material.

I appreciate the digital component since we are going 1:1 this year. We had our training at the end of this school year. Hoping to receive the code soon since I would like to set up some things before the beginning of the school year.

I HATE not having time for actual novels. Great literature but you get an odd part of it that really does not make sense without the rest. i.e. View From Saturday in HM. Amazing story but they talk about turtles!

We have heard the term fidelity. UGH! Though our district said we can still do novels.

My team and I wished we had gone with the other adoption Benchmark (kids could highlight/respond in the text itself. Since we were looking at k-5 adoption so primary REALLY liked Wonder. Wish we could have split from them. 6th was smart (I'm at a k-8 school). They held adoption until 7/8 decides.

I am a fifth grade teacher. What is everyone else? Did anyone else pilot materials?
I also just found this group on Proteacher
McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders

Last edited by Eirelyn; 06-23-2016 at 12:02 PM.. Reason: more to add ;)
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I taught fifth grade last year
Old 06-23-2016, 12:11 PM
 
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and that's when I was given Wonders. I also only dabbled in it. (My P was a huge micro-manager so I had to figure out how little I could use it and still make him happy. Turns out it was very little, thankfully).

Like I said, some of the nonfiction is okay.
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I'm not religious but AMEN SISTER!
Old 06-23-2016, 04:14 PM
 
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My kids loved when we got to Bud Not Buddy because we had a book study on it and they saw how cheated kids were of such a great story. It's like comparing movies to literature, don't get me started😠

As for Wonders, use it as a resource not your main tool for teaching. The tests stink and don't help you really know if your students are comprehending. Pick and choose but use PT for suggestions on better reading instruction. Take the summer for professional reading like Strategies that Work to get a game plan.

Good luck!
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Nervous for next year...
Old 06-24-2016, 01:27 AM
 
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We are getting Wonders for next year. My school got a literacy grant that came with a lot of money but of course a lot of stipulations too. The grant paid for Wonders. In the past at my school we have been told to use packaged curriculums/programs as "resources." My P told us at the end of the year that due to the grant, we have to follow Wonders "with fidelity" for at least a year. The grant also came with instructional coaches(including one from the Wonders company), so I don't think there will be any getting around this. Besides that, if we don't meet certain reading targets (not sure what the percentages are yet, but a certain percent of kids need to move "out of red"), then we don't get the grant money for the next school year. Most of our staff is pretty worried about the whole thing. The only thing I am happy about is that the grant provided money for extra training and collaboration time, which is something we'd typically be asked to do for free. I definitely need the extra money!
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