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Reading/ELA series
Old 03-05-2017, 03:43 AM
 
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Hey all,

My district is looking at possibly purchasing a new reading series. So far we have had two presentations...both from Pearson. We learned about Reading Street and ReadyGen. Of the two I personally liked ReadyGen more...but I don't think we necessarily need a new series either. The K-1 teachers in our district have a great phonemic awareness program we are using, the WOW non fiction units (Anita Archer) and many used Road to Reading/Code for phonics...so I guess I have a couple questions.

1. Is a series absolutely necessary in grades K-1?

2. What series do you LOVE?

3. If you have one you love, why do you love it?

Thanks,
Amy


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We have Journeys....
Old 03-05-2017, 06:19 AM
 
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Hi, Amy!

I'm not going to say I LOVE Journeys, but the students do seem to enjoy most of the stories, and I like the sequence of phonics taught within the series. I don't always use the guided reading tradebooks that go with each basal story, but even many of them are engaging stories for the children. If there is a basal story I don't like, then I go rogue that week and incorporate the skills into my own reading pieces I find on Edhelper or TPT. In addition, coming from teaching in the intermediate grades a couple years ago, the assessments that accompany the weekly stories help prepare the primary children for the upcoming end-of-grade tests they will take in third grade and up. I feel an obligation to the intermediate teachers to do my fair share to prepare the students for those dang tests. And, my life has gotten busier as my children have grown, and I frankly don't have the time I once did to scrape up my own weekly story and guided reading books each and every week. When a basal has award-winning, authentic stories bound into an anthology, I've decided to not feel guilty about using those stories anymore. I'm not sure this was helpful or not, but good luck in your decision!
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Reading series
Old 03-05-2017, 06:37 AM
 
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We also have Jorneys.
I don't feel a series is necessary if you already have a curriculum to use the resources from. It is so very difficult as a teacher to "create" curriculum from scratch. That is what many of our teachers, including myself, have had to do in the past.
I don't LOVE Journeys, but I do like it. As with any curriculum, you pick and choose what will be most useful to the kids within the timeframe you have to teach. I like the stories, I like the structure of their daily lessons, and I really like their intervention binders, leveled books, and flip book centers. I like the Spelling component, as well. The grammar is fine. Many of the graphic organizers are scaffolded for three levels, as well.
I do not like the writing. In my opinion, it doesn't always flow well, there isn't a lot of lesson to it - more of a model and make approach. The graphic organizers are often too small for what the kids need. I don't use the writing part anymore; rather, I do writing workshop.
This may not apply to you, but Journeys is also available in Spanish as Senderos. This means our bilingual classrooms are using the same curriculum as our English classrooms. This is great for transitioning kids over, bc it's pretty much a mirrored curriculum, with the exception of a few stories.
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I agree with MissESL....
Old 03-20-2017, 04:55 PM
 
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the writing curriculum for Journeys is weak, and I never use the given prompts or graphic organizers.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:14 PM
 
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Thanks ladies. We have a presenter from Journey's coming on the 29th. So far I like ReadyGen best!


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Old 03-24-2017, 03:54 PM
 
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Hope your presentation goes well. We adopted Ready Gen this year, and I am not a huge fan of the program. I teach second grade and I am overwhelmed by the number of assessments tied to the program. For each of the 12 modules, there is a Performance Based Assessment which takes at least two days. For each of the 6 units, there is a post - foundational test (not a big deal) and an end-of-unit assessment which includes three extended response questions. The text is extremely rigorous and unfortunately too high for many of my students. To teach the program with fidelity requires so much whole group instruction that very little time is left for small group instruction.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:45 AM
 
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woodstocktchr--thank you for your input! It is always awesome to hear from people actually using programs!

It has been decided by our Curriculum Director that we are not adopting a basal program. I am so excited! I know that we have a lot of work ahead of us...but it will be totally worth it! We can take the best pieces of what we currently have (phonemic awareness, phonics and the WOW program) and tie it all together!

Thank you to everyone who responded to my post! I truly appreciate your time!
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