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SRA Imagine It!
Old 08-06-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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My director selected SRA Imagine It! Reading and Math for our new elementary school. I went to a training of Friday and it seemed packed with things to do, but very little creative or hands-on projects for students. I haven't received my curriculum yet, which scares me, so can anyone tell me anything about this program. Will I have time to do student centered, hands-on or project based teaching? The trainer said I had to follow it with fidelity. Suggestions?


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SRA Imagine It
Old 08-07-2011, 02:51 AM
 
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We have been using this program for 6 years now and it is PACKED with things we are supposed to do. A trainer we had last week said the first grade program was designed for a 2 hour reading block in order to do everything. She also said it was impossible to get through all 10 units in the year. The goal should be to get into Unit 9 and then to make sure to at least read all of the stories to the children in unit 10 so they will have background knowledge. With that being said....I have found that I have to carefully pick and choose what activities I do. Workshop is supposed to be built in so that differentiating and hands-on activities can take place. However, it you are required to "implement the program with fidelity", it becomes extremely hard to get it all in without sacrificing another curriculum area. Each lesson is divided into the green section (phonics) the red (the literature/story) and the blue section (language arts). The blue section is not to be considered part of the reading block (according to the trainer) since it is not actually reading - it is language arts/writing. Depending on how your district views this can make a difference in your time. Each unit does have an "Inquiry" piece that outlines a major project the children are expected to do. These projects require a lot of teacher guidance, especially early in the year. There are extension activities suggested that are sometimes creative and sometimes not so great. The two kits that come with the program give you some hands-on materials to use for centers, etc. It just takes time to learn how to integrate it all. My suggestion is to find a teammate who would like to put heads together with you and plan which "pieces and parts" you want to focus on first. Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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I really appreciate all the kind words and information. Unfortunately, this is a new private school and I am the ONLY person teaching first grade - a team of one. Do you like the program or do you feel like you hit the ground running and then just pound information into the kids?
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Imagine It
Old 08-07-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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If you have taught first grade before and feel like you know what is important for emergent readers, you will be just fine. Pick and choose those activities that truly meet the needs of your students. I have found that my students had a very good grasp of the beginning sounds and ending sounds, so much of the early phonics instruction was simply a review for my students. I quickly covered the phonics for the day and then used a bit of the extra time to provide extensions. The "teaching with fidelity" aspect is the tricky part. The flexibility you have with the program may be determined by your administrator. Sometimes its best to ask for forgiveness rather than permission when making modifications you feel are in the best interest of your kids. If you are a beginning teacher, I would stick closely to the program the first year or two and then venture out once you are secure in the important components.

Have a great year.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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It is a lot to process the first year or two but I feel it is worth it. I enjoyed this program a lot. I wasn't required to follow the program "every little step" so that helped. Althought, I did as much as I fit in. I found starting right after the tardy bell and not waste any time helped me stay on track. When you set up your classroom make sure your sound/spelling cards are haning with the picture not showing. At least for the letters of the alphabet. The digraphs and dipthongs are hung with the picture showing. Each card will be turned around when the letter is introduced and then it stays that way with the picture showing.

The first two weeks are "Back to School" lessons where the kids make an ABC booklet. Slowly the sounds are introduced as well as dictation.

I didin't skip any of the green(phonics) section. At the end of the lesson I always played the sound/spelling card CD to have them listen to the phonics story again. This is also where dictation is. They had their own notebooks for it.

The red section is comprehension beginning with big book stories. Eventually they will read out of textbooks. There are decodables for each lesson too.

Blue section is Language/Writing with Spelling added in the later units. Are you using a separate Language series? If not, I had to supplement with other resources but it was fine. Also, I really liked the writing activities. They took a bit of time but showed how much first graders are capable of.

Take adavantage of the CDs that come with the series. The decodables are on there to listen to as well as the cards and your manuals. That way you can plan at home without having to lug your manuals home with you. The SRA Imagine It website is good too.

Finally, you will not have time to do everyhing so don't worry. I never finished nine units. I only finished seven of them. I didn't do workshop and set up literacy stations instead. I also did the concept board.

Good Luck!


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Old 08-08-2011, 04:07 AM
 
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I too teach at a private school, which uses imagine it. When we began using it, i was the only 1st grade teacher as well. I don't feel it was possible to complete everything each day. I really had to decide what my firsties needed the most to be successful readers. Our school continues to use the series, but only for the comprehension and the language sections. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Thank you for your help.
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Thank you
Old 09-03-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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My teacher kits and manuals are not here. I have a few CD's but nothing which reflects a teacher edition? I went online and they say to insert a CD, but which one? I am not sure that I have it yet. Most of the student books are here, but everything else is on back order - still! I am beginning to panick and worry that I will not have it in time to complete everything that I must.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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I am in the same boat as you...I am almost done teaching my first year of first grade at a private school where I am the ONLY first grade teacher. I have tried different things with this program, but still have yet to figure it out. How did you do it?
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