Harcourt Trophies - ProTeacher Community


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Harcourt Trophies
Old 04-06-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Our county is adopting this program for next year. Does anyone else use this program? We are hearing rumors that they may completely change the way we are teaching reading (again ). We currently teach reading through guided reading groups and shared reading. Will this program work with this model? I wanted to try implementing reading workshop in my class but I don't know if this will be possible with the new adopted series. I hardly use the basal at all now, except during shared reading. Someone mentioned today that we may be going with a model that teaches reading through whole group instruction Does anyone even use this method anymore? Thanks for any input!


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Old 04-06-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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We have used this series in our district for the past few years. I'm a first grade teacher. Along with the basals, our district bought the Harcourt leveled readers, too. There are three levels to use in guided reading groups. I have been happy with the series. The kids like it, too. As with any basal, you can't do all of it. The school day would need to be twice as long for us to get it all in. You do what you can.
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You should be aware
Old 04-07-2007, 07:04 AM
 
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that Harcourt does all their own, in-house research (so do most programs). Then, they turn around and say they're "research-based" but they're only "research-based" if we completely change the meaning of the phrase. Harcourt is not the only company to do this. McGraw-Hill does the same thing with ALL their programs, and so does SRA.

I'm sorry that you can't continue with what truly is research-based. Guided reading is supported by the literature and the research. Reading workshop is even better. You sound like a smart teacher with a pretty stupid administration. For some weird reason, administrators feel comfortable with programs, even when they're not best practice. And before I get taken to task for that, I just want to reiterate that reading programs are NOT best practice, and I don't care whose it is, or who wrote it. They're put in place by administrators who don't believe that their teachers know what they're doing. Programs feel good to admin, because there's this "everybody on the same page" mentality that they like or that comforts them, or something. But it dumbs down reading instruction so badly, and turns off most readers--NOT what we're striving for.

Really, if teachers would just put a correctly leveled book into a student's hands, and replace it with a new one every time they finish one, teachers could just sit behind their computers and tell the kids not to bother them--and that teacher's reading instruction would be HEADS AND SHOULDERS above anything from a program. That's how bad programs can be, how counter-productive. They take the most pleasurable activity in the world (reading) and make it inauthentic and boring and predictable, with these dumb programs.

Kids learn to read by READING.

But at least you know not to believe them when they start in with their "research-based" nonsense. Honestly, this profession, as a whole, does not understand what constitutes proper research and what does not. Just claiming to be "research-based" is good enough for so many in education.
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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Our school uses the Harcourt and the majority of our teachers like it, as it ties in all areas of the curriculum - will give you ideas for science, social studies, math, spelling, language arts, etc. Everything is laid out for you to follow, but none of us do all of the activities. You can gear it according to your class. They have a pretty good Intervention Series, also, that goes along with it for your lower ability students. The selection of stories is good, with quite a bit of nonfiction - again it is just the framework, you can choose which ones you do. Usually, I will pull out certain stories depending upon what is going on in the world. They had a good Iditarod story in the 5th grade reader that was in the first book of the series, but I skipped it and we just read that one in March when the Iditarod was being run. As with any series - it is what YOU make it as the teacher.
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Howdo you do your reading program?
Old 04-07-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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Me too, I teach out off trophies. I like it but it is all I know. If there is a better way to teach reading I would really like to know and learn how to do it. I am goning to try to start up reading groups with novels but I am not exactly sure how to properly set them up. I'd appreciate all you could do to set me straight on how to properly teach reading. Thanks!

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Old 04-16-2007, 04:47 AM
 
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We have nine 5th grade teachers who were forced to adopt HT and it is rarely used. We use lit circle groups, Daybooks (a collection of stories by reputable authors in which student jot down active reading strategies AS THEY READ ~ by Great Source), whole group books, etc. I only do 2 stories from the Harcourt book. Teachers that follow the lesson to a "T" can spend 3 weeks on one story and the students suffer miserably! HT is not a curriculum (no prepackaged program is); it is merely one resource from which to pull activities to make for a more well-balanced, engaging reading-language arts program. Kids that have had HT K-5 in classrooms where it was strictly followed loathe the notion of yet another year of HT.

I would suggest buy one class set and have it on a rolling cart.
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Guided Reading with Trophies
Old 04-16-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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We started using Trophies last year in grades K-3. The teachers seem to really enjoy it. One story is read as a shared reading (whole class) and a mini-lesson follows throughout the week on the same story. Don't try to do everything the book suggests or you'll never get through it. They have a focus strategy and a focus skill that is marked with a star-that is your main focus for the week.

They give you a complete guided reading set for your grade level-guided reading is NOT done away with and you will still be meeting with your guided reading groups. We use both the Harcourt Trophies guided reading and various other guided reading book sets that we already have. Trophies has a specisl set of books that are used towards the end of the week for your Adnaced-On Level-and Below level groups (these books are theme related and in little zip lock bags). The reason you use these books at the end of the week is because they are related to the skills taught in the whole group and help reinforce the skills. There is also an intervention component (our resource teacher uses this with her group) and an ELL/ESL (again our ESL teacher uses this for his/her group).
I encourage teachers (I am a reading coach) to skip stories that are boring or don't bring any relevant skills to the table and replace them with author studies or a high quality literature piece.

Good luck with the program!
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so-so
Old 04-16-2007, 12:38 PM
 
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I have used Trophies for 1st - 5th grades and I think it is okay...There are some great stories in there but also some real snoozers (Try reading Evelyn Cisneros: Prima Ballerina to a group of 5th grade boys... ). I think you definitely need to pick and choose. I use the book sparingly in my 2nd grade class this year and incorporate it into more of a reading workshop style. It is a good framework to teach Focus Skills and I think that the spelling for the younger grades is pretty good. I would advise against ordering all the extra stuff if you can - it is impossible to get through...
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Harcourt Trophies
Old 04-26-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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We have used Harcourt for the last 4 years. Our teachers teach the basal in whole group for 90 minutes each day, but then also do 60 minutes of small-group instruction using whatever materials are appropriate for the group. We have stressed that teachers need to be very explicit (especially in large groups) when they teach and need to gradually reduce support until students are able to complete skills/strategies independently. We encourage teaching in ways that all students are involved such as unison responses, partnering, and group work. This has worked well for us; our academic scores have dramatically increased over the last 4 years.
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Using Harcourt
Old 03-04-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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I teach 5th grade and have been using HT for two years. The district is currently working on a fairly strict pacing guide that uses every single story in the basals and requires that we only spend 5 days on each story. We are also supposed to be using guided reading groups several times a week to incorporate the leveled readers. I feel like I am racing through each story and throwing the end-of-selection test at them on Friday with hardly any individualized instruction. We almost always listen to the story on CD to save time, but that sometimes elminates the ability to ask all of the comprehension questions within the margin. I've tried meeting with guided reading groups for 30 min. but those that are completing "centers" work often become disruptive with such a large chunk of time to work independently. I've shortened it to 20 min but then I can't finish a lesson with the small group. I don't know if I should have students in guided reading groups read aloud when they are with me, or silently and then I ask questions. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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2nd grade
Old 07-31-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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This is an older message, but I would like to reply anyway

I read a wonderful book called "the Daily Five" written by two sisters who are teachers and the biggest thing I took from it was how to help children build stamina for working independenltly in centers. It was great to know that it is okay to only expect a few minutes the first few weeks and have them build up to the desired amount of time( about 4-5 weeks for 2nd graders).

I also moved to only rereading the selection with those who need it, not the whole class. I was also surprised to learn that a lot of the teachers in my district ALWAYS give an open book test and mainly use them for State testing practice skills (go back and find answer). I don't do that, except for on a few of the harder stories.
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Harcourt leveled Readers
Old 09-15-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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I am trying with little success to get the Reading levels, such as Wright Group or Reading Recovery, of the 3rd grade Harcourt Trophies leveled readers. My old school adopted Storytown and we were allowed to keep the leveled readers and I would like to use them in my classroom for guided reading. I can not find any correlation sheet on the internet. I am pretty sure that if I was able to log onto the Harcourt website they have it there however I no longer can because we adopted the new program. Can anyone help me find these levels? Please!!! I have been looking for forever!
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Storytown readers
Old 09-16-2009, 06:32 AM
 
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I am also looking for the 2nd grade Storytown guided reading levels for the leveled readers. I can't get a password to sign on to thinkcentral because I can't self register and the other way does not work. Please help
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