I am looking for feedback from people who have the Harcourt Storytown curriculum. My district adopted Storytown the year before I was hired. They have made it very clear that Stotrytown is a resource, and not a curriculum that they encourage us to follow day-by-day.
My first year teaching kindergarten, I followed it pretty closely. My next 2 years in kindergarten, I started to do my own thing. I followed some pieces, such as phonics, phonemic awareness, and the HF words. Last year (my first in 2nd grade), I didn't follow it at all. I basically just used the student books, which contain the shared reading stories.
Some of us were discussing ELA instruction at lunch yesterday. We are beginning to realize that teachers who follow Storytown are the ones who have the best ELA test scores. Many teachers who didn't follow it before are beginning to follow it this year, right down to the guided reading books that Storytown provides.
I have been taking a closer look at all of the components, and I just don't think I can bring myself to follow everything in Storytown. I was thinking about following the phonics and grammar pieces more closely, and continuing to use the student shared reading books. However, I like choosing guided reading books from our book room, I have my own way to do writing, my district has its own list of HF words, I do Words Their Way for spelling, and I don't want to follow the comprehension strategies, because I like using CAFE. So, I can't see myself using any of these components. I also think Storytown is way too heavy on worksheets.
If your district has Storytown materials, which components do you use?