Basal or Not to Basal... That is the ???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by 2Teach_is_2Care, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. 2Teach_is_2Care

    2Teach_is_2Care Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2006

    Out of curiosity...

    What do you think about the use of basals? Do you prefer them over doing novel teaching? How do you differentiate for lower reading students or even inclusion students? What do you see as the pros and cons? Does your school require the use of basals?

    If you do not like basals, what do you do instead? How do you set up your reading curriculum? How do you differentiate for lower reading students or even inclusion students? What do you see as the pros and cons?

    I have read about this arguement in my college textbooks, and basically all the teachers that I have had (except in high school and college) use basals to teach. I just want to hear (or read :p ) "real" opinions and feelings about each.
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Basals have thier place. My opinion is to go with literature and supplement with the basal if necessary. Very often the interest level is not high with the material in the basals. I do think that new teachers can use basals as a guide and do very well. I just would not rely on them. There is so much to do with a good book.
     
  4. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    basals are low interest high level...not all can succeed. We are using basal only for listening skills and starting guided reading program.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    ALL my kids are in independent reading-trade books. I have the books in leveled baskets, assess where kids are and direct them to the appropirate level basket of books. This incorporates student choice and allows differentiation since everyone is working at his or her own level.
     
  6. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    I use a literature based basal which also includes grammar, spelling, and writing. We purchased a set of the leveled books to go with it. The stories are real literature and the kids like most of the stories. When I started, we used a different basal program. The one advantage to the older books was that there was more repetition of vocabulary. Now, a word may be used once in a story and not seen again.
     
  7. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    The stories in my basil are real books also. Most of the time I try to find the real book to read to them on the first day (Mon.) Then I let them use their basil to follow along sometimes or act out parts of the story-work on fluency. I use my basil and many other forms of literature during the week!
     
  8. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    We don't use basils at our school. We don't feel they offer enough for our students. I did pull it out once when there was a sub and it made making sub plans easy :)
     
  9. 2Teach_is_2Care

    2Teach_is_2Care Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2006

    more questions...

    Thanks for your posts. :)

    How do you start up a guided reading program? Where did you go for your resources? How long does it take for you to cover a novel? Do you think this would work for a special education class of mild to moderate disabilities?

    Our basal at school uses stories from real books, but I want to do something more for my students and have been contemplating on using the basal or not. I just feel as though I am "stuck" on what the basal wants me to teach. I want to use the novel to help teach writing as well, because I don't like the writing agenda from our basal. And it usually takes 5 days to do a story, which makes it difficult for those short weeks. I was thinking that using novels would be more meaningful to my students and wouldn't put me in such a bind for those short days (those were a pain last year!). But the only problem is that I don't know how to get "going" with the guided reading! Is there a resource book that explain how to do this? Till then, I guess I am stuck with my basals... :(
     
  10. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I think that a basal approach is very helpful to guide teachers to make sure they teach the important skills. It is also important to expose children to books that they can hold and keep for themselves and take out when it's reading time. A good reading program incorporates both.
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    You have to get Guided Reading by Fontas and Pinnell. It's a great book and will show you how to get started.
     
  12. luvmykids

    luvmykids Companion

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    We have a basal that we are suppose to use so I do follow the grammar, spelling and writing. I use the stories in my reading groups and my novels for whole class reading. I like the basal for listening skills and in my small groups.
     

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