Basals, novels?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by mrs_u, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. mrs_u

    mrs_u Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    OK, so for my first two years, i used the basals and about 3 novels each year. the novels where used more for character education, i guess. they were not really part of the Language arts curriculum. i would like to know how you combine both into the curriculum do you do basals 3 days and novels 2 days? do you read aloud to the class and also assign chapters for homework? id really need to figure out a way to make this work....please help!!

    THANKS!

    P.S. i teach 4th grade but not sure how to post in subforum...sorry!:eek:
     
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  3. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    What are your goals for using the basal and the novels? If the novels are truly just for fun, I think you could do them as a read-aloud. However, if you can teach skills from the basal through the novels (and you probably can make those connections!), why not do literature circles? Or do you want all students read (or hear) all of the novels?
     
  4. mrs_u

    mrs_u Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    i want to use the basal because it has the reading skills and all the LA stuff...the novels i am planning to read are:
    number the stars
    stone fox
    whipping boy
    esperanza rising
    report card
    watsons go to birmingham

    so if one week the basal has inferring as the strategy focus and homonyms as the language/vocab part then also apply those skills to the novel. i do want all kids to read the same novel
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I've used novels in several ways, but I haven't tried to connect to the basal strategies. I read aloud daily from a novel of my choosing. I want it to be quality literature. My goals for the read-aloud are to demonstrate fluency and expression, for sheer pleasure, and for group discussion (character, predictions, plot, author's style, theme). I don't overdo the discussion, and only occasionally have them write about the book. At the end, I sometimes have them tell about their favorite scenes and illustrate them. We rank the book (one to 5 stars) and average our ranking of each book, then post that on the wall.

    The kids always have a book they are reading. Sometimes they read in class, they read daily at home. Sometimes I have small groups reading the same novel, sometimes they each choose from a particular genre. They do book reports about once a month.

    The basal I'm going to use more for guided reading.
     
  6. mrs_u

    mrs_u Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    thanks...so daisy, how long do you read aloud to them about 15 min then discuss? do you have them do small projects on the novels?
     
  7. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Since our district has now mandated 90 minutes of reading from the basal, novels are out of the picture. However, I have decide to put students in book groups for the novels as part of their homework. They will be assigned a chapter to read and a Literature Circle job to complete each night. The following day they will meet with their group and discuss the reading, using their job as a basis for the discussion.
     
  8. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I've taught 5th grade and I did it exactly as you are suggesting; I used the basal part of the week and then we did novels in the form of lit circles for the end of the week. I didn't give homework for the novels, we just took a 20 minute period to all be reading and then we did the discussions. I didn't want them to become a drag with lots of home reading most of my low ESL kids weren't going to do anyway. I also read aloud a monthly novel and had kids do reflection pages occasionally or reponse journals. You can do the extensions on any of your literature, but pick the especially rich titles to do it with and be sure it is engaging and fun, not just a book report.
    Make up a list of 15 extensions (1. make a bookmark about your favorite chapter, 2. make a diarama about the book, 3. Do a wanted poster about the main character, etc.) and have kids pick what THEY want to do. You'll have some interesting responses and lots of engaged kids having fun reading and responding. To make it easy, make a list of questions (i.e. 1. I wonder why, 2. This reminds me of, 3. This part was a surprise, etc.) and just do aloud responses after reading basal. This is great for comprehension.
     

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