Basals?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by queenie, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 10, 2013

    The first year I taught (2007) my district adopted a new Reading series (Harcourt Trophies). I've heard that with the Common Core, there's a trend toward doing away with basals. We have been told by the Reading liaisons that they are fighting to keep the basals for the primary grades, but they couldn't promise anything. I don't expect to be told not to use the basal THIS year, but we adopt a new series every 7 years so it runs out this year.

    I've heard pretty much all the pros and cons of using/not using a basal. I'm just wondering how many of you are still using one and if you've heard anything similar?

    BTW, we've only had ONE science textbook since I started teaching 2nd grade in 2008, and they took up all our SS books at the end of the year this past year- don't think we're getting new ones. :dizzy:
     
  2.  
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Jul 10, 2013

    Haven't ever used a basal. My school uses a reading and writing workshop approach. I LOVE it.:love:
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Jul 10, 2013

    Never seen them used at any level in any of the schools I've been in.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 10, 2013

    I rarely use it. Only when there is a story that relates to our science curriculum.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,494

    Jul 10, 2013

    I've moved away from using the Houghton-Mifflin anthology and have relied heavily on the science and social studies adoptions. I do, however, use HM for the spelling and phonics components. I pretty much pick and choose what I want to teach from HM.
     
  7. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 10, 2013

    I don't use one. We use guided reading groups so my students are in leveled groups and rotate time with me reading from leveled texts. When they're not with me, they are in centers.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,314
    Likes Received:
    795

    Jul 10, 2013

    I don't use a basal except as a doorstop when the weather is nice.

    My opinion is that I don't think basals should be used in grades 4-8. In primary grades, I can see using it for part of a reading program, but not the entire program.
     
  9. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2013

    We don't use it. We do TC Readers/Writers Workshop model.

    Even as a kid, I remember hating the basal. IMHO, there are better texts that you can use, if you want to do whole-class reading instruction from time to time (especially since Common Core is so non-fiction heavy).

    I'd rather use the actual picture book Too Many Tamales instead of the abbreviated, watered down basal version.
     
  10. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2013

    Never used a basal with my 3rd graders.
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 10, 2013

    I use them for the first month of school to teach basic reading skills and concepts about print. This gives every student a book in their book box that they can read. Once I have everyone assessed and levelled I start guided reading and we move away from the basals. I do pull them out periodically through the year if there is a specific story that relates to our science or SS.
     
  12. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    51

    Jul 10, 2013

    I feel that Trophies is a great program because all of the stories are excerpts from novels and they are very interesting, with good vocabulary, etc. .
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jul 10, 2013

    My district has used Harcourt Storytown since 2007, but I don't really use it. Some teachers in the district follow it every day, but I prefer a workshop approach.
     
  14. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2013

    We have to use the basal within our reading curriculum, but they have let up on it quite a bit since a few years ago. It used to be only the basal could be used with our students and we couldn't use anything else. However, we've been given a little bit more freedom in the past year or two. I use the basal Monday-Wednesday and Thursday-Friday is used for Daily 5. I would be all for them getting rid of the basal altogether, but I'm not sure if that'll ever happen.
     
  15. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    125

    Jul 10, 2013

    None for me.
    Some of our teachers use the series Treasures.
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,494

    Jul 11, 2013

    We used to be told that we had to have fidelity to the adopted reading program.

    Thankfully, though, that notion has fallen by the wayside.
     
  17. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 11, 2013

    When I started teaching we HAD to use Harcourt Trophies and follow it religiously. I can remember at the beginning of the 2011 school year they even told us to "go in order" and "include each story." THEN, at the beginning of 2012 (this past year), they start talking about how we should be moving more toward the way "we used to teach: using units."

    So do you not typically have WHOLE GROUP reading- only small group? Because that's the only way I can see being able to have a text for every student. And even then, I don't feel like I have enough small sets of QUALITY text!!

    I teach second grade, so that will obviously be different than upper grades. I could have easily taught fifth grade without a basal, but some of these kids are not reading proficiently and need systematic phonics instruction.

    Guess I'm off to google the workshop model...
     
  18. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 11, 2013

    I've always had a basal but I've never followed it precisely. I've always jumped around and chose the stories/activities that I wanted to teach.
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    Jul 11, 2013

    Interesting. In both of my student teaching schools and at my current school, we were/are always expected (ok, mandated) to use the basal. The school/district will dictate how religiously it must be followed. At my school, we are all on the same pacing and do the lessons and units in order. I am planning to do full Daily 5 this year (and possibly CAFE...need to research!) but I will still have to incorporate the basal's stories, phonics, spelling, grammar, and comprehension skills.

    I'm surprised to hear there are so many places where basals are not used at all. That hasn't been my experience. The workshop approach is almost unheard of around here, except in higher income schools and districts.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 235 (members: 2, guests: 211, robots: 22)
test