I knew how you felt about OCR, but not really about how we've been directed to teach it. We have very nice and very new social studies and science books. A whole, very, very expensive program just purchased. By now they are to the point where many of them can read the books. I'm a very big "reading in the content area" person. I think that time spent reading these books is just as effective at improving their reading as is reading "A Game Called Piggle" or "Jafta." I happen to like "King of Purple." You described what I am doing every day. My kids are used to how we introduce sounds and blending. They are very good at it. That routine is rock solid. As I said, I'm not trying to weasel out of teaching OCR as it is written. That would be modifying the program. So not only are we to have the kids read all five decodable books on the day of Lesson 1, unit 6, but we are to do them exactly according to the routine cards - individual reading, choral reading, times two. What we have been doing is this: No problem getting through Unit 8. We would pick up the pace with Unit 9, and generally read the stories in Unit 10 the last week of school. Now we shelter Unit 9 and teach Unit 10 as advertised. For what it's worth, we just made 800 on our API. But here's another thing. I just did my unit 3-4 Reading Lions assessment, and my scores were lower than last year. Not much, but definitely not any higher. I basically have a higher class with fewer difficult kids. The thing is that I had a lot more freedom last year and I used it. They got a lot more review and reteaching and when they didn't get something, I could go back over it.