Houghton-Mifflin...Likes & dislikes

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TamiJ, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2012

    The school where I am going to be teaching at next year uses HM, so I am curious to see what you all think of it. I am sad to be leaving Scott Foresman Reading Street. It's already set up around Understanding by Design. The great thing about my new school is that they actually have trained on UbD and love it, and their units are set-up (some parts, anyway) for UbD. So, I just really want to your thoughts on HM. What do you like about it? Or, what don't you like?


    Thanks!
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2012

    Just out of curiosity, but no one has used Houghton Mifflin before?
     
  4. stargirl

    stargirl Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2012

    My school district uses it for reading. We have a fairly old edition, though (it must be 10-15 years old) so I'm not sure what the newer ones are like.
    It's grown on me over the years. I will say though, that sometimes the skills or strategies tied in to the stories are a bit of a stretch, and I'm not a big fan of of trying to teach super abstract skills like "making judgments" or "generalizations" in the younger grades.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2012

    I do enjoy teaching those types of skills to my kids. :)

    10-15 years old? Wow! That is pretty old. Thanks for your input!
     
  6. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2012

    I used HM also, before we switched to Reading Street. Ours was an older edition as well, but when we were choosing our new curriculum, the HM hadn't really changed at all. This was about 5 years ago though.

    One big difference is that Reading Street introduces concepts a lot earlier than HM. If I remember correctly, HM didn't begin to introduce sight words and word families until almost halfway through the year.

    I think you'll be disappointed. :(
     
  7. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2012

    We have a newer edition, about 5 years old.
    I would not order the workbooks. We use Daily 5, and Cafe, and just teach the strategies and whole group lessons as mini lessons.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2012

    I've only used Open Court (kindergarten) and Houghton Mifflin (kinder and fifth). So I can't compare it to Reading Street or anything else. I did like parts of HM. I liked the alphafriends and the cute songs that came with them. I did like a lot of the activities. But I agree, certain things seemed to be introduce pretty late. OCR seemed to move a lot faster. I think it's all about using the program as a guide, but not as a program to be followed word for word. At least, that's how we viewed it. We supplemented the program with reader's and writer's workshop.
     
  9. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Apr 27, 2012

    I use HM Treasures (3rd grade) and really like it. It is VERY much like reading street. The first year was tricky only because there is so many materials and you can easily be overwhelmed. Pick and choose wisely and don't worry about doing it all. For example, I never use the science/social studies extensions and use the writing as a guide, but it's too scattered for me. THere are a lot of online resources by real classroom teachers available for free if you are 2nd or 3rd grade.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2012

    So, I got more information. Apparently the school were I am going uses the anthologies. One is called "Here we Go" and "Let's be Friends". Iheartrecess, are you familiar with those?
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I LOVE Reading Street and am so sad to be leaving it. Like I said, it's already designed around Understanding by Design, so it's great. I feel like I am going to have a lot of work ahead of me with this new curriculum. I will be doing the Daily 5, as I do now, so I will still be teaching the comprehension skills even if the book itself doesn't call for it until later. I just think those are such important skills.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Apr 27, 2012

    HM isn't bad, but the practice book pages totally stink; many of them don't even match the lesson objective!
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2012

    Oh my gosh I forgot about those books! I hated them. My team actually made their own worksheets.

    Whoops, wait, I'm confused. That was for OCR. Ignore me. I'm in a lot of pain right now!! Surgery in 3 hours!!!
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Surgery???
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I don't use the practice pages for SF but assign them for hw instead. I am not sure if my new department uses the practice books for HM. When I asked one of the teachers at this new school, she told me that this past year they just put their money towards more leveled readers. I am trying to find out what all they use/have from the curriculum.
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sorry about the hijack. I haven't had a good nights rest in a while now due to the pain. Yes, I have, what they think, an infected cyst that is the size, I believe, of a golf ball that needs to come out asap. I had the surgery (emergency) schduled for wednesday but ended up postponing it for today because they couldn't find a sub for me. :(
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh my goodness! I had no idea. I am so sorry. Where is it located? I remember my brother had something similar to this years ago on his back. It, too, was the size of a golf ball.
     
  18. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Apr 27, 2012

    Hi. I teach 3rd grade and have used HM for both reading and math for the past 5 years. I like that HM has tons of materials to use in the way of practice book worksheets, leveled readers as well as practice pages that go with them. My few complaints are that their provided comprehension tests are terrible and they do not provide a comprehensive vocabulary test for each story. I have written my own and scouted out resources for comprehension assessment over the years. What grade will you be using it in?

    Oh.......and the provided spelling words with each story are too easy......for 3rd grade at least. I end up using Treasures as a seperate spelling program.
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    This will be for first grade. Question about the spelling: Do they use spelling patterns, and are the words in the stories each week?
     
  20. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Apr 27, 2012


    yes and yes
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2012

    That is great to hear. :)
     
  22. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2012

    The spelling words start with theme 3, and they review previously taught patterns for a while(short a, e, i, o, u), which are too easy for my upper level students, but there are additional lists available on the website for each week, so you could have more challenging words as well.
    The anthologies are good, but don't provide enough vocabulary practice. I would either purchase a set of phonics readers(or the blackline masters), guided readers, or vocabulary readers(pick one of those sets) to use with small groups.
    I would purchase one copy of each of the practice books, just as reference material. I will use a page once in a while, but my students do more authentic activities instead, and are scoring higher on the tests since I started doing that.
    The Integrated theme tests have not been rewritten in years(we are on our 2ndd edition, and the tests are the same). The Theme 3 test asks the kids to write questions, something that is not taught until Theme 4. There is also a vocabulary item that every child that I've ever had (who has a sense of humor) gets wrong, because the wrong answer is silly, and so are children in first grade.
    I would use the Theme skills test instead, just for that Theme.
    It's also almost impossible to finish all 10 themes in a school year if you do the Back to School section at the beginning of the year. You can do it, (and since I teach in a school where English is not the children's first language, I have to do this section every year, just to ease them back into English) but it takes careful planning.
     
  23. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2012

    Wow! Thanks for all of that information. So, does that mean the spelling words do not begin in "Here we Go!"?
     
  24. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    There are 5 books that you go through during the program. "Here We Go" is for Themes 1 and 2, Let's be Friends is for Themes 3 and 4. That's when spelling words are introduced.
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Ok, thanks.

    I am really surprised that there aren't spelling words for the first themes.
     
  26. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    I actually like that they don't have spelling words right away.They ease them into the routines, and the kids feel successful after the first few tests. It eases their test anxiety.
     
  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I didn't think of it that way. I guess it could be a good thing. :)
     
  28. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Apr 28, 2012

    We also use HM for reading and math.

    I LOVE the math curriculum. All is on a CD and it is readily available for me to use as I need in my combo class.

    The reading leaves much to be desired. My main complaint is very weak selections, IMO, and not enough nonfiction. It is also very weak on the vocabulary. I haven't thought of supplementing with another vocabulary program, that is a good idea.

    I do have updated test booklet. Not sure of the year, but it is recent, maybe in the last 4 to 5 years? Much better than the original tests. In the new booklet, it always has an essay passage that tests the skills taught in the story selection. The test isn't great, though.

    We are in CA and since the adoption we have is very old, it doesn't do a good job of alligning with our standards.
     

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