Houghton Mifflin Reading = Trash...?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by 773 Miles Away, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Our school uses the Houghton Mifflin reading series as our ELA curriculum. Personally I feel like the curriculum is horrendous........ yet when I talk to my ELA coach and try to get guidance on how to improve my students in their reading and writing, she keeps referring me to the nonsense of HM.

    Not only that... there is not enough time in the day to implement all the countless things HM wants me to do. I only get 90 minutes (at best) for ELA. When I look at their practice book for activities I simply cringe and try to make up my own activities because I feel their worksheets are a waste of time... I want to be able to maximize more of the learning time with more potent valuable lessons.

    Often their practice books collect dust in their desk.

    Am I alone in thinking this? Is there something I am missing?

    I am struggling to teach ELA with the materials that I have, which is 100% houghton mifflin. Guidance?? Input??
     
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  3. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I agree with you on HM. I personally don't feel that it fully addressed all of our state standards. I rarely use the workbook. The most the students ever use their workbook is when a substitute is in the classroom. I usually just look at my state's standards, the standards in the book, and then create my own lesson/activity to meet those needs. Hopefully in another month I will do reading groups with my students and stop using HM for awhile (luckily my district isn't too strict about us sticking to HM). Last year I taught upper grade and we mostly did novels and I incorporated the reading strategies and standards into the novels. It's a lot of work and it's unfortunate that we have to reinvent the wheel when the school district spends so much money on a reading curriculum like HM.
     
  4. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Well I am relieved I am not alone in my thinking. I too would love to use novels for practicing reading comprehension strategies.. but unfortunately I do not have the money to buy novels (class sets) so perhaps later when I've accumulated more of a library I can.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who hardly uses the practice books.

    One thing I struggle with is the overwhelming amount of content they expect to cover. I understand it is important to cover all the reading strategies frequently... but I wonder if it is better to focus on one big strategy for each story unit... and just quickly touch upon the others as you go.

    For example.. when reading a story.. perhaps my main goal is that we talk about Making Predictions. And during the story we really dig deep into that, but quickly touch upon Questioning... and Inferencing... etc. And then do a heavy focus on Inferencing during the next unit...

    Honestly though... I find when I start leafing through the teacher's manual for HM.. my mind goes crazy!
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sep 27, 2009

    I think a lot of series are like this. We use McGraw Hill currently, and we all feel the same way. We're trying to choose another series, see this thread for what we're trying to weed out.
     
  6. kate2

    kate2 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Glad to hear so many of you feel this way about HM. I thought I was losing my mind trying to figure it all out. I alos only have a 90 min. ELA block and there is no way to fit it all in. We also have to use the leveled readers with the anthology. I'm going crazy trying to figure out how to plan my ELA block. I would so much prefer to use trade books, but don't have $ to buy class sets.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sep 27, 2009

    We use a scholastic program and I send the workbooks home with my kids when they start guided reading as a "fun/grow-up" thing to do at home. I have never used a single reading workbook page. We are supposed to be selecting a new series this year too and the k-2 teachers really want to use the money for guided reading supplies or something that we will use.
     
  8. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Our district has adapted a 7 day plan instead of the 5 day plan for HM. It does certainly lack in areas, but I think all programs do. We are now allowed to supplement here and there, but keep to the HM. Its been 5 or 6 years now.
     
  9. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2009

    My HM just sat in my cabinets, rarely pulled it out. I used novels too. Fortunately, my district was fine with that. But....it was sad when I thought about how much money was spent on unused material!
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 27, 2009

    I don't care for it either. Especially the stories in the 5th grade edition. There are 2 (maybe 3) 'themes' I don't mind using (the natural disaster one, the animal one and I don't like the friendship one, but I can tolerate it).
    The last 2 years I followed it and experimented. I was required to use it being a new teacher. This year- I haven't touched it. I have been stock piling novels and am up to 5 or 6 class sets (plus about a dozen titles that I have only 6 of- I tried lit circles on Fridays last year and it bombed). Plus, I will order more through out the year. I have put about $300-400 into novels over 2 years. I try to buy only the cheap ($1 or $2 ones).

    I DO use the practice books for the grammar pages. We have 1 set of the HM 'English' books to share between 4 teachers. I don't touch them.

    When reading is up for a new adoption, I hope we can convince our principal to buying some new novels to share between us. We share as is, but there are some titles I'd love to have but they never go cheap in Scholastic (Because of Winn Dixie, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, etc...). Plus, we have 2 class sets of Bud, Not Buddy between us and they are falling apart!
     
  11. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Sep 27, 2009

    We are 100% required to use it.
     
  12. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Sep 28, 2009

    My district moved away from HM because it was horrid. It did not align at all with our standards, and required too much time. We now follow a comprehensive literacy framework and incorporate reading, writing and word study. We are definitely seeing results!
     

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