My Reading Curriculum is from 1989!! Ack!!

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Becky123abc, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I am taking a 4th grade teaching job at a brand new school. The school is new but a lot of the books were donated from a school that closed down a couple of years ago.

    The reading is Open Court and I just got the Teacher's manuals. I noticed none of the titles matched the titles I found on an Open Court site. Then I realized it's because my manuals are from 1989 and the site's resources start in I believe 2003.

    So....what do you think? Is teaching from a series that old going to lessen our reading experience? I plan to supplement with some chapter books but I can't buy everyone in class chapter books. So the old reading books may be what I have to work with.

    Anyone taught from old books and still had good experiences??
     
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  3. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Hmmm...reading theory has change quite a bit since then. I would think you may be able to use some of the stories to teach certain strategies/skills but wouldn't use it like a manual. I am not a big fan of basals to begin with though. :)

    If it were me, I would set up Readers Workshop with mini-lessons in which I read picture books (or parts of chapter books) that demonstrate the skill/strategy. Then they apply the skill to their independent reading. Have you read Guiding Readers and Writers: Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell? It tells you how to set up Readers Workshop and even gives you the first 20 days of mini-lessons. Also check out Beth Newingham's site http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/ You can also use guided reading with small groups and buy a subscription to http://www.readinga-z.com/ which has printable books.

    When you start earning scholastic book order points you can stock up on 6-book sets to use for guided reading or literature circles.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Wow- that is pretty out of date I'd say. Can you use the book more as an anthology of stories and do more of a workshop approach or do they expect you to stick to the program?? I would supplement a lot like you said!
     
  5. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    THanks trayums and Mrs_B. I ordered the book you mentioned. Maybe I can get some help from that. It sure got great reviews on Amazon.

    Thanks again!
    Becky
     
  6. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Burn it. Whoops, you cannot do that!! :woot:

    Good suggestions were made. I would supplement with chapter books. There are also EXCELLENT reading center resources here- http://www.fcrr.org/Curriculum/studentCenterActivities45.htm. You can also go to my website for anything else- http://teachingvision.org/resources.

    To which extent do you need to use the old curriculum? Can you also write down some of the titles in your book? Maybe I know some resources that can spice it up a bit. :)
     
  7. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Thank you for those links Ms.Jasztal! I really appreciate your offer to check out my list from my ancient books! :)

    Here's some of Volume A...
    Unit One Monstrous Creatures
    Harry and the Watzit
    Amapola and the Butterfly
    How the Farmer's Wife Took Care of Things
    Dragon Stew

    Unit Two Friendship
    Polly's Tiger
    Blue Moose
    An Interrupted Friendship
    The Bat, the Birds, and the Beasts
    Zuckerman's Special Pig

    Unit Three Beginnings
    Prometheus
    Trina
    How the Camel Got His Hump
    Salt Boy
    Day and Night:How They came to Be
    Memories
    This Newly Created World


    I won't bore you with the other 6 units...there are poems and articles throughout the book. And then after Christmas there is another book much like Volume A

    One of my coworkers loves this series and doesn't feel like we need to update. I don't want to make waves my first year when I have so much to learn myself...so I'll do the best I can with what I've got.

    Thanks so much for responding. I will definitely use your site as a resource. It's so nice for folks like you to offer help.
    Becky
     
  8. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Is this your very first year? If so, have you perused used chapter books at places like Goodwill? There's so many options out there.

    Now, I haven't heard of any of the stories in your anthology besides How the Camel Got Its Hump. I've done a few porquoi tales before. Even though I don't know too much about your selections, though, that doesn't mean I cannot find some resource to help you out. When I got to reading the title Prometheus, I laughed for some reason, but you certainly didn't need to know that. :lol:
     
  9. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    it might as well be my first year. I taught from November 90- May 97 and then went home to stay with babies. I never really dreamed I'd be back in the classroom...

    A new private school is opening in our town and we had already enrolled our 3 sons. Then two weeks ago they called and asked me to teach 4th grade.


    I have ordered a bulk set of chapter books from ebay...and I was told I would be given some books that had been donated to the school so I can build my class library.
    I'm excited about the class...and I've been reading all I can about current 4th grade classrooms...but I have so much to learn! We start Sept. 2.

    Knowing that you laughed when you read "Prometheus" made me laugh too!:lol:

    Thanks for your tips!
    Becky
     
  10. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Becky,
    I know what you mean about feeling like you are starting over! Last year was my first year back teaching after staying home with my kids for 7 years. And back then I taught junior high in private school. MUCH DIFFERENT!!! I had to do a lot of reading to be updated and I'm still working on it. The funny thing is, now I am more "current" than the teachers at my school. We are supposed to use the basal and the upper teaches at least, do it whole group, etc. I tried it that way the first half of the year so as not to make waves being new but I hated it. Second half I added my own ideas more and I was more comfortable and the kids were more engaged. I got one of the teachers to do lit circles and I actually had a parent from her class come and thank me! Anyway, I have a few other book recommendations for you if you want them. I don't want to overload you now. Congrats on your new job!
     
  11. MsRafuse

    MsRafuse Rookie

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    I also recommend Guiding Readers and Writers: Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell. It is a fantastic book!!!!!

    I save money on books by getting multiple copies from libraries. It helps me save and it allows me to give my students a world of options each year!
     
  12. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Speaking of libraries, have you looked at yours for cheap books? I always go by the Friends of the Library alcove and usually pick up a few for a quarter each. Then they also have BIG sales a few times a year.
     
  13. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Becky,
    I have been thinking about you and how overwhelmed you must be feeling. You may not have time to read whole books so I thought this webxite would be really helpful for you. Basically, your job is to teach the students to use 7 comprehension strategies to improve their reading. The page I bookmarked lists those with lesson ideas, posters, etc. The whole site is great though. http://www.readinglady.com/index.ph..._user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=2&MMN_position=4:4 I have 2 weeks until my first teacher work day. How long do you have?
     
  14. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Oh WOW! Mrs. B, thanks so much for your kindness. I will be so glad when I am more established and can pass the kindness along...

    We start Sept. 2. We will have two inservice days next week and 2 the week after.

    Thanks so much for this link...I am really going to study the info there.

    I truly appreciate you thinking of me!
    Becky
     
  15. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Aug 7, 2008

    You have received excellent advice and resources. Just keep in mind that no textbook is the curriculum. Its purpose is to support the curriculum. A story is a story. It is how you teach using the story that counts.
     
  16. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I've heard that the Open Court curriculum hasn't really changed since it was started. Anyway, there are going to be good and bad parts of any basal. I think you should plan to supplement no matter what series you get. I'm sure there are some nuggets of gold hidden in the old basal. It would be interesting if you can get a new OC basal for your grade and compare how much it has changed in 20 years.
     
  17. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2008

    That is true...thanks everyone for your input. I'm feeling better about everything now. I have ordered Fontas and Pinell book, so I'm really looking forward to reading that.

    My principal said I can use the Open Court book and there are some newer Abeka reading books that were donated...not enough for everyone in the class to have one, but I can use them with smaller groups. She also said after Christmas I should be able to get some class sets of a novel and use that.

    This year will be one of much learning for me! I'm up for it though.

    Right now I'm reading Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching.

    I've downloaded all the Power Teaching info I could find and I've read two books by Marcia Tate...you know, the ones about Dendrites! :)

    Thanks again everyone for your responses!

    Mrs. B, it's nice to know I'm now the only one who came back to teaching after being gone a while! I'm glad it worked for you. That's wonderful how you influenced so many people in your building!
     
  18. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2008

    So glad you are feeling better. It will be a BIG learning year, it was for me. Aren't we lucky to have all these great friends here at AtoZ to help us out?!
     

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