New Teacher Questions...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by NewTeacher12345, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. NewTeacher12345

    NewTeacher12345 Rookie

    Jul 5, 2019
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    Aug 12, 2019

    Hi there, I have just recently graduated college and am starting a job as a first grade teacher this September. I have a few random questions that I hope you can answer! I will be meeting with my Principal later this week and will ask her any questions as well, but I wanted to get some answers from you all as well!

    1. Has anyone ever used EnvisionsMath or ReadyGen? These are the math and reading curriculums that my school uses. We also will be doing Daily 5 for reading. I have flipped through the book a bit but would like your opinions/explanation of a typical day using this curriculum. Also, are there student workbooks that come with this curriculum?

    2. How do you all organize your classroom library? I went in today and the teacher that retired left me TONS of books, most organized by number or category. We use the DRA reading system but her numbers go up way higher than most first graders read at, yet the books in the bins are for first grade level. Just a little confused and overwhelmed. Should books be organized by level? Also, first grade teachers: Do you explicitly tell your students what level they are in reading?

    3. We also will be using the Second Step Curriculum. I don't know much about it, just wondering if anyone else does!

    Thank you all so much!!!
  3. Moonshine123

    Moonshine123 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2019
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    Aug 13, 2019

    Hi so I have worked with ReadyGen and it is a pretty good program. They provide you with varying lessons and as well as graphic organizers for each lesson. The stories are pretty good that come with the curriculum. The kids seem to enjoy them as well. If you don't mind my asking what state are you teaching in using these curriculums?
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Jul 27, 2015
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    Aug 14, 2019 at 6:57 AM

    1. I'm unfamiliar with these curricula, but I do find that graphic organizers, as long as they're age appropriate, assist in prepping the student for the lesson.

    2. For student choices in reading, I prefer not to restrict the students to specific reading levels. If a student is consistently exploring books that seem non-productive, then I might also recommend some more level appropriate material along with what the student is choosing, but frankly, I don't recall ever needing to do that. OK, no, I do recall a 5th grade parent who was upset that her child was only reading "Dr. Seuss" books; I monitored his choices, and found that was not the case at all. He was choosing some easier to read books, but they were within his interest range and more than appropriate for a 5th grader. Students have a keen sense of what they are interested in exploring and are usually eager to learn to read. I recommend to parents that books that a student wishes to read that are too advanced, those are the books for reading aloud to the student. In fact, I encourage parents to daily read aloud to their children, an extraordinarily beneficial activity.

    I do have a problem with restricting students free reading time to specific reading levels. Students naturally learn by exploration and this includes exploring more difficult material (with surprising results--the brain is plastic, constantly and invisibly developing). Students also enjoy or are interested in material at a lower reading level. This is still excellent reading practice; brain circuits become further insulated and the reading process becomes more automatic. Most importantly, free reading helps build habitual reading. Students who read become readers.
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Sep 13, 2013
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    Aug 16, 2019 at 4:25 AM

    I used EnVision math with third graders and fifth graders. I can honestly say that I myself never once used the actual book, except as sub plan fodder, but there are some terrific supplementary resources. Formative assessments, multiple versions of summative assessments, differentiated follow-ups, and center activities.
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Jul 20, 2012
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    Aug 17, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    I used Envisions Math with second graders about five years ago. I really liked it then, but I've more recently heard many do not like it. I'm not sure if they've updated it so that people don't like the newer edition or if I was just in the minority who liked the program.

    Although I've been teaching for awhile, I just finished my first week in first grade. So I'm still learning about working with first graders, too. My own philosophy is never to tell kids their reading level or limit them to books at their level, no matter what their grade. In grades 2 and up, I would not have a leveled library. I've been told that I need to have one in first grade, so I just have the one that the teacher who was in the room before me left behind. I will use it, but I will not make a big deal out of levels. I don't like the idea of limiting what kids read. In addition to the leveled library, I also have my own library of fiction and nonfiction picture books. Those aren't leveled and never will be. I will allow kids to choose freely from those books. Even if they can't read the words, they can read the pictures.

    My guess regarding the numbers in the library are that the numbers were simply an organizational tool. It's how I've organized my classroom libraries for the past several years. It's an easy way for students to know where to return the books. For example, any book that fits into the "math" category has a number 1 sticker on it. The basket they belong in also has a number 1 sticker. The number 1 has nothing to do with their level, but it allows the students to know that the number 1 books go in the number 1 basket. Maybe that's the system that the teacher before you used?
    Obadiah likes this.
  7. ninamricci

    ninamricci New Member

    Jan 13, 2019
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    Aug 18, 2019 at 11:25 AM


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