No Basal?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teach2read10, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. teach2read10

    teach2read10 Companion

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    Oct 18, 2009

    We use an HM basal. I've noticed people mentioning that they don't use a basal. Just wondering, how many of you don't use basals? What do you prefer about reading instruction without a basal?
     
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  3. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I use the Abeka reading curriculum, and last year I worked with the Hartcourt reading basals. I can drastically see the difference. My second graders are reading something similiar to chapter books. These look like chapter books, but have about 5-8 page long stories/questions in them.
    When I used Hartcourt last year, these were big textbooks with short simple stories in them that the class would re-read over & over again for the whole week.
    My students read/comprehend a story a day. Along with their reader that has stories in it, they have a separate reader which only includes the phonetic sounds being learned during that week. So I don't know if you would call what I have a "basal" per se, but this is what I use, and it has worked wonders. My lowest reader is almost on grade level just within 6 weeks.
     
  4. Katieladybug

    Katieladybug Companion

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I like that it is more indivualized. You can still read the same genre but at their level. I really like the Rigby PM Books (or any Rigby books really). I do use DRA to assess students. I can use group my students that need fluency in one group one week and the next week have a group that works with comprehnsion.
    Currently I have a group that is working on looking through words as they read, not just the first letter. I have a group that is working on self-correcting.

    When my students have books at their level, and I ask them to read quietly I know they can read them. I know they are on task.

    I still do whole group instruction, but it is me reading the story and talking about it. Modeling good reading and thinking skills.
     
  5. lv2read

    lv2read Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I also use the PM books as the basis of my Grade One reading program. I find the text to be very controlled, as it is in a basal reader, and the stories are interesting to the kids.
     
  6. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I've never used basals; I prefer authentic literature and utilize our school's leveled library for sets of books that I didn't own. We use graphic organizers, foldables, book reports, and other activities to write about what we read, so the worksheets that come with the basals aren't necessary.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2009

    We don't use basals or packaged reading programs of any kind in my district. We use a Readers' Workshop philosophy which has students reading books at their own level- allows teachers to differentiate instruction and is more meaningful for the students.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Oct 18, 2009

    No basels for me.
    We have one story per week that helps me focus on whole group work.
    Daily 5 for the rest.
    I pull small groups for word work.
    This week I am focussing hard on compound words, long a words, and pronouns. They may use any of their Daily 5 books for this.
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I never used the basal last year (much) but this year I'm using it a lot more. I'm working a night job and taking an accelerated class to get my gifted certification. It's just easier, and I'm trying to keep my head above water.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2009

    Why did you not use it last year? Do those same reasons still not apply?
     
  11. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Oct 18, 2009

    i hate not having a basal. i have to create everything my students do. i have to find the books to teach the skills. it's a big time suck. i could use that time differently if i had a basal. i could use the books i've accumulated to supplement the basal if needed. there is a basal called "treasures" that we desperatley want as a school. they think because we use a basal we are going to throw individualized reading groups out. we want to combine the two. and i think treasures even has a guided reading aspect to it. anyway, i would love to have a basal so i don't have to recreate the wheel.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I don't have a basal and I don't recreate the wheel. It takes NO TIME for me to pull a book off a shelf for mini-lessons. I have quite a few favorite 'Go-Tos' which can be used for various skills and lessons. Other lessons can be taught with almost any book. Right now we are working on decoding strategies which can be modeled in any book. Next I'll move onto elements of story and I have quite a few books in mind that I'll tap into for lessons in that unit. Individualizing instruction is time well-spent. I like the freedom and flexibility of not being tied to a packaged program- with that freedom comes great responsibility and accountability though.
     
  13. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I just think it's pretty dull most of the time. However, these kids used the basal last year exclusively, so it's what they're used to. They don't "fight" with me about the basal as much.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2009

    I'd hate to teach with materials which I felt were dull. That's one of the things I LOVE about reading workshop- I can pull books for lessons that I KNOW the kids will hook in to, are great literature, and offer the ability to teach skills and strategies within the reading.:love:
     
  15. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Oct 18, 2009

    What i hate about our basal readers is that a lot of the stories are boring... AND they're excerpts from longer stories or books that my students could (and SHOULD) easily read the rest of.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2009

    We don't use basals. We do have some anthologies at certain grade levels that teachers are able to use if they wish. There are a couple of stories in one or two of them that I love and I pull them to use with grades 6-8. Like czacza, I can't imagine using materials that bore me or that I'm not excited about. How can I instill a love of reading in my students if I'm not providing them with exciting material? I never have difficulty finding material; my problem is that I usually find too much and have to decide what not to use.

    I just finished an exciting novel as a read-aloud with my class-they were, literally, on the edges of their seats. We'll be using exerpts from the book in workshops over the next couple of weeks.
     
  17. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Oct 19, 2009

    We don't have basals or even leveled readers like Rigby. (Which is what my old school had.)

    I do reader's workshop with books of their own choice, sometimes I do novel stories and sometimes I do use Junior Great Books, but it's not a required part of the curriculum. I brought the program with me from an old school (and ordered my own manual, book for the kids, etc.)

    For whole class reading, I use Time for Kids.

    Each of my student has a book bag (just a ziplock, but last year they had little boxes) and they keep their books in those bags. During reading time, they choose books and me and the TA read 1:1 with kids, filling out a form each time we do that. I monitor their fluency, comprehension, etc. I have a small class and between the two of us, we read with each child at least 2-3 times per week. I help kids get books if they can't seem to pick something out.

    They do a reader's response journal entry about once a week as well, which helps me see what they're reading and how they feel about it.

    When I do Junior Great books, for example, we just do the one story for the week, but read it two-three times and then do the discussion and some activities with it, usually a writing activity. I tend to do maybe 2-3 of these and I do them as a "folk tale unit" so it's not something we do all year long.

    When I do a novel study (which I haven't done with 2nd graders so don't know that it will happen) we read the book together in a variety of ways (me reading, with them following, reading silently for a few pages, and then discussing, making the chapter into reader's theater, and so forth). They have a journal of some kind for the novel and do writing activities with it as well.

    I also have done things like reading partnerships, where two kids read a book together and then each time they read they write a response journal type entry about the book. I have done that with kids as young as first graders (with picture books.)

    That's basically my reading program! I do phonics/spelling separately.
     
  18. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Oct 19, 2009

    I use my basal for whole class insruction and then find reading materials on their level for my groups. I use old Open Court books, reader's theater, and novels for my good readers. We are to use our basal. It's good to teach the skills they know but not many can read the stories alone.
     
  19. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Oct 19, 2009

    I ST at a school with an amazing guided reading program and a huge leveled library. I miss it! My current school doesn't even do leveled books, they use AR scores instead.

    I am trying to get away from the basal. We are starting literature circles soon instead. The kids are all going to read the same book the first time around, and then I will level them and offer them selection next time (assuming we can get more books!)
     

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