teaching reading NOT by using balanced literacy...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HufflePuff, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    ok so i've basically learned how to teach reading through the balanced literacy approach. i.e. having a reading workshop, students are in their own independently leveled book, interactive read-alouds, etc.

    well, i have a second interview tomorrow in a district that does NOT do this. in the first interview, they mentioned that they used basal reading and that they teach to the whole class. um...i know i did this when i was a kid but i can't remember how it was done! so basically, how do you teach reading if you are NOT using the balanced literacy approach? thanks!
     
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  3. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Oh my gosh, are you going to an interview in 1985?!?! :) How horrible!!
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Surprisingly many of the private schools in my area are very Basal and workbook happy... Anyway- I think that basal's claim to be "balanced". They have a lot that go with them. It will be interesting for you to see this approach to teaching reading too.
     
  5. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    :lol: That is hillarious!
     
  6. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    :lol:

    I wouldn't even know how I would approach teaching whole-class with just a basal. It goes against every grain in me.
     
  7. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Those poor kids! I wouldn't want to teach at a school that still does complete whole class reading only. :(
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    What grade is it for? I know we are given basals in 1st and 2nd which are used in small group instruction. Could you possibly ask them if you could do a whole group and small group instruction for reading? I've never seen a classroom in the primary/early childhood grades who only do whole group instruction (well, I've seen people unofficially do it, but it's not effective and they don't use the basals-they just teach to the whole class and don't do small groups).
     
  9. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    You work around the system :D.

    "Do" the basal for 20 minutes... then branch out for balanced literacy.
     
  10. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    haha yea it's definitely old school. i don't know though. it was weird because i was talking about how i taught reading using balanced literacy and they said they don't do that and asked how i would teach skills using a basal. or something. it's a blur to me now. i wish i wrote stuff down lol.

    anyhoo it's 5th grade. so how do you teach reading if they are not reading their own independently leveled books?
     
  11. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Wow. You obviously want to interview for jobs, but are you sure you want to work at a school like this? I had a principal tell me he did not believe in using any hands-on manipulatives for math, and didn't allow it. I finished the interview, shook his hand and tossed his card when I got home. Make sure you are firm on your teaching philosophy, and the principal knows that it is important to you. You won't be happy trying to fit into someone else's box, and if you believe in balanced literacy, you're going to find basal to be miserable, unless the principal doesn't mind you modifying the lessons. But if they came right out and said 'we don't do that', they might get really upset if you try to modify. You should find that out right away.

    Man. What are people thinking???
     
  12. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

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    TeeeHeeeHeeeHeee....we had a teacher like that in our bldg. She used the basal and read whole class. Then she did the work sheets that came w/the basal whole class. And that is how you teach reading---Whole class.
     
  13. lysithea88

    lysithea88 Rookie

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    The only thing you might have to give up from balanced literacy is the individual leveled readers. Remember, basals are only a tool. You can use them however you want. If that's all I was given, I'd still be doing interactive read-aloud (with books I choose)...I'd still be doing shared reading (with pieces I choose)...I'd still have the kids doing independent reading (teach them how to pick out a "just right" book from the library for silent reading time)...they can still do lit circles, it's just that each group will be discussing the same piece.

    If they get upset with how you're teaching, just remember that you are encompassing whole-class teaching, too. Interactive read-alouds and shared reading solve that. You're just taking it one step further by giving individual attention, too. Who can really complain about that?
     
  14. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I have to use a basal this year when they found out I haven't been using it. This is what I am going to do.

    Read the section whole class, teach the skill whole class. Then, they will work on their summary questions while I meet with small groups to go over the skill more in depth.

    I only plan on doing this for about a month in the beginning. Then I am going to go to a novel. Then go back to the book for a month, then another novel. Not the best way, but it gets the basal in.
     
  15. seemoreglass

    seemoreglass Rookie

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    I wish they would just let us use our professional judgement to teach the objectives. We have so many mandated ways we are supposed to teach in reading that are so ridiculous.

    Meanwhile in math, they give me an objective each week and I'm free to teach it however I want.

    Guess which my kids A) are better at and B) enjoy more ?
     
  16. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    Having to convert over.

    Apparently I just left a very outdated school that only taught basal reading. I just started a new job where they do balanced literacy and reader's workshop. I am so overwhelmed with all of it right now. I took a teacher's workshop to learn how it all works and it seems to me like the children would learn a lot better this way. I wish all the districts would do the same thing so it wouldn't be so hard for teachers to get used to something new. I feel like I am a first year teacher all over again!:eek:
     
  17. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    wow - even schools that don't have a formal balanced literacy approach still have something more than just basal readers and "teaching to the whole class"
     
  18. matchstickgirl

    matchstickgirl Companion

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    At my school last year, we had a basal reading program- Trophies. It was a bit hard because I worked in an inner city school with 90% of my students Hispanic, and then 10% actual African refugees who were relocated to a housing community here. We HAD to use the program- no excuses. What I did was on Monday we went over vocabulary, Tuesday I read to them and popcorned to students to read where I left off (they all used index cards to follow along), Wednesday and Thursday we would do a fun project and go over the reading stategy more in depth, then Friday I HAD to give them the test on the story. For four of my students I made a different test so that they could better read and understand it better. Within the program they give you leveled readers.. I just had no idea to fit it in because I had to test students on the story we read.. if anyone has any good suggestions on basal reading, I'd be interested. I talked with my other coworkers and they did basically the same thing I did. I was DEFINITELY lost in how to teach basal to the whole class when half my students could not read at a 5th grade level.

    Next year I am definitely looking to find a place that will allow me to do balanced literacy. I love having different groups with different novels, and then allowing them to have centers as well.

    So from my standpoint, I HATED a basal program and would definitely advise to make sure you'll be happy teaching it at your school. I for one was not.
     
  19. daizie75

    daizie75 Rookie

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    We have to do basal part of the time - district requirement. But we also do reader's workshop. I use the basal time to teach strategies to the whole class and then use reader's workshop for differentiation. What does this school say about differentiation?
     
  20. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    Basals now are different from the older basals. I have been teaching for about 25 years. I started with the older basals and traditional groups. Although many of you would be appalled, they weren't so bad. The kids learned. I learned that way when I was a child, too. I student taught in a class with "individualized reading". In the 80s we went towards whole language but actually had a literature based basal. It was hard to embrace this but I was told how the lower readers never heard higher level questions asked and answered. We would like reading and other subjects. Now, we use a basal and are supposed to do guided reading with it. Our basal is supposed to be balanced and includes phonics, grammar, spelling, writing, comprehension, and the kitchen sink.

    With each of these programs, my students have learned to read. There have been many successes with each program. There have also been students who struggled with each program. There are pros and cons with each.

    After being around for so many things, I no longer jump whole heartedly into anything--in a few years it will be out and something else will be new, better, and research based.

    I believe that there are a couple of keys to making any of these approaches work. Flexibility is important and being willing to make modifications to help your students. Also, a teacher who is comfortable with what they are doing can "sell" it better.

    I have tried to take things from each program or approach and integrate them together to make something that will work for my students and me.

    I know that many of you will not agree. There are many people who are very comfortable with reading workshop or the Daily Five or accelerated reader. I have read about these and am not really comfortable with them. As I said before, I take a little from each thing and make something that I feel will work for my class and my students.

    I wish you luck in your interview.
     
  21. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Basals seem to be a big thing around here. Did you mention you are interviewing for grade 5? A typical set up in our area would be something like this-

    Mon. Intro Vocab, do anticipatory set type activity, begin reading whole group
    Tues-Do skill or reading activity, finish reading large group
    Wed.- Small group reading activity, Small group choral/ pair read (This is where centers often come in)
    Thurs- cont. from Wed (This is where centers often come in)
    Fri- Review/ test

    Some schools make you follow the textbook set up. Some schools tell you to do it your way as long as you cover the skills.

    Keep in mind-
    -If you do not like any of the required procedures in your school, get on committees and change them ASAP. I have seen 2nd year teachers lead textbook committees because they are the ones who know what new "stuff" is out there.
    -Many times teachers are allowed to do their own thing once they present their rational to the curriculum people.

    Good luck!
     
  22. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Welcome to Open Court.
     
  23. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Is a basal reader the same as a literature anthology?
     
  24. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    phew! lots of info lol.

    so how could i do guided reading and shared reading with a basal?
     
  25. daizie75

    daizie75 Rookie

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    When my school system adopted Open Court we had to go exactly by the book. :eek: Things have loosened up a lot since then. We use Imagine It! now (new Open Court) it is a little better in that they attempted to integrate with our science and social studies units. We still have to do the stories and skills in the basal but they are not strictly held to the minutes. If I pull in outside articles or move into my reader's workshop (differentiated) portion of literacy early I won't get in trouble. I just have to be able to support what I'm doing. Not a problem. My school system has been using basals since I started working in a regular ed classroom so I don't know any different. Or maybe it should be I don't know any better? :confused:
     
  26. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    Shared reading and guided reading with a basal

    The basal we had last year as well as our new one come with sets of leveled readers that have the same vocabulary as the sroty in the basal. So you can use the small books with groups for part of your instruction and use the basal and the other components (grammar, spelling, phonics) with the whole class.
     
  27. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

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    well i just got back from the interview and they totally asked me about how i'd teach reading. well i told them what my experience was, which was balanced literacy and they seemed to be very impressed. they asked a lot of questions about how i taught it. i threw in some things about basal too, just to be safe. thanks for your help guys! it really helped!

    now they want me to make them a portfolio. all the candidates do it. yes, i have a portfolio but now i have to make THEM one. ugh! i better get this job!
     

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