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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Reading Caravan

So, I have a tendency to overload myself sometimes. When it comes to volunteering for things around the school, I like to be involved.

At this point, I’m on the RTI Committee, Social Committee, a school counseling Steering Committee, plus tutoring 2 kids (going up to 3 this week).

And then the principal asked if anyone would like to be on the Reading Adoption Committee.

I knew it was probably one more thing I didn’t really need to do, but dang it- I’m a curriculum nerd and I reeeally wanted to do it.

Last week I got to go to a “reading caravan” where 7 companies presented their reading series to a whole ballroom of teachers.

Holy Tote Bags.

We heard from and previewed materials from:

  • Wonders
  • Journeys
  • Reading Street
  • National Geographic (Reach for Reading)
  • SuperKids
  • Benchmark Literacy
  • one more?

And I’m wondering what you think of these materials or others that you have. We are really looking at lining up our curriculum with the Common Core (although, as Mary Beth pointed out, there are some Indiana legislators who now want to go back from the Common Core, so hopefully that will get sorted out soon).

We want to go deeper, not wider, with the curriculum. We are lucky to have a lot of kids reading above grade level, but we also have a lot of ESL students from a large, large variety of countries. Rather than wanting everything AND the kitchen sink (which most of these come with), we want really quality basic elements and well-chosen literature and non-fiction. We want our students prepared for tests- but please for the love of all that is wonderful about reading, not through worksheets but through REAL reading. We want some flexibility because we are (thankfully) given a lot of freedom to teach in different styles, including workshop and CAFÉ/ Daily 5.

We are even considering purchasing novel sets and trade books at the 3rd grade level, although I think it might require more cohesion than the current grade level team really has.

Do you have one of these series? What do you think? Are there other series we should look into?

THANK YOU! :) I know input from real teachers would help us so much more than sale pitches.


  1. We have Texas Treasures (because we don't use common core, we use TEKS), but I think there is a common core aligned Treasures by McGraw Hill. We adopted it about 3 yrs ago and honestly it's the best system I've ever used. However, in the past I've only been given 30 textbooks and 1 TE and that's all. With this program there are many components as I'm sure most of the ones you saw had. I would be interested in seeing the Nat'l Geographic series because I'd like to see their non-fiction text. The only one I've seen on your list is Reading Street and since we adopted ours, I've heard a lot of people say they didn't care for Reading Street. I'm kind of like you, I'm on a lot of committees. I like being involved, but I tend to go overboard.

  2. I like Reading Street because they have stories that the kids can relate to these days!
    The Techie Teacher

  3. In my county, we use Lucy Caulkins Units of Study for Reading and Writing workshop. It is wonderful, and fully aligned with Common Core. It leaves it open for us to use whatever texts we want for guided reading and reading clubs.


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