Friday, September 7, 2012

Instructional Advice

So my district has chosen to pilot a new reading program called Journeys. It is suppose to be aligned with the new standards and has some well known authors such as Donald Behr. Here are my concerns or issues with this. I really need some input or advice on these issues:

  • Every 4th grade in the district is not piloting this program...some schools chose to pilot the program in the first grade. So it is frustrating that we can't ask fellow colleagues within the district for their advice or troubleshooting.
  • We have been using the Lucy Caulkins Reading Workshop strategy. It has worked wonderfully with our students because it allows for no center work or worthless activities in center rotations and has students reading independently. Obviously we modified it to allow for incentives such as computer time to keep the readers attention.
  • Now they have implemented this and first discussed it in June. We had an inservice in June and said we would discuss later on. Well school starts on Monday and the next inservice we received was Thursday. So basically gave us one day to meet with colleagues to collaborate. 
  • Then at these meetings there have been different administrators and each time the administrators have a different answer or response to how the pilot should be implemented and how fully we should use it. So we should be planning what for the first week of school?
  • The Journeys program is also frustrating because it is set up like a student anthology and we removed those from the curriculum over five years ago.

Can anyone see the trend in why frustration is building? Someone like me who is in their 2nd year teaching and just felt like they had a little bit of a handle on the curriculum is now getting all changed about. Oh yeah and our 4th grade math curriculum changed entirely. We are using Investigation books that last year the 5th grade teachers used. How can we take incoming 4th graders (who honestly are still little innocent babies when they enter in Sept) and teach them math concepts from an original 5th grade book?

What do I do?

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had the answers for you. All I can say is what you already know in your heart: Do what is best for your students. I am a firm believer in the reading workshop model. Maybe you can find a way to use Journeys as a supplement or resource for reading workshop. I have no experience with anything like Journeys because my district has been using reading and writing workshop for ten years and I have no plan for my teachers to do anything else in the future. I wish you luck!

    Thinking Out Loud