Sunday, February 2, 2014

McGraw-Hill's Reading Wonders Reviews

McGraw-Hill's Reading Wonders Common Core ELA Reviews | Selecting the Best Grade Level (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) Common Core English Language Arts Curriculum to Prepare Students for The New Common Core English Language Arts and Literacy Standards.

McGraw-Hill's Reading Wonders Reviews: Anonymous "After trying to teach "Wonders" for three month, just let me say that the reading selections in the core curriculum are exceedingly boring! The selections are contrived to teach a specific skill, and therefore often lack depth and substance. How are children going to learn to read and interpret difficult texts with such poor examples? The TE's are wordy, unclear, and very teacher-unfriendly. There are frequent errors in pedagogy, and the assessments are over-the-top difficult. It is NOT just a matter of rigor. The program looks like it was tossed together much too quickly. In 40 years of teaching, it is the poorest I have ever seen."

McGraw-Hill's Reading Wonders Reviews: Anonymous  This program sucks! Tests don't come home, so you can't see what your child needs help in because it is done on the computer. In our school they say they go over the problem areas but numerous children are not succeeding on this program in part to no home involvement. No homework comes home for children to work on. It is boring material according to my child. Our district keeps sending letters home that the kids are not doing well as the material is too hard. This program in our district is promoting and encouraging teachers to work less by following the program not sending extra work home. This is a true dissappointment. I believe my child is suffering because of it. I went to the website to see if there are extra materials, there are at a rediculously high cost! As a parent i am seriously dissapointed!
A few question that I ask when evaluating a Reading Program!
  1. Do they measure and meet the highest levels of Blooms Taxonomy and Webb's DOK?
  2. Is the curriculum spiral in design, meaning concepts are introduced and repeated to maximize learning and memory?
  3. Are lesson plans designed to maximize declarative knowledge and retention of key ELA concepts?
  4. Are the students provided with higher order thinking question stems to create a erudite dialogue during reading instruction.
  5. Are the goals explicit and easily known to students and teachers before the lesson?
  6. What is the quantity of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary concepts in the curriculum.
  7. Are kids inspired and excited to read the literature provide in the readers.
  8. Can a "harried" teacher with an oversize class really use the materials and resources?
  9. Are lessons designed to be taught in a cooperative learning structure?
  10. Is the publisher delivering real Common Core materials or are they selling you a one size fist all repacked old program?
Please share your thoughts and reviews of McGraw-Hill's Reading Wonders Common Core! 

  • PROS and CONS Of Many Modern Reading Programs 
  • PROS: A pre-set standardized curriculum makes lessons easier for teachers to plan and supervisors to monitor.
  • CONS: Programs can marginalize teachers by not allowing them to make decisions about how to teach (Garan, 2004).
  • PROS: Programs ensure teaching consistency. Programs can “de-skill” teachers, placing them in the role of middle managers (Coles, 2001; Rice, 2006).
  • PROS: Program developers can provide teacher training (Garan, 2004)
  • CONS Teachers can become alienated from their reading instruction and begin treating the teaching of reading as the application of commercial materials (Shannon, 2005).
  • PROS: Many programs advertise their use of scientifically based reading research and alignment with Reading First guidelines (Duncan-Owens, 2007).
  • CONS Teachers will continue to follow a program in spite of a lack of results because of administrative insistence.
  • PROS: Designers of scripted instruction have noted that following a model derived from “scientifically based research” can be helpful for teachers and increase student achievement, especially that of students from low-income backgrounds.
  • CONS Some teachers decry scripted instruction for limiting their autonomy, professionalism, and ability to respond to students’ individual needs. Scripts “take the professionalism out of teaching” (Christiana, 2005). 
Teacher Evaluation of the Scripted Reading Street Program and the Level of Satisfaction among its
Sub-scale Components     Danielle Savino-Garzon danielle.savinogarzon@student.shu.edu

13 comments:

  1. After trying to teach "Wonders" for three month, just let me say that the reading selections in the core curriculum are exceedingly boring! The selections are contrived to teach a specific skill, and therefore often lack depth and substance. How are children going to learn to read and interpret difficult texts with such poor examples? The TE's are wordy, unclear, and very teacher-unfriendly. There are frequent errors in pedagogy, and the assessments are over-the-top difficult. It is NOT just a matter of rigor. The program looks like it was tossed together much too quickly. In 40 years of teaching, it is the poorest I have ever seen.

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  2. Our school district adopted this new curriculum this year, and as a parent I've been so disappointed and frustrated. The Unit Tests are so poorly written, and the questions are extremely difficult to understand. The scores have been so poor overall that the district is not reporting reading grades this quarter. Absolutely horrible!

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  3. This is our first year using this series. The contrived text is boring and does not promote true literacy. There are errors in content as well as in the assessments. I found these mistakes in the first week of the program. The program is also not teacher friendly. It is difficult to navigate and in the middle of using the on line lessons I have been logged out several times. I am about to throw this program in the "how not to teach language arts" bin.

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  4. The whole state of Hawaii adopted this series in order to prepare our students for the Common Core assessment. Unbelievable! The district I came from in Florida had textbook committees in each school that reviewed and provided recommendations for adoptions of texts based on the needs of their individual populations. Of course, in a state that has one monolithic school board, one could well expect such decisions to be made top-down and mandated to teachers without their input. After one quarter of trying to navigate through this mess and dealing with the frustration and anxiety of my students, I am about ready to return to using chapter books to teach the required reading strategies. At least my students always seemed to enjoy reading, and they were successful on the state tests.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you 100%. I cannot stand this program and neither can the kids. When it's reading block, they moan. The time allotted to teach each skill is ridiculous-we can introduce it in 10 minutes, but certainly NOT teach it! There is very little good literature...an excerpt from a chapter book here or there just doesn't cut it. Both mandated programs in Hawaii are terrible!

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  5. This program sucks! Tests don't come home, so you can't see what your child needs help in because it is done on the computer. In our school they say they go over the problem areas but numerous children are not succeeding on this program in part to no home involvement. No homework comes home for children to work on. It is boring material according to my child. Our district keeps sending letters home that the kids are not doing well as the material is too hard. This program in our district is promoting and encouraging teachers to work less by following the program not sending extra work home. This is a true dissappointment. I believe my child is suffering because of it. I went to the website to see if there are extra materials, there are at a rediculously high cost! As a parent i am seriously dissapointed!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do not know of ANYONE who thinks WONDERS is even a decent series in which to present Language Arts to children. The comments above seems spot on: pitiful stories for the most part, very little 'teaching', ridiculously hard tests, and worst of all -- NO opportunity for parental involvement. Obviously this company has 'control' over the highest levels of supposed 'educators' who are making decisions for an awful lot of children. Shame on all of you ...

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  7. We just received our new copy of Wonders in preparation for next year. The entire board that wrote this is comprised of academicians, not actual classroom teachers. It is so rote, methodical, boring, uninspiring, and dull selections that will SUCK the creativity and imagination out of every kid that will be forced to go through the highly predictable every day. There is nothing exciting or engaging. This was set up by people who haven't set foot in a classroom as an actual teacher for YEARS. It's a different world! Unfortunately, I will have to follow it. The beauty of the Common Core was so nice because we could select and find excellent texts--a variety of texts, poems, music lyrics, etc. from which to teach the guiding principles of the Common Core standards. Now we have EVERY minute dictated. There is no room for spontaneity (you know, the thing that engages kids). Everything is proscribed and as DULL as watching grass grow (even that is more interesting). I am NOT looking forward to dragging my students through this blather next year. And, oh yes, our district spent several MILLION on this without any teacher input. They got sucked into it by the pushy #** textbook publishers and fell for their sales pitches. No teachers were consulted on this purchase - we all would have said, "No WAY!"

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST! REAL LITERATURE, REAL INSPIRATION, A REAL LOVE OF READING!

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  8. Wonders is actually a very comprehensive and flexible program that meets all twelve of the points above when implemented well. When our district adopted it, those of us who used the materials showed increased achievement. It makes it really difficult if everyone isn't teaching the skills that students need for the next level. The wealth of materials allows teachers to choose what you use for whole, small group and paired reads. You can make every week look different and still bring in other reading resources such as newspaper articles and novels. A teacher who claimed that one of the leveled readers was "boring" was shocked when I asked the children and they loved the non-fiction piece. Use the workshop to teach the skill then apply the skill across multiple texts. Don't skip the research. I have adapted some of the projects, but the essential skills are still there. The program is built to evolve over time. It gave me the structure and the materials to re-calibrate what the children read and how I use our time. The children are coming to my class with better fluency and reading with more expression. They can all support their responses with evidence from the text! It feels great that my students are reading at a higher level. I highly recommend: http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/

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  9. I just came from a staff development class on our new reading curriculum, Wonders. It is wrong on so many levels. It kills the love of reading by analyzing every story with "finding the text evidence". It does not allow teacher creativity as every minute is laid out. It is completely teaching to the test instead of teaching kids to problem solve and be real life thinkers. Day 5 is all testing and I when I thought I had that figured out where I was okay with it - along came Week 6!!!

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  10. Wonders seems to be killing the love of learning. Finding text evidence is completely teaching to the test.

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    Replies
    1. Actually finding text evidence is completely teaching to the common core and is designed to promote deeper understanding through persistence and higher order inferencing and integration. The problem isn't Wonders- it's the developmental appropriateness (or lack thereof) of the common core reading standards in the lower elementary grades in particular. Wonders is trying to build the skills that Common Core says students must master. If you want to go back to the days of reading just for fun and answering fluff questions like "how did the story make you feel?" or "tell about a time that you were scared." then you have to get rid of common core and replace it with something more developmentally appropriate. Wonders is a fair reflection of what is wrong with Common Core in the lower grades, not what's wrong with Wonders.

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Thank you!