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!
- Do they measure and meet the highest levels of Blooms Taxonomy and Webb's DOK?
- Is the curriculum spiral in design, meaning concepts are introduced and repeated to maximize learning and memory?
- Are lesson plans designed to maximize declarative knowledge and retention of key ELA concepts?
- Are the students provided with higher order thinking question stems to create a erudite dialogue during reading instruction.
- Are the goals explicit and easily known to students and teachers before the lesson?
- What is the quantity of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary concepts in the curriculum.
- Are kids inspired and excited to read the literature provide in the readers.
- Can a "harried" teacher with an oversize class really use the materials and resources?
- Are lessons designed to be taught in a cooperative learning structure?
- Is the publisher delivering real Common Core materials or are they selling you a one size fist all repacked old program?
- 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).