kitchen table math, the sequel: here's something you won't see at a precision teaching school

Sunday, July 22, 2012

here's something you won't see at a precision teaching school

The 100-Book Challenge.

Apparently, the 100 Book Challenge is yet another program that produces parent uprisings.

The people at Morningside say Robert Dixon's Reading Success is the best reading program on the market.

For writing, they use Anita Archer's Sentence Refinement. (Can't remember whether they use Archer's content reading programs for fluent readers -- I'm thinking they do.)


palisadesk said...

Anita Atcher was one of the presenters when I was there. She spoke for the whole day (interactively, on several topics). I marveled at her outstanding presentation skills -- I'm one who usually multi-tasks, doodles or whatever while someone speaks. Not with Anita Archer, she had me with her 100% of the time, hanging on every word. Amazing.

I know that they use Anita Archer's REWARDS reading programs at Morningside -- these are for developing fluency and content reading skills, Gr. 4 and up.

I second the motion about Bob Dixon's "Reading Success." It is excellent and students really enjoy it. I wonder if they mentioned the online Headsprout Reading Comprehension?

It has some similarities in instructional design to Dixon's program, but it is interactive and can be purchased for home use. For kids who can decode well at a 3rd grade level, I recommend it highly. Headsprout (the company) has recently merged with Dymo/Mimeo and I got an email that they are renaming the reading programs, but they're the same as before. Parents can purchase them and get a 30-day money-back guarantee. There's a lot of info on the website, which has a parent link I can't seem to access, with a placement test to see if the child is ready for Headsprout Reading Comprehension (now called Mimeo Individualized Reading or something like that).

Great program, and the kids love it -- can't go wrong with both success and enthusiasm.

Jean said...

I'm looking at this 100 Book Challenge and I don't quite understand it. Can someone explain? (Does this reveal me as utterly clueless?) Is the idea to get kids reading at home, or does it take up instructional time too? Are they saying kids should read 100 books in a school year?

palisadesk said...

I'm not familiar with the "100 Book Challenge" from personal experience, but it has been discussed a lot on one of my reading teacher listservs.

I can answer some of your questions:
1) It takes up both instructional time AND requires a lot of parent involvement at home
2) It does state that children should read 100 books in the school year

However, from my listserv I understand that the books that "count" towards the "100 Book Challenge" are tied to Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading levels, and that the children can only select brom the appropriate level and the approved books for that level.

Thus, children getting reading intervention using decodable books (even very high quality ones) cannot use those books --which actually require them to practice the skills they are being taught -- because they are no on the "approved" list. They also cannot select books that are "too high" or "too low," regardless of interest.

My colleagues on the listserv also lament that the level of parent involvement and home reading of the "100 Book Challenge" books militates against the students getting deliberate practice to mastery and their reading level -- real reading level, not guessing level. There is much pressure on all students, as individuals and as classes, to meet the "100 Book Challenge." There are prizes, incentives, assemblies and whatnot.

Now, I have known an excellent school that had a similar goal -- every student reading 100 real books during the year -- but it was not affiliated with any "program," and the books chosen were left to the discretion of the child, teacher and parents, but they celebrated success with charts of accomplishments, assemblies where students did oral book talks and short readings, charades or tableaux about their books to encourage others. That was a low-SES school with tons of parent involvement.

palisadesk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean said...

Oh, I get it. Like AR only even more oppressive. Now it makes sense, thank you. (I'm a librarian and we hate that stuff. Just let the kid read already! There's nothing more depressing than seeing a kid who wants to read book X having to go find book Y because it's on the list. And it's checked out anyway.)

AmyP said...

In the 100 book challenge link, it says that the best predictor of adolescent reading scores is the amount of reading they choose for themselves. I take it that (given the actual conditions of the program) that it's hogwash to hitch their program to that finding?

Cassandra Turner said...

Wow, I read a lot and only get through 5o books a year.

Jean said...

They would have to be fairly short books to get through 100 in a school year. The program asks for, what, a book about every 3 days?

I can do a book every 3 days if I have enough free time to read in--I can't sustain it over a whole year because some times are busier than others--but there won't be a lot of chunksters on the list.

kathyiggy said...

I'll chime in to say Headsprout is wonderful. The first program taught my Kindergartener to read in about 2 months. We are now halfway through the reading comprehension program. My 6 yo went from reading sight words and simple 3 letter words to a late 2nd grade level. She is now reading constantly. The Headsprout lessons hold her interest and they explicitly teach comprehension for both fiction and non-fiction along with other skills like map reading, measuring, etc. I'll have to try Reading Success for my 16 yo ASD child as she would probably find Headsprout too babyish.

Catherine Johnson said...

Kathy & all -- What about Headsprout for high school students?

(Morningside uses Headsprout, definitely - Kent Johnson is the creator, right?)

I'm not sure how they fit everything together because he also said they like Engelmann's Reading Mastery for decoding (but definitely not for comprehension).

They use Dixon for comprehension -- but where does Headsprout come in??

I'll collect a list of questions & try to find out....

They like Elizabeth Haughton for handwriting. (They like her, period, but Kent specifically sent us to Haughton for handwriting.)

Catherine Johnson said...

palisadesk - you must have gone for the whole 3 weeks, right?

I would have LOVED to hear Anita Archer. The class I was student teaching in was using her book (Sentence Refinement). It was fantastic.

Now I'm collecting all the handouts I can find from her & I've ordered her book on explicit instruction.

palisadesk said...

Yes, I went for 3 weeks.

Did you get a binder full of handouts? (I did)

I'll show you mine if you show me yours......;-)

Headsprout Early Reading is for beginning readers. Kent was involved in the development of it, but not of the Comprehension program (target grades, 2-5).

You wouldn't use Headsprout for high school, except possibly with students with developmental delays. Joanne Robbins did say that some h.s. students could benefit from using the comp program, even if their decoding levels were fairly high -- they need to learn the strategies taught.

I use the Dixon program too, very good. The DI reading program they were using when I was there was Horizons, and they had a group working on Elizabeth Haughton's phonological awareness.

ChemProf said...

Just ran into a parent complaining about a 100 book challenge. A big part of the complaint was that her above grade level reader wasn't reading his typical chapter books but was instead choosing The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and similar easy books so he could plough through more of them.