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    Basal
    By NJ Teacher

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    We have a basal available to us if we want to use it. It is an older version of Scholastic's Literacy Place. I generally the first anthology for shared reading and to model literature discussion and such things as character traits, summarizing, word meaning in context etc. At the same time, I am doing mini-lessons from Fountas and Pinnell's Guiding Readers and Writers 3-6. They set up the first month or so for you, and it sets the stage for the literature groups I do after the first basal anthology, including readers' notebooks. This year, our principal bought us sets of nonfiction guided reading materials, and i am looking forward to adding those in to more clearly do skills lessons by ability. I do key my grammar and study skills lessons into the basal, because the principal wants us to give the anthology tests as one measure of how the kids are doing. We were looking at basals this past year, and they seem to have so much "stuff" in them that I would have a hard time doing the literature groups with the longer novels I do. We were pleasantly surprised that our new superintendent is not pushing for a basal adoption, and will let us use materials such as the guided reading nonfiction sets instead.

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