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    basals- guided reading
    By fiona

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    Hi Jenn,

    Like everyone above, I too started with pieces- the most important thing is to model each step and take your time. I am entering into year three and still working at fine tuning and often get myself overwhelmed if I try to do it the "perfect" way- your way will become your way for yours and your students needs- you will do great with your enthusiasm, desire and introspection.
    As for the basal- I use the basal outline of skills found in the teachers manual and spelling pattterns to make sure I teach those skills through guided reading and language arts/writer's workshop blocks. I have given the theme tests at the "end" of the basal section withou using the actual basal to teach the skills and the children have done just as well or better- I think that the big picture is that the skills we teach are supposed to be transerable and generalized if they are truly understood and should not be contingent on a paticular them or story. I do use the basal ans shared reading (read aloud) one to tow times a week and reingforce skill there as well. THis serves to afford all of the children another oportunity for a whole class shared treadoing experience, and is especially worthwhile when it relates to a science/social studies theme. It also honor guided reading in that no child is expected to read a text that is leveled beyond his/her independent reading level. Good luck and keep up the good work!!

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