I am a qualified, nationally recognized teacher who is frustrated & unappreciated. Any lit supporters?
I sympathize with you! And I applaud your efforts.
I am not from California, but I have seen a myriad of texts that the publishers claim cover all of the state benchmarks and support subject integration, yada yada yada. (The reps also say that the texts contain so much that you need to pick and choose what you will use.) But they are so poorly done that if you followed their lead, the kids would not get what they need. I don't believe that any one text series (in any subject) can be reasonably expected to cover everything that needs to be taught in a subject in depth, much less also teach writing and composition. This is just as true in kindergarten as it is in high school.
Does California support the use of supplemental texts? Check with your state schoolbook depository. Units of Study by Lucy Calkins and 6+1 Traits of Writing by Culham are two very good resources on writing that can be adapted to any grade level.
These state tests are really wreaking havoc with our educational systems! Teachers need to be given the opportunity and resources to teach what they know the students must learn whether it is on the test or not--and it has to start well before the high school years.
No there is not. the two programs are Open Court and Houghton Mifflin and the writing components are poorly written and completely inappropriate for the ages of our kids.
They don't know how to write a program that teaches writing. Some others have tried, like "power writing" but they are too canned.
The truth is that writing has to be individualized from year to year because we never know what level each class will begin with. We need to use CA state standards to guide (not control) our writing instruction. Students need opportunity for personal response as well as guided practice.
Read "Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning"
it's an ESL book but it does a great job outlining different types of writing and how to break them down so kids will understand.
Also, I use the model of the writing workshop by Fountas and Pinnel--"Guiding Reader's and Writers". Great book.
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