How Do You Adapt Your Curriculum?

Hi everyone. Are you tired of hearing your admin say, “The reading curriculum is just a tool. Use the material anyway you want.”? Really, REALLY!!

How many of you have heard this phrase? Is it true? I’m not sure. We all change the lessons to meet the needs of our children. But what happens when you have to rewrite the whole damn curriculum? I’m sure many of you have done just that. The schools pay all of this money for a curriculum and we have to spend all of our time to create lessons that actually work.

You might be wondering which reading curriculum I am using. Well, I don’t know if you have heard of the awesome Pearson company (I almost feel like they are the Evil Empire!) In NYC, Pearson seems to have had a monopoly on curriculum for the past three years. Thankfully, Pearson is SLOWLY starting to leave the NYC schools. This was the last year the NYS ELA and Math tests have been created by Pearson.

So we are told to use ReadyGen as a tool. So everyday I rewrite the curriculum and teach the skills or lessons how I want to and in the style that will most benefit my kiddos.

I started to teach each lesson focusing on a 15 minute mini-lesson and then small group work (which is definitely not in the program. :() I incorporate the science or social studies text books or articles on the topics. I added in A LOT of writing because there only seems to be response to literature in ReadyGen’s writing component. Although, there updated curriculum now includes shared writing with more informational writing…the material and expectations are way above grade level.

How else can I make this curriculum just a tool? I started to make interactive notebooks for the books that we have to use in our lessons. The only part of ReadyGen that is ok are SOME of the trade books used.

Last week we read A Chair for My Mother. I absolutely love this book, but if you follow the curriculum it is boring and basically kills any enjoyment of this wonderful book. So I introduced the interactive notebook for A Chair For My Mother and my kids loved it.

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Then I had my kids design their own comfortable chair. Just take a look at some of the chairs that my kiddos created! 🙂

chair10

chair8

chair7

chair3

chair2

chair1

Besides designing and building a comfortable chair to go along with the story, “A Chair for My Mother” students also had to write about how they created their chair and why they decided to create that chair.

chair6

chair5

My students had so much fun with the interactive notebook, designing their comfortable chairs and their writing assignment.

My students loved using the interactive notebooks so much that I started to create them for the different trade books that we use as part of the 2nd grade ReadyGen curriculum. You can check them out by clicking here.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my rant. 🙂
How do you use your curriculum as just a tool?

Rachel

Summer Stock Up Sale!

Summer Stock Up Blog Logo

Hi everyone! Can you believe that it is summer already. Even though we are on “break”… you know, and I know that teachers never rest. We are always thinking about how we can improve, what we can do next, what activities we need for next year, or of course what our rooms will look like when we go back to school.

Never fear…the Summer Stock Up Sale is here to help you get started! I am teaming up with a bunch of awesome bloggers and TpT sellers to get you started on the new school year.

First, we have interactive notebooks. My kiddos love interactive notebooks, don’t yours? Part of my curriculum is to read Charlotte’s Web. My second graders have such a hard time with the book so I created an interactive notebook to help them.

Slide1

Check out some of the Charlotte’s Web IN in action below.
Character's reaction

Character's reaction

point of view1

Point of View

Setting of the Zuckerman's farm

All of my interactive notebooks are 20% off. You can check them out here.

What is a Summer Stock Up Sale without task cards?
Take a look at my Back to School Task Cards. It’s perfect for the first few days of school.

Back to school Task Cards

My students absolutely love task cards. Task cards can be used in so many different ways. They can be used independently, in small groups, and played as a Scoot game.

task cards

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.

Rachel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog to FB Image

Your Curriculum is Just A Tool!!!

Hi everyone. Are you tired of hearing your admin say, “The reading curriculum is just a tool. Use the material anyway you want.”? Really, REALLY!!

How many of you have heard this phrase? Is it true? I’m not sure. We all change the lessons to meet the needs of our children. But what happens when you have to rewrite the whole damn curriculum? I’m sure many of you have done just that. The schools pay all of this money for a curriculum and we have to spend all of our time to create lessons that actually work.

You might be wondering which reading curriculum I am using. Well, I don’t know if you have heard of the awesome Pearson company (I almost feel like they are the Evil Empire!) In NYC, Pearson seems to be in charge of almost all of the curriculum, assessments, and State Exams.

So we are told to use ReadyGen as a tool. So everyday I rewrite the curriculum and teach the skills or lessons how I want to and in the style that will most benefit my kiddos.

I started to teach each lesson focusing on a 15 minute mini-lesson and then small group work (which is definitely not in the program. :() I incorporate the science or social studies text books or articles on the topics. I added in A LOT of writing because there only seems to be response to literature in ReadyGen’s writing component.

How else can I make this curriculum just a tool? I started to make interactive notebooks for the books that we have to use in our lessons. The only part of ReadyGen that is ok are SOME of the trade books used.

Last week we read A Chair for My Mother. I absolutely love this book, but if you follow the curriculum it is boring and basically kills any enjoyment of this wonderful book. So I introduced the interactive notebook for A Chair For My Mother and my kids loved it.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.11.17 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.11.30 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.11.41 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.12.06 PM

Then I had my kids design their own comfortable chair. Just take a look at some of the chairs that my kiddos created! 🙂

chair10

chair8

chair7

chair3

chair2

chair1

Besides designing and building a comfortable chair to go along with the story, “A Chair for My Mother” students also had to write about how they created their chair and why they decided to create that chair.

chair6

chair5

My students had so much fun with the interactive notebook, designing their comfortable chairs and their writing assignment.

My students loved using the interactive notebooks so much that I started to create them for the different trade books that we use as part of the 2nd grade ReadyGen curriculum. You can check them out by clicking here.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.06.13 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.10.32 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.08.45 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.12.10 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.11.17 PM

Thanks for stopping by and reading my rant. 🙂
How do you use your curriculum as just a tool?

Rachel