Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dear SRA

Your set up for Reading Mastery Plus, Levels 1 and 2 are a nightmare.

I stayed late at work recently, trying to get a set of Reading Mastery plans done. I'm the only one in my building who has to adapt the lessons from the original layout (there are about 7 or 8 people who teach it), but for me, it's a necessary thing. You have Presentation Books with both the letters and words that the students need to look at, mixed with the text that I am supposed to read, along with each move I need to make AND how the students are to respond.

(Yes, I'm shaking my head here. How "they" are to respond? And if they don't respond how they are SUPPOSED to? I need to "lead" them in the right direction. Can you tell I'm not a huge Reading Mastery fan yet?)

You also mix fonts, size of text, color of text, italics, and bold. Talk about confusing. It's no problem for most people, but I think I must have a type of learning disability that makes it extremely difficult for me to follow all of this without getting confused. PLUS, totally scripted lessons are challenging for me. And, I think it's distracting for the kids to be looking at the big letters and words, AND all the stuff that I'm supposed to say and do, etc.

Anyway, I make copies of things, cut them out, tape them on a blank sheet of paper, then copy them again. I also copy each lesson's story from the reading book that goes with the program and cut out each page, tape them to another blank sheet of paper, cut out the questions I'm supposed to ask, along with the answers that they HAVE to give me and tape them onto the sheet where I'm supposed to ask them. Then I recopy all of this. I also have make a copy of the actual lesson and highlight what I'm supposed to SAY in one color, what I'm supposed to DO in another color, and what the children are supposed to say in yet another color. So, YES, I go through a lot of paper for each lesson.

If you're still with me, just know that it's totally confusing and takes me about 45 minutes or so to prepare for each 45 minute lesson, and I teach one lesson per day. You do the math.

Surely I'm not the only teacher out there in the USA who struggles with the way you have the program set up. I sure wish you'd ask for feedback from the teachers who use Reading Mastery on a day to day basis, because I'd give you an earful.

How late did I stay to work on my Reading Mastery lessons? Well, teachers normally leave around 3:00. I left at 8:45. And I really didn't get as far as I needed to get in preparing the lessons. Thursday is the day I choose to stay late because I certainly don't want to stay on Friday. Since I work on plans for the following week, staying late to work on Reading Mastery earlier in the week just doesn't quite work out for me.



HereWeGoAJen said...

I used to teach from a curriculum with a very similar layout. I hated it. Plus, I had a really small class (between five and ten students) so I always got through the curriculum for the day really quickly and then had hours to kill at the end of the day.

PERBS said...

I miss teaching but those were the days when it wasn't all scripted and I could use my creativity. I feel so sorry for you now. . .