Today I became one of only 2 teachers at my school who will be piloting the Imagine It! reading program. In my district elementary schools have 2 choices for core reading programs; Houghton Mifflin or Imagine It! My school has used Houghton Mifflin since we opened in 2006. My principal is considering switching the entire school to the Imagine It! program next year and he wanted a couple teachers to try it out to sort of see how their students compare to the others who are using Houghton Mifflin. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and I get to do it. I received a set of teacher's guides for the program today, we are still trying to scrounge up enough textbooks and hopefully workbooks for 2 classes so that we don't have to purchase anything until we know for sure we want to use it. I have to say I already like what I am seeing in the TE's it seems to really be a much better program that Houghton Mifflin. The only concern I have is time. We have a 90 minute reading block and to fully implement Imagine It! you really need about 2 hours. The good thing is the program seems to do a really good job of integrating science and social studies into the reading block so I could find the extra 30 minutes there if I needed to. I would really love to hear from other 4th grade teachers who use this program and could answer the following questions.
- How do you structure your reading block?
- How much time do you need for each whole group section?
- Do you break up the whole group and do workshop in between or do you do all the whole group stuff together and then do a workshop time?
- Since we are trying piece-mill together two classroom sets what do you consider to be the most important pieces of the program that you just can't do without (other than textbooks because we are already on the hunt for those LOL)
Any other information you can give me about how you use this program would be really beneficial.