Off-the-Shelf Options

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Among the commercial reading programs that satisfy Houston's requirements, many schools in Texas' biggest district have selected the following:

  • SRA Reading Mastery

    (SRA/McGraw-Hill, New York City)

    Formerly known as distar, this highly structured, phonics-based program consists of planned lessons that include drills to improve decoding skills. It also features readings that slowly increase in length and complexity to promote word meaning and comprehension. The middle-level program focuses more on development of thinking skills and the acquisition of background knowledge using complete stories and factual articles.

  • Open Court: Collections for Young Scholars


    This second SRA/McGraw-Hill entry combines literature with systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics that is built into the daily reading lesson. Accompanying big books and student anthologies contain a mixture of genres and revolve around science, social studies, and universal topics.

  • Success for All

    (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)

    A comprehensive school restructuring program for grades pre-K-6 that focuses on prevention and intervention for children at risk of having reading difficulties, it provides curriculum, professional-development, assessment, and classroom-management support. The early-learning program incorporates thematic units, children's literature, oral and written activities, and learning centers. The beginning reading program emphasizes phonetic activities, using literature and decodable texts, while the program for children reading at the 2nd grade level or higher emphasizes cooperative learning built around the school's existing novels, anthologies, and basal readers.

Vol. 17, Issue 39, Page 35

Published in Print: June 10, 1998, as Off-the-Shelf Options
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