Discussion Forums - Teachers' Corner Teachers' Corner

Topic: America's Choice info needed

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: America's Choice info needed
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
Back To Top

My school is probably going to become part of America's Choice next year.  We were asked to vote on it the other day, but were given only limited information.  My searches online have provided me with nothing more than the company's slick ad campaign.  Is anyone part of an America's Choice school?  I'd love to hear anything about the program, pro or con.  The staff is open to new ideas, but we're concerned that we've been asked to make a decision based on absolutely no information other than from the company.

 

Date Posted: 6/7/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
Back To Top

No one here is part of an America's Choice school?  I swear, it's really difficult to find out anything about this program outside of their website.  For a company that's supposedly been helping schools for 15 years (although by my calculation they came into being as America's Choice in 1998 and that doesn't add up to 15 years in my book), seems a little odd that very little information is out there. Oh well.

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
Back To Top

Why don't you put the request out on the General board?  Not many people read this board - if teachers don't respond, you might at least get the perspective of parents whose students participate.  Personally, I'm not familiar with it at all.

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
Back To Top

I thought about doing that, Molly, but I wanted to start here and get teacher's perspectives first.  Guess I'll try CMT and see what happens there. Thanks.

Subject: America's Choice
Date Posted: 6/23/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2007
Posts: 19
Back To Top

Our school uses the America's Choice model, and there are pros and cons.  I like the structure: start with a mini-lesson, go to "work time," which can be independent reading, conferencing with kids one on one, guided reading, center time, Accelerated Reader tests, etc, and then a share time where kids talk about books they are reading.   However, there isn't a curriculum really, so it depends on how much you like to come up with stuff on your own.  The mini-lessons are mostly ones you create based on what the kids need and where they are.  So if you like that, that's good!  Are you using it for reading and writing?  For writing it's a little too unstructured, I've really had to bring in a lot (Katie Wood Ray's books have helped me structure that time, as well as Razzle Dazzle Writing).  One of the things I don't like is that there is a school-wide Book of the Month, which can be really juvenille for my 5th graders since it's something for grades K - 5. And we have to post the responses in the hallway which can be a pain.  Also, the bulletin boards and conference notebooks you have to keep are pretty structured and checked up on a lot, and that can be a pain if you want to get creative and not be boxed in with posting only standard/element/student work with commentary. 

Hope that helps!