Reading with Harcourt Storytown

This was first posted at Teaching in Blue Jeans in August 2013. I thought it would be good to share with all of you again as it has a lot of great information.

My school uses Harcourt Storytown for our reading program. I have used it while completing intern (practicum) hours and have no complaints. One of the great things about this series is that there are so many free resources available!

I thought I would be teaching in 4th grade so I started out by creating weekly blog posts for my parents with this week’s story title, vocabulary, spelling, and our focus skills. This allowed parents easy access to the information and no one could say that they didn’t have the information they needed for homework.

Then I moved to 3rd grade! I have not yet redone these post. Good thing they were still a work in progress right?!

One of the things that I do really love about this program is all of the FREE online resources I have found. These are a great help for lesson planning with Harcourt Storytown materials. Save these to your desktop if you are using this curriculum! Trust me… you will want them!

Reading Matters is a site I was first introduced to last year. It has ALL the resources you could ever want and need for the program on this one site. This is the link for the 3rd Grade page but they have pages for all grade levels of Storytown. All of the materials are made by teachers.

NEW TEACHER TIP: This site has ideas on how to organize all of your resources for Storytown. I know for me that I am always trying to figure out how to organize my various resources. This has saved me time by telling me how!

I found Roosevelt Instructional Technology Coach when I was first working on my classroom site. She has added the ebook for every leveled reader to her site for all grade levels! I LOVE this as now the students can practice at home what they will be reading in class. I have my groups posted to the blog. When I post the new story of the week, I link up the leveled readers.

I use the same colors for my groups in class as they are online. This way it makes it super easy for me to keep track. The leveled readers are all color coded. By using the system already created, I save time and help myself remember what went where. This was a great tip from another mentor of mine.

I just discovered this site last night! It looks like a video game but it provides different information for each lesson. At first I thought that maybe I had stumbled across a tool that my students could use to further explore the story as homework. BUT it is more like an aid for lesson planning. It has a lot of great extension ideas that could be used for centers.

I made these as a cute list for my blog posts. I can also post it on my board and as its only half a sheet of paper… it doesn’t take up a lot of room. You could even make copies and add them into the student’s journal so they can reference it as they write. 3rd Grade Storytime Spelling is your link to download your own FREE copy!!

I, however, will not be using these as we are not teaching spelling in our school any more. No spelling. No handwriting. (Well, there is for about 5 weeks after Standardized testing but not for the majority of the school year.) I am not sure how I feel about this change but it will be what it will be, I guess.

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