Hopefully, even those of you with a "mandatory" curriculum, can get some ideas on ways to structure your reading time from the way the SUPERKIDS program is set up!
This curriculum was created by the Rowland Reading Foundation. Pleasant Rowland, the creator of the American Girl Collection, established this foundation after she retired from American Girl. As a former primary teacher, she dedicated herself to improving reading in the primary grades. She is still VERY active in the foundation today!
I have taught 2 of the 3 levels of this curriculum and it is the BEST!!!! The characters are introduced in Kinder and they grow up each year. The students LOVE them! They talk about them as if they are classmates.
The day starts with an editing exercise. Students are given a sentence to edit and correct. This is a set of editing mark reminders that I post on a small pocket chart in my classroom. At the beginning of the year as I teach each mark, I post it on the chart. By the end of the year, they know how to use all of these marks.
After they edit their sentence, they are then given a short journaling topic to write on. At this point, they have practice with their memory words. We practice 6 - 8 of their current and past memory words. They then have 2 - 3 dictation sentences to use for practicing memory and pattern words. I usually have them try to do this like a "test" and then go over them together to help them focus on patterns and mistakes that they have made. I teach them "tricks" during this review.
The 2nd grade teacher in the SUPERKIDS is named Ms. Blossom and she teaches the students "tricks". These "tricks" are taught using the Word Work Book. The students learn the tricks and then practice them on the Work Book pages. My students seemed to really pay attention when Ms. Blossom told them about "tricks" for remembering their words and grammar.
The students then read their decodable reader. In this decodable reader are stories about the SUPERKIDS, a group of children that are their age and go through the same day to day experiences that they might face. The SUPERKIDS have daily experiences both positive and negative that the students can relate to. Character education is also taught using the experiences that the characters face. The students read two pages each day and practice fluency as well as comprehension with these stories.
At the 2nd grade level, Nonfiction is taught through SUPER magazines. Each magazine has a variety of different articles and stories about a given topic. The students spend two weeks on each "magazine". The students not only learn to read nonfiction, but are also introduced to poetry and graphic novels in each issue. I created Info cards for my focus board about each of the SUPER magazine issues so that the students would know what we are focusing on during that two weeks.
After spending two weeks reading nonfiction in the SUPER magazines, the students spend two weeks reading quality literature. They read BOOK CLUB books. My students were so excited each time a new book was introduced. They could not wait to get their hands on these books! Again I created Info cards for our FOCUS board for the titles of the Book Club books.
All of these books are AR books, so my students test each week that they are reading book club books. I created a sign to hang near the computers so that they would know the test number for each book. If your school has AR Universal, then these posters should work for you also.
This curriculum also has a complete writing component.
My students made tremendous gains in their Reading levels due in great part to this wonderful curriculum.
Any time we have had questions about anything regarding this curriculum, the support has been there immediately. I cannot tell you how easy this foundation is to work with. I know that they are open to any and all suggestions and each year they add new and more wonderful additions.
Unfortunately, many teachers do not have a choice in the curriculums that they are expected to teach. If you do, I would highly recommend looking at this SUPER curriculum!