"I wholeheartedly recommend Marjorie Conrad's book The Reading Teacher's Plan Book. I chose to use her program in my classrooms because my students make great gains when following the program. I also like the program because it is research-based, easy to follow, and really FUN!!!!" Kristie, Reading Specialist
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Thank you so much for putting this program together. I have copied the first 5 weeks of materials and am here now at the school to cut, laminate, label and bag. I am psyched!" Cheryl (Written on a SATURDAY!!)
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My school is now in its second year of using Marjorie Conrad's Reading Teacher Plan Book program. It has worked very successfully in our school, and I can't say enough about its positive attributes as a tool for escalating reading achievement in all first graders. The basic lesson plan model is fast-paced and very sound and includes all the components for excellent language arts instruction. In addition, the sequence of skills and the optional review lessons follow a research-based set of skills and allow flexibility for teachers to reteach and review skills as needed with different groups. The advanced lessons give enrichment and further guidance for those students who are ready to move beyond the mainstream of first grade reading. The activities used are teacher- and student-friendly and are explicit and engaging for kids. Our results for the program in terms of positive gains for students has been outstanding. In the past, about 81% of our 1st grade students have passed proficiency on the end of level tests given by our district. In the spring of 2008, after one full year doing the program with all first graders, 89% of all our students scored at the proficient level. Also, in 2007, the number of students receiving 100% on the EOL's was 7. The number receiving 100% in 2008 was 22 -- an increase of 300%!
This program is not just beneficial for struggling readers but provides the means to solidly teach essential reading strategies and skills to all students in small intensive groups. The children respond well to the low teacher-student ratio and structured lessons. All students, even those who are struggling, seem to be able to navigate through words and text because of the guided practice they get in this program. If they don't know a word, they know there is a strategy to find out what it is. They also know how to predict, retell, and ask and answer questions about text by the end of first grade.
All of the teachers at my school who have been involved in working with and seeing the positive benefits of this program love it. In fact, teachers in older grades would like to be able to implement a similar model for their students. The students thrive in it and seem to love it as well. It has definitely been a win-win for all of us. I would not hesitate to encourage anyone interested in raising the overall reading competency and scores for their first grade readers to investigate and implement this program in their school.