Learning List recently reviewed McGraw Hill’s Texas Wonders, which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for K-8 English language arts and reading (ELAR) products aligned to the new ELAR Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Texas Wonders is a comprehensive reading and language arts program for students in grades K-5. Materials are available in print and digital formats. At each grade level, instruction incorporates a balance of literary and informational texts to build close reading, analytic writing, and speaking and listening skills. Wonders also emphasizes the development of social and emotional learning.
Across grades, Wonders is structured to “Teach the Whole Child.” Instruction emphasizes the habits of learning (e.g., thinking critically, solving problems), social and emotional skills, and a positive classroom culture. At each grade level, Texas Wonders student resources include a “Reading/Writing Companion” and a “Practice Book.” The Reading/Writing Companion is at the center of instruction. The Companion addresses close reading skills, collaborative conversations, analytic writing, and foundational skills (e.g., phonics). Instruction focuses on the reading and rereading of authentic literary and informational texts for specific purposes, and the use of textual evidence to support conclusions and opinions in spoken and written communication. Students learn to discuss what they read and to produce written products that use textual evidence to support a particular view or response. [Read more…]
Units are broken into instructional weeks that are structured using the Gradual Release of Responsibility (i.e., GRR) model. Early in the week, teachers introduce genres and model close reading routines and strategies using big books and anchor texts. Each week incorporates guided practice and independent practice of Wonders’ close reading routines (i.e., read, reread, integrate). Lessons rely on a set of instructional routines (i.e., introduction, modeling, and guided and independent practice) that are applied to a specific learning task. Weekly activities include opportunities for students to practice vocabulary and listening skills, to participate in read alouds and independent reading, and to write about what they have read using Reading/Writing Companion.
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Information in this section is provided by or adapted from McGraw Hill Education.