Professional Development

March 12, 2013

CSCOPE vs. Textbook vs. GOOD Teaching

It’s all a little strange for us as far as what we teach and when we teach it.  We have CSCOPE that we have to follow. {If you want to know what that’s all about, just type CSCOPE into google.  Read about all of the craziness!} We also have a state textbook adoption, too.  Then, we have what we have done that we have seen work that we KNOW is GOOD SOLID teaching. Teaching that we have seen make our data shine.

Here’s the problem I often run into with CSCOPE and the adoption.  They are never on the same track.  CSCOPE doesn’t have me teaching comprehension skills for any amount of solid time, either.

Example from last week:
textbook says discuss inferring
CSCOPE says teach about media and how advertisements can be false

So I thought to myself….which would be better for my kids?  Which teaches them to think like a reader? I understand the importance of understanding media and how it affects us, but I teach 1st grade.  I have to teach these kids how to read and COMPREHEND.

My conclusion: I taught inferring. For a solid week I modeled how to infer during read aloud.  They practiced with me during shared reading as we read a big book.  We practiced again during guided reading if the text lend itself to that. (Some books just don’t and that’s okay.  We focused on other comprehension skills.)

I feel like I could go on and on about how I don’t care for CSCOPE or the adoption.  They aren’t horrible, I just don’t think they always offer the BEST for kids.  Then again, is there any ONE resource that does??? If you know of one, please tell me!

I DO care for BALANCED LITERACY my friends! I never have had to teach with either of those two, CSCOPE or the adoption, until I came to my new-ish district.  I try my best to stay on track with what the rest of the grade level is focusing on… i.e. inferring last week. Call me bad, but my as my wonderful friend Dawn has told me over and over. You do what you know works and your data will show that you are doing something right.

It hasn’t failed me yet.

Here is a peek at how I taught making inferences. Adoption + GOOD Teaching.

We read these David Shannon books.

The kids LOVED it! It also was great because they were familiar with David because they have heard No, David! a jillion times by now.

We made an anchor chart of course.  We had already made one earlier in the year with all of the sentence stems that we use when we talk about inferring, but we made this to help us remember that an inference is different than a prediction.

No judging on cuteness….it got the job done and it can be cute-sified later! 

At the end of the week, the kids had to write about their own inference.  I think led them with teacher directions to make their own david! Here is mine completed.

 We made a silly David since we read David Gets in Trouble.

Here is what their’s look like so far! We will have to complete the arms and other few details when we return.

My wonderful teammate had a great idea to make David much like David Shannon did…as a 5 year old.  I had a few perfectionists that were begging for tracers.  I. LOVE. THEM. They turned out JUST as they were supposed to!! Even if they drive some of my friends a bit crazy!! 😉

Happy Teaching,



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Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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11 Responses

  1. I completely agree with you. We have to follow the sequence of CSCOPE but my grade level doesnt use its lessons or other materials. I plan for math and social studies so that is what I look at the most. I know exactly how you feel about. To me the curriculum is all over the place. I am not a fan. I do what it asks but in my own way. Seems to be working so far.

  2. We did the same lesson with David a few weeks ago. The kids also enjoyed Good Boy Fergus and they inferred that Fergus was David’s dog…they saw him in David Gets in Trouble :).

    1. So did mine!! Isn’t it fun to see their little light bulbs go off? Mine inferred that David was older, too, but he hadn’t changed. I just had to laugh and wanted to say, “And that may be you one day if you don’t start following directions!” ha ha ha! 🙂

  3. I love hearing what others think about Cscope. Our district just bought into the craziness and we are starting to use it for the first year next school year. We have a textbook adoption, phonics program, math adoption, etc. So trying to fit all that together and align it with Cscope has been a NIGHTMARE!! They have told us that we MUST follow the order of Cscope…but I totally agree with you. Is some of the stuff really necessary in 1st grade? Next year should be interesting. I look forward to hearing more about what you do in the classroom and how it aligns to Cscope.

    Your David inferencing is too cute! We start that skill when we come back. I will definitely be using it the 2nd week I teach about it. Do you have the “Inferring with David” sheet in a packet you sell?

    Thanks! (sorry I wrote a novel!)
    For the Love of First Grade

    1. It’s okay! I totally understand how you feel. So many people have been overwhelmed by CSCOPE and I get it….it’s crazy! Yes, I have the Inferring with David sheet available now! I finally finished the little unit. 🙂 Check it out in my TpT store!

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