Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Assessment

What is the main assessment tool in Good Habits, Great Readers?

Good Habits, Great Readers is based on the DRA – it is the assessment and leveling system for the whole program. Teachers using Good Habits, Great Readers assess students using the DRA2 to determine a Guided Reading placement level and the Focus For Instruction. Leveled texts at each grade level covers a certain DRA span and each Guided Reading lesson plan includes a DRA Focus for Instruction. Schools do not have to use the DRA in order to use Good Habits, Great Readers. They have to be able to get a reading level in order to place children in Guided Reading groups.

Why aren't there any end-of-unit tests in Good Habits, Great Readers?

Good Habits, Great Readers is a balanced literacy program that is based on driving instruction through assessment – specifically the DRA2. End-of-unit tests are limited to measuring skills based upon the material presented in a unit which may not always be at a student's level. Good Habits, Great Readers presents a more holistic approach that uses the DRA assessment to both place students in the program at their own instructional level as well as to measure achievement and mastery of skills as they move within their own level. The Assessment Handbook has Checklists of Behaviors for every unit/habit/strategy, Oral Language Behaviors Checklist and Outcomes to be sure state standards are met.

 

Components

 

In grades K-2, are there a sufficient number of titles at each level for growth and practice at that level?

Yes, the numbers of titles at each grade level represent a developmentally appropriate range of reading levels and provide ample practice opportunities.  Included are 85 titles in Kindergarten at 4 DRA levels, 135 titles in 1st grade at 6 DRA levels, and 95 titles in 2nd at 6 DRA levels. The advantage of Good Habits, Great Readers is that it spirals each strategy more frequently. It is like a Reader’s Workshop Model, focusing on one major strategy per unit rather than putting many scattered ideas in each unit. Thus, the stories can be revisited for additional work. Plus, there are many titles listed online that are correlated for these units, both at a higher and lower reading levels. In addition, to expand the range of Guided Reading texts at each level, look at the Good Habits, Great Readers below and above which connect to each unit and expand the choices. Secondly, look at the correlated titles in the Good Habits, Great Readers database that are likely to be in most buildings that can be added to the range for each grade level.

Are the Guided Reading books available in Spanish?

Yes, almost all the titles are available in Spanish along with many more that are correlated in the Good Habits, Great Readers database.

How durable are the level books when so many students will be using them?

All of the books in the Good Habits, Great Readers program are bound to withstand normal use. If you have a problem with books falling apart after normal use, we will replace those books at no charge for the life of the adoption.

 

Meeting Individual Needs

 

How does Good Habits, Great Readers address the needs of accelerated readers and Special Education students? AND  How does Good Habits, Great Readers accommodate readers at a grade level who are reading well below or above the leveled text range for that grade?

Good Habits, Great Readers has developmentally sound components that provide flexibility for meeting students at their own, appropriate reading levels. Plus, the online database provides added books at various levels that can be used for above or below level instruction. In addition, the units are designed so that the teacher can use the grade below and above to support the differentiation for the full range of classroom needs. The correlated materials in Words Their Way: Word Study in Action and QuickReads address the need for additional support in word study and fluency practice at a full range of levels, plus the DRA2 provides diagnostic targeted assessment for all students.

 

Enrichment Activities

 

What does Good Habits, Great Readers offer for enrichment?

In Shared Reading, Good Habits, Great Readers offers enrichment activities embedded throughout the lessons called "Celebrations" and "Extending the Lesson". In Guided Reading, Good Habits, Great Readers offers enrichment activities called "Digging Deeper" in every lesson. There are workshop, inquiry and enrichment suggestions with every story and every unit. These range from art to drama to additional writing, etc. These are specially geared to offer a variety of enrichment activities that will appeal to all students.

 

Implementation and Classroom Use

 

Does a teacher in grades 3-5 have to do Shared Reading every day?

Each weekly lesson plan presents Shared Reading in the "Focus Lesson" and it is paced out three days out of the five. The Shared Reading allows the teacher to do a Think Aloud and set the purpose or focus of each lesson tied to the Guided Reading. Additionally, there is the direct instruction in specific strategies established in the Shared Reading that strengthens the teaching and focus in the Guided Reading.

How long is the block of time needed for Shared and Guided Reading?

It depends on the grade level. There are 15-25 minutes blocks in Shared Reading and 30-45 minute blocks in Guided Reading. Each unit has a weekly five day plan with suggested times in the front of the Teachers Guide for pacing. The Good Habits, Great Reader’s Program Overview (page 4 and 5) presents the specific blocks of time needed for each level of the program.

Is there a comprehension bridge for struggling readers?

Yes, Good Habits, Great Readers offers a built-in comprehension bridge strategy by providing each student with the right book at the appropriate developmental level. Students reading at lower levels work with books that are at their own instructional level.  Also, teachers can access additional lessons and specific re-teaching lessons for small groups of students who need even more support - not just busy, extra work. In addition, bridging lessons for ESL students are also included.

Is there a multi-grade spiral for developing each comprehension strategy?

Yes - this is the beauty of the program's design! The strategy goes deeper at each grade level but still allows for an entry point for new students. It is an extremely logical spiral, not a random; "let's see what we can fit it in again" spiral.  Strategies in the Shared Reading program spiral upwards as you go up in grade level instruction.

How does the Guided Reading and Shared Reading experiences work together?

The comprehension strategy is the link and the Shared Reading allows the teacher to do a Think Aloud and set the purpose or focus of each lesson tied to the Guided Reading. Additionally, there is direct instruction in specific strategies established in the Shared Reading that deepens the focus in the Guided Reading. Different components/aspects of the Shared Reading are used each day as the students work on the Guided Reading text so that the connection is not just made on the first day but continues to link each day of instruction. Students are constantly applying and practicing skills at their grade level.

What Guided Reading books do Teacher's use on weeks when there are no suggested books or on weeks when there are only one or two books listed and the levels are not appropriate for the levels in the class?

These are just suggestions. Students should be working on books from the Guided Reading collection at their DRA level and additionally working on titles with the appropriate Focus for Instruction given the group’s need for improvement in certain areas. Guided Reading instruction does not need to be connected to the Shared Reading.

 

What do I do if I have a student whose instructional level exceeds the level of text in the program?

Teachers have access to the Good Habits, Great Readers database and all the teaching plans for the Guided Reading books one level above and below the grade he/she is teaching. You can also search by skill so that the title you select matches what you are doing with the on grade level students. Teachers/schools can purchase extra single titles or six packs of the readers a grade below or above to go along with the printable teaching plans from the database or borrow them from the teacher in the grade level below or above. Preferably the school has a Guided Reading resource room where all DRA books are shared. Or, if you know that you have a large percentage of above grade level readers, you can purchase some of the higher level books as a class set.

What do I do if I run out of books at a certain level?

Good Habits, Great Readers provides enough books at each DRA level assuming typical progress from one level to another. We do have additional DRA leveled books available for purchase. About our leveling per grade - special consideration was given to provide books and levels that were developmentally appropriate at each grade level. To expand the range of Guided Reading texts at each level, look at the Good Habits, Great Readers online database.

How were the teaching plans in the Guided Reading plans organized? Should I just go through the lessons in that order?

The Guided Reading teaching plans are organized first by DRA level, and then alphabetically within each DRA level. Lesson plans in each DRA level cover a range of reading skills. Coupled with your assessment data, the order of these books provides guidance for instruction. Remember, assessment data should also guide what skills/strategies you focus in on during Guided Reading. You can find the reading skill for each book on the tab of the Guided Reading teaching plan and by searching the online database. Once students have demonstrated proficiency at a DRA level, skip to the next level for Guided Reading. However, until you are able to use the Assessment Card to assure proficiency, the organization of the books in the binder will provide more titles at the current level.

 

Pacing

 

How do I pace out the instruction in Good Habits, Great Readers for the entire school year?

There are seven units for which each covers about 4 weeks, making a 28 week plan for instruction. With each unit there is one extra week suggested for expanding the work from that unit, along with titles, etc. so that teachers have a 35 week design overall. This is what is normally provided for a school year. We also take into account school vacations and allow time for reinforcement and teacher creativity.

 

Product Implementation Training

 

How much product orientation/product implementation training is needed for Good Habits, Great Readers?

Product Orientation to support a successful implementation of Good Habits, Great Readers will require one-half day of training for grades K-3 and one-half day of training for grades 4/5.

During this Product Orientation teachers will become familiarized with the Teacher Guide for Shared Reading including the weekly lesson planner, daily lesson plan, professional development articles, learning centers, information assessment and student materials. Teachers will also be oriented to the skills/theme checklists in order to track progress on the comprehensive scope and sequence. In addition, teachers will be familiarized with the Guided Reading teacher lesson plan and student materials. Teachers will also become familiar with the Good Habits, Great Readers database that will provide them with the tools to be razor sharp when targeting instruction for students.

If a district purchases the comprehensive program that includes Words Their Way: Word Study in Action and QuickReads, the Product Orientation will be adjusted to include a full-day of training for grades K-3 and a full-day at grade 4/5.
 
Additional in-service opportunities can be provided over the course of the year.

How much training is needed to pilot Good Habits, Great Readers?

We recommend a half day of training for just Good Habits, Great Readers. In a large district, a half day per grade level will be considered. If not, we recommend combining teachers in groups – K-1 or K-3 until the group size is 35. Grades 4/5 also requires a half day and can be combined up to 35 participants.
 
If the pilot also includes Words Their Way: Word Study in Action, and QuickReads, a full day is recommended in the same configuration above.  If added to the pilot later, Words Their Way: Word Study in Action and QuickReads can be done in a half day.

 

Purchasing and Replacements

 

Can additional copies of one title be purchased?

Yes, 6-packs and single copies of individual titles can be purchased separately.

Do you plan to add new titles each year that can be purchased separately?

Adoption of the Good Habits, Great Readers program should provide more than enough books.  Good Habits, Great Readers is a Comprehensive Literacy Program with a Shared Reading Package and a Guided Reading Package, and the new Good Habits, Great Readers Writing program. Also available is a Connected Comprehensive Literacy Program which also includes Words Their Way: Word Study in Action, QuickReads. If you would like extra books for your classroom or bookrooms they are available for purchase as single copies or in 6-packs. There are always new books being published and correlations to Good Habits, Great Readers are being done.

What are the annual replacement costs for a grade level?

There isn’t any additional replacement cost for the Good Habits, Great Readers Basic Package of Shared and Guided Reading. If desired, additional 6-packs of program titles for classroom use or bookrooms are available for purchase separately. If you are using the Words Their Way: Word Study in Action and QuickReads programs, student books are consumable, and need to be replaced yearly.nPlease check the current catalog for prices. Note that prices are subject to change each year.

What "extras" need to be purchased to make this program work?

Successful program implementation can be accomplished with either the Shared Reading and/or Guided Reading kits – although both are recommended for comprehensive and consistent coverage. The DRA2 is recommended as it is a critical tool to identifying the levels of the students and placing them in the program. In addition, learning can be extended with the Connected Comprehensive Literacy Program that includes the DRA2, Words Their Way: Word Study in Action, for word study and QuickReads for fluency and vocabulary development.

 

Text Leveling

 

How are the Guided Reading books leveled?

All the books in Good Habits, Great Readers are leveled according to the DRA. Each Guided Reading lesson plan also shows the Guided Reading level-letter that is correlated to the DRA number.