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Benchmark Reading Program


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Joined: Apr 08, 2006
Posts: 6
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Posted Apr 08, 2006 at 1:32:18 PM
Subject: Benchmark Reading Program

Does anyone have experience with the Benchmark Balanced Literacy Program by Early Connections? If so, what are your opinions?

debijl

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 1442

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Posted:Apr 09, 2006 8:49:43 AM

When trying to look that up, I can find a Benchmark Education Company with a program called Early Connections. I am sorry to say that it does appear to be a balanced literacy program and not one that I would even consider for K-2.

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debijl
Joined Apr 08, 2006
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Posted:Apr 09, 2006 1:15:06 PM

Janis,
Thank you for your reply. Can you go into more detail about why you would not consider this program? What would you consider to be more appropriate? Our district has been using this program for several years, and I am looking for input to recommend a change.

debijl

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Apr 10, 2006 6:07:25 PM

The best thing you can do is go on this site to LD In Depth and read all the articles under the reading category. But to get you started, read this one:

http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/reading/whole_language_lives_on.html

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Posted:Apr 12, 2006 6:18:48 PM

Righto.

Lots of whole language programs and their marketers have learned to put in key phrases in their materials, but it doesn't mean they've changed their approach.

Since they have absolutely no comprehension of the need for a structured approach, they don't think they're doing anything wrong... they often sincerely *believe* they are "doing phonics" in their programs. The article about "whole language" lives on does a good job explaining it.

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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debijl
Joined Apr 08, 2006
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Posted:Apr 12, 2006 7:02:22 PM

Actually, this program has a decently structured phonic/phonemic awareness component. The newer materials are even better than what our district purchased. I am, however, interested in comparing other programs. I would also really like to get opinions from someone who is very familiar with Early Connections. Anyone?

debijl

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
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Posted:Apr 12, 2006 7:47:31 PM

For reviews on core reading programs and supplemental or intervention programs, there are two very credible, respected sources.

http://oregonreadingfirst.uoregon.edu/curriculum_review.php

http://www.fcrr.org/FCRRReports/reportslist.htm

I can't see that either one has reviewed this program. The big red flag to me was that they use leveled text instead of decodable text, and therefore, it appears to be "balanced literacy", not a structured, explicit phonemic awareness/phonics program. They may prefer not to be reviewed by FCRR or Oregon because their content might not pass the review.

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debijl
Joined Apr 08, 2006
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Posted:Apr 12, 2006 8:16:01 PM

They use both leveled text and decodable text. Leveled for guided reading instruction and comprehension skills, as well as content (math, science, social studies) and decodable text with the phonics Start Up to Build Up components.

Thank you for the information. it is much appreciated.

debijl

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Apr 22, 2006 3:13:22 PM

That's good to hear! Sounds like a *genuinely* balanced program. (I've only worked with older students.) We've seen a *lot* of slickly marketed materials that give lip service to structure... makes one a tad cynical. (Sorta like going on a bike ride where "nobody will be left behind" :-))

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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debijl
Joined Apr 08, 2006
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Posted:Apr 22, 2006 5:37:51 PM

Janis,
Thank you for the review links. I found the Benchmark Education programs reviewed in the Oregon link. Very useful, thank you.

debijl

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Nancy3
Joined May 12, 2005
Posts: 218

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Posted:Apr 24, 2006 10:58:21 AM
Subject:Nancy3

Could you post the link for the Benchmark review? I am having difficulty finding it.

Nancy

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
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Posted:Apr 25, 2006 5:33:50 PM

Be sure it's the same program; I have this feeling in my memory that I've seen two different programs with that name.

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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