Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Hey Dear Friends!
This post is all about our new reading series.
Does anyone use Wonders by McGraw-Hill?

Beginning any new series in reading or math makes for an exhausting school year, doesn't it?

I'm finally beginning to get into a routine with this series and feeling comfortable with it.  FINALLY!

What is Wonders?  
This quote can be found on the McGraw Hill website: "Reading Wonders is the first and only reading program designed specifically for the Common Core State Standards for Reading/Language Arts. Combining research-based instruction with new tools to meet today's challenges, every component and every lesson is designed for effective and efficient CCSS instruction."

These are the positives I have found with this series thus far:
*  The online resources are phenemonal!  The student books, teacher books, and all resources can be found online.  LOVE this!  Students can even access their books and games that go along with what we are studying by going online to their very own account at home.
* There are leveled readers that fit fabulously with each unit that is studied.  The best part about most of the leveled readers is that the stories and content are the same for EACH level.  My students have no idea that their leveled readers differ from another groups leveled readers.
*  The stories that go with each unit have been fabulous for our grade level.  Many of them fit well with our social studies and science curriculum.  The rigor is also very high.

And of course with every series there are some drawbacks:
*  The weekly unit tests were extremely difficult for our students in all grade levels at first.  Since the questions are unlike anything most of our students have experienced, we spent a lot of time modeling and working through the questions together.  This has paid off tremendously as students are now performing well on these tests.
*  There is so much content to sort through each day.  At first, many of us felt panic and stress with trying to fit in everything that was given for each day. It was overwhelming!  Many of us did slow down a bit and spent 10 days on a unit rather than 5.  We have begun to get through the material more quickly as our students are becoming more used to expectations and the skills.

***Even with this new curriculum, I have been able to implement a few special novels throughout the year as well.  ***

Here are just a few extras I have added to our daily life with Wonders:

1.   Vocabulary Notebook
I wanted a place for students to be able to keep their vocabulary words that they have learned throughout the year.  So the students created a vocabulary notebook.  Each week when new vocabulary is introduced, students complete the vocabulary fold its with the definition "in their own words", a picture that makes them think of this word, and a sentence using this word.
This is definitely something I want to do each year.  It took some time at the beginning of the year for my 3rd graders to assemble these notebooks, but it has been well worth it.  Students are also in such a great routine now that writing in their vocabulary fold-its and placing in their notebooks goes rather quickly.  I am generally able to get through everything in Day 1 along with these notebooks during our ELA time.   If you are interested, below is a link and photo to my vocabulary notebooks.  It does not include the fold-its vocabulary words.  These are in my Wonders Mega Packs.
2. Interactive Reading Notebooks
I also use interactive reading notebooks with this reading series.  I love that the students can paste in their compare/contrast activities between stories, citing evidence from the text that particular stories are of a specific genre, story map fold-its, and even comprehension fold-its in these notebooks.

 The fold-its that you see inside the interactive reader's notebooks can be found in my Wonders Megapacks that I created to use with each week.

 3.  McGraw-Hill Wonders Supplemental Unit Mega Packs
I have created these mega packs for each week that I have covered so far.  Included in these mega packs are:  Fold-its for the reader's notebook, vocabulary station activities, weekly themed skill posters ( I love to send these home with the students in their Friday Folders for the parents.) daily morning warm-ups that review the language activities from the skills during the week, and spelling tri-folds.  Here's a peek from Week 1 of Unit 4:
Vocabulary Activities and Stations
 Spelling Tri-Folds
 Weekly Skills Poster

 Daily Morning Warm-Ups
Fold-Its for Reader's Notebook
If you are interested in checking out these Mega Packs click on any of the links below.  I have been working on bundling these mega packs as I finish a complete unit.  I will continue to update as I create these units.

McGraw-Hill Wonders 3rd Grade Unit 2 "The Complete Set" of Mega Pack Units

McGraw-Hill Wonders 3rd Grade Unit 3 "The Complete Set" of Mega Pack Units

McGraw-Hill Wonders 3 Grade Supplemental MegaPack Unit 4 Week 1

I have also created some freebies that go along with week 6 of Units 1-3.  Click on any below to be taken to the link.  Enjoy!

McGraw-Hill Wonders 3rd Grade Supplemental MINI Unit 1 Week 6-FREEBIE

McGraw-Hill Wonders 3rd Grade Supplemental Mini Unit 2 Week 6-FREEBIE

McGraw-Hill Wonders 3rd Grade Supplemental Mini Unit 3 Week 6-FREEBIE

Have a great rest of the week Friends!





Courtney said...

AH! I loved this post! Thank you :) I am excited to begin implementing Wonders next year…and have been following all of your uploads to TPT on this ;) I'm hoping I can get my school to make some purchase orders for us….Did you have the entire summer to study/prepare? We haven't received the curriculum yet but I am like we BETTER get it before summer :P
Teaching in Paradise

Dana Hall Krause said...

Great resources! I have created a Pinterest board dedicated exclusively to McGraw Hill Reading Wonders resources. I invite anyone who may be interested to follow. All followers will receive an invite to pin!

rthrasher said...

Wow! Your supplemental packs, vocabulary, and reading interactive notebooks look amazing and just what I'm looking for to use with Reading Wonders! But - I teach second grade. :0(
Any chance you will be building the same for the second grade Wonders curriculum?

I just started using reading interactive notebooks last week with my class. I ca't believe the difference they make. They really anchor their learning!

I have been building my on powerpoints to use daily with the curriculum as well.