Help me with...Story Town!!

Okay, teacher buddies! It's time for me to ask for your help... It'll happen again, I'm sure!
At my school, we are piloting a new reading series, Harcourt's Story Town, and we're LOVING it! I am curious though... how in the world do you fit it all in during your literacy block?? We have 90 minutes for whole group literacy and then each student is in Guided Reading for 30 minutes after that. But I cannot get through the whole day's lesson for the life of me. I want to do best by my kiddos, so I need advice!

If you have faced something similar with your reading series (escpecially if it's Story Town!), please leave me a message with advice, kind words, or a good recipe that I can bake/eat while trying to figure all of this glorious stuff out!! :)

'Til the next time that I have a question that I'll need help with...



  1. I had a hard time when I started teaching SFA with my own class. Most of it was getting used to a new curriculum and figuring out what my kiddos really needed. There were small exercises that I modified to save time and others I cut out because they had mastered those skills. Basically, I think the beginning is the hardest! You have to learn the processes and want to do everything "by the book", at least that's how I felt. Give it some time, you will get into the swing of things and develop a routine.

    I also used a timer to hold myself accountable for the amount of time I was spending on each section... not sure if you have done that arleady or not.

    PS- Let me know a time that Eli and I can come for lunch again... whenever you have a little extra time :)

  2. I use Story Town at my school. I also teach first grade. Last year my team decided to try Daily 5. We modified it to the Daily 4 for time reasons. Here's how my day looks:

    7:45-9:30- Calendar/Math
    9:30-9:50- Question of the Day, Phonemic Awareness, Word Wall, Phonics Lesson
    9:50-10:10- Daily Choice 1
    10:10-10:25- Phonics/Spelling lesson
    10:25-10:45- Daily Choice 2

    Break for PE, lunch, recess

    12:20-12:40- Comprehension Lesson
    12:40-1:00- Daily Choice 3
    1:00-1:30- Grammar/Writing lesson- start Daily Choice 4 (everyone does writing at the same time)
    1:30- specials
    2:00- Finish writing

    We do an integrated science/social studies all day on Fridays. So Story Town is just taught Monday-Thursday.

    We cut out the 5th daily choice (read to someone). They sometimes get this choice instead of Read to Self. But, something had to go. Just not enough time in the day.

    I'll also admit that I'm not very good about vocabulary. I don't teach a formal lesson each day. We have enough other critical info to teach in first grade without worrying about a vocab lesson.

    I like Story Town pretty well. My team has created Promethean Board Flipcharts for each of the lessons. Let me know if you have a board and can use them.

  3. Hi~ We use Storytown also, and I have a lot of things I'd be happy to share if you have a particular unit or question...Love your site, btw. Check out my class website and you'll see some of the things we do to enhance the lessons. =)

  4. Hello! We are using Storytown and love it! I am actually working on refrigerator copies for the kids to take home each week. I have lesson 1 done. We have some already but I am re-making them! :) I pick and choose what I use out of the storytown. I do 30 min whole group and 60 min small groups usually. Last year my class was sooooo low, I had to do whole group the whole time! One of my co-workers made flipcharts that we follow to do the lessons. Have you seen http://www.pcboe.net/les/elderweb/harcourtresources.htm ??? EXCELLENT resources to go with Harcourt!

    Fantastic 1st Grade


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