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From Wikipedia

Basal reader

Basal readers are textbooks used to teach reading and associated skills to schoolchildren. Commonly called "reading books" or "readers" they are usually published as anthologies that combine previously published short stories, excerpts of longer narratives, and original works. A standard basal series comes with individual identical books for students, a Teacher's Edition of the book, and a collection of workbooks, assessments, and activities. A sequence of readers of increasing difficulty are called graded readers.

Description

Basal readers are typically highly organized. Stories are chosen to illustrate and develop specific skills, which are taught in a strict pre-determined sequence. The teacher's editions are also tightly organized, containing much more than the answer key to the questions that usually appear at the end of each reading passage. The teacher's book also contains suggestions for pre-reading and post-reading activities and assessments, as well as scripted questions to ask students at specific points in a story. Critics of the basal reader industry, such as Rafe Esquith in his book, Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire, blame the readers for the failure of schools to teach reading. Esquith questions the ability of the basal readers to stimulate students' interest in reading. Other critics question the use of materials which lack any scientific evidence of effectiveness and point to the widespread failure of schools to teach reading as proof that basal readers are a waste of time.

Benefits

The highly pre-planned nature of basal readers is seen as one of their strengths, as this eases the load on teachers, particularly those who are inexperienced. Specific skills can be easily targeted, tested, and remediated. Those with very controlled vocabulary usage may ease difficulties for beginner or weak readers.Students who are reading below grade level will receive some benefits from using the on-level basal. The exposure will prepare them for state testing. Using a basal reader as a starting point for grade level reading allows educators to quickly assess student reading level. Basals are not meant to be the only resource a student uses, just the starting point.

Criticisms

Some of the ostensible benefits of basal readers are viewed as shortcomings by critics of these books. Critics charge that they focus on teaching isolated skills, rather than fostering an enjoyment and appreciation of reading for its own sake, and that more time is spent on the supplemental worksheets than on actually reading authentic texts. The quality of the literature in the reading books is another target of criticism. Works chosen mainly to allow skills practice may not be particularly meaningful, authentic, or interesting.

History

Basal readers have been in use in the United States since the mid 1860s, beginning with a series called the McGuffey Readers. This was the first reader published with the idea of having one text for each grade level. Since then, teaching methodologies in school basals have shifted regularly. The Scott Foresman Company published what is perhaps the most famous basal series, whose stories starred two children named Dick and Jane. Dick and Jane books emphasized memorizing words on sight, a method which came to be known as "look and say." This philosophy came under attack in the late 1950s, largely due to Rudolf Flesch's book Why Johnny Can't Read. This was a scathing condemnation of the "look say" method, and advocated a return to programs that stressed teachingphonics to beginning readers.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the pendulum did swing back toward a more phonics-based approach. During the latter part of the 1980s, basal usage declined as reading programs began to turn to whole language programs that relied more heavily on trade books, rather than textbooks. The 1990s and early years of the 21st century have seen a renewed interest in skills acquisition which has sparked a resurgence in basal dominance.



From Yahoo Answers

Question:I have to read..well had to read Island of the Blue Dolphins for an Accelerated Reader Test and tomorrow is the last day to take the test. I am not that fast of a reader and not that interested in reading novels- no offense, anyways I am on chapter 19, so i need some key points on chapter 19 and the rest of the chapters throughout the book, so can you type up key points or a website that will give me key points. Thanks so much- it would mean so much- FIRST answer that helps me and I PASS the test gets an easy 10 points and well obviously best answer- thanks Also i have to take another test- next quarter and can you give tips for me about the next Accelerated Reader Test.

Answers:1.)Captain Orlov told Karana's father that his men wished to ---. camp on the island while they hunted for sea otter 2.)Why did Karana jump from the ship that carried her tribe? she saw her little brother running with his fishing spear along the cliff 3.)As Karana considered making weapons, what did she recall her father saying? they would break in her hands at the moment when her life was in danger 4.)For what purpose was Karana determined to kill a bull sea elephant? to use it's teeth to make sharp spear points 5.)When Karana saw that the big, gray dog she had shot was not dead, she ---. looked at him for a long time and then carried him to her house 6.)Karana made a special spear during the winter because she wanted to ---. catch the giant devilfish that lived on the reef 7.)What did Karana find in the Black Cave? a skeleton seated among strange figures made of reeds and wearing feathers 8.)What did Karana and Tutok, the Aleut girl, do together? they told each other the names of things in their own languages 9.)How did Karana get a new dog after Rontu's death? she put a mixture into the spring water to make the dogs fall asleep 10.)Karana learned that the white men had not returned for her because ---. their ship had sunk in a storm, the there was no other ship

Question:I know this is called cheating, but i've just been so busy that I couldn't read. Please no books under 5 points. Thanks! I'd like for you to give me the book name and the AR (Accelerated Reader) test answers. Thanks!

Answers:I don't think people are going to be able to just give you the answers. just pick up a book and read. to busy just read a bit at night a book will go fast.

Question:i really need the answers ASAP, i read the book last year and i need to take a test on tomorrow! please help!

Answers:That's cheating, plus, I think the questions actually rotate, don't they? I HATED AR, yuck... I loved 6th grade, but I was so done with taking those tests. The questions aren't usually too hard, not like "what color shirt was _____ wearing in chapter two?" It's usually more generic just to see if you read the book. Even if you read it last year, you should be able to answer most of the questions.

Question:Hi i need 8 more points for my reading class in 5 days. i don't have enough time to get that many. does anyone have ANY test answers?

Answers:why don't you read a book and take the test that would be the easy thing.

From Youtube

10 Questions for Alicia Keys :The singer and sometimes actress Alicia Keys released her fourth album, The Element of Freedom, in December. She took time out from her world tour to answer questions from TIME readers.