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FAQ

Science | Guided Reading | Spelling | Handwriting

1. How do Levels A-H in A Reason For Science® correspond to grade levels?

In general, Level A = grade 1; Level B = grade 2; Level C = grade 3; Level D = grade 4; Level E = grade 5; Level F = grade 6; Level G = grade 7; Level H = grade 8. However, Levels A & B are designed to be interchangeable during the earliest years of formal science instruction. Levels C-H can easily be adapted to accommodate student needs or multi-grade classes.

2. Is there a Scope & Sequence available for A Reason For Science®?

Yes! We have compiled a Scope & Sequence outlining the Topic/Focus and Objective for every weekly lesson in all eight levels. The PDF file is available for download here.

3. Is A Reason For Science® a complete curriculum? Can it be used as a supplement?

A Reason For Science® is a complete science curriculum. Unlike more traditional programs, the goal is not simply to memorize formulas and facts, but instead to truly master key scientific concepts through lessons built upon engaging, weekly hands-on activities.

Due to curriculum adoption cycles, some schools will temporarily use A Reason For Science® to supplement other materials. However, it is designed to be a comprehensive, stand-alone program.

4. What is the Materials Kit?

The Materials Kit for each grade level is a sturdy, plastic case containing most of the essential supplies for an entire year’s worth of weekly hands-on activities. (Some common or perishable items—for example, a flower, an egg, or tap water—are not provided.) The contents of each kit will supply a team of up to 5 students for the full school year.

Some chemicals and other specialized items contained in the kit are not readily available in the general market, and without the correct materials, it may not be possible to complete the activity that accompanies each week’s lesson. The Materials Kit provides convenient access to the necessary items, enabling students to complete experiments and providing a clear demonstration of key concepts.

Together, the Teacher Guidebook and Materials Kit make lessons easy to teach, even for those with little or no science background.

5. Can I buy just Student Worktexts?

A Reason For Science® Student Worktexts are interactive with, and completely dependent upon, the Teacher Guidebook. Although Student Worktexts can be purchased separately, it simply is not possible to provide effective instruction without the corresponding Teacher Guidebook.

6. Is the A Reason For Science® Teacher Guidebook essential?

Absolutely! The Teacher Guidebook contains crucial daily and weekly instructions for using the Student Worktext, detailed lesson plans, weekly assessment masters, answer keys, extension activities, suggested resources, and much more. Regardless of the level, it is impossible to complete assignments in the A Reason For Science® Student Worktexts without a Teacher Guidebook.

 

1. How many books are there and how many will I need?

Currently, there are 95 Leveled Readers in this series, with plans to publish more! Every one of the 95 books is based on stories and/or values taken from Scripture.

The number of books you need depends on how you use the series. As the centerpiece of a Guided Reading program, you could use all these books (and others). For supplemental use, we offer various packages to best meet your needs. To choose the right options for your situation, visit our Guided Reading page or call 800.447.4332.

 

2. How are levels determined for the Leveled Readers?

A Reason For Guided Reading® uses the most commonly used leveling system in Guided Reading today, following guidelines established by Fountas & Pinnell. If you are familiar with a different leveling system (DRA, Lexile, etc.), detailed correlation charts such as this one are readily available online to use as a cross-reference.

 

3. How do I know which Reading Levels I need to be using?

In very general terms, “Emergent” Levels (A, B, C) are designed for beginning readers, comparable to the reading ability of an average Kindergarten student. “Transitional” Levels (D, E, F, G, H) are designed for intermediate readers, or roughly 1st grade. “Fluent” Levels (I, J, K, L, M) are designed for Early Fluent readers, roughly 2nd grade.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that every child is different! It’s not uncommon to find Fluent readers in Kindergarten, or Emergent readers in higher grades. The A Reason For Guided Reading® Teacher Resource Binder contains a detailed discussion of how to determine a specific child’s reading level.

 

4. What is the difference between the A Reason For Guided Reading® Scripture series and the Values series?

Books in the Scripture series—those with purple-edged covers—are based on Bible stories or characters like Daniel, Esther, Joseph, and Peter. This series also includes parables like the Ten Lepers. The back cover contains the specific Scripture reference.

The Values series—with blue-edged covers—is based on general Scripture themes like angels, prayer, and guidance. It also includes Christian values themes like sharing, and stories about contemporary children and various challenges they face. The back cover of these titles also references a related Scripture verse.

 

1. How do Levels A-F of A Reason for Spelling® correspond to grade levels?

In general, the Level A Student Worktext is used in grade 1; Level B in grade 2; Level C in grade 3; Level D in grade 4; Level E in grade 5; Level F in grade 6.

However, Student Worktexts can easily move up or down to accommodate individual student needs. For each level, we have created a simple, 20-question placement test to help you access individual student readiness. PDF files of all six tests are available for download.

 

2. Is the A Reason for Spelling® Teacher Guidebook really necessary?

Absolutely! The Teacher Guidebook contains the weekly “Values Theme Story” on which the pretest and all following weekly activity pages and answers are based. Plus, it includes detailed lesson plans, extension activities, and numerous helps for student spelling “challenges” and much more. It is impossible to use this curriculum without a matching Teacher Guidebook.

 

3. Does the A Reason for Spelling® curriculum follow spelling rules?

American English is a complex language containing numerous irregularities, and there are exceptions to almost every spelling “rule.” Research, however, indicates there are some generalizations that are valuable in teaching children to spell. Rather than "rules" for spelling, we emphasize these generalizations throughout the curriculum. (For more information, see page XI in any of the A Reason for Spelling® Teacher Guidebooks.)

 

4. Is this a phonics-based spelling program?

In the lower grade Worktexts (Levels A and B), A Reason For Spelling® offers an optional phonics section where it is most appropriate. Phonics can be helpful when learning basic words that follow simple rules. However, because American English is not phonetic, it can also be confusing when decoding more difficult words. Other learning strategies are outlined in the A Reason For Spelling® Teacher Guidebooks for Level C and above.

 

5. Do the A Reason For Spelling® Student Worktexts have a glossary?

Teacher Guidebooks show how to help students create their own "glossary” in a spiral notebook as questions arise about specific words. This not only encourages developing dictionary skills, but is a more effective way to focus on learning the meanings of words.

 

6. How do the A Reason For Spelling® Scripture verses correlate with A Reason For Handwriting®?

Each week’s A Reason For Spelling® lesson begins with a 6-7 minute Theme Story. This continuing story, about a classroom of kids growing up together, features a weekly Scripture Value inherent to the same Scripture verse students will practice that week in A Reason For Handwriting® at each grade level except for the Level T (Transition) Handwriting Worktext.

 

1. How do Levels K-F of A Reason For Handwriting® correspond to grade levels?

In general, the Level K Student Worktext is used in Kindergarten; Level A in grade 1; Level B in grade 2; Transition in grades 2 or 3 (see question #4); Level C in grade 3; Level D in grade 4; Level E in grade 5; Level F in grade 6. However, Levels C–F all teach Cursive and can easily move up or down to accommodate individual student needs or multi-grade classrooms.

 

2. Why do both Levels A & B feature Manuscript handwriting?

Most students need two full years to completely master Manuscript before transitioning into Cursive. From computer screens to street signs to school textbooks, we all live in a “Manuscript World,” so true manuscript proficiency is essential for life.

 

3. What style of penmanship is taught?

The traditional Palmer method is reflected throughout A Reason For Handwriting®. We do not teach a style like D’Nealian or Getty/Dubay, because mastering Manuscript is so important to learning. Shortcuts to Cursive handwriting often create challenges for students; research has established that teaching one style of text for reading, while using a completely different style for handwriting, can lead to significant learning problems.

 

4. When should we use the Transition Worktext?

Use the Transition Worktext in whatever year students transition from Manuscript to Cursive – ideally grade 3.

The Transition Worktext contains 27 weeks of Manuscript review lessons. Most students need only a few before moving into the 9 weeks of Transition lessons. Following those, there are 27 weekly Cursive lessons.

The Transition Worktext allows the instructor to provide each student with a truly individualized course of study over a full school year.

When the Transition Worktext is used in grade 3, eliminate Cursive Worktext C and use Cursive D for grade 4. If the Transition Worktext is used in grade 2, it should be substituted for the second full year (Level B) of Manuscript instruction.

 

5. How valuable is the A Reason For Handwriting® Teacher Guidebook?

The Comprehensive Teacher Guidebook contains specific instructions for using all levels of this K-6th curriculum, including tips for establishing proper technique, detailed lesson plans, helps with “problem" letters and various letter combinations, and more. Page-by-page teaching tips are included for all eight Student Worktexts. Especially valuable is the section on fun ways to share the Scripture Border Sheets each week!

 

6. What Bible version is used in A Reason For Handwriting®?

Since A Reason For Handwriting® was created to teach penmanship skills based on Scripture verses instead of secular content, it was essential to use simple, age-appropriate, easy-to-understand vocabulary. Only the “paraphrase” found in The Living Bible (published by Tyndale House) met this readability criteria.

We strongly suggest encouraging students to compare the weekly practice verses from The Living Bible with the translation their church or family uses for in-depth Bible study. This process can generate valuable student dialogue and additional Scripture insights!

 

7. Does A Reason For Handwriting® correlate with A Reason For Spelling®?

With the exception of the Transition Worktext, the practice verses used in the weekly Handwriting lesson are the same verses on which the Monday morning Spelling “Values Theme Story” is based.

In Handwriting, students practice, memorize, decorate, and share their Verse of the Week. Then, in Spelling, they discover the practical, real-life application of the “Value” inherent in that verse. This helps students understand the relevance of Scripture to situations and struggles they encounter in their personal lives.