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Harcourt Trophies Users


Full Member
:confused: I am needing some examples from you on how you do your reading each week. We have to use Harcourt, we have to meet in groups, we have to do centers, a word wall, and we have to have 90 min. uniterrupted of reading. I am in my second year and I've struggled all year with this and I want to get things in order for next year. What do you do each day? What parts of the series are whole group and what do you do with each reading group? How do you assess? What type of information do you take on the students? Do you just get grades for the workbook pages and test that comes with the story or do you do something else? Also, what about all those extra things in the TE book? Like the phonics and word study and extra skills that are not assessed with a wb page? Thanks for the help and advice. I'm hoping to get things a little more under control for next year this summer.


Junior Member
Future Trophies user

I can't wait to hear the responses on this one. We just received Everyday Math this year and we have been told we are getting Harcourt Trophies for the 2006-07 school year. I already have both whole group reading and small group. We were also told reading is for 90 minutes, but I already do that quite easily. My day is math and reading it seems with little time for anything else. Good luck.


Senior Member
Not the expert

I am only in the second year of using Harcourt, and only in the second year of teaching overall, so I can't claim to be an expert, but here's what I do. We have a 2 hour block, 1/2 an hour of that for writing, and 90 minutes for reading instruction. I'm suppose to spend an hour of that doing guided reading. I'm not saying my method is best, but here's what I've worked out.

1. The basal story. I do this whole group (shared reading) This is supposed to be 20 minutes a day, but sometimes this goes over.

Monday. We discuss the vocabulary and perhaps build prior knowledge or some other activity related to the story we will read for the week.
Vocab and Spelling worksheet.

Tuesday. I read the story aloud and ask comprehension questions. The students follow along in the their own books. Vocab and spelling worksheet. (There are ESL, below level, standard and above level versions of the vocabulary worksheet.) I generally give a below level on Monday and a level on Tuesday. This gives them two practices.

Wednesday: I play the tape, students follow along in their books, then answer written "fill in the blank" type questions from the story. I make these up myself, after taking a peek at the comprehension test.

Thursday, I do a grammer lesson from that week. Give the worksheet

Friday: Comprehension test. Often, I give this open book. Most kids don't bother to crack the book, but I give them every chance.

2. Guided Reading: I use the leveled readers that come with the series. At most, you can stretch this out to two days. The other three days can be grammer lessons from the series or literature circles. While I'm doing guided reading, they're in centers, or "independent reading." We rotate this. I sent up the centers, or they can go to the library, check out books, read, or take A/R tests.

I don't use the writing component. I make up my own writing prompts. I find theirs pretty boring.

There's an editing component that makes good "morning work" or "bell work." There's also a question of the day that can be used for morning journalling.

I'd like to start throwing the phonics and word study and such into a few minutes of my guided reading groups each day. I hope I'm more together next year myself.

P.S. The smartest thing I ever did was to reduce the size of the comprehension test so that two pages fit on one page, copy them back to back, using only one piece of paper. It's a cinch to grade. I tried having them take the tests on the computer, but it a) takes too long, and b) they don't have anything to take home to mom!


Senior Member
How I use Trophies

I am a 4Blocker, so I use my 90-minute reading block for Guided Reading, SSR, and Word Work. I will tell you what I do every day, then offer suggestions for what you could do to tweak it for your use.

I do a 40-minute block of whole-group, direct-instruction reading every morning. We listen to the story on tape and discuss it (Mon.), use story maps or 4Block activities (Tues., but sometimes I combine long stories and share Mon and Tues.), skill work (Wed.), buddy read (Thurs.), test (Fri.) Then I do 20 minutes of Word Work M-Th where I get in all my language practice (I use theme tests as a guide for what to teach when.) If you aren't familiar with 4Blocks Word Work (word wall) activities, I highly suggest you Google it because it tweaks so nicely for 3rd-grade grammar! We spend 30 minutes on SSR/AR where they read and I conference with students individually on their AR goals. After testing on Fridays my kids do fake centers where they can choose different language arts activities to do (word work practice with white boards, letter magnets, pointers, letter stamps, stencils; read around the room or read poem charts; write letters; make cards; create magnetic poetry/stories; use grammar flashcards; listen to books on tape; etc.)

I use half of the workbook. Some sheets I think are silly, some things I teach better with other dittos, through Word Wall work, with FCAT prep, etc. I do all skill work whole-group, too. I do not use the TE for much other than the main story and teacher questions. I pretty much look at FCAT/grammar skills and focus my attention on those areas.

I use end-of-story and theme test grades mostly. The rest I consider classwork and grade subjectively. I know which kids are low in which areas. I'll often start kids on workbook pages and let them finish on their own, informally assessing as I go. One thing I want to get better at is keeping individual student notes. That's a goal of mine for next year.

So, as far as what you can do, I'd suggest using silent reading block (AR keeps them interested and motivated) for group work (fluency or low skills would be good, you could change every day & meet with some kids more than others.) As far as centers go, I'd do some sort of spelling centers in the AM when they first come in or see if you can just do centers 1-2 times a week.

I think Harcourt is a strong program. It pairs nicely with the 4Blocks model. My kids enjoy what we do, and I love getting it all in without resorting to mountains of workbook pages. Let me know if you have other questions or if something didn't make sense.


i can email you...

i'm using harcourt this year for my reading groups...if you want i can email you my reading block that i use to cover a story. it shows what i do for whole group, small group, etc......i think my method has actually worked well for me this year. i plan on keeping it the same way next year. feel free to email me...blamber01@hotmail.com


Junior Member
reading block schedule

I would love to see your reading block also so that I can prepare for next year. The more ideas the better! Please send it to emantine@yahoo.com... I did email you at blamber etc but I received it back. Thanks so much. Every little bit helps!


I pretty much use the program the same way. This was my first year into Trophies. I still haven't learned to manage 'literacy stations' using the leveled reading. Hopefully, this will be in place for next year.


Senior Member
4 block

Now that I am moving down to 2nd I would love to get back into the 4 Block method. We use Harcourt Collections but I think Harcourt is Harcourt and it will work nicely with this series also. I am really wondering if I should buy the book Month by Month Phonics for 2nd Grade. I used it 1st and really liked the activities...

I am also curious about your fake centers????

I would love to see your plan... my email is pschmidt1@comcast.net


Last edited:

Michelle Sei

your reading block

We are starting Trophies next year. I would love to see your reading block.


Senior Member
Perhaps you could post it here?

Instead of everyone emailing and requesting, perhaps you could just post it here? I'm sure everyone would appreciate it.

Fish Lady

Full Member
Everyday Math

We have used EM for 3 years now. The second year was easier and this year was awesome - and I had a VERY difficult class with many, many needs. I do an hour a day of math and it really works. I have some hints that may help - let me know if you would like them.


Senior Member
Trouble too!!

I have used both Trophies and Open Court for three years. I find that they are very similiar. My problem is that I don't understand...

If I read the story whole group, what do I do in small groups?

I've had difficulty using the little books that go along with Trophies because sometimes my kids can't comprehend so much info, and the story of the week.

One year when I taught second I read the little books and it seemed to work okay. They are long however and sometimes I wouldn't get through them. I would love to do workshop atleast five days a week but it's not realistic in our school. The schedule usually just doesn't allow it.
Who can answer my five billion dollar question?

If I read the story whole group, what do I do in small groups?



harcourt trophies

This is the first year our district will use harcourt as a reading first school. Could you please email a copy of your reading block. We have 120 mins each day for reading and spelling. Also if anyone has ides for centers please share them. Reading first is really about to drive me INSANE!!!!