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Scripted teaching


Just Curious

I'm a year away from a teaching certificate, and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lately, I hear so many negative comments about programs that use scripts, such as Success For All, Saxon Phonics/math, and so on. It seems like so many schools are instituting these types of programs. I prefer autonomy, but it seems like that option is disappearing very quickly. Please share any negative or positive comments with regards to your experience using these programs. Thanks


New Member
I use Failure Free Reading with some of my students, and it is scripted. I have to say that I don't read from the script. I follow the order, but I just can't read from it. It makes me sound boring. I follow the general ideas though. I do like the idea of scripted, because it gives me an outline. But like I said, I don't read from the script.


Full Member

I use SRA materials (Reading Mastery and Corrective Reading) withmy ESE students and LOVE it! Yes, Its scripted with little "wiggle room" but it has really worked wonders with my low readers. It starts them with the basics and moves them up. I figure I can do more of the non scripted things with other subjects and activities. I do however make it fun by incorporating games (some are even suggested by SRA) such as the Teacher/Student game. I set up a T chart with S and T. If they are folowing all rules they get points, they they are not, I get points. At the end, if they are ahead, I give them some goldfish (the number of the diffrence in our points). It keeps them interested.


Senior Member

I too have had experience with scripted programs (Saxon Phonics). I, like the other poster, didn't read from it and I also cut out what was not important to the main lesson because of time constraints. I Generally highlighted what I wanted to teach and taught it using some of their ideas and some of my own. For me it was just a program guide that kept me on track.


Junior Member
re: scripted programs

I also do not like scripted programs as I don't see them benefiting the entire classroom population but for the low little guys and gals, the more monotonous and boring and repetitive it seems to us, that's what they need to "get it."

One of our educational aides does Readwell with the Title kiddos and it's working great with them. It's definitely not "one size, fits all" but it can work for some kids.

We're supposed to get Fountas and Pinnel phonics next year and I'll just incorporate it in a way that works best for my kiddos.


Senior Member

My school uses some scripted programs. As a newer teacher, I take advantage of them. I don't use them word for word, but I look over them to see how they're presented. Then I add and take away as I deem necessary.


Junior Member
Some work, some are crap

I have use the Saxon scripted programs and LOVE them. I use the script as a guide, rather than read it word-for-word. At least it works!
My current district has us using THREE scripted programs; they must think we all just fell off the turnip truck, rather than graduated from college with a degree. These programs are horrible, and they do not work. After doing the scripted lesson, I have to supplement with another (forbidden) program or activity that will actually help the children understand.


Senior Member
I've used them

I think a lot of schools are using them because the state is coming down on them to use research based materials.

We used Reading Mastery years ago, now just the AIS teacher does. Why the big change? We now have Pre-K and AIS in Kindergarten. That has made a huge difference in helping kids to be successful in school. I still teach the Reading Mastery sounds and their technique for decoding but I don't actually use the manual now. AIS uses it for sounds, decoding lessons, but supplements other things for teaching comprehension, fluency, expression, and writing. Reading Mastery is not a total package for reading.

c green

I use High Point

Which is partly scripted, that is, they give you words for some things, not others. It does have lessons in order. I sometimes follow the book, and sometimes supplement.

I really tried to give High Point a chance, but it's not enough reading to do what it says it does, and sometimes it tries to teach things in a way that's just too complicated and fast for the kids. NOt enough practice.


Senior Member
Not for me

When I was student teaching, I attended some workshops on a scripted reading program (I went because my cooperating teacher had to go, and I had to go where she had to go :) ). I hated it! I decided that I would never work in a school where that type of program was required. I would go batty. It was so goofy, all of these teachers holding up identical training books and repeating the same lines.....it felt so phony to me. If I wanted to act, I would be on a stage (making more money, too!)!
I also couldn't help but feel that the program was being implemented there because the district was low income. In my area, I just do not believe that the middle-class or more affluent districts would ever try such a program; I don't think that the more involved parents would be agreeable. I also think that the more economically advanted districts trust/appreciate their teachers more.

My 2 cents.


My district uses a scripted program (SFA). You don't have to follow the script word for word as long as you present the concepts that are being addressed in the given lesson. The biggie that they look for when the people from the SFA foundation come around (which they do for "implementation visits" throughout the year) is that you are following the structure of the lesson--meaning essentially that for the first 10-15 minutes of a math lesson you should be reviewing homework, facts practice and/or problem solving. Then you do "active instruction" which is presenting the actual lesson. At the end of the lesson you should be doing an assessment, math journal and assigning homework. EVERYTHING is cooperative learning. They are also very big on posting daily agendas for each subject which includes the key concepts for that day. It gets to be a bit much with all of the extras that you have to do each day. Also, everything is cooperative learning/team-based. The students tend to get tired of this after a while. They often ask for the opportunity to be able to do things alone.