Our district is using a new set of language arts materials this year, called Journeys, published by Houghton-Mifflin, in Kindergarten through sixth grade. Apparently the idea is that these materials are tailor-made for teaching the Common Core curriculum. I had been hearing third- and fourth-hand rumors that the district was no longer going to allow teachers to use outside materials – that is, real novels or non-fiction books – as part of language arts. Both the district’s Director of Curriculum and our school principal have assured me that that is not true, and that there will be no more restriction on outside materials now than there was under the old materials.
My knowledge of how the new materials differ from the old ones is very limited. Thus, a bleg: Does anyone out there have any info or insights? Is there any reason to be concerned?