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Science  |  Guided Reading  |  Spelling  |  Handwriting

1.  How do the “Levels” of ARF Science match Grade Levels?

In general, Level A is used in 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 interchanged.  Levels C-H can easily be moved up or combined to accommodate student need or multiple grade classrooms. 

2.  Is a Science “Scope & Sequence” available?

Yes!  The “Scope and Sequence” correlates to the National Science Education Content Standards.  See the “Downloads” link above to click on and review or download the “Scope and Sequence” for any or all grade levels.

3.  Is ARF Science a complete curriculum or can it be used as a supplement?

A Reason For Science® is a complete science curriculum written to the National Science Content Standards.  It focuses on learning Key Concepts rather than the more traditional curriculum goal of memorizing formulas and facts.  Some schools often, due to curriculum adoption cycles, temporarily use ARF Science as a supplement, but it is not necessary to do this. 

4.  What is the “Materials Kit?”

The “Materials Kit” for each grade level contains most all essential, “hands-on” materials for an entire year’s worth of weekly lesson activities.  Each “Materials Kit” serves a team of up to 5 students for the full year.  Many of these Kit materials are specialized and not readily available in the general market.  Without these correct materials, Key Concepts taught in each week’s lesson are more difficult to grasp.  With the “hands-on materials” however, Concepts become clear and are easy to teach even for those with little or no science background. 

5.  Can I buy just Student Worktexts?

Student Worktexts are interactive with, and completely dependant upon, the Teacher Guidebook.  Once you have purchased the “Starter 5-Pack” and a Teacher Guidebook, each year thereafter you may purchase a “Refill 5 Books + RKit” or Student Worktext’s as needed.

6.  Is the ARF Science Teacher Guidebook essential?

Absolutely!  The Teacher Guidebook contains essential daily and weekly teaching instructions for using the Student Worktext.  Plus, it contains detailed lesson plans, weekly assessment masters, answer keys, extension activities, and website resources in addition to much more.  It is impossible to use ARF Science without a Teacher Guidebook.  It is available only when purchased with one or more “Starter 5-Packs.”

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

Currently, there are nearly 100 Little Leveled Readers in this series, with more on the way!  And, they are all based on Scripture stories and/or Scripture values!  The number of books you need depends on how you use the series. As a core for a classroom reading curriculum, you could use all these books and others. For supplemental use, however, you may choose Levels or titles that best meet your classroom needs. To custom-tailor your order, just call 800.447.4332. 

2.  How are these “Leveled Readers” leveled?

A Reason For Guided Reading® uses the same leveling as Fountas & Pinnell. This is the most commonly used leveling system in Guided Reading today. If you are familiar with a different leveling system (SRA, etc.), simple graphs are available to use as a cross-reference.

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

In general, “Emergent” Levels (A, B, C) are designed for beginning readers (comparable to Kindergarten). “Transitional” Levels (D, E, F, G, H) are designed for intermediate readers (roughly 1st grade). “Fluent” Levels (I, J, K, L, M) are designed for Early Fluent readers (roughly 2nd grade). Keep in mind, however, that every child is different! It’s not uncommon to find Fluent readers in Kindergarten or Emergent readers in higher grades. For a detailed discussion of determining a specific child’s reading level, see the ARF “Teacher Resource Binder.”

4.  What is the difference between the Scripture series and the Values series?

Books in the Scripture series (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 (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 with disabilities. The back cover also references a related Scripture verse.

1.  How do the “Levels” of ARF Spelling match Grade Levels?

In general, the Level A Student Worktext is used in grade 1.  Level B, grade 2;   Level C, grade 3; Level D, grade 4; Level E, grade 5; Level F, grade 6.  However, Student Worktexts can easily move up or down to accommodate individual student needs.  A simple placement test (see downloads) is available to help you determine individual student readiness.

2.  Is the ARF 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 ARF 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 of value in teaching children to spell. Rather than “rules,” we emphasize these “generalizations” throughout the curriculum. (For more information, see any ARF Teacher Guidebook, page XI.)

4.  Is this a phonics-based spelling program?

In both 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. But since American English is not phonetic, it can also be confusing when decoding more difficult words. Other learning strategies are outlined in the Teacher Guidebooks for Levels C and above.

5.  Do the ARF Spelling 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 ARF Spelling verses correlate with the ARF Handwriting?

In A Reason For Spelling® each week’s 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 in the same Scripture verse practiced that week in ARF Handwriting at each grade level except for the ARF Transition Worktext. 

1.  How do the “Levels” of ARF Handwriting match Grade Levels?

In general, the Level A Student Worktext is used in grade 1.  Level B, grade 2; Transition, grades 2 or 3 (See question #4); Level C, grade 3; Level D, grade 4; Level E, grade 5; Level F, grade 6.  However, Student Worktext levels C–F all teach Cursive and can easily move up or down a level 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 master Manuscript before transitioning into Cursive.  From computer screens to street signs to school textbooks, we all live in a “Manuscript World!”  Mastering manuscript 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 and shortcuts to Cursive handwriting bring significant learning disadvantages.  Research shows that teaching one style of text for “Reading” and a completely different style for “Handwriting” can lead to significant learning problems.  See the “Downloads” link to view/download the “E.R.I.C. Study” research reference. 

4.  When should we use the Transition Worktext?

Use the Transition Worktext in whatever year you transition your students 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.  Then, you have 27 weekly “Cursive” lessons.  The Transition Worktext allows for a full year of maximum individualized student instruction.  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, just skip ARF Manuscript Worktext B.

5.  How valuable is the Teacher Guidebook?

The Comprehensive Teacher Guidebook contains specific instructions for using the full, K-6th curriculum, detailed lesson plans and helps with “problem letters,” and various “letter combinations.”  Plus, page by page teaching tips are included from Kindergarten through all 8 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 this curriculum?

Since A Reason For Handwriting® was created to teach penmanship skills based on Scripture verses instead of secular content, a simple, easy-to-understand vocabulary was essential.  Only The Living Bible’s “paraphrase” (Tyndale House) met this readability criteria.  We strongly suggest that you encourage students to compare these “practice verses” from the “paraphrase” with the “translation” you use for in-depth Bible study.  This process can generate valuable student dialog 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, your students practice, memorize, decorate, and share their Verse of the Week.  Then, in Spelling, they discover how the “Value” inherent in that verse is applicable in their personal lives!

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