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Daily Reinforcers-Daily Reading, Grade 3 Review by Kathy Gelzer

Grow Publications
PO Box 1823
Racine, WI 53401-1823
Carolyn R. Sullivan, et al.
Philip L. Skoglund, et al.

Daily Reading, “An Innovative Reading Review and Reinforcement Program for Grades 1-6,”is a reading comprehension program with the goal of producing “strategic readers” that is enjoyable for students.  There are separate teacher and student books for each grade.  I received the grade 3 edition of the reading program, and the grade 4 edition for math. 
The Daily Reading Check-Ups student book is a 4 x 8 1/2 inch short, wide checkbook-sized book with 144 perforated pages to be completed once a day, in five to seven minutes’ time. As a supplement to your reading curriculum, it can be used at the beginning of reading time as a warm up.  There are a variety of activities:  open-ended questions, matching, sentences to fix, interviews to have with a partner, word maps and other kinds of graphic organizers. 
Seven basic areas are listed in the scope and sequence chart in the teacher’s book:  Concepts about Print, Strategies, Phonics, Structural Analysis, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Listening. 
Besides this chart, the spiral-bound teacher’s manual also contains all of the student book pages, answers, and teaching notes.  There are ten “student texts”:  fiction and non-fiction selections, a fable, a legend, a folktale, a letter, and a newspaper.  About three to six consecutive student activity pages use these texts, but most of the activity pages do not require any other material to complete. 
The subject matter covered includes vowels and consonants, singulars and plurals, listening and following directions, contractions, opposites, reading comprehension, rhyming, capitalization, synonyms, punctuation, compound words, phonics, suffixes, homographs, and much more.  As you can see, the scope is quite comprehensive. 
This curriculum incorporates whole language as well as phonics reading techniques.  One of the pages instructs the student to rewrite these sentences to make them true (example:  “When you are reading you should just glance at the picture.  It won’t help you.”)  Another page suggests that when you come to a word you don’t know, to use mainly context rather than sounding out the word. 
ADD- Arithmetic Developed Daily is similar in format to Daily Reading.  It, too, is designed as a warm-up for reviewing previously learned math skills.  It can also be used as a diagnostic to find areas in which the student is not proficient. There are multiple tasks on each student page in three categories:  skill development, two mental math problems, and one word problem. The skill development problems are mainly computational, and the two mental math problems are read aloud by the teacher from the teacher’s manual.  
The daily word problem uses a “TIPS” approach for solving.  There is space for the student to enter information following each of the four letters.  “T” stands for Thought:  “Students are encouraged to visualize the whole problem, comprehend the key vocabulary, and identify the mathematical operation or operations that model the action or relationships in the problem.”   Students then write down the correct operation on the T line.  “I” is for Information:  “Students isolate the pertinent numbers in the problem and enter this on the information line.”  “P” is for Plan, which is the open sentence or equation to solve.  “S” is for “Solution”, in which the student writes the equation complete with answer. 
Periodically, there is a “Math Talk” or “Think About It” problem in place of the daily word problem.  Math Talk emphasizes math vocabulary, and Think About It is a more challenging problem, requiring the application of math skills. 
The teacher’s manual contains introductory material, a scope and sequence chart, student work strips, answers, and the mental math questions.  There are also six additional Concept Corner activity pages and 16 optional quizzes which may be given after two to three weeks of daily activity pages. 

Daily Reading and ADD are geared more to the classroom than the homeschool.  They are supplements to your regular reading and math programs—not stand-ins for them. Think summer time review and car or airplane activity when you buy these portable student books.  Consider Daily Reinforcers for some fun reading and math practice that only takes a few minutes each day. 

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2008