What with school starting Monday and all, it was not really the happiest bunch of teachers over at the Treasures training today.
Treasures is our new District language arts...thingamajig. It is not our curriculum in that we are not required to use it; rather, we are to regard it as a "resource".
...a resource we spent three hours reviewing. It's not much time - nowhere enough to really be ready to use the program. And yet it's an eternity: no matter how many hours a teacher has put in already, there's always too much to do to be off campus looking at pamphlets for an afternoon.
Besides, many schools haven't even unwrapped their Treasures yet, and no one seems to know what the District purchased - since they probably didn't buy every component, it's hard to get excited about resources we may or may not have.
Since my school is one of the "Balanced Literacy" schools using Teachers College stuff, we were especially not looking forward to Treasures. However, I think it will be useful for the new teachers in that it has a fully-planned scope and sequence for phonics, spelling, and phonemic awareness. Readers Workshop suggests that you read Words Their Way, research your kids, figure out what they need, and then make your plans (plus all the materials you will need, which can be extensive). A teacher with experience can do this. A teacher who is new has way too much else to do, and doing everything guarantees failure everywhere.
Overall the thing looks fine; some of the big books will be good to have, and my leveled library always needs more titles. It is not quite as scripted as Open Court (and certainly has nothing on Saxon Math, which not only told the teacher exactly what to say but provided right and wrong answers that children might give, plus appropriate responses to child answers).
Otherwise, I would say that my site is very excited: very excited to work together, for a new year, to try new things, etc. And then very excited because every classroom at our school is big - all of the Kindergartens and first grades have 23 or more children - and class lists are still not available. That's a lot of names to write, even though I assume that not all of those registered will appear. And time is running out.