Thursday, June 14, 2012

Texas Teachers - CScope anyone??

So here's a question for my fellow Texas bloggers.  Does your district use CScope??  My district bought CScope as a curriculum a few years back, but never really made us use it.

This year, however, they've started to throw out the new buzzword "non-negotiable."  Which, to me, means... don't bother complaining arguing griping moaning giving viable arguments against CScope, you're using it - end.of.story.

I've been using it a few years for Science.  And for science, it is great, minus the fact that there's nothing to grade.  For everything else.. I hate it.

We're departmentalized, so I teach Math, Science, and Social Studies aka Texas History.  I've looked through the Math... and ... well.. I'm at a loss for words.

We tried it once for social studies... and unless they've completely revamped the lessons, I'll be trying to get my kids to compare the economy of the American Indians in Texas to the Old Three Hundred that Stephen F. Austin brought to Texas before my kids even know who Stephen F. Austin is.  What fun!

And to add insult to injury.... no lessons are posted on the CScope website, except the first six weeks.  They'll be adding the rest as the year goes on.. so I can forget about planning ahead..

So... maybe I'm looking for some reassurance from someone who has used CScope and loves it.... OR I might just be venting... not sure.
From Teaching 4th


  1. I have taught 4th grade math for 5 years in Texas. In addition, I taught science for 4 of those years and social studies for 3 of those years. Hopefully, what I have to say can help you out! :)

    I am totally pro-CSCOPE and this is why--the state of Texas has raised its standards, demanding students to be at a level that teachers (in general) are not teaching at. Kids are learning to be test passers and not thinkers. STAAR demands that they be thinkers and, more importantly, life in the real world demands that they be thinkers. CSCOPE lessons are designed to help us teach them just that. CSCOPE utilizes the 5E model for math and science, which complements research on how children learn. If you actually read over and study the lessons (like us nerds do) they make TOTAL sense! And I don't necessarily agree with the order of the YAGs but I do agree with what the majority of the activities are asking you to do.

    In math, CSCOPE shows you how to BUILD an understanding rather than just having you show kids procedures and processes. Yes, some of those activities require a lot of prep work for you and yes, you will have to pull in additional resources into your lessons because CSCOPE does not do it all (especially since CSCOPE assumes that your kids come in with all of the prerequisite skills required and does not provide review activities). I pretty much use every math activity, but make modifications and bring in other activities based on the needs of my kids. I also use self-made rubrics for some of those activities.

    CSCOPE for science is mostly wonderful. I make A LOT of rubrics to use for these activities to get grades. Some of the activities may be a little above the kids' heads, but with proper scaffolding and a little research for additional activities on your behalf, they actually are pretty good lessons.

    I can't speak too much for social studies because I didn't use CSCOPE for it too much. There were a few great lessons and ideas, but I mostly pulled from elsewhere for the units.

    CSCOPE is slowly starting to put the lessons up and most are sort of hidden. Here is how to access the new enhanced ITGs (we'll do math, for example): After you put in 4th grade math (12-13 school year), click on the unit that you want from the left side of the screen. You'll see the screen on the right change to information about that unit. Find "Select Unit Elements" from right above there and click on attachments from the drop-down menu. There, you will see all of the latest and most updated lessons and corresponding attachments! Hope that helps you! :)

    I cannot speak for ELAR at all because I have not taught those subjects yet. Ask me after next school year!! :)

    Email me if you have any questions or if you want some of my personalized CSCOPE activities (I have flipcharts to go along with the lessons and modify just about every worksheet and activity sheet they offer because they are NOT very cute!).


    1. Thanks Janaye! As anti as I'm sure I sounded in my post, I'm open minded to giving CScope a chance.

      I think what scares me the most is that the math doesn't have daily problem solving or multiplication practice.

      As far as social studies goes... I'm glad I'll still have my textbook to use as a resource.

      I'll definitely be emailing you later for some tips and suggestions...and I appreciate your honest