Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Letter to Raz-Kids!

This time last year, I was asked to try out Raz-Kids (a leveled reading program available through Learning A-Z) and I must say I am so happy that I accepted the trial!

As my year trial period comes to a close, I thought I would share with my readers my favorite parts of Raz-Kids.

1.  Highly motivating!  My kids love Raz-Kids!  The students I have in reading resource ask to get on Raz-Kids and you will hear no moaning and groaning when I ask them to use the program.  Sometimes, computer based interventions are not that exciting and don't hold a student's attention.  There could be various reasons for this ranging from the program being not interesting to students finding a program too difficult.  (Which leads to #2)  Oh...wait!  Don't forget that cute little robot you can dress up as your earn points for reading the books and passing quizzes! :)

2.  Leveled reading.  Raz-Kids is never too easy or too difficult for my students.  Using the assessment provided with Raz-Kids or available on Reading A-Z, I know exactly the level in which each of my students are working.  Each student has a program individualized just for him or her.

3.  Immediate feedback.  I can track progress immediately and so can the students.  The students immediate see how they are progressing through the books.  The students earn stars and coins that they can use to build and decorate their virtual robot.  I can also send messages of encouragement and bonus stars to my students to let them know I can see how hard they are working, motivate them to keep going, and reward bonus stars to reward them for their efforts.  The data that the teacher sees is also invaluable information!  From sound assessments, to running records, to comprehension scores, I can see exactly how my students are performing and which standards students are hitting or missing.  Guys! This program is aligned to Common Core! You can look right at the quiz skills report and see exactly what standards your student is mastering.

4.  Students make growth!  The teachers can see it, the students can feel it, and the parents can watch as their child's reading ability improves.  I have had parents tell me how much their child love Raz-Kids and that they ask to get on and use it.  One of my tutoring students was so excited about all of the stars he had earned by reading his books and passing a level.  He saved all of his stars to buy something for his robot until the day I tutored him so that he could show me what he was going to buy with the stars earned from his hard work!  Raz-Kids really does make learning fun and the kids are making growth in such a motivating way that reading doesn't even feel like work to even the most struggling student.

5.  Support and training!  Training on how to use all of what is offered on Raz-Kids is right there for you.  If you have a question, there is a probably a video that can teach you exactly what you need to know.  Also, the people working at Learning A-Z have been amazing about answering my questions and incredibly friendly.  They really take pride it what is produced through Learning A-Z and they make quality products that ensure student growth.

6.  Wide range of subjects and interests! There really is something for every student on here!  Fiction and non-fiction, every subject under the sun, Raz-Kids has it all and in every level.  There is no reason for a student to be bored.  There are so many books that even the most reluctant reader is sure to find something they will love.

Raz-Kids: The kids view

7.  Mobile app.  Hello!  We are all using a tablet or a phone these days and Raz-Kids is ready for that, too.  Mobile apps are available for Apple, Amazon, and Android products.  My kids in resource love to use the iPad to access Raz-Kids.  One of my sweets created a recording corner/sound booth to have a private spot to record her readings.  They love wearing the headphone/microphone combination (think Britney Spears headphones) to read and record themselves.
8.  Combine with Reading A-Z for a beautifully blended reading solution!  Reading A-Z is a CODiE Award winning website for teachers with an amazing amount of resources for reading.  Lesson plans, printable and projectable books, quizzes, and Common Core aligned resources make Reading A-Z my go to spot for all things reading in my resource classroom.  Raz-Kids then joins in to deliver hundreds of ebooks with 24 hours access to provide practice to make students better readers!

I really cannot say enough good things about Raz-Kids and Reading A-Z!  If you are looking for a reading solution...look no more!  This is your solution!
Finally, to sum all of my feeling about Raz-Kids, here is a copy of the letter I sent thanking them for their trial of Raz-Kids:

Hi Jan,
I just wanted to let you know as this year's subscription to Raz-Kids comes to a close how much I have appreciated this program over the past year.  I am so grateful that the people at Learning A-Z found my blog and asked me to use their product.  I love Raz-Kids and believe in the program wholeheartedly.  Most importantly though is that my student are making tremendous growth and they love to use the program.  They ask to use Raz Kids.  Parents love it, too!  I have had several parents tell me that since using Raz-Kids that their child is actually interested in reading and motivated to use the program.  The kids even get on the app without having to be told to do so!  Raz-Kids is such a confident boost to so many of my struggling readers!  
Thank you for creating such a wonderful program and choosing me to use the program!  I truly appreciate it!
Kim H.

Friday, October 10, 2014

October Currently

Don't judge...but I may be 9 days late to Farley's Currently this month...
Better late than never, right?  I have been enjoying Fall Break this week.  It has been a week full of relaxing and doing nothing.  Sometimes you just need a week like that!

Here is October's Currently:

Listening:  I love all things Halloween!  This is my favorite time of year!  Halloween Wars on Food Network is something we can all watch together here and everyone loves it.  I am amazed by the food artists that make the amazing and scary sculptures out of pumpkins, sugar, and cake!  So awesome!!

Loving:  Fall Break!  This week always comes at the perfect time.  We are far enough into school now to feel the stress of the daily grind and everyone is in need of some refreshing time.  I love my job, but I needed this week just to be able to get back to being relaxed and let go of the burnout that comes at the beginning of the year! 

Thinking:  I "need" to make a Costco run.  Well, actually the hubby is telling me that he wants to, so how can I say no to that?!  

Wanting:  It is cold...I need coffee. Period! :)

Needing:  I need to prepare for next week back to school.  Hmmm...maybe later!

Fall Skip Counting Puzzles are now FREE!  
Click the pic to go to my TPT store

Happy October!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Break

It's Fall Break here in Kentucky!  Yipee!  This week I hope to get caught up on some things, but not before taking time to relax and hanging out with my own kiddos!  I hope you are enjoying fall wherever you are as well!