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Reading a-z or RAZ kids or??
Old 01-25-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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Our school is looking into these programs as well as the Vocabulary a-z. I have personally used Reading a-z on my own and while I liked all that was available, there was a LOT of time copying and assembling and then doing it all over again. I want less paper - not more!! Our new reading series has leveled books that come with it. Actually two sets. Of course, they are not the same range as I would get with Reading a-z. Our school also uses Accelerated Reader and has done so for many years now. I understand that RAZ kids is similar to AR?

If I have any say over matters I am leaning toward the RAZ kids program. But would I be doing my students an injustice by not being able to offer them leveled books? (I also have a large classroom library)
One of my grade level partners is heavily pushing for reading a-z. So, I wonder if that would be a better option.

So, here is my question? If you could only can pick one of the above programs which would you choose and why? (the best would be all of the programs, but thats not normally how things work around here!)


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Old 01-25-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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I've had A to Z for a couple years and really like it. This year I got Raz. I actually bought it myself in the spring when it went on sale. It was about 65 bucks. They now have a feature where ALL the A to Z books can none be read in Raz. so in my opinion it is best to have both. I find that it gives the kids so many more books to pick from than RAz alone. Raz is great but Raz and A to Z is super.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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Reading A-Z, definitely. I would only use RAZ Kids in addition to A-Z or as a supplement.
A-Z provides so many fiction and non-fiction books at each level making it great for the kids who needs lots and lots of practice before going to the next level as well as providing books at various levels to meet the needs of the kids who are above or below the general range of the class. We also have a leveled book room, but there are only 8 or so titles at each level. Not enough IMHO.

I understand the copying & time involved with A-Z but really once I had my masters made and a set of 6 or so books for each title things were great. I kept the books and used them for a few years. Sometimes I gave them to the kids who really needed to circle, underline etc, but generally they were treated just the same as any other print resource in the classroom.

I do not like AR and do not use AR.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:18 PM
 
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I have both but I use Raz Kids a lot more. I like Raz kids because most families have internet access and it gives kids access to MORE BOOKS!!!!

I also love that I can see who has logged on, who has been reading and who hasn't!

I use Raz kids with my own son and I like that you can listen, read and take quizzes!
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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Hands down Raz Kids! Ink and time spent putting things together is not worth it. I love listening to my students read while at home on my laptop. My students love the rocket feature at Raz kids too.


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RAZ in Spanish
Old 01-26-2012, 05:51 AM
 
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Does anyone know if RAZ has books or quizes or whatever in Spanish? They do for A-Z reading which is really helpful being a bilingual teacher. And I just found last week that they made a few worksheets in Spanish - WOW! Usually I have to print the English one they, make my own in Spanish.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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raz kids..I purchased it for my class and really like it. they read, listen to stories and take quizzes. I can send them messages, do running records..everything. I use it for data too. The best thing about it is that after they take a quiz, it tells me specifically what skills they missed..main idea, sequence, details,etc..I love it
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:55 PM
 
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to A to Z. What type of printout do you find most useful for the books? Do you bind them?
I used my own money so am hesitant to buy RAZ also, but it does sound great!
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Raz Kids
Old 01-26-2012, 05:40 PM
 
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I use Raz Kids with my kids and they love it! I like that they can access the site at home. The books they read on Raz Kids are at their level and I can easily check their comprehension!!
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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Where do you live? My school is located in a rural county and maybe 1/3 of my class has Internet. That means 2/3 of my class would not be able to use Raz. A to Z works for everyone. It does mean you have to copy, but once it is done you can use it for several years.



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Old 01-27-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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I like Readinga-z, but we had a reading "expert" who came from a local college who said that readinga-z was not "good literature". The school had been paying for us to get it, but they quit after she said that. I liked it because you could do things with the books that you couldn't do with regular textbooks. You can highlight in them for particular lessons (prefixes, suffixes; main idea and supporting facts, etc). I think the literature is certainly as good as some of the "tiny shiny" leveled readers we pay so much for.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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Who is your reading "expert"? I heartily agree with you. You are the expert. I do not see that A-Z books are any different that any leveled books provided by big box compnaies. In fact, I checked and some of the authors are the same. Just because it comes as a downloadable paper product doesn't mean the literature is not good literature. A-Z is smart as it puts the literature in an affordable format so all kids can have access to it. For some of my poorer kids these are the only books they will ever own and that "expert" would take that reading away from a child? That's just not right. Imagine what the A-Z books would cost of they were all shiny covered print books. By the way.... has anyone used the projectable versions? You don't have to print those and my kids love coming to the center and working with the tools.
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Raz Kids in Spanish?
Old 12-19-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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I called and spoke to a rep that said they were working on developing a full blown Raz kids in Spanish? This was around two months ago? Could you guide me as to how to access the quizzes you mention?
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A to Z
Old 12-19-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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Without a doubt! I save my books, also. The good thing is that once you get a good stash, the lower groups generally move up and use the books the kids ahead of them were using. Works like a charm! Guided reading is soooo much easier. I especially like that there's a plan that quickly focuses your attention on the skill and concept the book entails. I feel A to Z Is an invaluable resource.

Stay away from experts! They're usually only skilled in ONE thing: telling you what EVERYone else did wrong .
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Raz Kids builds literacy
Old 02-20-2013, 09:17 PM
 
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Our parent group purchased Raz-Kids for several teachers this year. I am a 2nd/3rd grade teacher in a small, rural school. Many of my students do not have access to the internet at home. However, my room is equipped with 6 computers/headphones.
Let me tell you about all of the great features that Raz-Kids has to offer. First, it allows students to listen to fluent reading while seeing the print highlighted. I am a National Board Certified teacher, and believe that this eye/ear connection promotes text chunking, or orthographic fluency. Next, students read the text themselves. Raz kids is aligned with most state and Common Core standards. Each story has graphic organizers that teach reading skills that teachers can print out and use with students. The quizzes at the end of each selection are also in the format of state tests, so kids get used to the types of questions they will be asked. Examples of questions asked include fact vs. opinion, compare and contrast, author's purpose, and fantasy vs. reality.
My class absolutely LOVES Raz-Kids. They open up their leveled libraries and get to choose from many interesting titles. There is a good mix of fiction and non-fiction. We do not use points to decorate our Raz Rockets yet, because I am saving that activity for later in the year as an incentive. So far all their rewards have been intrinsic.
Finally, my school does use AR. Raz-Kids is much better than AR because the questions are higher level. AR questions are mostly recall. Raz Kids ask students to make inferences and synthesize answers, especially if you use the graphic organizers.
I hope that this endorsement for Raz-Kids helps other teachers decide what to use. Using it in class with a split grade has allowed me to differentiate far more than I could have if I was just calling up reading groups. My class rotates through the computers, and each student gets to do Raz-Kids for about 45 minute per week. I see a lot of growth in their STAR reading scores, and know that part of it is this wonderful program.

Last edited by music_educe; 02-20-2013 at 09:23 PM.. Reason: accidentally pushed the publish button before I was finished.
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