How I Drive Instruction With Raz-Kids & An Ah-Mazing Giveaway!

I am soo excited to tell you about a great giveaway that I have the opportunity to offer you!!
This past week, I had the wonderful pleasure of talking to and “meeting” the product marketing manager of Raz-Kids from the Learning A-Z company.  You all I know I *adore* Raz-Kids and I have been using it for about 5 years now with my students.  You can read a little about how I use Raz-Kids in the classroom by clicking HERE.   

If you’re not familiar with Raz-Kids, in a nutshell, it is a virtual library where your students can access hundreds of books that are on their guided reading level.  It allows them to listen to the book, read the book on their own, and take a comprehension quiz on the book. In the meantime, they earn stars to build a virtual rocket as they read more and more books. 

Lately, I’ve started to really take a look at all of the features “behind the scenes” in Raz-Kids.  In a world of data, assessment, and data-driven instruction, anything that can give me information on my students’ progress is a huge perk in my eyes.  I have my formal observation coming up and I’ve been taking a look at all of the ways I gather information about my students to drive my instruction.  My students use Raz-Kids DAILY so I figured this was a very valuable source of data for me. 

One of the neat features Raz-Kids has is the ability to look at many different reports about your students on the site.  The one I am obsessed with right now is the skills report.  After my students take quizzes on the independent books they read, it calculates percentages and breaks down each comprehension skill to give me a quick snapshot of which skills my students’ are mastering and which skills my students just “do not get.”

This weekend, I randomly looked at a skill report from three students, each in a different guided reading group. 

Student A
Student B

Student C
Do you see the pattern?  Some of their lowest skills fall in drawing conclusions and making inferences.  Guess what I’m going to be teaching after Thanksgiving?! Yup. Inference and Drawing Conclusions. 
And, it gets even better.  Those were individual student reports from Raz-Kids.  I can also pull up a whole class report of my students’ skills and see where their needs lie as a whole.
The data shows that drawing conclusions and making inferences is a skill that a majority of my class needs.  (I found it interesting that 100% of my students are mastering genre and theme, and that prior knowledge is very high since that was a BIG portion of our first nine week assessments and instruction on our curriculum maps. Very cool to see! We are currently diving into main idea, recall, and summarizing in the second nine weeks so I expect to see those start to take off next.)
I’m going to sound like an infomercial in a minute. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! (Can you just hear my infomercial voice?!) πŸ™‚  It also breaks down how your students are doing in each of the Common Core standards.  I know. You’re jumping up and down right now. Don’t feel embarrassed…I did it too.
Pretty cool, huh? So that, my friends, is how I am using Raz-Kids as a piece of data to drive my reading instruction with my students.  Any program that can lay out that kind of information for me quickly and effortlessly is one I adore.  
Now…. I get to share some FUN with you!! The wonderful people at Learning A-Z have generously offered to give away two three month subscriptions to my Sugar and Spice followers!  One lucky winner will receive a 3 month subscription to Raz-Kids and one lucky winner will receive a 3 month subscription to Reading A-Z (another fab resource that I’ll share with you soon!).  I’m soo thankful to the wonderful people at Learning A-Z for allowing me to share these products with you!! πŸ™‚
Enter the Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway will end next Saturday at midnight (EST) on November 23rd. Good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Ooooh! Thank you for the giveaway! I used to have RAZ, but our school can't afford it anymore. πŸ™ I really need it this year, because a) I love their stories and non-fiction and b) I have an accelerated class of kids and there just isn't much for them to read that we have access to at school. Thank you for the chance!

  2. I would love to use Raz-Kids in my classroom! We have laptop carts that we can "reserve" and use in our classroom, and this would totally be beneficial for getting my students to the next level where they need to be. Our school is always looking for new ways to collect data on our students, and this would be one great way for us to do that. I would love to test it out and get my school to buy a subscription!

  3. I teach a group of students with language processing deficits. I would use either of these products for fun comprehension lessons and leveld readers ….. and tracking the student's progress!

  4. My students are reading 1 + years below grade level and I would love to use Raz Kids to check their progress and work on essential skills. I work at a Reading Renaissance school but due to their intensive reading placement my students are not permitted to participate in AR like their peers. This often has them feeling left out. I think the use of Raz Kids, and having their very own program, would make them feel special and give them the confidence they need.

  5. I have also been using RAZ for about 5 years. The kids love it and I love being able to monitor their progress. I have not turned on the Rocket Room yet this year. I have found that once I do they really focus on the room. After the first of the year I will turn it on and it will be a 'Friday' extra activity. πŸ™‚

  6. I would love to use this in my classroom. I would love to see how it breaks down into the common core standards. That is exactly what my principal is looking for.

  7. I use both of these programs in my classroom and have the kiddos using RAZ Kids at home. I had one student who was a reluctant reader but put her on the computer and she has moved a complete reading level. I love that you can track kids strengths and weakness so you can direct your instruction to their needs. Would so love to win this!!!!! In a private school funding for this type of "extra" is very limited!!

  8. I am always on the lookout for daily computer resources that students can use on their own. I love the informational feedback that you get from this program. Thank you for your insightful blog post.

  9. I had no idea I could break it down by Common Core standard! Thanks for this tip, Christina! Is this under reports? I have been looking around for it and am having trouble finding it! Thanks for this awesome review and for your help this. I learn new things every time I read your blog! πŸ™‚

    Teacher at Heart

  10. This would be so great for all my kids but esp. my group of low babies! My principal bought usReading A to Z this year and I love it!! I was looking at Raz but just an not swing it on my own at the moment…

  11. This would be great I have 9 kids on RTI and I would love to be able to serve them according to their needs…Especially my ESE kids πŸ™‚

  12. I've been bugging my media specialist to purchase this program for K-2 at my school. All of the surrounding area schools have purchased this program with their Title 1 funds, and after speaking with those teachers I know it's made a difference in their classrooms. I am hoping to use this program to gather more data during my small group time. I am currently only able to pull data from the time they are with me, but it would be nice to actually teach while they are with me and not always have to assess! πŸ™‚ FINGERS CROSSED!

    The Applicious Teacher

  13. Our first and second graders already have a subscription to Raz-Kids, but I would LOVE one to Reading A-Z. I asked our principal at the beginning of the year and he said that he didn't believe it has enough authentic literature. I think he is a little loopy πŸ™‚ I know it would be perfect for my guided reading groups, close reading, and writing prompts.

  14. I would use Raz A-Z to make Take Home Packets for my class. As a new teacher I need something to get the parents involved. I also want the parents to be excited about what their child is learning.

  15. I am a college student but I know this wonderful teacher who is struggling to get her kids interested and understand literacy this would help her a ton so if I won I'd give it to her.

  16. I already have district access to Reading A – Z, but have never used Raz-Kids. I love how it tracks data. As a special education teacher that is so important. Thank you for the chance to win.

  17. We just got our fall state test results back so one way I would use this is with those students who were so close but just didn't quite pass. Plus, I'm excited about anything that gives data!

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