Our school purchased A to Z reading this year. It’s a warehouse of materials for teachers to use with students. I couldn’t help but think that all the prepared guided reading plans are made without knowing the students at all-what is the thinking about
all these prepared materials vs knowing your students?
Is this to be used as your reading program, or as supplemental materials? If you are allowed to “pick and chose” the books as you need desire, then I think they could be a good resource. You could match books to readers and use the parts of the lesson plans that work for your students.
Or, I believe it’s true, that you can search on A to Z for specific lessons that you could match up to strategies you know your students need.
Thank you. Some of the lessons are so pre programmed that you could get carried away with that and loose sight of the students in front of you-I think you have to keep in mind that we are teaching students not the book which is what I think I heard the sisters say last summer-not sure!
I think you are right–they are pre-programmed, and some people will use them “because they are there and done” for them.
BUT, you are so right about what the Sisters say–“Teach the kids, not the book.” If you have the flexibility to use these materials as you wish, then you can make it work for you and your students!!
My school has a subscription to Reading A-Z as well. I would just think of it as another resource. I personally like being able to print out my own books. I also use “Raz Kids” for my Listen to Reading center in addition to a ton of QR code stories I have available. I think it would also be a valuable resource to brand new teachers who need a jumping off point, but at some point you have to get to know your students and adjust as needed. It can be a double-edged sword or just a great resource! Hope that helps!
My school also just purchased the A to Z license with the idea that we can print the books and send them home. Many of our students don’t have access to any books at home. My worry is that it takes the challenge of picking your own book and learning from your own self selected text if I assign books to be read at home. I also have many of my higher students that HATE the books and refuse to read them. I see these books being a great resource for beginning readers but not as useful as the students progress in their reading ability. Any thoughts?
I started using the A to Z books this year to supplement my classroom library. Unfortunately, our school does not have a book room. Their fictional stories are lacking in many ways, but I found their non-fiction to be pretty good. I do appreciate their extensive book list for each level and it is a great resource for my low readers. Our school mainly uses the Wonders reading program which only offers one leveled reader a week and we do not allow these books into their book boxes. A-Z does try to align some of their stories with Wonders, but you have to know the Wonders program really well in order to pick up on the A-Z stories that match. I think using them as another resource is the way to go. You know your students the best and giving them variety, in my opinion, can boost their interest in reading.
I agree that using the A-Z books as supplemental materials is a good way to use them. I also agree that their non-fiction is more appropriate than fiction selections. Those of you who do not have a book room at your school might look for resources to build such a resource.
Donor’s Choose for those who are in public schools in the US can write grants for funds to buy books. There’s a company called WIL Books that offers both online books and inexpensive (and many times free) books for Title 1 schools. They often have special deals, like 100 books for $300. The print in these books is really nice, and the books are in color. There are also Spanish books available for those of you who have bilingual or dual languages classes with Spanish speakers.
I also agree that students need a wide variety of book from different sources.
Thanks for your comments and for the information on books. Our school is Title I, so I will definitely check out your suggestions.
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