My name is Jennifer Rachal. I teach first-grade at Montgomery Elementary School in Houston, Texas.
As a first-grade teacher, you get kids of all different kinds of levels. And so, it’s kind of hard for you to meet them where they are.
Before I used Reading A-Z and Raz-Kids in my classroom, the kids would get all the same kind of homework even though they’re all on different levels. And now that I use it in my classroom, everyone gets homework according to their own independent reading level. And so, that really gives them the confidence that there is something that they can do, even if it is not reading right at the moment. They can build up to it.
It’s right there for me, especially all the printable materials. It’s really great. Especially in a bilingual school, it works because a lot of the titles are in English and Spanish. I’ve noticed with the ESL kids, that they really enjoy those books because some parts they’ll read it to them. They can listen to the language, and they can practice reading back to it. They can hear themselves, and that really helps to build their vocabulary and build their capacity for our English language.
It’s just very helpful for us to just pull a book that we can all be able to use. Even though we are in different classrooms all throughout the campus, we’re all using Reading A-Z, and it’s really beneficial.
The students love Raz-Kids. Especially, when they get to build their own robots and build their own spaceships. They try to read as much as they can on the website so that they can earn all their stars. It’s kind of a fun way for them to get their work done every day. They don’t even realize that they are actually working on their learning skills.
It definitely helps to prepare them to be second-graders. Now that I use Raz-Kids and Reading A-Z, I’ve seen, definitely, jumps from month to month… like two, three reading levels in a month. It makes me feel great to see the progress that the kids are making. We want to see them grow. We want to all send them on-level, above-level to the next grade. It just makes you feel successful.
For the staff at Reading A-Z, I just want to say thank you for giving us so many different materials that we can use and giving us a plethora of materials that we can access and incorporate into our classroom learning. Because it really does make a difference.