Thursday, October 10, 2013

Reading, Robots, and Rockets with Raz Kids

When I started in my new position as K-5 tech specialist my teachers had many questions, but the first was "What about Raz kids?"
Student Desktop in raz Kids
Raz Kids is a web-based reading support program that supports reading instruction at school as well as at home.  The program is set up to allow students to access it from a regulatr desktop computer through the browser, or through an iPad app.  If your goal is to have kids choose hi intrest reading at an appropriate level, Raz Kids is a tool that will help you keep track of their reading and deliver good content to them.
As a teacher you can control the level each student is reading at as well as whether or not they have access to the rocket and robot builder.
  Eack book has a read to me mode. 
In read to me the text is highlighted as the program reads it to the student.  The student can even record their own reading of the book if you would like.  (I think this could be used for reading assessments/ reading inventory, but I have not done this yet).
In addition to the assignments in book room, there are the rocket and robot builder modules.  The robot builder allows students to spend their stars (rewards for successful quiz completion) to create a robot avatar, complete with wings and a green tu-tu if that is what you like.
The rocket also allows students to decorate ntheir rocket and fill it with aliens, furnature, and even goldfish. 

Personally I am a big fan of these modes.  As I watch them work, students do not soend too much time on these options, but they are fun.  In general they find the text choices engaging and when they are working on Raz kids the program holds their attention.
The interface is really easy to use and even my first grade students needed very little suipport to be successful.

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