Raz-Kids : Probably the best thing since Coffee

Sunday, July 12, 2015
Lets face it, running records are time consuming and students get anxiety watching you mark up all their mistakes.
Once the student logs in, they can choose to independently practice or complete a running record (flight check).
I've mentioned Raz-Kids a couple of times in this blog. It's a CCSS aligned iPad app that grants access to hundreds of eBooks using a school’s subscription to Raz-Kids - sadly, yes, you've got to pay for it. Students can listen to short passages (it highlights the sentence and, in a different color, highlights the word it is reading) and self-record themselves reading these books. Reading-comprehension quizzes along the way show the progress that the child is making.

Stories are read aloud to students and they can follow along.

Once clicked, the microphone button (top right) begins recording students reading aloud.
My students preferred to wear earbuds and listen to themselves reading after they were done.

Once downloaded, teachers register students, input their reading level (Fountas and Pinnell), and stories generate based on that students reading level. This iPad app that has leveled short stories for students to listen to, record themselves reading out loud, and answer comprehension questions afterwards. Teachers can assign stories to students, have students record themselves reading aloud, and running records can be completed online while listening to the students recording. This is great if you're pressed for time or can't always sit down and complete the running record with the student.

Top: F&P levels along with a list of stories for students to complete.
Below Stories: ear for listening to stories aloud, eye for recording themselves, and the ? for comprehension questions.

Raz-Kids also records the data for you once you finish the running record. It lists the percentages that students earned (accuracy), and also identifies what skills students need to hone based on their comprehension scores. The comprehension section includes vocabulary skills also! All in all, it's a great app for teachers and students - students enjoyed recording themselves and working on the iPad, while I enjoyed having less paperwork (i.e. running records are completed without wasting direct instruction time, recordings can be replayed for parents to hear, and data is calculated and stored (all I have to do is print them out). A learning specialists dream come true, perhaps?

Comprehension questions at the end of every story.
At times, I assigned this to students as homework (non-running record readings) so that they could get some extra reading done at home. There's also cool games, a point system that levels up the students rank, and a robot avatar they can customize.

Check out their website for more detailed instructions.

Sidenote: our subscription to Raz-Kids hasn't been renewed, so I had to use images from the Google Play store.


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