When I worked at my international school in China I taught in a classroom that was 95% students with English as their second, third or fourth language. Most of them were quite proficient, but about 15% were just learning to express themselves clearly or had just arrived to the school with little to no English language.
Raz-Kids is an amazing tool that I cannot recommend enough to teachers of all ages – but primarily elementary school children. It is a teacher-built extremely comprehensive multi-functional website that is linked to the bigger umbrella of Learning A-Z.
Non-fiction and fiction books are levelled on an alphabetical grading system with AA being the easiest with just one or two words on a page, and Z being at about a grade 6 level with 30 or more pages of dense but interesting factual information or clever engaging stories that are age-appropriate. All books come with key vocabulary and can be linked to curriculum standards (American), also they can be sorted by topic or keyword.
I used Raz-Kids primarily as an English language boosting tool. I pushed the ESL students and parents to engage in it fully at home and at school. The rest of the kids in my Grade 2 class really liked using Raz-Kids in class (on laptops with personal headphones) because after I let them read, I allowed them to view each other’s reward pages and it helped to foster motivation and healthy competition. Students earn stars as points towards purchasing items for a robot and a rocketship.
Students should listen to the book, read the book and take the quiz. They can read the books as many times as possible. The teacher has many controls that can be on or off for each student – for example most students in my class were ‘stuck’ at their level and couldn’t view other books, but I had the option to allow self-motivated students to view the whole ‘bookroom’ if I wanted.
I also created a whole open student profile that didn’t have a password so student could read for ‘fun’ at another level because the entire bookroom library was open to that account. Students would read lower books to their brothers and sisters from that account, or a parent could choose a higher book to extend the learning to a guided reading session.
Students can also record their voice when reading, parents can get level updates and log in to see progress, and teachers can bump kids up early. There seems to be a solution to anything I felt like I wanted to do. It is such a well layed out program that also completely integrates to so many books on Reading A-Z. It’s great for homework, and to promote independent, self-regulated student learning.
Main Page https://www.raz-kids.com/
Kid’s Login https://www.kidsa-z.com/main/Login