Monday, March 16, 2015

I Read to Write by Zaner-Bloser

When ZB asked me to review their new I Read to Write kit I didn't know what to expect. What I got was informational texts that have students respond in a variety of ways.  My students were thrilled to delve into the texts!

Here's what I like about the program:

-It's cross-curricular, including Science, Social Studies and Math.  With the new standards it's is so important to integrate in any way you can and this makes it easy.

-The students were highly engaged in each text.  The pictures brought the topics to life and the topics were of interest to my readers.

-The texts are complex but grade level appropriate.  As a teacher, it is so important to expose all learners to grade level texts and you can do it with this program.

-The program sets it up by first reading, then thinking and then writing.   Plus each subject area gives you two sources to refer to.

-One change with the standards is being able to cite text evidence and each lesson provides practice by having the students analyze and respond.  Citing evidence directly correlates with the testing my students have taken this year...and we all know any practice helps!

-The language used is the same language from the standards. I teach to the standards and I use the language from the standards, as do my students.  It fit right into our reading and writing block. (Ask and Answer Questions; Identify the Main Purpose; Use Text Features; Identify the Main Topic; Describe How Reasons Support Specific Points; etc.)
 - Narrative, Informative and Opinion writing are all included.  There is also a rubric for each one which is a major time saver for the teacher!

-After we used the texts for their intended purpose, we started using them during other lessons.  Each text can be used again and again!   As a teacher, I am always searching for grade level informational texts and this puts it right in every reader/writer's hand.
The text in the picture focused on asking and answering questions and using text features.  The next time we used the text we looked at the focus of specific paragraphs was about to determine the main topic.

Everyone in our classroom enjoyed this resource and we will continue to use it again and again!
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