From a big picture perspective, Raz-Kids offers e-books that students can read (and record themselves reading) online. Teachers can assign and track which books students have been reading, see quiz scores, align progress to the Common Core Standards, listen to recordings of students reading, and assess which skills students are achieving or struggling with. And, as shown below, it's incredibly simple process to get started.
On the student side, kids have access to not only the book room, where they can see and read the material the teacher has assigned, but also a few fun areas where they can spend the "stars" they earn from doing readings and completing other tasks.
Raz-Kids also has a large number of their eBooks and quizzes translated into Spanish, so for students who are either learning, or whose primary language is Spanish, resources are available for them as well.
Before beginning, students are either assigned a reading level by their teacher, or asked to take an assessment which will determine which level is most appropriate. As the progress through the eBooks and assigned tasks, they can move up through the reading levels.
Teachers assigns a student a reading level (based 27 levels of difficulty). In order to determine the appropriate reading level the teacher can assign a benchmark book or passage to read and record. After the student completes the three part assessment (read, retell, and quiz) it is sent to the teachers in basket where he/she can review, using an online running record and rubric (for the retelling). The information from the running record, retelling, and quiz can then be used to assign the student the correct reading level.
From there, the teacher can either assign out all reading materials at a particular level, or ask students to read specific books from the Raz-Kids collection.
There are two choices for assignments - self-paced (the student is placed on a level and must complete each task (listen, read, and pass the quiz at 80% or above) in order to be automatically promoted to the next level. The other option is a custom assignment – the teacher can choose books and tasks for the student to complete from the entire collection.
Students can listen to books being read, or they can read them for themselves, and, as mentioned earlier, they can even record themselves reading a book and the recording will be automatically sent to the teacher. When the teacher receives the recording, they can leave comments, easily mark which words students left out, inserted, or mispronounced, and then offer immediate feedback to the student.
For practice recordings the teacher can offer immediate feedback to the student by using the message area or create notes to access at a later time.
Students can also take quizzes over the material, which are designed to assess a wide array of indicators. Students are only allowed to take each quiz twice, before they'll need to go back and reread the material. That being said, the students can access the material from inside the quiz, if they need to go back and look something up while they are taking the assessment.
On the teacher side, a wide variety of reports are available which will give you access to any type of data you may need to collect. You can look at class specific data, individual data, stats linked to particular standards, and so on.
Parents can also log in and track their students progress, plus they're given free access to the Raz-Kids mobile app as well. Plus, if the teacher is subscribed to Reading A-Z (an additional service offered from Learning A-Z) the students will have access to even more reading materials.
My final recommendation would be to give Raz-Kids a 14-day free trial over the upcoming summer break (woo!) and see if it's right for your classroom. If you have the technology resources, then the service is absolutely worth checking out. They have created an impressive collection of learning resources that make it easy for teachers to create and manage assignments, while promoting student reading growth. With all that in mind...
The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I was not compensated for writing this review.