by Moriah Harris Rodger
Reading A-Z, 1630 E. River Road Suite #121, Tucson, AZ 85718-5834
Phone: (520) 327-3730; Fax: (520) 327-9934 Mon - Fri, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. MST
Order Phone: (866) 889-3729
ReadingA-Z.com is a Website that offers all of the materials necessary to teach children how to read. The site provides a free tour of the different services that Reading A-Z has to offer its subscribers. However, once you subscribe, the website becomes a teacherís best friend. The materials offered by the company include hundreds of downloadable fact and fiction books, lessons, resources for reading activities and reading assessment tools.
The system is designed so that you can teach one or more children how to read at the same time. Reading A-Z did this by organizing the entire program into 27 different levels of difficulty and offering at least 12 books per level, levels matched to reading ability instead of age. This allows for an adjustable teaching pace for different levels of learning.
Reading A-Zís intention is that the books are downloaded and printed so the child has a physical version of the book that he or she can keep. These simple books, costing you only paper and ink, will be much more cost-effective than it would be to buy a similar book at a bookstore. Another advantage is that you can choose to print only the books that your child needs. The program being online and not downloaded allows for the materials to be accessible from wherever is most convenient for you. In this way, Reading A-Z allows for access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any computer that has Internet accessibility, worldwide.
All of the books in the program have been carefully leveled according to difficulty so that parents will find it easier to just go down the list of books instead of skimming hundreds of books, looking for a book that isnít too easy or difficult for their children. They can also trust that the program has chosen quality reading materials that not only teach reading comprehension, but also instruct in science, social studies and vocabulary, for example.
Each book is part of a whole lesson that can be made up of the read-aloud book, lesson explanations for the parent, worksheets, flashcards, chants and assessments. This way, parents can be sure that their children are learning the skill, or phonemic awareness, taught in the book. According to Reading A-Z, "Phonemic Awareness is important for reading success."
The lessons teach the phonetic elements (sounds) and their corresponding symbols (letters) with "hundreds of downloadable resources to help children master the alphabet" like alphabet books, alphabet chants, picture and letter flashcards, letter-formation practice sheets, letter friezes, bingo cards and a bank of teaching strategies.
After introducing the child to all of these resources, parents can determine if their children have succeeded at that reading level through different assessments offered by Reading A-Z. The assessments include running records, comprehension quizzes, fluency passages and retelling rubrics, all different ways to be sure that a child has acquired the necessary abilities to move on through the program.
Other resources to support reading instruction are high-frequency wordbooks, poetry books, vocabulary books and cards, readersí theater scripts, fluency passages, graphic organizers and other teaching aids. These resources prove that Reading A-Z goes beyond the average reading tool to teach children other advantages to reading, like poetry and theater.
The best part of the resources from this program is that everything is explained thoroughly, with many ideas about how to make each part successful. For example, the program offers play scripts so that children can practice reading aloud and characterization. It also explains, with great detail, how to introduce and use the script so that the children receive the greatest benefit.
In addition, if a user is having trouble with any part of the program, Reading A-Z offers customer service, friendly people to help with even the simplest problems. The office can be reached at 866-889-3729 Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. MST. This can be a great resource when a user is having trouble downloading a book or needs any other technical support.
Different rates are available for different situations and needs. An "individual basic" subscription ($49.95 per year) provides all of the books, lessons, worksheets, running records, flashcards and alphabet materials, but it does not provide high-frequency word books, sound and symbol books, fluency passages, readersí theater or comprehension quizzes. However, all of the materials on Reading A-Z are provided with an "individual plus" subscription ($74.95 per year). Subscribers also have the option of subscribing as a group. A group of at least 10 users can subscribe for $39.95 each for one year, and a group of at least 50 users can subscribe for $29.95 each for one year, both with access to the whole program. For more information on pricing and usage, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-889-3731. M.H.R.
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