Teach Guided Reading With Cheap Leveled Books: A Review of Reading A to Z
Download Leveled Books
Reading A to Z, one of many great on-line reading websites for teachers, is a website that teachers must subscribe to in order to use fully. The fee is between $60-$85 for a year subscription, depending on how many teachers in a school or district want a license.
Once you have a license to the site, you can download guided reading books for teachers right in your classroom, print out leveled books, and send them home with your students. Reading A to Z offers books from Guided Reading level AA to level Z, fiction or nonfiction, in a variety of subjects. Each book is illustrated with black and white pictures. Each level also provides benchmark books that a teacher can use to assess students on their own reading level to better teach guided reading.
These books are written by children's authors and focus on different reading skills and vocabulary. Leveled books from this site are great to send home for extra practice or to supplement classroom libraries when funds for guided reading books are not available.
Along with the leveled books, teachers can download and print lesson plans with ideas for introducing the book, reading and comprehension strategies that coordinate with the book, and several ideas for teaching different reading and language skills. Reading A to Z also provides up to four worksheets for each leveled book that focus on different skills and vocabulary.
Several samples are available for free to try out before you buy a year's subscription.
*Note: Continued subscription is necessary for use of downloaded copyrighted materials.
Phonics and Alphabet Books
Reading A to Z has two sections that provide useful resources for teachers of beginning or struggling readers, in addition to guided reading books. A year's subscription to the site provides teachers with 68 systematic phonics lessons and worksheets with books and flashcards to go with each lesson. Phonics lessons are divided into sections such as consonants with short vowels and word families, blends, long vowels, consonant digraphs, and so on. Quotes from teachers who love their books are on the phonics page. The only thing to watch out for with these phonics lessons is that students aren't concentrating too much on the sounds of words and not enough on the comprehension of the story. When you teach guided reading, you must focus on both aspects of reading.
The alphabet books are similar. This site offers French, English, and Spanish alphabet activities. In English, there is a picture book for each letter and worksheets in different writing styles. The Phonics and Alphabet Book are good on-line resources for students with reading problems.
There are even more goodies for teachers than mentioned in the above sections. One part of Reading A to Z discusses why poetry is important and offers poetry resources and down-loadable poems. Another useful part of this website is found under the "More Resources" tab, which offers teachers Reader's Theater scripts, trade book lesson plans, and humor books. Many great ideas and resources for making teaching reading fun, enjoyable, and exciting exist on this site if you explore all the tabs and resources Reading A to Z has to offer! So whether your looking for good web resources for students with reading problems or good web resources for teaching guided reading, you've come to the right place.