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Applying Reading A-Z. Ellen Myers English Language Fellow Agenda. (1) What Learning A-Z Provides / Does Not Provide (2) Dimensions of English Reading Instruction & the importance of Differentiated Instruction (3) Example steps of how to implement the trial

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applying reading a z

Applying Reading A-Z

Ellen Myers

English Language Fellow


(1) What Learning A-Z Provides / Does Not Provide

(2) Dimensions of English Reading Instruction & the importance of Differentiated Instruction

(3) Example steps of how to implement the trial

(4) How to take a Running Record to determine reading proficiency

(5) Explore how to assign leveled readers on RAZ-Kids

learning a z doesn t provide
Learning A-Z Doesn’t Provide
  • A complete program for language instruction.
  • A bilingual interface
  • Mandarin messaging
  • A step-by-step guide how to “correctly” implement this resource in your EFL context.
  • A step-by-step guide how to evaluate and progress monitor learning.
  • Time
learning a z provides
Learning A-Z Provides
  • Developmentally Appropriate Leveled Resources to help teachers Differentiate Instruction
    • Teachers : Reading A-Z & Vocabulary A-Z
    • Students : RAZ Kids

Researched based online materials that are constantly updated

  • Lessons/worksheets for each book
  • Complete phonics program
  • High-frequency word books
  • Poetry resources
  • Fluency passages
  • Reader’s theater scripts
  • Alphabet resource
  • Assessments
dimensions of reading instruction
Dimensions of Reading Instruction

Building Understanding










Building a Foundation

High Frequency Words

Alphabetic Knowledge

Phonological Awareness

Systematic Phonics


“…it is unreasonable to expect that all children in a typical classroom will need the same level of instruction in any one of these skill areas.”

  • Klein (2000; p.2)
building a foundation
Building a Foundation
  • Alphabetic Knowledge
    • Teaching naming, recognition, and formationof 26 uppercase & lowercase symbols
      • Incorporate writing/printing is powerful for letter recognition
      • Using letter/key word/picture displays
  • Phonological Awareness
    • Address the sounds of a language (NOT symbols that represent them)
    • Awareness of sound at the word, rhyme, syllable, and phoneme levels
building a foundation1
Building a Foundation
  • High Frequency Words:
    • Words that are not easily sounded out or decoded and cannot be taught with pictures, but mastering a repertoire accelerates fluent and meaningful reading.

EX: I, the, a, which, their, would

    • Associate these words with other known words through multiple exposures within meaningful context.
  • Phonics:
    • Associating/representing phonemes (sounds) with graphemes (letters)
    • Explicit and systematic phonic instruction is essential to English reading, but it should not be the only form of instruction in a language program.
    • Phonic instruction should be direct, focused, and brief.
building understanding
Building Understanding
  • Fluency
    • Reading rate - appropriate pacing (Automaticity)
    • Accuracy
    • Reading expression - intonation (Prosody)
  • Vocabulary
    • Overemphasis on word instruction in isolation can actually work against students’ development as skilled readers.
  • Comprehension
    • Comprehension is best taught, practiced, and enhanced when children encounter reading materials at their developmental or instructional level.
what do efl students n eed m ost from reading
What do EFL Students Need Most from Reading?
  • ScaffoldedReading Repetition
    • Allows them to deepen their mental traces(Logan, 1997)
    • Allows them to establish prosody: identify appropriate phrasing, and determine meaning.
  • Variety of texts
    • Seeing words in multiple contexts WITH DEVELOPMENTAL SUPPORT improves recognition
    • Provide opportunities to expand conceptual knowledge as well as orthographic knowledge
    • Shifts focus to higher level skills
    • Matthew Effect (Stanovich, 1986): readers who read widely have more accurate and automatic word recognition and more extensive vocabulary.
    • Autonomy
how do i implement a learning a z t rial into our school
How do I Implement a Learning A-Z Trial into our School?
  • Know what students you will use for the trial.
  • Know the dates, times, & location for the trial.
  • Know the reading proficiency level of each student.
  • Have a 1~2 day lesson with students on how to use RAZ Kids. Provide a step-by-step guide in Mandarin.
  • Assign books on Raz Kids.
  • Continually Progress Monitor Students
1 2 what students do i use for the trial
1/2- What Students do I use for the Trial?
  • 1 classroom/license is for 36 students
    • One Junior High Class
    • One 5thgrade class
    • Mix 5th and 6th grade
  • Mixed proficiency levels
  • Times:
    • Morning before school
    • Afternoon Break
    • After school
    • Remedial Instruction
    • During English Class
3 how do i know the r eading proficiency of e ach student
3- How do I Know the Reading Proficiency of Each Student?
  • Benchmark Book Running Record – 2 at every level.
  • Benchmark Passage Running Record – 4 at every level.
  • Benchmark Book Quick Comprehension Test
    • Only if student scores an accuracy rate above 90%
  • Benchmark Passage Quick Comprehension Test
  • Quick Comprehension Retelling
marking a running record
Marking a Running Record
  • Errors (E)— Errors are tallied during the reading whenever a child does any of the following:Substitutes another word for a word in the textOmits a wordInserts a wordHas to be told a word
  • Self-correction (SC) — Self-correction occurs when a child realizes her or his error and corrects it. When a child makes a self-correction, the previous substitution is not scored as an error.
  • Meaning (M)— Meaning is part of the cueing system in which the child takes her or his cue to make sense of text by thinking about the story background, information from pictures, or the meaning of a sentence. These cues assist in the reading of a word or phrase.
  • Structure (S) — -Structure refers to the structure of language and is often referred to as syntax. Implicit knowledge of structure helps the reader know if what she or he reads sounds correct.
  • Visual (V) — Visual information is related to the look of the letters in a word and the word itself. A reader uses visual information when she or he studies the beginning sound, word length, familiar word chunks, and so forth.
let s try
Let’s Try

You will listen 4 different students in a 5th grade class.

  • Take a Running Record
  • Mark your running record
  • Total the number of E and S-C
  • Get with a partner and compare
scoring a running record
Scoring a Running Record
  • Error Rate

Error rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula:Total words / Total errors = Error rateExample:99 / 8 = 12.38, or 12 rounded to nearest whole numberThe ratio is expressed as 1:12.This means that for each error made, the student read approximately 12 words correctly.

  • Accuracy Rate

Accuracy rate is expressed as a percentage. You can calculate the accuracy rate using the following formula:(Total words read - Total errors) / Total words read x 100 = Accuracy rateExample:(99 - 8) / 99 x 100 = Accuracy rate91/99 x 100 = Accuracy rate.919 x 100 = 91.9%, or 92% rounded to the nearest whole number

scoring a running record1
Scoring a Running Record
  • Self-Correction Rate

Self-correction rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula:

(Number of errors + Number of self corrections) / Number of self corrections = Self-correction rateExample:(8 + 3) / 3 = Self-correction rate11 / 3 = 3.666, or 4 rounded to the nearest whole number

The self-correction rate is expressed as 1:4. This means that the student corrects approximately 1 out of every 4 errors.If a student is self-correcting at a rate of 1:4 or less, this indicates that she/he is self-monitoring her/his reading.

how do i give running records to each student
How do I Give Running Records to Each Student?
  • How?
    • Online with RAZ Kids
    • Individually pull students aside
    • With the help of others (whole English department staff, principal, English ability parents)
if at anytime you are having problems
If at anytime you are having problems… – Ellen Myers – Frede Chen


Klein, A. (2000). White paper: providing

differentiated reading instruction to meet the individual needs of students. Retrieved December 12, 2012 from

Logan, G.D. (1997). Automaticity and reading:

Perspectives from the instance theory of automatization. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 13(2), 123-146.

Stanovich, K.E. (1986). Matthew effects in reading:

Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 21(4), 360-407.