Get Students Started

Here are a few tips to help get students off to a good start.

Technology

Make sure you have the right tools.

Windows or Mac Computer iPad or Android Tablet*
  • Internet connection broadband is best
  • Current browser with Adobe Flash
  • Head set (best). Alternatively, a microphone and speakers
*for Raz-Kids and Reading Solution customers
  • Wifi connection
  • Current app from your device's app store
  • Built-in microphone and speakers

See our System Requirements FAQ or our Audio Recorder FAQ for more detailed information.

Student Placement

Check your Roster or Assignment page to ensure students start at their developmentally appropriate level.

Assessments help you determine where to start students. If you do not have time to assess students, you can use the previous year's performance or your instincts regarding students' performance to place them. This ensures that students can get started immediately with any self-paced assignments. Future data from assessments may reveal that you should adjust a student's placement.

Learning A-Z Placement Recommendations:
  • Reading Solution and Raz-Kids
    Assign and score a Benchmark Assessment to find a student's instructional or independent reading level in the Learning A-Z Text Leveling System.
  • Headsprout
    Use the Placement Test to determine an episode starting point within the instructional sequence. Pre-K and kindergarten students should start on Episode 1 of Headsprout Early Reading
  • ReadyTest A-Z
    Students should start with the first Practice Test that matches their grade level.
  • Writing A-Z
    Personalize each student's writing instruction by evaluating his or her writing according to the attributes of each text type. Writing level for each student may vary by text type. Writing A-Z recommends that you use approximate grade-level correlations to start each student, and then you can make adjustments to writing level for each student and each text type as needed.
    - Emergent (pre-kindergarten-kindergarten)
    - Beginning (grade 1)
    - Early Developing (grade 2)
    - Developing (grade 3)
    - Fluent (grades 4-6)

Independent Practice Time

As with most things in life, reading gets better with practice. You can use classroom computers or the computer lab in your school to schedule independent practice time, or have students access the site from any computer with an Internet connection. For Reading Solution and Raz-Kids customers, students can practice using our free apps for iOS or Android devices.

Recommendations for Student Practice and Pacing:
  • Reading Solution and Raz-Kids
    Provide independent reading practice in class for 15-20 minutes a day 3-4 times a week as a reasonable goal to set for your students. Students with Internet access outside of school should strive for even more independent reading practice.
  • Headsprout
    Strive for a pace that allows students to complete at least three Headsprout episodes per week. An average episode takes 15-25 minutes to complete, so allow 30 minutes to ensure students have enough time for each Headsprout session. Students in first grade and above should strive to complete the whole sequence. Pre-K and kindergarten students are recommended to stop at Episode 40.
  • ReadyTest A-Z
    Most students will feel prepared and more confident during high-stakes tests, if they are assigned and complete all 20 Practice Tests prior to end-of-year testing. Have students complete one test each week for a steady pace or complete each test one after the other for a more challenging pace.
  • Writing A-Z
    Research recommends daily writing practice. Give students open access to the online writing tools to enhance their writing activity and increase their engagement during independent writing time.

Send Home Information

Personalized Student Login Cards and a Letter to Parents found on the Roster page have all the log-in information that students and parents need.

Incentives & Awards

Turn on the Book Room to motivate students with free-choice reading and turn on the Incentives that allow students to spend earned stars to personalize their Robot avatar and to purchase items for their Raz Rocket. You may disable the Book Room, Raz Rocket, or Robot Builder for the class or an individual student if enough time is not being spent on assignments.

  • Reading Solution and Raz-Kids
    Give students access to the On Your Own Book Room to motivate them with a vast collection of books they can choose to read. Students earn stars for each book read and for each book-related quiz they pass.
  • Headsprout
    Students can be given access to the Book Room where they can read Sprout Stories from any of the episodes they have completed. Students earn stars from reading the books.
  • ReadyTest A-Z
    Students complete the Practice Tests and correct them to receive stars. They receive bonus stars for completing all of the Practice Tests they have been assigned.
  • Writing A-Z
    Students earn stars when they complete compositions using any of the online writing tools. You can award additional bonus stars after reviewing student work in your In Basket.

Audio Recordings

Provide headsets for the best sound quality and to minimize disturbance and distraction resulting from students listening to books, responding to instructions, or from making recordings.

Types of headsets include:
Plug-in USB (recommended)
Plug-in mini-jack
Wireless

Our users report success with Logitech's ClearChat headsets.