Product Review: I Read to Write by Zaner-Bloser

This is our school's first year taking the PARCC test, so I was definitely in resource-hoarding mode to prep for it! I wanted my kids to be exposed to as many types and varieties of texts as possible and really get the chance to dig in, code, make notes, and closely read into all that they could.

We are fortunate to have some great fiction and nonfiction short texts at our school, but they are books and not the best for underlining and notetaking. Plus, I want my kids to be able to respond to text-specific questions and not all of these include that option.

I knew that when Zaner-Bloser contacted me about reviewing their new I Read to Write kits that these would fit the bill perfectly.... and they didn't disappoint!

As you can see, these are small, consumable books that contain nonfiction, high-interest articles with tons of features to help support any nonfiction work in your classroom. Plus, at the end of each article, there are specific questions (both multiple choice and written) for kids to refer back to the text to help them answer.

There is an even more extensive writing section after these pages that have kids use a planer to plan for a specific type of writing!

But what I really loved were those tiny, yellow sticky-note images on the right-hand side of the article. These were the meat of the text-dependent question work and really had kids go back and underline, label, and then paraphrase, explain, or quote the text.

Zaner-Bloser's use of academic vocabulary was perfect PARCC prep and even went really well with our Academic Vocabulary Posters. We had the chance to discuss each term and underline, make notes, and more on the text itself as we looked for answers and explanations of our thinking.

There is a very handy Teacher's Guide.... and I don't say that often.... that explains the key vocabulary, ways to help strugglers, and provides some example responses, so these could easily be used with a substitute or even in smaller groups with a para.

If you're interested in checking these sets out, they are available for Grades 2-6. Visit Zaner-Bloser's website HERE to learn more. You can even request a *FREE* sample to be sent your way HERE.

Disclaimer: Zaner-Bloser sent me these products to use, but all opinions, photos, and recommendations are my own. I only recommend what I use and love!

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