I recently received a pleasant surprise at my front door via FedEx… A packet of leveled readers from Newbridge & Sundance Publishing. As negative behaviors in school are often highly correlated with academic struggles, particularly in reading, I felt a review of this product was appropriate. (Even if it isn’t within the typical scope of Behavior Rescue).
It is important to note that these items were not delivered as a requested review, but instead through a program to provide samples, which means that you can order your very own sample here.
A set of 2 Laugh-Out-Loud chapter books and 1 Weird, Wild, and Wonderful science non-fiction book on Frogs were provided.
The text on frogs provided a large amount of information about frogs and amphibians, as well as interesting and vivid photos to capture student attention. Information was provided in short snippets, to avoid overwhelming students. A graphic organizer and lesson plan were provided for teachers to use, and the variety of information provided in the text lends itself to multiple days of instruction. On the downside, images are very vivid and because text is not presented in a linear fashion, it may require some practice for students to follow the information on each page. Assessments are simplistic, but could be modified to review more information that is presented in the text. Overall, the text was interesting and engaging for students, but might have been a little distracting due to format.
The Laugh-Out-Loud Chapter Books; however, were wonderful! Both books provided clear text and vocabulary, while still providing some openings to discuss inferences. William Wild was a fun read, even as an adult, involving imaginative play. Follow-up questions were provided, in the book, as a check for understanding and the About the Author & Illustrator information was engaging to read. The characters and setting are described clearly, with illustrations at the beginning of the text, aiding understanding. The Heebie Jeebies was a second book included and involved nighttime monster (who were pretty friendly), as well as sibling themes. A glossary was included in both texts, with illustrations for each term. Each book provided a lesson plan guide and comprehension worksheets, as well as tips for English Language Learners. The books are labeled for grades 2-6, and although they may appear a bit juvenile for the 6th grade, look comparable to The Magic Treehouse or Pee Wee Scouts series, making them appropriate for struggling readers.
Overall, I would rate the chapter books as entertaining, although the high quality of both sets of books is clear. Unfortunately, in order to access the teacher’s guides it looks as though a “classroom pack” has to be purchased at $336 for Loud-Out-Loud Chapter books and $969 for the Weird, Wild, and Wonderful books, based on the price sheet included in the set. As far as cost of leveled readers, this doesn’t seem excessive by any means, but it is still pricey.
As I noted before, a sampler pack is available for free here.
Please share your thoughts, if you review a sample set.