CASRC and CHKRC Online Trainings

Training Resources

Connecting with Students Through Read-Alouds

CASRC Library Resources

After School Elementary Themed Sets Series
Designed to promote literacy through high-interest books in a variety of subjects, this series uses thematic, literature-based activities to build reading engagement. Students read about machines, animals, music, and art, weather, and history themes. Hands-on, post-reading activities include games, puzzles, and more. Lessons follow a simple, step-by-step instructional plan for introducing key vocabulary, discussing the literature, building knowledge, and practing key comprehension skills.

AfterSchool KidzLit Expanded Series
This expanded edition of the AfterSchool KidzLit Series contains six new themes for elementary school. The resources in the Series use literature as a springboard to promote reading, critical thinking, and social skills. Students read about foreign cultures, exotic places, natural phenomenon, everyday heroes, and more. Lessons include discussion, vocabulary development, hands-on character education games, and other cooperative activities.

AfterSchool KidzLit Series
This program uses trade books and literature-based activities to promote reading for enjoyment and social skills through vocabulary development, knowledge building, and critical thinking. Cooperative games, art, music, drama, and other hands-on projects are combined with read alouds and group work to build motivation to engage in reading. Primary students learn about self-respect, honesty, traditions, fairness, courage, caring, and friendship in different families. Intermediate students learn about respect, trust, fairness, responsibility, and perserverance across generations. Middle school students learn about courage and being yourself by reading about famous people and other cultures.

After School Middle School Themed Sets Series
Designed to promote literacy through high-interest books in a variety of subjects, this series uses thematic, literature-based activities to build reading engagement. Students read about animals, weather, art, and history themes. Hands-on, post-reading activities include games, puzzles, and more. Lessons follow a simple, step-by-step instructional plan for introducing key vocabulary, discussing the literature, building knowledge, and practicing key comprehension skills, such as comparing/contrasting, categorizing/classifying, and sequencing.

AMP Reading System Series
The Achieve Maximum Potential (AMP) Reading System targets middle and high school students reading at the third-to sixth-grade levels. It consists of three levels based on students’ approximate reading range. Each level offers a total of seven units organized by the following comprehension strategies shown to have the greatest impact: summarizing, questioning, previewing, using text structure, visualizing, inferencing, and using metacognition. Students self-select reading from a variety of high-interest books, andhave many opportunities to practice each strategy, incorporating vocabulary, fluency, and writing into each exercise.

A to Zoo Subject Access to Children’s Picture Books (#9086)
This resource is a bibliographic reference guide for educators to identify literature titles for primary-age students. It covers approximately 13,000 titles published between 2000 and 2009 and recommended by reviewing journals. The titles are organized by subject, title, and author. Additional bibliographic information is included.

Best of Books Series
This series consist of two reference guides for educators to identify literature titles for secondary students. Each of the guides covers approximately 2,000 titles published recently and recommended by reviewing journals. The titles are organized by theme and include plot summaries, citations, reading levels, and additional bibliographic information.

Building Fluency Through Reader’s Theater Series
The kits in this series provide scripts, guidance, and materials for integrating Reader’s Theater, a method for building reading fluency. Students practice reading aloud and acting as they read from plays based on grade-level themes. Each grade-level set contains two scripts in each of these content areas: science, mathematics, language arts, and social studies (a total of eight scripts per kit). Each kit includes sample scripts, a teacher’s guide with a CD-ROM, overhead transparencies and a CD with songs and poems, and student reproducibles. Additional components are available from the publisher.

Comprehension Strategies Kit (CSK) Series
This scaffolded reading series is designed for students in grades one through seven who need support with reading skills. Through interactive lessons, students practice the following research-based reading strategies: monitor and clarify; make connections; visualize; ask questions, infer and predict; and summarize. Modeling transparencies allow instructors to give students a brief and direct explanation of how to use each strategy, including “think aloud” examples of the thinking process used by proficient readers. Practice cards containing colorful illustrations and short fiction and nonfiction passages help students build understanding as they read along and interact with each story.

Courage to be Yourself, The: True Stories by Teens About Cliques and Overcoming Peer Pressure (#7876)
This resource consist of an anthology of 26 personal stories written by teens, and an accompanying leader’s guide. The writers describe how they dealt with different types of conflict, from teasing, bullying, and harassment to confronting peer pressure and understanding cultural diversity. The follow-up activities are designed to help readers learn about personal identitiy from the stories. The leader’s guide offers “sessions,” or follow-up for leading the reading and supporting comprehension.

Hot Topics: High-Interest Reading (#8050)
This resource uses high-interest topics to engage reluctant readers. Students read about ancient legends, unusual sports, mysterious animals, and other attention-grabbing themes, such as special effects and scientific breakthroughs. The short reading selections reflect a broad combination of genres, including biographies, folk talkes, and fiction stories that appeal to target age levels. Colorful illustrations help bring the reading life. The accompanying lessons provide guided and cooperative group learning, such as creative writing, dramatization, role-play, and other interactive activities to enhance the reading experience.

Interactive Think-Aloud Lessons: 25 Surefire Ways to Engage students and improve comprehension (#8039)
This resource provides background information, ideas, and lessons for educators to use think-alouds, a research-based method for helping students develop comprehension. Part one presents information on how to engage students in reading through using exemplary literature, props and music, and scaffolded language. Part two provides 25 interactive lessons to teach students the following strategies: connecting, predicting, inferring, questioning, summarizing, monitoring/clarifying, and evaluating. The accompanying DVD contains videos of the lessons used in authentic classroom settings and supporting resources.

Marilyn Burns Classroom Math Library Series, The (S329)
This resource uses literature-based lessons to help students build conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts. Background information explaining the research and rationale for using student books to teach mathematics and exemplary children’s literature are included. The accompanying lessons provide a summary of each story, interesting facts related to each story, an overview of the standards and skills, and a teacher narrative describing the lesson. A literature book set is included.

Multicultural Read-Aloud Kit (#9151)
This kit contains a sampling of exemplary multicultural children’s literature featured in CASRC’s Connecting with Students Through Read-Alouds online training module. A variety of genres, authors, and target audiences are represented. The storylines promote universal values, diversity and inclusion among students while reflecting accuracy and respect for cultures, bias-free messages, authentic character representation, appropriate illustrations, author qualifications, and other criteria for exceptional literature. Titles include, Who Belongs Here? An American Story, The Story of Ruby Bridges, Princess Smartypants, A Day’s Work, and more.

Playbook Reader’s Theater Series
The resources in this series provide scripts for students to act out stories in entertaining formats. Students practice reading aloud and acting skills as they perform plays based on a variety of age-appropriate themes. The scripts are designed for groups of students whose reading levels vary, but who can all benefit from interactive role-play experiences. Character summaries help students understand their roles, and color-coded scripts allow them to follow the characters’ lines closely. Full-color illustrations are featured in each story booklet, which also offers tips for getting started and making the most of the script.

Read for Real: Nonfiction Strategies for Reading Results Series
Designed to help students tackle challenging academic reading, this resource builds fluency and comprehension through flexible lessons. Nonfiction passages and a variety of follow-up writing activities allow students to deepen their understanding by reading aloud and responding to literature. Key vocabulary and opportunities for students to practice key strategies, such as making connections or identifying cause and effect, are presented in each lesson.

Reader’s Theater Complete Folktales, Myths and Legends Series
The resources in this series offer a variety of scripts from various renowned fiction stories for students to act out in entertaining ways. Students practice oral reading and acting skills as they perform plays based on famous folktales, myths, and legends. The scripts are designed for groups of students whose reading levels vary, but who can all benefit from working collaboratively while exploring rich literature. The English set includes 48 titles while the Spanish version includes 24 titles. Both sets contain a detailed overview with guidance for implementation, and multiple copies of all titles.

Real Jobs, Real Stories Curriculum (#8852)
This resource is designed by and for teens to teach workplace skills, including basic professional ethics, money management, teamwork, performance, and more. It includes a book containing 33 true stories about on-the-job experiences, a success kit designed to help students record their strengths, future plans, and key learnings related to work, and a leader’s guide with background information and interactive student activities.

Real Stories, Real Teens (#7875)
This resource consists of an anthology of stories written by teens, an accompanying Leader’s Guide, and a set of three novels to complement the lessons. Stories written by teen writers describe how they coped with challenges in their lives. The activities help readers discuss the stories, reflect upon how to tackle similar situations, or support their peers through difficult situations. The stories in the reader are organized by themes based on youth development principles: making connections, being yourself, the meaning of friendship, people in “my world,” dealing with difficult situations, and taking control of your future.

Recommended Literature: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (#8301)
This resource contains lists and short summaries of over 3,000 recommended books for students in kindergarten through grade twelve. It is organized by grade-level ranges, and contains a section on books written in other languages. Appendixes include a guide to literary awards, literary genres, book classifications, and connections to content standards.

Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators (#8059)
What makes picture books appealing to young readers can also inspire them to be artistic. This resource uses illustrated stories as springboards for creativity. It provides over 100 art projects based on classic children’s literature. Using readily accessible materials, students imitate the various styles of illustrators to create collages, crafts, paintings, and sketches.

Struggle to Be Strong, The: True Stories About Overcoming Tough Times (#7874)
This resource consists of an anthology of personal stories written by teens, and an accompanying Leader’s Guide. The writers describe how they overcame adversity and became stronger by dealing with drug addiction, abusive parents, HIV-infected friends or parents, homosexuality, school problems, and other challenges. The follow-up activities are designed to help young people learn from the stories. The 30 stories in the reader are organized by the following themes: Insight, Independence, Relationships, Initiative, Creativity, Humor, and Morality.

Understanding Diversity Through Novels and Picture Books (#8969)
This resource provides multicultural literature lists, accompanying discussion questions, and additional resources to support the use of the books in learning environments. An examination of research on diversity and multiculturalism is coupled with effective use of novels and picture books for youths. The authors present key criteria for selecting exemplary books and focus on different aspects of diversity, including ethnicity, age, gender, religion, learning disabilities, and sexual orientation. The lists reflect a variety of genres, authors, and illustrators.

CASRC Resource Library
The CASRC is a statewide circulating library with health, safety, and academic resources available for four week loan, with free delivery, to California after school programs.


Commonly Confused Words (PDF)

Comprehension Strategies (PDF)

How to Conduct Read-Alouds (PDF)

Multicultural Literature List (PDF)

Vocabulary Strategies (PDF)

General Information

Offers a variety of projects and resources, workshops and consulting services, and scholarship grounded in equity and social justice in schools and communities.

The Elementary Science Integration Project
Promotes connections between language arts instruction and inquiry-based science in grades K-8; maintains a library of science trade books; provides professional development for educators.

Jill Kerper Mora’s Web Site at San Diego State University
Provides resources and tools for using multicultural literature to teach reading.

Reach Out and Read
Promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Reading is Fundamental
Prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most.

Reading Rockets
Provides research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a strong, confident reader.

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