Ready to Read 2014

Issue: Volume 93, Number 19

Posted: 28 October 2014
Reference #: 1H9csN

Coming soon to your school – twenty new Ready to Read books, the most ever in a single year!

Written by a variety of well-known Ready to Read authors and illustrated by talented New Zealand artists, these texts have a strong New Zealand flavour and themes that your students will relate to.

There are sixteen new guided texts, mostly for the first year of school, covering all levels of the colour wheel from Magenta to Blue 3. These engaging stories are specifically designed to support students in developing a self-extending reading processing system. There is something for everyone here – two books that include aspects of Māori language and culture, two that feature Pasifika children, and two that explore aspects of the Christchurch earthquakes from children’s viewpoints.

As well as the sixteen texts for guided reading, there are four big books for shared reading. These include three humorous fantasy stories, which teachers suggest will quickly become firm favourites with your class. Another shared book (Dawn Parade) is a moving account of a boy’s first experience of an Anzac Day dawn parade. This book includes factual information about the origins of Anzac Day and aligns with the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, which featured in recent articles and stories in the Junior Journal and School Journal.

Teacher support materials (TSM) for every book describe key characteristics of the texts and provide guidance on how teachers can use the texts to maximise students’ learning. They suggest ways to introduce the texts and to monitor and support students as they build their reading processing systems and think critically about what they are reading. The TSM also provide information about related texts within the series, including links between texts for shared reading and guided reading and links between instructional reading and the wider classroom literacy programme. These TSM, along with audio versions of each book, are available on the Ready to Read page(external link).

You will also find a wealth of other information about the Ready to Read series there.

New texts for shared reading

Four books above the level that students can initially access themselves:

  • Monster's Lunch
  • Haere Atu!
  • Lost
  • Dawn Parade

New texts for guided reading

Sixteen books designed so that, after a careful introduction by the teacher, students can read and problem-solve their way through them, largely by themselves:

Title Colour wheel level
The Water Slide Magenta
At the Beach Magenta
Grandma’s Vase Red 1
Mrs Brown’s Garden Red 2
Earmuffs Red 3
In the Bush Red 3
Tahi, Rua, Toru, Whā Yellow 1
Walking to School Yellow 2
A Bird in the Classroom Yellow 2
A Friend for Mateo Yellow 2
Simi Helps Yellow 3
Noisy House Blue 1
Stay Where You Are Blue 2
The Night the House Shook Blue 3
Isobel’s Garden Turquoise 1
Te Pēpi Hou Turquoise 2

Text trialling

The Ready to Read books have been trialled by teachers throughout New Zealand and reflect the new levelling criteria, which was developed from the recent Ready to Read review. Trialling is undertaken to clarify the learning opportunities within the texts, determine text levels, and identify any changes that may be needed. It allows teachers to have direct input into the books and to gain a better understanding of the materials they use to support their students’ reading.

We would like to thank all those teachers who trialled the new Ready to Read titles this year. There is always a need for more teachers to help with trialling, so if you would like to be involved, please email our publishing provider at:

New Zealand Sign Language reading resources

This year, to support New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), the Ministry of Education collaborated with Deaf Aotearoa to develop a number of Ready to Read titles as e-books. These e-books are targeted resources intended to support effective guided and shared reading instruction for NZSL users. Six titles were released in May and a further ten titles have recently been added. They are available through the Ministry of Education store pages on iTunes (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android devices) and are free to download. If you wish to use these e-books with other students, please note that Ready to Read books for guided reading are designed to be used initially as unseen texts with careful teacher monitoring and support. Independent use of the e-books by students is likely to be most effective after a guided reading lesson.

Webinar for teachers

A webinar for providers of professional development was held recently to discuss the Ready to Read review and the latest developments in the series. This will be followed in late November by a webinar for teachers. Modules to support the webinars and a recording of the webinars will be made available on Literacy Online.

For full details of the upcoming November webinar, see the “News” section of Literacy Online(external link)

We'd love to hear from you

We’re always keen to hear your feedback on the Ready to Read series. For example, if you have any comments on titles or TSMs you found particularly effective, any suggestions for future titles, or any questions about these changes, please contact our publishing provider by email at:


BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 6:08 pm, 28 October 2014

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