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RIF's Teacher Feature

RIF is excited to team up with Shaunda Wasik, a 3rd and 4th grade  teacher from Farmington, Minnesota. Shaunda reviewed RIF’s reading intervention program and wants to give YOU the full scoop!


For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a teacher and that dream came true. I love teaching for so many reasons, but my passion for teaching comes from building relationships with my students and seeing them truly shine in whatever they do best! Because I teach a multiage classroom, I am lucky to get to teach my students for 2 years. I love being able to truly get to know each of my students’ learning needs, interests, personalities and reading lives. Out of the 3rd and 4th grade levels, I particularly love 3rd grade. Third grade is the year where students truly begin to read to learn and read for fun. They start to build their reading stamina and they have the potential to become lifelong readers at this age!


Out of my 26 students this year I have a lot of readers (which makes a very happy teacher)! My students have really grown into readers this year through all the read alouds we do as a class. They especially love any read alouds that I read, which is why we were SO excited to receive the amazing books from the Read For Success program!


Whenever we get new books in the classroom, it causes a little excitement! So you can imagine the joy that overtook my classroom when our secretary brought down a large box full of picture books. The book Unplugged by Laura Pederson was the first book I read out of the Read for Success program. That week we were participating in “Global Day of Play” and this book was about unplugging from electronics and getting back into conversing with others around you. It resonated with my students and inspired them to think about when they could “unplug” in their daily lives as well as help their families unplug to create more quality time at home.


All the books that we read out of the Read for Success program have incorporated flawlessly into our classroom. My school district does not have a reading curriculum, so we are open to use the resources we choose to teach the ELA standards. Therefore, I have been able to use the Read for Success teacher’s guide to match the books with our literacy scope and ELA standards for the year.


The teacher’s guide has also helped me match my STEAM instruction with my literacy instruction and create lessons that are cross curricular in my classroom. Each week we read one of the books from Read for Success. The chosen book relates to the ELA standard that we focus on all week as well as STEAM content. For example, one week we were focusing on Theme in literacy and then weather and climate in science. Therefore, I chose to read the book “Blizzard” by John Rocco. We were able to discuss the theme of the book in literacy, create a “How to Survive In a Blizzard” handbook for writing and tie in what we were learning about in science into our literacy block. During our science block that week, we were able to complete an igloo investigation that incorporated engineering, technology and math! How amazing that just one book could help me teach such a variety of standards?!


Overall Read for Success has been a great addition to my classroom. There are SO many options of standards, content and educational activities to complete with each book. We are starting a school garden next year and I have already spotted a great book in Read for Success to help incorporate the garden into our classroom content. It can sometimes be difficult to find books that relate to social issues or STEAM content that are also enjoyable and relatable for students and the Read for Success program has done just that. If you are looking for a variety of books relating to different social topics and STEAM content then Read for Success would be the perfect fit for you!



Read for Success is a hit in Shaunda’s classroom and can be in yours too! Check out our website for more information.