In order to know whether a student has made enough progress to exit a Read Naturally program, you need to assess the student with grade-level material. It is important to celebrate your student’s daily growth from cold to hot timings in a story, the student’s goal being increased and the student moving up a level. It is also exciting to see a student’s cold-timing scores increase from story to story. These are all indications that the student’s reading skills are improving and that he or she is making progress in the program. But it is essential to keep the long-term goal in mind.
Remember, your long-term goal is to have a student reading unpracticed, grade-level material at or above the 50th percentile when compared to national norms. So look at the student’s most recent (winter) benchmark assessment. If the student didn’t reach his or her long-term goal on the winter benchmark assessment, continue the student in the program and evaluate the student’s progress again following the spring benchmark assessment.
If the student was able to read unpracticed, grade-level material at the 50th percentile or above when compared to national norms, then the student is ready to leave Read Naturally because he or she has reached the long-term goal. If the student just barely reached the 50th percentile, it might be better to continue the intervention for a little longer to ensure success.
Because the Read Naturally program provides so much support for a student, it is not uncommon for a student to be working successfully in a level above his or her grade level. However, a fourth-grade student working in level 5.0 or 5.6 may or may not be ready to exit the program. Base your decision about whether or not a student should continue in a Read Naturally program on his or her results on a grade-level benchmark assessment.
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