Spring conferences are fast approaching! As you share your students’ fluency progress with their parents/guardians, point out the ways they can support this progress at home. Consider offering our “fluency at home” letter, which explains to parents how they can use teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring at home.
The most helpful tool to mention to parents/guardians is One Minute Reader. One Minute Reader is the perfect home supplement to your students’ Read Naturally program. It’s easy, affordable, and available as an iPad app or in book-and-CD format. Students will benefit from using One Minute Reader now and especially over the summer. Offer our “avoid the summer slide” letter to educate parents/guardians on the summer slide and inform them how to use the One Minute Reader program to avoid it.
As always, please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can support you in your communication with parents/guardians. Get in touch at 800-788-4085 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can direct you toward the handouts and resources you need. We wish you a productive conference season!
This time of year can find many students lacking in motivation. Thankfully, there are many simple ways to spice up your Read Live or Encore program to keep your students engaged.
One easy way to give students a motivation boost is to have them track the number of stories they complete each week. As they try to match or beat their score from the previous week, students are incentivized to put forth their best effort each day.
Similarly, last year we shared a sticker system developed by our educational consultant, Karen Hunter. Students affix a sticker to their folder each time they complete a story, giving them visual proof of their progress toward completion of the level. Karen observed that this visual proof and the simple act of sticking something to their folders gave students the extra boost they needed. Details on this system, as well as links to free resources, are available here.
Students are also motivated by their quiz and Wordtastic data. Keeping track of their scores encourages them to strive for improvement from story to story. In fact, many Read Live students are unaware of the detailed charts the program compiles on their story and quiz data. We’ve found that showing students these charts can be highly motivating. To learn more about these charts, look at “Reviewing Student Work” on page 63 of the Read Live User Guide.
As we posted here, our brains have been scientifically proven to work better when we’re motivated. That’s why the Read Naturally strategy’s progress monitoring system is so successful. Do you have additional ways to boost your students’ motivation? We’d love to hear your ideas!
Are you looking for a way to quickly and accurately assess your students’ phonics abilities? Look no further than Read Naturally’s Quick Phonics Screener (QPS).
Teachers consistently report that QPS provides highly valuable information through an easy and efficient process. This criterion-referenced assessment is appropriate for kindergarteners, adult learners, and all students in between.
Developed by acclaimed reading researcher Dr. Jan Hasbrouck, QPS is a popular and affordable choice for teachers who need robust, easy-to-interpret phonics data. Teachers administer quick, untimed assessments and receive clear information on which phonics skills students have mastered and which skills need additional instruction.
QPS includes three forms: A, B, and C. Each form includes several tasks that measure a student’s ability to recognize, decode, and pronounce the most common phonetic elements. The three forms allow teachers to track progress over time, usually in the fall, winter, and spring. Although QPS is intended as a diagnostic assessment, the three forms also enable teachers to use QPS as a formative or summative assessment if they desire. If used in this capacity, teachers will modify the way in which they interpret and apply the assessment results.
We think you’ll find QPS to be a useful addition to your reading assessment repertoire. Click here for more information on this affordable tool, including sample assessments and scoring sheets. As always, contact us with any questions.
Congratulations to Star Student Gabriel B. from High Point, NC! Gabriel is a seventh-grade student at Ferndale Middle School. Gabriel’s teacher, Julie Kimsey, had this to say about him:
Gabriel B. is a 12 year old seventh-grade student at Ferndale Middle School in High Point, NC. He is an English as a Second Language student and also has a learning disability. We implemented the Read Naturally program in our ESL classes in September of this school year. Gabriel could be the poster child for Read Naturally! The systemic approach to the process really matches his learning style. He has passed more stories than any other student and is making great progress in his fluency and comprehension. On Gabriel’s placement test, he read 66 words, with 10 errors for a WCPM score of 56. On his recent progress monitoring, he read 79 words, but with only 5 errors, for a WCPM of 74! A great improvement! He is also getting more of the comprehension questions correct each story. Even more impressive is how well he knows the process and how much he enjoys reading the selections.
The Read Naturally Star of the Month program is designed to celebrate students who work hard to improve their reading skills. Each month, we select one student to feature in our newsletter. The selected student will win a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card, and the school or teacher who nominated the student will receive a $200 gift certificate for Read Naturally materials.
If you entered the drawing and your student did not win this month, he or she will remain in the selection pool for future months!
To nominate your deserving student, visit the entry form.
Photo courtesy of basketman / freedigitalphotos.net
Next week, we will be exhibiting at the National Association of Psychologists (NASP) Conference in Washington, DC from February 18 – 21, 2014. This conference brings together more than 6,000 attendees focused on the education and mental health issues affecting children and youth. If you are able to attend, make sure to visit our booth #507 for a chance to win free curriculum. We will also be presenting a presentation.
Reading Assessments: A Foundation for an RTI Model
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
4:30 pm – 5:20 pm
Presenter: Debby Mossburg
We will also be participating in the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) Conference as both an exhibitor and a presenter. Over 1,000 attendees will convene in Anaheim, CA from February 19 – 22, 2014. Be sure to visit us in booth #309 if you are attending. We will also be presenting.
Reading Assessments: A Foundation for an RTI Model
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Presenter: Kristi Vincent
We love meeting our customers at conferences throughout the country. To see our full conference calendar, visit our website.
When we developed Read Naturally Encore and Read Live, we placed a special emphasis on vocabulary development. Students using these tools now have more vocabulary support than ever, and their reading comprehension is benefitting.
For some students, however, vocabulary is still a barrier. When you analyze your students’ quiz data, notice how they perform on the vocabulary questions. If a student tends to answer these questions incorrectly on the first attempt, he or she may need additional vocabulary support. It’s easy to incorporate this support into your existing Read Live or Encore program.
In Read Live, have students click on and read along with each of the bold-faced vocabulary words prior to the Read Along step. In Encore, have students read along with the bold-faced vocabulary words in the audio-supported glossary. Becoming familiar with difficult vocabulary before reading the story helps the students understand the words in context and increases the likelihood that they’ll retain the meanings.
For students who need even more support, consider building a Vocabulary Knowledge Rating exercise into your Read Live or Encore program. This exercise aligns with the Common Core State Standards and is proven to boost the comprehension of challenging words.
Finally, if you feel your student could benefit from a more explicit approach to vocabulary instruction, consider our popular Take Aim at Vocabulary program. This program targets vocabulary development while supporting fluency and comprehension.
Do you have additional questions on how to support your students? Get in touch at 800.788.4085 or email@example.com, and let us know how we can help.
Now that I have the floor, I’d like to give my two cents on our Idioms series. Here’s the scoop: In the English language, idioms are a dime a dozen. We’re up to our ears in them! Native speakers are old hand at incorporating idioms into conversation, but ELL students are often behind the eight ball. When they hear these silly expressions, they must think we’re off our rockers. These students are probably tearing their hair out trying to understand what we mean! To make a long story short: Idioms are fun for us, but they’re driving our ELL students up the wall.
Photo courtesy of Master Isolate Images / freedigitalphotos.net
Don’t leave them to sink or swim. Read Naturally’s Idioms series will help your ELL students get ahead of the game. This Read Naturally strategy series helps ELL students improve their reading fluency and teaches common idioms such as “spill the beans” and “pinch pennies.” Each level includes extra audio and vocabulary support designed specifically as a shot in the arm for students learning the English language. For your ELL students, this series is a no-brainer. Soon they’ll be head and shoulders above the rest, no longer banging their heads against a brick wall as they lend an ear to their English-speaking peers.
So let’s get down to brass tacks. Right now, for those of you who strike while the iron is hot, this series is 50% off. I’m not pulling your leg! This series and its incredible price will fill the bill even for those of you on a shoestring budget. Ordering is a piece of cake. Click here to order online, or call 800.788.4085 to chew the fat with our wonderful customer service staff. Don’t miss the boat! Get this show on the road and your ELL students will be on cloud nine.
Want an extra ace up your sleeve? Tell us how many idioms were used in this article, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a FREE Idioms level of your choice. To enter the contest, like us on Facebook, and then email the number of idioms to firstname.lastname@example.org. Shake a leg! We’ll announce the winner on Facebook later this month.