Listen for Sounds in Words The teacher provides the sound of a featured letter or letter combination, and the students decide if various words contain that sound. This listening activity promotes phonemic awareness, in particular the ability to recognize the featured sounds in each word.
Blend Sounds Into Words The teacher blends letter sounds together slowly, and the students determine what word the teacher has made. This listening activity improves phonemic awareness, in particular the ability to recognize words made by sounds or word parts blended together.
Practice Letter Sounds (Practice Letter Sounds With Teacher Support and Practice Letter Sounds Without Teacher Support) Students practice the letter sounds with and then without teacher support. These activities promote the mastery of the sounds of the featured letters.
Decode Sound-Out Words With Teacher Support The teacher and the students slowly blend the letter sounds into words. This teaches the decoding of phonetically regular words (sound-out words) containing the featured sounds. Many of these words are also high-frequency words.
Read the Spell-Out Word(s) With Teacher Support The teacher guides the students through the process of reading the word, spelling the word, and reading the word again until the students can do these steps independently. This teaches a strategy for learning phonetically irregular high-frequency words (spell-out words).
Read the Lesson Words Without Teacher Support The students read each lesson word as the teacher points to the word. This promotes mastery of decoding sound-out words containing featured sounds and mastery of reading the spell-out words taught in the lesson.
Make a Prediction The group writes a prediction sentence together. This pre-reading activity prepares the students’ minds for reading the story.
Cold Timing (Cold Timing for One Minute and Mark the Cold-Timing Score on the Graph) The teacher times the class for one minute as each student reads the story independently and determines his or her words correct per minute. Each student graphs his or her cold-timing score in blue. This step establishes a baseline for progress monitoring, the component of the Read Naturally Strategy that motivates the student to improve.
Read Along With the Teacher The students read along quietly with the teacher, stopping to decode three to five unfamiliar words containing the featured sound. This step is the teacher-modeling component of the Read Naturally Strategy, which helps the students learn new words and master others as well as learn proper pronunciation, expression, and phrasing.
Practice and Pass the Story (Practice and Pass the Story and Mark the Final Score on the Graph) The teacher times the students for one minute multiple times while each student reads the story independently. During the pass-timing portion, the teacher typically listens to each student read individually. This step is the repeated-reading component of the Read Naturally Strategy, which helps students improve fluency, master difficult words, and understand the story. Each student graphs his or her pass-timing score in red above the cold-timing score (in blue) to show how much the student's fluency has improved.
Answer the Questions Students answer questions about the story. Responding to the text holds the student accountable for meaning, develops the ability to answer many types of questions, and provides teachers with information about how well the student comprehends the story.
Write a Sentence About the Story (optional) Students write about something they remember from the story, which improves comprehension.
Read Words Down and Across (Read Words Down, Read Words Across, and Read Words Down and Across) With teacher guidance, students practice reading down the columns of words and then reading across the rows of words. This step highlights the patterns in words, teaches common word families and high-frequency words, and teaches the decoding of words with the featured phonics patterns.
Spelling Students write spell-out words and sound-out words from the story. This step develops phonemic awareness, gives students practice writing short words with the featured phonics patterns as well as irregular high-frequency words, and improves spelling skills.