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Read Naturally Strategy Programs

About Read Naturally Strategy Programs

  1. Why are the stories read slowly? I thought one of the goals of the strategy is to improve students’ reading fluency.

1. Why are the stories read slowly? I thought one of the goals of the strategy is to improve students’ reading fluency.

Due to the research Candyce Ihnot studied while developing the Read Naturally program, the Read Naturally stories are read slowly to provide students the opportunity to learn to read the words accurately and ultimately more fluently.

It is during the modeling step that the students make sound-symbol connections and actually learn the words in the story. If the stories were read at a normal speaking rate, students would not be able to read along with the recording and thus would not build word recognition and accuracy.

Once the students have learned to accurately read the words during the read along step, they build fluency by reading the passage many times during the practice step.

Read Naturally passages were rerecorded in 2011, and the third reading was done at an expressive rate. The passages were read at the following rates:

Level Last Update
1.0 48-58
2.0 65-75
3.0 85-95
4.0 90-100
5.0 100-110
6.0, 7.0, 8.0 105-115

The passages are recorded at a pace at which developing readers are able to actually read along during the teacher modeling step. Christopher Skinner, a reading development researcher, has done two studies confirming the value of the slower modeling found in the Read Naturally recordings.

In 1993, Skinner, Adamson, et al. found that slower rates of modeled reading resulted in lower error rates when compared to baseline data (study published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities in 1993).

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in 1997, Skinner, Cooper, and Cole found that the accuracy of students’ reading was better after slower modeled reading than after faster modeled reading. The slower rates of modeled reading in the study were between 44 and 66 words per minute. These reading rates are actually slower than the rates used on the Read Naturally recordings.

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