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Alex V. is our Read Naturally Star of the Month. He is a fourth grader at George Brown Jr. Elementary in San Bernardino, CA. Alex was nominated and chosen for the commitment and progress he has shown in his reading with Read Naturally Live.

“What is your favorite children’s book and why?” We recently asked this question to the entire Read Naturally staff. The reason was twofold. First, we wanted to mark this Season of Giving by donating the books—48 in total—to a local nonprofit called Read Indeed, which distributes books to children in need. Second, we wanted to compile a thoughtful booklist to share with all of you, our dear supporters.

Research tells us that in order to become fluent, students need to learn to decode unknown words accurately and automatically. An understanding of phonics is what makes this possible. Earlier this year, we explained how our QPS diagnostic phonics assessment can quickly and easily alert you to students who need additional phonics support. Last month, we highlighted our popular GATE for phonics program, which is an ideal phonics intervention for small groups of early readers. But what if you’re looking for a phonics intervention that students of all ages can use mostly independently?

​Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on what we’re grateful for. Full bellies and full hearts leave people everywhere feeling thankful for what they have—and wanting for nothing more. So naturally, the day after Thanksgiving is a time to… make a wish list and go shopping? Have you ever noticed that the rapid progression from Thanksgiving to Black Friday to Christmas can quickly take many of us from grateful to greedy?

When Candyce Ihnot developed the Read Naturally Strategy back in 1989, her students were the only ones using it. It might have stayed this way, had it not been for the dedicated teachers who saw promise in Candyce’s results and decided to give the strategy a try with their own students. Pleased with how well it worked, these teachers spread the word to other teachers. This is how, eventually, the Read Naturally Strategy came to help millions of struggling students read fluently.

Imagine you’re attending a class to learn to play the guitar. The students in your class display a wide range of abilities. Some are brand new to the instrument; some know a few chords; and some already play quite well. How would you learn best in this environment? Would it work well for the teacher to instruct the group as a whole for the duration of the class? Or would it make more sense to sometimes break the class into small groups, allowing the beginners to start with the basics while the more advanced students could fine-tune their playing?

Congratulations Valenee V.! Valenee's dedication to learning has earned her the Read Naturally Star of the Month award for October. Valenee is a fifth-grade student at Castle Elementary in Oakdale, MN.

An American Public Media documentary that went viral last year makes the strong argument that better phonics instruction will greatly improve our nation’s literacy statistics. According to the report, entitled, Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read?: “[A] big takeaway from decades of scientific research is that, while we use our eyes to read, the starting point for reading is sound. What a child must do to become a reader is to figure out how the words she hears and knows how to say connect to the letters on the page. Writing is a code humans invented to represent speech sounds. Kids have to crack that code to become readers.” In order to crack the code, children need to learn how letters represent speech sounds. In other words, they need to understand phonics.

If you want to get the most from your Read Naturally Live program and receive continuing education credits in the process, don’t miss the chance to attend one of our Read Naturally Live Hands-On Training and Strategy Workshops. This training will help you take advantage of Read Naturally Live’s many features and ensure the program is working well for all students.

If your students have been properly trained in the Read Naturally program, and if you’ve checked their initial placement (Encore or Read Naturally Live), you’re now entering the sweet spot of a Read Naturally intervention. This is when your students’ progress and confidence will really start to soar. You now have the important task of monitoring their performance to accelerate learning.

Make Your Student a STAR!

Read Naturally Star of the Month​Share your student’s success story—nominate him or her for our Star of the Month award. Win a Barnes & Noble gift card for the student and a Read Naturally gift certificate for your class!

pointer Submit a Star-of-the-Month entry

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