Managing students' needs is always a work in progress. My latest challenge in my classroom has been to figure out the best Read Naturally Live level for my younger readers. In the past, most (if not all) of my second-grade students have seamlessly fit into the Phonics levels of stories. As they progressed, I would move them into Sequenced stories. Usually, their phonics needs would be well matched to their fluency needs in the Phonics series. These levels provided the right amount of challenge and comfort for their reading.  

This year, some students were getting cold timings in the 80s/90s and receiving perfect scores on their comprehension questions, and I realized that the levels were too easy. I knew that students would benefit from a higher level of stories to meet their fluency and comprehension skills, but that they would still require some of the phonics work that those early phonics stories (0.8, 1.3, 1.8 etc.) had provided. So, I discovered that working in a Sequenced level with the addition of Word Warm-ups Live is the best blend for their reading progression.

When students come to class, I encourage them to begin in their Word Warm-ups Live level.  They pass an exercise that is specific to a phonics skill that they need to master before moving to their story in Read Naturally Live. The stories in the Sequenced series are challenging enough to keep their attention, and Word Warm-ups Live supports their phonics needs. For example, I have a few students currently in Sequenced Level 3.0 who are also mastering long vowels with silent e in Word Warm-ups Live Section C.  

I have really enjoyed having Word Warms-ups Live as a separate program to support these students!  It’s been an easy transition to add to the Read Live class period since students can move between the two programs so effortlessly.  And, it’s reassuring to know that I can move those readers into more challenging stories that match their reading ability without forgoing their phonics lessons.