Nothing motivates a struggling reader more than experiencing his or her own success. That’s why Read Naturally programs incorporate goals and progress monitoring graphs to show students continuous proof of their improvement. Students are even more motivated when teachers and parents help celebrate this success. If you’re looking for ways to show your Read Naturally students how awesome they are, here are some ideas:

Nominate a student for the Read Naturally Star of the Month program. The Read Naturally Star of the Month program celebrates students who have made great progress using Read Naturally's intervention programs, and teachers can easily nominate deserving students. Each month, we select a winner to feature in our blog and newsletter. The selected student wins a Barnes & Noble gift card, and the school/teacher who nominated the student receives a gift certificate for Read Naturally materials. Read more about the program and some recent winners here.

Print out a Certificate of Achievement. Many teachers like to send home a packet of several stories each time a student completes them. Print a Certificate of Achievement as a cover letter and include comments about the student's progress. To highlight exactly how much progress a student has made, you can also include the student's graphs.

Send a Reading Update. Another way to acknowledge success is to send an informal Reading Update to the regular classroom teacher and/or parent whenever a student passes a story. You might choose to attach a copy of the story to the Reading Update with a comment suggesting that the student read the story to the classroom teacher or parent—a great way to acknowledge the student’s progress. You can download a free, printable Reading Update here.

Email parents. Teachers who use Read Naturally Live can email parents directly from the program to highlight a student’s success. If a parent’s email address has been entered as part of the student information, you can email progress letters, certificates, and awards. This blog post explains how to do this in just a few simple steps. Teachers who use other Read Naturally programs can also email parents; creating a rough template for these emails can help expedite the process.

Have a meaningful conversation. Each time you observe your students working hard or making progress, take the time to sit down and tell them what you’ve noticed. When you emphasize that the student’s success was due to his or her own effort, the student understands that s/he possesses the skills needed to reach higher goals. Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot wrote a wonderful blog post about how she approaches these types of conversations. We encourage all teachers to read her words.

These are just a few of the many ways you can acknowledge your students’ hard work and motivate them to keep it up. How do you like to celebrate your students’ success? If you have additional creative ideas, we’d love to hear and share them. Please comment below!