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Dear Friends of RN Bookmark,

After a long tenure as the primary blogger at RN Bookmark, it’s time for me to pass the torch to my wonderful colleagues and friends. Look for more great content from TJ Ihnot, Cory Stai, Maggie Matz, and perhaps a few surprise guest bloggers going forward. They will keep RN Bookmark chugging steadily along, providing you with all the information you need to make your Read Naturally program the best it can be.

The most rewarding part of a Read Naturally intervention—for both students and teachers—is the progress students make. By this point in the school year, you likely have several students who have made significant gains in fluency, comprehension, or both. When you notice this growth, it’s time to assess whether the student needs an extra challenge in the form of a goal or level increase. Typically, you’ll make such a change after a student has completed 12 stories at his/her current level. Here are the signs it’s time to raise the goal or level:

​If the answer is yes, then it’s time to check their initial placement! It might be tempting, especially during these unusual circumstances, to leave your students in their current Read Naturally groove and let them continue zipping through stories. But pausing now to check their initial placement is a key step to making sure they’re working in the correct level with an optimal goal.

If you’ve been following along with our recent news announcements, you’ve learned we’re very excited about the release of our new phonics program, Word Warm-ups Live. We’re also committed to helping educators everywhere begin to use this highly effective program with their students. We’ve developed several free resources to answer all of your questions about assessment, placement, implementation, and everything in between. Be sure to check out this recent blog post, Useful Resources for a Successful Word Warm-ups Live Implementation, which links to all of these resources.

Back in 2018, Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot wrote a blog post about how she uses the Word Warm-ups program to boost her students’ phonics skills. In her post, Time for Phonics, Candyce explains why using Word Warm-ups for phonics practice is beneficial for readers at all levels. She also explains the clever and motivating ways she incorporates this program into the daily schedule of her reading lab. Be sure to check out her article, as it describes several ideas that have resulted in great success—and great fun—in Candyce’s reading lab.

With the addition of Word Warm-ups Live, we’ve expanded our phonics offerings to reach a greater number of students and to provide more flexibility. It is our hope that any student in need of phonics support can benefit from our programs. The first step, of course, is to determine who needs that support. We offer a general phonics assessment, Quick Phonics Screener, as well as an assessment specifically for Word Warm-ups Live. What’s the difference, and how will you use these assessments to understand your students’ phonics needs?

Earlier this month, we recognized Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Hastings, NE as our 2019-2020 School of the Year. This distinction earned the school $2,000 in Read Naturally materials of the educators’ choice. Click here to view Abraham Lincoln Elementary’s winning submission. We also recognized Corona Foothills Middle School (Vail, AZ) and Upson-Lee Elementary School (Thomaston, GA) as runners-up. Each of these schools received $500 in Read Naturally materials.

We recently expanded Read Live to include Word Warm-ups Live—an effective solution for students who need extra phonics support. Read Live now includes the Read Naturally Live Sequenced/Idioms Series, the Read Naturally Live Phonics Series, and Word Warm-ups Live. Which of these programs is the best fit for your students?

Phonics skills are foundational to reading fluently and with comprehension. At the beginning of any school year, it’s essential for reading teachers to determine which students need phonics support and what that support should look like. These tasks are more important than ever this year, as many students have suffered reading losses due to the pandemic. Read Naturally is here to support your students’ phonics needs every step of the way—from assessment, to intervention, to ongoing skill maintenance.

​Choir singers sing up and down the scale before a concert. Basketball players shoot dozens of layups before a game. Actors rehearse their lines over and over before filming a scene. The purpose of these warm-up exercises is to ingrain processes into the brain until they become automatic. Then, when the big moment arrives—when it’s time to sing, make a shot, or film a scene—the warmed-up skill is more likely to deliver the desired result.

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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