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I recently worked with a second grader who showed me a paragraph he wrote about helping the “oshin.” His thoughtful ideas were right on the mark. His spelling, however, was not. When this boy reads books about the ocean, complete with pictures and context clues, he can read the word without hesitation. But when I later showed him the word “ocean” on its own, he had no idea what it said. What’s going on here?

Back when Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot would present at full-day seminars, she would often start by telling a story about her youngest child, Tommy. One day, Tommy came home from elementary school and angrily declared, “I hate school.” Tommy was the son of two schoolteachers—his declaration was basically blasphemous! When Candyce asked him to explain why he hated school, his lip started to quiver. He told his mom about independent reading time. “She doesn’t even know,” he said of his teacher, “I can’t read.”

Interpreting winter assessment data will help you determine the best way to support your students. This data tells you who needs an intervention and who is on target. It can also help you set goals for spring.

Now that the school year is half over, many teachers wonder if it's too late to begin a Read Live intervention. The answer is no! It's never too late to implement Read Live or to add students to your existing account. Once you've trained students in how to use the program, they will start benefitting right away. They can even continue using the program over the summer.

Congrats to our January Star of the Month, Kaleb, who has made great progress in reading this year! Kaleb is a fourth grader at Central Intermediate School in Washington, IL. Here is what Kaleb's teacher, Ms. Perko, has to say about him:

Welcome to the home stretch! For most schools across the nation, winter break is just a couple days away. We hope your students’ time at home will allow them to get lost in the pages of a book beneath a cozy blanket. Last week’s blog post offers several free activities and ideas to help your students boost their literacy skills at home. Before you send them on their way, we want to reiterate the importance of just one: Reading aloud.

Phonics skills are foundational to reading fluently and with comprehension. It's essential for reading teachers to determine which students need phonics support and what that support should look like. Read Naturally is here to support your students’ phonics needs every step of the way—from assessment, to intervention, to ongoing skill maintenance.

In their daily lives, most adults read silently far more frequently than they read aloud. The same is true of older students. Silent reading comprehension is, after all, the skill needed to perform well on tests and in academics in general. Does this mean teachers of older students should stop spending time on oral reading fluency? Literacy expert Dr. Tim Shanahan addresses this question in his blog post, Fluency Instruction for Older Kids, Really? We completely agree with his response—and so does the research.

We are looking to conduct and publish studies demonstrating the efficacy of Read Naturally Live. Contact us if you are interested in participating.

Regardless of where kids are on their reading journey, there are countless ways to incorporate reading into cozy days at home this winter. Here are some easy ideas for kids to try at home or for teachers to incorporate into the classroom. The free printables in this post will also make a great packet to send home over winter break!

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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