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Educators today are bombarded with recommendations on the most effective products and strategies. Whether you’re surfing online or talking to a trusted expert, countless others will claim to know what’s best for you and your students. As you know, the only way to truly know what is effective in your classroom is to try the recommended tool or strategy for yourself.

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2017 with some great news. Read Naturally Encore was selected as a District Administration Reader’s Choice Top Product of 2016. District Administration is a reputable source of information for K12 leaders in nearly every district across the country. Their annual awards program highlights the best products in the industry according to the superintendents and other school leaders who are using them in their districts. Read Naturally Encore was one of 100 Top Products chosen from over 1,500 nominations.

Our culture celebrates an abundance of choices. When the stakes are low, we can simply decide that these choices are not worth agonizing over. But what happens when the stakes are high? What happens when you’re sitting across from a struggling reader and you don’t know the best way to help him? Thousands of programs claim to “work,” but many don’t—and making the wrong choice could waste the precious little time this struggling reader has to catch up. Help!!

It’s almost winter break! Are you counting down the days? Your students probably are! Their plans may include quintessential winter break activities like building snow forts (climate permitting), sipping hot chocolate, and having plenty of good old-fashioned fun. Before you release them to their holiday mischief, it’s always a good idea to remind them to incorporate plenty of reading into their plans.

Everywhere you go these days, it seems that educators are talking about personalized learning. Defined loosely, “personalized learning” is instruction that is tailored to meet an individual student’s needs. The instruction is usually delivered via technology that can adapt to each student. Educators often ask us if our web-based reading intervention program, Read Naturally Live, is considered a personalized learning tool. Our answer is that it’s “personalized learning with a twist.”

What are the characteristics of a successful school? Educators everywhere have asked this question in hopes that the answers might help create an optimal learning environment for students. Over the past 14 years, the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) has done extensive research into this question as well. The studies conducted there led to a list of nine characteristics that were found most often in high-performing schools. Read on for a summary of the nine characteristics, as well as the many ways in which Read Naturally programs can help your school develop them.

Today, thanks to the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, more and more teachers are designing and sharing curricula. The digital revolution has given teachers better equipment to create materials, and it’s now easier than ever for teachers to share these materials with others. What’s more, many of these materials are available for free. To many teachers, the OER movement seems too good to be true—and then, inevitably, they wonder: Is there a downside?

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.”

The ability to customize story options in Read Live allows teachers to ensure the program is working as effectively as possible for each individual student. Here are some quick links with information on customizing story options.

In Read Live, it’s easier than ever for teachers to customize the program for each student. Not only is each student working in an individual level, but teachers can set story options to ensure the student is using his or her time most effectively. Now that our Read Live User Guide is easily accessible online, teachers and administrators are always just a click away from finding the information they need to make these changes. Below are four useful links from the User Guide about setting individual story options.

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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