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Not long ago, Read Naturally writers could be found crafting new stories about everything from the first cellphone to a harrowing shipwreck survival. Meanwhile, they were updating previously published Read Naturally stories to reflect the most current research. But why stop there?

A cascade of content enhancements followed. Hundreds of new vocabulary terms were defined, and comprehension questions were added to be more consistent with standardized tests. New illustrations, improved audio, Spanish translations, updated manuals, and a fresh design made the content come to life. Teachers were deeply involved every step of the way, ensuring that all content was appropriate for struggling readers and compliant with Common Core State Standards. Finally, in early 2012, Read Naturally released the best version of its flagship product to date—Read Naturally Encore.

We are pleased to feature Karen Hunter as a guest blogger today on RN Bookmark. Before becoming Read Naturally’s Director of Curriculum & Professional Development in 2007, Karen was a reading specialist, special education teacher, and teacher trainer for 30 years in California. There she developed a passion for teaching the crucial and often difficult skill of spelling to struggling students. Bringing her expertise to Read Naturally, Karen was instrumental in the development and management of our spelling product, Signs for Sounds. In this post, Karen shares information on the importance of teaching spelling. She includes resources that will help you evaluate your current spelling curriculum or a new program you might be considering.

As you know, fluency is a complicated skill to teach. This is because fluency itself is highly complex. Therefore, setting aside time to deepen your knowledge of this skill is important. When you understand the ins and outs of fluency, you will be more effective in helping your students master this key component of reading success.

Did you know that chelonian is another word for turtle? Or that cordate means heart-shaped? Next time you leave a scrap of food on your plate, call it an ort and see who’s impressed.

If you’re a word nerd, you’re in good company here at Read Naturally. Even if you’re not, you can probably relate to the sense of accomplishment that comes from learning new words. The benefits of vocabulary development cannot be overestimated. It’s critical to the comprehension of text, it helps us communicate better, and it enables us to enjoy a broader range of material. That’s why, when we developed Read Naturally Live, we wanted to incorporate a fun and engaging way for students to learn useful new words. Enter: Wordtastic.

Over 20 years ago, when Candyce Ihnot was working toward her master’s degree in Special Education, she grappled with the question of how to keep her students motivated. She had read the research and asked the experts, but her most meaningful answer came from her daughter Claire, a competitive swimmer. “Claire, how do you stay motivated to swim all those laps?” Candyce asked one day after practice. Claire looked at her mother as though the answer was obvious. “My coach times me,” she said.

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!

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