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After working with a boy named Mathias for a couple of weeks, Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot had a hunch that she had placed him in the wrong level. How could she be sure? And what could she do to correct her mistake? The answer was to check his initial placement. Then, after Candyce found the appropriate level and goal for Mathias, she came up with a creative solution to ensure his needs were being met.

Your struggling readers have likely asked themselves, or you, “Why is reading hard for me?” Sometimes, there is not a clear reason. With a little extra help, many struggling readers are simply able to crack the code and catch up. Other times, there is a clear reason: For millions of students, it’s dyslexia. Unfortunately, many individuals with dyslexia remain undiagnosed and have a more difficult time catching up to their peers.

A recent audio documentary and corresponding article from American Public Media highlight a serious problem in our country: According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than 60 percent of American fourth-graders are not proficient readers, and that statistic has held since testing began in the 1990s. The documentary is called Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read?, and we encourage you to check it out.

With roughly a month of school under your belt, you’re likely aware now of which students qualify for a reading intervention. You may soon find yourself with a group of students who are brand new to Read Naturally. This is an important moment. Communicating your expectations clearly will set the stage for success.

Have you heard of the fourth-grade slump in reading? Research shows that many students experience a decline in their reading ability around grade four, and this decline is linked to the size of their vocabulary.

Investing the time to train your students well in the Read Naturally Live program will yield incredible benefits later. When the steps of the program are easy and automatic for students, they can devote all their mental energy to the important task of reading. That’s why we created A Student’s Guide to Read Naturally Live—a free training resource we hope all Read Naturally Live teachers and aides will take advantage of. This resource makes Read Naturally Live training easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable than ever before.

Back to School! That phrase seems to imply we’re all settling back into something, doesn’t it? But as all educators know, there’s nothing settled about this time of year. It’s a frenzied, fast-paced new start. We’re all ready to go and to grow—forward and onward, not backward.

Read Naturally programs are inherently motivating. Students know how well they are performing based on their goals and progress monitoring graphs. The desire to see these goals and graphs improve is enough to motivate most students to put forth their best effort. Still, a little external recognition doesn’t hurt.

Snow is still falling in much of the country, but that doesn’t change the fact that spring conferences are just around the corner. Parents (or guardians) of Read Naturally students will be eager to hear about their child’s progress in reading. This is a great opportunity for you to highlight the student’s successes and address challenges—and to emphasize the ways in which parents can support their child at home. Read Naturally offers a variety of resources developed specifically for parents.

We’re always happy when teachers approach us with questions about the Cold Timing step. Teachers are highly concerned with their students’ cold-timing scores, and for good reason.

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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