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I was recently talking with a mother of twins who admitted that her biggest struggle was not having enough one-on-one time with each twin. I thought of classroom teachers and how they struggle with the same thing. Wouldn’t you love to spend more individual time with each of your students? Unfortunately, it’s not always possible. And yet, Read Naturally’s placement procedure requires just that. The placement assessment asks you to sit with one student at a time, sometimes for several minutes. What if you just don’t have time?

Do you have students who confuse one letter with another letter? For example, a student might incorrectly read big for the word pig or dig. A student can easily confuse lowercase letters like b, d, p, and q. This is because each of these letters has an overall form that is identical or very similar to another letter’s form when rotated, flipped, or reversed.

A good educator finds strategies and programs that work and implements them in the classroom. A great educator begins with an effective strategy or program and then develops ways to extend the learning even further. Kristin McDaniel, a first-grade teacher in San Juan Capistrano, CA, is one of the great ones. Pleased with the results she was seeing from Read Naturally’s spelling program, Signs for Sounds, Kristin asked herself how she could capitalize on her students’ momentum. Was there a way to reinforce and solidify their understanding of the word patterns and high-frequency words featured in the program?

Prior to becoming Read Naturally’s Educational Consultant, Karen Hunter was a reading specialist, special education teacher, and teacher trainer for 30 years in California. Karen is always brainstorming ways to teach valuable skills to students, and she has a knack for developing creative and motivating tools. This past year, our blog featured three posts by Karen, each one including a free resource she developed. Readers couldn’t download the content quickly enough. In case you missed them, we wanted to share them again.

Where’s the best place to find free resources to help your struggling readers? We offer a multitude of them on our website—specifically in the Knowledgebase. The Knowledgebase is full of valuable resources, including downloadable materials, how-to videos, research studies, product samples, and much more. We created this data hub to give educators easy access to absolutely everything they need to turn struggling readers into successful ones.

Literacy expert Tim Shanahan outlines the many benefits of formal spelling instruction in his article, Should We Teach Spelling? We recommend Shanahan’s article for a compelling answer to the question of whether to teach spelling. But another, equally important question, is how to teach spelling. Finding the right instructional materials is key.

…to attend a Read Naturally seminar, of course! No, seriously, we’re not kidding. Our seminars are just as enjoyable as they are informative. Our dynamic presenters will captivate your interest with fascinating research and exciting, hands-on demonstrations. You’ll experience the Read Naturally Strategy from the perspective of a struggling student, which will allow you to see just how effective and motivating it is.

Think back to the beginning of the school year. What did your struggling readers sound like? How was their fluency and comprehension? Now think about these readers today. Do they read more confidently? Have they made significant gains?

Good news for Word Warm-Ups users! We recently updated the progress graphs to be even more motivational for your students.

Do you have students who seem more focused on rate than overall reading improvement? It’s natural for some Read Naturally students to get caught up in the “game” of trying to read faster and faster with each timing. But as you know, fluency is about accuracy, expression, and rate, which together lead to comprehension. To pass a story, the Read Naturally Strategy requires students to meet all four of these criteria. Remind students that the ultimate goal is comprehension, not speed. If a student persists in being overly focused on rate, consider the following remedial actions:

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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