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Last week, we discussed the importance of using the Read Naturally placement passages to place your students in Read Naturally. Yet even if you follow that procedure to a tee, some students will perform unexpectedly. Therefore, the next step in the placement process is to evaluate each student’s initial placement to ensure it was correct.

Years ago, Read Naturally cofounder Candyce Ihnot asked a little boy named Christopher about his experience shopping for new shoes. “How many pair of shoes do you usually try on?” she asked. Christopher responded by rattling off several numbers, which helped Candyce make her point. In order to find the best fit, kids often need to try on a number of different styles and sizes. Similarly, students new to the Read Naturally program need to “try on” a few levels to find the fit that’s exactly right for them. We call this process placement.

At this point in the school year, some of your students may be ready to exit their Read Naturally program. A student may be ready to exit Read Naturally if…

The student can read unpracticed, grade-level material accurately, expressively, and at a rate that is at least at the 50th percentile of national norms.

In order to know whether a student has made enough progress to exit a Read Naturally program, you need to assess the student with grade-level material. It is important to celebrate your student’s daily growth from cold to hot timings in a story, the student’s goal being increased and the student moving up a level. It is also exciting to see a student’s cold-timing scores increase from story to story. These are all indications that the student’s reading skills are improving and that he or she is making progress in the program. But it is essential to keep the long-term goal in mind.

​As a student works in the Word Warm-ups program, you should observe his or her progress to make sure that he/she is using exercises that fit his or her current level of development. Each hot timing gives you an opportunity to periodically monitor the student’s progress on reading words with the featured patterns to decide whether you should make any adjustments to your use of the program with the student.

Read Live Tip #8: Are You Communicating About Student Progress With Parents, Guardians, and Colleagues?

Read Naturally Live has many resources to support communication including reports, a progress letter, and certificates that can be sent home with packets of stories completed. Use Read Naturally Live reports to communicate about student performance with colleagues.

If your students have been using Read Naturally since the beginning of the year, they should now have a pretty good handle on using the program. You should be able to spend your time monitoring their progress and differentiating instruction instead of reminding them what they need to be doing. In addition to checking their hot and cold timings to look at their progress (and making any necessary adjustments), you should be checking how each student is doing on the comprehension questions. Is the student getting at least 80% of the questions correct? Do you have some students who are consistently getting certain questions wrong?

Read Live Tip # 7: Monitoring Student Performance to Keep Each Student Challenged

Accelerate learning by keeping students challenged as they improve. To make sure students are continually challenged, regularly monitor each student’s performance to determine when to make changes in a student’s level or goal (typically after completing 12 or 24 stories). Use the guidelines in the Read Live User Guide to decide when to make a change, when to raise the level or goal, and how to involve the student.

Read Live Tip #6: Use the Story Options Feature to Help Differentiate Instruction

You can adjust the program for individual students or groups using story options. Possible changes include turning off steps, adjusting time limits for steps, adjusting the number of read alongs and practices required, and adding a Spanish read along for native speakers of Spanish.

Read Live Tip #5: Do you know what to do when students don’t pass a story?

To pass a Read Naturally Live story, each student needs to read the story at his or her goal rate, make three or fewer errors, read with appropriate expression, answer the quiz questions correctly, and meet the teacher’s expectations when retelling the story. If a student does not successfully complete one or more of the criteria for passing, you will be taken to the Pass/Remedial Actions screen to decide the best course of action. Remedial actions can be selected for each pass requirement a student does not meet.

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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