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For the first time in 25 years, Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot has moved her reading lab to a new school. In a series of blog posts, Candyce will share “stories from the lab,” in which she describes the successes, challenges, and surprises of operating Read Naturally Live in a new setting. She’ll sprinkle each post with bits of wisdom from decades of creating Read Naturally materials and using them with the beloved students she keeps at the center of her work.

In this post, Candyce describes the important elements that happen before starting Read Naturally Live with students: setting up the lab, selecting, and placing students.

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.

Read Naturally programs are highly motivating and therefore highly successful. Even so, some students need an extra boost to remain engaged. If you have a student or students lacking in motivation, our curriculum experts have a few suggestions.

One of the most frequently accessed tools on our website is the Read Live User Guide. This is the go-to resource for Read Live users with questions about anything from changing a password to customizing story options. Until recently, this guide was in PDF format. We’re pleased to report that it’s now HTML format, making it even easier to access and navigate. Click here to check it out.

Teachers love Read Naturally Strategy programs, first and foremost, because they are so effective in boosting reading achievement. An added bonus is that students work independently for most of the time. However, Read Naturally Strategy programs are not completely independent. The teacher needs to be present at crucial times in order for the strategy to work.

Do your Read Naturally students conduct their cold timings independently? Teachers have different opinions on whether or not they should. Some teachers believe that, in order to get the most accurate data, a teacher should be present during the cold-timing step. Other teachers believe that students should do this step independently in order to practice self-correcting errors. While both points of view are valid, here is Read Naturally's views on cold timings:

I think most parents and teachers would agree that bribery isn’t always a bad thing. Nobody wants to resort to it, of course, but having an emergency pack of lifesavers to dole out to the kids when the going gets tough is sometimes, well, life saving. The problem with bribery is that it can work well in the short term, but it’s often not the best path to long-term growth.

When you were a kid, what were your favorite chapter books? I couldn't get enough of the Anne of Green Gables series (the heroine had me hooked from the first pages, when she insisted on the "e" at the end of her name). My seven-year-old currently laughs out loud (and stays up way past bedtime) reading Judy Blume's Fudge books. We loved the B.F.G. so much we're hoping to see the movie later this summer. And who doesn't love the Magic Treehouse series? Everywhere I turn, I seem to meet another Jack and Annie fan.

Each year, new educators set foot in their own classrooms for the very first time. These newly trained educators are eager to put their skills to use and make a positive impact. Are they prepared?

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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