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Break out the victory dance Aleysha S. you are our November Star of the Month. Aleysha is a second grade student at Panorama City Elementary School in Panorama City, CA.
Aleysha is not letting her hearing difficulties stand in her way of becoming a fluent reader.

As today’s world moves at a relentless pace, educators are being asked to do the impossible: They’re expected to keep their classrooms up to date when research, technology, and best practices seem to evolve on a daily basis. How can we get to the bottom of anything when the landscape is constantly changing? Creating structure where we can is the best way to mitigate the chaos. In this spirit, the International Literacy Association recently created the first-ever set of national standards to guide literacy professionals.

After a challenge is identified, one of two things tends to happen: Either the challenge grows, or it shrinks. The challenge tends to grow if the solution is unknown and hard to find. Conversely, it tends to shrink if there is a tried-and-true, high-quality solution at the ready. As you know, struggling readers fare best if there’s a clear and effective way to help them move forward. For thousands of schools, that way forward is Read Naturally.

We at Read Naturally have something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Over 1,000 education professionals recently voted for their favorite educational technology tools via THE Journal’s fourth-annual Readers’ Choice Awards. We’re pleased to announce that Read Naturally won a platinum award in the category of Favorite Interventions & Remediation Software! Click here for the full list of winners.

Congratulations goes to Caden D. from Fiskdale, MA for being named Read Naturally's October Star of the Month. Caden is an eighth-grade student at Tantasqua Regional Junior High School.

Imagine that a fourth grader comes home from school raving about a math game he got to play on an iPad at school. He asks his mom if he can continue playing the game at home. The mom finds the free game online, and it seems legit, so she agrees. A little extra math practice can’t hurt, right? But when she goes to check on her son a short while later, it’s clear he’s not using the game to improve his math skills at all. He’s solving problems like 2+2. He likes this “math game” because he has figured out how to make it 1% math practice and 99% just a game. (He has also weaseled his way into extra screen time.)

At Read Naturally, we value educating teachers as much as we value educating students. In order for struggling readers to become fluent readers, teachers must learn the best ways to support these students. We believe all teachers should have access to this information, which is why we offer a variety of teacher training resources free of charge.

My first grader came to the last section of his “Halloween word problems” math worksheet yesterday and let out a giant groan. The instruction was, “Now write a Halloween word problem of your own.” It was challenging enough for him to read and then solve the problems. Now he had to write one, too? “But writing takes forever!” he complained.

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.

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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