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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.

Thanks to Luke M. for being Read Naturally's first Star of the Month winner this school year. Luke is a fifth grade student at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, TN.

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.

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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