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When Candyce Ihnot developed the Read Naturally Strategy back in 1989, her students were the only ones using it. It might have stayed this way, had it not been for the dedicated teachers who saw promise in Candyce’s results and decided to give the strategy a try with their own students. Pleased with how well it worked, these teachers spread the word to other teachers. This is how, eventually, the Read Naturally Strategy came to help millions of struggling students read fluently.

Imagine you’re attending a class to learn to play the guitar. The students in your class display a wide range of abilities. Some are brand new to the instrument; some know a few chords; and some already play quite well. How would you learn best in this environment? Would it work well for the teacher to instruct the group as a whole for the duration of the class? Or would it make more sense to sometimes break the class into small groups, allowing the beginners to start with the basics while the more advanced students could fine-tune their playing?

Congratulations Valenee V.! Valenee's dedication to learning has earned her the Read Naturally Star of the Month award for October. Valenee is a fifth-grade student at Castle Elementary in Oakdale, MN.

An American Public Media documentary that went viral last year makes the strong argument that better phonics instruction will greatly improve our nation’s literacy statistics. According to the report, entitled, Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read?: “[A] big takeaway from decades of scientific research is that, while we use our eyes to read, the starting point for reading is sound. What a child must do to become a reader is to figure out how the words she hears and knows how to say connect to the letters on the page. Writing is a code humans invented to represent speech sounds. Kids have to crack that code to become readers.” In order to crack the code, children need to learn how letters represent speech sounds. In other words, they need to understand phonics.

If you want to get the most from your Read Naturally Live program and receive continuing education credits in the process, don’t miss the chance to attend one of our Read Naturally Live Hands-On Training and Strategy Workshops. This training will help you take advantage of Read Naturally Live’s many features and ensure the program is working well for all students.

If your students have been properly trained in the Read Naturally program, and if you’ve checked their initial placement (Encore or Read Naturally Live), you’re now entering the sweet spot of a Read Naturally intervention. This is when your students’ progress and confidence will really start to soar. You now have the important task of monitoring their performance to accelerate learning.

It is a remarkable thing to witness students improving in their reading fluency. Sometimes you can hear the difference from one day to the next. Students can hear the difference in their own voices too. More importantly, they can feel it—and it’s this feeling of confidence that motivates them to work even harder. The purpose of a Read Naturally intervention is for students to make as much fluency growth as possible from day to day, week to week, month to month. As an educator, how can you support and maximize this growth?

Are your Read Naturally students working in the correct level? And do they have an appropriate goal? Every year around this time, we like to remind teachers of the importance of ​checking their students’ initial Read Naturally placement. A Read Naturally student will make optimal progress in the program when he or she works in the appropriate level of reading material and has an appropriate words-correct-per-minute goal. Our detailed checking initial placement process will help you verify whether the level and goal you initially set for the student is the right fit or whether you need to make adjustments.

Fall conference season is here, and it’s a busy one. In October and November alone, we’re heading to 19 different reading and education conferences throughout the U.S. Chances are good we’ll be in an area near you. Check out our schedule here.

If you’ve identified the need for a Read Naturally intervention, you’re probably eager for your students to begin working in the program as soon as possible. You may have a hunch about ​which Read Naturally level is right for your student, and you likely have assessment data to support this hunch. Is this enough information to pick a Read Naturally level and bypass the official placement process, in the interest of saving a little time?

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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