If the answer is yes, then it’s time to check their initial placement! It might be tempting, especially during these unusual circumstances, to leave your students in their current Read Naturally groove and let them continue zipping through stories. But pausing now to check their initial placement is a key step to making sure they’re working in the correct level with an optimal goal. 

It is time to check placement when a student has completed three to six stories at the level in which you initially placed him or her. To check initial placement, use these free, detailed guides developed by our curriculum team:

READ LIVE USERS: Print out this guide and the Students-at-a-Glance report, and follow the instructions in the guide to interpret the data. 

ENCORE USERS: Use our Checking Initial Placement Calculator along with this guide to interpret the data from your students’ progress graphs.

Note that a student's data must accurately reflect performance, so check initial placement only if you or another trained adult guided the student during cold timings. If the student conducted his or her cold timings independently, guide the student during cold timings for the next three stories, and then check initial placement using the data for those three stories.

If you’re currently working with students in a distance-learning model, you’ll use the same methods you use to complete students’ pass activities to be present with them during cold timings. Here are detailed instructions on this process for Read Live users. Note that these directions were written for completing pass activities but can also be used for conducting cold timings:

Empowering Parents to Conduct Timings
Any proficient reader can support a student during timings. You can add parents as Read Live Assistants and enable them to conduct timings and pass students. This is a great solution in many situations. Learn more about enabling parents to conduct timings and complete pass activities.

Using Remote Access to Conduct Timings
To conduct timings, teachers will be required to not only view the student’s screen but also to control it to initiate the timing, enter errors and expression scores, as well as evaluate the student’s quiz, retell, or word list scores. Learn more about using remote access to conduct timings and complete pass activities.

Sharing Your Screen to Conduct Timings
If you prefer the simplicity of sharing your own screen with the student to conduct timings or your screen-sharing program does not allow for remote access, you can conduct timings using Read Live’s new Login As feature. You can log in as the student with a click of a button, log the student out if they are in an active session, and share your screen with them while conducting the timing. Log out when done and the student can resume work in Read Live. Learn more about sharing your screen to conduct timings and complete pass activities.

Once you’ve guided the student in at least three cold timings, you can proceed with the checking initial placement process.

  • Click here to download the free Checking Initial Placement guide for Read Live.
  • Click here to download the free Checking Initial Placement guide for Encore.

If you would like more specific guidance on checking your students’ placement, as well as tailored recommendations for individual students, Read Naturally offers a remote data-analysis service for educators of students working in Read Naturally Live. When you request Read Live Data Analysis Reports, a Read Naturally consultant will review your students’ data and create reports with specific recommendations for maximizing the effectiveness of the program for individual students. This service will identify which students are placed appropriately, which students need changes to levels/goals, how to make adjustments to accelerate progress, and more. Two evaluations of your student data are included. The first happens in the 3rd to 4th week of the program—i.e., during the time you’d be checking initial placement—and the second happens during the 12th to 16th week as a way to monitor performance. Click here to learn more about this offering.

Checking initial placement will help ensure your students’ success in Read Naturally. When Read Naturally students are placed correctly, they will become fluent readers as efficiently as possible. If you have questions about the checking initial placement process or need help finding the right level or goal for a student, please get in touch. We’d love to help.