If you use Read Naturally Strategy programs with your students, you know the importance of proper placement. When students are placed in the correct Read Naturally level and working with an appropriate goal, they will make significantly greater progress. Over the years, we have consistently fine-tuned our placement process to make it more accurate and efficient. To reflect these enhancements, we are pleased to announce a new and improved Placement Packet to accompany our Encore II program.

The new Placement Packet features clarified processes, expanded steps, and added resources. The steps for completing the two phases of placement—conducting initial placement and checking initial placement—are described in greater detail alongside helpful new tables. 

A big change we are pleased to announce is that the placement testing stories now stand alone. These stories were previously also included in Read Naturally levels, which meant students would sometimes see a placement testing story twice—potentially altering his or her score on that story. To correct this, we added new stories to the Read Naturally levels and removed the placement testing stories from the levels. Now, the only time students will read the placement testing stories is during the placement process.

Additionally, the new Placement Packet reflects our updated recommendation on placing students for phonics. We have added a phonics assessment to the Placement Packet so teachers can quickly discover a student’s earliest phonics need. Based on the results of this assessment, a teacher should select the specific placement testing story that matches the student’s earliest phonics need. The teacher will use the student’s score on this testing story to determine whether to place the student in that particular phonics level or not. If the student’s fluency score on that testing story is above 60 words correct per minute, the student should not work in the Phonics series. Instead, the teacher should continue testing the student for fluency placement and support phonics with other curriculum such as Word Warm-ups. Please review this process carefully, as it is an update from our previous recommendations. It is described in detail in the new Placement Packet.

Other enhancements to the new Placement Packet include:

  • An expanded Checking Initial Placement section that includes new tables to guide teachers in their decision making.
  • A corresponding Checking Initial Placement calculator added to our website. 
  • A new appendix full of helpful resources.
  • And more!

Take a look at the new Placement Packet to become more familiar with all of these important updates. You can access the full Placement Packet here on our website. A Placement Packet is also included with every Encore II purchase.