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? 

The answer is relatively simple: Have your students complete more Read Naturally stories. Studies of our programs demonstrate that the more Read Naturally stories a student completes, the more growth in fluency he or she will make. 

Dr. Danielle Dupuis of the University of Minnesota showed this connection in her 2017 analysis of extant data from Read Naturally Live students. Dupuis’ analysis found that students in second grade who had read 24 or more Read Naturally stories between Fall and Spring had an average weekly improvement of 1.4 to 1.6 words correct per minute (WCPM)—a statistically significant result. By comparison, a typical second grader is expected to gain an average of 0.6 to 1.2 words per week. What’s more, students who had read 36 or more Read Naturally stories in the same time period had an even greater average weekly improvement of 1.63 WCPM. A clear pattern emerged from the data: Students who read more Read Naturally stories made significantly more growth in fluency.

Anecdotally, teachers discover the same thing in their classrooms. Teachers consistently report that the more frequently students use the Read Naturally program and the more stories they complete, the more improvement they make. Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot observes this phenomenon in her reading lab year after year. As she wrote about on our blog, the students with the highest average weekly improvement in her reading lab are also the students complete the highest number of stories. So, to motivate her students to complete a greater number of stories—and thus achieve more growth in fluency—Candyce developed a clever scorecard system, which you can read about in her post.

Striving readers are so eager to reach a point where they listen to themselves read and feel proud of what they hear. Give them the time and support to complete as many Read Naturally stories as they can, and you’ll help them get there as soon as possible.