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In their daily lives, most adults read silently far more frequently than they read aloud. The same is true of older students. Silent reading comprehension is, after all, the skill needed to perform well on tests and in academics in general. Does this mean teachers of older students should stop spending time on oral reading fluency? Literacy expert Dr. Tim Shanahan addresses this question in his recent blog post, Fluency Instruction for Older Kids, Really? We completely agree with his response—and so does the research.

I was recently talking with a mother of twins who admitted that her biggest struggle was not having enough one-on-one time with each twin. I thought of classroom teachers and how they struggle with the same thing. Wouldn’t you love to spend more individual time with each of your students? Unfortunately, it’s not always possible. And yet, Read Naturally’s placement procedure requires just that. The placement assessment asks you to sit with one student at a time, sometimes for several minutes. What if you just don’t have time?

Do you have students who confuse one letter with another letter? For example, a student might incorrectly read big for the word pig or dig. A student can easily confuse lowercase letters like b, d, p, and q. This is because each of these letters has an overall form that is identical or very similar to another letter’s form when rotated, flipped, or reversed.

A good educator finds strategies and programs that work and implements them in the classroom. A great educator begins with an effective strategy or program and then develops ways to extend the learning even further. Kristin McDaniel, a first-grade teacher in San Juan Capistrano, CA, is one of the great ones. Pleased with the results she was seeing from Read Naturally’s spelling program, Signs for Sounds, Kristin asked herself how she could capitalize on her students’ momentum. Was there a way to reinforce and solidify their understanding of the word patterns and high-frequency words featured in the program?

Prior to becoming Read Naturally’s Educational Consultant, Karen Hunter was a reading specialist, special education teacher, and teacher trainer for 30 years in California. Karen is always brainstorming ways to teach valuable skills to students, and she has a knack for developing creative and motivating tools. This past year, our blog featured three posts by Karen, each one including a free resource she developed. Readers couldn’t download the content quickly enough. In case you missed them, we wanted to share them again.

Picture yourself participating in a parent-teacher conference for one of your students. If you are a literacy specialist, a Title 1 teacher, or a special education teacher, it is always a bit awkward when the regular classroom teacher or the parent turns to you and says, “I don’t really know what Jamie does when he leaves class for reading intervention!” Even though regular classroom teachers and parents are usually involved in planning a student’s intervention, and they receive several formal reports about a student’s progress during the year, they may not necessarily be aware of what the student is doing day-to-day.

Since November, Read Live, Read Naturally ME, and GATE have been used with a large number of ELL students at Whittier Elementary. The results thus far have been remarkable. RTI educator Lisa Lawrence was eager to share them.

Have you read all the books on your classroom bookshelf? If so, we’re impressed! Many busy teachers don’t have time to vet every single book available for independent reading time. Instead, you may rely on recommendations from other teachers, online reviews, or your knowledge of certain authors and publishers. Some of your most valuable book reviews, however, could come from your students themselves.

Here at Read Naturally, we love hearing a great success story! We are always so thankful to educators who take the time to reach out to us and share their excitement and the excitement of their students. Recently, Susan Kruger, educator and author, sent us a story about her son:

Years ago, Read Naturally cofounder Candyce Ihnot asked a little boy named Christopher about his experience shopping for new shoes. “How many pair of shoes do you usually try on?” she asked. Christopher responded by rattling off several numbers, which helped Candyce make her point. In order to find the best fit, kids often need to try on a number of different styles and sizes. Similarly, students new to the Read Naturally program need to “try on” a few levels to find the fit that’s exactly right for them. We call this process placement.

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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