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Quick Phonics Screener (QPS), developed by renowned literacy expert Dr. Jan Hasbrouck, is one of our most popular assessment tools. Teachers who have used QPS can attest to the fact that it is a convenient, inexpensive, and accurate way to identify individual students’ strengths and instructional needs in phonics/decoding. Once these needs are identified, teachers can make informed decisions about how to support students in their literacy development. We are pleased to announce that this handy tool is now upgraded and better than ever!

​In my last post, I shared the many assessment mistakes I’ve made over the years. Blunders aside, I actually love spring assessments for one simple reason. The spring assessment gives me an opportunity to show my students the big picture and remind them that the best reward of all is taking ownership of their own progress. This is usually just a short conversation, but it’s one of the most important talks I will have with them.

​Is it really assessment season again? It feels like yesterday that I opened the lab at this new school, met my students, and screened them for reading difficulties using Benchmark Assessor Live. The winter assessment window seemed to arrive just a short time after that. And now it’s springtime already, and the April 23 to June 11 Benchmark Assessor Live assessment window is almost here. It is time to prepare to assess the students yet again.

For the first time in 25 years, Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot has moved her reading lab to a new school. In a series of blog posts, Candyce will share “stories from the lab,” in which she describes the successes, challenges, and surprises of operating Read Naturally Live in a new setting. She’ll sprinkle each post with bits of wisdom from decades of creating Read Naturally materials and using them with the beloved students she keeps at the center of her work.

In this post, Candyce describes the important elements that happen before starting Read Naturally Live with students: setting up the lab, selecting, and placing students.

Nothing says, “Welcome back from break!” like being faced with winter benchmark assessments. The recommended testing window is December 16 – February 6, so for many of you this task is in the near future. Our blog is full of great information about winter assessments.

I’m in book club with a group of friends. When the book club began, everyone was eager to read again. “I haven’t read an actual book in so long!” many of the members confessed. So we got together and had rich discussions about wonderful books… for a few months. Then we started discussing TED Talks. Now we mostly just get together and chat. I’ve done a little investigating and have come to realize that this trajectory is strikingly common among book clubs. Why don’t we read books anymore?

Are you looking for a way to quickly and accurately assess your students’ phonics abilities? Look no further than Read Naturally’s Quick Phonics Screener (QPS).

Teachers consistently report that QPS provides highly valuable information through an easy and efficient process. This criterion-referenced assessment is appropriate for kindergarteners, adult learners, and all students in between.

Welcome back from winter break! After a week of record-low temperatures here in Minnesota, we’re ready to think about spring. Specifically, we’re thinking about the Setting Spring Targets article we posted on the blog last winter. This article and its companion, Make the Most of Winter Benchmark Assessment Data, contain important information for you to consider as you gear up to conduct winter assessments. These articles instruct you on how to interpret your students’ growth, how to set appropriate goals for fluency improvement, and how to keep your students on track to meet these goals. Click on the links to check out the articles, and let us know how we can assist you in making the second half of this school year as successful as possible.

As you gear up for a productive winter season, let’s take a minute to think about spring. We recommend using benchmark assessment data to compare the average weekly improvement of your students to the norms in the Average Weekly Improvement (AWI) table. Additionally, this data can help you set spring targets for your students.

Comparing your students’ weekly fluency gains to national norms provides a useful snapshot of how they measure up to their peers, but it’s equally important to determine whether a student is making the right amount of growth compared to him/herself. Some school districts have predetermined spring targets for students. If your district does not have predetermined targets, you can set them yourself.

The ground is covered in snow here in Minnesota, which reminds us of many things. Bundle up, drive carefully, and don’t forget those winter benchmark assessments! The recommended testing window is December 19 – February 6. Once the testing is complete, how can you make the most of the data you collect?

When you have data from both fall and winter assessments, you can analyze the student’s week-by-week growth in fluency. This growth can be compared to the Average Weekly Improvement (AWI) table to give you a more complete picture of the student’s progress.

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!

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