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Ready or not, school is starting soon. For many teachers, that means you’re just getting used to waking up later, feeling rested, and hopefully enjoying some travel. But in the back of your mind you’re also thinking about your classroom, your students, and your lesson plans.

There are an unlimited number of variables surrounding and affecting us at all times. Reading time is no exception. What can we do to create an optimal reading space for our students and children? Here are some easy and effective ideas:

The two most important factors in a successful read-aloud are a great book selection and a great delivery. When these two factors are present, it feels like magic. The room becomes still. All eyes are on the reader. The crowd collectively furrows at the worrisome parts of the story and roars with laughter at the funny parts. When good stories are read aloud, they can instantly lift up, teach, and unite diverse groups of people. Few things in life are so simple, yet so powerful.

For me, summer break means a break from the reading lab—but it doesn’t mean a break from teaching! I’ve been blessed with eleven grandchildren, six of whom are still in grade school and live very close to me. It’s great to work with them throughout the year on their reading and math, but I love the extra time I get to spend with them in the summer. As with many kids, it can be more difficult to motivate them over the break. Can any of you relate?

​​​​​​​If you’re a Read Live user, we hope you’re taking advantage of FREE One Minute Reader Live access this summer to accelerate your students’ gains and ensure they don’t lose the progress they’ve made this year. OMR Live is completely independent and ideally suited for summer learning. Teachers typically have just one concern: How can we trust that the students will put in the time and effort on their own? Rest assured, OMR Live is inherently rewarding, and kids love it! Beyond this, consider boosting their motivation by implementing a fun incentive program.

We're approaching the end of another challenging school year. Your students have worked hard to accelerate their progress in reading, despite learning disruptions due to the pandemic. As you know, they can't afford anymore setbacks in their reading. Avoiding the summer slide is more important than ever.

After analyzing over 30 years of Read Naturally data, we know this for sure: The more stories students pass, the more they improve. The quickest path to reading competency is to successfully complete as many stories as possible. And yet, you probably have a few students who prefer to work at a leisurely pace--unconcerned with how many stories they're passing each week. How can you motivate these students to pick up the pace?

Students learning to read are inherently motivated by their own successes as they become more fluent. When their teachers acknowledge this success as well, it often gives them an extra push to work even harder. These little boosts can help them improve even more quickly. 

What is the best way to spend a cozy winter break? We may be biased here at Read Naturally, but we believe it's time spent with loved ones and good books. Many students will be motivated to curl up on their own with a favorite book, while many others have not yet reached this point. Regardless of where students are on their reading journey, there are countless ways to incorporate reading into the break.

When I first started teaching, I knew that independent reading was important. I knew I wanted to give my students the opportunity to read something on their own that they loved, but I didn’t realize the need to be specific and intentional in this practice. Because of this, I would provide time for “free reading” or “DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Time” on a regular basis. However, it didn’t always go as planned. From time to time, I would have students flipping through pages of the book (not reading). Some students played in their desks during this time. I even had a student or two fall asleep. As a new teacher, I knew I needed to provide opportunity for more focused reading, but I didn’t know how to make that happen. I was frustrated with myself and my students.

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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