Frustrated TeacherRun screaming from the building…just kidding…you should help them!  If Read Naturally is your chosen intervention then the first thing you will need to do is to set-up your environment.  I've seen Read Naturally used in resource rooms, classrooms, computer labs, rolling carts, before school, and after school. I’m happy to talk to you about specifics of your situation so feel free to call.

Anyway, regardless of the setting, plan on having a teacher-to-student ratio of about 1:6 (depending on the students, some Read Naturally SE or Read Live classes can work at 1:8). If you’re working with a larger number of students, consider using paraprofessionals, parents, or volunteers to assist. You can also team with another teacher and have one working in Read Naturally while the other works with the rest of the students.

As you make decisions about setting up your program, your guiding principles should be: “Does this increase the time my students will actually spend reading?” and “Does it increase the number of words they’ll be reading?” If the answer is “no,” rethink your decision.

Now you need to gather materials.  For teachers using Read Naturally SE or Read Live, all you need are the computers and headphones.

For those of you that use the Masters Edition or Encore, you’ll need to be more organized. You will need copies of the stories, graphs, folders, CDs or cassettes, an audio player and headphones, a timer, a reading guide, and a stop/go signal (the red/green pouch) with a red/blue pencil inside. Each student will need a folder with his/her name on the front.

In the folder will be:

  • 12 Stories – There are 24 stories in each level but you are going to give your students the odd stories first
    • Why? To help you monitor what set your students are working on—the first, odd-numbered set or the second, even-numbered set.  Also, each audio CD or cassette has one odd and one even numbered story. So, if you give your students stories one through 12, they’ll have the stories on CDs one through six.  But, if you give them the odd-numbered stories, they’ll have stories from CDs one through 12. Breaking the stories up into odd and even numbers means each student has 12 CD choices, rather than just six. Having more CDs to choose from reduces human relation issues over CDs, because it is less likely multiple students will need the same CD at the same time.  In the Phonics curriculum, dividing the level into odd and even stories puts each of the four stories for each of the phonics patterns together in the same packet.
  • Graphs – Put the graphs in the left folder pocket, or attach the graphs to the folder under the stories. Copy graphs on colored paper for easy identification.
  • Red/blue pencil – Students need a red/blue pencil for marking their graphs.  You can give them multiple crayons or markers but now you have doubled the chance that they have lost one of them or one needs sharpening.  Fewer tools means fewer issues which means fewer headaches for you and more words read for them.
  • Red/Green Pouch – You can buy it from Read Naturally or you can make it out of red and green construction paper and some scotch tape applied along three sides.  Students use this to store their supplies and to indicate to you when they need your attention.  When they are working independently, they have the green side up.  When they need your attention, they have the red side up.  However, they need to continue working when they have the red side up.  You need to train them that you will only assist students that continue to practice or answer comprehension questions while they are waiting for your help.
  • Reading Guides – These are only necessary for students that you think need assistance with visual tracking.

For more information helpful information like this, please visit the Knowledgebase.

What works best for your program? How do you set things up? Please share your own experiences and tips to help others with set-up!