Read Naturally: Placement tips from our curriculum experts


Placement is one of the most important tasks you’ll do as a Read Naturally educator. When a student is working in the correct level of material with an appropriate goal, he or she will be able to make optimal gains in reading. While it is the student’s responsibility to work toward these gains, it is the teacher’s responsibility to determine the correct level and goal.

Because proper placement is crucial to your students’ success, we frequently write about this topic on our blog, RN Bookmark. Whether you’re new to the Read Naturally placement system or a seasoned pro, we recommend taking a few moments to browse these blog posts. Each post contains tips and tricks to place with success— many of which are provided by Read Naturally experts who have placed more students than they can count.

  • Finding a Fit That Is Just Right, written by our educational consultant and presenter Claire Hayes, gives an overview of the placement process and outlines several key things to remember. This post is a great starting point for educators who are new to the Read Naturally placement process.
  • Read Naturally Placement and Returning Students, also written by Claire Hayes, answers a question we frequently receive at the office: “I have a student who worked in Read Naturally last year. Should he continue in his level/goal from last year? Or should I place him again?” Even if you already know the answer to this question, be sure to read what Claire has to say.
  • Placing for Success is an important post about why teachers should never use assessment scores or Lexile measures to determine a student’s placement in Read Naturally. Only the Read Naturally placement passages will help you determine the appropriate level for the student. This post explains why.
  • Thinking Outside the (Placement) Box, written by Read Naturally founder Candyce Ihnot, is a must-read for every Read Naturally educator. Candyce gives a great example of how teacher judgment needs to factor into every student’s placement. The placement table is a wonderful tool, but it’s not the be-all-endall. In her post, Candyce shares a creative solution to finding the best level for her tough-to-place student.
  • Making Time for One-on-One Placement—And a Word of Caution, written by our Curriculum Director Karen McKenna, is for any teacher who wishes there were more hours in the day. This post identifies a common dilemma for many Read Naturally educators: Placement can be time-consuming. Karen shares some helpful ideas for making the process go smoothly for both the teacher and the larger group of students.
  • Download Our Free Checking Initial Placement Guides links to our Checking Initial Placement resources, which are essential for successful long-term placement. When a student has completed between three and six Read Naturally stories, you need to check to be sure that student’s level and goal are appropriate. These guides, developed by our curriculum experts, tell you exactly what to do.

Remember: Proper placement can mean the difference between a student who continues to struggle and a student who begins to soar. If you run into placement difficulties not addressed in these articles, please contact us via phone or email so that we can help you find the right level and goal for your students.


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