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Read Naturally ME: Monitoring student performance

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Once students begin working in Read Naturally, you need to monitor their performance. Monitoring performance helps you to:

  • Respond in a timely way if a student is not placed correctly or is not progressing.
  • Keep students who are making progress continually challenged.

To monitor performance, you must first check to see if students are placed correctly and then keep students challenged.

CHECKING INITIAL PLACEMENT

Once a student has finished two or three stories, check the student's data to see if s/he is placed correctly. Refer to the student's story pages, graphs, and/or reports to find the necessary data.

To check placement, ask yourself:

  • Are the cold-timing scores approximately 30 less than the goal for students below fifth grade or 40 less than the goal for students in fifth grade and above?
  • Can the student read at the goal rate after practicing 3 to 10 times?
  • Are the hot-timing scores at or just above the goal?
  • Does the student answer most of the questions correctly?

Students are correctly placed when most of their data fit within these suggested ranges for cold and hot timings, number of practices, and comprehension questions. Use these guidelines and your teacher judgment to determine if placement is correct.

If a student has been incorrectly placed, explain to the student that you made a mistake when placing him/her. Then, adjust the student's level or goal as needed.

KEEPING STUDENTS CHALLENGED

After checking placement, you will turn your attention to accelerating learning by keeping students challenged as they improve.

To be sure your students are continually challenged, regularly monitor their performance to determine if they need a change in level or goal. Every time you conduct a hot timing, make note of how each student is doing. You can make a change at any time, but do not make changes on every story. Typically, you should carefully review performance and consider changes after a student has completed 12 stories, since you will need to provide the student with a new set of stories.

Determining When to Make a Change

If you see a trend in one or more of the following, it may be time to make a change:

  • The student's cold- and hot-timing scores improve significantly.
  • The student practices significantly fewer times before reaching the goal. If a student typically reaches the goal in fewer than three practices this is a strong indication that it is time for a change.
  • The student consistently exceeds his/her goal.
  • The student's behavior indicates the student is no longer challenged. For example, the student may appear bored.
Determining Whether to Raise the Level or the Goal

Once you determine a change in level or goal is needed, you must decide which one to raise. When changing levels and goals, raise only one element at a time.

After a student completes all of the stories in a level, which is typically 24 stories, raise the student's level.

After the student completes 12 stories, if you need to make a change, consider the student's comprehension and accuracy, and use your teacher judgment.

  • If the student generally scores less than 80 percent correct on the quiz questions on the first try, keep the level the same.
  • If the student has high error rates during cold or hot timings because s/he lacks the oral vocabulary to read the current level of material or lacks the phonics skills to decode the words in this level, keep the level the same.
  • If the student has high error rates due to carelessness or a desire for speed, keep the goal the same.

If the student's comprehension is good and error rates are low, determine whether to raise the student's level or goal by considering the gains s/he needs to make in level of material and reading rate to achieve his/her long-term fluency goal. The student's long-term fluency goal is typically reading unpracticed, grade-level material at a rate that is at least at the 50th percentile of national norms.

Once you've decided which element to raise—level or goal—follow the guidelines below to help ensure the student's continued success.

  • Typically, raise levels by half a year. In rare cases, you may raise levels by a whole year if a student is reading in level 3.0 or above and has made significant fluency progress, comprehends well, and can handle the extra challenge.
  • Raise goals by 10 words at a time.
  • Discuss the change with the student, asking for his/her input.

EXITING THE PROGRAM

A student is ready to leave Read Naturally when s/he meets the long-term fluency goal of reading unpracticed, grade-level material at a rate that is at least at the 50th percentile of national norms.

Because Read Naturally students listen to audio recordings of the stories and practice each story multiple times, their levels and goals in Read Naturally do not reflect the level and rate at which they read unpracticed material. So, in Read Naturally a student will need to work in material that is at least half a year to one year above his/her grade level before s/he is ready to leave the program.

Use a benchmark assessment tool to determine if a student has met his/her long-term fluency goal.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS

If a student is not making the appropriate gains, first check to make sure s/he is correctly and efficiently following the program steps. Use the Read Naturally ME Fidelity Checklists to help determine if a student is correctly and efficiently following the program steps.

If you have a student who is not making progress and is following the steps correctly, try the following troubleshooting tips:

  • Raise the student's level or goal. If your student is not improving in fluency, even though your data show the student is correctly placed, the student may need more of a challenge to accelerate his/her learning.
  • Apply some classroom management techniques, such as re-arranging seating assignments or recording and acknowledging the number of stories completed per week.
  • Make program adjustments such as changing the number of read alongs required or asking for an oral retell.
  • Add supplementary instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, or vocabulary as necessary for students who are lacking skills in these critical areas.
  • Lower the student's level or goal. Generally, once a student is working successfully in the program you will not need to lower levels or goals. But, you might lower the goal if, for example, you have a student who makes many errors because s/he is too focused on speed.
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