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Read Naturally Encore: Preparing the learning environment

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In order to implement Encore II with fidelity, you must create an effective learning environment for your students. Determine the schedule and staff, select the setting, and organize materials in a way that maximizes efficiency and ensures that students spend as much time as possible reading.

DETERMINING SCHEDULE AND STAFF

The amount of time and frequency that students work in Encore II as well as the student-teacher ratio impact student success.

Time Requirement

The more your students read, the faster they will improve. Schedule Encore II sessions at least:

  • 3 to 5 times per week (5 is preferred).
  • 30 minutes or more per session. 

Students who participate in five 30-minute sessions per week are likely to make the greatest improvements. Ways to increase the amount of time students spend reading are to schedule more sessions or lengthen the sessions. 

Student-Teacher Ratio

Encore II is best implemented with a maximum of 6 students per teacher. Educational assistants, parents, or other adult volunteers can also be trained to help under the direction of a teacher, allowing more students to be served in the same session.

SELECTING THE SETTING

A suitable workplace is important for student engagement. The following settings work well:

  • Classroom
  • Resource room
  • Reading lab
  • Extended-day site
  • School library

Carefully consider how to best organize the workplace in order to efficiently manage the students while they work in the room.

ORGANIZING MATERIALS

Organize your Encore II materials in a strategic way to maximize efficiency for both you and your students. (For more detailed information about materials, see "Encore II Materials" in the Read Naturally Encore Teacher's Manual.)

Program Materials
Story page Sets of Stories
The stories included in each book of reproducible masters are divided into odd-numbered stories and even-numbered stories (Set 1 and Set 2). Dividing the stories into odd and even sets reduces potential conflicts students may have over CDs; it also organizes the stories in the Phonics series by the featured phonics pattern(s). Make a master copy for duplication of each set of story/questions pages and one graph page.
Audio CD Albums with Audio CDs
The center hole and the edges of each CD are securely fastened into the CD case for shipment. Readjust the CDs ahead of time to make it easier for students once they begin working independently in the program.
Glossary page Glossaries
Keep the glossaries in a central location for students to share, or place a glossary in each student’s folder. One glossary for each level is included in the materials. To provide additional glossaries, you can either purchase additional glossaries from Read Naturally or make copies of the glossaries using reproducible masters that are available as free downloads on the Read Naturally website.
pointer Purchase printed glossaries
pointer Download reproducible masters of the glossaries
Answer Key Answer Keys
Copy the answer key(s) for each level and make them available to students in a central location (if students will be correcting their own work), or store copies for use by teachers and assistants. To quickly identify the correct answer key(s) for a certain level, color-code the answer keys to match the colors of the levels. Laminate copies of the answer key(s) to make them last longer.
Read Naturally Steps poster Poster
Hang a Read Naturally Steps poster in a central location, or give each student an 8.5” x 11” copy of the poster to keep in his or her folder. (If you use Read Naturally folders, the poster is printed on the back.) This way, if a student has difficulty remembering the sequence of steps, he or she can refer to the poster after completing each step.
pointer Order large-format posters
pointer Print free letter-size posters
One-Minute Timer Timers
Number your timers with a permanent marker, and arrange them numerically so that students can quickly locate their assigned timers. Instruct each student to use only his or her assigned timer. This system will also enable you to quickly inventory the timers at the end of the period.
pointer Order timers
Crossword puzzle

Wait-Time Activities
Prepare an independent activity that the students can do while waiting for the teacher. Suggestions for wait-time activities include the following:

  • Work on the crossword for the story.
    pointer​ Download free crossword puzzles 
  • Work with the glossary, reading the definitions of the words.
  • Read a previously completed Encore II story.
  • Read an appropriate library book or leveled reader.

For Levels 5.6 and above:

  • Work on the Enrichment Activity at the bottom of the questions page.
  • Complete the comparison questions for the story. Comparison questions are found in the appendix of each book of reproducible masters.
Student folder

Student Folders
Folder with stories, graph, glossary, red/green pouch, reading guide, and pencil​Prepare a folder for each student with the student’s name on the front. Number each folder to correspond to the number on the timer the student will be using; students will be responsible for their own timers. Each student folder should contain the following:

  • Stories
    Put a set of 12 odd- or even-numbered stories in the right side of the student’s folder. If you use Read Naturally folders, attach the stories to the top with the self-adhesive, pronged fasteners. Be aware that folders with prongs down the center of the folder do not work well because the student will not be able to see all the print on the pages.
  • Graph Page
    Put the graph page in the left folder pocket, or attach the graph page to the folder under the stories. If you place the graph page under the stories, copy the graph page onto colored paper for easy identification.
  • Glossary
    Place a glossary that corresponds to the student’s level in each student’s folder if you have enough copies (glossary books or printouts). Otherwise, place glossaries in a central location.
  • Red/green pouch, pencils, and reading guide
    Place the student’s pencil, red/blue pencil, and reading guide in the red/green pouch. Then place the pouch in the folder pocket.
  • Paper or notebook (Levels 5.6 and above)
    ​Place lined paper or a notebook in the folder for each student working in Levels 5.6 and above. Because of the length of the stories, these levels do not provide space on the reproducible masters for writing story predictions or summaries.

pointer​ Order folders, pouches, reading guides, and pencils

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