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Read Naturally Strategy Programs

Choosing the Right Read Naturally Strategy Program

  1. How can content for grades 1–8 be an appropriate intervention for grade 1 through adult? Are any of these strategy programs appropriate for high school students?
  2. If a student just needs intervention for comprehension, which one of these programs would be best?
  3. If a student needs phonics intervention, how do I determine which program would be best for the student? What’s the difference between the Phonics series and GATE?
  4. Can students working in Read Naturally Live change platforms? For example, can a student work on a computer one day and then continue the same story on an iPad the next day?
  5. Are the stories in the One Minute Reader iPad App and One Minute Reader Books/CDs the same?
  6. Explain the differences between mostly independent, independent, and teacher-led small group. What should the teacher-to-student ratio be for the programs that are mostly independent or teacher-led small group?
  7. What kind of support is included in Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore for Spanish-speaking ELL students?
  8. What’s the difference between the Read Naturally Masters Edition Spanish series and the Spanish support provided in Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore?

1. How can content for grades 1–8 be an appropriate intervention for grade 1 through adult? Are any of these strategy programs appropriate for high school students?

Each level in the Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore Sequenced and Phonics series includes 24 high-interest, nonfiction stories. Each level in the Read Naturally Live Idioms series includes 12 stories per level. Several readability formulas were used, and the stories in each level (1–8) represent a diverse range of topics that cover several content areas, such as history, science, and biography. The carefully written stories in each level are appropriate for that level and interesting to students. Most stories contain at least one interesting fact that the average adult is unlikely to know. So, the content is designed to be an appropriate intervention for a wide range of ages.

Each student is placed in a level that is challenging but not frustrating. So, if a struggling high school student reads within the range of grades 1–8, that student can work in Read Naturally. 

One Minute Reader has content for grades 1–5.  So, a student who reads within the range of grades 1-5 can work in One Minute Reader.  

pointer Choosing the right Read Naturally Program

2. If a student just needs intervention for comprehension, which one of these programs would be best?

All of the Read Naturally Strategy programs focus on fluency, but each story includes comprehension questions. Because students know they must answer these questions, they are accountable to read for meaning, not speed. So, although the programs do not focus mainly on comprehension, a student who needs intervention for comprehension can certainly benefit from working in Read Naturally—especially students who respond well to the structure of completing the same steps for each new story. 

For example, each story in the Sequenced series (Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore) has five to nine different types of questions, depending on the level. The question types always follow the same pattern (e.g., Question number one is always a main idea question). This makes it easy to determine the types of questions that are difficult for a student, so you can provide additional instruction from your core program for those specific question types. 

Lessons for teaching each question type were developed by a teacher who uses Read Naturally. This resource is available on the website:

pointer  A Teacher’s Strategy for Teaching Comprehension Questions in Read Naturally Strategy Programs

3. If a student needs phonics intervention, how do I determine which program would be best for the student? What’s the difference between the Phonics series and GATE?

Each story in the Phonics series provides a short phonics lesson, and the student reads a story that includes many words with that featured phonics element. Specific phonics skills are taught in each level—0.8 (short vowels), 1.3 (long vowels), 1.8 (blends and digraphs), 2.3 (r-controlled), 2.6 (short vowels), and 2.7 (long vowels). 

In Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore, a student can be placed in the Phonics series, and the student works mostly independently. The teacher is only required for the Cold-Timing step and for the Hot-Timing/Pass step. 

In Read Naturally GATE, the teacher provides direct instruction to a small group (up to six students) who are not yet ready to work mostly independently. The three levels of the GATE program are based on the stories from the Phonics series—0.8 (short vowels), level 1.3 (long vowels), and level 1.8 (blends and digraphs).

pointer Download Phonics series sample stories

pointer Download GATE sample lessons and stories

4. Can students working in Read Naturally Live change platforms? For example, can a student work on a computer one day and then continue the same story on an iPad the next day?

Yes!  The software and data for Read Naturally Live are "in the cloud."

Students can use the same User ID and account number to continue working across desktop computers, laptops, Chromebooks, or iPads.  

5. Are the stories in the One Minute Reader iPad App and One Minute Reader Books/CDs the same?

Yes!  The stories are the same. Each of the six levels (from early 1st grade through mid-fifth grade) includes eight books, with five stories each.  

A free downloadable iPad app showcases one story from each level.

pointer Learn more about the Free One Minute Reader App

A downloadable sample story from a book is available on the website.

pointer Download One Minute Reader Books sample stories

6. Explain the differences between mostly independent, independent, and teacher-led small group. What should the teacher-to-student ratio be for the programs that are mostly independent or teacher-led small group?

Mostly Independent:  Programs that are categorized as mostly independent require the teacher to be present only for a couple of steps, and the student works independently the rest of the time. For example, the teacher must be present only for the Cold-Timing step and the Hot-Timing/Pass step in Read Naturally Live, Read Naturally Encore, Masters Edition, and One Minute Reader (Book/CD format). The recommended teacher-to-student ratio for Read Naturally Live is 1:8. The recommended teacher-to-student ratio for the other programs is 1:6.

Independent:  The One Minute Reader iPad App is designed to be completely independent. The teacher is not required to be present as the student works through the steps of a story. Results can be emailed to the teacher or to a student’s parent or guardian.

Teacher-Led Small Group:  The GATE program is a teacher-led small group program. The teacher provides the instruction to a small group (up to six students) with similar needs. The teacher presents the scripted lesson and guides the students through each step.

7. What kind of support is included in Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore for Spanish-speaking ELL students?

To build background knowledge and understanding of vocabulary, Sequenced series levels 1.0–4.5 provide the option of having a student listen to (or read along with) the story in Spanish.

In Read Naturally Live, the teacher can select the story option “Spanish Read Along.” The student will view the Spanish text and listen to (or read along with) the story in Spanish prior to doing the Read Along step in English.

In Read Naturally Encore, the student can be directed to listen to the CD track with the story in Spanish prior to doing the Read Along step in English.

pointer Should your students read along in Spanish?

8. What’s the difference between the Read Naturally Masters Edition Spanish series and the Spanish support provided in Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore?

In the Read Naturally Masters Edition Spanish series, each Spanish story is, as much as possible, a word-for-word translation of the corresponding story and comprehension questions in the Sequenced series. So the Spanish series can be paired with the English series. A student whose first language is Spanish can complete all of the steps in Spanish first to gain an understanding of the story content and vocabulary before working through the same story in English. Some teachers may also choose to use these stories to support a student who is learning to read in Spanish.

In Read Naturally Live and Read Naturally Encore, the student only listens to (or reads along with) the story in Spanish to gain an understanding of the story content and vocabulary before doing the Read Along step. The rest of the steps are completed in English.

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