Read Live: Working with Students: General Topics


1. What can I do to help a student who scores between 60% and 80% on the Quiz step in Read Naturally Live?

If the student’s average percent correct on the quiz is between 60% and 79% consider doing one or more of the following:

If vocabulary knowledge is impeding comprehension, have the student click on each vocabulary word (the blue words) before the student reads along during the Read Along step. This introduces the student to pertinent vocabulary before beginning to read the story.

Usually, continue level and support comprehension, but consider a lower level if the student needs extensive vocabulary growth and the student is new to Read Naturally Live.

If the student does not have vocabulary problems or is not an English language learner, consult the Comprehension Graphs when reviewing work with the student (on the tab behind the Story Details page). Analyze the student data to see what types of questions the student is struggling with: e.g., main idea, vocabulary, inferential. Provide some guidelines for the student to improve his or her performance on one type of question. Once the student has become more consistent at correctly answering that type of question, select another question type whose scores on the most current graph data are lower than 80% correct and provide instruction on that type of question.

A helpful document for showing students how to answer specific question types is the Strategy for Teaching Comprehension Questions. The Knowledgebase and FAQs on the Read Naturally website have additional information on supporting comprehension.

It is often worthwhile to give the whole group a quick lesson in HOW to answer the questions. See the Strategy for Teaching Comprehension Questions to understand the question types—they are the same types for each story.

For students who struggle with comprehension, consider changing the timing during practices and pass timings from one minute to whole-story timing if student motivation is not an issue. A one-minute timing is very motivating—the student is able to see significant growth in rate after only practicing a few times. A student who is reading the whole story for each practice needs to be willing to stick with long practices. However, a student who has whole-story timing enabled usually does much better on the comprehension questions because the student repeatedly reads all of the story, not just the beginning of the story.

2. I'm having trouble with a lot of my students getting the "put the sequence of events in correct order" question in Read Naturally Live wrong almost every time. When I go back to help them, it seems like they have the correct answer but the program keeps counting it wrong.

The Working with Students on Comprehension Q&A section under Read Naturally Strategy Programs includes a detailed response to this question, including suggested instruction strategies.

For More Information:

Q&A: Read Naturally Strategy Programs: Trouble with students getting the "put the sequence of events in the correct order" questions

3. Will changing the practice duration to "whole-story timing" in Read Naturally Live Story Options help a student who struggles with comprehension?

Yes, changing the duration of the practice timing  from one-minute to whole-story timing often helps a student understand the story more deeply, especially the longer stories. Since the student must read the whole story during the Practice and Pass steps (rather than reading just a portion of the story for each one-minute timing), this option is more appropriate as a student becomes more fluent and/or is reading in the higher levels.  

Note: One-minute timings allow a student to quickly see improvement and are very motivating to beginning and struggling readers. Selecting whole-story timing may not be the best option for intervening with comprehension issues if the student is a beginning or unmotivated reader: implementing other comprehension interventions may be a better solution for readers who need immediate feedback.

pointer See also: Read Live User Guide: Customizing the Program for Students

4. How can I monitor comprehension in Read Naturally Live for a student who may need intervention?

Read Live provides several ways for you to monitor a student’s progress in comprehension.

Pass Step

As you work through the Pass step with a student, you will review the student’s answer(s) to written response questions(s)—which provides you with an opportunity to informally evaluate whether a student might need intervention on written response questions. 

As you review a student’s work on the Pass/Review Work page, you can review the student’s current story results with the student—to see if the student met the requirements for passing the Quiz. You can also review the Comprehension Graph that displays the student’s scores for all completed stories in the level. The Comprehension Graph shows the type(s) of questions the student answered correctly and the type(s) the student answered incorrectly.


Read Naturally Live reports include important information about a specific student's progress or the progress of a group of students. You can use the data from the reports to monitor a student’s progress in comprehension. Use the Students At-a-Glance Report to quickly identify students who may not be making adequate progress in comprehension and therefore may require adjustments in their programs or additional instruction. The Student Level reports and the Story Details report provide additional information.

pointer See also: Read Live User Guide: Creating Read Naturally Live Reports

5. How can I help Read Naturally Live students who are having trouble with the comprehension questions?

First, you should make sure that the student understands how to answer the questions. If each question type was not taught when the student was introduced to the Read Naturally program, do that now. Students often find the mechanics of answering questions #6 and #7 to be more difficult because the student needs to select multiple answers for these questions.

If a student is scoring at least 60% but below 80% and has completed only a few stories, comprehension scores will most likely increase (with minimal teacher guidance) to 80% or higher as the student better understands the program. However, if the student's scores remain in the 60 to 79% range on the most recent three stories on the Students At-a-Glance report, it is important to intervene. The intervention should include explicit instruction for the specific type(s) of questions that the student is struggling to answer correctly. Look at the student's Comprehension Graph to discover which types of questions the student struggles to answer.  

  • When the student is logged in, you can display the Comprehension Graph from the Pass/Review Work page, so you can go over the information with the student.
  • In the Read Live Staff Member Module, on the Reports page, select Student Level Reports (Recent). Select the students you need to review, click Generate Reports for Selected, and choose the Comprehension Graph option. Choose how many of the students' most recent levels you want to review, and click Generate Reports.
For More Information

6. I got an email about some of my students' Read Live licenses being removed, but I didn't make that change. What happened?

Whenever a student's license is removed, her or his Lead Teacher is informed using the email address saved in the Read Live Staff Member Module. The email includes a list of all students whose licenses were removed at the same time.

That can happen when a student's Lead Teacher removes the license. It can also occur, though, for other reasons:

  • An Account Administrator or School coordinator could remove the license or assign a new Lead Teacher for the student.
  • The student could change schools. When students are transferred, they need to be re-assigned a license at the new school. (Note that even when Teachers whose School is set to "All Schools" are a student's Lead Teacher, the student will still need a new license after moving from one school to another.)
  • An Account Administrator could use the Start a New School Year function and choose to remove all existing licenses and Lead Teachers in the account.

Teachers who have questions about removed student licenses should consult with School Coordinators or Account Administrators in their account. 

7. Can I use results from DIBELS or other assessment tools to place students in Read Naturally Live?

No. Benchmark assessments can be good tools for identifying whether a student should work in Read Naturally Live, but they are not appropriate for placement.

The only way to correctly identify the level of material and goal for a student who is entering Read Naturally Live is to follow the defined placement process. Using the placement process, you place each student in an instructional level and reading-rate goal that are challenging enough to accelerate reading improvement but not so difficult that the student becomes discouraged.

Read Naturally Live includes a built-in placement test. The test can be administered relatively quickly. Correct placement is vital to the student’s success in Read Naturally Live.

To access the Read Naturally Live placement test:
  1. From the navigation menu, choose Read Naturally Live.
  2. Locate the name of the student you want to place.
  3. In the Placement Test column for the student, click Place.
    From here, the software guides you through the placement process. For best results, you should review the placement instructions in the Read Live User Guide before attempting to place a student.
For More Information

8. How do students earn badges on the Congratulations page in Read Naturally Live?

When a student completes a story in Read Naturally Live, a Congratulations page appears with award badges for various aspects of the student’s work on the story.  Badges can appear as a gold medallion, or as a medallion with blue ribbons.  A gold medallion means the student met the basic requirement; ribbons mean the student went above and beyond the basic requirements. 

How Students Earn Reward Badges
  Basic Requirement Above & Beyond
Accuracy Student had 3 or fewer errors on the hot timing Student had no errors on the hot timing
Goal Student met the goal on the hot timing Student met the goal on the first try at the hot timing
Expression Student got an expression score of 2 or 3 on the hot timing Student got an expression score of 4 on the hot timing
Quiz Student got all the quiz questions correct Student got all the quiz questions correct on the first try
Retell (non-Phonics stories only) Student’s retelling of the story met teacher expectations Student’s retelling of the story met teacher expectations on the first try
Word List (Phonics stories only) Student passed the word list The student passed the word list on the first try

Badge types when a student completes Read Naturally Live story

9. How can I help a Read Naturally Live student whose lack of vocabulary impedes comprehension?

Before the student completes the first Read Along, require the student to listen to the definition of each vocabulary word by clicking on each of the blue words in the story. It is not necessary for the student to read along, but merely to listen to the definition of each word. Understanding the meaning of the selected words is critical to understanding the meaning of the story.

10. What support is available for Read Naturally Live students who struggle during the Word List step?

The purpose of the Word List step is to reinforce the phonics patterns featured in the stories in the Phonics series. This step helps the student build automaticity in reading words with the featured phonics patterns.

Encourage students who struggle with decoding to pay careful attention to the information provided during the Key Words step. That step introduces the phonics elements with a short lesson on several words. The words used in the Key Words step are the first word in each Word List column.

If a student is unable to decode the words accurately, consider having that student click on each word in the Word List during the first word list practice. That way, the student can hear the words read before trying to read them independently. 

By default in Read Naturally Live, the student must read the Phonics word list in 60 seconds during the Pass step. However, the student's lead teacher can change the timing duration to 75 seconds in Story Options (with the student logged in, click the Teacher link, log in, and click Change Story Options).

11. What can I do if a Read Naturally Live student becomes extremely frustrated when required to practice the Phonics word list many times because the student cannot complete it in 60 seconds?

In Read Naturally Live, a student working in the Phonics levels is required to practice reading lists of words until the student can read the list in 60 seconds. Some students cannot meet this requirement even after practicing many times. After 10 practices, Read Naturally Live lets a student move on to the next step, even if he or she has not met the requirement.

If a student becomes extremely frustrated and, in your judgement, will not benefit from practicing ten times, consider setting a different expectation for the student. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Change the student's word list goal to 75 seconds in the Story Options.
  • Tell the student to read the words in the first column of the word list before clicking Start Timing.
  • Tell the student to read all the columns down before clicking Start Timing.
  • Tell the student to click Start Timing, read all the columns down, read one row across, and click Finished.
  • Tell the student to click Start Timing and read the words to a predetermined word before clicking Finished.

The student may also need some counseling about the importance of practice. Remind the student that reading words and passages multiple times will help the student become a better reader.

12. How can I adapt the Read Naturally Live program to help a student who stutters?

Candyce Ihnot has dealt with the same situation at a Minneapolis school. She consulted with the student’s speech therapist and decided to do the following:

  • Set the goal just a few words above the cold-timing score. Since the student is not working so hard to increase rate, pressure will be reduced.
  • Have the student do three read alongs to build word recognition and accuracy.
  • Have the student do three practice readings using the Whole-Story Timing option. Since the student reads the whole story, he or she will not feel pressured by anticipating the bell that sounds at the end of a one-minute timing.  If the goal is set very close to the cold-timing score, the student should be able to reach the goal within three practice readings.
  • Do the Pass step with these criteria to pass the story:
    • Read through the whole story. (In Read Naturally Live, selecting Whole-Story for the Practice Duration applies to both the Practice and Pass steps, so, the student will not be pressured by anticipating the bell during the Pass step either.) Have the student click Start Timing, read the entire story, and then click Finished.  Or, if you do not want to take the time to listen to the whole story on the Pass step, you can have the student start the timing, just read three or four paragraphs, and then go to the last page of the story and click Finished(This will give the student an artificially high fluency score.)
    • No more than three errors.
    • Must read with good expression.
    • Must answer all questions correctly.

13. How should I handle students who do not have keyboarding skills?

Our goal, of course, is for students to spend as much time as possible actually reading text. If the task of typing in predictions and retells takes a large portion of the time allotted for Read Naturally fluency practice, you may want to consider making some modifications.

  • It is possible to disable the Prediction or Retell Step (or both) in the software and not require the student to do one or both of these.
  • As an alternative, students can write their predictions and/or retellings in a notebook. For very young or special education students with limited writing skills, you may want to require only a few words or a phrase as a prediction—encouraging the use of the key words.
  • Another strategy is to have a student “talk to the screen.”  Model for the students how to just orally predict what they think the story will be about, and then move right into their cold timing. 
  • For more accountability, the teacher can come to the student to listen to an oral prediction and do the cold timing with the student.
  • Following the hot timing step, the teacher can listen to a brief oral retelling of the story—and then encourage the student to make the next story selection and get right on to spending time reading again.

Please let us know what questions you have so we can assist. For Technical Support, please call us or submit a software support request.

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