School of the Year

Olive B. Loss Elementary School

Bear, DE

2018 Read Live School of the Year Runner-Up

Submitted by Veronica Daniel, Reading Specialist, Olive B. Loss Elementary School

Olive B. Loss Elementary studentsOur runner-up winner, Olive B. Loss Elementary, has been using Read Naturally Strategy programs for over 10 years. Resource Specialist Veronica Daniel, who has been working with Read Naturally Live since 2015, oversees a program that is used in grades 2 through 5 throughout the school, averaging about 60 students. The program is implemented with fidelity, with many groups meeting every day, while some meet at least three times a week. Groups work with teachers, paraprofessionals, and/or a reading specialist.

Ms. Daniel submitted data in the form of charts and reports that indicated students using Read Naturally Live at Olive B. Loss Elementary during the course of the current school year made significant progress in their reading proficiency.

​“We use Read Naturally Live throughout our school in grades 2–5," Ms. Daniel wrote. "On average, we have about 60 students using the program. Depending on each classroom schedule, students leave their class and join a small group with the reading specialist, or remain in their class and use the program as a small group activity.

"Many groups meet every day, while some meet at least 3 times a week. Groups work with teachers, paraprofessionals, and/or a reading specialist. The reading specialist monitors the data to make any necessary adjustments. Those adjustments are usually based on growth, but sometimes students need a change to help them be successful.

"Students are placed into the program using DIBELS, a research-based and school district approved benchmarking tool for oral reading fluency. Every student in second grade is assessed, while about half of students in third through fifth are assessed. Their BOY (beginning of year) scores, including WCPM (words correct per minute) and accuracy, are reviewed. If their scores fall below the 50th percentile of oral reading fluency norms, they are enrolled within the program.

"The program coordinator (reading specialist) confers with the classroom teacher, and the students get started! As students share their experiences with the program, they all have positive things to say! This would not have been true at the beginning of the school year. Many of the students who began this program in October were considered struggling readers, and more than a few had a negative reaction to being asked to read “more” outside of class. Now, it’s clear our students really enjoy Read Naturally!

"They are motivated to meet or exceed their goals, and have demonstrated great gains in confidence. They are aware of the overall goals of the program, as well as their individual level and goal. The adult in the group has frequent conversations with them during cold reading, retellings or word list practices, and hot timings. This positive interaction keeps them engaged and motivated.

"The content of Read Naturally works well for our students, particularly in the younger grades. They are used to expository text, and think the nonfiction text is 'harder.' However, they really enjoy learning new things from the informative texts, and, if placed within the sequenced program, like to challenge themselves with retellings.

"All of our students have shown an increase in their word recognition, as not only does their fluency increase, so does their vocabulary acquisition and comprehension ability. We really miss the students who “graduate." When students exit the program, it is because they have achieved oral reading fluency through automaticity, and are ready to change their focus to another area of reading instruction. We love to see and celebrate the growth of our hard-working readers! We hope you enjoy the reactions to Read Naturally from our students, parents, and teachers.”


See the Read Naturally Live program in action at Olive B. Loss Elementary and learn how it helps struggling readers improve their fluency and comprehension.

Parent Testimonials

“I wanted to comment on the improvement that we have seen with Cameron’s fluency and ability to decode words. The read naturally program, we believe, has helped him tremendously. As you are aware Cameron has a speech delay and has struggled the most with the sounds letters make and then blending the sounds to make a word. The read naturally program has helped with his speech delay by reinforcing through repetition. A word that Cameron may have sounded one way; having it repeated to him and reinforced has helped to increase the amount of sight words he knows. The increased sight words have increased his overall score with reading fluency. We love the program.”
— Lindsay Conway

“My son, Chase, has been using the Read Naturally program for 2 years and both he and I absolutely love it! Chase struggled with reading fluency and accuracy in first grade. He was reading below grade level and his confidence in his reading was very low. Nightly reading assignments were often a battle, and it was heartbreaking to see him struggle. In second grade, his teachers introduced Chase to the Read Naturally program. He really enjoyed going each day and loved that the stories were non-fiction stories about sports, history and other topics of interest on his level. As a result, his fluency and accuracy improved tremendously, but most of all so did his confidence! He is now in fourth grade, reads on grade level and absolutely loves to read! We are so thankful for Read Naturally!”
— Shelley Fetrow

Read Live School of the Year 2018


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