Read Naturally


(excerpts from Read Naturally website)

A Proven Approach to Building Reading Proficiency

Since 1991, Read Naturally has helped thousands of students become better readers using a unique strategy that combines teacher modeling, repeated reading, and assessment and progress monitoring. Read Naturally's programs provide a safe, structured, motivating learning environment that encourages reading on a regular basis.

Our strategy and industry-leading products support and reinforce the five essential components of reading, as determined by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Using stories, audio recordings, posters, videos, stickers, quizzes, puzzles, and graphs, students work with age-appropriate material at their skill level. With our wide range of products, Read Naturally succeeds with readers of all abilities and ages.

Teacher Modeling

In teacher modeling, a proficient reader models good, correct reading for a less skilled reader, an approach that teaches phonemic awareness and phonics. Read Naturally's products incorporate teacher modeling by having students read the story along with the recording. The wide selection of high-interest nonfiction stories capture the reader's interest with topics that are age-appropriate and engaging.

Repeated Reading

Repeated reading is the key to developing fluency, the ability to read as well as we speak without having to think about each word. Using Read Naturally products, students practice reading stories with a timer until they reach a pre-determined goal rate of fluency, accuracy, speed, and vocal expression.

Assessment and Progress Monitoring

Progress monitoring plays a central role in helping students achieve their targeted reading goals. The Read Naturally program provides multiple tools, such as graphs, timers, quizzes, and crossword puzzles which enable students and teachers to monitor reading progress. This approach involves students in charting their own learning process, while helping teachers determine appropriate reading levels and goals.

How It Works

The core steps of the Read Naturally program incorporate our proven strategy of teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring to maximize reading proficiency. The same basic step-by-step approach, as described below, is used for the Read Naturally Masters Edition, the Read Naturally Software Edition, and the Group and Tutoring Edition (GATE). A streamlined version of the process is used for One Minute Reader.

Select a Story

Students choose from any of the stories within their assigned level. Because students are allowed to select which stories they want to read, they develop a sense of ownership of their own learning.

Read Along to the Key Words

Students listen and read along as key words and their definitions are read aloud. This practice helps developing readers learn how to pronounce the words and understand what they mean.

Write a Prediction

Students use the story title, key words, and pictures to write a brief prediction of what they think the story is about. Using this action step, students become prepared to read by first thinking briefly about the topic.

Cold Timing

This step establishes a baseline for measuring improvement. As students read the story for the first time, they time themselves for one minute, marking unfamiliar or difficult words. This process increases a student's awareness of unknown words and alerts teachers to words or word patterns they may need to teach.

Graph the Cold Timing Score

Students graph the number of words read correctly in one minute. Cold timing scores—total number of words read correctly minus the number of difficult words—are typically marked in blue. In the Software Edition, the computer calculates and graphs the cold timing score automatically.

Read Along to the Story

Students read along while listening to a recording of the story, repeating the step several times. Using teacher modeling, students learn new words, proper pronunciation, expression, and phrasing. To get the most out of this step, students should ‘subvocalize’ quietly as they read along to make sure they aren’t just listening to the audio recording.

Practice Reading the Story

Students time themselves as they practice reading the story several times without the recording. They continue to reread the story until they achieve or exceed their predetermined goal rate.

Answer the Questions

Students answer up to nine quiz questions about the story, a process that encourages students to read for comprehension and ensures that they understand what they are reading.

Pass Timing

The teacher times the student as he or she reads the story. As with the cold timing, the teacher subtracts the number of errors from the number of words read in a minute to get the correct words per minute score.

To pass a story, students must read at their goal rate, make no more than three errors, read with good expression, and answer the comprehension questions correctly.

If a student does not pass, the teacher points out areas that need more work, and, if necessary, assigns some remedial action, such as reading along again or continuing to practice.

Graph the Pass Timing Score

When students pass a story, they graph their pass timing score in red above the blue bar representing their cold timing score. In SE, the computer graphs the pass timing score automatically. When students see their progress, they build self-esteem and feel motivated to continue improving.

Retell the Story (Sequenced and Spanish Series)

By retelling information from the story, either in writing or orally, students are required to think about the ideas in the story, rather than just the words. If time is limited, teachers may choose to skip this step.

Practice and Pass the Word Lists (Phonics Series)

The phonics levels include word list steps in place of the retell step. Students practice word lists featuring specific sounds and letter patterns until they are able to pass the word list by reading it for their teacher.


The Read Naturally Strategy