Read Naturally- One Minute Reader

Sunday, November 20, 2011

 Read Naturally has been providing top notch, researched reading material to educators for 20 years and is a one stop shop for readers of all types and ages. They have a very thorough site explaining the 7 unique reading products and 4 assessment tools they offer the educator.

 My hope in participating in this review was to encourage more fluency in reading for my 9 year old particularly. 

 I was sent items from the One Minute Reader series designed for home use. The books are small, paperback and consumable and come with a DVD included in the front cover. There are 6 levels:  E level for early 1st grade level, 1,2,3,4 and 5. The books can be purchased separately for $12.95, as a bundle with a minute timer, pencil with red on one side and blue on the other and a book in a plastic case meant for storage for $24.95 or as a complete level set of 7 books for $99.95. Each book has 5  separate stories. A placement guide can be found on the site .

 While the Read Naturally site is the best place to go for FAQs , I will try to give an overview and how it worked for us.

 We were sent Ready, Set, Orange from Level 1 and also Disasters from Level 3 in a bundle with a timer and double sided graphing pencil. The graphing pencil and timer are also sold separately for $9 each

 The student reads the story he chooses for one minute, using the included timer. The timer itself is nice because it doesn't show numbers counting down or make any noise as it counts down. My children commented it was nice to not be distracted while they read. As the student reads, he will underline words he can't read in red and then subtract that number from the number of words read in a minute. This number is recorded at the bottom of the page.

 Next, the student listens to the included DVD stored in the front of the book.  He should read out loud with the story at least once and up to 3 times. The story is read for him 3 times- slowly at first, then a little faster and eventually at normal reading speed. At the point, the student and/ or teacher decide whether those steps need to be repeated to achieve fluency.


 It is best to not spend more than 30 minutes a day on this process and up to 5 times a week, but no less than 3 is recommended.

 This program worked very well for us. While the goal is for fluency, the quiz after reading also promotes reading comprehension and word find helps promote vocabulary. So, this program emphasizes all the necessary skills to become a great reader.

 The whole program allows the student to take initive and  pride in his accomplishments. He chooses the story, charts his progress, reads along and then reads out loud to his instructor show the how well he can read. There is a degree of competiton, but the competition is only with himself. If there is any stress or if the student is upset, the program should be stopped and started again another time. Of course, an instructor should be handy and available to both redirect (in necessary) and also be a cheerleader.

 Of course, we all know how important reading is to the future success of a child as s student. I believe this whole program is a positive tool  and is an excellent system for teaching reading fluency. The stories are interesting, but relevant and educational. The price is reasonable and the method is proven to be effective. I wish I had started out with this for my older children. Two of my older children struggled with learning to read. I believe we all endured unecessary frustration because I didn't have the right tools to properly teach them. I think this program could have made a difference.  I wish the books were not consumable. I do see the advantage of each child having their own book, but I do not like to waste paper and also like to save money.

 This program was provided to me for free as part of the The Old Schoolhouse Review crew and in exchange for my honest review.


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