"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~Romans 12:2 NKJV~
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~Prov. 16:9~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Read Naturally: One Minute Reader

Do you have a struggling reader?  Does your child have trouble with fluency, understanding the meanings to words, or comprehension?  My 12 year old son can read at least two levels above his grade level with pretty good fluency.  He has great decoding skills but he doesn’t have too good of comprehension skills. This has always been his weakest point with reading. That is why I was happy to see how this next review I’m about to share with you could help him.

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Read Naturally is a company founded by husband and wife team Tom and Candyce Ihnot.  Candyce has a masters in Special Education.  In 1989 she “designed a unique strategy to help struggling readers”.  The approach is a combination of teacher modeling, repeated reading, and self-monitoring progress.
 
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Their “highly effective programs develop fluency, support vocabulary, and promote comprehension” because they develop and support the five essential components of reading. Those are:

Phonemic Awareness
Phonics
Fluency
Vocabulary
Comprehension

This in turn accelerates reading achievement of special and regular education students.  They have a couple of great programs to help with this.  The one we had a chance to review is their One Minute Reader.
 
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  The One Minute Reader is Read  Naturally’s in-home reading fluency program.
  Age: 1st-5th grade
  Product: Available as a starter kit, individual books, and level bundles.

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The starter kits are available in six different levels.  Those are E (early 1st grade), 1 (middle 1st grade), 2 (middle 2nd grade), 3 (middle 3rd grade), 4 (middle 4th grade), 5 (middle 5th grade) level readers.  Each comes with 1 book with audio CD, a 1 minute timer, a red/blue graphing pencil, and an instructional DVD.  The price for these are $24.95 each.

The individual books consists of five high-interest nonfiction stories as well as an audio CD.  The books have quick quizzes (with 4 questions) at the end of each story.  The back of the book has graphs for recording hot and cold scores, a joke jumble, crossword puzzle, and a glossary of words with the definitions (from bolded word in the stories).  The price for these are $12.95 each.

The level bundles has a copy of all the One Minute Readers for a particular level, one starter kit plus seven more books.  The price for these are $99.95 each.

So how does this all work for the student?  These are the step by step instructions he or she is to take:

1.  Pick a story to read.
2.  Use the timer to time yourself reading.
3.  Mark your cold score in blue (number of words read in a minute).
4.  Read along with the CD
5.  Read alone and raise your score.
6.  Take the quick quiz and do the Joke Jumble.
7.  Read for an adult while being timed.
8.  Mark your hot score in red (subtract # of words you didn’t know from the # of words read in 1 minute).

I received a copy of the level 1 Ready, Set, Orange! and the level 3 Disasters (purple) readers.  My son really liked these readers.  He asked to read them everyday.  Each time I recorded him reading the stories at first by himself then after having read along with the narrator on the CD.  He did really well reading the orange reader.  It was very easy for him since it is their E level reader.  There was no problem with his fluency or him knowing how to say all the words from the stories.  He did fairly well on the quick quizzes too.  Once he got to the purple reader his fluency began to drop a little.  He wasn’t able to read the stories in 1 minutes so the timer kept going off before he was finished reading but he didn’t say any words incorrectly.  He didn’t do well on any of the quizzes either.  His low comprehension skills is a major hindrance in him being able to answer the questions. On a positive note he was trying to read faster to beat the timer and he used the glossary at the back of the book to learn the meaning to words he could pronounce but didn’t know the meaning of.  From our experience I believe he needed more than this program could provide for him at this time.  I do like their approach so I will continue using the books I have with him to see if he can get better at this.

The crew was able to review different products from this company.  If you would like to hear more about my other crew mates experience with Read Naturally and the product they reviewed, head on over to the crew’s blog and check out this post.
 
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this review are entirely my own. I was not paid to write this but received a kit free of charge to review, and give my honest opinion.

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