Monday, November 14, 2011

TOS Review of Read Naturally's One Minute Reader

We all know how important reading well is to overall education.  Read Naturally has a full line up of products aimed at increasing literacy including One Minute Reader.   I was really excited to try One Minute Reader with two of my children, Prince (5) who is a beginning reader (first grade level) and Measle (8) who struggles with reading comprehension.  I received a complete Ready, Set, Orange! set, level 1, for Prince, and a level 3 booklet for Measle.  One Minute Reader is designed to be something your child can do on their own, but mine needed some help.

Here's how One Minute Reader works:

1.  Allow your child to browse the titles, look at the pictures and select a story.  (Each booklet has 6 stories.)

2.  Set the timer for one minute and read the story out loud, underlining any unknown words.  (Your child is supposed to be doing this for himself, but I found that my 5 year old was really slowed down by handling the pencil, so I told him to just keep reading and skip any words he didn't know.  I kept track of his missed words.)

3.  Mark your cold score in blue (number of words read correctly in one minute).

4.  Read along with the CD three times.  (The CD contains each story on three separate tracks so you don't have to keep getting up and turning it back.)

5.  Read alone to raise your score.  They can do this as many as 5 times and record their score on the green lines beneath the story. 

6.  Take a short reading comprehension quiz (4 questions).

7.  Read for an adult for one minute. 

8.  Mark your hot score in red (number of words read correctly in one minute.)

One Minute Reader has lots of interesting booklets to choose from in 6 reading levels, E-5.  I think they roughly correspond with grade level, but I could be wrong.  The One Minute Reader placement exam can help determine which level of booklets your child needs.

My thoughts on One Minute Reader are varied.  I saw both of my kids' reading scores improve after completing the 8 steps.  No doubt about it, reading the story along with the CD three times helped them to recognize words they stumbled over the first time through.  I think One Minute Reader was more successful with my 5 year old than with my 8 year old, though.  Level 1 might have been a bit of a stretch for my beginning reader as his initial scores were low (teens-30s).  After reading with the CD his scores improved dramatically (doubled to tripled).  He also did well on the reading comprehension quizzes (getting 3 or 4 out of 4 each time).  And he enjoyed the process, especially the fun stickers.  Could we have accomplished the same thing by my looking over his shoulder and correcting him when he mispronounced a word?  Probably.  I think One Minute Reader is designed to save the parent work since the child is supposed to complete steps 2 through 6 on their own.  My 5 year old really wasn't able to do it on his own.  I had to be there anyway, so I just as well could have been reading with him.  That said, I will probably buy some more of the level 1 booklets because a.) it works and b.) he likes it.

My 8 year old had a completely different experience with One Minute Reader.  She also enjoyed it, which is always good when it comes to school, but her scores started out already high (in the 100s).  But my 8 year old couldn't pass the comprehension quizzes.  One Minute Reader did provide confirmation for me.  I knew this was her problem.  I had to re-read portions of our read-aloud book this morning two and three times and then explain it to her!  It makes for frustrating reading time.  I was hoping One Minute Reader might help her with comprehension, but it seems my daughter is talented at not paying attention.  She can actually read the story more than 6 times in a row and not know what she's read!  Maybe she got a little too into the timed reading thing and was reading so fast she didn't have time to process it.  She did up her scores into the 160s and higher.  She was reading really fast and she usually missed two out of four of the comprehension questions.

In my opinion, One Minute Reader is ideal for kids who are old enough to work independently, but who are also struggling with their reading.  I think kids who hesitate and stumble over words will be greatly helped by One Minute Reader. 

Students struggling with reading comprehension, however, probably need to slow down their reading until it sinks in.  We keep hoping it will sink in with Measle one of these days!  I think I'm going to have Measle go through Prince's book now and see if she can understand the easier stories.  I know she'll easily be able to read the entire stories within the minute, but hopefully she'll also begin understanding what she's reading.

If you have a struggling reader, you can purchase One Minute Reader here.  With each booklet and CD combination priced at only $12.95, you can afford to try this for yourself.  You can check out sample stories from each reading level and don't forget about the placement guide.  The starter set also which includes graphing pencil, timer, and instructional CD is $24.95.  Each complete reading level package, which includes 8 booklet/CD combos along with the timer, pencil, and instructional CD costs $99.95.


Please check out the other TOS reviews of One Minute Reader and other Read Naturally products.

Disclaimer:  I received a complete Ready, Set, Orange! level 1 One Minute Reader kit and a level 3 booklet in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. You are wearing me out with all of these reviews! You go girl!

    Also, I love the pictures on your sidebar of your organization! Bliss!

    How's the exercising going? I plan to try Insanity again after I rest a couple of weeks after my marathon. This time I am going to do it exactly like you are supposed to--no two a days for me---running and doing Insanity. I would really like to complete the 60 day program. I am insane you know!

    Have a great day! I look forward to reading your post about the parable of the sower.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.