Monday, November 14, 2011

TOS Crew One Minute Reader Review!

One Minute Reade
One Minute Reader

I specifically asked (ok, I B-E-G-G-E-D) to review One Minute Reader from Read Naturally for my 8 year old daughter.

What drew me to it was its' claim to help with reading fluency and expression.  My daughter is able to decode words and does well with comprehension.  But, during our daily read aloud time, she frequently falls into a monotonous, robot-like vocal rut.  I was hoping this program would help.

One Minute Reader is a home reading program that uses the same research-based strategy as Read Naturally classroom programs. One Minute Reader is a fun and effective way for students to get extra reading practice at home.

How It Works

Students develop fluency through modeling (Read Along step), repeated reading (Read Alone step), and progress monitoring (Marking Hot and Cold Scores steps). Students should work in One Minute Reader for 15 to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week.

One Minute Reade
One Minute Reader - Level One

Upon receiving the Level 1 Beginning Package, the first thing I did was to watch the "How to" DVD.  It's a well done explanation and overview of the Reading Naturally program and will answer any questions you may have.

The basics are:

1.  Your child picks a story out of the book.

2. Using the special 1 minute timer, have your child read for 1 minute underlining any unknown words.
3.  The child marks his/her "cold score" in blue in the book and on the graph.

4. Have your child read along with the CD 3 times or until he/she learns all the words.  (The CD has each selection read three times at three different speeds.)

5.  Re-time reading the same story several times until your child reads it well.  Mark the "hot score" in red below the story and on the graph.

6.  Take the "Quick Quiz" for comprehension.

One Minute Reader - Worksheets
One Minute Reader - Worksheets

What's Included
Individual Books
Each book includes five high-interest nonfiction stories that are the right length for readers to practice without being overwhelming. Each book also includes:
  • Audio CDs: Each CD includes recordings of the stories, instructions, vocabulary words, and fun facts. Reading along to audio recordings enables students to improve fluency, pronunciation, and expression.
  • Quick Quiz: Answering questions about the story encourages students to read for meaning.
  • Graph: By graphing their cold and hot scores, students see their progress, which increases self-esteem and motivates them to continue improving.
  • Joke Jumble: The answers to the quiz questions spell out the answers to a riddle.
  • Crossword & Glossary: These help students learn new words from the stories.
  • Did You Know?: These are fun facts about the story topics.
pointer Sample book

I was very happy to start my daughter on the 1st level.  Eventhough it was on the easy side for her, it built confidence and variety in her reading and vocal tone.

She really enjoyed these stories and became quite an interesting storyteller to listen to!

Seeing as her cold and hot scores sky rocketed, it was definitely time to move on to the next level.

One Minute Reader - Level  3
One Minute Reader - Level  3

Unfortunately I did not have level 2, but level 3.  Going confidently into the first story of this new level, my daughter ended up not doing too badly -- but did not like the jump in the length of the story between level 1 and 3.  It did take her several more tries at reading, but there is definitely progress in her inflection, tone and pace.

Overall, I am pleased with this program and how it has helped my daughter's reading.  I plan on continuing to use it with her in the future and have already ordered her the next CD with book!

One more note:  Personally, I would suggest to a homeschool family to buy each package separately and not in a bundle.  Eventhough this comes out to be less savings, by buying a few CD w/book combinations this will enable you to move up a level as needed instead of continuing with a level that has been mastered because "x-number" of stories are left and all that money has already been spent.

Pricing information:
Starter Kits - $24.95
Starter kits, available for each of the six levels, include everything you need to get started using One Minute Reader — ONE book with audio CD, timer, red/blue graphing pencil, and instructional DVD — all in a sturdy album.

Each additional book with audio CD $13.95

Level Bundles - $99.95
Each level bundle includes one copy of all One Minute Reader materials for a given level — one starter kit plus seven more books. You save 14% on each bundle compared to materials purchased separately.

Product Levels

One Minute Reader books are written at different color-coded reading levels, so each reader can find stories at an appropriate reading level.
LevelSample Story Description
A Stick That Walks from Bugs! Early first-grade reading level.
Stories consist of a few short, simple sentences with several words repeated.
We Need Bees from Cool CreaturesMiddle first-grade reading level.
Stories consist of short, simple sentences with very few difficult words.
Quicksand from Ready, Set Red! Middle second-grade reading level.
Stories consist of simple sentences with a few difficult words.
Food Fight! from Fun FestivalsMiddle third-grade reading level.
Stories consist of of longer sentences with several difficult words.
London Burns from DisastersMiddle fourth-grade reading level.
Stories consist of some complex sentences with more difficult words.
Special Delivery! from It Happened in America. Middle fifth-grade reading level.
Stories consist of complex text with more advanced concepts.
The One Minute Reader Placement Guide

Visit the Read Naturally website to learn more about other reading helps.

Here's what other crew members are saying.

Disclaimer:  I received a Starter kit and an additional CD w/book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thank you for the review! I wish it wasn't so expensive, because this sounds like something that could be really useful in my family. Maybe it's time I put all that curriculum writing practice to work! ;)

  2. This sounds like it would have worked a lot better than the online version.... Adding it to my wish-list...