Basic Facts "Reading Recovery is the best evidence yet of the direct link between good design and education excellence."¹ - K.G. Wilson and B. Daviss
The goal of Reading Recovery is to dramatically reduce the number of first-grade students who have extreme difficulty learning to read and write and to reduce the cost of these learners to educational systems.
What is Reading Recovery? It is a highly effective short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for low-achieving first graders. The intervention is most effective when it is available to all students who need it and is used as a supplement to good classroom teaching.
Who Reading Recovery serves? The lowest-achieving first graders—the students who are not catching on to the complex set of concepts that make reading and writing possible.
How? Individual students receive a half-hour lesson each school day for 12 to 20 weeks with a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher. As soon as students can meet grade-level expectations and demonstrate that they can continue to work independently in the classroom, their lessons are discontinued, and new students begin individual instruction.
Outcomes* There are two positive outcomes for students: • Since 1984 when Reading Recovery began in the United States, approximately 75% of students who complete the full 12- to 20-week intervention can meet grade-level expectations in reading and writing.
Follow-up studies indicate that most Reading Recovery students also do well on standardized tests and maintain their gains in later years. • The few students who are still having difficulty after a complete intervention are commended for further evaluation. Recommendations may be made for future support (e.g., classroom support, Title I, LD referral). This category represents a positive, supportive action on behalf of the child and the school. Diagnostic information from Reading Recovery is available to inform decisions about future actions.
Professional Development : Professional development is an essential part of Reading Recovery, utilizing a three-tiered approach that includes teachers, teacher leaders, and university trainers.
Professional development for all Reading Recovery professionals begins with an academic year of graduate-level study and continues in subsequent years. With the support of the teacher leader, Reading Recovery teachers develop observational skills and a repertoire of intervention procedures tailored to meet the individual needs of at-risk students.
History of Success Reading Recovery has a strong tradition of success with the lowest-achieving children. Developed in New Zealand 30 years ago, Reading Recovery now also operates in most states in the United States, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (domestic and foreign), Bureau of Indian Affairs Schools, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. *Visit the International Data Evaluation Center (IDEC) website for evaluation information at www.idecweb.us. Reference 1Wilson, K. G., & Daviss, B. (1994). Redesigning Education. New York: Teachers College Press.
How does a Reading Recovery Lesson Look?
1. FLUENT WRITING PRACTICE
Before the 30-minute lesson, the student gets to write some words on the chalk or dry-erase board. He is learning to write little important words as fast as he can so that he can write them in his stories without thinking about each letter.
2.REREAD FAMILIAR BOOKS
The student gets to reread lots of little books. He sometimes gets to pick some of his favorite stories that he has read before. These are supposed to be easy for him so that he can practice reading it like a story and making it sound like people talk. Teachers will say "That's good reading. It sounds like people talk. That's how good readers read!"
3. TAKING A RUNNING RECORD
Now he reads a book all by himself. The teacher will check on him and won't help unless he has a hard problem that he is unable to work out by himself. If he can't figure out the word or gets mixed up, the teacher might tell the word or say, "Try that again." The student read this book yesterday for the first time. The teacher helped him work hard to figure out the tricky parts. Soon he will be able to read it pretty well all by himself.
4. LETTER IDENTIFICATION (early lessons)
WORD ANALYSIS (later on in lessons)
Sometimes he will need to work on learning about letters or important "chunks" of words. The teacher will present what the student needs to know as he needs the skill. He will like moving the magnetic letters around on the board. This activity will help him understand how words work.
5. WRITING A STORY
Every day the student gets to think up his own story to write in his writing book. Soon he is able to write lots of little words all by himself. His teacher helps him figure out how to write some of the words. He will use boxes with the teacher's help. He says the words slowly so that he can hear the sounds; then, he writes the letters in the boxes all by himself. He reads the story by himself, and the teacher records it on a long strip of paper. The teacher cuts the story up so that he can put it back together. He must think very hard to get it all back together; then, he checks on himself by rereading to make sure that he got it right. He will bring this story home to put together for you.
6. New Book Introduction
The teacher picks out a new book just for the student and tells him just what the story is about. They look at all the pictures and think about what the people and animals would say. The teacher also helps the child with some new, important words in his story. It is fun for the child to look at the book before reading it, and it helps him read the story too.
7. Student Attempts New Book
Now, it's the the child's turn to work hard, but he is well prepared to attempt the reading of the new book. When he comes to a hard part, the teacher will ask questions to quide him what to try or she might show him what he should think about or do. The teacher is trying to teach the child to learn to do all the things that a good readers do. Sometimes if needed, the child has time to read the book again. Now my lesson for today is over.