Reading Recovery is an early intervention for children who have made very little progress in reading and writing during their first year at school. It involves a daily one-to-one lesson with a highly trained teacher for a period of between twelve and twenty weeks. At the end of this time, most of these ‘hardest to teach’ children have caught up with their classmates and can read and write at a level within the average band for their age.Success is judged by the achievement of pupils who participate in the programme.
The children are aged between five years nine months and six years three months and each teacher submits to a central statistical site in the U.S. pre- and post-intervention data for each child taught in the programme. The success rate is close to 90% with accumulating, follow-up research evidence showing that gains achieved during the series of lessons are subsequently maintained.
Programmes in the Republic of Ireland last about eighteen weeks or thirty-eight hours, on average. This seems a small price to pay for helping such children to access the curriculum and for sparing them and society at large the negative spin-off effects of early literacy failure.
Ms Keogh is currently implementing Reading Recovery in the school and this will continue past this initial traing year
In Reading Recovery a typical tutoring session would include each of these activities, usually in the following order, as the format of the daily lesson:
- reading two or more familiar books
- rereading yesterday's new book and taking a running record
- working with letter identification
- breaking words into parts
- holding a conversation
- writing a story
- hearing and recording sounds
- reconstructing the cut-up story
- listening to the new book introduction
- attempting to read the new book
Reading Recovery lessons must occur daily. The intensive daily intervention allows the teacher to closely record and engineer the shifts in the child's responding. Short lessons, held often, are important for success. This allows learning to be carried over from one day to the next. Reading and writing are reciprocal processes. What children learn in reading supports and complements their writing, and vice versa
Each lesson consists of reading familiar books, reading yesterday’s new book and taking a running record, working with letters and/or words using magnetic letters, writing a story, assembling and reconstructing a cut-up story, and reading a new book.
Reading in Reading Recovery
The majority of children are identified for Reading Recovery after their first year of formal schooling (Junior Infants). Whilst these children have learned some letters, sounds and words almost all are unable to apply that knowledge to reading and writing. Children enter the Reading Recovery programme, often unable to read a Level 2 text. With careful observation and expert teaching the children who complete their Reading Recovery series of lessons are capable of reading and understanding a Level 18 text in less than 20 weeks of one to one tuition.
Writing in Reading Recovery
Reading and writing are reciprocal processes. What children learn in reading supports
and complements their writing and vice versa. Writing is an important element of
Reading Recovery. During their daily lessons, children learn how to compose sentences
to write down their own ideas. They are taught explicitly how to use their phonic knowledge
to spell regular words. As children progress they extend their control of more
complex grammatical structures. They are taught more complex or irregular
and they build a vocabulary of words they can write automatically in order to become