The Reading Recovery Program For Struggling Readers
A supplementary, one-to-one intervention program for the least able readers in the first grade to help them acquire and use fundamental reading and comprehension skills.
The least able readers in first grade as determined by a comprehensive battery of individually administered diagnostic instruments.
Reading Recovery reduces reading failure through early intervention and helps children become independent readers. The goal is to bring the children to the average of their class or school by providing individually tailored 30-minute lessons. Reading Recovery supplements the regular reading program in a classroom. The specially trained teacher and child work together daily for one half hour, in which the child is involved in reading and writing experiences. Techniques include the reading of many "little" books to build confidence, daily writing, the re-reading of favorite books, and learning to hear sounds in words by writing simple stories. Reading Recovery focuses on providing opportunities for children to make their own links between reading and writing--and discover meaning. The integrated reading and writing lessons are tailored to build on what the child already knows while strengthening a self-improving system which leads to continued growth. The elements of the lesson are the same for each child, although the content differs with each child.
Evidence of Effectiveness
First grade children improved their reading and writing ability after an average of 16.4 weeks, with 86% of the children reaching average levels of achievement for their class in reading. Replications across several thousand sites verify the consistency of the results. Growth in reading and writing is evidenced by statistically significant scores relative to an equivalent control group using a variety of writing and reading test elements. In addition, follow-up studies indicate that the majority of children released from the program continue to make progress and read with the average of their class through the second, third, and fourth grades without additional help.
For effective implementation, school systems should release one or two experienced individuals to attend a one year teacher-leader training program at a designated university. They will learn procedures for implementation, evaluation, and administration of the Reading Recovery program.
The teacher-leaders, upon returning to their home site, train other teachers in the Reading Recovery model. Release time for trained teacher-leaders and teachers in training (including arrangements for a weekly 2 1/2-hour class after school hours) is required.
In addition to negotiable costs for release time for teachers, installation of the one-way glass at the training site costs about $3,000, and books and materials cost about $2,000.
Awareness materials are available at no cost. Program staff are available for awareness presentations and training with all costs negotiable.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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