Curriculum Department

4 Summer St., Rm 104, Haverhill, MA 01830 | Office Hours 8:00-4:00 | Phone (978) 374-5740 | Fax (978) 373-1535

  • Reading Recovery FAQs

    What is Reading Recovery?

    • Reading Recovery is a research-based, short-term intervention of one-to-one teaching for the lowest-achieving first graders.
    • Reading Recovery, students receive 30-minute lessons each school day for 12 to 20 weeks from a specially trained teacher.
    • As soon as students can read and write at grade level and demonstrate that they can continue to achieve, their lessons are discontinued and new students receive individual instruction.

    What can Reading Recovery do for my child?

    • A key premise of Reading Recovery is that early intervention in first grade is critical. Research shows that children who fall behind in Grade 1 tend to remain below grade level in later school years.
    • Early intervention is important because the gap between the lowest- and highest- performing children is narrow in lower grades but widens later in elementary school.
    • Numerous studies have examined the effectiveness of Reading Recovery for children with reading difficulties.
    • Since 1984 when Reading Recovery began in the United States, about 75% of students with a full series of lessons met the criteria for successful first-grade reading and writing.
    • Although all children progress during their Reading Recovery lessons, a few do not make the accelerated progress needed to succeed without extra help. These children may be recommended for additional evaluation.

    What happens during Reading Recovery lessons?

    • Each lesson consists of
      • re-reading familiar stories,
      • reading a story that was read for the first time the day before, working with letters and words using magnetic letters,
      • writing a story,
      • assembling a cut-up story, and
      • reading a new book.
    • The teacher teaches, demonstrates problem-solving strategies, and provides just enough support to help the child develop effective reading and writing strategies and work as independently as possible.
    • Each Reading Recovery lesson incorporates the five components identified by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act as essential in a comprehensive instructional program in reading. The five components are
      • phonemic awareness,
      • phonics instruction,
      • fluency instruction,
      • vocabulary instruction, and
      • text comprehension instruction.
    • Accelerated learning is possible because Reading Recovery teachers base their instruction on carefully documented daily observations of what each child already knows about reading and writing. This is an efficient approach that allows all future instruction to work from the child’s strengths.
    • There are two possible outcomes after a full series of Reading Recovery lessons, both positive:
    1. The child makes accelerated progress and continues to progress thereafter with classroom instruction. (Nationally about 75% of children successfully complete lessons.)
    2. Additional evaluation is recommended and further action is initiated to help the child continue making progress. This is a positive outcome, because Reading Recovery’s diagnostic teaching helps identify children who need more help and provides a documented record of the child’s knowledge and strengths as a base for future teaching.

    How does Reading Recovery become part of a school’s literacy program?

    • Reading Recovery is available in about one in six U.S. public schools that serve first-grade students. It is available in 48 states and the Department of Defense schools.
    • Reading Recovery is the early intervention component of a school’s comprehensive literacy program. It is not a stand-alone, isolated program.
    • Typically, it takes 2 years to bring Reading Recovery into a new school district or consortium of school districts; 1 year to have a qualified staff member trained as a teacher leader, and the second year to train teachers.
    • Positive results for Reading Recovery students require excellent instruction and a school environment that allows for smooth operations. Among the factors that affect results are
      • daily lessons for Reading Recovery students,
      • scheduling for students and teachers,
      • collaboration with classroom teachers,
      • teacher selection,
      • adequate space and materials, and
      • administrative support.
    • One of the benefits of Reading Recovery is the professional development that creates literacy experts who share their knowledge with other staff and students outside Reading Recovery.
    • In order to insure reliable, consistent results for students, Reading Recovery sites and schools agree to abide by the standards set out in the Standards and Guidelines of Reading Recovery in the United States (4th Ed. 2004). The founder of Reading Recovery, Marie M. Clay, granted the trademark for Reading Recovery to The Ohio State University in the United States.

    How can I help my child be a successful reader and writer?

    Where can I find out more about Reading Recovery and early literacy?

    The Reading Recovery Council of North America Web site includes Fact Sheets, articles,
    and videos that can be linked directly to your school Web site.

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