Reading Recovery plays an important role in the school’s comprehensive plan to increase literacy achievement.
Reading Recovery is designed to support that plan by raising achievement levels of first graders who struggle even in good classroom settings. By helping struggling readers quickly catch up with their peers in Grade 1, Reading Recovery plays a vital role in ensuring that students can benefit from instruction at every subsequent grade level.
A comprehensive plan will address ongoing improvement of classroom instruction and also provide effective safety nets for some children who are already falling behind. Reading Recovery provides a literacy safety net early — before the gap in achievement becomes too wide. As a safety net, Reading Recovery has two positive outcomes.
The child no longer needs extra help and the Reading Recovery lessons are discontinued.
The child makes progress but does not meet the rigorous criteria of grade-level performance. Appropriate staff members make a recommendation for additional assessment if needed and plan future learning opportunities for the child.
Effective Comprehensive Literacy Plans
Effective professional development is tied to student performance, is ongoing and intensive, and includes coaching and support for teachers. It also promotes teacher ownership for the comprehensive literacy plan and encourages collaborative problem solving within and across grade meetings.
Research-Based Instructional Approaches
High-quality instructional approaches are essential for every grade level. Key features of such high quality approaches include knowledgeable decision making and opportunities for students to learn and practice in authentic contexts. When instructional practices are monitored using appropriate assessment tools, adjustments can be made to produce better results with the student population at each particular school.
Excellent Classroom Instruction
Excellent classroom instruction provides in-depth learning opportunities for diverse learners. Developing relationships and respect for individual students, setting high expectations for all learners, and providing learning opportunities within meaningful contexts are important characteristics of effective classrooms. Sufficient time to provide uninterrupted blocks of literacy instruction and a rich supply of high-quality books and materials are also necessary for excellent classroom instruction.
Literacy assessment at all grade levels employs a variety of informal and formal measures to assess student's reading and writing development. Classroom teachers use continuous assessment to address student learning, as well as their own teaching. Data are used schoolwide for collaborative problem solving for individuals and for the evaluation of the comprehensive literacy plan.
School teams share responsibility for the lowest-achieving readers and writers in the school. Although students are in first grade when they receive the Reading Recovery intervention, all of the educators in the school contribute to the instructional decisions for these students. The school team monitors the progress of the lowest-achieving students, makes decisions about selection of students for the intervention, seeks solutions for students who do not respond adequately to the intervention, and monitors the progress of students after the intervention. Team members include the principal, Reading Recovery teachers, grade-level representatives, and other instructional support personnel.
Levels of Intervention
Different levels of intervention need to be available, based on the student need. All students deserve to have excellent classroom instruction. A few students will not make adequate progress, even with this excellent instruction. For those children who do not respond to classroom instruction after 1 year at school, Reading Recovery provides specialized instruction tailored to the needs and strengths of each child. Most children who receive Reading Recovery instruction accelerate their learning so that they are then in a position to benefit from excellent classroom instruction. For the small number of children who continue to need instructional support after receiving the Reading Recovery intervention, the school team needs to determine the support that is most appropriate and effective for each child.