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reading recovery - any positives?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by katiekatie, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Interesting. Are you making that judgement based on the fact that the child reads very slowly and apparently labouriously, or is she, in fact, not able to recall or retell anything of what she has read?
    I have never found that slow decoding interferes with comprehension. The biggest bar I have found is poor expressive & receptive language skills.

  2. Her comprehension was poor. She couldn't recall very much of the story at all or even tell me what she had just read at the end of a sentence. It was like she had read a list of words. I've known several slow readers who have had good comprehension but for some reason this girl didn't. I don't dispute that you have never found slow decoding interferes with comprehension and this girl may be unusual but nevertheless she is one example of how reaching a good level of phonics doesn't necessarily translate into good reading.
  3. I wasn't trying to be disputatious! I was just interested in what you were basing your judgement on. As this was a Y2 and a 'practice assessment' I suppose we'll never know what RR might have done for her...

  4. Ah, but don't forget, elene, that RR claims that the children they work with have already had systematic phonics teaching and that has failed.[

    The funny thing about that is that before there was synthetic phonics, those children in RR had already "had" whole language and THAT had failed! Yet they gave them more whole language in the intervention!
    There's no logic to their methods is there?
  5. My son has been doing RR for a couple of weeks now and his reading has improved. He is not really enjoying it though and has said that him and his friends who do it find it boring. I am reading 2-4 books with him every night that are sent home. He has made great progress with reading. He seems to have been sent cut up sentences home but when put together they don't make sense.
    I did call the woman that did it a witch earlier on this thread - last week she chased a child out of school, shouting at him in front of all the parents. I feel better that I am not alone in disliking her.
  6. I am a trained Reading Recovery teacher and taught it for 4 years. I loved it! I trained in Australia and was fortunate enough to meet the founder of it all - Marie Clay. The progress children make is amazing. I have never seen such great results so quickly. However, I believe the program works if you have full support of the parents, classroom teacher and Headteacher. The types of children that enter RR are at risk in reading and once they come off the program, need to be closely monitored and supported in the classroom. If this happens, these children flourish and can keep up with their peers and access mainstream teaching. The one-to-one teaching can be very mentally taxing as its just you and the child in constant short bursts of specified teaching. I hope you find it as satisfying as I did. I would teach RR at the drop of a hat!
  7. Report of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee Evidence check:

  8. Excavating a rather old thread here!
    I'm seriously contemplating applying to do Every Child a Reader training - which I believe is reading recovery based - but having read loads about phonics and reading recovery I'm wavering a bit.
    I don't really need any more anti- information (I think I could give a talk on that!) - but I would really appreciate any comments from those teachers who said they were about to embark on the training. What was it like? Did you have to pretend to not be pro-phonics? Did your opinions change at all? How did it work for the children?
    The comments from ?NZ reading recovery teacher was very helpful, but I'd really like to know what it's like currently in the UK - maybe it has taken on board some of the criticisms?
    Thanks by the way to Maizie and DebbieHep who have informed me so much in the past - and everyone else. I just feel that if I turn down the opportunity, we might get someone else take it up - and maybe I could do a good job of this. (In a funny sort of way it makes me feel sympathy for Nick Clegg - trying to reach a constructive compromise!)
  9. Oooooh, dill! You could be an SP fifth columnist...I wonder if they'd rumble you? Worse still, would they skilfully apply their powerful brainwashing techniques and have you trapped on the Dark Side in less than the time it takes to say 'decodable books' [​IMG] (this smiley is the nearest one I can find to a smiley conveying total terror...)
    After having read your lovely post on the Rose Report thread this one came as a big surprise, but I can see just where you are coming from. I have heard from ex RR teachers who have said that they did incorporate far more systematic phonics into their sessions than would have been approved of, so it's theoretically possible; but, to me, if you were successful with your pupils you would be contributing to RR's apparent success and actually helping to perpetuate a very expensive, and not particularly good, intervention.
    It would be very interesting, though, to get an insight into their training and methods, and, as you do 'know your phonics' perhaps you'd be able to really determine if they have incorporated anything which looks at all like SP.

    Happy thought, probably the Conservatives (who I am sure will lead the next govt.) will cut their funding and go for a cheaper option of good, rigorous, systematic, intensive synthetic phonics....
  10. Thanks, Maizie! I was really pleased to get a response. Well, I'm going to have a look at it anyway, even though I've got reservations. I think part of the issue with phonics at the moment is that children don't all progress at the same rate with it (we have a lot of children coming in with very limited communication, so they aren't necessarily ready to start from the same point as those who've done lots of talking, nursery rhymes etc) - and it is much harder to teach a group that are not all moving along together. Also, far too many (maybe most?) KS2 teachers don't really 'get' phonics, so the gaps don't get filled in - and/or KS2 teachers who do get it, don't have time to do the gap filling.
    Ideally, I'd avoid it I think - but - the money is there, and if I don't go for it, either someone else will (who may well use less phonics) or those children will miss out on an opportunity to avoid dropping through the cracks and ending up disaffected. But I do whole-heartedly take your point about perpetuating an expensive intervention. So I will keep my eyes peeled! I will also then be working in KS1 (I'm currently in KS2) and will be able to wave the phonics banner further down the school - though I think we're all pretty committed to it anyway.
    I won't go into politics - tempting though it is! That's for another forum!
  11. The children I've taken for reading recovery have all made good progress, though not all have reached the 'same level as their peers' which is the aimed for outcome It does vary from child to child eg. Year 1 child - 5 profile points to 1A, Year 2 child - 1C to 1A in 20 weeks. All the chn still do daily phonics in their class phase groups. In the 1:1 sessions they get to use their phonics and other strategies to read books. There is writing in the 1:1 sessions too. They come to rr with good letter/sound knowledge but don't really know what to do with it when reading text. Its impossible to say but I guess the children I've taken who can now read with enjoyment and understanding would still be struggling readers without the intervention. They have overtaken other children in their class and no longer at the lowest level in their classes. It is an expensive intervention and I do wonder how much of their progress is down to the programme and how much to the 1:1 just boosts their confidence but they do make progress.
  12. That is a very strange statement. Can you explain it? They are supposed to be able to use their letter/sound knowledge to decode and blend words. If they don't know how to do that by Y1 your school's YR teaching must be very poor.
    I'm afraid that at £2,500 per child, when there are other, better, cheaper interventions around, it's a very expensive bit of confidence boosting.
    Especially as, by their own figures, they consistently fail 23% (that is almost 1 in 4)of the children they work with.
  13. Hi maizie
    That is a very strange statement. Can you explain it?
    I'll try. The children I've had in reading recovery have all come from FS with 5 points or less (reading) and don't have a secure knowledge of how text works. Most have had the skills to blend (I may repeat something from my previous post, which I can't see now) but it is used as a task in itself rather than a tool. They read the words in a sentence but don't make sense of the sentence. I don't think this is an indication of poor teaching as 70% of the children do use blending as a strategy to help them read text with understanding. Also they attempt to sound every word when reading text despite knowing some hfw on sight on flashcards.
    Re : the cost. Part of my role is to look at reading across the whole school and so in fact many more children than those who have 1:1 sessions do benefit from having a rr teacher in school and I'm also looking at how teaching can be adjusted in the early years and early Yr1 to meet the needs of potential rr children so that hopefully they won't need such intensive and expensive intervention.
    Re : the failure rate. because rr takes the children at the lowest level, including children with statements, it is a huge step for them to achieve the level of their peers. ie. leaving FS2 with 5 points and achieving 1a by end of Yr1. One girl I have taken has only achieved 1c and will appear on the data as 'failing' but the progress she has made a big difference to her. She can now read and wants to read. A year 2 child moved from 1c to 1a in 2 terms, again statistically a failure but now engaging in class lessons and writing at 1a from W.
    Personally I think many children are too young to be taught any sort of formal phonics or reading at such a young age but thats the system here in Britain and rr offers children a chance to feel successful rather than a failure at 6.
    Just a couple of questions. Which interventions do you think are better? Do all your FS2/Year 1 children achieve NC expectations? If not what do/would you do to accelerate their progress? If there is a better alternative to rr I haven't come across it yet.
  14. Katie, in your post I hear the same old indoctrination I always hear repeated by new RR recruits. As always, RR "evidence" is anecdotal, not scientific. The simple facts are:
    1. Labour adopted ECAR after a year of a 3 year pilot, the outcome of which concluded that RR was better than doing nothing. Better than doing NOTHING.
    2. RR / ECAR costs a lot of money.
    3. RR / ECAR has a lot of scientific data / proof behind it; the Institute of Education provide this data on tap.
    4. The Institute of Education hold the British copywrite for Reading Recovery; now go back to point 3, TTA (try that again) attending to meaning.
    5. Current research into reading overwealmingly supports synthetic phonics. UK Government reading policy is based on Rose's recommendations - google it.
    6. RR pays lip-service to SP but RR Apostles spit the word "phonics" like it is synonymous to "sh*t".
    7. A lot of mediocre teachers / advisors rely on RR / ECAR for a job.
    8. There are many alternatives to RR / ECAR that the Labour Govt (deceased) never gave time of day. These will certainly be cheaper; may well produce better results. I expect RR in UK will go the same way it has in Australia.
    9. Most damningly; RR harms children who are dyslexic.

  15. I think you are being a bit harsh here, much as I agree with the rest of what you have said!
    I would suggest that a lot of teachers & advisors feel very confortable with RR because it tallies with the way they have been trained, pre-Rose, and they have never been trained in, or taught, SP well enough to understand how effective it is.

    Interestingly, I know of one or two former RR teachers who 'discovered' SP and find it more successful than any RR methods...
  16. Yes, I apologise for point 7. Our RR teacher is excellent; it is the way they get indoctrinated by their "know-all" trainers that annoys me.
  17. Interesting discussion. Part of the current problem is that there isn't (as far as I know) an alternative way of putting money into intensive 1:1 support - so it's either take RR and make the most of it, or turn your back on the funding. And if you're committed to synthetic phonics, but the school has a load of children really struggling to get going with reading, that leaves a bit of a dilemma.
    Maybe the new government will make a difference to this?
  18. We do this also, the children's confidence is building rapidly too. Sometimes I think they just enjoy some attention sometimes!
    We did a little tracking in our school using the band the children were on and how much support they got at home and the ones who made the most progress were the ones who were supported at home! Of course this isn't the only factor but we did find a trend.
  19. The sad thing is that it really is the synthetic phonics which is going to help the struggling children, not RR's toxic mix of methods.
    It would be interesting to create and apply a set of criteria for schools to use as an 'audit' of their synthetic phonics teaching, as it is quite clear that a significant number of schools use SP as part of 'mixed methods' teaching which considerably weakens the effect of the SP teaching. Under these circumstances it is very likely that there will be a significant number of chilredn who are 'struggling to get going'. Teaching 'tricky words' as the old HFWs by means of flashcarding children with the whole word and use of non-decodable texts, such as ORT, are two very common practices which are most damaging to the children who are most likely to struggle. In addition, belief that guessing words from pictures and context is a valid strategy is still quite entrenched. Adherence to SP principles has to be consistent, too. If only one or two teachers use SP the vulnerable children will be confused when they are taught different things by different teachers.
    I suspect that schools which apply principles SP rigorously, consistently and undiluted by old mixed methods practices, through all of KS1, and beyond, would not seriously consider using RR at all. Equally, they would be picking up the slower to learn very early on, and giving them extra support, not waiting for a year of failure to kick in...
    What strikes me as most dishonest about RR is that they claim that they take the 'hardest to teach' children and are successful with them; whereas they actually 'refer on' about 1 in 4 of the children they work with because they can't teach them. In my book the 'referred on' children are the 'hardest to teach', not the ones who respond to a bit of one to one attention.
  20. Hi Katiekatie, im in the same boat as you and just accepted a position as RR teacher but I will also be teaching ECC as well as leading PE throughout the school. I was really looking forward to it but from reading your thread it has put questions in my mind but also made me rather angry....Debbiehep etc. They seem very opinionated and negative about a scheme that is trying to help children..........
    Good luck Katiekatie, I hope you become very successful and hopefully with the training we will be able to reply to these negative "teachers" with some great news that actually RR does help and has helped the children we deal with!! You cant believe everything you read on here...give it a go, it may be the best thing/decision you've made?!

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