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Reading Recovery...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kenadams777, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys,

    New to this site and after some advice. Does anyone know/ have experience about 'Reading Recovery'? My daughters new school (Dorset) is to be using it starting in Year 1. Have heard that it is an intensive course where children are sat down for 30 mins at a time on a 1:1 basis from the Autumn term??? Is this correct? It all seems a tad formalised and inappropriate for a 5yr old from what i am hearing?? I stand to be corrected though and wandered if anyone could give me some information please?

    Many thanx.
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    "The Reading Recovery programme
    Reading Recovery
    (RR) provides intensive, one-to-one, daily tutoring for young children
    who are identified as being at risk of having literacy difficulties
    after having received a full year of schooling. Students who are
    targeted for RR are the lowest performing students in the school as
    judged by the programme’s Observation Survey of Early Literacy
    Achievement, which has six components: a running record on text reading,
    letter identification, dictation, concepts about print, sight words,
    and writing vocabulary.
    In each 30-minute daily session a trained
    RR teacher carries out a number of set activities that are related to
    texts selected for the student’s reading level. These activities are
    re-reading one or more previously introduced texts, identifying letters
    and words, writing a story, hearing and writing sounds in words, cutting
    the story up and then reassembling and reading it, introducing a new
    book, and reading the new text.
    Students are discontinued from
    the programme when they are able to read texts that an average reader in
    the child’s class can read, can write several sentences, and are
    ‘predicted to make progress without further individual instruction.’"
    What Reading Recovery has not done well
    researchers argue that their survey indicates that while the programme
    has shown that it works for many students, it has not demonstrated that
    it works for the students who are most at risk of failing to learn to
    read. Students who enter the programme typically have poor phonological
    processing skills and those with the lowest scores have been found to be
    least likely to benefit from the programme.
    The programme has
    been criticised for not reflecting recent research findings about the
    crucial components of an early literacy programme and because the
    theoretical principles and teaching procedures suggest that context is
    more important in predicting up-coming words than graphophonic cues.
    has not demonstrated that it has dramatically reduced literacy failure
    within education systems. Some studies have shown that short-term gains
    are often not retained and that these have all but disappeared by Year
    While there have been some reports of maintenance of gains, lowered
    retention rates, and lowered referrals to special education, there is no
    evidence of a dramatic reduction in literacy failure in education
    systems since RR was introduced.
    This may be caused by limited
    budgets in education systems resulting in resources being spread so
    thinly that not all struggling Year 1 readers can access the programme,
    or it may be an indication that RR has limited or differential long-term
    effects. RR has relatively high costs, and doubts have been cast on its
    cost-effectiveness within a system.
    Despite the large amount of
    data collected within the programme, this report argues that RR has a
    relatively weak research base with a limited number of true experimental
    studies about RR’s efficacy that feature randomly allocated groups.
    researchers conclude that RR has provided an excellent model in
    demonstrating how to plan, promote, and implement an intervention across
    an education system and how to design a professional development
    programme. Research, however, indicates that it has not delivered all
    that it promised to deliver: long-term change for students and a
    significant reduction in demand for special education services in later
    . In short they conclude that Reading Recovery has shown that it is
    good, but it could be even better.
    Reynolds, Meree and Wheldall,
    Kevin (2007) ‘Reading Recovery 20 Years Down the Track: Looking
    Forward, Looking Back’, International Journal of Disability, Development
    and Education, 54:2, 199-223

  3. Ah!!! Ok thank you. That doesn't sound all that promising. What worries me is that these children will be sat for what will be an inappropriate length of time for many and almost 'forced' in to reading! It states that the underperforming children will be targetted, yet these are often the children that will develop through 'active' learning. Going from the Fdtion Stage to this seems unfair on the poor children. Do any of you have any teaching experience with RR?
  4. I will be brief. I have seen RR at close quarters. My main problem with it is not that it is too formal or the lessons too long, but that it teaches children to use multiple cues over synthetic phonics, thus using methods that are not backed by scientific evidence. Reported progress is greatly exaggerated, due to dubious assessment processes. The most vulnerable children, in my experience, are harmed by this programme.
  5. I agree with teejay.

    Teachers and parents who follow any of the reading debate and research on reading should be up in arms about it.
    It also means that the government and others in authority are giving teachers and teaching assistants (and others) directly contradicting 'guidance' as to what teaching methods to use for children.
    You can read about this via the top threads on the UK Reading Reform Foundation message forum at www.rrf.org.uk .
    It doesn't matter how much evidence is provided, and how much we show and challenge the government's contradictions, still the scenario goes on and on.
    Accountability is clearly a one way street.
  6. Absolutely. Every class teacher who is involved with RR should look objectively at the evidence available about the children in YOUR care. Do not accept statistics blindly. Challenge assertions of RR teachers and their tutors. Hold them to account. Challenge them, head on.
  7. I wasnt aware of this debate on RR, i am a Y1 teacher and had a child in my class go through the scheme and they do love to go, and we follow a foundation stage approach in Y1 following on from our Unit. The childs reading has rocketed and even though their phonics isnt what i would like (writing is terrible compared to reading) i think the scheme has been a success in the fact that they are now a brilliant reader for their age (challenging my top readers now) whereas without the intervention im sure they would be far far worse off as they couldnt get that intense support in a class of 30. My concern really now is will their writing catch up or will their reading tail off/fall as they continue with the phonics approach that we adopt, will this confuse them?
  8. RR teaches tricks and short cuts. The children who don't learn the alphabetic code will soon be left behind as their shortcomings are exposed. You sound like the RR teacher in my school, well-meaning but lacking in insight and full of excuses for failure.
    Written language is coded spoken language (writing).
    To turn written language back into spoken language, you must decipher the code (reading).
    It is that simple.
    It may take some children longer to get the code. But get the code they must.
  9. Me? I dont teach RR im a Y1 teacher, well actually FS2 from sept [​IMG]
  10. Just to put another view across as the anti Reading Recovery brigade seem to be in full force.

    The lesson is not formal, phonics are used, along with other strategies. The children who take part will have been in school for at least 3 terms and will have already been taught phonics and have not found reading 'easy' despite this so RR gives them other strategies. Look at the site www.readingrecovery.ioe.ac.uk/ that will give you more information. Also writing is covered in the session and many involved with RR are now working on improving this in the programme.

    Am not going to get involved in the debate but can everyone please remember that we want the children to succeed and personally I will use whatever method available to make sure that every child comes to love reading. Let's keep a balanced view folks.[​IMG]
  11. "...along with other strategies."

    Which are?
  12. "Let's keep a balanced view folks.[​IMG]"
    Hmm....sounds so reasonable - but the RR 'other strategies' go against the research and leading edge practice, against Jim Rose's recommendations, against the guidance in Letters and Sounds, and are generally the opposite that the slowest-to-learn children need according to the conclusions of mountains of research and inquiry.
    It's not a matter of being reasonable or keeping a balanced view, it's a matter of huge study and teaching experience.
    Then, it's a matter of great concern that the previous government conducted House of Commons' inquiries into how to teach reading, set up an independent national review, were challenged in its decisions by the Science and Technology select committee's inquiry, have given teaching staff two completely different messages as to how we should teach children - and all of this has been ignored by the continued promotion and persistence of sticking with methods which potentially hurt children's long term reading ability.
    Everything has been done to wriggle out of any form of transparent and objective direct comparison with synthetic phonics interventions with the same intensive one to one opportunity for teaching that is given through the Reading Recovery network.
    If all the above very formal and official and expensive inquiries were going to be ignored, what was the point of them in the first place? Public money is used to prop up our expensive parliamentary institution and it is outrageous if a system of select committee inquiries turn out to be meaningless. The cost of this alone will be astronimical.
    National inquiries have also been conducted in America and in Australia with the same conclusions - and with many teachers still remaining in a state of 'not knowing' and poor or wrong teacher-training.
    Please, please don't try to tarnish this with notions that people such as myself are not balanced and reasonable. You need to look at the hard facts and the inconsistencies - and appreciate that people like myself are fighting the corner for the children and the teachers themselves.
  13. ''Only 12%–15% of Reading Recovery children completing their programmes
    between 2003 and 2007 achieved a Level 2a or above in Key Stage 1
    Reading National Curriculum assessments, the level at which children can
    tackle unfamiliar words and have therefore developed a self-sustaining
    word recognition system'' (Singleton p11)
    Jim Rose, himself, described Reading Recovery as 'a multi-cueing,
    non-systematic approach' at the Australian 'Dyslexia Speld Foundation'
    2009 conference.

    What should be the final nail in the coffin for the
    UK's use of Reading Recovery (and its copies) came from Parliament's
    Science and Technology committee's Evidence Check on Early Literacy
    Interventions. Dec 2009: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/44/4405.htm

    ''The Government's decision to roll out Reading
    Recovery nationally is not based on the best quality, sound evidence''.

    ''Teaching children to read is one of the most
    important things the State does. The Government has accepted Sir Jim
    Rose's recommendation that systematic phonics should be at the heart of
    the Government's strategy for teaching children to read. This is in
    conflict with the continuing practice of word memorisation and other
    teaching practices from the 'whole language theory of reading' used
    particularly in Wave 3 Reading Recovery'.

    see p22: Why we don’t need Reading Recovery; an interview with Shahed
    Ahmed, Head Teacher at Elmhurst Primary in Newham, London
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Without getting into the "other strategies" debate my main issue with RR is the cost (2009 figures of £105+ per hour) or over £5000 for 1 hour a day for 12-20 weeks (normal duration of RR)that would really help out my SEN budget for lots of children
  15. Just for interest, msz, what would you do with your SEN budget were it to match this amount I wonder?[​IMG]
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've been working with a child 1-1 before school for just 15 mins for the past 12 weeks and her reading age using Salford has increased by 5 months should I market it?
  17. LOL! Well, without giving your trade secrets away, are you at liberty to say whether you were giving a free course of RR type strategies, or a free course of SPh strategies?

    Or perhaps neither!!![​IMG]
  18. Excellent responses, thank you. Think your comments have certainly confirmed my initial fears. Does not sound promising...
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Lots of decoding and 1-1 reading

    RR can show impressive improvements but that level of 1-1 support using any method would show improvement so rather than proclaiming the method a success I would argue that the child benefits from intensive 1-1 instruction. The problem with RR is that independent research shows that often this is a short term gain

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