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Reading Recovery...

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

  1. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I agree with msz that it is the 1:1 time that does it. My old school used RR and what a surprise, all the children on the programme were ones that were not read to at home, so not surprisingly they progressed, but writing didnt as they still had poor phonic knowledge. Our school is next in line for RR funding and I have been asked to do it. However other than when an advisor comes out to check on me, I fully intend to spend my time on good quality phonics.
  2. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Have read this thread with interest as we have had RR in our school for past 2 years and seems (on surface at least) to have been successful.
    I would be interested to know what these 'other strategies' and shortcuts and tricks actually are and why they are seen to be so harmful?
    Our ECAR teacher has moved on now and we are introducing Fisher Family Trust instead - anyone know much about this intervention?
  3. The FFT Wave 3 intervention is a daily programme, based on Reading Recovery methodology, delivered by classroom assistants. More here: http://www.fischertrust.org/lit_wave_3.aspx
    Reading Recovery (RR) uses methods that have failed. The overwhealming body of evidence shows children learn to read best when taught using systematic synthetic phonics; this was borne out by the recommendations and conclusions of the Rose Review 2006 (http://www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/phonics/rosereview/). The UK government accepted the conclusions and recommendations of this report , scrapped the NLS and its "Searchlights" (multicueing) model of reading, and strongly began to promote systematic synthetic phonics in schools. But, in total contradiction to the evidence and indeed its own policy, the governmentthen rolled out ECaR, with RR as its flagship and mixed-methods teaching sneaked back into favour. (The powerful ECaR lobby and the beliefs of one or two very high up politicians seems to be behind this move, not research).
    The strategies RR teaches are:
    Memorising whole words. Guessing a word using the picture. Guessing a word using its first letter. Guessing a word by decidng what would fit or "sound right". Guessing a word using analogy with similar words. RR does look at at the phonetic make up of words, but this is ad hoc, random and certainly not taught as a first reflex; lip service to the Rose Report.
    And so the RR child, using carefully selected books (ones with highly predictable text, very informative pictures and words that have been taught as "sight words"), assessed using RR's own secretive and unscientific assessment begins to appear to make fast progress. Some of these RR children will either already have a good grasp of phonics, or will pick it up incidentally. These will continue to be good readers (these will be the 12-15% who go on to get level 2a in Y2). The poorest readers, those who are without fail children who have not grasped how to decode words, are further damaged because instead of being taught what they need to do to be able to decode words, are taught RR's tricks and coping strategies. These are children who need clear systematic teaching how to decode words, not a patchwork of guessing strategies.
    Sadly, the RR tutors and teachers and those in authority promoting it, appear either oblivious to what is happening, or, would rather promote this illusion of progress and their own success rather than admit that they are damaging many children.
    Another danger is, as RR teachers cost so much money, LA's demand they have an impact at a whole school level. And so the teaching of phonics first and fast is eroded, failed methods sneak back in. Teachers still clinging onto mixed methods, for whatever reason, are then even less likely to adopt the scientifically supported methods recommended by Rose.
    The cost of RR, estimated as about £6000 per child, is not to be overlooked. When you consider that systematic, synthetic phonics interventions are available at a fraction of this cost, you see another damaging aspect of ECaR.
    Of course the data looks good though....Well it would do. It is all collected by the IoE (the UK RR copyright holder), using in house assessment (by RR teachers whose jobs depend on it). There is no accountablilty or transparency. For an organisation spending several 10s of millions of pounds of our money, this beggars belief.
  4. Why not stand by what you believe and spend your time on good quality phonics when the advisor comes too? Just give him a copy of the Rose Report if has any complaints.
  5. I agree.
    If this is truly your intention: "However other than when an advisor comes out to check on me, I fully intend to spend my time on good quality phonics."
    Please reconsider, and stand by what you know about the political/educational scenario and your own teaching experience.
    We need every single person who understands about these issues to stand up and be counted rather than play the game.
    The previous government's contradictory advice and the total absence of sense or accountability for the scenario we describe undermines any notions of political and educational transparency and accountability.
    And the poor kids.....
  6. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    An aspect of RR in one authority area, is that teacher's are observed via two way mirrors to make sure they are following the script.
  7. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Thanks for your detailed reply, am confused and worried now though. If the above strategies are never introduced - following and alongside high quality, rigorous phonics, then how do children ever read non-decodable words, improve their fluency and pace of reading and work on their comprehension of a text? I absolutely agree that phonics is the place to start but surely we want a reader to move on from sounding out each word? Also as a FS2 teacher (who has been involved in CLLD programme for several years) this is the first time I have heard the message that we should no longer be encouraging children to look to pictures, initial sounds and context for clues to unfamiliar words which are either non-decodable or very long (for their level of reading). Is this the case for anyone else?
  8. Readers of course should not be sounding out words with which they are familiar - but they still need this skill for tackling new and unknown words which they do not know.
    There is a big difference between using the context to help with comprehension and the context to help with guessing the word.
    As for looking at picture clues, that takes the reader away from studying the word from left to right.
    As for guessing from first letters, that is a guess also and often leads to the wrong guess, which in turn throws the meaning of the whole sentence out and compounds bad habits.

    If you have been continuing with all these reading strategies, then you don't sound like you have really followed a synthetic phonics approach.

    As for tricky and unusual words which are common and useful, even they have letter/s-sound correspondences which can help with decoding. This is still very different from being taught words by their whole global shape.
    This seems to raise the question as to how much 'alphabetic code' you are teaching before expecting children to read reading books. And what 'guidance' do you provide for adults supporting the reading process of children being asked to read aloud?
    If it is the multi-cueing reading strategies of guess from supporting pictures, initial letters and 'what would make sense', then this is really not a synthetic phonics approach.
  9. PS - I find it very worrying that the CLL project still employs what are, in effect, the searchlights reading strategies that Jim Rose rejected.
    But this also raises the question as to whether any raise in standards you are achieving could possibly be higher still with even more phonics rigour and the stopping of multi-cueing guessing strategies.
    If you feel that children are persisting with sounding out and blending beyond what is necessary, are they clear that this is what they do when they 'can't' read a word rather than for reading routinely?
    What I can't understand is that you would think blending is only for very beginners when surely that is what even competent readers do when they encounter words such as Latin plant names, foreign names and unusual technical names. In other words, 'phonics' is about code knowledge and skill that we call upon ourselves when necessary.
  10. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Thanks however...
    Before reading a new book I spend time with the child looking through at pictures, talking about what is happening and taking opportunity to introduce any new vocabulary - all in a playful manner. We do this before reading anything and I don't ask them to stop midway through to look back at picture.
    Exactly! So we look to inital or end sounds to help us! I have never taught children words by their whole shape.
    I don't talk to the children about making guesses but instead offer alternatives to help work out a word when sounding out has not worked - that is always the first strategy they try.
    In response your follwoing post you talk about me expecting only beginning readers to sound out words - that is not what I posted, I was talking about moving children on from always sounding out every word on the page. Of course we all continue to sound out unfamiliar words as adults, but equally don't we also sometimes skip them and read on anyway??
    Also alongside the actual decoding / reading of words there are a whole slew of concepts about print skills to develop, which are surely best done by sharing books in a high quality way with an adult?
  11. Yes. They call this "teaching behind the screen". They are usually watched by their trainer and other RR trainees.
  12. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    This is an interesting thing for you to say. For me, the answer is no, never. Hand on heart, I never skip words, because I am always able to decode them. My sister on the other hand, does skip them. I'm convinced that this is to do with how w were taught to read as very young children and our natural "first instinct" to encountering an unfamiliar word. My guess would be that you were taught to read the same way as my younger sister.
  13. clawthorpegirl - you raise some really interesting points.
    There is nothing whatsoever wrong with discussing the often wonderful pictures in children's books and building up their vocabularies.
    But this addresses 'oral comprehension' and understanding the nature of stories.
    It isn't preferable to address the vocabulary issue and once this is known to ask the children to read the text whereby they are already enabled to take a jolly good guess at the words because you've just raised them, or taught them, through the picture-discussion.
    The Simple View of Reading illustrates that reading in simple terms is made up of word decoding and oral comprehension. The question is, how do we, as teachers, best teach and enhance comprehension for beginners and strugglers.
    Developing oral comprehension is a constant - but you can weaken children's capacity to blend well and tackle new words by the multi-cueing approach rather than focusing on teaching the alphabetic code rigorously (the letter/s-sound correspondences) and the skill of blending - tackling new words fearlessly.
    A great deal of new vocabulary for learners is introduced/learnt through reading material rather than spoken language. Thus - the easier it is for children to tackle unknown words 'independently', the better. This means that the less dependent they are upon an adult supporter or the support of picture and context clues, the more they can tackle all sorts of literature. They then will have to deduce the meaning of the new words - something we have all done - and often I cannot give a precise definition of words although I seem to know when to use them and with what phraseology! Equally, I find that I have wrongly deduced meanings of words because I have only really encountered them in my independent reading - much to my embarrassment!
    In terms of skipping words when I read silently to myself - I do exactly this too. I barely bother with decoding Latin names or unusual foreign names. I call this the 'blurgh' factor. When I provide teacher-training, I actually raise this with attendees and it is very common amongst us.
    However, I am 'blurghing' by choice because I don't need to decode those words which are trickier for me, even as an experienced reader.
    The trouble is, there are untold numbers of key stage two and three students who do exactly this when they read independently - but not necessarily through 'choice' but because they are really not equipped with good enough code knowledge and blending skill - plus oral vocabulary - to decode a lot of words automatically.
    When students start to drop out of school or apparently lose interest in their lessons, or avoid writing when asked to write (no matter how interesting the topic), you can bet your bottom dollar it's because they are simply not well-equipped enough with code knowledge and blending for reading and oral segmenting with enough spelling alternative knowledge and 'word bank' knowledge for spelling.
    I suggest that teachers do ponder on the Simple View of Reading - and also the long term profile that it is better for children to have.
    I long since was unimpressed with the guided reading advice whereby the teacher 'goes through' the book with the children first, introducing them to the themes of the book and introducing any new vocabulary. This seriously reduced the practice that children need to tackle those new words for themselves - as long as they have sufficient code!
    When the group reading books are not suitable in the sense of decodable, then the teacher can support the children more or even read the book for the children to follow. The teacher, then, can be very clear as to the precise learning intention of any reading opportunity with the children.
    In broad terms, this could be to really bring on their decoding skills, or to really learn about the type of book or genre, or to really learn about the topic content of the book, or simply to enjoy sharing a book with an adult and others to appreciate the literature.
    So, I'm not suggesting that children should only have access to cumulative, decodable reading books, but I do suggest they have access to lots of cumulative, decodable words, sentences, text along with lots of access to any other type of book as crops up in the wider curriculum and through free choosing.
  14. clawthorpegirl: Of course we all
    continue to sound out unfamiliar words as adults, but equally don't we
    also sometimes skip them and read on anyway??

    I'm shocked that you think expert readers do this. I never skip words as I can decode through them all - though I may not always understand what they mean.
    Read the following (real!) book title to examine your own decoding skills. IF you are an expert reader who implicitly understands how the
    Alphabet Code works, you'll find yourself tracking through the unusual
    words slowly left to right, one sound unit at a time, mentally sounding
    out as you go, blending the sounds as you proceed.
    'Nonscience and
    the Pseudotransmogrificationalific Egocentrified Reorientational
    Proclivities Inherently Intracorporated In Expertistical
    Cerebrointellectualised Redeploymentation with Special Reference to
    Quasi-Notional Fashionistic Normativity, The Indoctrinationalistic
    Methodological Modalities and Scalar Socio-Economic Promulgationary
    Improvementalisationalism Predelineated Positotaxically Toward
    Individualistified Mass-Acceptance Gratificationalistic
    Securipermanentalisationary Professionism, or How To Rule The World
    '. Brian J. Ford (Wikipedia. Nonscience)

  15. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    I think I need to clarify, it is not because I am unable to decode and read these words but instead that I choose not to, partly because I am a fast reader but normally because they not English words or in most cases a characters or place's name, which are virtually unpronounceable. In Debbieheps post she phrases this really well - I think talking about the blurgh factor and notes how common this is!
  16. http://www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/phonics/downloads/gregbrooks.pdf
    Firstly, there is a description of the Fischer Family Trust intervention on page 51 of Brooks' 'What Works' publication.
    Secondly, what I call the 'blurgh' factor is a real state of affairs.
    What needs to be understood by this, however, is that people like myself who blurgh occasional unknown words do so by choice - because of reading at speed and silently in one's head - and with no real need to accurately decode some plant name or whatever.
    Untold numbers of students with 'blurgh' habits throughout key stage two and key stage three (and even key stage one silent readers) are actually 'blurgh' readers because they CANNOT decode well or at all.
    Also, they tend to skip very ordinary words which do need to be decoded to become part of their expanded vocabulary.
    Someone like me does it rarely, but these younger students (and possibly many adults) 'blurgh' words because they are alphabetic code and blending skill deficient.
    Because they were probably not taught SP rigorously - or thoroughly - or with an extensive enough alphabetic code - and they were probably taught by the range of 'multi-cueing' guessing strategies.
    So, it is very undesirable to create 'blurgh' readers - and, as teachers, we must consider the long term reading profile of students and make sure that they are well enough equipped with alphabetic code knowledge and blending skill to avoid becoming a 'blurgh' type of reader.
    This means an avoidance of multi-cueing as infant teachers - even if, to all intents and purposes, children make progress and can access a range of text.
  17. What seems to be missing from this debate is an appreciation that many useful strategies are being thrown out wih the bath water by those promoting SP. For instance the use of looking for known words within unknown words. A child can know the word 'at' by sight (having decoded it at an earlier stage), and use that knowledge to read the word 'cat'. A child can use rhyme as a support for reading series of words or can spot bits of words that look familiar (analogy). Yet am I correct in thinking that these types of strategy are frowned on by followers of SP? please enlighten me if I am wrong.
    Strategies like this can make reading more fluent than the adoption of a sounding out phoneme by phoneme approach, which can actually get in the way of children noticing these helpful connections. Fluent reading allows the meaning to come through because it allows the reader to reflect on sentences, phrases and narratives. The ultimate goal of reading is the communication of meaning, a higher order skill than decoding.
    I am not attacking the idea of teaching phonics systematically, nor am I championing RR which I I am not familiar with. However i think it needs to be said that there is more to effective reading than being able to decode individual words.
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Rime and analogy are more often assocuated with Analytical phonics

  19. Dr Macmillan says, '…teaching children about onset
    and rime as a route to discovering individual phonemes is
    similar logic to thinking that a person can be taught to read
    music by memorising chords on, say a guitar or piano. Although
    it may be relatively easy for a person to learn the names
    of some musical chords and how to play them, there is little
    possibility that this knowledge will lead to the ability to
    read musical notation, to the ability to play individual notes
    on these instruments in response to the corresponding written
    symbols.' (Macmillan p82).

    Recent studies 'have shown conclusively that children do not
    use rhyming endings to decode words; hardly ever decode by
    analogy to other words; and that ability to dissect words
    into onsets and rimes has no impact whatsoever on learning
    to read and spell. (D.McGuinness WCCR

    'Teaching word parts, analogies and word families
    creates the "part-word assembler''. This is the child who searches for
    little, familiar word parts and assembles them into a nonsense word,
    hoping it will be close enough to guess what it is. Jane sees the word
    "watermelon", which has these parts in it: wa wat wate at ate ter
    term erm me mel el lo on. Which of these 13 parts would you use? Jane
    chose "weatermeon" (D.McGuinness.THE.29/05/98)
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think young children do use rime without having been taught to do so although it is certainly featured in the Jolly Phonics Handbook

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