I spend half of my day teaching a 1st grade intervention called Reading Recovery.  I am able to teach four 1st graders individually for 30 minutes daily.  The lessons are individualized and tailored to meet each students’ personal needs in reading and writing.  What exactly is Reading Recovery and what happens during a Reading Recovery lesson?

Before the 30 minute lesson begins, sometimes the student gets to write new words he is learning on the whiteboard.  The child is learning to write little important words as fast as he can so he can write them and read them in stories.

Once the lesson has started we start with rereading familiar books.  Everyday he gets to read lots of little books.  He gets to pick some of his favorite stories that he has read before.  This is easy and fun for him.  He tries to read his book like a story and make it sound like people are talking.

Then I do a running record where I take notes on reading behaviors.  Is the student correcting mistakes?  Is the student rereading or repeating certain words?  Was the story too hard, too easy, or just right?  This is where I’ll be able to get more information on what the student does as a reader.  Now he has to read a book all by himself.  I will check on him and won’t help unless he has a problem.  If he just can’t figure out a word or he gets all mixed up I will tell him the word or say, “try that again.”  He read this book for the first time the previous lesson.  I helped him work hard to figure out the tricky parts.  Now he is able to read it pretty good all by himself.

Next we move on to letter identification and word analysis.  He works on learning about letters and important parts of words.  I know the things he needs to learn.  He likes to move the magnetic letters around the whiteboard.  He’s learning how to use letters to build up new words to help him read new words in his books and write new words in his journal.

After word work it’s time to write a story.  Every day he gets to think up his own story to write in his writing book.  He can write lots of the words all by himself.  I help him to figure out how to write some of the words.  We use boxes and he says the word he wants to write slowly so he can hear the sounds and then he writes the letters in the boxes all by himself.  He reads the story when he’s done.  He reads the story and I write it on a long strip of paper.  I cut up the story so he can put it back together.  He has to think real hard to get it all back together.  He has to check himself to see that everything looks right.

Finally a new book is introduced.  I pick out a new story just for him and I tell him what the story is about.  We look at the pictures and think about what the people and animals will say in the book.  I help him think about some new, important words in the story.  Now it is his turn to work hard again.  When he comes to a hard part I will ask him questions to help him think or I might show him what I should try to think about or try to do.  I am trying to teach him to do all the things that good readers do to help themselves.

We pack a lot into those 30 minutes!  When the 30 minutes are over he picks out 2 familiar stories to take home and practice with his family.  He also takes home the cut up sentence and will need to glue it into a sentence book with his family as well.

Reading Recovery is a program for struggling 1st grade readers.  The program occurs every day for 30 minutes and is a 12-20 week intervention.

Below is a video showing and explaining a little bit more about Reading Recovery and how students are selected.