Reflections on the year so far…

How quickly the year is passing!

At this time of the year it is useful to reflect on the positive impact that Reading Recovery is having on previously struggling Year One students.

Each time a student is discontinued from Reading Recovery, l write a report on the progress that has been made, and l am always amazed to look back at how far the student has come, from the beginning of Reading Recovery to the end.

When you are listening to your child read at home do you notice a difference over time? Can you remember how he or she sounded prior to Reading Recovery? Have you noticed a difference in attitude to reading and writing? Sometimes it is easy to forget how reluctant your child may have once been, and how much effort has gone into learning new ways of solving words.

Do you remember to praise your child and tell him or her how good the reading is sounding? It is easy to remember to do this early in the lessons, but after a while we can just assume that the students detect that we notice, and appreciate, their achievements. I have to remind myself to praise the students for the things they get right, just as much as pointing out what needs fixing.

Reading Recovery has provided all of the discontinued students with a greater sense of worth as readers and writers, and they know that they are required to think for themselves before asking for help. One student transferred to another school before he had fully completed his series of lessons. Unfortunately his new school did not have Reading Recovery and so he was unable to continue. As a school community, we are very fortunate that the leaders of St Albans East P.S. have continued to fund and support Reading Recovery.

Most of the Reading Recovery ‘graduates’ have become much more independent in the classroom, and the others require much less assistance than was previously needed.  We should remember that students who have finished Reading Recovery have not completed their learning. We want them to continue to use the things that they have been learning, to learn even more. It can be a big adjustment to stop going to daily lessons. No longer is there a teacher devoted just to that child for 30 minutes each day, reminding him or her of what is known, and giving a prod when it is easier not to try.

As parents and teachers, we need to continue to provide the right conditions to support the child. Once your child has stopped Reading Recovery, don’t stop hearing your child read every day. Keep showing that you are interested in how he or she is going. Classroom teachers know to give the ex-Reading Recovery student the extra guidance that may still be needed. We do not want any past feelings of inadequacy to return. Negative feelings get in the way of learning.

Term 4 will be a busy time. There will be more students finishing Reading Recovery, and others who will have just begun their R.R. journey.

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