Reading Goals

slow checkEarlier in the year l wrote a post about setting reading goals for each Reading Recovery student. The goal is placed on the independent reading box in the classroom, as well as being positioned where the student can see it during each Reading Recovery lesson.

Sometimes the goal is changed each week, and sometimes it is kept for a little longer. Occasionally the same goal is revisited more than once. Some goals are very similar to previous goals.

As l wrote previously, when a new goal is given, the past goal will be placed at the back of the Homework Pasting  BookYou could become familiar with the newest goal that your child has and help by asking how he / she is progressing toward achieving it.

Here are some of the strategies that are used as goals:

Quickly turn the page and check the picture.
Look from left to right.
Check it sounds to end
Check it looks right.
Check it makes sense.
Think about the story.
Go back and try again.
Stop and take a breath at a fullstop.
Check if the words look right and sound right.
Don’t read too slowly.
Do not read too fast.
Put the words together like talking.
Point to the words.
Only use your finger when it is tricky.
Check the ending.
Read to the end of the word.
Try something else.look and sound
Chunk it. Put it together.
Skip it and go back.
Think of a word like it.
“Change your voice”.
Try saying it a different way.
Look for letters that go together.
Search for a part you know.
Slide through the whole word.
Blend the letters together.
Use your eyes to sweep the word.
If it doesn’t sound right or look right, stop and think.
Stretch out the word.
Skip the hard word and read on.
Guess the word and check it.
Look through the word and think about the story.

Each goal, with an accompanying picture, is explained to the student when it is chosen as being the most suitable strategy for that time. There is no set order. Your child will be doing many of these strategies without needing a goal slip.

Consonant blends

consonant blendsThe vowels of the alphabet are a e i o u. The rest of the letters in the alphabet are consonants. Many of our Reading Recovery students can give a sound for each letter but they have difficulty blending 2 consonants together, e.g. bl, br, fr, gr.

The Ladybug’s Teacher website has 2 free pages of consonant blends which you may like to print for your child. You could put them on the fridge, or where your child can see them, and say them. You could cut them out and introduce 1 or 2 new ones at a time. You might have your child think of other words that have the same blend, e.g. play, plane, place. You could search for words with the same blend in magazines, books, newspapers etc.

Every little bit of help at home helps with what he or she is learning at school.

Click on the picture to take you to the Ladybug’s Teacher Files site.

Roaming Around The Known 2

roamingI have 4 students who have just begun Reading Recovery during the past 2 weeks and so we have been Roaming The Known. This is an informal time before the actual lessons begin. l am doing a lot of observing during these first 10 sessions and l am gathering as much information as l can about each child so that l can set goals for future lessons.

To find out more you can read an earlier post on this site called Roaming The Known and you can also view a presentation called Roaming Around the Known.

By clicking on the picture you can view a YouTube video about Roaming The Known.


graduateIt has been a very busy time as all of my students have recently been discontinued from Reading Recovery. What is discontinuation? When the student is finished the series of lessons , he or she is tested again and either deemed to be discontinued or referred. Discontinued students have reached an acceptable level of achievement and should continue to make progress without daily intervention. Referred students are recommended for further investigation, e.g. by a speech therapist or another expert. If the student is not ready to finish, and has not reached 20 weeks, he / she will continue Reading Recovery.

It is recommended that 20 weeks is the maximum number of weeks that the student remains on the program. Many students, especially in the second half of the year, are ready to finish before this time. Once the student is discontinued, he or she is carefully monitored by the class teacher to ensure that enough support is still given in the classroom. We do not want anyone to slip back into using unhelpful habits, e.g. slow word-by-word reading or asking for help without trying at least 2 ways of working it out first.

successful readingIt is very important that your discontinued child keeps on reading at home. Learning does not stop once Reading Recovery does. The more students read, the better readers they will be, and reading will become even more enjoyable .

parents-after-lessonsClick on the  pictures below for some more information about how you can support your discontinued child.

reading at home


child-closed-eyes-6939178Another reading strategy that your children learn in the classroom is to visualize, or make a picture in their minds, as they are reading. This helps them to better understand what is happening. Often the teacher will read aloud a part of a book and ask the children to close their eyes and create pictures in their minds as she is reading. When she has finished, she asks the students to turn and talk to a partner and they each describe the mental pictures that they made. As well as helping them to remember what they heard, this strategy helps them to understand what the text / story meant as they search for the words to describe what they saw.

You could ask your child to use this strategy at home. One of you could read to the other. The one who is not reading is to tell the other one what was visualized, i.e. describe the picture that you could see in your mind.visualising

This YouTube video shows a teacher reading a poem to her Year One class. The students visualize the poem and then describe what they saw to a partner. Click on this picture of a girl to view it.

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Anchor chart from