Well here I am… back at St Albans East. There are a few changes including new paint, new carpet … and missing shelving. If you peek inside our Reading Recovery room you will see a lot of unpacked boxes. Lovely new shelving is currently being made so we are ‘making do’ at the moment.
I’m still getting used to some of the Year 1 classes being in different rooms. It’s a bit embarrassing to walk into a room of Year 5/6 students who seem to be thinking… ‘Here she comes, lost again’. I am also getting to know my 4 new students. Having 3 siblings for Reading Recovery within 12 months must be some sort of record (twins!).
After the Curriculum Day, I was busy giving and analyzing the Observation Surveys. This gives me vital information about what my students already can and cannot do. At the end of the week we began the 1st 10 days of Reading Recovery lessons called Roaming The Known. One purpose of this time is for each student to feel comfortable with coming to the lessons. It is also a time of discovering what the student can do with just the right amount of support.
I provide many reading and writing opportunities that should be quite easy for the student, in order to encourage confidence. We build up a number of books that are read often. I might read the new book to the student first. We will talk about it and eventually the child will join in and then take over the reading of the entire book.
Instead of jumping in to teach new things, I am providing opportunities for him / her to discover what is already known, and perhaps to make new discoveries. For example, by the 4th reading of the book the student might observe that 2 words rhyme, or might correct an error and explain that the 1st try did not begin with the right letter.
There are also many occasions to write. Even the most reluctant student responds when he /she realizes that the teacher will help with the parts that cannot be done independently. Gentle prompting encourages the student to ‘have a go’, e.g. stretch the word. What can you hear? Can you write it? I’ll show you. Read that part again. What do you think will come next?
My job during these 1st 10 lessons is to provide opportunities to read and write, to observe the students, and to take lots of notes. I’m asking myself: What does she do well? How is he helping himself? I have to be careful not to assume that I already know how the student will respond. For example, if I think Adam won’t be able to write a word and do it for him, I am taking away an opportunity to discover that he can write half of it himself.
I will be contacting the caregivers of my new students shortly in order to meet and chat about Reading Recovery. Homework will start after Roaming.