If you read the last post and followed the links you may have noticed the video Growth With Reading Recovery (Reading Recovery Council of North America, 2012)
If you did not see the video, I have linked it to this post.
The video is celebrating Chase’s journey from being a student who was reading below the other students in his class, to being a confident student who was reading above the level of the average students in his class.
After 5 weeks of Reading Recovery, Chase’s RR teacher tells us that he was using strategies such as slowly saying a word (moth) in order to hear what he would expect to see at the beginning of the word (m). He was then asked to check if the word did begin with m, and it did.
Chase was able to hear many dominant consonants. Consonants are letters that are not vowels (aeiou). Dominant consonants are the ones that are easiest to hear within a word, e.g. Chase would probably hear c-s-n (or k-z-n) in cousin. He is not likely to think the word cake would be cousin if he is using what he knows about matching sounds with probable letters,
Chase was also learning that there was a connection between reading and writing. When we are reading we go from letters to sounds. When we are writing we go from sounds to letters. We can hear individual sounds and parts of words, we can write down letters to represent the sounds and parts of words, and we can look at the letters and parts of words and think of sounds that could match those letters.
Even after 5 weeks, Chase’s classroom teacher had noticed that he was taking risks with his writing, i.e. he had the confidence to try writing words that he did not know.
Chase had 15 weeks of Reading Recovery. By then he had caught up to the average students in his class and he sounded like a good reader. Chase was using word parts (e.g. st-art-ed) and word patterns (day, away) to solve words.
At the beginning of Reading Recovery Chase could only write 5 words. After 15 weeks he could write 42 words.
Chase continued to progress without the extra support that he had previously needed. Chase was reading above the level of the average students in his class by the end of the school year, and his classroom teacher was very pleased with what he could do, including solving words on the run. That means he could work out many unknown words as he was reading, without having to stop, reread and think about ways of taking a word apart.
Chase understood what he was reading as he could answer questions about his book and write about it. Chase was now confident to try new challenges and he enjoyed reading and writing. He had learnt many things about reading and writing (giving him background knowledge) that he can now use in the future. The teachers were proud of him and no doubt so were his parents. Most importantly, Chase would be very pleased with himself.
This is the kind of journey we want for all of our students!