Planning Weeks

Planning Week is being spread over the last 2 weeks of the term. All of the Intervention Teachers, as well as the Specialist Teachers, are being used to cover the classes so that the Classroom Teachers can do their planning for next term. Therefore, there have been (and will be) missed Reading Recovery lessons.

Please try to keep the momentum of the learning happening at home. The take home reader can be read again. The pasted sentences in the homework book can be reread. A page within the homework book can be used to write a new sentence.

Some extra books will be sent home for the holidays. Please try to hear your child read one book per day. Thank you for your support.

Solving ‘ran’

My student was reading aloud and he stopped when he came to the word ran.

I thought that this was a word that he could solve himself with the support of magnetic letters and sound boxes (which he has been using in the writing section of the lessons).

I placed the letters under the boxes and I had him push the letters up as he said each sound. After 2 or 3 times he could hear the parts in the word ‘r-a-n’ come together.

I gave him the book and I asked him to push his finger up and say the letter sounds in the same way that he did with the sound boxes. He was very happy with himself when he easily reread the sentence without stopping. After he finished the book we revisited the word ‘ran’ and he showed me how he had solved it.

Eventually I might just have to prompt him to ‘say it like it is in boxes’ to get the same result.

Remaking the cut up sentence

Today one of my students was remaking his cut up sentence. I noticed that he always placed the sentence in one long line. I couldn’t help but notice as I was being elbowed out of the way to make room for the last few words!

When he pasted his sentence in his homework book at home he did not have the room to make one long line, so I knew that he could remake and read the sentence in multiple lines when he had no other choice.

I moved the words around and asked him if he could read the sentence again which he easily did. I asked him if it was still the same sentence and he agreed that it was. He needs to be flexible in reading lines of words as books (and other texts) have a variety of layouts. I also wanted to rearrange the words to encourage him to phrase his oral reading (i.e. run words together in a natural way as we say them, not word by word).

Each time I rearranged the sentence he read it slightly differently,mostly just pausing at the end of each line. (I emphasized that the word order had to be kept the same.)

He was given the opportunity to remake the sentence any other way he wanted. (See left.) I valued his choice although it wasn’t the best layout for grouping words together to sound like a capable reader.

My student is learning that the same sentence can be rearranged in different ways, but it is still the same sentence. He is also learning to put natural pauses between groups of words that go together as he is reading aloud.


Where to point

Some children point to each word as they are reading for varying reasons:

  • he / she needs assistance to match one spoken word to one written word
  • to stop the eyes from wandering away from where they should be focussing
  • to take a closer look at the word to check it looks like the word being said.

Here is a handy tip from the Ballarat tutor-

Instead of the child pointing underneath any part of the word, e.g. the middle or the end-

Have the child point underneath the first letter of each word.

This will remind the child to look at the 1st letter before any other letter, i.e. to look through the word from left to right.

This child is pointing underneath the middle of the word. Now I know to direct the finger to be under the 1st letter (‘l’ in ‘looked’).


You may have noticed a few disruptions to the Reading Recovery lessons of late. On Thursday all of the Intervention teachers were required to cover grades so that the classroom teachers could attend some literacy professional development together. On Friday the students did not have their normal lessons. I heard the students read a book or 2 and swapped their take-home books, before I headed to some Reading Recovery professional development in Ballarat. AND Monday is a Curriculum Day so the students will miss out again. Hopefully after that we will be back to lessons as per usual!

On Friday I recorded the students as they read. I stood in front of each one with an iPad. It was very interesting to be able to replay the recordings later and to observe what the eyes were doing as each student was reading. (See previous post Where are the eyes looking?) When I hear students read I am usually sitting side by side with them and so I have a limited ability to check what the eyes are doing. I have a greater awareness now of what is going on, e.g. who is looking away from the book, who is scanning the words ahead or behind, and who is going back and forth between the words and the pictures to support the word solving.

I know that many of you were at the Information Evening last Tuesday and I hope that you enjoyed being lead around the school by your children. I was on Zooper Dooper duty in the canteen, followed by surveying parents duty, so I was not in the Reading Recovery room if you came to visit. Remember that you can come and see me in Room 12 before school on any Monday or Friday.