Reading Recovery

What is Mrs. Avery really doing in that room?

What does Reading Recovery Look Like?

Reading Recovery is a 30 minute lesson broken up into five parts: familiar reading, running record, word/letter work, writing and introduction to a new text. Each part plays an integral role in the develop of fluency, independence, and confidence in both reading and writing.


Everyday, we begin with 3 - 5 familiar books to allow the reader to begin the lesson with confidence. These books also allow us to build fluency, and help the child notice new things in the books. The second component is the Running Record. We take a running record on the previous day's new book. This gives us the information we need to plan the next day's lesson. This portion is 10 minutes.


At this time, we have the child go to the board for letter/word work. This allows the child to stand, as many of them are getting wiggly by now. We start by working with known letters and words only, then move to learning new letters and words. We sort letters and build words (The book, Word Solvers is a fantastic resource!) When the child is ready, we show them how to break words (play - ing, c - an), and how to manipulate words ("I can take a word I know, and make a new word." day and play, cat and can). This portion is 2-3 minutes.


Let's talk! Now it's time to have a brief conversation with the child. This can be about the book they read, or about their day. This part of the lesson is VERY important because it helps the child to build oral language fluency! At the end of the conversation, the child composes the story.


Ready, set, write! Now the child writes his message, with the assistance of the teacher. We use many strategies to get to unknown words, like clapping the parts, Elkonin Boxes, and analogies.


Just cutting up! The teacher writes the story on a strip and cuts it into parts for the child to reassemble. This allows the child to see spacing between words, locate words by using initial sounds, and practice phrasing. This goes in an envelope to take home for homework.


In with the new! Now it's time to read the new book. This book was chosen especially for the child, and the opportunities it provides.The teacher gives a 3 phrase gist of the story (go ahead and give away the ending!). Then the teacher does a book orientation to "debug" the book for the child. We have the child locate known and unknown words and rehearse tricky languages structures ("Away you go!")


The step by step foundation of Reading Recovery has been dissected to a science and follows the best known practice for helping struggling readers. Marie Clay is the founder of Reading Recovery and recognized the importance of creating individualized and unique instruction for each child. Gwinnett County's success rate has continuously beat the National average several years in a row. This is Shiloh's first year of Reading Recovery and I am confident that together we can make this a successful and ongoing program that is sure to last.




What Should I be doing in the Classroom?

Reading Recovery is based on a common use of instructional language. The hope is that students will create good habits during reading and writing that they can apply independently. Our goal is to become that "motherly voice" that is consistently used to self monitor during independent reading and writing time. Some of the instructional language that can be used in both Reading Recovery, as well as the classroom includes:



"Did that match?" this focuses solely on 1:1 matching (not on accuracy)


"Did that look right?" this focuses on visually recognizing some part of the word (they read dog, but the word is cat) We want them to realize that the word can't be dog because the word in the text starts with "c".


"Did that sound right?" Often times our young readers will substitute words based on their own oral language patterns. However, asking the reader to listen to the way their reading sounded can often prompt a self correction.


"Say the word slowly" Writing is just as important and is linked to every part of reading. Modeling how to say words slowly, implies that this strategy is useful during both reading and writing time.