Early Intervention is extremely important as we all know, yet often times students who are struggling to read find themselves falling further behind each year. Carol Lyons from “Catching Readers Before They Fall” discusses the brain research on children and the evidence suggests that the earlier they are given help the faster they will learn in order to catch up to grade level.

Marie Clay from “Catching Readers Before They Fall” developed a program called Reading Recovery as a early intervention program. The purpose of this particular program is for teachers to focus and work with the lowest 20% of students in their first grade. The program requires a thirty minute lesson once a day to individual children. The success rate for this program is 75% in just 12-20 weeks. This program has been extremely successful because thousands of teachers have bought into it. In the book they note that this includes students who have IEP’s. Reading recovery focuses more on teachers learning a new way of thinking about reading, a way of understanding the reading process. As opposed to main focus being on developing the specific thirty minute lesson each day.

In the text book “Catching Readers Before They Fall” they outline several things that a Reading Recovery teacher knows or does well. The outline is also beneficial for any teacher with struggling readers.

  • Understands the reading process and that each reader must construct it for themselves
  • Plan instruction from observations and assessments
  • Analyze running records with strategic actions in mind
  • Keep the student working just beyond their level of ability
  • Maintain a safe learning environment so that struggling readers do not feel discouraged
  • Know when to prompt, model, and cut back on supports, and when to reinforce specific behaviours; altering the level of support in response to the child’s reading behaviours
  • Teach toward independence so that the child takes more control over their own reading strategies
  • Provide many opportunities for the student to demonstrate authentic reading/writing opportunities. This helps strengthen their processing ability because they are constantly using their systems of strategies.

To sum up this particular early intervention program I thought I would show this video on Reading Recovery as it is gives a very quick yet informative recap of what it is and how it works. This program was developed many years ago now so for my next post I will focus on a more current early intervention strategy for struggling readers.