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Reading Recovery

ABC Easel   Anatomy of a Reading Recovery Lesson

     The following list is a breakdown of a 30 minute lesson.

Familiar Books - The lesson always begins with the student selecting and reading 2-3 familiar books from his or her basket.  These rereadings allow the child to notice letter sounds, chunks, words, and the like that they hadn't noticed before.  I liken this to watching a movie again.  Repeated viewing allows the viewer to notice details in the movie they hadn't noticed before.

Reread "New" Book -  The previous lesson ended with the reading of a newly introduced book.  This second reading is used to evaluate accuracy, rate, phrasing, intonation, and comprehension.  These daily evaluations allow for specific instruction focused directly on the specific items an individual needs.  They also ensure that each student is reading material at the appropriate level of difficulty.

Word Work - This part of the lesson lasts only 2-3 minutes.  In this brief period, we work with words and/or letters in isolation.  We may do a quick practice naming letters, noticing letter or word features, formation of letters, seeing how words work (from left to right), and other such activities.  This is deliberately quick since vocabulary is best learned in context.

Composing a Sentence - In this section, the student decides what they'd like to write about and how to word it.  Once the decision is made, we begin to record the sentence.  This complicated process involves quickly recording known words and learning how to figure out unknown words using letter sounds, chunks, and familiar patterns (much like we do when reading unfamiliar words).  Once the writing is complete, a version of the sentence is then cut apart as the student reads it.  It is then reconstructed and taken home to practice for homework.

Reading the New Book - In the last part of the lesson a new book is introduced and read.  This allows practice with solving unknown words in context, using meaning, syntax, and visual features to read them.  Daily practice such as this enables students to develop the ability to solve new words "on the run" while maintaining phrasing, intonation, and rate.  The new book also tends to be what the children look most forward to each day.  

Believe it or not, all of this is done within 30 minutes!  It is amazingly effective, especially since we work every day and the lessons are tailor-made on a day-to-day basis so that every element is suited for each individual's needs and builds upon their strengths.