Classroom tips from my Reading Recovery Experiences

In my Instagram Q&A this week one follower asked me to share what I have brought back to the classroom with me after 8 years of Reading Recovery Teaching. The first thing I would say is, if you ever get to train as a RR teacher it will be the best CPD you could every engage in without a doubt. That is coming from someone who has done a lot of postgraduate study!!

Here are my top 5 things I brought back to the class.

This is an obvious one but not one size fits all and not every child will fit into a group! Class readers are useful in exploring a concept (a particular genre, oral language skill) in mixed ability groups. It should not be used for whole class reading instruction.

Children need to develop a range of reading strategies when they meet tricky words and develop the skill of adapting which strategies to use depending on what they are reading. Explicit teaching is needed to model the wide range of strategies available to any reader.

Reading fluency has to happen from day one! A child reading level 1 books ‘I am at the park’ should be expected to read at a good pace, smooth voice with appropriate intonation. Teacher modelling is key here. A good prompt to use is ‘Make it sound like your speaking voice.’

Talk about the reading and writing connection a lot! What they know about one will help them learn about the other. The reciprocity between reading and writing is undervalued.

Provide a wide variety of reading experiences. Read them a novel, use picture books, guided reading, buddy reading with an older/younger child, let them read for pleasure, give them choice and most importantly give them the opportunity to talk about what they have read. Children love to discuss!

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