Oakland University was one of 19 university partners who collaborated with the Ohio State University to scale up Reading Recovery throughout the United States. Under the i3 federal grant, Oakland University will received $4,011,688 over the course of five years (2010-2015) to provide training for 250 certified teachers in Michigan schools that have first grade classrooms and meet one of three priority categories listed below.
Participation in the i3 grant opportunity will be assigned by priority status on a first-come first-served basis as outlined below.
Priority 1. Any school that meets at least one of the following four categories:
- The elementary school is listed on the Michigan Department of Education School Improvement Grant List, or
- Title I school in restructuring or corrective action, or
- Rural school in a rural Local Education Agency (LEA). Rural LEA means an LEA that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS), or program authorized under Title VI, Part B of ESEA, or
- Sizeable population of ESL students. A school is eligible if the percent of students at the school exceeds the state average for ESL/ELL students in a school.
- Title I school in Program Improvement (Year 1 or 2) or
- In a district in Program Improvement.
School principal sends a letter documenting their school’s need for early intervention services in literacy.
- How to Apply for Participation in the i3 Grant.pdf
- Sample 2014-2015 Memorandum of Agreement
- How to Estimate Reading Recovery Coverage for Full Implementation.pdf
- 2014 Letter of Invitation to Participate in i3 Grant (pdf)
- External Evaluation Summary.Henry May.2.6.12-1.pdf
- OU News Story
- Presentation 2014 i3 Update
First, identify the teachers to be trained who have a track record of effective teaching and who likely will be most successful in completing the year of Reading Recovery training. You will need to release the identified teachers for .4 of their day (2.5 hrs.) to provide the daily 30-minute 1:1 lessons to the lowest performing first graders. What part of the teacher’s current assignment will need to be reallocated to other staff? Seek input from each teacher, from his or her grade-level colleagues, and from other school leaders. Ask, “How can we make this important work happen?” Encourage thinking “outside the box.” Can the teacher’s students be reassigned to one or more classrooms for larger-group teaching, such as during social studies or science? Can other teachers assume responsibility for these students during recesses? Could these students receive an additional library time each week? What about working cross-grade level or increasing team teaching time?
Each school is different and will need to come up with its own scenarios for finding time for this 1:1 intervention while keeping the learning experiences of the children in the classroom setting robust. This issue illustrates the importance of helping all staff understand that Reading Recovery is a school-wide intervention that will need the support of multiple staff members to affect the learning outcomes of more than just the individual first-graders with whom the interventionist teacher trained in Reading Recovery has direct contact. A starting point for discussions among teaching staff may be the commitment to a shared philosophy that all children can learn and it is our responsibility to make that happen. Often it is the action steps taken by a progressive school administrator that are the catalyst for these important discussions. Information regarding Action Steps.
To reduce staffing costs, some administrators have arranged for teachers trained in Reading Recovery to provide one or two of the lessons in before- or after-school settings, with the other lessons provided during regular school hours. Reading Recovery instruction and training is intensive, so administrators need to ensure that teachers have adequate time and compensation for their work with the most at-risk first grade children. Because these children need expert teachers, paraprofessionals cannot be trained to provide Reading Recovery instruction. Paraprofessionals can however, be used to free these teachers from other responsibilities so they can provide this high-quality intensive instruction to the most at-risk first graders.
These Reading Recovery trained teachers share their knowledge and expertise as they consult with other primary teachers working with Reading Recovery students in classroom settings. The Reading Recovery Teacher Leader working with your school may also provide professional development experiences for teachers assigned to classroom, small group, or special education roles. After three years of professional learning in this role, administrators may choose to assign a different teacher to Reading Recovery teaching so that additional members of the staff can benefit from the Reading Recovery training and professional development opportunity.
Reading Recovery’s impact on reducing the achievement gap is best illustrated in the following figure. The figure demonstrates the effect of Reading Recovery instruction on the reading achievement of the lowest performing literacy learners in first grade and compares their progress to the Random Sample of their peers and the Low Random Sample of children in schools with Reading Recovery.
Random Sample (RS) Children – The green line at the top shows the Random Sample’s progress on text reading at three points in time. These students start the year at a higher text reading level and make progress throughout the year.
Reading Recovery (RR) Children served in the fall – The blue line shows the progress of Reading Recovery children who were selected during the fall semester for Reading Recovery service. Initially the lowest-performing children, they catch up to the Random Sample by mid-year when their Reading Recovery lessons end and continue to maintain their progress.
Reading Recovery (RR) Children served at mid-year – The red line shows the progress of Reading Recovery children selected for service at mid-year when slots by Reading Recovery children served in the fall become available. Although these children made some progress in the fall without Reading Recovery, they are behind their Random Sample peers at mid-year. Provided with Reading Recovery however, these children make accelerative progress, reduce the gap between themselves and the Random Sample and achieve within-average performance levels by year’s end.
Low Random Sample (RS) Children – The purple line at the bottom shows the progress of the Low Random Sample. These students who did not receive Reading Recovery were low at the beginning of the school year and remain low throughout the year. While they made some progress throughout the year, it is not enough to reduce the achievement gap. Had they been able to receive Reading Recovery, it is likely they would have achieved accelerative progress and reached within-average performance levels.
These findings confirm Juel’s (1988) research which showed that children who were low-performing in literacy in first grade are very likely to remain low-performing in fourth grade. However, provided with contingent, responsive teaching by specially trained and professionally developed teachers, even the lowest-performing children can make accelerative progress, benefit from good classroom instruction, and continue learning with their peers (McEneaney, Lose & Schwartz, 2006).
It is important for educators to know if an intervention reduces or closes achievement disparities across various subgroups of the population. The Reading Recovery evaluation data has demonstrated that participating students do close the achievement gap with their average peers, that these gains are substantial for sub-groups by gender, race, socioeconomic status and for English Language Learners (ELL) and that these achievement gains reduce referrals to special education.
Administrators often value the expertise of their Reading Recovery teachers, but want to reach more children at a lower cost. To accomplish this some administrators have suspended their individual Reading Recovery intervention and reallocated these teachers to work only in small groups with a ratio of one-to-five, or higher. Schwartz, Schmitt, & Lose (in press) found that this change reduced the ability of these teachers to achieve outcomes that closed the achievement gap from 60% in the one-to-one condition to only 20% in the one-to-five condition. Only the one-to-one early intervention had the power to accelerate learning for the lowest performing first graders. Schwartz et al. concluded that a combination of one-to-one and small group services could be optimized by adjusting the balance among these services based on local achievement outcomes data, thus achieving the goal of a comprehensive approach to literacy and RTI. Further discussion of Cost Effectiveness.
National data show that Reading Recovery teachers, on average, work with 8-10 Reading Recovery children over the course of a school year and 40+ more children in their other teaching roles. In addition to using their expertise with 50 children (on average) each year, these teachers interact with other teachers in collaborative and leadership roles.
Investing in Reading Recovery changes the culture of a school. Teachers trained in Reading Recovery ‘learn by doing’ that all children really can learn. They often become especially strong advocates for the disenfranchised and struggling students in a school. These teachers can put a face on what may be viewed as abstract school improvement work.
Reading Recovery produces accelerative learning in children. Teachers trained in Reading Recovery collaborate with their colleagues in a variety of ways, including (a) demonstrating that intentional daily teaching and efficient and effective use of instructional time produces quality results, (b) teaching to each child’s strengths while knowing how to address each child’s unique learning needs in a timely way to make optimum use of the child’s time, and (c) observing closely how a child learns to provide high-quality instruction resulting in a reduction in the school’s achievement gap. While Reading Recovery cannot be taught to children in a group, a Reading Recovery trained teacher can support his/her colleagues in improving literacy outcomes for children in classroom and small group settings. Among many other things, Reading Recovery teachers work collaboratively with colleagues to revitalize the urgency of teaching, the value of knowing one’s students as individuals, and the importance of understanding how children learn. View more on the importance of providing a responsive teacher of reading.
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