I have met with Maddie’s parents to share my recommendations.
Intervention is necessary to help Maddie improve her reading. I recommended Reading Recovery, which is an intervention program that could help accelerate Maddie's progress in reading and prevent Maddie from needing special education or first-grade retention. As a former reading teacher and Reading Recovery teacher leader, I have never seen a program that can match the success rate of Reading Recovery. In Reading Recovery, a trained teacher works one-on-one with her/his students. In an average of twelve weeks, most children catch up to their classmates. You can find more facts about Reading Recovery on the RRCNA website. You can also find research on Reading Recovery at the U.S. Department of Education website about early reading programs that work.
Unfortunately, the school Maddie attends does not have Reading Recovery.
The next possible option is for Maddie’s parents to find a trained Reading Recovery teacher who would be willing to tutor Maddie after school. This will not technically be Reading Recovery because Reading Recovery is provided in school every day for 30 minutes. The Reading Recovery teacher works in collaboration with the classroom teacher and other school personnel. Private tutoring does not work the same way, but it can still be quite successful.
But wait—before we go the route of a private Reading Recovery tutor, we are going to experiment with something a bit more unusual. I am going to tutor Maddie long distance using the internet. We will try using Skype, a video chat program, for our lessons. We plan to film a few of the sessions so you can follow along if you are interested in upcoming posts.
Michèle Dufresne is author of many Pioneer Valley Books early readers (including the Bella and Rosie series), Word Solvers (Heinemann), and an early literacy and literacy intervention consultant.
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