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Successful early literacy intervention must be designed for individuals and delivered by trained teachers in the first two years of school.
Literacy Lessons: Designed for Individuals, in two parts, provides administrators and specially-trained teachers with guidance for managing the early literacy intervention called Reading Recovery. It answers the questions of Why?, When? and How? individual literacy lessons for young children at risk can be highly successful.
This book is remarkable. It's an outstanding guidebook for training teachers. It is rich in presentations of theoretical concepts and clear rationales for early literacy intervention procedures. New procedures and more extended discussions of familiar procedures are carefully presented and clearly linked to research and theory. Familiar research on oral language development and current or newer research related to brain functioning and cognitive development are woven into discussions, and the frequent suggestions of additional reading are extremely helpful.
I think this book will help us to train our teachers to think carefully about children's instructional needs and to base their instruction on careful observations of learners. The discussions will also reinforce the importance of using all procedures in a judicious manner.
Many aspects of this book are valuable. The arguments supporting the need for instruction designed for the idiosyncratic needs of each child at risk are important. The recurring references to individual instruction woven across the book reinforce those arguments. Sections such as What is 'reading' during the early lessons?, What does it mean to 'know' a letter? What does it mean to know a word? will facilitate good discussions and teacher understanding.
Both teachers and administrators will gain powerful insights about early literacy intervention for at-risk learners from the two texts. The potential effect on the education of young children is profound.
-Professor Mary Anne Doyle, University of Connecticut
Chair, Executive Board of the International Reading Recovery Trainers Organization.