Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

This is the hub of the site and the place to post queries, start discussions and join in the conversation!
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Awareness is rising globally that 'phonics' is an important component of 'being a reader' although the degree of importance of phonics in the English language with its very complex alphabetic (phonics) code is still not yet commonly known and understood well enough. Explicit, systematic phonics teaching for both reading and spelling is not provided in every school.

Awareness is rising about the notion of multi-cueing reading strategies (known as the 'Searchlights' reading strategies in England or the 3-cueing system in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) which, in reality, amount to prompting beginners and struggling readers to guess words they cannot read from a variety of clues - for example, the picture, the context, initial letters - even word 'shape'.

If children are provided with books to read INDEPENDENTLY that include words the children cannot lift from the page - then they are forced to 'guess' to 'get through the book'.

This gives children entirely the wrong idea about the reading process and instills damaging bad habits in children from an early age.

Many teachers, tragically, still think it is OK and legitimate to ask children to guess words 'which make sense' rather than teach them well enough to attend to the alphabetic code in the words from left to right.

Here in England, it is very high-profile politically and educationally to provide beginners and strugglers with reading books for children to read INDEPENDENTLY that include the alphabetic code (the letter/s-sound correspondences) that children have been TAUGHT. This type of book is described as 'cumulative, decodable reading books'.

BUT at the same time, publishers and schools continue to use a system of cataloguing their reading books based on 'Reading Recovery's Book Bands' system.

This is crazy.

Reading Recovery is based on an outdated multi-cueing reading strategies approach to reading - and multi-cueing has been discredited by a body of international research - but everyone carries on regardless as if this is not the case! Reading Recovery is huge throughout the English-speaking world.

This causes such a quandary as, here in England, more and more publishers are producing 'cumulative, decodable reading books' which are designed to match the alphabetic code that beginners have been taught - but people still keep trying to 'Book Band' these books.

This is nothing but one huge FUDGE.

It is high time that the Book Bands cataloguing system was abandoned and replaced by a system that fits with the evidence from research and stops perpetuating the acceptance of Reading Recovery and forcing children to read reading books which many children simply cannot read without resorting to guessing.

Schools in England are in a right old muddle - and no wonder with continued mixed messages from some universities (the Institute of Education for a start which is the home of Reading Recovery in England), teacher-trainers, advisors, publishers, special needs specialists - and so on.

We have no real consistency and it continues to be 'chance' - 'pot luck' - whether children end up in a genuinely Systematic Synthetic Phonics school and system or whether they end up in a school continuing with a hotch-potch of ideas, methods and beliefs.

This is not good enough.

Book Bands need to go and Reading Recovery needs to go.

With the Simple View of Reading in mind, schools could equip their schools with plenty of cumulative, decodable reading books for their beginners and then wonderful 'real' storybooks and literature which teachers can read TO children and SHARE with children to expand on their vocabulary, their language comprehension, their knowledge and understanding of the world. Either type of book and reading experience can be organised in one to one, group or whole class scenarios.

Shame on the publishers that keep on fudging those early reading scheme books.

Shame on the universities which continue to be in bed with Reading Recovery.

If reading books are to be used for children to read INDEPENDENTLY, they should be designed so that children CAN READ THEM WITHOUT GUESSING.

The only way to really guarantee this shift away from guessing and the acceptance of guessing as legitimate is to get rid of the Reading Recovery Book Bands system and to stop tolerating and promoting Reading Recovery as an intervention programme.

This is the time for change.

Book Bands should go.

Reading Recovery should go.
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:53 am

We've introduced a new feature on the IFERI site - 'inform' factsheets - see the ones below with reference to this topic:

The Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles (includes guidance for reading when asking children to read independently):

http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... ciples.pdf

Reading Recovery: Is it efficacious and effective?

http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... covery.pdf

Research Findings in Reading Instruction are Settled Science

http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... ence-2.pdf

How Children Learn to Read

http://www.iferi.org/wp-content/uploads ... o-Read.pdf

If you have a child in school who is a beginner reader or a struggling reader, what is the approach to the child's reading material and methodology in the school?
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:27 pm

Even in the 1990s Reading Recovery was being recognised as not being fit-for-purpose for intervention - and the Reading Recovery methods of assessing effectiveness were under scrutiny and highly questionable:

http://pages.uoregon.edu/bgrossen/rr.htm

And yet here we are, decades later, and still Reading Recovery carries on regardless with official backing and financing.

If this isn't a case of 'The Naked Emperor', what is?
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:30 pm

This fundamental question about the efficacy of Reading Recovery continues to this day - I'm linking this thread to another looking at the 'evidence' behind the perpetuation of Reading Recovery and the Bookbanding cataloguing system followed by virtually all publishers of children's reading books on a huge scale around the world:


viewtopic.php?f=2&t=22
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:00 pm

Here is a letter signed by 30 reading researchers complaining about Reading Recovery in 2002:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/read.rr.ltr.experts.htm

Experts Say Reading Recovery Is Not Effective, Leaves Too Many Children Behind

An Open Letter from Reading Researchers

May 20, 2002


Note to the Reader: In this open letter, more than 30 international reading researchers expressed concerns about the continued use of Reading Recovery. These experts urged policy makers, educational leaders, researchers, and federal research organizations to acknowledge the weaknesses of Reading Recovery.

They concluded, "Reading Recovery leaves too many students behind."

- Letter Begins -

We are an international group of researchers who study reading development and interventions with struggling readers. This letter responds to a number of questions that have been raised by educators, policymakers, and parents about the effectiveness of Reading Recovery, a tutoring program designed for struggling first grade students. We hope the following summary analysis will be helpful to those who are considering the most effective ways to help struggling students become proficient readers.

These are not isolated opinions and the findings here are summaries of several peer-reviewed studies and syntheses of research on Reading Recovery. However, it is not our goal to discredit Reading Recovery, but as with any other program, outline its weaknesses to suggest how it can be improved. We believe this should be done for any program that is widely used to address reading difficulties.

1. Reading Recovery is not successful with its targeted student population, the lowest performing students.

There is little evidence to show that Reading Recovery has proved successful with the lowest performing students. Reading Recovery targets the lowest 10-20 percent of first graders who have the prerequisite skills for Reading Recovery.

While research distributed by the developers of Reading Recovery indicates a positive effect of the program, analyses by independent researchers have found serious problems with these conclusions. Studies conducted by researchers associated with Reading Recovery typically exclude 25-40% of the poorest performing students from the data analysis.


Do check out the link to read the details - sound familiar?

And here we are 13 years later - how many children does that represent that have been handed over to the resident Reading Recovery teacher and been ingrained with multi-cueing reading strategies?

And what about the prevailing 'beliefs' and practices of those schools that host a resident Reading Recovery teacher?

Please add to this thread if you have any information about a child or children affected by this system?
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:41 pm

Here are some 'reading strategies' that are widely, wrongly, promoted not just for children identified as 'dyslexic' but for other children if the prevailing teaching approach is multi-cueing reading strategies:

For Those with Dyslexia, Whole Language is a Coping Mechanism, Not a Strategy

http://www.dyslexiatraininginstitute.or ... -strategy/

I would suggest that such reading strategies can cause or exacerbate dyslexia in the first place!

:cry:

Here is a downloadable, excellent summary from the link above - this says it all!!!!

http://www.dyslexiatraininginstitute.or ... Hurley.pdf
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:43 am

I'm linking this thread to a more recent one featuring a BBC documentary 'B is for Book' which shows the consequences of asking young beginners to 'read' a book independently which they cannot read. Here is 'mixed methods' school that does provide systematic phonics teaching but mixes it with Reading Recovery which does not consist of the same teaching principles as the 'systematic synthetic phonics' approach.

The BBC footage is a classic example of attributing all the reading difficulties of individual children to 'within child' issues - with no understanding, or examination, of the mixed methods which include teaching, or causing by default, multi-cueing reading strategies which amount to guessing a lot of words:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=613
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:55 pm

Learning Difficulties Australia: Volume 45 No 3, November 2013

Guessing: Why the reading wars won’t end


https://www.ldaustralia.org/BULLETIN_NOV13-OL.pdf
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:04 am

Ruth Miskin describes her worries about Book Bands via her blog:

http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/news/2016/ ... -progress/

Ruth's Blog: Why Book Bands block children’s reading progress


The mystery

At every talk I give, I ask teachers, “What are the Bookbanders' criteria for slicing?” Over the last 15 years, not one teacher has been able to tell me. I say,
“But, if you don’t know how they’ve been sliced, how do you explain the system to parents? Aren’t you confused as well?"
I’ve googled every possible search word to find the current criteria for Book Banding. I can find the banding colours alongside lists of books, but no criteria.
Mums are doing the same. Read the conversations on Mumsnet. Intelligent women try to unravel the mystery. One mum says, “I'm really too ground down by the whole thing [Book Banding] to care, I just think it's interesting that there is such disparity between children apparently achieving at the same level.”


Could it be a little bit of everything?

I suspect this is the case. Book Banding uses the discredited Searchlights Model used by the old National Literacy Strategy. The Book Bands certainly don’t meet the requirement of the National Curriculum - that beginner readers should read books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge.
Everyone’s confused. Publishers. Writers. Teachers. Parents. And sadly, children are the most confused of all.
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: Reading Recovery and Book Bands are obsolete

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:32 pm

Ruth wrote:

The Book Bands certainly don’t meet the requirement of the National Curriculum - that beginner readers should read books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge.


Good point - and this guidance is statutory and evidence-informed when all said and done.

Return to “General Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests