Click here to go back to the home page Click on this link to view the screenreader friendly and text only version of this website

Literacy Lessons

Expand the One-to-One Power of Reading Recovery Teaching to Other Student Populations with Literacy Lessons

Schools and districts that invest in Reading Recovery now have the opportunity to expand this professional learning to teachers who work with special populations of students beyond first grade.

Many Reading Recovery university teacher leader training centers and teacher training sites now offer a new professional development option for special education or ESL-certified teachers.

Literacy Lessons Intervention Specialists

Literacy Lessons intervention specialists primarily serve students who continue to experience difficulty with early literacy learning beyond first grade, usually up to age 9.

They also select children from their regular caseloads and use knowledge they’ve gained from Literacy Lessons training with small groups and classrooms outside the one-to-one individual lessons.

Literacy Lessons intervention specialists learn to

  • observe and assess a child’s reading skills,
  • design lessons that build on the child’s existing knowledge,
  • select “just right” books for children and craft book introductions,
  • expertly guide conversations that lead to language development, and
  • accelerate progress through the reciprocity of reading and writing.

Literacy Expertise

No scripted program can substitute for a knowledgeable teacher who knows how to design individual lessons based on learner strengths. The following elements are essential in both Reading Recovery and Literacy Lessons training:

  • Graduate credit granted through a college or university
  • Regularly scheduled classes, either at the Reading Recovery university training center or taught by a teacher leader at a school-based Reading Recovery training site
  • The study of Marie Clay’s literacy processing theory
  • Teaching of individual lessons to students while learning
  • Observing and participating in live teaching sessions with colleagues 

RTI Connection

Training in Literacy Lessons supports schools with their response to intervention (RTI) programming. The assessment tasks that are a part of Literacy Lessons provide both identification and monitoring data that support and accelerate student learning.

Screening Tool Recognized by NCRTI

The Observation Survey of Early Achievement — the screening tool used by trained Reading Recovery and Literacy Lessons professionals — is recognized as valid and reliable by the National Center for Response to Intervention (NCRTI). NCRTI assigned the highest rating possible — Convincing Evidence — in all categories: classification accuracy, generalizability, reliability, validity, and disaggregated data for diverse populations. With this approval by the NCRTI Technical Review Committee, the Observation Survey can be used by school psychologists, special educators, and others as an evidence-based screening instrument to identify children at risk for literacy failure.

Strong Research Evidence of Effectiveness

Using rigorous standards, two agencies funded through the U.S. Department of Education have reviewed Reading Recovery research studies. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) rated Reading Recovery as positive or potentially positive across all four domains — alphabetics (phonics and phonemic awareness), fluency, comprehension, and general reading achievement. And among all programs reviewed by the WWC, Reading Recovery received the highest rating in general reading achievement. The National Center for Intensive Intervention (NCII) reviewed Reading Recovery research, listing three studies that show large effect sizes for Reading Recovery students.

Reports Cited

NCRTI Screening Tools Chart
WWC Beginning Reading Intervention Report: Reading Recovery®
NCII Academic Intervention Tools Chart


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »