Thesis Title

At-Risk in First Grade

Graduation Date

Spring 2001

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Reading Recovery has proved to be an effective intervention for meeting the needs of at-risk first graders. When Reading Recovery is not fully implemented in a school, the teacher then assumes responsibility for intervention. This project addresses how a regular education, first grade classroom teacher can best meet the needs of first grade children with special literacy needs.

Children enter first grade with diverse literacy needs. Those who are more economically disadvantaged often have greater need than those who come from more enriched homes. However, it is not just an issue of economics; it is an issue of literacy deprivation.

Research has revealed that there are common threads to appropriate interventions for at-risk readers. Although there is no one perfect method, strategies tend to include Reading Recovery techniques. Some important methods include good first whole class teaching of phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle and meaning making strategies. Interventions for those at-risk include 30 minutes of one on one tutoring with each child. These intervention lessons should include leveled reading, guided writing, and direct, individualized, phonemic instruction. School wide staff development in specific teaching strategies and a consistent instructional approach in the classroom can be very beneficial to at-risk learners.

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