This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of the Journal of Reading Recovery. The Journal of Reading Recovery is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Reading Recovery Council of North America as a service to both Council members and those interested in early intervention for beginning readers.

“Show us what to do with the low kids.”

This request from a group of first-grade teachers came during a lesson study demonstration, putting words to an uncertainty and a self-doubt of how to best support children for whom literacy isn’t developing according to schedule. There must be something, some “magic teacher move,” that will teach these students to read, right? The six first-grade students they were about to observe in a guided reading lesson—many of whom spoke a language other than English at home—were deemed the “low group,” reading in a Level D text near the end of their first- grade year.

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