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Curriculum Details for
RAVE-O (Retrieval, Automaticity, Vocabulary, Engagement with Language, Orthography)

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Practitioner Expert
Content Expert
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Practitioner Expert Background

Two practitioners were interviewed for this review of Rave-O.  One practitioner works with early pre-school up through third grade students, and has been teaching for 29 years.  She has been using Rave-O for two years with a group of seven students who had been designated as struggling readers. She used it four days per week for about an hour each day.  She works in a private school, where students are mostly Caucasian and of different learning levels and reading abilities.  The other practitioner studied in graduate school with the Rave-O program creator, and worked for the past two years as a Rave-O program administrator, both coordinating and teaching the program.  She uses it with groups of second through fifth graders in small groups of three or four and also has co-taught it with groups of 6 students.  She uses it four days a week, for periods of approximately fifty minutes in a school for students with language-based learning disabilities.


  • Training is two days long and includes some hands-on practice.  Some practitioners needed follow-up training and support.
  • Strong background in phonics is useful.
  • Preparation time is much greater during the first months of using the curriculum.  With more familiarity, this time decreases.
  • The curriculum was designed for groups of four, so using it with larger groups requires some adaptation.
  • Groups of three or four are ideal as students can interact with each other and instructor can still give individual attention.  Otherwise, one practitioner found groups of six to work well.
  • There are many materials that need to be assembled ahead of time.  One practitioner had to bring in some of her own props.
  • Helpful to have a specific area of your classroom to set up the materials, hang up words, props, etc.

Student Engagement

  • Curriculum empowers students, come away feeling like they “get it” and are successful.
  • Parents have been very supportive of and pleased with the curriculum.
  • Students are continually engaged.  For example, the repetition of the many interesting meanings words helps students to make connections to their lives.
  • Students particularly enjoy the magic theme, use of “word wizards,” wands, etc.
  • Learning the minute stories, timed reading, Many Interesting Meaning words, use of props, and built-in incentives were particularly enjoyable for students.
  • Very age-appropriate for students up through third grade, older struggling readers might find the content of the curriculum less appealing.


Adaptability to instructor needs
  • Scripted program.  However, instructor can be flexible, spend more time on specific topics than others.
  • Breadth of lessons ensure that all students’ needs are touched upon.
  • Program is very intense, helpful to work in small breaks for the students.
  • Instructor can adapt his or her approach to the curriculum. For example, this practitioner brought in props and had students act out the many interesting meanings words.
General skills taught
  • Academic skills: sounds of letters, spelling, comprehension, fluency
  • Dictionary skills
  • Builds curiosity about words and reading.
  • Helps teach social skills such as cooperation, taking turns, etc.
  • Can be very empowering for students who struggle with reading.
Addressing diverse student needs
  • Especially effective with students who struggle with word retrieval.
  • Can give time for antsy students to take a break and move around.
  • Is attractive to a range of learning styles – visual, kinesthetic, etc.
  • Effective with students who have learning speed deficits.

Strengths and Challenges

  • Reaches students of many different learning styles.
  • Positive, supportive learning environment for students.
  • Program seems fun to teach. Multiple opportunities for participation can help keep students engaged.
  • Taps into many different areas of language.
  • Preparation may be time consuming.
  • May take some time for an instructor to become familiar with the curriculum and figure out how to manage materials.

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