What do you write in your child's reading record book?

(54 Posts)
lucy5 Sun 10-Sep-06 18:33:07

This is the first time dd [year 1} has had a reading record as they did guided reading last year. I'll save my thoughts on that for another thread . Anyway, as much as I hate to say it dd is an extremely lazy reader and just guesses at words, she doesn't try to sound them out etc. Infact she just tries to memorise them. I know this is a strategy but she managed to bluff her way through last year and I'm keen that she doesn't do the same this year. Although I am sure she won't be able to as her present teacher takes a more traditional approach.

My dilemma is, should I be frank in her reading record? I don't realy want to start off of a negative footing. So , what would you do? Thanks.

iota Sun 10-Sep-06 18:35:59

I would put something like 'dd seems reluctant to spell words out and tries to guess them'

best to be honest IMHO or you won't be doing dd any favours

WigWamBam Sun 10-Sep-06 18:36:45

Be honest. The teachers can only help your child if you tell them the truth.

be honest about it, but i really wouldnt worry. my ds has just started year 2 and until a few months ago he was just like your dd. in fact he still is when he doesnt want to do it but most of the time he is pretty good now. i think it is mainly to do with knowing the phonemes like 'ee' 'ch' which he wasnt very confident about until recently

lucy5 Sun 10-Sep-06 18:45:57

Thanks, i just didn't want to sound too negative or too pushy.

cutekids Sun 10-Sep-06 18:53:34

i've found it very helpful for my 3 kids to just be honest in these diaries.now and again,when they've been awkward or reluctant to read i've written it down.it's amazing how different they are the following week!....!

coderoo Sun 10-Sep-06 18:54:21

i write " this child is a genius nad a credit to his parents"

Bozza Sun 10-Sep-06 19:02:30

TBH my main problem is finding something different to write. DS had a reading record in reception also. I have written "DS found this book quite easy. He has read it through 4 times without any problems". But she has given him a level down from what he was on.

pinkchampagne Sun 10-Sep-06 19:03:27

I am always honset in DS's reading record. I would say something like "DD enjoyed the story, but tended to guess the words rather than sounding them out"

mousiemousie Sun 10-Sep-06 19:06:03

The teacher only writes in the book about once a term and I don't know if they ever read them: definitely not every week.

I can't think of anything helpful to write in my dd's book. Honesty would dictate "as usual this was a torturous experience for both of us and dd makes very little progress"

gothicmama Sun 10-Sep-06 19:08:41

honest is best -

throckenholt Sun 10-Sep-06 19:10:47

hmm - we must be very lax - we rarely get his books out of the book bag (just started year 1), and never write anything in his little red book - although I do read their comments - though usually it is just a list of the books. Am I likely to get a lecture at the next parents evening ?

We do read with him - but usually books of our own or from the library (the ones he brings home are often very tedious !).

If we push him too hard to participate in reading he becomes very resistant - but his is improving - seems much more willing to learn it at school to be honest

laneydaye Sun 10-Sep-06 19:13:16

oh the usual thing in my ds book.....

"please update"
"too easy"
not challenging enough"

its took me 6+ mths to get someone to take any notice...
not even sure if they read the damn things..

moan moan whinge whinge moan moan...(sorry)

Blandmum Sun 10-Sep-06 19:15:53

How much he has read
How much help he needed (if any)
Any specific problems
Any particularly good things

We get a coment 4 days out of 5 (the day off they don't read, they go swimming insead)

grales Sun 10-Sep-06 19:23:32

i volunteer to listen to reading in our middle school(ages8-9) its best to be honest then we can help them

lucy5 Sun 10-Sep-06 20:06:40

Thanks all! DD's teacher is a friend of a friend and knows that I am a teacher [not primary] and it's made me feel a bit nervous. I don't know why.

singersgirl Sun 10-Sep-06 20:28:18

"DS enjoyed this story"
"DS is confident with words he knows, but tends to guess at new words"
"I am encouraging DS to build up longer unfamiliar words"
"Well done, DS!"
"Enthusiastic reading"
"A bit tired today"
"Rather reluctant today"
"Some difficult words in this one"
"Word perfect!"
"DS struggled with this - it seemed a bit harder than his usual books"
"Some interesting vocabulary which we discussed"
"Fluent, expressive reading"
"DS likes the Magic Key books"
"We had fun looking at the pictures"
"DS found this one a bit easy"
"DS likes pirates/animals/mystery stories" (insert as appropriate)
"We discussed full stops/question marks/exclamation marks/the use of different fonts" (insert as appropriate)
"DS read the book once/twice/seventeen times"
"Pages 32-38. Good reading"
Sometimes I just put a smiley face and the date.

Etc etc etc.
I make it a challenge to put in something new every time. DH is right that I need to get out more.

Judy1234 Sun 10-Sep-06 21:25:53

I doubt I've written much more than my initials all year. Far too busy/tired to write anything else.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 10-Sep-06 21:36:25

We had a book once called Fat pig , We had it for ages I started writing ,rotund pig,obese pig,chubby pig,slightly large pig, big pig . I think she got the message . LOL

loopybear Mon 11-Sep-06 09:46:43

I can't resist to put a comment on this one. As a reception teacher when not on maternity leave, I personally read comments that parents & make a response each time I hear a child read - I listen to every child at least once a week and my nursery nurse hears them twice, so all are heard 3 times. If there is no comment in the book I assume it means they've not read at home so won't help the child choose a new book (parents are welcome to come and help their child choose a book from their reading basket), Parents often say they don't know what to write I suggest they just sign the book, if they don't have a concern e.g. book to easy / hard so I know they've read. I know some teachers don't respond or write comments which Ithink is bad. With regard to Fat Pig books they're ancient and as a school we got rid of them, as a Mum I'd refuse to read it with DD. On my suggestion my neice who loves reading gets her reading book and record book out just before she goes in the classroom, she tells the teacher that her Mum has writtern in the book for her to read (teacher probably hates me but my SIL now gets responses to concerns.

jura Mon 11-Sep-06 10:12:02

Well, dd2 has been back at school for 4 days and we've already had a note from the teacher in her reading book to log it daily. Yes, we normally do, it's just getting back into the swing of things. Dd2 is a voracious reader, so not a problem - just need to remind ourselves (me, dh or nanny) to do it.

They now get housepoints on a Friday if there's a comment for every day... I feel a Thursday night update coming .

Hallgerda Mon 11-Sep-06 10:18:12

loopybear, would you consider moving to Streatham?

Seriously, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking the world could do with a few more primary school teachers like you!

alexsmum Mon 11-Sep-06 10:20:58

i never know what to say usually go for something like 'alex read well with expression'

we went through a phase where his reading was awful-he was bored andi was bored and i was frustrated that he didn't seem to be getting it and i did put a note in his book saying something like ' tried to encourage with little success'.
you have to be honest.

GreenDolphin Mon 11-Sep-06 10:47:28

lucy5, memorising the words is as good a way of learning them, isn't it?

GreenDolphin Mon 11-Sep-06 10:47:29

lucy5, memorising the words is as good a way of learning them, isn't it?

hulababy Mon 11-Sep-06 10:53:15

DD only started this last week. Was just signing my initials as didn't know what to write. But having read this I wrote a comment this morning too

Tawny75 Mon 11-Sep-06 11:48:10

I usaully write if she enjoyed the book, or any words she had difficulty with. I also note what page she is up to.

homemama Mon 11-Sep-06 13:31:15

In the infants, it is vital to hear children read regularly. Good infant teachers and TAs will do this and keep comments up to date. IMO, initials are sufficient from parents unless there is something specific they want/need to say. Seems silly to waste time thinking up comments. As a teacher, I always initial any comments from parents just to let them know I've read them.

Having said all this, when children reach the juniors, the sad fact is that there just isn't the time or the help to hear children read regularly. Any spare time to hear a few readers is usually used for those children who are struggling.

I think if you're having to repeat the same comment over and over and your child never seems to get their book changed then it's time to go in. Please remember though that the teaching of reading through SP had led to many children being physically able to read words/books that are well above their comprehension. So if your child has read the book one night then returns with it the following night, use the opportunity to question them on the story. Ask about the characters and why they think things happened etc.

3catstoo Mon 11-Sep-06 13:33:27

I have the same problem. Although DD can read quite well she is really lazy and guesses at words if she thinks she can get away with it. She has the dadded problem of having her head in the clouds and drifts off into dreamland. To an outsider it looks like she is struggling to read the next page but actually she hasn't even looked at it, she has other things to think about!

I did write in her record on day 1, last week. I just wanted to point out that she can be lazy and needs the occaisional nudge to wake her up.

During the hols she read some harder but more adventurous story lines. They seemed to hold her interest and she didn't seem to daydream as much.
It's ashame the easier text books are so dull and boring. I don't want her to move up through the levels quickly but I would like her to be able to read something that will make her want to read on and find out what happens.

It's difficult to point things out to teachers without coming across as a pushy parent.

I know DDs teacher already as she taught DS last year. She is lovely and will understand just what I was intending to say.

DDs teacher had not heard her read, it was the teaching assistant. She had the same TA last year. Good in some ways but it would have been nice to have a different approach and someone with no pre formed opinions of DD.

Hope you get on OK.

alison222 Mon 11-Sep-06 14:32:10

I think they all do this sometimes Lucy5.
My DS has just started year one - they had a book last year and I had things in it like "he just memorises it and isn't reading" etc etc, She then gve him more difficult books so that he had to sound them out or he couldn't read them. He found it initally very hard work, but then suddenly had a breakthrough and his reading improved rapidly. He still guesses lots and has to be reminded to spell out words. Its just one of those things he will eventually get the hang of soon I hope. Otherwise he reads around the word he doesn't know and tries to fill in the gap. I'm told that this is also a valid way of learning to read, however there are only so many words you can remember the shape of so in the end they have to learn how to sound them out more quickly -don't they ??

Blu Mon 11-Sep-06 14:34:50

I didn't know I was supposed to writie in it!
I thought it was for the teacher to let us know how he was doing!

batters Mon 11-Sep-06 15:26:40

sigh at blu, it's a two way means of communication, my love !.

Done loads of reading with the kids at dd's old school and loved reading the comments.

A couple stick in my mind:

Teacher "Could you help XXX with reading this book please, she really does need to do some reading at home."

Parent "No, that's your job, love."

Parent "Why is YYY still getting very simple picture books, she can read very well."

Teaching Assistant "We have not found any evidence of YYY being able to recognise any words whatsoever."

Marina Mon 11-Sep-06 15:28:03

ROFL batters and Blu . Blu, really? I used to have to restrain dh from doing some really major deconstruction of Astrosaurs on Mars in the one-inch column for "parents' remarks"...

loopybear Mon 11-Sep-06 15:41:27

3cats as a teacher I welcome comments from parents, it's not always easy to listen in the morning as everyone wants your attention and you've got to settle children, parents tell me they've writtern a concern in the book or ask to see me at the end of the day. If she's finding the books boring and the school haven't got anything interesting at her level share library books together.

In some schools the TA listens to children read there individual books and the teacher hears children during guided reading so don't worry. I just wish more of my parents would listen to their children read.

Thanks Hallgerda but I've done my stint of London teaching.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Mon 11-Sep-06 16:36:49

every night 20 mins. I helped out in yr 3 for 3 years . It is so sad when kids dont get helped at home . 30 kids 1 teacher dosnt add up that she can hear them all read in one week .

crazydazy Mon 11-Sep-06 16:46:37

Well I picked up DS's brand new book bag and brought it home and all that was in it was his name, mind you he only started last Thursday.

Tbh I am dreading trying to read with him he just isn't interested in reading, he loves counting and looking at pictures but isn't interested in the words.

loopybear Mon 11-Sep-06 17:33:49

Crazy don't worry talk about the pictures get him to tell you a story using pictures, then ask him to point to the words whilst you read them it's all part of the process of learning to read. Playing I spy the word .... and asking children to find it is something some children enjoy.

crazydazy Mon 11-Sep-06 19:02:50

Thanks Loopybear will do that with him, he loves me reading to him at night before he goes to sleep and now he will listen to the whole story whereas 6 months ago he wasn't interested in hearing the story just looking at the pictures and he turned the pages too quick for me to read it to him.

Am concerned also because he cannot even hold a pen properly let alone attempt to write his name. Would you say this is normal?

julienetmum Mon 11-Sep-06 21:25:35

Dd (reception) brought home her first book and comments book tonight. After being very tempted to just ignore the whole thing along with the flashcards (what am I supposed to do with them, is she supposed to memorise them as there are words in them which are way beyond her phonics understanding) I wrote

DD read all the words she can work out phonetically. She does not yet know the magic e rule so could not read "spaceman". Also couldn't read "who" and "no". She read "no it's" as not.

What I really wanted to say was I think ORT is pants, please help dd to understand the rules of synthetic phonics that I have started with her in order to help her to read.

HRHQueenOfQuotes Mon 11-Sep-06 21:28:35

I generally don't...I'm sure his teacher last year must have thought i never did any reading with him/practiced his bookmarks because I always forget to write in it.

zdl Mon 11-Sep-06 21:37:52

DS is in year 2... I have never been asked to write anything in his reading record, I had no idea I was supposed to.

I did ask what it was for. Got the idea that I could write a note in there like ("he didn't sleep much last night") if necessary, but that would be the limit of what the expected. (Also the occasional grovelling note when we couldn't find a library book to return). DD just started reception, just go her reading book, and that also came with no instructions. Think I had to be told several times (or maybe not, I only remember the once!) that I could change DS's reading book whenever we liked. Why write a note if you can just do it yourself?

They gave us flashcards and never told us what to do with them, either. Later I asked and they suggested bingo and other games, but it's so hard to fit in the time for homework and getting DS to read a bit from a book each night, I have completely ignored the flash cards .

All DS wants to do when he comes home is play play play. He spent an hour watching the trctor plowing this evening. I think he's working so hard at school, it feels mean to ask him to do more than the assigned homework and a bit of reading.

MrsSpoon Mon 11-Sep-06 21:41:18

Loopybear, it never occured to me that no comment in the book would mean that DS1's teacher would think we hadn't read the book! I am afraid I am a parent who doesn't really know what to write, although I have now noted down some of singersgirl's suggestions. I don't know why but I always thought teachers were looking for some sort of blinding/insightful comment rather than a 'teacherish' comment such as 'good reading'.

Why don't teachers tell parents these things? Just a simple note in the book would have done, I would at least have scribbled my initials, we have never missed reading the book that is sent home (no matter how tiresome it is at times ).

julienetmum Mon 11-Sep-06 21:41:31

Dd's reading record actually has a page of suggestions of the type of thing you might like to write. It does include phrases like X was tired tonight so we only did so and so.

We also havea another notebook which according to the slip stuck inside it is for us to communicate anything we want to the teacher.

Tonight there is a note in reminding us it is school photo tomorrow.

fussymummy Tue 12-Sep-06 00:04:08

The reading cards our school put out with the books have to be signed every night.

Have to do 5-10mins reading each child.

I always put what words they struggled with and how easy or hard i felt the book was.

I'm always honest, as you're not helping your child, if you say they were brilliant, when maybe they found it really hard.

Teachers are there to help.

I used to get a bit fed up when my daughter was in reception last year, as to start with we'd have same book for a week at a time.

First books contain no words, so child has to describe what they see in the pictures.

My daughter did that for the first time, then said that was easy, can i do another one?

As she progressed she had simple words, shes now in year 1 and fairly confident at reading now.

I used to go into reception class to change all the books 2-3 times a week and do reading with some of the pupils.

It's amazing how much that helps the teacher.

They're always grateful of help, however much you can do.

silverbirch Tue 12-Sep-06 10:48:28

In reception and Yr1 I encouraged dd to draw a
picture of her favourite story from her books each week in her reading book. It seemed to help
to give her a sense of pride in what she had read. I never had much to say myself.

fennel Tue 12-Sep-06 12:18:27

i have a tendency to write whole essays in their books - over-educated mother alert.

I tend to write things like "dd1 didn't want to do any reading this week" or "dd2 is still complaining the books are too easy" or "they still won't sound out letters but insist on guessing" or "we're enjoying the Magic key stories"

you can write any old crap really, I think. it just gives an impression you're an Involved Parent who Supports the Teacher.

Blu Tue 12-Sep-06 12:28:20

Yes, I am deeply hopeless at this school thing!
I was afraid of being a pushy mother.
Also, not sure what to write about Biff and Chip 'we read this book'? 'ds can spell out words, just as he did with you this morning'?

Gobbledigook Tue 12-Sep-06 12:31:52

Er, not much because ds1 is quite a fluent reader so it's always 'ds1 read this book with no help' and it might say 'sounding out unfamiliar words' or something like that. If he struggled on a couple of words I write which particular words he found hard, then the next person to read with him could look out for those again.

Way back I did write that the books he was on were way too easy and that prompted the teacher to sit and read with him and she jumped him right forward onto some much more appropriate books.

I think you just have to be honest. I would certainly point out if he was struggling or else what is the point of the book?

singersgirl Tue 12-Sep-06 21:03:00

Fennel, exactly the same. I'm an overeducated mother who is trying to write useful things. I was of course joking about trying to say something new every night .

With DS1 (now in Y4) I write about once a month - a general comment about what he has been enjoying recently.

For DS2 (now in Y1), who was fluent before school, most of my comments (and the teacher's) last year focused on trying to find the right balance of reading difficulty and subject matter.

Earlybird Tue 12-Sep-06 21:08:28

DD's teacher has instructed parents to write something (or initial the book) every night. If you write nothing, they assume the reading wasn't done. I was "reminded" a few times last year when I neglected to write anything.

gpz Tue 12-Sep-06 22:12:25

just printed off singersgirl comments to write and im going to hand them out tomorrow after school!!!!
at least theyll keep me going for a few more weeks.went into see the teacher to check if hed had my a4 letter regarding reading and he just looked baffled. will stick to the initials. stroppy 7 year old prefers to read in her head anyway.but at least i now know im not on my own!

loopybear Tue 12-Sep-06 23:17:31

I do agree that ORT is dire, the school I teach has moved to a different system of various books (of a similar level) but in the basket and children allowed to choose their own book. If you (or your child) don't enjoy ORT share library books.

Blu Wed 13-Sep-06 10:54:56

OK. Now Ds is in Yr ! I have received a very clear info sheet telling me how they will be doing reading, how to support it, what sort of things to watch for and what things will be helpful if written in the book by me.
It also says DS read the whole ORT book aloud by himself and only had to sound out the word 'giant'. Which is news to me! our sessions with the word recognition cards must have been more effective than I thought - and he goes all obdurate when I try to get him to read!

busybusymum Wed 25-Oct-06 23:37:29

Last year the teacher didnt read the comments once (she told me this) I always put a relevant comment in the box But now I just initial to show its been read!

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