DD is very able, although not gifted at literacy. She is Yr 1 and reads completely fluently and has done for about 6 months now and her spelling is also very good for age. She works with children in the Yr 2 top set although not sure what happens when they move into Juniors in September
Apart from working on comprehension and reading loads of different kinds of books/text is there anything else I can do to support her from here? I also wondered what other children have been offered at school when working with the year above is no longer an option...
Thanks for any advice, or experiences you can share with me
Just take her to the library or bookshop as often as possible and her read as much as she wants. Talking to her about what she reads is good too - sometimes it helps if you at least skim through what she's reading too, so you can have a more in-depth chat about the characters and how they are feeling, what might happen next and so on.
It's nice if they have other children on the same level to work with at school (and you never know, there may be others whowill catch up by next year) but it's not a disaster if there aren't, as long as the teacher differentiates properly. At 6, DS was the only native English speaker in his class (international school) and was reading Harry Potter, while his classmates were still on early readers, but the teachers made sure he had appropriate things to work on.
Thanks for your reply! Is useful to hear that it is possible to differentiate the work successfully. I think the problem arises from her being in a very small yr group (8) and the other children are all around the same level. As you say though things can indeed change.
How is she on inference? Ie the hidden message within the text.
My DD is in reception and reads at a end of yr2 early yr3 level and this is something she needs to work on (she will get it maybe 50% of the time) also she has to analyse text (why the author chose certain words/phrases, the relationship between what the author has written and what the illustrator has drawn).
Simpson - yes we're working on inference and subtext too! Currently reading a lot of Roald Dahl which gives us lots to talk about and she absolutely loves it.
Do you know what will happen with your dd when she moves into yr1? Sounds like she'll be working at KS 2 level by then. Is your dd also very able at numeracy too?
DD is bang on average in numeracy (can just about add 15 + 3 in her head) she is pretty good at writing though.
She does lots on non fiction (as she doesn't like it so much - using index, contents page, what bullet points are etc).
She is also reading Roald Dahl ATM (Esio Trot) and loving it.
Don't know what is going to happen next year. I will ask for a meeting nearer the time. She currently has weekly spelling tests and had a lesson with the HT about settings in a story and beginning, middle and endings of stories (the rest of the class did it too but I guess she is at a higher level).
The school asked about her doing the yr1 phonics test early (this May) and were told no
have you looked at much poetry with her? both reading, different types and also writing her own? Its a good way of branching sideways. Also the school may have some of the ORT playscripts as again they are different styles.
and definitely comprehension etc comes at different levels so thinking about why using certain language or punctuation, why an exclamation mark rather than just a full stop, capital letters, italics etc. What characters might feel, how might she feel in that situation. You could ask her to write an extension bit on some of the stories, how would SHE develop it. or how would SHE rewrite a page, using different language and so on.
My DD is in reception and we are on early reader/first chapter books etc. She is a big fan of non fiction books but we are struggling to make the jump from the nice coloured pictures in the early reader books to the dull pages with black and white pictures in the next level of chapter books (mind we have recently discovered she has a visual processing problem with black on white so that could explain it a little too, a lot of the early readers have coloured backgrounds for some of the writing).
and whilst it might not seem literacy as such, asking her to illustrate some text from a book herself can be interesting. see which bits of a paragraph she pulls out as the main part, or the best bit to illustrate that bit of the story. It makes them think.
Thanks - am reassured by what you suggest as they are all things dd is really interested in. She loves words and word play and is constantly asking about the meaning of things and spellings of words. TBH what she needs to work more on is numeracy as it really doesn't come as easily to her!
I wondered if you'd like to use this as a support thread and direct others with very able readers here?
It would be good to share experiences as sometimes I feel that working to dd' s level and potential is going to be down to me rather than relying on school!!
Anyone got any good fiction recommendations?
DD has a £10 book token to spend. Today my dad took her to the bookshop and bought her an early reader (3 Little Princesses) and by the time I met up with them 20 mins later she had read the whole thing
Has she read Princess Mirabelle by Julia Donaldson? I found them better written than most of the girls young fiction 'fairy type' books and dd definitely enjoyed them!
DD has also recently enjoyed My Naughty Little Sister, Oliver Moon, Winnie the Witch (chapter book ones), The Worst Witch and Opal Moonbaby. She also loves the Usbourne Young Readers classic books - Heidi, The Nutcracker etc.
Hope there's a few in there your dd hasn't already read. It's a bit frustrating when you buy a book and they've read it in no time at all!!
She has read My Naughty Little Sister to death but does not seem taken with Winnie
She could not handle the Worst Witch yet I don't think (does not understand the concept of boarding school).
She is loving Esio Trot and has just finished a red bananas book "Friday Suprise" she is also very taken with some books that periwinkle recommended (Mermaid books and has read the first 3 to herself).
Julia Donaldson is fab so will check out that book thanks
Oh and she also loved Snakes and Ladders by Michael Morpurgo and she has another one "Conker" to read (from the library).
I forgot your dd is just reception age so yes, some of those might not be too suitable! I must admit, I had to explain the concept of boarding school to dd when we read the Worst Witch and the Naughtiest Girl in the School and she got a bit worried about it.
Just found some others to suggest:
Clever Lollipop by Dick King Smith
Katie Morag of Course (chapter book)
Seriously Silly Stories by Laurence Anholt (v funny!)
Thanks for those other recommendations - I will seek them out. We've just started on Mr Stink so will see how that goes...
simpson if she hasn't read it already, I would avoid Conker (or at least pre-read it yourself). DD had this as a home reader from school when she was in reception, from memory it has a dog dying within the first few pages, the boy lives with his Gran as his parents are (presumably) dead, and he's bullied. He finds a dog chained up in a scrap yard starving to death, can't rescue it and goes back the next day to try again, only to discover the dog has gone - as it turns out there's a happy ending as his Gran and the RSPCA have rescued/homed the dog, but you don't know that at the time!
I sent it back to school unread.
Rue - unfortunately I forgot to put the book away for when she is a bit older and she started reading it to herself this morning. She has only got a couple of chapters in and has mentioned the dog dying but does not seem hugely bothered <<phew>>
Phew indeed! DD gets very upset over emotional content (films, books, anything really!) where people are mean to someone, or family is missing, someone gets lost etc so it's a minefield finding suitable books for her to read.
Hopefully next year the school should be able to find extension activities for your daughter.
As well a finding lots of different authors, books etc have you thought about learning musical instruments. My daughter is very bright and she loves playing the piano. She was able to read music very quickly and because the lessons are 1 to 1 she can go at her own pace, she gets so much out of it and loves the challenge.
There is a magazine called Aquila for bright children although it may be more suitable when she is older. Someone said National Geographic for children is good too.
I bought her a recorder (just a cheap one) and found a book on eBay (very cheap) so she has been doing that (badly) but she seems to enjoy it as DS (yr3) is learning the recorder at school.
She is not into non fiction in the slightest unfortunately but we are just plugging away reading different books etc.
She has been "designing napkins" for our lunch later
I would love for dd to learn an instrument as we are a very musical family but she also happens to have cerebral palsy so it would be hard for her to learn anything given her fine motor problems
We also get a bit stuck on non fiction Simpson - horse riding books are the only thing she'll look at happily!
DD is hypermobile so also finds things tough
She can do it but finds it tougher than her peers would iyswim.
DD is very into cats so maybe a book about them might work....
I've resurrected this thread to ask for some further advice about next year. Just found out dd will be moving into a a large split yr1/2 class. She's just finished yr 1 with a 3c in literacy and we were told she's 'very talented' at reading.
Am concerned there will be little for her to work towards as no extra provision being offered. Other kids in her year are still on book bands, and many in the year below can't read at all with some not able to speak any English. Although I do a lot with her at home, I'll be working more from Sept so not able to continue reading huge amounts with her which she enjoys.
Would I be pushy to talk to school about this again, or just continue to try to support her more at home?
Absolutely not pushy to talk to school again - Ofsted are very hot on what schools are doing to stretch more able learners, so maybe use that to your advantage.
Obviously it's pretty easy for them to stretch her in reading - just point her at a large library of books and let her go! But they need to be geared up to differentiate for her in the other literacy work.
It's very easy to differentiate for literacy and set work that can be tackled at all different levels. Most teachers will do this well.
And something that's important to remember is that just because other children are not yet reading or writing at the same level as others, does not mean that they are not verbally/linguistically able. There's lots that children can learn from one another in spoken language which can feed into their written work, as one example.
Sounds a bit simplistic but it is easier to deal with than teaching children with massively different maths abilities, for example.
Hmm so maybe best not to push it then. Teacher is excellent but I think has her work cut out with such a huge class. Just a shame dd can't continue to work with year above as she was getting a lot out of it.
I would be concerned if they weren't looking to differentiate at all for her - whether in the class, or with year 3s. DS2 (currently yr1) will be being taught literacy with year3s next year to ensure he is stretched. But will also be doing some with the yr1/2 class he would be in, where they like to do group work in mixed ability groups so the more able children lead the groups, writing stuff down, and encouraging the less able to give ideas etc.
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