Reading in Reception - feeling frustrated

(93 Posts)

I don't want to push my DS and I think on the whole so far I've been quite relaxed about how much learning is going on, I can see the massive progress he's made in so many ways since leaving preschool and he really has blossomed, socially, his speech is better, he is very happy and enjoying school, is enthusiastic about the various projects he's learning about, etc etc. A few wobbles here and there but generally, all is good.

But... some days he appears to read whatever book he is given perfectly and others its as though he has never read a book or even a word before in his life. I think he relies on the pictures too much and then guesses, wrongly, without looking at the words at all - e.g thinking a lid was a plate, so 'reading' the word plate when it isn't even there. He is bringing home awful books, repeating the same few it seems, he says they get to choose from a certain box. I borrow lots from the library, and encourage him to read from our own books too of course but just feeling a bit lost in helping to guide his learning here.

He is an autumn birthday so do I have high expectations? He is bringing home pink books but I have no idea what that really means. He got so fixated on a picture of a beetle he just couldn't see that the word was bug. I am gentle and say, yes, it's a picture of a beetle but let's read the word too, b-u-g, can you blend the sounds? Beetle he says. I say there's no 'ee' or 'T' can he try again? No he says. Loves it when he can actually read things particularly if it follows an interest but outside of these moments he will say he never needs to learn to read, will just grow up and stay at home etc so finding it hard to get him to see why learning is a good thing.

Sorry for length. Any advice?

mrz Fri 29-Mar-13 21:45:36

The look and say method had/has a number of strategies for reading text

learning words by sight (Human memory however, is finite - according to the research, the average limit on memory is about 2,000 words.

using picture clues to guess words not recognised by sight
using initial letter clues to guess not recognised by sight
using context to guess words not recognised by sight

mrz Fri 29-Mar-13 21:49:41

yes learnandsay I bow to your superior knowledge based on you once being a pupil in a primary school.

learnandsay Fri 29-Mar-13 21:59:05

There are other strategies too, and no strategy is mandatory. Some only make sense in limited circumstances. The main intention of the L&S system is to recognise printed words. If some loons want to study illustrations then that's their problem.

ClayDavis Fri 29-Mar-13 22:07:38

You're right in that it wasn't mandatory. After all the NLS and the 'searchlights' strategy in it were never statutory. But if Ofsted came knocking and you weren't using it you needed a bloody good reason why not.

mrz Sat 30-Mar-13 06:57:49

Of course the main purpose of the L & S method was to teach children to recognise whole words by sight but unlike you the inventors of the system realised that children would encounter words in texts that weren't in their sight memory so they needed a strategy to "read" such words (in "real books" ) so children were taught to use the illustrations to "work out" (guess) what the words might be. Yes it was "loony" No they weren't reading accurately (but in L&S it didn't matter if the child said "house" when the word was "home" because it didn't change the meaning too much ... crazy!)

Clay we are talking about a method from the 1920s not the NLS searchlights (1999) which as you say was never statutory and which we never adopted in any of the schools where I have taught or in the school my own children attended.

sazale Sat 30-Mar-13 09:44:09

My ds 6 in year 1 is still in phase 2 of letters and sounds and still on red level books which he struggles to read although is improving slowly. School finally got the specialist teacher in to assess him and she advised to use the picture method! She's asked me to make our own book with a photo of dad and dad written under it, mum with a picture etc. She said that as he's of high average academic ability (has had testing by her and clinical psych) that he will pick it up eventually and needs nothing more than in class differentiation. She said to use picture clues etc. She also confirmed that when he can manage to read he doesn't understand what he's read as it takes so much effort to sound out the words and blend, which I'd noticed as when I read to him his comprehension is great.

My ds has a phonological speech disorder and selective mutism/social anxiety. I pay for an independent speech therapist to work with him once every 3 weeks and give me activities to do with him. She did phonological testing which shows that he has phonological processing difficulties.

On further talking with the specialist teacher I discovered that she hadn't checked his phonics as I pay for an independent speech therapist to work with him! I explained that it's me that works with him! I'm not happy with what I've been told especially sine his reading and writing difficulties are compounding his anxiety.

So is the look and say method for children who are struggling due to phonological processing difficulties?

mrz Sat 30-Mar-13 09:55:19

No the Look & Say method handicaps/ fails those children who find learning to read most difficult.
It works for those children who would learn to read regardless in spite of method of reading instruction.

sazale Sat 30-Mar-13 10:54:34

That's what I feared so I'm right in thinking the "specialist" advice is pretty rubbish?

His academic verbal IQ is high average and non verbal is average yet he is on p levels.

learnandsay Sat 30-Mar-13 12:33:34

Of course a mother might post on mumsnet asking for a non phonics reading system because her kids couldn't learn to read using phonics but made great strides using look & say

like this mum here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/a1655430-Can-anyone-suggest-a-non-phonics-learning-to-read-scheme

mrz Sat 30-Mar-13 12:51:42

because obviously learnandsay knows more than all the current research data put together hmm

KindleMum Sat 30-Mar-13 12:55:52

So is Biff, Chip and Kipper a phonics system?
Is Peter and Jane look and say?

mrz Sat 30-Mar-13 12:59:38
mrz Sat 30-Mar-13 13:01:01

Biff, Chip and Kipper are Look & Say books although ORT have produced new phonics books with the same characters

Peter & Jane are Look & Say

simpson Sat 30-Mar-13 13:50:06

The newer ORT seem pretty phonetic (from what I have seen) the problem occurs when schools don't get rid of their older ORT books when they get the newer phonetic ones and use a mixture of both hmm

mrz Sat 30-Mar-13 15:04:49

OUP are still producing the Look and Say version of the ORT Biff, Chip et al books alongside the phonic versions so don't be confused by new and old books.

simpson Sat 30-Mar-13 15:23:10

Eek, I thought the older ones weren't being being printed. But that has reminded me of a book (new) that someone gave DD when she first started nursery.

A pink level ORT called The Trampoline hmm

Mummyoftheyear Sat 30-Mar-13 22:55:39

Sounds like you can tell which letter strings your little one is confusing/ hesitating over. Write them in bold on separate pieces of A4. Play the 'run to' game as you shout the sound and have them run to and from the sounds you say. Crucially, swap roles and pretend to make mistakes- encouraging your LO to correct you! In this way, you're teaching recognition as well as reading of those particularly troublesome / 'not yet secure' blends, etc.

mrz Mon 01-Apr-13 14:13:47

www.spelfabet.com.au/2013/03/diy-disorders/

" Sight reading (the key behaviour exhibited by "optilexics") is taught in schools
Schools routinely teach children in their first years of schooling, including children with poor phonemic awareness, to memorise frequently-used words, and to tackle unfamiliar words by looking at the first letter, looking at the picture and guessing from context."

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