Reception Reading

(59 Posts)

My DTDs are in reception class and turned 5 in March. Both of them started school knowing some letter sounds and have now mastered these and can read all of the 45 words they should know by the end of the year. Both were slow to pick up on blending but DD1 has made some progress while DD2 is struggling to put the words together.

The teacher wants to speak with me and DP as she is concerned about progress. She mentioned this last term and she thought that if DD2 didn't make some progress then she would be referring her for an assessment.

Today she brought home another reading book as she could read the previous one and the book is one that her sister had last week.

The book is ORT Stage 1+ Book Band 1 Pink Letters and Sounds Phase 2. Both DTDs are reading books in the same group so I am confused as to why one would need a special needs assessment.

Can any teachers give me some advice please.

learnandsay Wed 01-May-13 22:49:34

I'm not a teacher but if they're both struggling but one seems to be taking some lessons onboard and the other isn't I can see why the teacher might ask for help. I believe ORT 1+ books are, apart from books with no words in, at the start of the scheme. One daughter might be on the cusp of moving up to level 2 books and the other not really managing with the 1+ books that she has. I don't necessarily think that the teacher is doing the wrong thing by asking for help.

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 09:43:43

I am not a teacher but I think it sounds very positive that they have noticed what MIGHT be an indicator of a problem and are acting on it. My reception child has recently started wearing coloured glasses for what we assume is Irlen's syndrome/scotopic sensitivity/eye stress whatever they want to call it which is often linked with dyslexia. She has really struggled with phonics and blending but she learned to read impressively well just learning the words. the problems she has only came to light when the font got smaller and more dense as she went up the reading levels. For her the glasses she has have really helped her and I am really relieved that she has been flagged with SENCO (special educational needs coordinator) as having possible dyslexia as they will monitor now and pick up on problems early. 5 is really very young to diagnose a problem like that but a very good indicator according to my research on the internet is a problem with blending. A bright child could cover this up by learning the words but they still need to learn to blend. My daughter when first learning to read would read C A T, C A T, C A T and we would say it a bit quicker and try to blend it to cat. I would eventually be saying cat and she would look at me blankly and say C A T. she then learned the word to read it as a whole. my other daughter who is 19 months younger happily spells out C A T cat, P O T pot and so on so I can see the difference.

The SENCO was a bit surprised when she met with me a couple of weeks ago about my daughter because her reading is extremely good and she is way ahead of most of the class (although she has just gone up 2 levels since getting her glasses) but she could see the signs of possibly having a problem and as I could never spell/do comprehension/do maths questions if they were written in a sentence it seems quite possible she does have mild dyslexia which could easily have stayed completely hidden until she was older.

I would try and view it as a positive that the teacher is switched on and good enough at her job to realise there MAY be a problem (there may not be which would be great of course) and so is looking into it and this way IF there is then your daughter will get help much earlier before it starts to impact her. If she is struggling with blending and they can manage to spend extra time doing specific exercises with her then she will no doubt soon catch up and be away.

mrz Thu 02-May-13 17:24:39

"and have now mastered these and can read all of the 45 words they should know by the end of the year" where do schools get this idea of 45 reception words?

lljkk Thu 02-May-13 17:42:32

I presume some schools still have a list like that.
DS knows about 30 words but only when written in his little book presented in the same order. Unlikely to recognise them written elsewhere.

mrz Thu 02-May-13 18:01:00

It was replaced in 2008 by a list of 100 words which was replaced in 2012 by the statutory statement "They also read some common irregular words."

mrz Thu 02-May-13 18:02:54

i confess I would be concerned about a school 5 years behind current expectations shock

Thanks for your replies. I think that I just feel helpless at the moment. I really want to know how I can help and support her. I am grateful for the teacher's early intervention and certainly pleased that she doesn't treat the twins as one entity. It would be useful to know what level she should be on roughly so I can see what progress she needs to make.

Mrz please feel free to write a letter outlining your concerns to our Head. She will ignore you as she ignores all parents. She continues to use 45 words and little phonics. No new books and an obstinate refusal to engage with parents.

Sometimes you can be a bit too perfect ! The shiny perfect world of primary education according to Mrz. There's a year 1/2 vacancy at our school, why don't you a

Sorry - apply grin

mrz Thu 02-May-13 18:35:43

you couldn't afford me Shattereddreams

mrz Thu 02-May-13 18:41:04

Serious answer I couldn't work for someone who clearly has little regard for parents or pupils (perhaps I should add staff to that list too)

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 19:24:00

It is hard to say what level they SHOULD be on at this stage in reception because the age difference can make such a difference between being a september birthday or an august birthday.

In my daughter's class they have everything from book band 1 up to book band 10. MOST I think are on 3 or 4 but thats a bit of a guess as my daughter's particular friends are mostly on 6-8.

It doesn't matter so much where they are on the levels, more if they are grasping the concept and learning the phonics and to recognise some sight words and making some progress. For the vast majority of children as far as I know if they don't have a leap of ability in reception then they tend to get it in year 1. Ok there are always some who don't suddenly 'get it' and always some who make slow but steady progress but many do seem to suddenly click and it doesn't matter whether it is this year or next year.

I suppose you want to be asking questions like
what is it that the teacher is worried she is/isn't doing?
what could you do to help her at home?
what assessment is she going to have? what will it involve, what will it show etc and if it does show a problem then what is the way forwards from there?

Thanks Periwinkle. I suppose I feel as if I should have done more or have had concerns myself. We do lots of little fun pieces that include some writing and reading outside of the reading book that comes home. They really like Dr. Seuss and love talking about what they see, so I guess this is the only noticeable difference between them.

There seems to be so many different reading schemes I have some phonics sets but not sure if this will be confusing.

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 20:30:17

How can you possibly notice everything, don't beat yourself up. I only noticed the problems my daughter was having purely by chance following a rather strange conversation with her teacher about something else, she hadn't noticed either. If we hadn't happened to have that conversation and a chance comment hadn't been made and I hadn't found ONE google link that made me wonder then we wouldn't have noticed yet and probably wouldn't have noticed for at least another year. We are mothers, not superhuman (I need to remember that a lot of the time).

I would speak to the teacher and ask what phonics program they are using in school, how they teach them and what you can do to reinforce this at home. I am not an expert but to me phonics are phonics so any phonics reading set will be helpful. As they are the same age you could try to make your own phonic bingo or something. Just make 2 boards with say 10 phonic/phoneme thingies (I get very confused with correct terminology) on them, give them each a pencil and then you show a sound or a word with one of them in it, they have to then cross it out on their board if they have it. That might help reinforce it them a bit but be fun too.

just remember anything you do with looking at books, reading stories etc is helping your daughters. There is a reason many dyslexic type problems aren't identified until yr2ish, they are hard to pick up!

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 20:32:48

also I would suggest lots of Julia Donaldson books, rhyming ones really help them to listen to the sounds in words. Dr Seuss is fab grin)
This is the Bear by Helen Craig, Hairy Maclairy etc are also good

RiversideMum Thu 02-May-13 20:43:57

I think you also need to get to grips with what additional help has already been provided. Have your DDs been getting additional support with phonics? Does one of them have an IEP? I'm struggling to think of what the assessment would be and who would do the assessing if the school hasn't been through these steps. Frankly it's not massively out of the ordinary for children not to be blending at just turned 5.

RiversideMum - sorry for my ignorance, what is an IEP?

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 20:57:23

IEP is an individual education plan I think. I was told by the SENCO that my daughter can't have one until Yr1 for her problems due to the way the early years foundation scheme targets are (she has met them) in reception.

Thanks Peri - gosh this is all so very complicated! We have Room and the Broom and the Meg and Mog books but they know them off by heart. I think I will get the Hairy McLairy books as something new for them.

I am meeting with the teacher next week so I will bring up all the points mentioned.

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 21:10:24

yes Hairy McClairy (I really have no idea how it is spelt) is a big hit. Just trying to think of what others we have. Freddie and the Fairy? think thats what it is called is a good one too. He mumbles so the fairy always magics up the wrong thing. gives you a bit of variety too, can get a bit dull reading the same books every night can't it. My daughters are big fans of Winnie the Witch (mine are 5.5 and just turned 4) books as well although not rhyming ones but a good recommendation if you haven't already got any. The Rhyming Rabbit is a nice one, and What the Ladybird Heard too.

I think the key thing is to feel you can ask anything that you are concerned about, she sounds like she really wants to help which is great, my daughter's teacher is lovely and it makes life much easier than it would if she wasn't approachable. Write down points that you want to raise so you don't forget things, very easy to get distracted on one point and forget to ask another. Also if you have phonics stuff at home either take it along or tell her what you have so she can say how you could use it to help.

good luck

Periwinkle007 Thu 02-May-13 21:12:46

and yes it does seem complicated. We only realised my daughter had a problem 2 weeks before the end of last term and now I have been immersed in researching Irlens Syndrome, possible dyslexia, colorimetry machine testing for coloured glasses, SENCO meetings, mention of IEP and SPLD (specific learning difficulty I think). The abbreviations really don't help at all do they but once you have met with the teacher I think you will have a lot more idea of what her concerns are and whether they are really a problem or just her being overcautious because she wants to be sure nothing is missed.

simpson Thu 02-May-13 21:19:56

Try looking at the Oxford owl website as it has loads of free ebooks to read.

Songbirds books are fab (think the book people sell them). It would also be worth checking out your local library for phonics based books.

DD is in reception and the levels vary massively from pink to lime.

I volunteer in a reception class (not at my DC school) and the teacher there said she likes to get kids to yellow level by the end of reception (or higher obviously). Having said that the highest level they have a child on is blue.

learnandsay Thu 02-May-13 21:49:43

I'm not sure how geared up some schools are for allowing beyond blue in Reception. The Ginn readers are much better for us. But when I asked about them the teacher said she'd have to go into the Y1 classroom to get them. And guess what came back in the bookbag... a Boffer, Kopp, Kroppy book. It's unopened as we speak.

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Thu 02-May-13 21:52:08

Part of the problem is that ORT books are not really phonic based. Hence why your child isn't blending. I would be asking which speed sounds she does know.....does the teacher know!? Then forget 'reading' books for a while and just work on these speed sounds and then blending them. Forget HFW/100 words/common irregular words etc. Once she can blend CVC/CCVC words, start to introduce a reading book - I like Read Write Inc personally, but there are lots of others.

So in summary, I would be asking the teacher:
1)what speed sounds does she know
2)how are the reading books supporting her blending of these sounds (the scheme doesn't really!)
3)what support will be given in class and how can you support her at home.

Good luck!

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