How does a child move up reading levels?(17 Posts)
DS is in the 3/5 reading group in his class (ie there are three levels above him). He doesn't really like reading and the books from school are not that interesting. He's not a child who pushes himself. He can read the books he brings home pretty quickly and fluently.
So, two questions:
how does a teacher assess reading levels, what will the kids in the groups above him be doing differently or better for them to be assessed as better readers?
How can i encourage him to improve his reading?
I cant answer how they assess reading levels.. at our school the class teacher listens to each child once a half term. Part of the measurement seems to be whether or not the child has read all the books in its book group(!!??). This is a struggle for children who read well but don't have anyone at home to listen to them and write in their reading diary :-( (seems a pretty flawed system to me...).
We found the biff and chip books hard going - the stories are very dull. We went on bookpeople.co.uk and bought some usborne books and some different ORT books which had better stories. Also try the library. Its a hard sell if you and your child are not enjoying the books..
We try to read a reading book a night. We don't manage this every night but it keeps you moving through them at pace. If you only read 2-4 pages per night you will literally be reading the same book for a week... Good luck!
I think a good rule of thumb is that a book level is the correct one if the child is reading about 90% of words correctly.
Not saying that's the be all and end all...its just a good guide.
Have you tried just writing in the reading record "X is finding these easy and flies through them, is there any chance he could try something harder?" If that doesn't yield any results then I would start supplementing at home.
They don't have reading records. Just one reading book home on a Monday to go back on a Friday. Not sure how often his reading is listened to in class.
The teacher listens to them read for accuracy and fluency and asks questions to check comprehension. I can't remember the exact percentages but it's something like 90% accuracy with good comprehension and they go up a level. Some children may be able to accurately read the words on the page, but if their comprehension isn't so good they won't move up.
Which year is your child in? Last year DC was in reception and learning to read felt like walking through porridge. This year they are flying in year 1 and 2, once they get the idea they really progress quickly. So I wouldnt sweat too much. But I would definitely mix up the books as if you find them dull your child will also be demotivated.
What age/stage? Unless they're reading chapter books, one book a week sounds very little to me. I'd get hold of some home/library books and do those on the other days.
Is he fluent, does he understand, can he chat about the book and characters, what might happen next, inference (things not directly said in the text), what he liked and disliked etc?
Worth asking the teacher to check his level if you think he's finding the books too easy. DS teacher did change his level a couple times when we asked in reception. Then if he is on the right level they will be able to give you some pointers as to what to work on to improve.
But - if their reading levels are tied up with their reading groups, they might not want to change them until they rejig the whole lot. Then you're back to filling in around.
To help with comprehension at home, I'd suggest reading to him, and then discussing the book. You can ask questions like " why did he/she do that", can you explain why......" "what do you think will happen next?" "what would you have done?"
I think children can easily get turned off reading by dull reading schemes, and at home you can make reading more fun - let DS choose the books, help him if he needs it, show him books about things that interest him. Talk about the pictures before you start reading a page, which helps him to know which words are likely to appear -" oh look, that crocodile is climbing the lamppost."
I found some of John Burningham's books were brilliant for prompting discussion, they have fantastic ( but not too babyish ) illustrations. Our favourites were " Oi! Get off our train" and "Would you rather?". Those would be suitable to talk about with Reception and Year 1 children.
Go to your local library and if there is still a children's librarian there, ask for suggestions.
I asked my ds's teacher once about general questions I can ask him after reading books. She gave me 100s of questions, tips, etc. printed out for me. It was really useful.
By learning to read?
Suggest you trust the teacher and let them read to you daily whatever the teacher sends home. If it seems to easy, write that in the reading record.
No need for a big stress or lots of comparison with other children.
Thanks for all the useful suggestions and links. He's eight. As I said they don't have a reading record.
I'm not "stressing", just trying to work out how to help my child. I trust the teacher up to a point but with 30 children in the class don't think she's always on top of everything.
I can't answer most of your questions but do know they move on levels when the one they are on now is consolidated and consistent.
I don't believe they should only read books at this level though and encouraged mine by taking them to the library and letting them choose their own but guiding them as well.
We had a library full at home when they were young, all sorts of books and none of them started off liking reading at all.
In the end I was still reading, to dd at 11 y6, the boys were a bit younger than this.
Charity shops, libraries, car boot sales, school and church fairs - take every opportunity. Sometimes I paid a few pence that's all.
I asked a similar question at dd parents evening last week, she's in reception.
Teacher said the child needs to be reading 95% of the book with no problems to be moved up.
They do not make them read every book in the colour band ( thank god ) were up to 60 pink and red.
Also told us that they do guided reading in an ability group twice a week and that's always at a level higher than the books they bring home. Dd gets between 2-4 books a week and I read with her and write in her record every night tho sometimes I'm not sure it's even read
Ps I've made full use of the library and encourage dd to choose her own books as long as I get to choose some too as hers can often be too old/young etc.
Gives her a bit of control over what she reads and she likes the independence aspect of it. If the chosen books are too easy then i concentrate on the comprehension and if they're too hard then I read it with her and fill in the gaps and then she repeats the sentence.
Have only been doing this for a couple of weeks and both her teacher and I have seen a big improvement, good luck
Ask the teacher. In some schools it's the TAs and volunteers who always hear the reading. It may be that no one has realised he needs to move up.
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