How can I make Ds's teachers understand he can read?

(49 Posts)
mrsvilliers Wed 14-Sep-16 14:15:13

So ds started YR last January and basically taught himself to read in a week or so. Once I realised I then spent a lot of time trying to tell this to his teachers. He ended YR on Orange level, by which point I'd given up with his teachers. He spent the summer reading Horrid Henry, Dirty Bertie and train books written for adults. He even gave The Railway Children a go but that was too hard for him. Assessed at school this week, still at orange and sent home with a book he had zero problems reading. Arrgghh. How do I tell the teacher?

And yes, I do realise this is a nice problem to have and I can give him plenty of material at home to read but I want him to feel challenged by school too. Is that wrong?

Propertyquandry Wed 14-Sep-16 14:18:21

Why don't you go in and ask the teacher to explain the reasoning behind it?

It's fairly common at this age for deciding skills to be significantly ahead of comprehension. It may well be the case that whilst your Ds can decode above orange level, that's where his comprehension level sits. Don't fret. Go in and ask.

ToohotforaSeptday Wed 14-Sep-16 14:20:11

Lovely problem to have although obviously frustrating. Is Orange some sort of arbitrary ceiling level set by class teacher for practical reasons? If not then the teacher should explain to you what the next step is for your DS to improve on before he can move up?

lifesalongsong Wed 14-Sep-16 14:20:22

Have you spoken to the teacher this term? If they've put him at that level maybe he's not reading as he can do at school for some reason.

BertPuttocks Wed 14-Sep-16 14:21:45

It may be that the teacher hasn't assessed his reading level yet, so is giving him books at his old level for now.

My DD's teacher has been listening to a few children read each day (according to DD) and hasn't yet had chance to do this with everyone.

MrsJoeyMaynard Wed 14-Sep-16 14:23:21

Could you ask the teacher the reasoning behind it?

Is he not reading as well at school as he is at home? What does he need to demonstrate or work on to be moved up to the next level?

BertPuttocks Wed 14-Sep-16 14:23:42

Sorry. I missed the bit where you said he'd been assessed. blush

It may be that they're working on things like comprehension, using the punctuation to help with reading out loud etc. I would ask the teacher what DS could work on next.

Good luck.

FeckinCrutches Wed 14-Sep-16 14:23:53

Have you spoken to the teacher about it yet?

HereIAm20 Wed 14-Sep-16 14:24:54

If there is a limit to what level they will let them do in class just make sure that you read with him at home using harder books.

It is possible that as he is an avid reader he is skipping words in the easier book and therefore until he reads them how they want him to - ie. word for word they won't move him up.

My son couldn't be moved up until he put his finger under every word he read as he read it!!

mrsvilliers Wed 14-Sep-16 14:27:08

Well ds has been quite upset going in so I haven't wanted to leave him and talk to the teacher. The children are encouraged to change their reading books as often as they want but I did notice this morning that there was no level higher than orange. Ds also informed me that he was on Orange because all the other levels were too easy but that was a little too diffficult. I think the comprehension is there, because we get into awful conversations after he's read something not meant for a 5 year old. His difficulty with the Railway Children was the archaic language rather than understanding, as when his dad and I read it he could follow what was happening.

lifesalongsong he is quite lazy, he whipped through the spellings in reception and then said he didn't want to go any further so from what I can gather spent the last term doing nothing! Well not nothing but you get the drift.

MistressMerryWeather Wed 14-Sep-16 14:28:38

Is he just reading the words and not digesting the story?

DS1 had that problem. He could read perfectly but the content wasn't sinking in so he stayed in the same reading level.

It was for the best now that I look back.

IveAlreadyPaid Wed 14-Sep-16 14:28:59

BertPuttocks - your comprehension needs some work wink

mrsvilliers Wed 14-Sep-16 14:29:34

HereIAm you might have hit the nail on the head! He will drop words every so often and he does read a bit too fast. Maybe I will use that as a beginning point when I talk to the teacher.

MistressMerryWeather Wed 14-Sep-16 14:30:23

X post, sorry.

FreedomMummy Wed 14-Sep-16 14:31:31

I guess if there is no level above Orange and the teacher knows he is reading other books outside of school there may not be much else they can do.
Would it be worth asking if you can put the book he is reading at home to be read in school so they can see just how well he is doing?

BertPuttocks Wed 14-Sep-16 14:37:52

I'veAlreadyPaid blush

I shall ask DD's teacher for tips on how I can improve. grin

irvineoneohone Wed 14-Sep-16 15:07:30

My ds had this problem when he was in reception. He understood the story, but when teacher asked him question, he just said " don't know."
Once I was having conversation with the teacher and this came up. She never thought my ds was extremely lazy to answer questions!

mrsvilliers Wed 14-Sep-16 16:04:45

Thanks irvine you were very helpful in a previous post too smile the weird thing is he is in some kind of advanced phonics group with 3 other kids (out of 80 odd to put in context) two of whom I know to be of a similar level of reading.

I guess the only thing is to ask the teacher hmm

catkind Wed 14-Sep-16 16:28:15

Experience says that school reading book levels can be completely logistical and in no way based on reading ability. e.g. a guided reading group all "have to" be on the same level, level 6 is the highest we have in this classroom, "we want him to have something left to read next year" (yes really). DS was one level for months, then went up the next 4 levels in as many weeks. Reading spurt? No, actually they only owned 4 books at those levels at the time, and most of those he'd already read in guided reading in class.
So do ask, but bear in mind it might not be personal at all. When school reading books weren't appropriate we just read things from the library/home and read the school book through once a week.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 14-Sep-16 19:19:48

Ds also informed me that he was on Orange because all the other levels were too easy but that was a little too diffficult.

If I'm reading this correctly, then this is probably your answer. He was assessed and whatever criteria they were using has placed him on orange level.

I think it's probably unlikely that a yr 1 class limits it's readers to orange level. It might well be that the other books are kept elsewhere.

mrsvilliers Wed 14-Sep-16 19:45:08

Thanks Rafal what I meant to come across in that comment was that he was saying it the way a teacher would have said it to him. I guess I will just ask how they assess the levels and take it from there.

ReallyTired Wed 14-Sep-16 22:18:58

Your son needs to read with expression. Does he know when to breathe? (At commas, full stops and before a connective) Does he use the right tone of voice. Reading with expression develops comprehension.

Why are you desperate to batter through the levels? Orange books start to get a bit more interesting. I expect your son would learn more about the world reading these books. It's a chance to experience a range of genre. Poetry is great for expressive reading.

Ginmummy1 Wed 14-Sep-16 22:57:15

Following with interest. DD's Y1 teacher has given her a Red book which is at least TEN levels beneath where she was last year (she was choosing from the random box above Lime from the Y3 classroom after Easter). Teacher has heard her read the 100 HFW which she did independently and easily.

She reads for fun every day. Read over 40 books over the summer. No way is her comprehension or speech ten levels behind her reading ability.

Surely there should be some consistent policy running through the entire school about reading books, that follows on from one year to the next? This is a traditional one form entry primary, and the teachers will have had a handover meeting. DD is not shy, and I have no doubt that she'll have read timetables etc. on walls of classroom so the teacher will be pretty aware of what she can do!

Why don't they start them at the level they left off the previous summer, and then the new teacher can reassess from there?

I'm determined to be 'cool' about this but I'm worried my level of incredulity at the situation will come across the wrong way if I speak to the teacher!

Catkind, how depressing that you have basically had to accept that in some years school reading books were not appropriate, and provide your own. Of course we always provide DD with plenty of alternative material at home, but surely school should be at least interested and supportive??

Sorry if I have hijacked a bit - good luck, mrsvilliers - let us know what happens when you talk to your DD's teacher!

Thingvellir Wed 14-Sep-16 23:23:45

Why are you desperate to batter through the levels? Orange books start to get a bit more interesting. I expect your son would learn more about the world reading these books

^^this! My DD is a very advanced reader got her age, and mastered fluent reading early. From a certain level past bastard biff and chip experiencing the content is also as contributory as the actual process of reading. The point of learning to read is so you can read books and accumulate knowledge/insights/pleasure. Not just reading bigger/thicker/smaller print books.

I loved it when DD became a free reader, then she could really get stuck into the benefits of reading.

CaptainSnort Wed 14-Sep-16 23:44:23

We had this problem with DD. The problem with books at a more advanced level is that the content isn't always suitable for a 5 year old. DD was given "Erosion and weathering" in reception which she could read but I'm pretty sure most of it went over her head. Story books are easier to follow than non-fiction but I think they're expected to read both.

The "reading with expression" is something the teachers used to go about a lot. It annoyed me, because DD has ASD and always speaks in a flat monotone voice. It doesn't mean she can't read or understand!

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