How do you decide when your child has 'mastered' a reading level?

(36 Posts)
Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 21:12:47

Just that really. For example, the level my son in on at the moment means he is able to sound out and decode 95% of the words on first reading. By the 3rd or 4th read through he will be 'fluent'. His comprehension is good and we discuss the story. Is this 'mastering a level'? Or to master a level should he be fluent at the first read through?

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 21:21:30

I would not expect a child to "learn" their reading book

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 21:27:08

Mrz- what would you expect them to do before you moved them up a level?

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 21:30:43

I would expect them to be able to read a book they hadn't previously seen decoding words and to demonstrate understanding of what they have read

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 21:37:49

Why are you reading it 3 or 4 times? I think we did 2 max and that was unusual. Normally means that you haven't mastered that level if you are reading more than once!

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 21:39:19

So, I think in answer to your question, you would expect them to be fluent or almost fluent at the first read through. It's the "almost" that is open to interpretation grin. Also helps if they have a clue about what they have just read...

Marne Sat 08-Dec-12 21:42:05

I agree with mrz.

Dd2 gets moved up a level when she can pick up a book from the level and read it straight off and understand what she has read.

We only read books once, if she struggles with it then she stays on that level until she doesnt struggle with it. She went up a level last week after being on the same level for ages smile eventualy they get to the stage where they can pick up anything and read it which is when its time for free reading stage.

simpson Sat 08-Dec-12 21:43:23

I normally do DD's book twice too (unless by some miracle she has a book she loves and wants to read a third time,but I usually bribe her brother to listen then).

I would expect DD to be getting pretty much all of the words correctly (maybe not on the first attempt of a tough word (she had "gnawed" in her book last week and did not get it first time -but to self correct iyswim) and answer questions on the story ie why did XX happen?? How does this character feel?? What would you do?? Why is XX character doing YY??

Not always easy to get these questions in to some of the school reading books but you get the idea hopefully...

BrittaPerry Sat 08-Dec-12 21:44:53

Fluent at the first read through, and able to answer questions. Although you might find a schoolteacher will make them be doing that for a full term before 'letting' them move up. hmm

BooksandaCuppa Sat 08-Dec-12 21:48:04

A combination of all of the above: so 'almost' fluent at the first read and also able to self-correct the small amount (no more than 5%) of mistakes. Coupled with excellent comprehension.

pecans Sat 08-Dec-12 21:48:47

I consider dd has mastered her level because she reads it through and understands it first time. There is the odd new word to discuss.
We never read it more than once because that would really be boring. Your ds sounds as if he is on the right level, and it's great that he will focus and you will devote the time to reading with him. I wouldn't aim to 'learn' the book though - just read other things once you've gone through the book a couple of times. It's a lot more interesting.

crazygracieuk Sat 08-Dec-12 21:50:27

My kids only read the same book more than once if they pick a particular book more than once or their teacher uses it as a guided reading text.

They change their book once they read it so daily in KS1.

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:15:16

I read the books more than once because I wanted him to get to the stage where he wasn't having to sound the words out.

Now I'm a bit confused. If my Ds starts a new book he will need to sound out all the words that he doesn't recognise so he will be a long way from fluent on that first read. When you say that your children read almost fluently the first time on a new book, do you mean that they are sounding out the words quickly in their heads?

I'm beginning to think that I should drop back a few levels, but that will be so boring!

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:20:19

Another reason I read the books 4 times is that DS only gets 1 school book per week and he wants to read every day. Our local library isn't great so I have just signed up for Reading chest, but it's not cheap. I should ask the school for more books shouldn't I? Just didn't want to be a 'pushy' mum.

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 22:20:41

I'm quite happy with a child needing to sound out words they don't know. It tells me more about what they can do than having them recite it because they've read it numerous times

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 22:21:28

Yes, you aim for a level where they only have to sound out a few words. This is easier as they get more fluent with reading generally and progress up the levels. Is he finding the books he's got at the moment hard work? It's normally a more enjoyable experience if the level is challenging enough to engage them but also easy enough for them to read pretty well from the off.

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 22:23:27

Of course they sound out a lot more when they first start reading. Yes, ask for some more books, or try the oxfordowl ones?

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:25:29

Another question I wanted to ask. We read a new book tonight and my son had to sound out about 10% of the words. If he sees these words again tomorrow, would you expect him to recognise them and say them fluently or would it be quite usual for him to have to sound a few of them out again?

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 22:26:27

Depends on the child, both are normal grin.

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 22:27:35

I would expect most children to have to sound out new words a number of times before they become automatic

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:30:58

Thanks, he sounds normal then. I'm just so happy that he's enjoying learning to read. I can't wait for him to get to the Enid Blyton level so that I can read all my childhood favourites again. Do you think I've got any hope in hell of getting DS to read Mallory Towers?

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 22:32:13

Why don't you read it to him grin?!

simpson Sat 08-Dec-12 22:33:43

Check out the Oxford owl reading site.

It has loads of ebooks free to read (cheaper than the reading chest, although my DD only gets one book a week too and is signed up to the reading chest too).

I think as long as they are sounding out the words but understanding what they have read its fine. I have read with a few kids (I read with KS1 kids in my DC school) who have to sound out most of the words but then are so busy doing that that they have forgotten the meaning iyswim. It's worth repeating the sentence once he has sounded it all out (if that makes sense). Or more importantly, getting him to repeat it...

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:45:27

Yes the Oxford Owl site is amazing. We use it a lot. But I still prefer to actually have a physical book in my hands.

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 22:48:57

me too smile. Shame your library has a poor selection, could you chat to the librarians, order any in from other libraries?

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 22:51:47

Is your son YR? Why are they so stingy with books in YR (not all schools but quite a lot!). I bought a lot of books for DS in YR as his school were the same. They will be useful for DD in the future too, but it's kind of annoying that they were all sitting there at school. I know a bit more about phonics etc now so am more confident in getting suitable books from the library.

starfishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 22:53:11

Marne if your dd struggles with a book, you say she stays on the same level - does she stay on the same book, or does it get changed for another on the same level?

simpson Sat 08-Dec-12 22:55:10

My local library is also not that good tbh but I have gone in armed with a list (or you can do it online) and they have ordered loads of books for me which is good.

I know what you mean about preferring a printed book to an ebook...

I have had to buy quite a few books for DD as she is in a reception class of 90 so I guess they don't have many books to provide more than one a week hmm

Lukethe3 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:58:07

Yes, ds is in Reception. I have bought quite a few books but can't carry on like this. I will see if the library can help. Thanks for all the comments.

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 23:00:34

Ah yes, I think that was the argument for DS, but actually as he was a bit ahead (like your DD Simpson but not as far as her at this point in the year), so there were books at his level available. Perhaps I was not as confident as I am now in chatting to the teacher when I needed to. blush.

Yes, it's worth pursuing the library option IMO if you have time to do that. They are very helpful and I've noticed that if you order something online from around the county (ours is a tiny library) that often they will get similar things or things of a similar ilk into the library pretty quick.

simpson Sat 08-Dec-12 23:04:54

It's also worth checking out 2nd hand shops as I have picked up quite a few bargains so save £££ as I cannot afford to buy brand new books for her all the time tbh....

TheSecondComing Sat 08-Dec-12 23:09:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 23:12:00

I struggled with Nadim too blush. I hadn't come across it before. In fact I can remember the discussion with DH on how to pronounce it grin.

Your DD sounds like she's flying Secondcoming. Well done to her smile.

TheSecondComing Sat 08-Dec-12 23:23:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mathsconundrum Sat 08-Dec-12 23:27:35

Read it once and get 95% or more correct.

Tiggles Sun 09-Dec-12 16:16:10

I think the key thing must be understanding.
DS2 brought home a level 14 book last week (I think by accident, as he was a few stages below that the week before). He could decode it fluently, read with expression the first time through etc. But there were areas of the book where he struggled to really understand what it meant. It was set in history and there were turns of phrase he really didn't understand. Going on the 95% theory that shouldn be his reading level. But it definitely isn't!

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