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!

learnandsay Thu 02-May-13 21:53:16

The new ORT books are decodable.

simpson Thu 02-May-13 22:01:29

Not all of them LandS - my dad bought a brand new ORT book from water stones when for DD when she was in nursery (so only a year ago) called The Trampoline. Which is most definately not decodable.

simpson Thu 02-May-13 22:03:40

The class I volunteer in has books up to stage 6.

DD's classroom is totally not equipped to dealing with her so now she does not get proper books anymore sad

They are worried about her running out of books next year in yr1 so they are "saving them" <<sigh>>

Eachpeachpearwherestheplum Thu 02-May-13 22:05:56

The great thing about RWI is that each books starts with the speed sounds, then decodable green words from the story, the red works again from the story.

Even more important is that a child SHOULD have this book for at least a week!!! No daily book changing from pushy parents! A day on decoding, then next day perhaps to decode at speed, then read the story, read and answer the questions, final day would be to read in an story tellers voice.

I have had a look at the RWI and it seems to make sense to me so I've bought a collection from Amazon. You've all been brilliant and helped me understand some of the different approaches to reading. Sadly I am such an old gimmer I can't remember how I learned to read but it was definitely Janet and John!

All I can do is my very best to support DDs in whichever way I can and work with their teacher, who is lovely and very caring and whom I have a lot of trust in.

learnandsay Thu 02-May-13 22:57:10

What are you talking about? A RWI book is no different than any other Reception reading book, brought home, read perfectly in five minutes and then forgotten about. There's nothing special about them.

We tried reading bible stories tonight. My daughter asked why Moses appears so many times in each story. This book is rubbish, she said. I hadn't really thought about bible stories that way before. But I found a defence of Moses a tad tricky. Perhaps I'll have thought of a suitable response by tomorrow morning.

simpson Thu 02-May-13 23:16:16

RWI - in teaching (from what I have seen, is very based on flash cards - certainly at the early stages "I say it, you say it" type of teaching).

There are RWI books on Oxford owl too...

IMO there are better phonics based books ie songbirds, dandelion books and phonics corner books (which our local library have).

The very first book DD read was "Run Rat Run" think..."Rat ran, cat ran, pig ran, rat ran in a big red hut.." Etc...(which is a phonics corner book).

Periwinkle007 Fri 03-May-13 09:47:46

I have heard lots of people mention the dandelion books on here. Phonics wise we have the songbirds phonics which I liked and we had a set of usborne ones my mum found in a bargain bookshop somewhere which are all decodable as far as I can see. My younger daughter reads those ones (she likes looking for the duck on each page) but they seem to cover a lot of different sounds in each book whereas the songbirds phonics ones seem quite nicely ordered with which sounds are in which book so actually quite good for working on particular ones.

We borrowed RWI ones from a friend but my daughter took a dislike to them for some reason, they looked quite nice ordered little books.

Simpson is right - have a look on the Oxford Owl website for some to read free online. my youngest daughter likes the Project X ones (think those are the ones) which she can spell out the words in.

I think any phonics scheme will do the job, it is just practice practice practice and lots of variety so they don't learn to think they can only read one 'style' of book. when you read any story book if you come to a word they should be able to spell out then get them to try. One thing I have been pleased about is my daughters both want to read normal story books because they don't see why they can't (hmm other than the fact they may not know the words!) which is ultimately what you want them to achieve.

Sorry Simpson you are still not getting anywhere with the reading books at school. my daughter is now on book band 10 (these glasses have made a great difference) and the boxes are kept outside in the hallway between reception and the Yr1 classes. Not sure what happens after that as I think band 11 is in the teacher's cupboard. I would hope with the way she is reading she will find out this term but we will have to wait and see. beyond that. erm hmm will find out next year.

simpson Fri 03-May-13 12:27:01

Fab news on the glasses smile

DD was on stage 11 (which she went to yr2 for) but that has all stopped and she gets picture books now (think Duck in a Truck type books - which she could have read a year ago).

I suspect they are concerned about running out of books for her when she goes into yr1 so are "saving them" iyswim but tbh she is now reading some stage 12 books (although I would say she is not getting everything) so suspect by September stage 11 will be too easy <<sigh>>

Periwinkle007 Fri 03-May-13 12:33:09

oh dear. I think my daughter's school stops at 11 anyway so beyond that is just choose from the library. not sure how that works with the littler ones.

simpson Fri 03-May-13 14:03:41

Ours stops at 11 too but they don't like kids free reading till yr3.

Oh we'll, will see what happens!! grin

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:10:30

Eahpeachpear - sorry but my DC would have found that approach absolutely deathly!

mrz Fri 03-May-13 16:10:38

"*The new ORT books are decodable.*" no they aren't. The new Floppy's Phonics are decodable but ORT aren't!

mrz Fri 03-May-13 16:22:21

Personally I'm not a fan of RWI but think the Dandelion books are great and their Magic Belt, Alba, Talisman and Totem books are definitely not read in five mins and forgotten.

Periwinkle007 Fri 03-May-13 20:16:53

yes I am not sure ours like them off scheme before Yr 2/3 either which is all well and good if they can provide suitable books. I think that we will be cutting down how much she reads the school ones now as the jackdaw ones are so long that with 3 of them a week she is struggling to fit in any of her own books which worries me as those are the ones she WANTS to read so I think we may cut down to doing x number of pages of a school book x number of times a week and then she can just read her own ones.

simpson Fri 03-May-13 20:21:14

I shouldn't really moan about the pants books as overall they have been pretty good. She was getting 3 books a week and at least one of them was a chapter book so as you say peri she had no time to read what she wanted to.

This way we race through her school book in 10 mins and duly fill in reading diary and she has loads of time to read books she enjoys.

Btw those mermaid books you recommended are a massive hit, I think she has read the first 4.

These threads worry me!
This will be ds in a year (starting in September as a summer born boy). At the moment he can decode cvc words to blend but he is miles off reading books. He knows only a handful of hfw. How on earth will he be at the expected level in a year?!
Everyone says dont worry about them knowing letter sounds and being able to read before reception but if they start with nothing then how on earth can they reach the expected level?

CrapBag Fri 03-May-13 21:15:13

Idbe my DS is in reception, he knew his letters and stuff before starting but nothing wrt actual reading. Now he is on his second level and I think he needs to be moved up fairly soon. He just picked it up really quickly. I have been amazed when he reads words and not always sounding them out now. I wouldn't worry about it at all tbh.

Periwinkle007 Fri 03-May-13 21:20:14

glad the mermaid books are popular Simpson.

Idbeloveandsweetness, don't worry. seriously. He isn't AT school yet. I have another one starting in september, an April born girl so she will be 7 months younger than her sister (who missed being in the previous year by literally hours) She can decode cvc words quite well, if she puts her mind to it she can work out quite long words with simple phonics (we aren't on ai or ou or anything but she can do wh) and she knows quite a few words by sight but she wants to copy her sister and is therefore exposed to it. Once they get to school they will then take them through whatever program they are following. in our case it has been a phonic sound a day I think, they do blending work in class, they gave our reading books as and when the child had mastered enough basics starting with non word discussion books, then simple decoding etc I think. Some children will be further on with their knowledge, some are 51.5 weeks older than others, some will have been at a preschool which did more phonics work than others, some will have parents who have taught them the basics and some won't have a clue (if they even speak English).

The school will make sure everyone knows the phonics, all children even if they could read already, in my daughter's class have gone through all the phonics (although she was given reading books at the level she could read already)

The expected level isn't THAT high to be honest. I think the younger children in the year are only 'expected' to get to level 2 and I am sure your son will be fine. You will honestly be amazed just how quickly he will progress when he is at the right age and in the right situation to do it.

We did a lot of reading with my eldest because she had 6 full terms at preschool and was really desperate to DO something. my youngest wants to do it to be like her sister but she is a lot younger so we do a lot less with her but she is keen so I encourage it.

interestingly out of the kids in my daughter's class, there are a couple of others who couldn't read when they started school but who are now on level 8, some others who could read a bit who are level 6, MANY who are learning English as a second language who are already level 3 or 4 and some others who are not quite there yet.

unexpectediteminbaggingarea Tue 07-May-13 10:30:35

idbe ds couldn't read a single word or recognise more than one letter when he started reception. We did nothing with him in terms of teaching him to read, except read him a lot of stories, because he enjoyed that. he reads at ort level 8 now. They just get it when they're ready and they all get there in end. we start them way too early here, especially boys imo.

Simpson what are these mermaid books please?
Dd is yr1 but currently refusing to read jackdaws 10 and 11 which are being sent home. At age 5 she has little interest in their lengthy topics. Ruddy things have put her off reading, she was choosing and reading a nice variety in Easter holidays. I don't care so much about levels, need to pique her interest again.

simpson Tue 07-May-13 16:03:22

Peri recommended them to me.

You can buy them from the book people.

They are called The Secret Mermaid (can't remember how many they are about 8 IIRC). DD loves them and reads them to herself a s well as out loud to me.

Periwinkle007 Tue 07-May-13 20:28:49

hi yes the Secret Mermaid books were a pack from The Book People - 12 books for £10?

they are quite rainbow fairy ish - think it is the same group who have done them. my daughter hasn't read them yet. she is currently enjoying the Winnie the Witch chapter books, the Sainsbury's first readers (that are Corgi pup/corgi first readers) and other first reader type ones. others we have are Magic Toyshop, the Humphrey Hamster ones, Claude in the city, Usborne first reading series one and two ones (stories of Fairies, Princess and the Pea etc)

What sort of books does she like Shattereddreams? My mum used to run the library at her primary school and also kept all of my old books so we have an amazing number ready and waiting for my daughters to read. happy to tell you what we have if it might help.

we have had quite a few jackdaw ones. She liked some and prefers them to some of the other stuff at school but they are so long she complains about not getting time to read her own books. I don't think schools are really geared up for good reception readers.

simpson Tue 07-May-13 20:51:23

DD also likes Frog and Toad, any chapter books by Alan Ahlburg (ie The Children Who Smelled a Rat), Horrid Henry, the basic Michael Morpurgo books (Conker), My Naughty Little Sister, Milly Molly Mandy (although she says she is too well behaved!), Flat Stanley, Roald Dahl and the Mercy Watson series.

She hates non fiction with a passion although has just read her first non fiction book (of her own choice!) which was a Great Events book about the Great Fire of London.

DD was on the reading chest but I took her off as she refuses to read anything that isn't a chapter book <<sigh>>

Periwinkle007 Tue 07-May-13 20:57:54

ooh thats great she chose to read a non fiction one Simpson. I remember you saying she didn't like them.

She has read three rainbow fairies in order (was given box set) and seems bored already thankfully.

So she is dipping in and out of bookshelves if it has a pink cover, she looks at it but currently looking at them suspiciously. Hence me wanting to encourage.

Tonight she read me a Dr Seuss ABC I think, full of made up words which was good as straight after I got her to read the phonics test words from last year grin and she got the strom one wrong, said storm. But all others right!

I will see if our library have any mermaid books to try, thanks for the suggestions

I have non fiction isshoos too.

I have tempted her with Milly Molly but only have large book, think it's a bit heavy. She loved the AA series about the Gaskitt, devoured the lot. But hates HH and RD.

Trouble with a lot of books on the shelf is they were mine and the font 30 years ago was much smaller, and she freaks out at it.

Must try Winnie again, we did picture books a while ago and the chapter books were a step too far. And Naughty little Sister. And Ramona. And Mrs Pepperpot. Oh and Ameila Jane
See you've inspired me already

simpson Tue 07-May-13 21:24:27

DD also likes the Happy Families books (Mr Creep the Crook etc) which our local library have.

Peri - I was amazed!! grin

simpson Tue 07-May-13 21:25:55

DD also got a really old book from school a few months ago which I then found others in the same series in the library...Amelia Bodelia.

simpson Tue 07-May-13 21:27:13

Oh and the seriously silly stories (Little Red Riding Wolf etc) are very good, although DD has not read any yet.

Periwinkle007 Tue 07-May-13 21:39:48

the Winnie chapter books are by a different author so they are a bit different and the humour in them in places is a bit harder for a 5 year old perhaps but my daughter likes them. I agree about the smaller font from old books. I remember liking Gobbolino the Witches Cat but when I looked at my copy I was shocked at the font size!

Worst Witch? erm Dick King Smith? I remember Ramona, used to love them but I think I was a bit older before I discovered them. Magic Faraway Tree? Naughtiest girl in the school? I used to like Mrs Pepperpot but my daughter got bored. She likes Mr Benn.

we got sets of disney fairies early readers and disney princess early readers from TK Maxx. colour pictures in them and obviously familiar characters which helps with the interest level. what else? erm Magic Molly? we haven't read them. Princess Poppy now have some chapter books too, others I can think of Tilly Tiptoes, Mammoth Academy, numerous ones about magic pets etc, there is a series about woodland animals, can't think what it is called, 5 books erm Willow Valley? they are quite nice, Railway Rabbits as well.

some of them might be too easy for her. Claude in the city is fun, supposed to be great for reluctant readers.

my daughter has just really enjoyed Dogbird. short, 4 chapters, 60something pages, pictures and funny story. words not hard but relatively complex sentence structure in places. one of the sainsburys early readers. she is about to start The Troublesome Tooth Fairy.

My DD (4.5) loves the Bake a Wish books and can read a whole on in a weekend.

Blueberry that looks right up her street and there are 2 stories now on order via London libraries. However, not one library in London has The Troublesome Tooth Fairy which would be great as we are on wobbly tooth no 8

Periwinkle007 Wed 08-May-13 10:50:45

thats a shame about the troublesome tooth fairy. £3 in sainsburys though if you could persuade a grandparent to buy it as a gift perhaps....

off to look up Bake a Wish books now.

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