How many children out of 100 would be reading ORT yellow and blue books in Y2?

(152 Posts)
HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 19:39:48

I know DS1 is behind but just wondering. Interestingly, he is starting to write independently so he must be able to read a bit I'd have thought.

Anyway, just interested in where he is now. I am optimistic it will all come together in the future.

Actually my real question is what SATs level is this if reading is a separate category, I can't remember from his mixed P6/1c levels in Y1.

Periwinkle007 Sat 11-May-13 20:07:58

I can't really help but I would probably guess at it being a handful at most?

Yellow/blue is generally expected around age 5ish, they seem to be shown as either side of 5 in the different charts. SO I suppose for year 2 it would mean being about 18months to 2 years behind?

Does he struggle with any bit of it in particular? blending in general? struggles to remember the phonics themselves? lack of interest? has be had an eye test?

numbum Sat 11-May-13 20:13:46

It equates to a 1c/1b so he's about a year behind where he should be in y2. No idea about the how many in 100 would be at that level. I listen to a y2 class read and there are only 2 out of the class of 28 on blue level.

HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 20:15:45

Thanks, I was clutching at the 5/6 straw and thinking a year or so behind. Would this mean still P levels in reading then or a 1c?

Motivation is a part of it, fear of getting it wrong and so on. He says phonics is one of his favourite subjects though so I think/hope he's taking it in and he will soon put it all together.

If he is starting to write, he must be able to read a bit.

HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 20:18:42

Perfect, thanks, that's what I'd expect.

Eyes tested, slightly longsighted so board work might be a bit out of focus but not not much, he has a lot of 1-2-1 so I presume things are presented closely too.

Periwinkle007 Sat 11-May-13 20:22:01

fear of getting it wrong is perfectly understandable. Thats great he says it is one of his favourite subjects so he wants to be able to do it and is keen. can he verbally spell out a word? so if you said to him how would you spell door would he be able to sound it out? I am just wondering if there are any indicators for dyslexia or anything that could be preventing him from moving forwards at the rate he might be capable of if that makes sense.

if he is starting to write then that is good but again that could be affected if any visual processing problems too.

I don't really understand the NC levels but I would think to get a 1c he would have to be confident on blue and also obviously meet the other requirements.

HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 20:28:09

He barely attempts blue I don't think, I think he could spell out some words phonetically, he wrote wundring the other day which I thought was good.

I'm not sure about dyslexia but I don't know a lot about it, I have thought about visual processing but I think it's more he's interested in the phonetic building blocks and maybe when he feels he understands those he'll apply them.

There is definitely a developmental disorder, similar to ASD, his verbal skills and vocabulary are very good, fine motor good and writing getting better. Reading is lagging the most though I think.

CalicoRose Sat 11-May-13 20:30:54

Why are you optimistic that it'll all come together in the end?

Are you aware that 20% of children leave primary unable to read fluently / properly?

And of course 50% don't get a C in GCSE English.

My DD was ahead of yours in Y2 (green band) - but still very behind, and is now looking like she'll catch up next year - in Y6.

But that has only been done with the most of enormous amount of work by me and school.

So be optimistic if that's your style - but you may also want to back up that optimism with an awful lot of hard work. Trusting school wasn't a very successful strategy for me, even though my DD did get plenty of 1:1 - from reception through to Y5.

Periwinkle007 Sat 11-May-13 20:36:37

ok so it sounds like he is really mainly on yellow which is still classed as a reception level for an average child.

PERSONALLY I would say you need to speak to the teacher and find out what he/she genuinely feels about where he is and how he is doing and what the problems are. It could very very easily be he is dyslexic, it could be something else but the earlier it is identified the better or he could slip further behind.

littleducks Sat 11-May-13 20:41:41

"Eyes tested, slightly longsighted so board work might be a bit out of focus "

DD is longsighted, it means that things are clearer further away. She has to wear glasses for reading and close up work (sewing/writing etc)

HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 20:47:03

He is not going to respond to pressure or demands, task/reward has some limited success. He sees a clear distinction between home and school and that is difficult to address.

He loves being read to though and seems cognitively able so I feel it's just a matter of time and school keeping plugging away and us providing the things he needs at home in order to follow his interests.

He has started making activity books for example with made up worsearches in, this is all going in the right direction I think.

It took two years for him to settle into school at all so we just have to be patient and push him on when we can.

But I could be wrong. This is a transition year so it will be interesting to see what the next place thinks.

HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 20:49:32

Must be shortsighted then, used to sit very close to screens but that's not so noticeable now, I think I will get another sight test done though. I wonder if he can track ok.

HotheadPaisan Sat 11-May-13 20:50:25

It was a -1 and -0.5 I think, really didn't seem that bad.

littleducks Sat 11-May-13 20:52:17

Might be worth checking out, I was just wondering if he actually was longsighted and this was affecting his reading. I went in to school and explained about dd's eyes etc but found as she had glasses the teachers just plonked her up close to the board which was the worst place for her.

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 08:28:28

He read a blue book to me last night, he will have mostly memorised it, he takes a long time to agree to change his books. He got all the words right but couldn't work out 'helped', he did spell out the letters but that doesn't really help with that word. Maybe he does just need to repeat and repeat books until he's learned the words that way. I do a lot of learning by repeatedly reading the same thing until it sticks.

It's all just not quite gelling yet and we have discussed other methods such as reading by sight but like I said he does like the phonics lessons. Would they have covered 'ed' as 't' by now? I should imagine the good readers and decoders understand this.

littlemiss06 Sun 12-May-13 08:36:45

My little girl is on yellow band as well and just been told she got a level 1c at the end of spring, on saying that she's been 1c since the end of year one. In our year two class there are only two children on this level of reading books

mrz Sun 12-May-13 09:17:15

the spelling <ed> can represent the sound /t/ would be taught in Y2 if the school is following Letters and Sounds (earlier in other programmes)

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 09:27:13

Thanks, he had these levels 18 months ago, not sure what Wc and Wb mean:
English - S&L–1b R – WcW-Wb

CalicoRose Sun 12-May-13 09:28:18

'ed' may or may not have been taught to the class - but I wouldn't expect a child who is struggling so much to have learnt it.

If he could read 'ed' words, he wouldn't be struggling nearly as much as you describe.....

If the class is split into groups for phonics, he may never have been taught it. But if the class isn't split into groups clearly the majority of what he's being taught isn't sticking.

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 09:31:18

Yes, I figured that was quite a difficult word, the others were much easier to decode. He didn't stumble or stop to decode any of them though, which I bet means he's just memorised it. I'll try him with some other similar sentences not from that book later.

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 09:33:29

Phonics is streamed, which was a whole other issue with constantly moving classes last year. Not sure if it's streamed withing the class or across the year this year. I think he likes the symbol work of phonics, applying it to blending and reading is a whole other thing.

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 09:37:34

Just did a quick test, he got angry and gave up. He sounds out every letter of a word, he can't blend or recognise the whole word.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 09:39:34

"helped" isn't a difficult word if a child has been taught unfortunately many schools are streaming for phonics which means some children simply aren't getting the chance to learn what they need ...madness! it makes me so angry!

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 09:43:41

Another test. I got him to tell me some simple sentences and then I typed some sentences with those words in. He gave me 1 and 3, I typed 2 and 4. He read 1, 2 and 3 fine, with 4 he couldn't read when or seaside.

1. I can see the sea

2. In the sea I can see a fish

3. Fishes in the sea

4. When I go to the seaside, I can see fishes in the sea

KatyDid02 Sun 12-May-13 09:45:38

Yellow, blue and green are ages 5-6.
Yellow is W/1C, Blue is 1C and Green is 1C/1B.

Metbird Sun 12-May-13 09:46:15

Have you tried paired reading at home to encourage him to try new books? It is a method where DC get to choose books that interest them, but would be too difficult for them to access on their own. You read it together, quite literally saying each word at the same time. You let him lead with words that he is confident with - the, and - and you led with the more difficult words. Gradually you give him the space to lead more words, as he grows with confidence. If there are words he should know, but gets stuck, don't make a comment, just pause to give him the opportunity to have a go and move on. This is a really good method if you DS1 is struggling, because you can make a nice safe space for him to explore books, read at a speed that allows him to understand the story and gives him an opportunity to read a wider range of books. My DD2 has been struggling - dyslexic like me - and she had almost given up trying. Within a month of starting, she had started to love reading again and went up a level at school. She reads books about space and planets at home, books she would otherwise not be able to access. There is lots of information on it on the web. Good luck!

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 09:49:03

Will try Metbird. He definitely need errorless correction, he will not just hazard a guess which is fair enough. I will do he has to read a book with me, I'll provide all the words he doesn't know, then I'll read the books he likes as usual.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 10:04:30

Remind him that <wh> is a spelling for the sound /w/ so w-e-n

sea side split it into syllables for him - you mean need to remind him that i-e is a split spelling for the sound /ie/

It sounds as if he has gaps in his knowledge either because he has never been taught or because he hasn't learnt is difficult to tell.

CecilyP Sun 12-May-13 10:11:59

When you say he couldn't get helped, did he misread it as help-ed or did he have no idea? If it is the former, it just means he doesn't yet know how to deal with ed at the end of a word and can learn that. If the latter, it seems more of a problem with phonics. Definitely follow Metbirds advice to keep his confindence up, but also see his teacher to find out more about his difficulties.

Theas18 Sun 12-May-13 10:13:29

No knowledge of reading bands but if he's a year behind that's not so bad honestly. When DH taught year 3 in a standard state primary the range was level 1 to 4 plus in most subjects, and these were "normal kids" a couple on various SEN plans were lower . He had to differentiate, and did, to cover all levels.

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 10:15:43

He had no idea Cecily. Said 'huh' 'eee' 'ull' etc

I will have a word, see where they think he's at. Like I said, many more problems than this, but we have to start addressing it.

CecilyP Sun 12-May-13 10:21:20

It sounds as if he may have a problem applying phonics despite enjoying the classes. Can you try him on some made up regular 3 letter words and see how he gets on - if he is willing, of course.

Metbird Sun 12-May-13 10:37:08

Do try and get him formally tested for dyslexia. Many dyslexics find it very difficult to apply the correct sounds to letters, despite 'knowing' the phonic sounds. There are other ways to learn to read, and it may mean you will need to try a variety of methods. Do speak to his teacher - they will be able to give you advice and reassure you that they are applying other methods too.

With the summer holidays coming up, you will also need to continue intensive reading practice over the hols, so he doesn't lose any ground. I use ReadingBox - an online children's book library over the summer when I haven't got access to the school's library.

Don't give up...he will catch up. I couldn't read at his age and now I am studying medicine. He has got a mum that loves him, who is prepared work with him to help.

Finally, if you want to see an example of paired reading, John Thaw's character, Mr Tom teaches William to read by paired reading in 'Goodnight Mister Tom'.

CalicoRose Sun 12-May-13 12:00:58

Thea - he's not a year behind, he's 2 years behind.

Being 2 years behind after 3 years at school is a problem. A big problem. It means he's learning at a third of the rate of everyone else.

It's certainly not just a case of differentiated teaching. Just because your DH had no problems teaching kids a year behind does not imply that the children made adequate progress.

While absolutely anythings possible the most likely scenario is that if the child is 2 years behind at end of Y2 they are likely to be more than 2 years behind end of Y3

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 12:06:29

Yes, he's clearly not happy or taking it in. He has produced an amazing amount of work this year though, his books are full of activities and work he has completed. He produced approximately 1.5 pages in any of his workbooks last year, it was a very bad year.

He has a 25-hour statement but there are clearly some kind of specific learning difficulties going on. It's so strange because from talking to him you'd think he was perfectly capable/ miles ahead but he's not, quite the opposite.

CalicoRose Sun 12-May-13 12:44:35

It's so strange because from talking to him you'd think he was perfectly capable/ miles ahead but he's not, quite the opposite.

That's not at all strange. That's what most dyslexic children present like.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 12:57:57

You say he has a statement. Can I ask what his statement is for?

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 13:05:51

ASD essentially, along the lines of HFA or AS but more PDA if you've heard of it. Generally an anxiety-based need for control and extreme demand avoidance. A complete nightmare for teachers I'd have thought, a bright kid who just struggles with sensory issues and all sorts so being in a ms class has been quite a challenge but he has settled into it now.

I said about dyslexia or looking at hsi processing difficulties and further ed psych assessments at his annual review but there was a feeling it wasn't going to tell us any more than we already knew. I'm not so sure though.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 13:25:02

My son also ASD didn't write until Y6 and I would suggest that it is his Autism with PDA co morbidity that is the problem (possibly added to by the streaming issue) rather than dyslexia

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 13:29:05

Yes I was impressed his writing has started before the reading but getting sufficient interest/ co-operation/ low stress to work on these things is very difficult. Mostly I'm relaxed about it and happy to leave it to school, sometimes I have a wobble. Pressure will not work, I know that for sure.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 13:34:59

I think you need to bring it up at his next review and ask what strategies they are going to put in place - with 2 5hours support they should be able to give him daily reading support. I would suggest 2 or 3 shorter sessions will probably be better than 1 long.

Metbird Sun 12-May-13 14:34:42

It is common for ASD to exist alongside other specific learning difficulties. He should be assessed for dyslexia separately since this diagnosis might impact the strategies that the teachers use. It is important to understand that dyslexia will make him much more prone to tiredness, anxiety and avoidance. If he is dyslexic too, he will not only have to cope with the visual disturbance of decoding text on the page, but also the issues of converting the written symbols into sounds.

If he find reading (and therefore school) exhausting, confusing, unreliable and frustrating it cannot be surprising if he tries to avoid it. My own DD has become an expert in avoidance - in fact reading a bit about PDA I'm wondering about her too....sad

mrz Sun 12-May-13 14:40:49

Unfortunately a diagnosis of dyslexia does not help a child learn to read

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 15:07:14

I guess this the very nature of a developmental disorder, totally uneven development and ability in different areas. I understand other strategies might help and I will raise this again. He can do the basic sounds and knows 'ch' for example.

Motivation and ability to concentrate in a busy, noisy environment are issues. Just a bit frustrating his good vocabulary isn't matched by reading, but his writing is coming along.

I'll talk to school again, I'm sure they're doing all they can, maybe it will all just fall into place for him over time.

CecilyP Sun 12-May-13 17:25:08

There is a difference between knowing the basic sounds and being able to apply them to work out unknown words. If he has real difficulties in this area, it is not really lack of motivation that is the problem - so don't think he isn't trying. You really do need to talk to the school to see what the difficulties are. It is however reassuring that his writing is coming along.

Ferguson Sun 12-May-13 22:26:00

Hi - exTA (male) here :

This does not exactly match your DS difficulties, but it may possibly be of some use. I have posted this item to several different parents, so hope it might be of interest :


There used to be a kit of cards and letter blocks called "Soundworks", but it's probably discontinued now.

The theory was that, for some kids, it is easier to SPELL words than READ them, which is a later stage.

It started with three-letter words, with a vowel in the middle - "a" glued onto a board.

The child then looked at the individual letter blocks, and was asked to make the word "c a t". Then ask, how do we change "c a t" into "h a t", which letter do we need to change? Then change "hat" into "ham" (with an emphasis on the "mmmm" sound).

The order sounds were learnt in was similar to today's phonics teaching : s a m p t i c k h r d, etc

This approach was used with our SEN Yr2 children who had been unable to make progress with more conventional methods of learning to read. It is rather time-consuming, and ideally needs resources to be made, but it does work very well.


So, if you can find or make suitable letters, and a card with "a" glued in the middle, he may enjoy building the words himself. Use letters that are occurring in words in the books he is bringing home, and go on to make cards for the other vowels if it seems to work with "a".

He could have a notebook and write down words he made, compiling his own 'dictionary'.

The children I used it with were not, at that stage at least, considered dyslexic, but handling the letter blocks and building the words seemed to be a satisfying experience for them, aiding their progress.

HotheadPaisan Mon 13-May-13 06:48:36

Thanks, I think he would like something like that, I'll have a look at what I can find.

HotheadPaisan Mon 13-May-13 06:51:39

It does look good, but too pricey:

lougle Mon 13-May-13 07:13:09

dd1 is at special school and she is struggling with phonics, too. She seems to use whole wood recognition, which is slow, inefficient and time-consuming.

She's just leaving year 2 and it's still on red band books (ORT2). But she's keen and she thinks she can read really well!

She wrote 'Im a rat Im a bargn. Im 1p' independently last week -a huge achievement- and got a head teacher's award grin

HotheadPaisan Mon 13-May-13 07:24:26

Love that sentence!

I presume school must do something like soundworks, represent the sounds as independent entities and then put them together to form words. He just can't see it when a whole word is presented to him, he doesn't see the pattern. He may well be making sure he knows all the sound combinations before he tries though, that wouldn't surprise me. I'll ask them to send some work home and see what he can do.

mrz Mon 13-May-13 07:43:22

You could just write the sounds on squares of paper or postit notes HotheadPaisan.

HotheadPaisan Mon 13-May-13 10:59:49

Yes, just need a vague plan to follow, especially for summer, will talk to his teacher and TA. As always, torn between letting him get there in his own time, school is tiring enough for him, and pushing him a bit (as much as he'll tolerate!).

His levels cannot have been right before, there has been progress and he does mostly enjoy school now, but if he was 1c 18 months ago I reckon he still is.

HotheadPaisan Fri 07-Jun-13 14:36:47

Hello, me again. I have the levels now and would appreciate thoughts on them. Does this mean a year to 18months behind with R&W for a Y2 DC?

Reading 1a/1b, Writing 1a/1b, Maths 2c

Hello matey, no idea really about the levels just a wave and a hi five on my way past x

HotheadPaisan Fri 07-Jun-13 14:50:45

smile How are you?

Periwinkle007 Fri 07-Jun-13 14:51:23

I don't understand the levels really myself but I would interpret those the same way you have. Maths is fine for Yr2, Reading and writing are behind by a year to 18 months ish I think.

HotheadPaisan Fri 07-Jun-13 15:13:38

Thanks, as long as we know where we're at. I think it's a shame he was assessed a bit too high last year so it looks like little/ no progress this year. His teacher and TAs have been brilliant this year and there has been progress.

HotheadPaisan Fri 07-Jun-13 15:41:55

Actually, he had these levels halfway through last year:

English - S&L–1b R – WcW-Wb
Maths - 1c
Science - 1c

Periwinkle007 Fri 07-Jun-13 16:08:22

I suppose the main thing is that he has managed to make progress which hopefully will carry on.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 07-Jun-13 16:44:10


lowest ability children will not have got to ORT yellow.

next 5 will

remaining 90 will be way beyond.

HotheadPaisan Fri 07-Jun-13 19:22:20

So bottom 10%?

zzzzz Fri 07-Jun-13 22:48:20

This is very helpful if you have an iPad you can try or free

Galena Sat 08-Jun-13 08:05:08

In my Y3 classes, I would generally have 5 or so children on ORT stages 2 or 3 at the start of the year. Some of them would progress steadily up the stages, while others would need to move sideways onto different books because they were struggling.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 08:14:02

It just isn't possible to say the bottom 10% because in some schools there won't be any children at that level and in others there could be the majority of the class. There are so many variables don't try to put a figure on it.

HotheadPaisan Sat 08-Jun-13 08:18:28

Good point, it doesn't really matter does it. Need to really think about an iPad, he needs apps that show him that what he thinks something is is right and he needs lots and lots of repetition and practice, but in his control.

BristolBanshee Sat 08-Jun-13 08:21:41

Personally I would stop worrying about levels and try and foster a love for reading and books, this is far more important in the grand scheme of things. My oldest has working memory issues, I knew years before he was diagnosed as he couldn't blend until he was about six, and HATES reading. It's only now he's older that he's begun to pick up books.

HotheadPaisan Sat 08-Jun-13 08:26:23

Yep, he loves me reading him books and is starting to write adventure stories loosely based on what I read.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 08:36:51

I wouldn't worry about ipads or apps the evidence is that children learn best from a suitable and supportive adult rather than from a computer screen.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sat 08-Jun-13 08:36:55

That's great Hothead. I would second fostering that love of books. Ds has recently started getting the Pheonix Comic, which he loves. Sometimes I read it to him, as the text is quite challenging, but he enjoys looking at the pictures.

Reading Chest might well be worth a look. I used it when ds was between reception and Year 1 and he loved it.

Best of luck with everything. You sound like a brilliant mum.

HotheadPaisan Sat 08-Jun-13 08:38:35

Aw, thanks. Phew, really don't want to stump up for an iPad. I think all will be well eventually, just will take longer than for most.

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 09:04:41

mrz can you link your evidence? I'm interested because I have been blown away by the iPad (and was more than a little sceptical). My ds has sn so that may impact our experience, but I'd love to read the source as it often gives us ideas for other intervention.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 09:08:27

Sorry but as far as I know it isn't available on line I just have hand outs from a SENCO training but I will see if I can locate it on line from the university

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 09:20:52

It was all to do with the way a human can adapt very quickly and present things in different ways to suit the individual child whereas a computer programme has necessary limitations and can't for example recognise if the child is struggling because they are tired, ill or in a mood etc so doesn't respond.

The other thing is that the act of physically writing rather than using a keyboard is more effective at establishing the relationship between sounds and letters.

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 09:40:39

I would say, that for children with communication difficulties, especially language disorder the very fact that there isn't a constant adaptation of the language around the task helps.

The act of physically writing isn't intrinsically better than a key board, but "physically" doing anything as part of the learning process is extremely powerful. I think children should "write" or perhaps more accurately create words before they "read".

This is a fabulous book full of tons of early reading stuff

You will need to stretch lots of the exercises for older children, but they are still great.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 10:00:07

From experience as the parent of a child with ASD and working with children with communication difficulties I would partly agree ... but I would also say that it can also be very limiting so has to be carefully balanced.

Brain research shows that using a keyboard uses a different part of the brain and is a less fine grained process.

If you google Professor Gregg Brooks What works for children with literacy difficulties there is an evaluation of interventions and he concludes ICT can be a huge motivator (which IMHO is the main usefulness of computer based learning) but that it isn't a substitute for a knowledgeable "teacher" (in the broadest sense of the word).

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 10:50:50

iPad is not on the whole keyboard based.

The "letslearntoread" set are a winner for ds because the reading experience is more functional than story based. This helps him enormously as he doesn't really enjoy "stories" but quite likes decoding. (Eg child read "the cat is" and then has to find "tan"). I find it helpful that each question is marked so I can see exactly where he is struggling, and I also like the fact that the work gets harder incredibly slowly.

Motivation is important but I think viewing ICT is selling it a bit short.

I had a quick google on Gregg, but it was hard to find any recent evaluation of the tech at first glance. I will read more later this week.

What have you found limiting?

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 14:35:23

No but it has a virtual keyboard for those "games" that require input such as spelling words.

We have found that children who master skills using computer programs often struggle to transfer those same skills into day to day practice. Last year we had a child with ASD who completed all levels of the program he was using, the final level aimed at GCSE level yet he was only working at NC level 4c in class

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 15:00:59

What do you mean "virtual keyboard"?

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 15:03:38

So what you are saying is the "limited" bit is that some children with ASD have found it hard to generalise the skill?

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 15:16:05

No I gave that child as an example ... a child who completed a program to a level far exceeding their chronological age and still struggled to apply what they had learnt. IMHE the fact this child has ASD relates only to what the OP has said about her son but it true for most children.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 15:18:29

On the ipad touch screen there is the option to use a QWERTY keyboard so the user can interact with the program ...not a physical keyboard in the sense you would have with a laptop or desk top PC.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 15:21:30

Children who are only exposed to one reading scheme can often read those books to a high level because they have worked out how the scheme works the same applies to computer programs ... the child works out the expectations which limits the usefulness.

learnandsay Sat 08-Jun-13 18:11:14

Surely that doesn't matter though, does it, unless the children are being kept on the scheme longer than is necessary. Lots of training environments have an artificial setup. When you learn to drive you start off in a dual-control car on quiet roads, typically in a housing estate. When you learn to ski you start off on a children's slope (if you're a child.) Nobody's saying that drivers or novice skiers should switch between schools. If the school didn't send them home we wouldn't be reading scheme books any more.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 18:12:56

I bow to your superior experience learnandsay

learnandsay Sat 08-Jun-13 18:13:52

While you're down low you can hide some scheme books.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 18:24:00

in case you missed it we were discussing computerised learning systems not reading schemes learnandsay

learnandsay Sat 08-Jun-13 18:49:58

The bit that I was referring to looked like a bit of a mixture to me. But mixtures are good.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 19:22:39

only in so much as it was an analogy

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 19:26:48

If it was as you describe it would be rather rubbish.

I think it is actually WAY better than that. More in line with montessori pink box word building.

The app I mentioned for example requires the child not only to read the question/ statement but read the answer options. Excellent fading of support. There is NO use of keyboard at all.

The arguments for and against sight reading seem a bit wild, given the vast majority of people can surely see that these techniques are BOTH needed and useful?

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 19:37:16

I know the app you mentioned hmm

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 19:39:16

are you in the UK zzzzz?

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 19:43:17


mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 20:06:13


zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 20:20:16

Why shock ?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sat 08-Jun-13 20:45:11

My ds learnt to count and recognise numbers on an ipad app. Not intentionally - i gave it to him to keep him out of the kitchen when i was cooking and he always chose the same app. This didn't transfer to him being able to write his numbers, his (amazing) reception teacher did that. But it was fun and stopped him getting burnt.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 20:56:07

I once had a parent claim her son had learnt his colours from Sky ...unfortunately only in Spanish

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sat 08-Jun-13 20:59:10

Very funny! Unfortunately it was an american app and he asked me what oovuls were. It was only when he showed me a squashed circle that i got it.

mrz Sat 08-Jun-13 21:06:20

Some of my class are using an American phonics program similar to the one zzzzz linked to but are confused by tub instead of bath - pants for trousers - cot for camp bed but the accent is the main barrier

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sat 08-Jun-13 21:56:28

Yeah they did also ask what a popsicle was

bassingtonffrench Sat 08-Jun-13 22:15:03

Hi Hothead. I think our sons are similar though mine is younger with no official diagnosis as yet. he is miles behind on reading though teachers are not sure why exactly. personally I think it is a sort of perfectionism plus hyper-perception which means he perceives too much! so he gets confused by fonts for example. I think imitation doesn't come naturally to him either which is an issue for learning. His writing is better than his reading. he struggles to blend. looks at words from right to left, rather than left to right. Seems to see whole words rather than deconstructing them. seems to progress and then regress. I may be deluded, but he seems to me to be quite bright in some areas and I am hoping he will catch up as he has in other areas e.g. speech, drawing.

I'm wondering if it is almost a phobia of learning to read? So the best treatment is how we have treated his (many) other phobias with gradual no pressure exposure.

Iphone apps have been great for us because he has control. Endless alphabet and phonicslite have been good though he will only do a couple of minutes at a time. I-spy in the car is also good - ie. not reading but learning through listening.


bassingtonffrench Sat 08-Jun-13 22:21:29

oh yes, and he also has a very rigid home/school division so it is very hard to known what his capabilities really are. but there is no doubt he is very much behind literacy wise.

zzzzz Sat 08-Jun-13 22:28:06

Goodness! shock. This is very blinkered thinking.

Was the parents "claim" correct, or did you just decide it didn't count because it wasn't in your mother tongue?

I think accent is only relevant if it is too much of a barrier TO THE CHILD.

I'm sharing my experience, not looking for a fight.

bassingtonffrench Sat 08-Jun-13 22:31:20

one of the apps my son uses has an american accent - word magic - and it is not a major issue for him or me.

though actually, the format we are making most progress with at the moment seems to be flashcards.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 07:10:01

No, zzzzz the parents claim was not correct (the family were English BTW and mum didn't speak any Spanish ) the child actually had major speech and language difficulties and what she took as Spanish was his inability to articulate sounds correctly.

Accents used on APPs and computer programs are very relevant if a child can't work out the sounds in words because of them as in BabiesAreLikeBuses's example of "ooval".

The other problems to be aware of with American APPs/programs is they often use a completely different method of phonics which can cause confusion and limit progress, they often use letter names and American spellings.

HotheadPaisan Sun 09-Jun-13 09:03:31

Yes bass I think that is a large part of it. He needs to know something is right before attempting it. That's where I think having control over apps might help.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 10:54:14

I'm not sure how he will have any more control using an app than he will over a book confused

HotheadPaisan Sun 09-Jun-13 15:58:34

I imagine it's more interactive, it would tell him what sounds and words are until he believes it. And he would choose whether to launch it, obv I would restrict what else was on it.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 16:10:38

A APP is less interactive as it can only respond in the ways it is programmed to, your description is of passive learning which is the least effective method I'm afraid.

HotheadPaisan Sun 09-Jun-13 16:16:00

Yes, he can't cope with too much direct though, you have to get things across by stealth.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 16:23:00

The opposite of passive/directed learning is active learning

HotheadPaisan Sun 09-Jun-13 16:29:39

He is not a willing learner though, really, it is unbelievably hard work, he is very reluctant. I am amazed his teacher and TAs have got him reading and writing at all.

bassingtonffrench Sun 09-Jun-13 16:33:03

I think the apps vs. books debate is a bit of a red herring and not that helpful as it is being discussed on here.

But I have a few questions for you Hothead.

What is errorless learning/prompting?
What are the most successful things school/you have tried so far with regard to reading? The sentences you outlined earlier in this thread would represent currently unimaginable progress for DS so I am interested to know how you got that far!
have you considered a private tutor? (I am considering it for the summer)


Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 16:41:08

I guess for demand-avoidant and conflict-avoidant learners, a person looking at books with you can lead to perceived demands and conflict as it is not entirely child-led necessarily, and if he gets something wrong, there is a person telling him it is wrong (in whatever way, gentle or not) that he can direct his anger and frustration towards. However, with an app there isn't a person there to pit himself against, so he may well be more able to accept correction.

bassingtonffrench Sun 09-Jun-13 16:42:50

Thanks, that has definitely been my experience Galena

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 16:44:08

I just don't think it is necessary to go out and buy an ipad,

Errorless learning doesn't exist because if you get everything correct first attempt you haven't learnt anything new.

bassingtonffrench Sun 09-Jun-13 16:49:14

Sure, but I think errorless something was a phrase that was used upthread and I would be interested in more info if anyone has it

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 16:51:59

"errorless correction"

bassingtonffrench Sun 09-Jun-13 16:52:02

Agree with your point about the ipad though Mrz. if the ipad could solve everything we wouldn't have a problem!

Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 16:52:08

I agree that in most cases an iPad is unnecessary, but sometimes I let DD play on a tablet as another activity in her day because she enjoys it. When she plays on it, she thinks she is just playing. I know she is playing an educational game, and learning at the same time. I don't think anyone is saying reading can or should be taught solely using an iPad, however, it can be a useful thing to use as a reward which can add to learning in a non-confrontational way.

In my opinion.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 17:05:54

If you didn't have one would you buy it just so she could play games in the hope they might teach your child to read Galena?

Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 17:19:08

Did you actually read my post? An iPad is not necessary. An iPad will not, in isolation, teach a child to read.

A tablet (this is an Android house, not an apple one...) can act as a non-confrontational way to reinforce learning. Whether or not you like them.

Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 17:22:18

Oh, and if I had spent years trying to encourage my child to learn to read and had spent years with them screaming at me or not cooperating because they felt I was pressuring them, then yes, I might consider buying one purely to see if they would respond better to that.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 17:26:37

Not until I had posted mine as it wasn't there when I started to write Galena

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 17:30:30

As a household we have an ipad and iphones and android tablets Galena so it isn't a case of not liking something it is a case of trying to help the OP in ways that won't cost a fortune and will actually be beneficial.
At the moment most of the APPs out there are from the US and unfortunately when it comes to reading that means that most of the APPs out there aren't terribly helpful for a child going to school in the UK.

learnandsay Sun 09-Jun-13 20:06:34

I'm getting confused. I though in order to read you needed a book.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 20:08:20

I'm reading your post and it isn't in a book

learnandsay Sun 09-Jun-13 20:09:51

But you already know how to read. How many parents out there would gain tons from reading and posting on mumsnet, but don't because they can't read very well?

Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 20:26:05

It obviously was there because you replied to what I had said in it... but anyway.

I still would say that an American app that your child will interact happily with is more effective than a British book that your child will have nothing to do with or even a British parent or teacher that your child will scream at because they perceive conflict.

I am not saying they are necessary. I am not saying that every child is demand avoidant. I AM, however, saying that for some children they may be a valuable tool but not the only tool to develop phonic and word knowledge.

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 20:33:15

I was actually replying to an earlier post
" Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 16:41:08

I guess for demand-avoidant and conflict-avoidant learners, a person looking at books with you can lead to perceived demands and conflict as it is not entirely child-led necessarily, and if he gets something wrong, there is a person telling him it is wrong (in whatever way, gentle or not) that he can direct his anger and frustration towards. However, with an app there isn't a person there to pit himself against, so he may well be more able to accept correction."

and I would still say that an American APP is not as effective (and often have negative impact) as a supportive person (book optional)

Galena Sun 09-Jun-13 20:38:04

Since the child in that post is referred to as 'he' throughout and no mention is made of games, we'll have to agree to disagree about which post you were replying to. Surely the person can be very supportive, but if the child won't respond or cooperate with the adult, it doesn't matter how supportive they are?

mrz Sun 09-Jun-13 20:43:36

Galena I know which post I was replying to and was delayed posting it because of a phone call ... If you prefer we can call the "games" used in the APP recommended earlier as "activities" or any other term you prefer

PolterGoose Sun 09-Jun-13 22:49:57

The argument against the American apps reminded me that I'm sure I learnt most of my reading from Sesame Street confused

learnandsay Mon 10-Jun-13 10:16:41

Learning to read is mainly a question of practice, so supposing it was possible to learn to read from an app, the child would need to spend a lot of time using it. And at school the child would be expected to use a book.

zzzzz Mon 10-Jun-13 10:54:36

mrsz I'm truly amazed at your take on technology as a aid to literacy for kids with sn. Especially given how extraordinarily helpful this kind of intervention can be. I know you are training to be a SENCO, but have you ever used the technology with a child with communication difficulties?

You do seem very worried by accents and foreigness in general. For most of us this is very far down on the list of what's important.

HotheadPaisan Mon 10-Jun-13 16:05:33

I guess it is precisely because it is indirect, and sort of errorless, the app is consistently 'right', that it might work for DS1 as reinforcement and supplementary to the amazing efforts his teacher and TAs put in.

He is cognitively able, as far as we know, as in there is no obvious intellectual disability although there are clearly many neurocognitive/ physiological barriers to him learning.

He may just take a lot longer to get there via the methods being used, and that's fine too.

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 19:24:55

zzzzz you are making your own assumptions regarding my take on technology for SEN based on the fact that I am not impressed with some very badly produced cheap APPs ...hmm

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 19:32:25

No learnandsay all our children use ebooks and computer based reading programs in school and home in addition to "real" books.

learnandsay Mon 10-Jun-13 19:36:36

As long as they read books that's fine. I wouldn't be happy if my child wasn't being taught to read books. The technology comes and goes.

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 19:40:08

How will he feel if he makes errors on the APP?

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 19:57:33

Technology has a place and works really well for some subjects and less well for others. Phonics is one of those areas where it isn't as effective as a "real live" person.
zzzzz may not think accent matters but if a child is constantly making errors because the accent is unclear then it does matter IMHO.

zzzzz Mon 10-Jun-13 20:09:26

Perhaps if you suggested alternatives and hadn't rambled off into virtual keyboards regarding an app that doesn't use one, your intent would be clearer.

Several people have expressed their children have benefited from the tech. Rather than sharing any info you have we have heard about a child whose parents thought he was speaking Spanish but you claim had a phonological issue hmm , the horror of children picking up an American pronounciation, the cost of the iPad being prohibitive (without any knowledge of OP's financial situation) and now that the apps are cheep.

Now we hear the children in your car make extensive use of technology. confused

I'm at a loss to understand your stance at all.

My ds enjoys working on the iPad. Last week he learnt his 7xtable, last term he learnt all the countries in Europe, he has used it to recap his reading having become very unhappy reading school reading schemes. He has learnt his number bonds to 10 and can label parts of a horse, fish and frog. For us it has been a joy.

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 20:13:28

Once again you are putting your own spin on things. I have never once said that I have a problem with children picking up American accents ...or that the child had phonological issues hmm

zzzzz Mon 10-Jun-13 20:21:16

Why don't you just take a deep breath and say what you ARE trying to get across.

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 20:27:13

Do I need to when you can tell me what I think

learnandsay Mon 10-Jun-13 20:30:34

This is veering into the personal now. The argument about the apps and whatnot was fine.

zzzzz Mon 10-Jun-13 20:34:10

Well if my take on what you've posted is so wrong and you want to be understood, then yes!

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 20:48:01

My points are that APPs for reading are not as effective as a sympathetic, supportive adults ... most Phonic APPs available feature American methods which are not compatible with the method used in UK schools and when it comes to phonics an American accents confuses children meaning they make errors blending and segmenting words.

You seem to want to conclude that this me technophobic and xenophobic well sorry to disappoint but you are mistaken

zzzzz Mon 10-Jun-13 21:09:21

I don't really want to conclude that at all, but yes that was how your posts came across to me. I'm glad that's not the case. smile

I disagree that apps aren't helpful, because I have seen the huge boost they have given to ds. He copes much better with the restricted and repeatable language and it helps him to be able to recap. For us they have been a very positive addition to other literacy based activities/games.

mrz Mon 10-Jun-13 21:21:12

I'm pleased it has worked out for your child but I know many more who have need intensive support because they have been confused by incompatible methods.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 10-Jun-13 22:37:13

It was me who mentioned the american accent - it was on a preschool number game and entertained me, nothing more. I've only found one app out there - hairy letters - that i was happy with for phonics and the l and r need replacing (you can record over their version). As for errors my dc made them intentionally as it made a whoopee cushion noise for mistakes hmm
There are a lot of bad apps out there, for telling the time i found loads of really confusing ones. I agree with mrz that you can't replace one-to-one with an adult but if you want a game to practise something or need to rote learn anything they're helpful.

HotheadPaisan Tue 11-Jun-13 10:39:30

It's a good point about not confusing him. He loves books (well, me reading to him), just got to be patient I think. I still think there is room somewhere for some computer-aided learning, he will believe what he reads over what he is told, when he can read of course, just got to be patient and let the teachers and TAs carry on with what they are doing.

HandbagAddiction Tue 11-Jun-13 12:53:31

Can i just add to the point that was made very early on in the thread about getting eyesight tested? I think if you are going to do this, it would make sense to consider getting them tested by a benhavioural optometrist rather than simply going down to your local Specsavers or equivalent.

I say this only because sometimes (and as experienced with my own dd1 - who by the way is dyslexic as well - although her eye issue is separate to that) it is not really the eye sight itself that is the issue, rather the way in which the eyes work together or more importantly often don't. This is often refered to as 'teaming'.

So dd1 for exmaple has pretty perfect eye sight distance wise and would never fail an eye test at a standard opticians. She does however have problems with the way in which her eyes work together which results in moving letters on a page, difficulty reading certain types of fonts, blurredness, etc. So, treatment for this has made reading more of a pleasure for her and has allowed her to catch up significantly - although it will clearly never address some of her underyling dyslexia problems.

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