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Oxford Reading Tree - books with no words?

(43 Posts)
Boredofthinkingofnewnames Mon 16-Nov-15 13:20:58

Can anyone enlighten me to the point of these please?!!

DTs are in Reception and on the books with no words. They tell us the story every day so we can fill in the journal. They have the same book all week adn are bored with them.

They are trying to sound out words when they see them in their story books / on cereal packets / adverts etc when we are out and about and they know some of the high frequency words (not sure if they recognise them or they're actually reading them if that makes a difference).

They're also writing simple words when they are playing so definitley recognise the letters etc.

We have parents evening next week - would it be unreasonable to ask them to give them books with words in?!

wigglesrock Mon 16-Nov-15 13:25:47

I know that my kids primary school uses picture books to walk through a story - what might happen next, what would make sense to happen next, to follow a narrative or to make their own up. It's brilliant that your kids are itching to move on with reading and blending etc but other kids the same age aren't - that's why they are used. Speak to the school, ask them for different books, use different books at home yourself.

gabsdot Mon 16-Nov-15 13:28:30

My DD has had difficulty learning to read and she has used these picture books quite a lot. Teachers have explained to me that children get clues from the picture about what the story is about and that can help them to learn the words. When my DD is a new reader we always go through it and she tells the story just using the pictures. Then reading the words will come more easily.
But I guess if your child is easily reading words then a book with words would be more suitable for him.

buymeabook Mon 16-Nov-15 13:29:47

There's nothing stopping you having your own books to read with them too you know.

Curve Mon 16-Nov-15 13:30:09

I remember those. Standard stuff. I think its so the child can tell a story from the pictures alone. Write in the reading record that they've done that a couple of times and you'll soon be having books with actual words sent home.

Chilledmonkeybrains Mon 16-Nov-15 13:30:45

I was told it was so they understand the idea of a narrative and characters. Otherwise some kids will learn all the phonics and read almost robotically without actually knowing what the words mean or how they work together.

Write in the journal that you feel like they're ready for some with words. That's what it's for.

CrohnicallyAspie Mon 16-Nov-15 13:31:25

They are to help children learn that a sequence of pictures can tell a story, and to develop skills such as identifying the parts of a story (beginning, middle, end), being able to answer questions about the story- not just who/what/where but why and how- predicting what might happen next, relating it to their own experiences. Some children may not have even seen a book before starting school, others will have seen books but might not have developed all the above skills. The teacher needs to make sure all the children can do the above before moving on to books with words. Otherwise children can go through school being able to 'read' ie pronounce the words on the page, but have weak comprehension skills or cannot use deduction/inference to 'read between the lines'.

If they have the same book all week it's likely that the teacher isn't expecting you to read every night with your child, but maybe twice over the week plus the teacher/TA will in school.

PittacusLore Mon 16-Nov-15 13:33:00

Yes, mention it at parents eve.

The thing is with school reading schemes is that the teacher has 30 kids, whilst you only have 2. Therefore, you are always ahead in knowing where your kids are up to before the teacher. You probably listen to your kids read every day, while the teacher only hears them read about once a half term (or less for actual assessment). These books were appropriate when they were last listened to and assessed, but that wont change until they are next assessed.

I bought a box set of ORT from the book club very reasonably and let my kids work through them at home in their own pace. They used to jump several levels at each reading assessment.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Mon 16-Nov-15 13:34:13

Why yes, I do know that Buymeabook.

What I don't know is the significance / purpose of books without words which was my original question.

I also don't want to undermine the theory of whatever school are doing with them so if it has to be books with no words for a reason then that's fine. School havent communicated anything to us.

buymeabook Mon 16-Nov-15 13:34:28

Sorry if that sounds a bit glib... From my recollection of these books it's starting off a framework of understanding what's going on in the stories. So rather than concentrating on just words, it is following the story, seeing the emotions in what's going on etc (there are normally questions in the back for these sorts of things).

But, the teachers made it very clear that this is just one aspect, and they encouraged reading at home too, from a variety of books. If they get bored after a couple of days then you've probably spent enough time on it.

buymeabook Mon 16-Nov-15 13:39:13

It's not great that the school haven't explained anything yet. We had parents workshops (different to parents evening) explaining how they wanted the books to be use (as well as numeracy etc).

dodobookends Mon 16-Nov-15 13:56:22

These books didn't do my DD any favours at all. When she moved on to the ones with a few words on each page and the teacher asked her to say what happened next, she would completely clam up and say she didn't know. The teacher said at parents evening that DD didn't seem to have any understanding of stories at all and would move her back to the pictures-only ones until she was satisfied.

It was only when DD was old enough to explain to us how she felt, that we realised what was going on. She thought that the teacher was expecting her to guess the exact words that would be on the next page and she was scared of getting the answer wrong and being told off, so said she didn't know.

It all came to a head when she was asked to explain the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The teacher took me to one side and said she was concerned about DD's memory as she couldn't seem to recall anything about the story, despite the class watching a puppet show, and having the story read out loud to them all.

At home, I asked DD why she had told the teacher she didn't know the story (I already knew she did know it really well). DD said that she didn't know which one to tell her about.

Was it the story book we had at home, the pantomime she'd seen with us, the book at school, or the puppet show? All the stories were a bit different and she didn't want to tell the teacher the wrong one and get into trouble!

I tried to explain all this to the reception teacher so she would understand why DD hadn't been able to answer the question but go nowhere.

Perhaps the books without words don't work for everyone.

d270r0 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:27:49

Yes, my ds in reception had these up to October half term. Even though I had already taught him to read a bit already! They were boring and he didn't like them. I bought my own set of books (Songbirds are really good) and used those as well (still looked at the school book but it only took a few minutes). Thankfully now he is on to books with words.
Yes I would definitely ask the teacher when they will progress. Be aware she might say not until after christmas though, I know some schools do that.

fleurdelacourt Mon 16-Nov-15 14:34:13

do mention it at parents evening but - don't wish yourself onto the word books before you have to - Chip, Biff and co still make me shudder.

You could always try making up funny stories to go with the pictures?

LaurieMarlow Mon 16-Nov-15 14:49:44

There are an absolute wealth of things you can do with these kinds of books - 'reading' through pictures, stimulating imaginations, understanding story structure and progression, noticing and analysing detail.

if you can't facilitate that then ask the teacher for help. But they shouldn't be 'bored' - in the right hands they are an amazing resource.

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 16-Nov-15 15:02:00

Definitely don't wish yourself into the world of Biff, Chip and Kipper, it's already doing my nut in grin. I love DD drawing a picture and telling me the story around it, using her imagination, those BC&K stories are boring as!

Get some early reading books for use at home (we got some as DD was the opposite and wouldn't do phonics for ages!) but the variation in the stories was good for everyone. I still point things out in the pictures though or ask DD questions about what she thinks characters might be feeling. It really tests her vocabulary to be able to explain herself and is an added skill over and above simply sounding out phonics.

Have a chat with the teacher though, she might be able to give you some guidance on how best to progress with your DCs in a way that dovetails with their school curriculum too.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 16-Nov-15 15:25:54

haha they wont last I can safely assure you

soon it will be


good times ARE ahead I tell ya

DonkeyOaty Mon 16-Nov-15 15:54:20

Or "look" "look" "look"

I am enraged all over again and my reception years are far behind me!

(The drunken donkey is a goodun though)

laffymeal Mon 16-Nov-15 15:58:25

Has the teacher not put the extended story in the reading bag? You read this in conjunction with looking at the pictures, incorporating prediction and wider discussion.

JoySzasz Mon 16-Nov-15 16:03:52

The biff & chip series have questions at the back, use those for discussion.
Very soon you will start to get words, your children's teacher has no choice!
Your children's teacher will want them reading.
I used to buy different books to use along side.

Pedestriana Mon 16-Nov-15 16:06:43

DD started school recently able to read a few simple words. The first few books brought home were ones with no words, which she didn't like. In the end, I let the teacher know that she was bored and asked me why she had them. Since then, it's been phonics books only.
I fully understand that children develop reading skills at different stages, but unless the teachers are aware of how much you read/they read at home, then they'll probably keep everyone on the same type of books.

JoySzasz Mon 16-Nov-15 16:12:06

I am a TA in reception. The teacher l work with tests the children very regularly - she definitely knows what children are ready to blend sounds.
They can't just leave it to chance, they have to test regularly.

JoySzasz Mon 16-Nov-15 16:13:59

If phonics suddenly clicks, then it won't be long. Some of the children in our class have words already. Many are still working with pictures.

HSMMaCM Mon 16-Nov-15 16:31:21

I agree with others that it's a great way to check that children understand story structure, what happens next, etc. Just write a note in the reading journal for the teacher to see and read your own books too.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Mon 16-Nov-15 16:52:20

Thanks allsmile

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