Learning to read books- 4yo(11 Posts)
My DD (who'll be 4 in May) is showing great interest in learning to read. Can anyone recommend a great series of books which have simple words for her to read herself (with my help) along with a story? Ideally ones where the books in the series gradually get harder. I remember the Peter and Jane ladybird books from when I was a child and was hoping for something like those (but more modern!)
Mine still liked Jane and Peter!
I found the Bunny and bee books great at early stages. They're quite repetitive (they all start with "Here is a house, a house in a tree, the house is the home of Bunny and bee") and easy words without being boring.
I wrote a few of my own for my DCs. Quite easy once you've invented a character, which can be tailored to their interests. Then you can adjust the vocabulary to suit.
Cut some A4 paper sideways, and sew up the spine to make a little book for little hands. If she likes drawing, leave room for her to illustrate them.
Have you tried your local library?
Most schools use biff and chip ones, may be worth looking for those in library?
Does she know her phonics?
I'd start there if you haven't already.
Biff and chip books are good and all schools I've had dealings with have used them too. Can buy them from book clubs or library
These are 'speed sounds' from when our other dc was in Reception. They learn the letter by making the sound.
These also have the picture on the back and instruction on how to write the letter (jolly phonics I think).
But you basically repeat learning the sounds for five/ten minutes a day. Just a few sounds at a time-not the whole alphabet. Then when it comes to reading (in theory) the dc already knows/recognises the sound of the letters that make up the word.
Have to say it worked really well with our dc and our youngest started reception in September so I've just started showing/teaching 'speed sounds' to him.
Thanks everyone- I really appreciate all these ideas. I'm actually going for a visit to DD's future school tomorrow so I'll ask them which method they use.
Spoke to her school and they said they use the Oxford reading tree. There seem to be 6-8 books for every stage of the "tree"- is this correct? How long does it usually take a child to complete each level? And does stage 1 reiterate phonics before starting to move on to actual reading...? Sorry for all the questions!
Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems are gorgeous.
Repeated words/sentences, sentence per page. Very funny material, to make them want to keep looking at it. In fact, since I just mentioned it to DD (aged 8), she's gone off to find There is a Bird on Your Head to read it again
There are many more than 6-8 books per 'book band' in ORT. However the vast majority of them are 'non-decodable'. Floppy's phonics and Songbirds are phonics based series within ORT. There are about 6 Floppy's Phonics books per stage and 12 Songbirds books per stage, up to level 6/orange.
There are huge differences to reading abilities in children within one school year. On average, children read levels 1-3 (pink, red, yellow) in reception, then 4-6/7 (blue, green, orange, turquoise) in Y1. Levels 7/8-11 (turquoise, purple, gold, white, lime) in Y2. If they are following a decent phonics programme and use books matching the children's phonics abilities (which they are required to by law, i.e. the statutory parts of the NC; but I'd hazard an estimate that less than half of all schools adhere to this) - then by stage 6/orange books a child should be able to read (as in, decode) 'any' book. From then on books become harder in that they use more complex grammar, longer sentences, the books overall are longer, and they cover less familiar topics. Rather than more phonics.
Some schools are quite good at differentiating and will teach the children phonics at the level they are at, but some will just do whole class teaching and differentiate only in the books given for home reading. In our case that meant that in the whole of reception, the children were taught phonics that DS knew before he started - because, like your child, he had had a strong interest to learn and was like a sponge with what I taught him before school. So it was a re-cap of stuff he knew already. Not a problem really, and phonics 'lessons' were short, not a large enough part of the school day to cause boredom. But the reading books he was given were at the phonics level that was taught in Y1. So I had little choice but to teach him the Y1 phonics when he encountered it in his reading books in reception. Which then meant that phonics lessons in Y1 were just a re-cap again.
Just saying this as one possible problem that can arise from teaching them yourself before school. However I'll point out that some children in DS' year started without knowing any phonics at all, but picked it up so quickly that they flew through the levels and had the exact same issues as DS had - that the phonics teaching pace was too slow for their rapidly growing skills. Others in contrast could not keep up with the phonics teaching pace.
What I'm saying is it's a problem that can arise in any school that doesn't differentiate effectively, and has little to do with you teaching/not teaching your child beforehand.
On Oxford Reading Owl you can take a look at what books in the various bands look like.
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