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ORT reading for reception

(12 Posts)
Mimsie Fri 07-Jan-05 20:01:15

Hi there,

am new to the forum and I have a few questions about the book my son comes back home with.

He's 4 (going on 5) and in reception. during the first few month he was bringing home the reading 360 (or something like that!) which had the same words over and over and he had little "words to learn" which were everyday words (look, here, help, we, I, can, you, in and the likes)in various combinations. This ones I could work out how they went and he was fine with them.

Then they have moved him onto the ORT, the first series were just a few words and a lot of the characters names. then came some with weird and wonderfull things like "spaceman" "frying pan" well he can remember them but he certainly isnt reading them!!

and finally now he is on the ORT 1+ since the start of this week. again the book he's reading them fine but mainly through guess work. ie they characters are painting so he reads "we are painting" etc...

am I suppose to try and make him work out the sounds? or should I just leave him to enjoy them and not worry about the fact that there isnt all that much "reading" going on as such?

Sorry if I sounds silly to you all but I am french and this has nothing comparable to the way I was taught to read. we just learn with the sounds only. So I dont understand why a first reader book has "spaceman" in it because the C in it doesnt read like the sounds he has learned.

and finally and a bit out of the subject line he's getting 4 books a week and occasionally he gets maths and writing homework as well. this all seems a bit much to me for a little one. Is it fairly standard??

thanks in advance for your help and I hope I expressed my questions coherantly enough! Sorry for spelling mistakes!


janeybops Fri 07-Jan-05 20:17:13

reading is taught holistically - so phonics are taught but children are also taught to use other cues to help them read. Such as looking for clues in the picture. This is called the searchlight model of teaching reading, where children acces the text using a variety of strategies not just sounds.

Sounds like he is doing really well though

Allegra Fri 07-Jan-05 20:18:14

Hi,Mimsie. My ds1 is also in reception and has the ORT books. I have similar concerns to you. I think they are actually encouraged to work out the story from the pictures eg words like spaceman. I actually mentioned to his teacher I was concerned he was just guessing the words from context and she said that was what he was supposed to be doing!(This was when he was on Stage 1+)
It made me feel bad for I had been trying to get him to sound out each word and he was very reluctant to do it. She said sounding out words was a "separate skill" he would learn later.
I am not very impressed with this system as I dont think he is making the progress he should .

zebra Fri 07-Jan-05 20:46:58

What kind of progress do you want your DS to be making, Allegra?

I have a DS in reception, too.
He's not getting any homework, yet. Supposed to start in Year 1. We know another reception boy in what is supposed to be best (state) school for 15 miles around, and he brought home his 1st bit of homework the other day -- something to colour in. So Mimsie's Son's school does sound relatively demanding.
Then again, my DS can't read any words at all, yet. So perhaps the homework is partly why yours can?

When do you all go over the homework/ORT books? DH reads other books to the kids (6months-5 yrs) at bedtime, anyway. Hard to specially remember to go get DS's ORT book & look it over, too....

Allegra Fri 07-Jan-05 21:09:25

I would like him to look at his ORT book and attempt to read the words rather than look at the picture and guess till he gets it right.
As far as homework goes he gets 4-6 books a week and we are meant to read one every night with him.

Aniles Fri 07-Jan-05 21:24:00

Mimsie, I think you are right to be concerned. I'm surprised that reception classes are still trying to teach children to read like this. It is quite outdated and is considered to be quite damaging by many educationalists. There is currently a move away from the whole national literacy strategy which is being replaced in many schools by a synthetic phonics approach to reading and writing, which encourages reading by learning sounds and blending sounds in to words, rather than guessing. Have a look at the reading reform foundation for more information, maybe you could print out some information and pass it on to the foundation stage co-ordinator and the literacy co-ordinator at your child's school


lockets Fri 07-Jan-05 21:28:42

Message withdrawn

Allegra Fri 07-Jan-05 21:43:32

Thanks for the link,Aniles. Looks very interesting.

Christie Fri 07-Jan-05 22:49:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mimsie Fri 07-Jan-05 23:33:07

Thanks for all the responses.

I do feel it is a little too early for him all this but I must admit he is thoroughly enjoying it, he loves his latest books. As soon as his dad came in tonight he told him he had a sad book and went on to tell him all about it. so in a way the more complex words in there are making the story maybe more enjoyable.

So am a little torn between him learning to read properly and the fact that at the end of the day he is learning to love "reading" books. We do have to do sounds on quite a few words when the meaning is not pictured as such and they have taught him that school, but he can only use it on monosyllable words or very simple two syllables ones.

I find the english language can make "sound" reading a tad complex sometimes. for example there is a sound of the week (we have to bring in an object that start with that sound), last week was "i" well there are plenty of words starting with i, but appart from igloo, incences most of the others (ie ice, island etc...) are confusing.

French is in that respect a lot more straight forward (with a few exceptions of course) but we are not taught to read really until the equivalent of year 1.

I find it amazing that there is such a huge difference across different schools in this country.

I am a little annoyed that they are pushing my son. The previous year in nursery in another school he was given some 45 words to learn, he had only just turned 4 and I refused to bother him with them. I told my mum back home and she agreed with me, that he was far too young. So I had a chat when we went to visit the new school with one of the reception teacher assistant and we had both agreed we didnt believe in pushing children. She said that they were the reception words and to basically put that list aside until this year. I was a bit at the nursery.

But I have since found out that he is getting over twice the homework than his best friend is getting in the same class. So so much for not pushing... of course I am happy that he is doing fine don't get me wrong, but I don't want him to shoot up too fast either and lose interest! and as well lose touch with his classmates... How can you run a class with such disparity?!?

Mimsie Fri 07-Jan-05 23:54:35

Hi Christie,

I was about to go and see the teacher on monday actually and then I found this forum tonight so I thought I'd pour my heart out lol :D My husband thinks am making a mountain of a hill (or however the expression goes, I know I am missing a word) so I felt a little embarrassed at going at the teacher about it because at the end of the day like I wrote in the last message my son is perfectly happy with them... you should have seen his face when everyone was telling Floppy to go away and when he saw floppy walk out!! they give him two books at a time so he has a fair bit of time to enjoy them.

I can be a bit of an over paranoid mum I think. It is all soo new to me, it's not my native tongue, all my relatives are back in france where it's all different, and he is the first child in my husbands side of the family. All my husbands relatives are in London and we're up in Liverpool.

vess Sat 08-Jan-05 07:04:05

Hi Mimsie!
I understand how you feel, but if, as you said, your ds is happy, what's the problem then? My ds is dame age, they do something like that, books with words (they call them 'sightwords') and he's getting one book every one or two weeks, BUT they have to learn to recognise and 'read' everyone of those words outside the context of the book as well, ie if they see it on a page of words with no pictures. The teacher does a lot of games like 'who can find the word what' etc, and makes sure everyone knows these words.
Now, I know it's very boring and its been really hard to make ds do it as it is just memorising with no logic to it or anything...
but I don't think it can do any harm. Memorising is part of reading, especially in English, where spelling is not always 'logical' and there isn't alway a good reason for the way words are spelled.
So, although I would rather prefer that they finished the whole alphabet first, letters and sounds, and then started learning to read 'properly', I don't mind that much - can't do any harm anyway. As I said my main problem was persuading ds to do it, but he seems a bit better recenly...

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