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Reception/Reading... another question

(13 Posts)
Ellbell Wed 12-Jan-05 11:01:31

Hi. I'm new here.

I just have a question about children starting reading in Reception. My dd is 4 yrs 8 months and in Reception (still part-time at the moment). She is on the ORT scheme, which I like - and so does she. The way it works in her class, though, is that she has a little plastic tub with words in that she has to learn. When she has learnt a particular set of words she is allowed to have the ORT book in which they are included. I just wanted to see whether this is the 'normal' way of doing things. I am a (foreign) language teacher, and I would normally always try to introduce new words in context, before using them out of context. The way my dd is being taught to read seems to work the other way around. She only gets a context once she is able to read the word out of context. Sometimes she finds this quite hard (i.e. she has been stuck on 'said' for a while now, and because of that she's not being allowed a new book, even though she can read the old book forwards backwards and sideways!). I have taken to making up stories for her, using the 'hard' words, in order to invent a context for them... but maybe that's not what I am meant to be doing! It's just to try to stop her feeling so frustrated. I did mention it to the teacher at her first parents' evening, and she just said 'That's the way we do things here'. (BTW, it's a great school and my dd loves her teacher, so I don't have any complaints there.) I am just trying to understand the rationale behind doing it this way. Is it to stop her just guessing at words from the pictures, rather than really reading them? But, in any case, words like 'the' and 'said' can't really be shown in a picture... Any thoughts? Thanks.

amynnixmum Wed 12-Jan-05 11:22:24

My mum is a primary teacher and she says that it is common practice for children to use the picture to help them read the words. The story and the pictures are an important part of learning to read. Our school gives the children keywords alongside reading books. I think schools emphasize key words as these are part of the curriculum and certain words are expected to be known by the time the child goes up into year one. Also different children learn to read in different ways. My dd is 6 and she uses a combination of word recognition through memory of the letters making up a known word and working a new word out phonetically. She also uses the pictures of the story and the context of the sentance. Ds is 4 and struggles with phonetics so we have to tell him what a new word is and he remembers it (sometimes). He also seems to recognise known words through the overall shape of the word rather than the letters that make it up. Apparently either way is fine at this stage of learning to read. There is no reason why you can't supplement her reading materials from school with stuff of your own at home. All good bookshops sell a variety of learning to read books for all ages.

amynnixmum Wed 12-Jan-05 11:22:58

Oh sorry, welcome to mn Ellbell

karenanne Wed 12-Jan-05 11:45:22

welcome ellbell
i was wondering this too lol my dd is in reception and she also seems to be reading by looking at the pictures.i've been telling her its ok but she must try to recognize the words too.

there schools way of learning keywords is very clever.the children are each given a page witha fish printed on it and the fish is divided up into different some sections there are keywords written.once the child has learnt the words and can spell them and write them they are allowed to colour the fish in and take it into school.then theyre 'tested' by the teacher writing the word down and them being able to recognize it.if they get them right they get a dd finds this real fun and it gives her a feeling of achievement

amynnixmum Wed 12-Jan-05 11:47:05

Yeah, our school does that one too but hey dont get a certificate.

Sponge Wed 12-Jan-05 11:55:08

My dds school does the ORT scheme as well and they learn specific words on cards - i.e. out of context as well.
I think the idea is to get them actually reading rather than guessing from context.
However I do supplement. Where "her" words occur in her bedtime stories I get her to read them, in context, and I have a magnetic board with all the reception and year 1 words on little magnetic bricks and we use those to make up sentences as she prefers to use her words rather than just learn them verbatim.
I'd go ahead and supplement the school's way of doing things with whatever you think best, especially if it makes it more enjoyable for your dd.

nasa Wed 12-Jan-05 11:58:23

if you can bear to trawl though it this thread has some excellent info about how children learn to read / what works best etc

Ellbell Wed 12-Jan-05 19:52:35

Thanks everyone. Nasa - will have a look at that now. After me starting to worry, today dd finally managed to remember 'said' and has got a new book ('Good Old Mum', which she seems to find hysterically funny as a title for some reason!).

IloveMarmite Wed 12-Jan-05 19:56:18

My dd's school does it the other way around. They all have a new book to take home every day which we read together figuring out the story through a combination of reading the words we know, working at the words which we might guess at and working out what might be happening from the pictures. I really like this method as I think it encourages a good understanding of books generally. ie. you are supposed to enjoy the story and not just read the words.

But maybe that is the end product of doing it your way as well, after all if they can already read the words in the book, then they can get on with enjoying the story.

IloveMarmite Wed 12-Jan-05 19:56:56

Sorry - didn't read in-between posts

Catflap Fri 14-Jan-05 19:15:56

Hi Ellbell, if you're still visiting your thread!

I'm quite new too - well, not so much in time any more but in posting. Don't seem to be able to get online much.

I would recommend anyone try to trawl through the thread nasa highlighted - I spoke quite a bit on there about the most effective methos of etaching reading - something most teachers seem blissfully unaware of, thanks to Government initiatives and incomplete research.

It is a major read, agreed - but hey, if you manage it, you will learn more in one thread than most teachers know after x years of training and y years of teaching! It's shocking, really, that teachers should be so misinformed about such a basic thing to teach. I was so cross when I found out all about it - through my own reading adn research - and so now try hard to help inform other people.

Basically, there is enjoying books and there is learning to read. The first one can occur on its own - the second certianly leads to the first.

Children should not be learning to read from the pictures - it is not the pictures that will help you understand the alphabetic code - the letters will.

Children should not be learning lists of words before being given a book - they should be taught how to read any words, ot just particular books.

What I read here is what is such common practice in so many schools. Thankfully, most children manage quite well regardless, one way of another. But it could be so much more straightforward for them right from the start - and for those that will always struggle...well, there is no need.

Do try and visit the thread!!

Ellbell Fri 14-Jan-05 20:05:37

Hi Catflap

Yeah, I'm still lurking around!

I haven't had time to check out that discussion yet (full-time job, 2 DDs under 5 and DH who works shifts... life gets a bit manic!) but I definitely will.

DD1 has had two new books this week, after being 'stuck' for ages, and so she is a lot less frustrated. But she confessed that "Mrs X (a classroom assistant, I think - I didn't know the name and DD described her as 'a helper, not a teacher') gave me the book even though I didn't remember all my new words", which kind of defeats the object! (Not that I mind )

Both my DDs love books and hearing stories read. (We are doing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the moment, which the 4-y-o loves.) But I agree that that's not the same as being able to read.

My dd seems to be getting quite good at recognising the letters/sounds, so I suppose it's working in one sense. But I am just so wary of her being put off reading in general. I just feel that, whereas when I was little I read because there wasn't a lot else (a couple of hours of TV after school, at the most); nowadays there are so many alternatives (CBeebies on a constant loop, video, DVD, internet) that it is even more important to ensure that reading is not equated with 'boring' from as early an age as possible.

Anyway, DD feels more positive at the end of this week than she did at the end of last, so I'm fairly happy. (And Violet Beauregarde has just turned into a giant blueberry, much to her great delight... so what more can I ask!)

Thanks again everyone.


PS By the way, I'm not rabidly anti-TV or anything - far from it. But I AM even more rabidly pro-reading

Ellbell Wed 19-Jan-05 20:18:06

Hi. Sorry to dredge up this old thread. I've been languishing with a tummy bug, but just sat down and read the previous thread about how children learn to read. Thanks to Catflap and the other contributors. I'm off to buy some Jolly Phonics at the weekend. Thanks again.

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