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ORT Book Bands /Levels Reading Chest Confused... HELP!

(23 Posts)
woodlysmum Sat 30-Jul-11 19:55:14

Hi There

Thanks to recommendations on here we signed DS1 (4.10) up to Reading Chest and he has been really enjoying it. We had kept him on Book band 8 (purple) for quite a while, as he hasn't started school yet, but thought it was time to move him up as he could read and comprehend the books with ease and has been reading books like Roald Dahl quite confidently.

However, we got our first 3 books at Book band 9 (Gold) and 2 of the ORT books which say 'Stage 9' are at lower levels- Book Band 7 and 8. The Collins Big Cat is 'Stage 9' and Gold.

I am very confused about the ORT books- why are they Stage 9 but have lower 'book bands'? He read them very easily, so now I'm confused as to whether he should be on Stage 9...FWIW he had no trouble with the Collins Big Cat book.

Any help to decipher all of this would be great! Thanks...

thecaptaincrocfamily Sat 30-Jul-11 23:19:39

Its really great that he is good at reading and loves books but surely the holidays is a time that most children, especially at that age enjoy being active outside, creating things etc? I really wouldn't obsess about reading books. Just visit the library and allow him to pick the books he enjoys regardless of whether it is easy or not. Just like us, children do not always want to read their equivalent of war and peace ! Easy is fine! smile Enjoyment is more important.
If he has any weaker areas it would be more helpful to engage him in play in these areas rather than placing so much emphasis on reading.
That said then this link may help

stopkickingthatmackerel Sun 31-Jul-11 09:45:47

In answer to the OP's question scheme books can be judged to be at a higher or lower book band than the "Stage" printed on the book by the publishers. I have experienced this with my DD's in the past.

blackeyedsusan Sun 31-Jul-11 11:38:09

i think reading chest have a note near the beginning about ort levels.

Runoutofideas Sun 31-Jul-11 14:28:28

The different schemes are all designed for different purposes and are categorised as closely as they can be into book bands, but it is not an exact process.

I don't think the levels as such matter hugely in that once he's reached purple/gold/white etc he has clearly mastered the basics of reading. I would ditch the levels and just let him read whatever he likes the look of. Could be Roald Dahl one day, the Gruffalo or a more basic picture book the next. He must enjoy reading to have got to that level so young so maybe give him control of what he reads until he goes to school He will still progress and have more fun from doing so.

Also you may find that as he progreeses through the levels, he can read the books fine, but the content may become a bit too grown-up for him. This was certainly the case for dd1. They don't need reading to be challenging every time as that is one way to put them off enjoying it. Variety is the way to go I think.

thecaptaincrocfamily Sun 31-Jul-11 23:42:19

I have found this website which levels most reading books

also this which gives reading age/ book band colour and corresponding recovery level

The levels in the former link correspond to recovery levels. HTH smile

mrz Mon 01-Aug-11 09:00:12

The Somerset levels are very odd (I'm assuming they are Reading Recovery levels) so won't match to Book Banding / NC /publishers stages/levels.

The second link is to PM benchmarking which again is a "individual" system which uses it's own colour bands

neither are used universally

muffinflop Mon 01-Aug-11 09:19:07

Surely I can't be the only one who thinks Reading Chest is ridiculously overpriced?? What's wrong with the library? If your DS is reading Roald Dahl then why do reading scheme in your spare time? Leave that for school and just let him choose his own books from charity shops or the library.

mrz Mon 01-Aug-11 09:31:42

I think it plays on parents insecurities, dare I say it vanity, guilt and our desire to do the best we can for our children

NoseyNooNoo Mon 01-Aug-11 09:33:15

I can't help on the book bands but I would say that I think it's more important for a young child to read a breadth of reading material rather than to advance through the bands. My daughter is starting school in September and I think she is on the Green book band which I believe is relatively advanced. However, her teacher says that she will keep her on her current book band for quite a while so that she can read a breadth of genres and material which I think makes a lot of sense.

forwantofabetter1 Mon 01-Aug-11 10:10:48

If you have an under 5 that is capable of reading and understanding the concepts in a Roald Dahl book then surely you do not need to be obsessing about book bands. He must enjoy reading so why not let him choose stories that interest and motivate him. Some picture books and lower banded books have beautiful stories in them that even adults can derive pleasure from. It would be shameful to dismiss books because they werent at the right level!

Mashabell Mon 01-Aug-11 11:30:33

The only thing that parents should be concerned about is that their children enjoy reading.

The book bands are based mainly on the number of words with tricky letters in them, such as 'any, many, father' as opposed to 'cat, sat, mat' in which all letters have their main sound.
and if u want to know more about those.)

Many stories for children were written simply to interest them, without the authors giving any thought to the phonic trickiness or straightforwardness of the words used they used, so they don't always fit into the banding.

It is only recently that publishers have started commissioning stories with progression in phonic complexity.

Neutral1 Mon 01-Aug-11 12:27:19

Mrz, I thought RR levels could be matched to book bands or am I wrong in this? Confused now... Thanks

mrz Mon 01-Aug-11 13:15:43

A single book band can cover a huge range of RR levels and the same RR level can fit in 2 or more bands because of a difference in criteria.

Neutral1 Mon 01-Aug-11 13:18:20

Thanks! That explains a few things...if only life was simple grin

mrz Mon 01-Aug-11 13:19:01

Mashabell you obviously have never encountered the GayWay reading scheme of the 60s &70s if you think phonic reading schemes are a recent idea.

Mashabell Mon 01-Aug-11 18:51:43

Mrz, the point I was trying to make was that most story tellers or writers try to pitch vocabulary at the level of their audience, but don't think about how the words are spelt.

Books written for phonics reading schemes take spelling into account. That's why their stories are so often excruciatingly boring.

muffinflop Mon 01-Aug-11 19:18:09

Phonic reading schemes are definitely not a new phenomonem! I remember Jennifer yellow hat and Roger Red Hat from primary school and distinctly remember reading 'the big red van went up the hill. The pots and pans went up the hill'. That was 20+ years ago!

mrz Mon 01-Aug-11 19:22:07

muffinflop the pots and pans went up the hill is the GayWay scheme! although they changed the name to NewWay ... One Two Three and Away had Roger, Billy, Jennifer and that naughty Percy in the village with three corners grin I suffered too

mrsshears Mon 01-Aug-11 20:04:43

ooohhh i loved roger red hat and rip the dog!
I remember when i was in reception we had a huge model of the village and all the characters.
I wonder if these books still get used or are sold anywhere?i'd love one!

muffinflop Mon 01-Aug-11 20:19:23

Here you go! mrsshears

mrsshears Mon 01-Aug-11 20:28:12

thanks muffin,well worth a bid!

Lizcat Tue 02-Aug-11 13:55:59

There are some schools that still use Billy Bloody Blue hat. Our school had several names as it was absorbed into a senior school from the name stamped in the book these were purchased around 1979 and are carefully maintained by both teachers and parents - lots of sellotape as the children love them.

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