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How to read with your child (higher book bands)

(3 Posts)
redskyatnight Fri 09-Sep-11 19:22:29

Two pronged question coming up: DS finished his infants school as a free reader (which basically meant he'd worked his way through the standard NC book bands and had got beyond lime).

He's now at a junior school (Y3) and today has come home with a Ginn All Aboard Stage 11 book. I'm happy enough that he is back on a reading scheme as he was choosing very easy books as a free reader and wasn't happy to move out of his comfort zone. However I'm not familiar with the Ginn All Aboard books. Does anyone know how the level of this book compares to other schemes/real books etc?

Secondly, the book is a poetry book covering different types of poetry (haiku, limerick, short rhymmes, long rambling prose ...). The words themselves are easy enough for DS but the use of language is more complex than what he's used to. How best is this sort of book tackled as a reading book at home. Normally when we read together DS rushes through as fast as possible, I make him slow down and show some expression and then we have a very basic chat about what he's read. I'm thinking that something "more" is probably now expected but not really sure what it is ???

RosemaryandThyme Fri 09-Sep-11 20:53:01

Hi - Ginn is a very old and established series that are used by savvy teachers who have often given a lot of thought to extending each individual child when selecting the reading book to send home - I would give a Ginn book more time than say an ORT book.

I have not been able to find a cross-matching table that links Ginn with other series, I think because they are far more comprehension based than "technial reading skills" based.

One way to encourage a fast-paced boy would be to let him read the whole book (fast) then let him choose a favourite and investigate it by himself on the computer - perhaps finding say two further limericks, he could try writing one himself or copying one out in best handwriting.

Ferguson Fri 09-Sep-11 22:13:21


I was a primary TA for ten years, now a voluntary helper in a combined Yr2 / 3 / 4 class.

Our able readers often choose poetry books, but they are an extension of the Scheme books.

I get the child to look at how the form of a poem differs from prose; they invariable think it should rhyme, but of course not all poems do. There is often a Contents page, so child can choose which poem(s) to read, and not have to work through in sequence as in a story book.

I insist I am told the Title first; children often want to go straight to the first line of a poem, and it's nice to also name the writer, which invariably appears at the end. A poem's content may be quite obscure; for instance one about children seeing an old castle which then seems to come to life - but have the children fallen asleep and dreamt it? But then they see hoof prints on the ground! So the mystery is never resolved . . .

For a child that has the confidence to put in plenty of expression, changes of voice for characters, changes of pace to convey different moods, then poems give them space to express themselves. The more shy or reluctant reader can go a little way towards self-expression in a poem.

Children's poems are often humorous, even surreal, and again, this allows a different approach from prose.

I don't think there are any 'rules' how it should be tackled, just encourage a child to go 'further' than just reading the words. If it is a poem he can ENJOY, whether it be funny, mysterious, spooky, gory, etc then he should be able to put something of himself into it. Personally I would encourage quality rather than quantity, and one poem worked on thoughtfully is probably preferable to rattling through half a dozen.

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