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Teachers, what kind of books do you think a child needs to be reading to not need a reading scheme any longer?

(45 Posts)
newtermnewname Wed 21-Sep-11 19:49:47

Title says it all.


mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 19:55:27

War and Peace

MirandaWest Wed 21-Sep-11 20:00:11

I've never read War and Peace. Should I still have a reading scheme book? grin.

DS in year 3 has turned into a free reader. This does seem to have encouraged him to start reading a bit more I do like.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 21-Sep-11 20:03:03

Evening mrz - odd response - not like you at all, hope you haven't had a bad day, - I'm a bit confused with the "free-reading" idea too, at my sons' school they stop the scheme at "lime" level which seems a bit too young (some are only 7 when they finish).

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 20:05:17

Reading scheme books are designed to teach specific skills and using them doesn't exclude reading other books for pleasure. The rush to be a "free reader" often has a price

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 20:13:18

Sorry RosemaryandThyme the whole "free reader" thing annoys me greatly. It "cons parents into believing their child is a fully time served reader when they are in fact just beginning to develop all the finer skills. There children may be able to decode the text but few possess the maturity to make inference from what they have read. It is unlikely they can comment on the structure, the authors choice of language and purpose or use evaluative comprehension skills while relating texts to their origins.

newtermnewname Wed 21-Sep-11 20:44:08

mrz - whilst I agree wholeheartedly that lime level - level 3c? - is too early to allow a child to become a "Free Reader" (and I too hate that term because it seems to mean such different things in different schools) I am curious to know in schools that have a longer reading scheme as to where you make the decision to say " X is at level 3a/4/5 and can demonstrate the understanding of inference/language/structure etc - high level stuff - so therefore no longer needs to read the (deathly-dull-and-boring-and-guaranteed-to-switch-a child-off-from-seeing-the-pleasure-in-reading)scheme books?

pointythings Wed 21-Sep-11 20:51:25

I think it would be helpful if there were a source of information where high quality childrens' books could be mapped to the reading skills they develop.
That way parents could choose books they would enjoy reading to and with their children, and support the work being done at school at the same time.

At the moment it feels as if children are being dropped in at the deep end once they have come to the end of the various colour-banded/number-coded reading schemes.

I realise that it isn't that simple, of course - both my DDs have had books from school that were clearly structured for developing readers and managed to be thoroughly engaging too, but they seem worryingly low in number compared to the standard ORT fare.

I do think this is an area of reading support that needs developing in one way or another, because I agree with mrz that there is much, much more to reading than decoding the words.

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 20:53:26

It depends if you have a deadly dull reading scheme or an exciting one

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 20:53:35

Level 5

DownbytheRiverside Wed 21-Sep-11 20:56:43

We use a reading scheme and send another book home chosen by the child. So they are both a free reader and a scheme reader.
I taught at a school a while ago that had no systematic approach to reading and believed that immersion in good texts was enough to create readers.
It worked for some, the majority struggled with establishing many key skills.

newtermnewname Wed 21-Sep-11 20:58:37

Level 5? really? I would say personally that somehere within level 4 would surely be acceptable??? There are children in my DC's year 6 class who are as bright as they come, top tables throughout school, but are STILL on the sodding reading scheme! Tell me where the logic is in that?

RosemaryandThyme Wed 21-Sep-11 21:00:17

Good link, thanks mrz.

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 21:01:22

The book I linked to is level 5 sorry if I confused you (but I am not saying level 5 is an acceptable level not to need a reading scheme)

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 21:03:15

RosemaryandThyme we have purchased the full scheme of e books (all the way to level 5b) and finding they are incredibly popular with our pupils.

pantaloons Wed 21-Sep-11 21:11:41

Bloody hell mrz, I just jumped out of my skin when the shooting noises came on in that link! grin

My dc's school follow the ort scheme, but throw in other types of book and non-fiction as well, which seems to keep the children interested. I can't say the same for me as I am currently facing Floppy for the 3rd time wth my youngest!

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 21:14:37

much more engaging reading scheme than Biff Chip and friends eh pantaloons?grin

pointythings Wed 21-Sep-11 21:19:48

Just clicked on your link, mrz - brilliant!

spickles Wed 21-Sep-11 21:20:05

[waves to Mirandawest] my first RL spot!

newtermnewname Wed 21-Sep-11 21:22:16

Right, bringing a bit of order back to this thread, would you say that a child who was reading unabridged "Classics" at home for pleasure - in year three - would really need to be exposed to the horror that is ancient Ginn books at school?

pantaloons Wed 21-Sep-11 21:23:22

Just slightly mrz!

I'll have to show it to ds, the only problem is I'd then have to get him back onto the ort!

I realise the scheme books are there for a very good reason, but also feel that they can sometmes hold children back. I (stupidly) didn't realise how well ds could read until I saw another little girl in his class reading an Enid Blyton book at parents evening. When I was chatting with her mum it turned out she was on the same stage as ds. From then on I tried to extend the range of books he chose from the library, but it is tricky to match the fact that he can read most words to his understanding of the text and also at the same time keeping him interested.

sugartongue Wed 21-Sep-11 21:29:46

Urgh! This is what is wrong with reading today - the idea that children should be on reading schemes past the point where they can read anything! it stifles interest in reading because they are forced to read books which are deemed to be "age appropriate". No wonder children don't want to be bothered! I finished the reading scheme at school when I was in yr2 and then was just allowed to pick anything from the library, or bring one from home - and so began a life-long love of reading. So maybe at 6, 7, 8 I didn't fully understand the whole nature of everything I read but how do you think children learn and expand their understanding - by reading! and reading by choice! I had read most of Dickens before the end of primary school and many of the other classics and it only served me well. People often comment on my son's amazing vocab and subtlety of thought and even though he's dyslexic and couldn't read the novels himself, I read him anything he'll listen to and it's so clear that's why he can express himself so well. In fact, the only reason he wants to learn to read properly (given it's been such a challenge for him) is because he's aware of the wide world of reading out there - of everything he'd miss if he didn't get there. No child would get excited about it if they thought everything was Biff, Chip and Kipper...

choccyp1g Wed 21-Sep-11 21:32:18

We have a very long scheme at DS school, he was level 5c before they put him onto free reading. However, the teacher had moved others on earlier, as they were reading lots of school books, whereas DS was reading more of his own choice at home.

Free reading includes some schooly books like condensed Shakespeares, (yuk) but also real books such as Artemis Fowl, Wolf Brother etc.

When I read at school with Y6 children, if they have already started the book, I ask what's it about, are you enjoying it etc., before we read, and this week it was painfully obvious that some of the "free readers", really did not understand the stories.

mrz Wed 21-Sep-11 21:34:53

sugartongue logged in to check who is reading and it suggests that you are wrong about it stifling interest and them not wanting to be botheredjust

spickles Wed 21-Sep-11 21:35:02

I actually think waterstones sets it out really helpfully. The "confident readers" section suits most 6-7 + year olds. Then it skips to 9 to 12 years, which I find has a slightly "darker" feel to the books. DD can read those Older books, per se, but the subject matter sometimes doesn't feel age appropriate.

For eg, Charlie and chocolate factory sits in "confident readers" whereas "the witches" fits in 9-12 year section. DD (almost 8 and at level 3b) doesn't like the scary books but then we both yawn at all those sparkly awful fairy books. The Enid blyton faraway tree and wishing chair are good starters for free readers.

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