Parent reading meeting - what would you like and NOT like to hear?(21 Posts)
I am in the process of organising a meeting for parents on reading and supporting their child/ren to read. It will be for Foundation stage and Key stage 1 parents.
I wondered if some of you could share your thoughts on ...
If you were to attend a parent reading meeting, what would you like to hear- what would you find most useful and also what would you not like to hear!
Well, on the basis of common posts on MN :
- what to do if your
genius DC is on level 1 at school but actually reads Shakespeare fluently at home?
- why can the teacher not listen to each child every
- why are books not changed
On a slightly more serious note, I guess people might want to know:
- how reading is taught in school
- role of teacher & role of parents
- what is "normal" and what to worry about
- what to do if dc is struggling
- how to check if dc understands what they are reading?
- how to encourage reading with expression
- how to support and encourage reluctant readers
- how to choose suitable books from the library etc
Some of the practical stuff helps clear up misunderstandings later: eg.
How often do books get changed/what is the process; what to do if you want a book changed more/less often?
How often do teachers read with pupils/how will parents know (ie we are doing group reading & it won't be in your reading record
What sort of info is helpful in the reading record; who looks at this & how often
How easy to read should home books be?
What sorts of things can you focus on when reading (ie moving beyond decoding)
I would like to hear that the school is providing phonics books for the kids to learn to read on, not ORT / "whole word" books.
Would second what to write in the Reading Log. What sort of comments are useful for teachers to see.
most of the parents who attend these meetings will be very supportive of their childrens reading but it would probably be a good idea to explain why home reading books may seem easy, why they don't progress through levels as quickly parents may expect (comprehension etc)
the problem is the parents that don't support their child's reading won't come to the meeting
Tell the parents that the child who is read to at home on a regular basis when the child is very young will become a fluent reader quickly.
Mention the importance of reading at bedtime.
Encourage them to develop a love of books in their children.
Encourage them to take their children to the library at least every two weeks.
Tell them that reading is so important for writing, spelling, imagination and literacy in general.
Remind them to check that their children understand what they are reading, you could if very interested..do out a little passage with a list of "testing " questions on same passage..tell them to use these kinds of questions when testing their child's comprehension.
Remind them that there are 30 students in the class and therefore it is impossible to listen to every child every day.
Remind them to stop moaning at the school gates about "changing the books!"
Tell them to encorage their own child to be responsible enough and interested enough to want to change the book and if the book is not changed...have enough reading material at home to do some other reading anyway.
Finally, mention what is normal and what is not normal....if the child is struggling tell them they need to see the teacher and help and support as required.
If the child is doing well...tell them to stop comparing levels and focus on their own child instead of comparing with other children in the class.
Remind them that the vast majority of children learn to reead successfully and it just "clicks in " earlier for some more than others.
I am sure the parents who attend will be all the interested ones anyway and unfortunately the ones who need to be there may not be interested enough to attend in the first place!
Give the message that you understand lots of parents are doing some or all of what you are suggesting already - I hate being lectured "You must do this, you must do that" as though I have never before looked at a book with my child. Explaining the reasons behind your requests helps parents understand the importance. Remind parents that reading can be looking at a cereal packet or a sign on the bus, more than just books.
An explanation of how your particular reading scheme works would be helpful.
I'd welcome some hints as to what child should be working on other than basically decoding the words (e.g. reading with expression).
Also how you discuss a book with a child. This sounds like it should be obvious but as I've had far too many "discussions" about books with my DC that involve them giving mono-syllabic answers, I would like some pointers.
how you tackle books other than straight fiction books e.g. poetry, play scripts, non-fiction
Remind them that its not a competition, and to stop caring about book bands. That the point of learning to read is that books are brilliant.
We had a good meeting at our school. I think the best points were:
Every child learns at their own level. It's not a competition.
Reading to your child is the best thing you can do.
If your child isn't wanting to read at home then don't force them. Read the book to them/do every other page/find something different. Come and tell the school so they can try and help.
Different children learn in different ways. Phonics is the current vogue but if they are doing whole word recognition (face it that's what adults do most of the time) that is still reading and they can work on phonics.
Looking at the pictures to help work out the words is fine.
If they are finding the subject of the book boring, then come and talk to the school and they will try and find something in their interest, maybe not an "official" reading book.
And they explained how the reading works, about school library books, and the diary etc.
Please, please, please could you give a demonstration or go through "how to hear your child read".
Because no-one ever tells you - it's something you're supposed to make up yourself. So it would be more helpful than anything to know when/how to prompt and what to do - tell the child the word, tell the child the first bit, get them to sound it out?
I've just made it up as I go along with mine, but wonder if I'm doing the right thing sometimes.
how long to read with the child/ when to stop
how to give feedback to the school about what you've heard - filling in the reading record isn't obvious until you've seen it done
what to look for i.e. expression comes after
advice on setting time aside each evening as 15 mins per night is much more valuable than 30 mins 3x per week
when to help/ when to let the child struggle
not to correct mid sentence, but better to wait until they get to the bottom of the page
what to do if you think the books set are too hard/ easy/ just plain boring
you might as well tell them about the colour bands because they'll work this out anyway and then its as though you are treating the parents like grown ups
Going through the correct pronunciation of the sounds to help sounding -out. muh-a-tuh does not join blend together to make mat.
Thank you everyone to taking the time to give your suggestions.
Hopefully, the reading meeting will now be very useful to parents - I would hate for parents to take the time to come to leave feeling it has been a waste of time.
Thanks once again
It might be nice to put the main points on a letter, it will help parents remember what you have told them & can also be given out to parents who can't make the meeting.
Permission to throw the reading log in the bin.
Sorry if you have one dyslexic absolutely useless reader and one child who reads better than you at age 6. There really aren't enough ways of saying "bigger starlet did everything in her power to avoid actually reading her book again today" in a polite positive manner. Or "little starlet read beautifully and with expression tonight" without DD2 getting a head the size of a planet and DD1 getting mildly fed up.
Thanks everyone for your ideas and suggestions - it has been a big help
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but I remember being totally flummoxed by a 'reading book' with no words when my DS was v young. Guidance on how to deal with these would have been most useful then.
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