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Reception - when to move from one reading book to the next?

(19 Posts)
HappyAsEyeAm Tue 18-Sep-12 21:34:56

DS started reception last week. He does full days, 5 days a week. Really enjoying it so far.

The school teaches reading through sight memorisation, rather than phonics. Say the word as you see it.

Last Thursday, he came home with his first reading book - Oxford Learning Tree purple series booke one called "Hide and Seek". He had read it with the teacher that day, and did so again on Friday and yesterday. We read it at home on Thursday night, Friday night and last night. We talked about the pictures, the story etc.

The school also sent him home with flashcards, which include the words in the Hide and Seek book. We read all of those words too, and DS made up a sentence using each of the words. But he clearly couldn't read most of the words, even last night. He knew maybe a quarter of them on the flashcards. He didn't know any of the words in the book on any of the nights the first or second time we read the book, but by the time we did it the third time each night, he knew what was coming.

My question is - I don't think he can read the words in the book. But today,. he has come home with a different book called "Look at Me". So, should he have been able to recognise all the words in Hide and Seek before moving on to Look at Me? Is the point that he shoudld be able to recognise the words in the first book before moving on to the second book? Or not?

holyfishnets Wed 19-Sep-12 00:05:52

To keep his interest (and your sanity) it's probably best to read a book a few times and then change it, keeping on the same book level.

piprabbit Wed 19-Sep-12 00:16:52

The same words will appear in all the ORT books of the same level. So he will keep seeing the same words being repeated time and again, even though the books change.
Changing the books frequently stops everyone getting bored. It also means that your DS won't be able to rely on memorising the story and just repeating it parrot fashion.

tedglenn Wed 19-Sep-12 07:00:57

Can i butt in and ask what the protocol should be for reading books. DS has just started reception. He can't read yet. Was sent home with his first book on Monday, I read it with him, noted this in his reading record book, along with how he pointed out the high-frequency words etc. We put the book back in his bag, and yesterday he got a new one, this one much more of a story book (something I would expect a much older child to read on their own - Ladybird Little Stories series). DS told me he chose it himself. So DH read it to him, and wrote in the book record book. Do we send this book back to school so DS gets another, or should we be reading it again and again to him?

DeWe Wed 19-Sep-12 11:09:49

If he chose it himself it may well be a "library" book. My dc always have a reading book and a library book. The reading book they're meant to read to you. The library book if up to you (both) as to you can read it to him, me can read it to you, or a combination.

tedglenn Wed 19-Sep-12 11:58:01

Ah, that makes sense, it must be a library book. I've been turning the books around on a daily basis. Am I going to look like mad pushy mum if I keep doing that? Do the teachers prefer you to keep the reading book for a few days and re-read with him (he can't read yet BTW, and unless its a cracking story (which the early reading books definitely aren't!) he doesn't like revisiting a book he's already read).

GoldenPeppermintCreams Wed 19-Sep-12 12:17:05

Ted Glenn - In my son's school they encourage them to read a book a day.

To the OP, I would read the book once then send it back, if you think he'll get bored. Or maybe once with mummy then once with daddy, or once in the evening and once in the morning if you think he'd be happy with that.

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 20-Sep-12 20:33:14

Thanks for the feedback. It is the teacher who decides when he should have a new book, not me or DS. We are into our third night of Look At Me. Hoping that we won't have a full weekend of it!

piprabbit Thu 20-Sep-12 20:34:42

If you are both bored - why not read something different Friday/Saturday and then return to the school book Sunday night?

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 20-Sep-12 20:38:44

pip we read loads. At least five books before bedtime on weekend nights. And others during the day. I was just wondering what the aim of the reading book was ie was it to learn all the words nefore moving on, or just to start to recognise them, or just enjoy the book, or what! I'm new to formal learning, really.

Pleaseputyourshoeson Thu 20-Sep-12 21:06:41

Happy As- the books complement the High Frequency Words and help them see that these jumble of letters in the books are actually words that can make stories, and the books give the kids pictorial clues as to what the text might say, so it's about getting them used to the most frequent words coming up time and time again with Dinner Time, Naughty Joe, Hide and Seek etc. the phonics will get taught stage by stage but the High Frequency Words don't fit into all the starter phonic phases but are in lots of of story books so once they learn them - ( first ones are look mum dad said I in at dog cat...) they can begin to enjoy those books with some confidence in realising they can read some words. Read the books a couple of times, ask your child what they've understood, what the picture is showing etc then concentrate on the flash card words and maybe ask them to point those words out in the story book. After that just wait/ask for a new book. Sometimes the delay in only getting one new reading book a week is purely down to the length of time it takes to change 30 books and write them in the reading record and haven't through hearing each child read once. hope this helps?

Haberdashery Thu 20-Sep-12 21:20:50

I think it's probably pretty bad practice to be teaching by look and say, tbh, from what I've read on here, though proper teachers could tell you why better than I can. Of course he can't read all those words and even recognising them is going to be a stretch after a week or two for most children. Are the flash cards high frequency words? If so, what worked for me and my DD when she started was to write them really big on bits of A4 card and we played a game where she had to jump onto each one as I called it out. Obviously lots of encouragement when she jumped onto me instead of we or whatever, pointing out that she'd got it half right. But is your son really getting no phonics instruction at all? That sounds unlikely. Most schools will send home sight words alongside teaching phonics and for most children they will start to meld the two together as they gain knowledge and confidence.

However, in answer to the main question, no he shouldn't necessarily know everything in a book before it's changed because then he'd get terribly bored doing it again and again. Just keep reading to him and pointing out words and helping him see the sounds in the words. It's worth pointing out the sign Tesco, for instance, and saying T-Eh-S-C-Oh - look up how to pronounce the letter sounds on the web and there are lots of resources. I would ask about phonics at school, though, because even if they are sending high frequency words home to be learnt it doesn't mean they're not also doing phonics with him at school.

Silibilimili Thu 20-Sep-12 22:25:21

op, I had the same question aa you this week. When is the right time to move onto the next level? My dd started off on level 2 (red band) upon joining reception. We found the books too boring/dull and dd could read it in 2mins flat, most of the words or at least sound them out letter by letter and then 'blend' with a little help. Spoke to her wonderful teacher on Monday and she suggested we try level 3 alongside level 2. Working fab right now.
I also figure that she does not need to 'know' all the words in a level to be able to move on to the next as long as she can decipher 85% of the book. Hopefully there will be lots of overlapping between level 2 and level 3 too.
Dd reads the books twice. More than that they are quite dull. Specially the biff kipper verity.
Dd does a combination of 'blending, remembering and guessing from pictures' to read. I recon that's fine. The point is to just keep going and build up more and more of a vocabulary. One day she remembers a word she came across a few days ago and some days I suspect she will forget them and need reminding. All part and parcel of Learning.
I assume the key is to keep then challenged and interested.
The teachers are holding a meeting in a few weeks at our school to discuss how Maths and english are taught.

GraceVentura Thu 20-Sep-12 22:34:06

I'd say that the main aim is to keep them interested, and praise fulsomely all first attempts at recognising what's going on in a book, whether that's the general storyline, individual letters, sounds or whole words.

Personally I think that frequently changing reading books in Reception is a good thing, the point is to stimulate interest and enjoyment, not memorise entire books.

HappyAsEyeAm Fri 21-Sep-12 21:30:09

Thanks very much for the explanations and advice. I really appreciate it. I think I am going to try and chat to the teacher about how reading is taught and what her expectations of DS are (his reading record says everyday "Please keep working on the [flashcard] words with DS" and "DS needs to keep working on the words" - I read the book at least twice with him go through the cards at least twice and we make up sentences using each of the wprds on the 15 flashcards). I don't know if I am doing it wrong, as he isn't grasping the words on the flashcards very easily, despite memorising the same words in the book. Or maybe I am the teacher is expecting too much in the frst two weeks.

Haberdashery Sat 22-Sep-12 21:19:20

>> he isn't grasping the words on the flashcards very easily, despite memorising the same words in the book

He's probably just memorising the sentences in the book rather than the words, if you see what I mean. Also, yes, the teacher is expecting a lot after two weeks. If I were you, I'd definitely have the chat with the teacher. And maybe ask about phonics instruction and how that works at school. Is it a normal state school in the UK or are you somewhere else/following a different system?

HappyAsEyeAm Sat 22-Sep-12 21:39:07

Haberdashery* we are in the UK. Its a small private school. I need to speak to the teacher I think to make sure we're on the same page.

hophophippidtyhop Sun 23-Sep-12 08:19:49

We read books on oxford owl to add some variety between changing books.

Haberdashery Sun 23-Sep-12 12:09:16

Has he ever played the Alphablocks games on the CBeebies website? They are great fun and quite good for starting to put letters together and see that they make a word.

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