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Year 1 reading levels and teacher support

(52 Posts)
Dentvincent Sun 30-Sep-12 12:07:14

DD has just started year 1 and seems to have slipped with her reading. Im not sure if she is being missed at school or isnt moving on at all. School sorts books into different boxes and there seems to be a mixture of different ort books in each box. She started on their box 8 in reception and is now on 20. She was on 20 when she left reception. I'm now looking more closely at these books and there is a big variation. Todays one is level 1 again!! Is there method here - last week she had level 3 but same box. I'm also getting slightly concerned about how often she is being read with at school - so far once all term! We read every night with her and she seems to gallop through most of her books but as they are being set for phonics from 1/2 term, how can they assess her if they don't read with her?

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sun 30-Sep-12 12:10:55

Raise your concerns with her teacher and hopefully you'll get some information.

All schools are different and with it being the start of term is assume that they are still trying to sort everything.

I'm sure her teacher will put your mind at rest.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 12:16:11

Either there is no method or books are being returned to wrong boxes. I'm afraid the box 1.2, 3 ...20 is the school system not one you would necessarily find anywhere else.

If she is being set for phonics she will be tested/assessed on phonics and won't be influenced by hearing (or not hearing shock ) her read in class.

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 12:16:55

Don't rely on either the school or the school's books to teach your child to read or to improve her reading. Go to the library. The school can help, sure. But it has thirty children to teach and the chances are that you only have one or two. I'd say you have the advantage of being more effective even if you only have a few minutes in the evenings or mornings and some time at the weekend.

Dentvincent Sun 30-Sep-12 12:39:17

Oh we read every night - all sorts of books from home and the library. I wasn't 'relying' on school. We had a meet the teacher night to go through what should be expected and were told they should be read with at least once if not twice a week. I have left a message to speak with the teacher but this is difficult at work as I am unable to have a phone with me. I have also left notes in the reading diary. I think this is what worries me most - these have not been looked at either.
Thanks for the reassurance re phonics. But presumably moving through reading groups shows progression of phonics? And if no one is reading her diary or reading with her she is not 'allowed' to move up the boxes. She now is bringing home books we had 2 weeks ago. Which is fine except she has a good memory which obviously isn't necessarily the same as reading!!

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 13:42:40

When my daughter brings home books which are too easy for her we only spend a couple of minutes on them, then we read a proper book. But in her reading record I record both books. I spend a minute or two writing about the simple book and spend most time writing about the proper book, even if it has come from the library. I don't think reading simple things harms children, but dwelling on simple things long after the child has progressed probably bores them. So don't dwell.

RosemaryandThyme Sun 30-Sep-12 14:34:32

I'm with learnandsay on this one, there are so many complaints here and in RL regarding reading books at school that to be honest you could be on the teacher's back all year and exhaust yourself.

If you can, think of school reading as supporting your efforts to get your child reading.
Brush up on your phonetic pronounciation (there is a jolly phonics DVD that has a little leaflet in it for parents_), browse and pick a system, they all have advantages and disadvantages but a core phonics system will get a child up and running, your looking at book collections here and it is possible to reserve and collect from your local libary entire collections.
Make full use of TV (alpha blocks is great for learning magic e_) BBC iplayer lets you pick targeted programmes for areas where a child might get stuck, even UTube is usful for memoriable songs and phrases (when two vowels go walking the first on does the talking etc_).
Its' all out there, it takes time to find and collate, there is sufficent free stuff to get a child reading.
I really think that taking control yourself is the best channel.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 14:44:32

Schools no longer teach magic e or silent letters (because e isn't magic and all letters are silent) and the two vowels rhyme is one of those things that has far too many exceptions for it to be useful.

The problem with taking something as important as reading into your own hands is that you could well be teaching things that the teacher is going to tell your child is incorrect. It's far better to work with the school than going off at a tangent and totally confusing your child

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 14:56:53

I don't think it's very intelligent to discourage parents from teaching their children! As long as a child can read it doesn't matter how they are doing it. (It's when the child can't read that the problem occurs.) Any opinion about how the child is reading is only that. It's an opinion. If a teacher told my child she was reading incorrectly I'd be furious with her.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 14:58:56

I don't think it's very intelligent that some people can't tell the difference between a suggestion that parents work with schools rather than teach something their child will find confusing/upsetting when school tells him it's wrong learnandsay.

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 15:04:07

If it works there's no reason to call it wrong. I think what you mean is that the school's method might be different from the parent's method. That's not the same thing as wrong. In that case an intelligent teacher will explain how the two methods are complimentary. Only a stupid teacher would call it wrong when it isn't.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:07:26

thespellingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/when-two-vowels-go-walking-is-it-truth.html

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:09:39

You clearly didn't read what I wrote.
It isn't about methods it's about facts."when two vowels go out walking the first one does the talking, it says it's name" applies sometimes but often doesn't so if you teach your child this fact then they are going to have problems!

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 15:22:04

All rules have exception but people still find them useful.

RosemaryandThyme Sun 30-Sep-12 15:22:39

Crickey, it would be great to work with the school of course, and times where parents and teachers contradict each other can confuse children.

It does seem though on here that many parents are regularly mentioning that reading books are not changed fast enough, children not listened too, book boxes in a muddle etc.

Given that, without disrespecting the teaching profession at all, it is pretty easy for a parent who is trying to help their child read to at least have a go at phonetic sounds.
Sure there exceptions and limits to the usefulness of the bits' I'd recommend, however it is enough to get a little one up and running to ORT level 4, build their confidence and that of their parents and then be adjusted for rarer words.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:22:48

Oh dear!
It isn't a rule !

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 15:29:00

I think if your child has an overly argumentative arrogant teacher, then yes, you might well have a problem. But if she's reasonable she will encourage both the children and the parents who are helping and supporting them.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:31:04

Or a mother who always knows best even when she's wrong

learnandsay Sun 30-Sep-12 15:32:36

I think that's most mothers, isn't it? It certainly was when I was growing up.

RosemaryandThyme Sun 30-Sep-12 15:35:04

wrong about the two vowels thing ?

the book my lads on had words like beach, its' level 4, the walking rhyme seemd to fit, he knew the first vowel would say its' name, struggling to see where the harm is to be honest but perhaps later on his reading will struggle.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:37:09

No learnandsay most mothers are really happy to work with teachers for their child's best interests.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:40:56

Rosemary the two vowels rhyme usually works for <oa> <ai> and <ea> although there are quite a few <ea> exceptions think steak and head for two examples. For other vowel combinations there are more exceptions than not

RosemaryandThyme Sun 30-Sep-12 15:42:54

Ah now I'm seeing.
Thank you.

mrz Sun 30-Sep-12 15:48:01

ou - two vowels but usually represents the ow in ouch
au- two vowels but represents the or in autumn
oe - the oo in shoe and canoe and the u in does

pantaloons Sun 30-Sep-12 15:58:17

The books at my dc's schools were previously banded in levels. So dd1 was on 13 and ds1 was on 12 at the end of last year. However, this year they have all been colour coded so that both dd1 and ds1 are on lime, which covers what used to be level 9 right upto 13. Apparently it makes it easier for the children to self select and allows for "sidesways" expansion not just upwards. My eldest 2 seem unimpressed at the moment, dd1 especially as she was given level 9 books all week last week which take her about 3 minutes to read!

I think they are lucky that we go to the library as a family and they enjoy varied reading - Harry Potter etc at home. Without this I'm not sure how well they'd advance on the new system, it just feels like a massive step backwards.

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