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Reception child and ORT levels

(30 Posts)
MimsyBorogroves Fri 09-Nov-12 17:09:53

I'm getting very pissed off confused with the reading books that DS brings home. There seems to be little to no organisation of what he brings back with him. They get 2 books every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Most books seem to be ORT based, but often there is a "Spirals Starters" or other book.

With ORT, we've had what seem like the baseline books - a couple of weeks of books with no words, moving onto simple books like "Up You Go", "Six in the Bed" and "A Good Trick". He's pretty good at sounding out words phonetically, and has been slowly gaining confidence.

Tonight in his bag he has a Spiral Starters book about Christmas - which says it practices the key word "A" (fair enough), and an ORT book called "The Headache" - a stage 2 Wrens book which features words like "headache", "guitar", "recorder", etc. We've read through it, and actually I was really impressed as he managed to work out most of it by looking at who was in the sentence (e.g. Kipper) and the first letter of the word he couldn't read (e.g. 'guitar' - "it begins with a 'g', and Kipper's holding a guitar, so it might say 'guitar'")

Is it normal for them to just bring home seemingly random books in this way? Do other people in other schools find it's more standardised? And how can I make sure that he keeps his interest in reading without getting frustrated?

midseasonsale Fri 09-Nov-12 17:21:42

I think sometimes they struggle to keep all the books of one level in the right box. Sometimes they do chuck in the odd higher level book though just to test the waters.

blueberryboybait Fri 09-Nov-12 17:25:12

I just wish we got more than 1 book a week! We are reading independantly at home because by Tuesday she is so bored with Sid and his bloody duck or 'up you go' that it becomes a chore to get her to read anything.

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 17:27:20

"he managed to work out most of it by looking at who was in the sentence (e.g. Kipper) and the first letter of the word he couldn't read (e.g. 'guitar' - "it begins with a 'g', and Kipper's holding a guitar, so it might say 'guitar'")"

Oh dear he being taught to read or guess? Sorry OP but does the school teach phonics?

Lukethe3 Fri 09-Nov-12 17:52:38

mrz I'm in the same situation as the OP. My reception ds is being taught phonics using the jolly phonics scheme, yet is being sent home with the Ort books with biff and kipper which nearly always contain words that he cannot be expected to sound out because he hasn't been taught yet. Today's book has pirate, scarecrow and angel! How would you suggest I approach these words with him? Should I teach him the phonics rules as I go along? How do I explain the'i sound in pirate?

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 18:11:26

I would sound the word out for him (so that he is hearing the correct sounds) and ask if he can hear the word and try to discourage relying on pictures to guess what a word might be.


p- ie- r- u - t (the letter <a> is a weak vowel sound called a schwa )

MimsyBorogroves Fri 09-Nov-12 19:46:02

Jolly phonics mrz.

We have been told to sound out, but that if thy get stuck on some of the ridiculous words they can take prompts from the pictures. I find it difficult because I've fought a battle with DS to get him to look at the words, rather than the pictures, so that approach just seems to add problems for me.

Words like "guitar" I'm finding difficult to sound out with him because they're working through the sounds in class, and "guitar" isn't exactly corresponding with what he's learnt so far.

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 20:05:08

The books do add problems because children simply can't read these words -
g -i-t-ar (<gu> is a way of representing the sound "g")

MimsyBorogroves Fri 09-Nov-12 20:11:30

Ah, thank you! I couldn't decide if it was 'gu' or 'ui'.

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 20:17:56

In build it would be <ui>

sunnyday123 Fri 09-Nov-12 21:13:32

Dds school did exactly the same and to be honest her reading is fine now in y2! They do teach phonics but in the early stages the books would be like this:

Biff pulled down the washing line

There would be a picture of biff and the washing line. The teachers would say that during early reading, they would be looking for the kids to sound out biff, pulled, down and the, whereas they didn't expect them (in the beginning) to sound out the other words, more just to give the target words context if you see what I mean? And yes, they did get encourage to guess as they read both the word and this pictures (when on stages 2-3)

Dd ended reception on stage 6 so it can't have done her any harm even if it is different to purely phonic based? Some sounds are much more difficult to grasp early on- they certainly were with dd.

Dd 2 is in reception and just got her first book- stage 2 a new dog
It's says kipper wanted a dog. He liked this dog etc etc. at this stage the teacher is only expecting her to try sound out a few words but her target words are a, the, and the character names. They've only just cover letter sounds!

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 21:27:13


BluelightsAndSirens Fri 09-Nov-12 21:32:38

How do you sound out biscuit mrz?

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 21:35:22


ThePathanKhansWitch Fri 09-Nov-12 21:52:30

My reception child has been sent home wirh a wordless book,(they all got first books this week).
Her class are following readwriteinc. She knows all of the single phonic sounds, but is hesitant to blend, any advice how i can help and encourage her?

Sorry for hijack op.

BluelightsAndSirens Fri 09-Nov-12 21:55:08


blueberryboybait Fri 09-Nov-12 21:58:37

ThePathan - we had wordless books too, they were to encourage the children to tell the sort, look for details, use descriptive language. They then got books with single words now 4 weeks down the line they have different level books dependant on how quickly they have caught on.

ThePathanKhansWitch Fri 09-Nov-12 22:31:04

Thankyou blue, we really enjoyed 'reading
' it, as it were.
I,m an older mum and a bit clueless re

MimsyBorogroves Fri 09-Nov-12 22:38:34

No probs ThePathanKhansWitch - we've got DS to enjoy blending by giving him more simple examples around the house - for example, when the cat comes into the room, we might talk about how it starts with a 'c', then an 'a', and ask him what he thinks it ends with. We also play a lot of I Spy on car journeys, and have adapted it a bit - again, we will often pretend we are having difficulty when we have to guess "his" word, and ask him what the word ends with.

Once he could manage beginnings and ends, we went more for asking what letters were in the middle, and writing the words down so that he could actually see them. School do a similar game with play-doh, asking them to sound out words as they speak, then make them out of play-doh.

I also found that, with reading, if I modelled reading the letters out and blending sounds DS was more able - due to some hesitancy over reading out letters originally he would find that he stalled in the middle of them, which made it harder for him to hear the blended noises, whereas if I read out "c-a-t" at a normal pace he could hear the blend better. Hope that makes sense, I've been at the Bailey's.

ThePathanKhansWitch Fri 09-Nov-12 22:44:34

Thankyou, great tip about speeding up when sounding out.I,ll give that go.

RiversideMum Sat 10-Nov-12 08:09:42

There seem to be a lot of schools who are still not using decodable books for early readers. The children get very mixed messages if they are taught phonics in class but then have to depend on different strategies in their reading.

learnandsay Sat 10-Nov-12 08:15:24

I'd be a bit upset if my daughter was being sent home with books she had no chance of reading. In fact I'd put words to that effect in her reading diary (assuming she had one) and I'd get her the right books from the library, or just write words on pieces of paper for her.

mrz Sat 10-Nov-12 08:16:37

I agree encouraging children to use picture clues is a particular dislike of mine ... in non scheme books the illustrations don't always match the text and often tell a parallel story and children struggle or make improbable guesses. Far better IMHO to give them the tools to tackle unknown words effectively.

I often hear ...phonics hasn't made a difference to national reading standards. Is it surprising when schools still aren't teaching phonics well.

learnandsay Sat 10-Nov-12 08:30:05

At the risk of going off the topic (and on to a rant) that's the problem with a national strategy, isn't it? How, without punishments, to make sure everyone adheres to it. That's the reason for the phonics test, although it won't solve the problem, only perhaps show where it is. But, with the best will in the world you can't give everyone a good standard of anything. Some will get it and some won't, that's life. Rubbish collections and road surfaces are supposed to be standardised across the country but they're not. Some are good and some are appalling. That's life.

mrz Sat 10-Nov-12 09:45:03

People seem to forget that the national strategy has never been a statutory document yet some school follow it to the letter.
The phonics check hmm next year headteachers can withdraw pupils from the check if they feel it is appropriate ...

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