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Reading level problems.

(11 Posts)
Toothfairy22 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:01:20

I have a 9 year old son. He has been diagnosed with dyslexic tendencies , luckily this hasn't caused huge problems with his reading. He loves books. In February 2012 the school he attends reassessed their reading scheme and placed the kids on coloured bands rather than the Oxford reading tree number levels. The test they used caused problems for my son as it assessed him reading single words rather than sentences or passages. The test used is flawed for dyslexic kids as they can't use their coping skills so my sons test results came through as being 5 levels lower than his actual reading ability. The schools head ( who's really good and understands the kids) listened to my son read and placed him on grey level books. Since then my son hasn't changed reading levels. We have repeated asked his teacher since October if she would change his level. She is refusing. He reads the grey levels easily, fully understands the book, reads with expression and can make suggestions as to what else may happen in the story. He's run out of books in his classroom and now has to get books from another class. We can't go to the head as he is on leave at the moment. We visit the library every 2 weeks were my son gets books by Michael Murpergo and JK Rowling ( he loves Harry Potter). The problems got worse today as my son has seen his friends get their reading levels changed but his hasn't. The teacher when asked about his reading just keeps saying that he's on a higher level than he should be and that she won't change him. My son has asked today if he could try a blue level for over the school holidays and if she feels that this isn't suitable when he goes back that he will go back to grey level. She refused. Since starting this school year in September his teacher has only heard him read 3 times on an individual basis. Any suggestions as to how to deal with this as at the moment my son is getting very discouraged.

23balloons Thu 28-Mar-13 19:10:09

It is sad that your son is feeling upset and discouraged but if he is really able to read Murpergo and JK Rowling independently I wouldn't worry at all.

DS1 who is dyslexic couldn't read those books when he was 11 and ds2 who was a free reader in year 2 age 7 is only now y5 age 10 reading JK Rowling's harder books.

I would just encourage your son to keep reading at home and not worry about coloured bands. At the end of the day they really mean nothing and I wouldn't get too stressed about it. He is obviously coping well and only has a few more months left with this teacher.

Periwinkle007 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:11:11

what level is grey? I only know as far as gold, white, lime is it? is grey above that? my daughters school stop at white/lime I think

If he is reading proper chapter books at home then the school level should really cease to have much relevance but if it is affecting his confidence then there is definitely a problem. Is it because they are expecting them to meet all the national curriculum requirements for a 2a or whatever happens to be at that level (I randomly plucked that out of nowhere because I don't know what level it is) as I know some people have said their school makes the children meet all these requirements first.

I would say that a child with some sort of problem should be heard more often than 3 times in 2 terms.

PERSONALLY I think I would keep a list of all the books he reads over the holidays and send this in along with a letter at the start of next term saying that he has done x y and z with good comprehension/expression/reading in his head/predicting storylines/using the text to inform ideas and so on and say that as he has obviously done well over the the holidays please could they listen to him read and reassess his level. If you send it in as a letter then I think they have to respond or carry out the request if it is seen as a reasonable one which I think it is.

Awakeagain Thu 28-Mar-13 19:55:47

I would speak to the teacher as not changing reading book levels in over a year is a bit worrying regardless if any issues
I'm on mat leave at the moment and unsure if where my reading level/colour bands are but there are only a few that 'bunch' 2 sub levels together (3a/4c for example)
I'd imagine that they used the benchmarking folder to assess where he needs to be (we just use the child's level)
Have you been given a report in his actual reading level (has this improved?) if so I'd expect his reading books to have changed

The reading books children take home from school are ones they can read and enjoy rather than struggle through with help (no help in many cases) from parents, I'd imagine in school they do lots if guided/group reading where they practice skills

Toothfairy22 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:26:18

We've tried to speak to the teacher a couple of times about the reading levels but she just point blank refuses to budge and can get quite abrupt and almost 'rude' in her refusal. My son say's his level is a 3c but we haven't been given his previous levels as his regular teacher was on long term sick last year ( we found his supply teacher was more supportive than his regular teacher!) His teacher says that she isn't prepared to move his reading level until his written work matches this level. This isn't going to happen as his dyslexia is writing based , his writing is 2b level. He's said he wants a challenge with his reading and this isn't happening. He reads regularly to ourselves and his grandparents. The guided reading at school wasn't progressing fast enough for him so he borrowed the book from the library and read it himself over one weekend. Other children in the class are being allowed to pick books from levels that are above their colour band but he isn't allowed to. He has an IEP to help address his writing problems and when he was assessed for this he was praised for his reading skills and we were told he had a reading level of age 11ish with their tests.

Awakeagain Thu 28-Mar-13 20:33:09

I am very surprised that they want his writing to match his reading
Many children have a higher reading level than writing (surely you learn from what you are reading/gain more info & ideas)
Continue with support at home and I would continue to try and speak to the teacher!
Sounds worrying IMO (teacher head on)

Toothfairy22 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:42:15

I think we're going to go to the acting head when he goes back to school to raise our concerns and see what can be done

Awakeagain Thu 28-Mar-13 20:56:43

I would def be concerned about writing level catching up to reading and that he has had the same books for a year suggesting no change in level! 2 very big concerns!

Niceweather Fri 29-Mar-13 09:48:40

One thing I have learned from having a dyslexic DS is that they are not necessarily running on the same timetable or within the same framework as the majority. I kind of gave up with most teachers in the end and realised that we were on a slightly different path and trajectory. Try not to worry. My DS got Level 3 Writing and Level 5 Reading at KS2. The content of his writing was very good but the punctuation and spelling was terrible. The two are only coming together now and that is because he is using a computer for his writing and because content, originality and style overtake spelling at secondary. These qualities in his writing were not acknowledged at Junior. Good Luck!

Niceweather Fri 29-Mar-13 09:51:30

Also, my DS would be top few percent in terms of vocabulary word comprehension but would be bottom few percent in terms of phonetically de-coding unfamiliar words. So, he could fail or pass a reading test, depending on the type of test.

mrz Fri 29-Mar-13 10:13:43

Grey is ORT stage 13 so higher than a 3C

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