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Shall I ask the teacher?

(19 Posts)
rrbrigi Tue 16-Apr-13 13:32:35

Hi,

My son likes reading and he has a reading level in his mind that he would like to reach at the end of term and he asked me to ask his teacher to move him up 1 level from reading.
1 week before the Easter holiday we had a parent evening and I asked his teacher to move one level up on the reading books. She told me that she does not see any problem why he could not move up him 1 reading level. So I went home and I told my son that he is going to move up 1 reading level (he was very happy). The next day the teacher did not move him up; because she told me she still would like to do the assessment with him. That was a misunderstanding between us on the parents evening. And I think because the last week before the holiday was very busy in the school she did not have time to do the assessment with my son. My son is getting to be sad, because he thinks he did something wrong, he is not a good reader and that is why the teacher has not moved him up on the reading level. I keep telling him why it happened and I tell him that he is a very good reader, but it seems to me it does not help.

My son’s teacher is pregnant and she started the maternity leave this week. The class get a new teacher today. Do you think can I mention to her to do the assessment with my son as soon as she has time or just let him pick up books from the harder level and do the assessment later? Or do you think should I speak to the teacher assistant (who is the same since September)?

I am just a bit worried because my son started to loose his interest about reading. (He practiced a lot at home, to be able to go up 1 level, and he would like to move 1 more level before the end of term.)

CaptainSweatPants Tue 16-Apr-13 13:38:29

Well you acknowledge yourself that's he's not a good reader so I'd leave it up to the professionals to sort out his level

However I'd take him to the library & let him choose some books himself that might spark his interest

You don't say how ok'd he us but the horrid Henry early readers are very popular with yr 1 & 2 boys

givemeaclue Tue 16-Apr-13 13:39:03

I would put note to teacher explaining that the previous teacher planned to move your son up a level but didn't get chance to do the assessment before going on maternity leaveand that your son is really looking forward to reading the next level books, what does she suggest?

Then she can look into it and reply.

If no reply in a week, I would have a quick word with her.

CaptainSweatPants Tue 16-Apr-13 13:39:13

Sorry how old he is

givemeaclue Tue 16-Apr-13 13:40:27

The reason I wouldn't just leave it is that your son is getting demoralized, but pp has a great suggestion re library, get the next level up books from there

YoniLovesChachi Tue 16-Apr-13 13:44:16

I think it really doesn't matter. Ask if you want, if you really think your son's life will be improved by having slightly more difficult school readers, but don't make book levels out to be anything other than a number on a book when you're at home ie it's not a competition, there are no prizes for whizzing onto the next level. Your son certainly shouldn't get upset or worried about not being one level higher, so perhaps don't mention anything at all about it to him. It might be more productive to let him be brilliant at his current level before setting his sights on the next stage.

Encourage him to read books that will challenge and pique his interest at home.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 16-Apr-13 13:52:38

The new teacher will be assessing from the start. If he's ready to move up she will move him. In mean time hit library smile give the teacher a chance to show her plans smile

rrbrigi Tue 16-Apr-13 14:08:23

It is not about the level. We agreed with his previous teacher the he is ready for the next level. I just did not notice that she needs to do an assessment with him first. It is about he has a goal to reach and this goal keep him moving (practicing and practicing). Of course it is not a race, but it is something for him that motivates him in a good direction.

And I do not want him to think that it is his fault. It is nobody fault, not even the teacher fault (probably it is a bit my fault). I do understand that she had lots of things to do. If I would know that she needs to do an assessment I would not mentioned to my son at all.

I noticed since this happened he has not changed his reading book in the school. (In his school children go and choose the books themselves and not the teacher does it for them. So I think teacher has not noticed.) We read other books at home, but I think he just would like a reassurance from his teacher that he is doing good.

DeWe Tue 16-Apr-13 14:19:17

I would speak to the teacher that you'd spoken to the previous teacher about him moving up a level and she thought he was ready but wanted to do an assessment first. Would she be able to do this with him at some point, as he was disappointed not to do it before old teacher left.

I've never come across an assessment to move up in reading-surely it's a continuous assessment. It may be that actually she wasn't confident that he was ready to move up, and the assessment was to check. Or it's just filling out on his record, in which case it may have been done and the new teacher can just confirm it.

You really don't want him to be taking books too hard for him, as that will really put him off reading.

An as an aside, I don't tend to tell the children if the teacher says that sort of thing. Several reasons, firstly, as sometimes happens, the teacher forgets/things change/child changes then they're disappointed; sometimes we can misread what the teacher says (eg "I don't see why he shouldn't move up if he's ready" can easily be interpretted by a parent as "he's ready to move up"); and also because I think it's nice for the child to think that the teacher thinks they're ready to move up rather than the teacher moved them up because mum asked.

rrbrigi Tue 16-Apr-13 14:28:55

Yes. You are right DeWe. I won't do it again.

My only excuse is that he is a first child, no any previous experience with a school aged child.

simpson Tue 16-Apr-13 15:00:05

Where did he get the idea to be on a certain reading level by the end of the school year?

I would dissuade him of this idea tbh as it will make him feel that he is no good if he does not get there.

I would look at the Oxford owl website (free ebooks) and keep taking him to the library. The school books are not the be all and end all. There is a world of books out there smile

numbum Tue 16-Apr-13 19:58:28

How about telling him that as long as he reads his school book (whatever level that may be) every night for 10 minutes he gets a sticker for a chart/marble for the jar and then when he's got a certain number then he can go and choose whatever book he wants from the book shop?

I'd not make the level thing a big deal TBH and I think it's a good thing that they're reassessing him before moving him up. Lots of schools don't do this and move children on too quickly knocking their confidence.

How old is he?

learnandsay Tue 16-Apr-13 22:08:57

Do we know which level he's on and how old he is? If he perceives himself to be behind others in his class and the gain that he has set for himself is a modest one then failing to achieve it because the adults messed up and the pregnant teacher forgot about it and then left is likely to do far more damage than giving him the next level books is. We could be talking about something like from pink to red or from red to yellow for all we know. It's not as if we were talking about jumping from yellow to lime for all I know. I think details are sketchy here. But moving the kid up might be the best solution.

simpson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:33:30

LandS exactly why I think the emphasis on a child getting to a certain level by the end of a year (in their mind) is setting them up to fail.

There are loads of reasons why a reading book is not changed ie school trip on the day books are changed, teacher/child or TA sick, holidays etc...

The way I would handle it would be to do my own thing with the child (library, reading chest, Oxford owl or whatever) and dissuade a child from thinking they will be a failure if they do not get to a certain level by the end of the year, especially if he has just got a new teacher.

It is far more important IMO to nurture a love of reading than to monitor reading levels ( totally different if a child is reading chapter books and understanding them but on red level at school for example).

learnandsay Wed 17-Apr-13 10:22:08

Simpson. I know what you're saying and in an ideal world I would agree. But it looks as if the child himself has set the goal and where coloured bookbands are plainly on view this kind of thing is inevitable. If I was a child and could see "everybody else" going to get their books from the yellow box, blue box, green box, or whatever, and I was "the only one" still getting my book from the pink box then I'd want to move up too.

We don't really know what's going on here because there's so much detail missing from the OP's explanation. But surely the teachers/TAs can't be blind/insensitive too. If one child is going to the pink box and everybody else is going to the xxx colour boxes, surely the staff must have some idea how that feels. They can't be made of wood, surely.

No matter how good/bad the child's reading is surely it's just better to give him the next level book up than it is to make him walk the walk of shame to get his "baby book" every day even if purely for psychological reasons, nothing to do with learning to read.

Life is full of stories about how education made children hate education and, (missing detail accepted) this could potentially be/become another of those stories.

rrbrigi Wed 17-Apr-13 10:44:20

They have the reading books in the classroom. So he sees that children can pick up books from certain colour. He asked his TA why he cannot have books from other colours and she explained it to him. So he thought than a certain colour is the highest that children can achieve in his class. He has back 2 colours and would like to achieve the highest by the end of the school year. I would not like to tell you how old he is or in which book band he is because I would not like to go into discussion like “why I am worried” or “why I am not worried” about his reading level. This things nothing to do with his reading ability, it is just to do with his confidence in himself that he can do something if he would like and work for it.

As I said earlier we do read other books at home.
I spoke to the teacher yesterday she was very nice, and told me that she will speak to the TA who is in the class since September what she thinks. But I totally agree that was my fault and I learnt my lesson.

learnandsay Wed 17-Apr-13 10:57:52

I see.

In that case it depends on how clever you are. Somebody suggested using library books (or buying books, new or secondhand, it doesn't matter which.)

But of course children aren't stupid they can still see that their school book has the pink sticker on it when everybody else has yellow or blue.

But the parent can still give her child confidence. One way to do it is to explain that the school system isn't perfectly fair because it takes a long time for teachers and TAs to realise that it's time to move somebody up to a new book colour

The system isn't broken it's just slow.

But if you show him a library book that he can't read very well yet (for example Ladybird Read it Yourself - Jack and the Beanstalk) and then practice the sounds, words and phrases that he would find hard until he can read the book and then read it with him

then you can remind him of when the book was too hard for him and now he can see than he can read it

so he can actually see his own reading development.

Then take him to the cinema or some other treat that he would like.

This way you can keep his reading development and the school reading book levels totally separate and have him still proud of his reading achievements irrespective of what they do in school. (Because as he moves up at school so will the other children. So, unless school addresses the problem directly, he'll always be behind at school.) Hence the need to make him proud of his reading regardless of what school does or does not do.

daytoday Wed 17-Apr-13 11:17:23

Yes absolutely ask if they think he is ready? Why on earth not.

Many years ago my son was ready to move up reading levels - he was getting bored and demotivated. As a parent I actually knew more about his reading ability than the teacher. Seeing as we read every day, the teacher once a week. The teacher embraced the information that was shared - and he was moved up.

Good effective teachers want to know how a child feels and will investigate. Not so good teachers don't want to increase their workload and forget to do what has been agreed.

Obviously if the teacher thinks he's not ready to move up a level then a parent would understand.

simpson Wed 17-Apr-13 19:48:32

What I mean is for example if he has the level of orange to get to by the end of the year in his mind, it might be worth explaining why things can take a while (at school) and work towards it at home instead.

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