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G&T guided reading (y1)

(53 Posts)
bobthebear Fri 17-May-13 23:23:03

DD has been classed as 'exceptionally G&T' in reading. Her current reading book is a book the year sixes have as their guided reading book (I have a relative in y6 who is in the top group so know the books are the same). But she's being forced to read this book she read in nursery in guided reading!

Is this normal? Should I mention it or just hope her y2 teacher manages her guided reading better?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sat 18-May-13 21:55:10

My son has been classed as g&t reading in reception - although compared to mn kids he'd be in the bottom third based on reading levels hmm. the school have identified that he has deeper comments and questions about a text than other kids. Decoding is a different skill. Tbh i don't care whether they've put him on a list, what i care about is that someone is having a challenging and interesting discussion with him about books, regardless of the colour of the sticker someone has used on it! We've begun the chronicles of Narnia at home and he is literally spellbound, for me the look on his face is what reading is all about.
They are currently not doing guided reading with him as nobody to group him with yet, I trust their judgment on this, am sure by next year he will have a kindred spirit!

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sat 18-May-13 21:56:46

Sorry - sent too early - I wouldn't worry about it, the depth of discussion about the book ought to meet your child's need even though decoding it is no challenge

freetrait Sat 18-May-13 22:46:08

I have no idea what DS reads in guided reading. I don't really mind either. He is paired with one other boy about his level, at least he was in the Autumn which is the last time I worried about it grin.

DeWe Sun 19-May-13 00:05:10

Guided reading is different, but I understand why you are concerned.

Dd1 read Harry Potter (down to whichever book had been published, which was about 5 or 6), Narnia, Joan Aiken and books like that in year 1 to herself. At that time the school only did guided reading in year 1 and she was reading with her group ORT level 4-6.

I wasn't terribly impressed.

However later I realised that it had actually helped her greatly. Because she learnt very thoroughly how to unpick the text, do comprehension, discussion round the book, character evaluations, book reviews. Because the book reading was so easy, she could concentrate on these other things and gained a lot by it.

She's 12yo, reads adult books and still loves reading.

seeker Sun 19-May-13 07:08:58

I think that's another thing that concerns me. I don't think that year 1s should be reading all the Harry Potters, or year 5s Warhorse, or 12 year old adult books (unless they are carefully chosen).

There seems to be a consensus that good readers should automatically be reading "challenging" books, which means books intended for older people. I just don't think that's true.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 19-May-13 08:02:17

I agree Seeker.

It depends what the objectives of the lessons were which we don't know.

If it was decoding then obviously it wasn't a challenging read but if there were other objectives you could get a lot out of that book.

We don't know the ins and outs of the G&T evaluation either- strengths or weaknesses.Is it re de coding or in other areas? G&T in decoding I don't get but in understanding,comprehension more so.If said child is extremely able in comprehension etc I could understand the op's annoyance to a degree(but not seeing the objectives it would still be hard to judge).

I held back on a lot of books with my early readers.Yes they could have read Harry Potter et al in rec but it would have been a waste. Soooo glad I waited as they're obsessed now.grin

bobthebear Sun 19-May-13 08:28:49

Thanks for the replies. I have decided to leave it for now.

No she isnt classed as G&T for decoding, i agree that would be ridiculous! It's because of her comprehension (expression/intonation/inference skills are all fantastic). My concern was more the fact that, in my mind, the book she read was something she'd read and understood over 2 years ago and she said they'd read the book then talked about the pictures. Obviously I dont know exactly what they talked about though and how/if it benefited her.

Completely outing myself but, the deputy head said she wants DD in her G&T group where they're looking at an abridged version of Shakespeare. I think the guided reading book confused me after speaking to the deputy head!

As for sucking the joy out of reading, DD chooses her own books at home. She chose to read Narnia. However, if she wants to read a picture book then I let her.

Periwinkle007 Sun 19-May-13 09:49:20

it is interesting, I think if my daughter's school did G&T for reading then they would class her as such because her whole understanding of books is way above what they would expect of a 5 year old and she is reading well but I don't think she is particularly exceptional myself. Not putting her down, I just think she happens to be good at it and because we have always read to her since she was a baby and she is lucky enough to have access to a huge variety of books then she has learned to ask the right sort of questions, to think about the story, the setting, who the author is, who the illustrator is, does she recognise the style of illustration from another book which may have the same illustrator and so on. The SENCO told me she was exceptional for a reception child which surprised me because in our family we have all been early readers who have just loved books so she just doesn't seem unusual to me.

she loves books, likes hearing them as well as reading them but would probably prefer to be doing a puppet show of her own story than reading someone elses. I like to think that she is inspired to come up with her own stories because she has been fortunate enough to be exposed to an enormous number of different stories and so has lots of ideas.

tiredbutnotweary Sun 19-May-13 10:02:09

From what I've read on-line (regarding guidance about guided reading), 'normal' is either the same book band, or one above or below a child's own band. This is the best guided reading guidance I've found so far:

IMO there are a couple of problems with a guided reading session being so far below OP's DD's reading & comprehension ability (if her DD reads and comprehends Narnia books then I'd sugget she's significantly beyond white band too).

Most obviously, it is unlikely you can deal with all of the suggested activities in the document at white level & beyond with a green banded book. Of course books can have many "levels" - inferences to be drawn above & beyond the literal level of the text etc, (poetry is very good for this & can have a low amount of text and low word complexity but much inference ect. to be drawn) but generally the amount and complexity of the text of a green banded book can't be that high or it wouldn't be a green level book.

Another implicit problem is that the reason for choosing a green level book could be that this is the appropriate level for the other pupils in the OP's DDs's group. I'd hope that part of the benefit of a guided reading group is that the children can learn from each other. If green level is chosen it is presumably because children in the group need to learn those skills and most of them will be reading around green level books - so the teacher can only ask questions at, or a little beyond, their level. So OP's DD isn't going to gain much from listening to the other pupil's answers, other than learning to be patient & how to stifle a yawn (where's the 'mildly provocative' icon)? And yes, I know, all valuable skills - to a point.

If the OP's DD was going up to another years guided reading group I think it's reasonable to think she'd be gaining as much (or at least more than now) from listening to the other pupils views and answers (who would at least be closer to her level).

As much as it would make a schools life easier, children do not have homogenised development and saying that G&T is "a croc" doesn't change the fact that in my own DDs class you have children still not secure counting 1 - 10 to the lad going to year two for maths extension. You have children still learning phase 2 phonics on pink books, to the 2 on Gold band (whose guided reading is currently orange, so the same, if far less extreme, problem as OP).

Whatever you want to call children whose current level of ability differs, I think it makes little sense to teach children at such different levels of ability the same things in the subjects or skills where there is such divergence. Yet isn't this exactly what is happening for OP's DD? Surely for guided reading with (normally?) a group of 6, spending 5/6s of the time listening to questions and answers so massively below your own level of ability makes less sense than going to a different class to have that session with pupils of closer matching level? Obviously you also have to balance a child's intellectual ability with a books emotional / topic content as well as a child's ability to speak up in front of older pupils ect. but some schools do manage it.

learnandsay Sun 19-May-13 10:10:23

It also makes a lot of sense for parents not to get their knickers in too much of a twist about guided reading. It's not a parental concern. Banded reading books are only a parental concern because they're sent home. If they weren't then those wouldn't be a parental concern either. Ultimately this is all about learning to read and if the child can already read well then it doesn't matter anyway.

tiredbutnotweary Sun 19-May-13 10:35:01

Do you really believe that the only school learning a parent should be concerned about is contained in book bags and homework books.

I'm sure schools would love that! smile

learnandsay Sun 19-May-13 14:45:32

Well, I suppose we could nip down to the school and instruct the teachers on how we think PE should be supervised.

mrz Sun 19-May-13 14:50:07

"From what I've read on-line (regarding guidance about guided reading), 'normal' is either the same book band, or one above or below a child's own band. This is the best guided reading guidance I've found so far:"

but of course not all schools use guided reading in the same way (or at all) and not all schools use book bands.

pointythings Sun 19-May-13 16:09:18

seeker, honest question - why shouldn't a Yr5 read War Horse if he/she has the decoding, comprehension, inference and emotional maturity skills to get the most out of that book? What is age appropriate for one child may not be for another, not everyone matures at the same rate...

It takes close collaboration between school and parents - I've read War Horse and was happy for DDs to read it, I would not necessarily be happy for her to read the Hunger Games yet. I read a lot of teen/YA stuff so I can be up to speed with what my DDs are reading and can get involved (gently) if I think they are being set something they are not ready for.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sun 19-May-13 19:42:35

Tonight... Proof that a g&t kid can gain from a tedious low level banded book.
Text: p1 midge's mum wanted some eggs.
Ds: ah look, she needs 2 in the recipe book as well as milk, butter and flour. Maybe she's making pancakes.
Text: midge went to the egg shop. The man gave him some eggs.
Ds: has he gone to the shop on his own? Without an adult? How old do you think he is then? Look at that mum, on the sign it says have a cracking good meal, that's a terrible joke!!

And so on...

IHeartKingThistle Sun 19-May-13 20:35:46

<round of applause> babiesarelikebuses!

learnandsay Sun 19-May-13 20:36:44

I'm not sure low banded books are good regardless. They might be pretty useless. We've just had one of the ORT traditional tales, Three Rocks

It has some questions in the back cover which I found silly. I think I did try asking my daughter them, but she didn't seem much like answering them so I gave up. The Stage Four ORT book has been pared right down (from an Aesop's fable) to about twelve words per page or less. So it has no real context or characterisation. Whereas Aesop's original tale is about destitution, kindness, guile and guilt ie it's a proper story! I've also seen a Chinese rendition of the tale where the villagers all end up being kind to each other in a sort of endless love-in after the anonymous traveller has given them all a portion of stone soup and some words of wisdom. Both of the other versions have all sorts of story elements in them which make the story poignant. They're actually trying to tell the reader something about human nature. The ORT stage Four version is just silly as far as I can tell. I can have real conversations with my daughter about Disney's Pied Piper, and Hans Andersen stories. About ORT stage Fours I can't. They're just not well enough developed to mean anything, as far as I can tell.

learnandsay Sun 19-May-13 20:42:50

I'll get my daughter to read the original Aesop's tale and then ask her the same questions and see what happens.

tiredbutnotweary Sun 19-May-13 21:03:27

Learnandsay, as you're aware there's a difference between being concerned and taking an interest in your child's school experience and learning progress and going in to instruct teachers on how to do things. I think it's a shame that some (many?) parents feel inhibited to ask questions about teaching methods (and whether or not the chosen methods are working for their DC), rather like many people used to feel with their doctors and the diagnostic process not so long ago.

Mrz, agreed, but I suspect that a large proportion do use guided reading (as many still use reading recovery - yes?). And of course the OP's DD's school clearly does use guided reading. My comment regarding the link being the best one I've found is exactly that - it's the clearest, most comprehensive guidance I've found on guided reading - but it's only my opinion!

Babiesarelikebuses - I was thinking about this exact thing writing my 1st post (but you know, as I go on so much I thought I should draw the line). blush
Reading a lower level text doesn't inhibit higher level thinking skills, but I still think that listening to probably 5 children take their turn to deal with relatively lower level skills is time that would be better spent being stretched in a guided reading group working with text geared to challenge those higher level skills and listening to other children working at a similar level. Of course it's just a point of view. smile

learnandsay Sun 19-May-13 21:12:47

The concern being expressed here is that the guided reading is being done incorrectly. But as several people have pointed out, without knowing what the aims of the session were, the parent can't know whether the session was run correctly or not. Parents can ask for teacher's planning notes and learning objectives for individual children broken down by session but they can't expect to get given them. And without them you won't know if the teacher's aims were met. So, sometimes concern is pointless.

tiredbutnotweary Sun 19-May-13 21:27:49

Very true, then again if no one ever challenges the status quo ...

mrz Sun 19-May-13 21:32:56

"as many still use reading recovery - yes?" unfortunately RR seems to persist in some schools. My school doesn't use guided reading and we are moving away from book bands.

tiredbutnotweary Sun 19-May-13 22:24:04

What will you use instead of book bands (& where is the curious emoticon)?

learnandsay Sun 19-May-13 23:15:49

Babiesarelike has alluded to a thoughtful method which could easily be applied to inadequate school reading books, which is to ask: are you satisfied with this story?


Why not....

which is a very clever, and a possibly fruitful approach to lots of inadequate books. I'll see what happens with it.

mrz Mon 20-May-13 06:53:07

In reception and KS1 we are using phonic progression then moving to age appropriate NC levelled chapter books

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