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Guessing words- reading

(15 Posts)
Layl77 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:30:59

Is there a way I can help my dd. Shes getting very interested with her reading and reading lots on bus stops, signs, books, labels etc.
She seems to keep guessing rather than phonetically sounding out words. It's like she sounds them out fine then learns them by sight then doesn't take time to sound new ones prefers to guess as its quicker and she wants to know what happens in the story if you get me?

mikkii Mon 29-Jul-13 21:39:46

To be honest this was the way children (including my younger siblings) were taught to read before phonics made a come-back.

DD1 has just finished Y1, I would just ignore the guesses, ask her to sound it out then blend it back together.

Layl77 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:45:49

Thanks, I remember this is more or less how I learnt too. So do I have to allow her to sound out and blend it herself so she 'gets' it? She can write words more than she can read at the moment which seems strange

Periwinkle007 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:46:06

as mikkii has said. I just tell my daughter to 'look at the letters/word which is written not the one she wants to be there'. normally does the trick.

AbbyR1973 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:52:31

I'm having this with DS 2 at the moment. When he first started off learning to read he was brilliant, carefully sounding out unfamiliar words. He is now on about stage 3-4 books and its suddenly like he can't be bothered with sounding out- he won't look at the words, he keeps looking at the pictures, he guesses what he thinks it might say, anything but take a few seconds to sound it out. At times he will point blank refuse to sound out. He is actually very good at sounding out/ blending words when he can finally be persuaded to do it.
I have tried a couple of tacks with varying success 1) when he comes to a word he doesn't know I declare it a "sounding out challenge" and the goal is for him to sound out and get the word as quickly as he can, like a race 2) sometimes I might model sounding our the word and 3) last night on 1 page I covered up the picture to encourage him to focus on the words- we looked at the picture together first and then afterwards still. It worked a treat and he was word perfect first time.

Layl77 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:56:16

Thanks for the tips! Ill give them a go tomorrow. She will sometimes say "I don't know you read it" but if I potter about when she's reading she reads the whole book when I'm not there. bugger

noramum Mon 29-Jul-13 21:59:05

I have a prime example, it gets worse the better she gets in her reading band. Both teachers last year (teacher and trainee teacher) said that it was normal behaviour as the child gets more secure and doesn't need to sound out every word anymore.

Some children, it seems DD is one of them, have it worse than others. Speaking to my mum, I did it as well.

I found that being patient and just asking her to read the word again is the best way to deal with it. She normally gets it after a couple of sentences and slows down.

End of last year the teacher kept DD on her current band as she wasn't confident enough to talk about the book we just read a bit more difficult ones at home. She soon realised that she had to read slower to actually read instead of guessing and then she was also fine with the school books again.

PhoenixUprising Tue 30-Jul-13 09:13:30

When she guesses point to the word and say 'if this word was road it would start with a 'r' - what sound does this word start with?'

Do pull her up on it. Don't let guessing become an entrenched habit.

If she totally guesses then cover up the text and reveal it one word at a time so that she slows down.

Ferguson Tue 30-Jul-13 20:49:09

Retired male TA here, over twenty years experience in primary schools -

OP, I don't see that you gave DD Yr group? I guess maybe she has just finished Reception? I think how much you let her 'get away with', or whether to correct her every time will depend on her age and the context of the 'text'.

Young children, who are only in the early stages of seeing words and starting to understand that they 'represent' something, have a very different 'take' on text, than older children or adults, who already KNOW what most of it represents or means.

I remember when our DS was only around 2 yrs old, he used to see a monthly brochure we received for a THEATRE ROYAL, that had a very distinctive type-face. When he saw that SAME type-face used on a completely different document he said, "Oh! that's Theatre Royal." Of course, he couldn't read at that age, but was using the knowledge and experience he had acquired, to make a valid assumption.

PhoenixUprising : better still, say "if this word WAS road, what sound would it start with?" If possible, always give the child the opportunity to solve the query herself. Quite often, when given a second chance at a word, children may think more carefully and get it right. Conversely, however, sometimes in class, when I hadn't quite heard what a child had said, and queried it, they might assume they had got it wrong, and say something different the second time!

So - if she is VERY young, and it isn't a 'school' context, I would avoid discouraging her by correcting TOO much. If she is older and won't be discouraged, then give HER the opportunity to correct a mistake for herself; if she can't, then explain the answer to her.

Layl77 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:03:21

She's going to reception in sept. She is nearly 5 though sold for the year, thanks that makes sense.
I guess it's all new to me, today she had a right moan about why Cinderella starts with a C not an S! I love seeing her learn though its brilliant. I'm not particularly worries about it just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything wrong that will affect her later.

maizieD Tue 30-Jul-13 21:24:44

I've often found a 'challenge' works with persistent guessers (or the pupils who either don't read what is there or read what isn't there). You get a point for every misread word (which includes guessing, of course), child gets a point for every correctly read sentence. Reward for the winner (which, strangely enough, is usually the child grin).

I guess it's all new to me,

If you want to find out more I suggest that you got to the Phonics International website where there is lots of helpful, free, information on early phonics teaching and supporting early reading


3birthdaybunnies Tue 30-Jul-13 21:32:04

That's a good tip MaizieD. Dd2 would probably rise to that challenge - she is always adding letters which aren't remotely similar to the one on the page or sounding out 'm-a-n' and saying 'person'. She is doing well on her summer reading challenge though - when she can be bothered to read. Slightly easier books but reading more confidently.

freetrait Tue 30-Jul-13 22:02:59

She's very young, she's ahead of the game so to speak. My daughter is similar. She can read the cvc words and quite a lot beyond, has got to about yellow reading band. BUT....she doesn't have the patience or the motivation, or perhaps the brain development/maturity to want to get much beyond this at the moemnt. Her main thing is the story and that's the way it should be.

Oh yes, she hasn't had the daily phonics teaching either, just the stuff we have done as we've gone along, which is fun but actually is quite hard work when you are 4. I'm chilling at the moment. She reads fairly regularly but keeping her where she is as she enjoys this, and delights in it. Anything harder at the moment is too much like hard work. grin.

As far as guessing, we just say "look at the letters and do the sounds". Or if it's something beyond her phonic knowledge I tell her quite quick, explaining briefly as I do.

Ferguson Wed 31-Jul-13 00:02:16

Yes, so she is younger than I suspected, and doing very well. At that age, and before the spectre of levels, grades, SATs etc gets a hold (of child and parent), most new learning experiences can be fun. And I am delighted you are sharing her enthusiasm!

In nursery once, a 4 yr old brought me a bit of moss, and asked what it was. I explained it was a plant, but didn't have ordinary flowers, and liked to live in damp, dark places. Before long I had 20 excited children searching for different samples of moss! (Ask some secondary pupils to find samples of moss, and they would tell you to take a jump!)

Re "Cinderella" - it is BRILLIANT that she can see the 'anomaly' [I had to check how to spell that!] of the 'C' sound, and get indignant over it. You can explain to her that letters and the sounds they make in words, have come from different countries, over hundreds of years, so they don't always make the sound you expect. Tell her, as she gets older she will find lots of words that seem 'silly' or 'wrong' because they seem to break some of the rules of letters, and they can be called EXCEPTIONS.

And tell her that numbers and counting is much more sensible, because they don't have many Exceptions: so she is FIVE (5), and 5 years, or 5 fingers, and 5 books - or 5 ANYTHING is still the same '5'.

In some children this initial enthusiasm isn't noticed or understood by parents (or even by professionals, sometimes) and it 'withers and dies' so the great potential is lost.

ENJOY her, and (for now at least) accept the challenges and 'moans' you might get from her. Although adults obviously KNOW more, young children can have a very special kind of insight and awareness, and function on planes that adults have long forgotten, or society and convention have eliminated from us.

allyfe Thu 01-Aug-13 11:35:45

So glad this question was asked, my daughter does the same thing. I love the games that have been suggested. I will try some tonight.

I find it so hard to foster her natural enthusiasm and interest at the same time as managing the pitfalls of impatience and frustration.

Ferguson I also love the comparison with numbers, I will use that in the future.

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