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How important is guided reading?

(14 Posts)
moo3moo Thu 06-Feb-14 20:35:58

My Ds is currently in yr 1. Near the beginning of the year he was 'taken out' of guided reading as there was no one near his level. It was firstly suggested that he went to yr 2 for guided reading, however they decided he should do a maths session with yr 2 instead, and that doing more than one session with yr 2 would isolate him from his friends in yr 1. So instead he spends that time reading to himself, or occasionally a TA, or playing with lego.

We were told to wait till after Christmas for his maths sessions to start. So he has only had a few sessions. But it turns out all he is doing is a work sheet of maths questions, and then returning to his class room - this is what ds has told us as we have had no feedback from school. My ds is annoyed that he is learning nothing new as this is what he and ourselves had expected.

So I now think it would be more beneficial for him to do guided reading in yr 2 and bring the maths worksheets home.

I guess what I'm asking is, is it common practice for able readers to not do guided reading at this age and is he missing out by not doing it? I've also been told he isn't allowed books past purple as they cover topics not appropriate for his age. I feel if he had books with words he struggled with, then we could discuss them and at least he would be learning more with me at home. I suspect that not letting him have higher books is to hold him back a bit, as it was suggested that in time children in his class will catch him up and he'll be able to do guided reading again with his peers.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 06-Feb-14 20:45:21

my Yr1 DD doesn't seem to do guided reading. I don't see it as a problem particularly because she does read 1 to 1 three times a week to a TA.

however she isn't being held down on levels, she now takes in her own books as do some of the other very good readers who have exhausted all the books on lime/11, others get early chapter books from school.

MrsShrek3 Thu 06-Feb-14 20:51:34

we do guided reading with every class and every ability level right through to year 6. It's a chance to talk about a book, article, anything really, that we all read in a group, and it gives the teacher a chance to assess all sorts of things from reading targets, inference, deduction, listening skills, loads of things. It's one of my favourite things and we do it daily so that we work with groups of 5 or 6 children each day and so work with every child in the class once a week. It works as a carousel session so that the children have a list of which activity they're doing each day, one day will be the guided read with a teacher, other days may be word games, comprehension tasks, independent writing or topic based work. some groups are targeted for additional guided reading and get another session as well with either a teacher or TA. I don't think that the most important thing is to have people in the group who can read at exactly the same level (watch someone criticise my pov on that, could name you a few who will) imho it is more important to read together, discuss together, and work on comprehension, memory, inference and so on, and experience different genres and a variety of reading materials. I know amazingly able readers who can neither infer nor remember some of the detail of what they've read, so being an able reader is not necessarily the only factor in groupings.

Neverhere Thu 06-Feb-14 21:03:30

If he was in my class I would include him in my highest gr group (even if it was below his level) and ensure he had teaching at his own level too (either within this group via questioning or 1 to 1). He could access the y2 gr but just because he is a strong reader it doesn't mean he wouldn't gain anything by discussing 'easier' books with his peers.

columngollum Fri 07-Feb-14 09:48:35

I guess it depends on the guidance being given in the sessions!

scouting Fri 07-Feb-14 21:55:50

I think what I find worrying about all this, is that it sounds as if the school is not really rising to the challenge of meeting your son's needs.
This - I've also been told he isn't allowed books past purple as they cover topics not appropriate for his age - is ludicrious.
Is this your teacher's policy or school policy? Because if it is coming from the teacher perhaps now is the time to go above her/his head to the literacy co-ordinator or the head?

mrz Sat 08-Feb-14 14:10:55

We don't use guided reading as we feel it is less effective.

moo3moo Sat 08-Feb-14 20:44:56

Thanks for you responses.

It seems I definitely need to be re-questioning why he isn't having higher books. I've been told his comprehension, expression etc are great and it was merely the content of the higher books that was stopping him from being given them.

MrsShrek3 - Your description of guided reading makes me feel he is missing out and is in fact being isolated from his friends by not taking part in a group activity. He has never had a reading target or given anything to work on either.

He does always read with a ta each week, and if he reads with a ta during guided reading time this is an extra. It says in his reading diary that certain words have been discussed. Mrz - do you mean you discuss the book more during individual reading and that more individual reading is better?

scouting - I think you are right, but I have already spoke to the assistant head with his teacher present, and she told me to have faith in his teachers decisions.

I spoke to his teacher at the beginning of the year regarding his maths and was shocked that they had no idea of what he was capable of after being in the school for a year. They then gave him sats papers to sit. When I asked how he had got on, she said there are gaps in his knowledge and that he had to do the same work as everyone else as if he missed any bit of the curriculum he would struggle later on. However he kept complaining at being asked to do things he found very easy. When I told her this, she said that she didnt think he was any more able than anyone else in his group, but if I think he is 'better than any other year 1 child', then she would arrange a meeting with the maths co ordinator.

A meeting was then arranged with the senco and the assistant head. The conclusion of the meeting was the maths session with yr 2, and that he is only young and things will be put in place in year 3. Incidentally at the end of the meeting I asked what level he was in maths, she eventually said he is level 2, level 3 in some areas. Im pretty sure this is higher than most yr 1s at the start of the year, so I think when I had spoke to her previously she was trying to put me off taking the matter further.

I need to ask for another meeting, but I feel they already think I am asking for too much. So wanted to pick my battles. I think I should ask for him to rejoin guided reading, have more appropriate books and do more maths with yr 2? or does anyone think it is possible to just differentiate in his own classroom? There must be lots of kids like him I just dont understand why the school seem to be making things so difficult.

Sorry for the long post and for the info I didn't put in my op but I never thought dealing with school would be so hard so I'm at a bit of a loss of what to expect from them! Thanks again for the advice.

simpson Sun 09-Feb-14 10:55:19

DD is in yr1 and a very strong reader (with one other child in her class).

She does guided reading at stage 7 (which is way below her "level" iyswim). There are about 6 kids she does it with.

When I asked how a kid can be extended in guided reading at stage 7 (not rudely just curious) the teacher reeled off all the stuff she does with DD in guided reading which sounds fab smile

So basically what I am saying is that before I spoke to the teacher I thought GR at stage 7 a waste of time for DD and it most definitely is not. I would not be happy if my child was not doing any GR at all (if the other kids were).

mrz Sun 09-Feb-14 10:59:33

Is he reading with an adult in school OP?

moo3moo Sun 09-Feb-14 11:34:16

Thanks simpson. Is stage 7 turquoise? I don't think anyone is reading that level in his class. Is that odd? I've been told he is lucky as it is a very bright class. I just wonder if everyone is kept down on the book levels as purple is nowhere near my Ds level.

Mrz - yes he reads with his teacher or TA every week. Sometimes twice.

ninah Sun 09-Feb-14 11:36:50

mrz I am glad to hear you say that. I teach in EYFS and I strongly believe we could use the time better.

mrz Sun 09-Feb-14 11:55:16

If he is reading 1-1 then guided reading isn't necessary - he's getting the better deal IMHO.

simpson Sun 09-Feb-14 19:11:47

Yes stage 7 is turquoise.

She does not read 121 but in guided reading once a week.

Tbh most of the kids (according to DD) bring books home higher than that (in her guided reading group - stage 8-11) so not sure why stage 7 is being used.

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