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DD reading books off own back, Spiderwick, lemoney skinicket, dick king...what reading level should she be...

(121 Posts)
rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Thu 06-Feb-14 20:59:29

I know its not comparable, teachers have reasons for keeping school levels, low and so on, I was just asking out of sheer interest, if anyone elses child was picking up books because they have got into reading...and what their corresponding ORT book was. My DD is year one, level 6.

Purely out of interest, I used to get worked up about ORT levels but not now. smile

3bunnies Thu 06-Feb-14 21:03:26

I would guess Lemony Snicket is around 11/12 based on dd2's level - but there are some words which might prove tricky. ds is level 6 and would not manage them.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Thu 06-Feb-14 21:05:24

When you say tricky do you mean they don't know how to say them and or don't know what they mean...

she struggles with a word maybe every two pages...

( I love how the lemony skniccket books are written with word explanations)

curlew Thu 06-Feb-14 21:08:30

What's her comprehension like?

cornflakegirl Thu 06-Feb-14 21:08:45

Sounds like a free reader to me - are levels still relevant?

3bunnies Thu 06-Feb-14 21:11:24

Either really - I wouldn't leave them unsupervised in yr 1 as some of the topics are scary and although they do define words it isn't always a dictionary definition.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Thu 06-Feb-14 21:12:34


Bear with me, I am not 100% what comprehension is myself...however I ask her who her fav characters are, she is able to tell me and a tiny bit of depth as to about the story, how she feels about it...and some things in it that remind her of other things....


I got myself worked up about levels as her reading took off a few months ago...since then she was moved up pretty quickly to stage 6 and TBH, now she is picking up books off her own back, I am quite glad the school books are short ( because they are boring) and I prefer hearing her read her own choice books...and I would rather school books didnt take up her reading to me, I am happy if she stays on stage 6!

i was just get an idea...

jackjacksmummy Thu 06-Feb-14 21:12:52

When assessing book band levels we are also assessing comprehension so it may be that a child can read really well but may not do so well in understanding what they have read or learnt the ability to read between the lines and recall what has happened and why that happened.

I would speak to your child's teacher and ask for an assessment because some children have been known to go quickly through the levels as the ability to read does suddenly click into place sometimes.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Thu 06-Feb-14 21:14:49


not sure what you mean, are you referring to general left to read as in she may go to library and pick something un suitable or lemony snickett in particular..

I have built her up a little library of childrens books, so I hope nothing in it, will be beyond her age...

I have read most of the books she has except LS

3bunnies Thu 06-Feb-14 22:07:31

I do read Lemony Snicket with dd2 who is in yr 2 but someone dies in many of the books (generally in ridiculous ways - eaten by leeches etc) usually a person who has been nice but ineffectual and it is a bit dark. Dd2 loves the dark bits but I like to know where she is up to in the book and ideally not read the more scary bits just before bed.

curlew Thu 06-Feb-14 22:21:35

I asked abou comprehension, because my ds used to love reading his big sister's books, and he could read them aloud incredibly fluently- he was a fantastic decoder. He is still an amazing speller! But if you dug a bit, it was obvious that he only half(at most) understood what he was reading. I was wondering if smithing similar was going on with your dd- but it sounds as if it isn't.

columngollum Thu 06-Feb-14 23:03:29

There's no necessary link between what a child can/likes to read and their school reading level. I would treat the issues as unrelated. It's just a coincidence that both involve books. And that's about all there is to it.

rabbitstew Thu 06-Feb-14 23:20:33

Lemony Snicket seems a bit of a weird choice for a 6-year old. Still, if she likes reading books about orphans whose relative is trying to steal their fortune, mistreat them and bump everyone off around them, and you don't mind her having most of the story, beyond the very basic plot, go entirely over her head, then I guess it's fine. grin

If she likes that sort of story, she could always read George's Marvellous Medicine, which at least has a more simple plot.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Fri 07-Feb-14 10:37:53

Hi Rabbit,

Thanks. I wasn't asking for advice on whether she should be reading lemony snicket rather. Giving it as an example of books she has read and is reading and whether other parents with DC reading similar things that reading level they are on.

I think one poster has kindly answered my question.

She has read Georges medicine, she is taking books to morning and after school club, reads when she gets home and reads all weekend, so she is rattling through books at quite a pace.

I think most children's stories are quite dark and bleak arn't they, after all at two I was reading her Hansel and Gretal which is quite dark, Mum dead Dad throws children out into forest to fend for themselves and never come back then caught by witch who fattens them up to eat them...

oh yes and red riding hood, granny eaten by a wolf, oh yes and Cinderella, mum and dad dies...abused by step mother....kept in servitude...

I think she is quite used by now to parents dying in stories, children under threat of being eaten, abused by others, put to sleep for 100 years and so on. But Thanks Rabbit grin

scouting Fri 07-Feb-14 10:47:00

Can you ask the teacher why she is on an ORT 6? It seems bonkers. If the teacher can give you a very good explanation, that seems fine - but I'd be extremely curious to know what she was up to. My experience has shown that when there is a massive disjunct between what the child can do and what the child is given, in nearly every case it's because the teacher hasn't noticed. A good teacher will be nicely apologetic about this.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Fri 07-Feb-14 11:16:05


Every time the teacher has listened to her read she has moved her up. I am happy with her level now at school. My DD was also telling the teacher all the books she had read one day, and the teacher said " we have been having a lovely chat about all the books she is reading". So she does know.

I was just wondering if other peoples DC were reading same stuff and what their ORT level was at school.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Fri 07-Feb-14 11:17:52

Sorry forgot to say, I am happy with her current level because her school books are compulsory, and she has to read them, so I am glad they are short, the books she is reading at home are by choice, so I don't want her to be pushed at school when I know she is making great progress which to me is all that counts.

iclaudius Fri 07-Feb-14 11:20:59

Lemony snicket are perfect first reading hooks as they LOOK so grown up and magical.
Content wise quite easy too with lots of mixed up words so the reader doesn't notice when they stumble over a REAL word
I think 6 is a good age for them
I give up worrying about the school book and just progress them at home

Showy Fri 07-Feb-14 11:30:14

6yo dd reads similar books but hasn't been on the reading scheme for a long time so can't comment on that. I do listen to children read at school and there is often a sizable gap between ability and comprehension. I listen to children who read fluently and accurately with no problems but have glaring omissions in comprehension.

Children's books are delightfully macabre. And sometimes bloody odd. Like the one we had home last term about a girl whose mother had died and she tried to mummify a dead cat with bath salts. Jacqueline flipping Wilson iirc.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Fri 07-Feb-14 11:37:06

Showy can you give me an example of questions I should be asking her to check her comprehension...

scouting Fri 07-Feb-14 11:37:53

reads all sorts of books at home (famous five, malory towers etc at age of your child). was def not given ORT six. free reader. allowed to choose her own and get on with it. i'm pleased about that. there's not much to learn from an ORT level six book. Not much character development or life. A bit tedious.

rainraingoAWAYNEVERCOMEBACK Fri 07-Feb-14 11:41:01

We have not got any enid blyton, am getting those next for her. I find all the school books boring which is why I am happy for her not to get them!

TeenAndTween Fri 07-Feb-14 11:44:22

To check comprehension:
- if reading out loud, is it done with appropriate expression
- if you ask them what a word/phrase means, can they tell you
- ask 'why do you think that .....' questions
- ask 'what do you think might happen next' questions

Meita Fri 07-Feb-14 12:09:18

out of interest, if a child is a good decoder but lacks comprehension, why is a lower level book appropriate? I thought the levels referred mainly to the decoding abilities. Can't comprehension be learnt/practiced on any level book? Is it easier to learn/practice comprehension on a book that is very easily decodable, than on a book that is at the 'right' level of trickiness regarding decoding?

nobutreally Fri 07-Feb-14 12:25:45

If she is understanding well (I assume she's reading to you as well as to herself) LS would be free-reading I'd have thought. MN does like to put any dcs who are doing well in their place - I think LS at 6 is impressive & both of mine are above average readers.

I would talk to the teachers - ask (in an interested/wanting to understand way, not a challenging way) how dd is doing/what she needs to focus on. With both of mine, they got to a stage where they were whizzing through the school books (with me asking some questions to test understanding) and then reading a bit of their 'for pleasure books' to me, which were much more interesting and engaging.

In terms of comprehension - I ask things like:
- why do you think the author chose x word/what does x word mean
- how do you think x character is feeling at the mo - what tells you that?
- what might happen next, why
- why has x character behaved in that way (do they get the underlying motivation)
- what mood does this paragraph have ... what words help make the mood
- if you were making this scene into a picture, what would we be able to see
... does that help?

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