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Reading progress for early reader

(48 Posts)
DoneWithStruggling Thu 27-Feb-14 19:33:58

DS was an early reader - one day he could just do it. He wasn't hot-housed or anything, we just read a lot and he picked it up. He was a pretty fluent reader on starting school and was on white band books at the start of reception. He was pretty average at everything else, and frankly a little behind socially and physically (I expect reading developed at the expense of other skills, but it has evened out now). At the start of Y1 he was graded at 2a for reading. At the pre-Christmas Y2 parents evening he was still 2a. I asked about progress and was told he would be going to the junior library to get books, doing accelerated reading quiz program that the juniors do and generally that the school were "on it", but the teacher did express her opinion that once someone could read, they could read.

Week before half term I was chatting to TA about something else and mentioned that he has only had 3 books from junior library and hasn't managed to get a quiz done as there is always a problem with computer/wrong teacher/inconvenient for DS to go to juniors etc. TA checked a log book and I saw on the page that DS is still down as 2A. Next week we have parents evening, and I will check reading level with teacher, but shouldn't DS really have made some sort of progress since start of y1 (and possibly reception)?

What could I ask/suggest? I don't want to sound like a NC level nut, but I do feel that reading-wise DS has been abandonned by school while they deal with everyone else, and the apparently unchanging NC level seems to reflect this. I am grateful that he can read, and especially that he absolutely loves reading and constantly has his nose in a book. We have a lot of books at home, and visit the library twice a week. He understands what he has read, and can spot and discuss metaphors and themes in poems. What else should he be doing at home or school? I would prefer work at school and pleasure at home...

DoneWithStruggling Thu 27-Feb-14 19:34:16

Soz for epic ramble...

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 19:40:31

Ask the teacher what she thinks he needs to improve on. If she says comprehension and expression (the standard how long is a piece of string replies) then just take the answers with a pinch of salt.

But if she gives some specific tasks and associated reasons then fine. If not, carry on as you are.

DoneWithStruggling Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:30

columngollum Thanks. I did ask this at last parents evening when I first discovered he had been at same level for at least a year, but her response was that he was fine and "once someone can read, they can read". But obviously he has another 11 years of school and they must have something planned, no? He is clearly not ready for A-levels!

I'm not after grade increases for their own sake, but he's the least enthusiastic about school out of our 3 DC's and it does seem that his reading ability is squandered at school rather than developed. Is there anything I can suggest or enquire after at school? Or should I get on my high horse that the current junior library/accelerated reading quiz plan is not being implemented?

IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Thu 27-Feb-14 20:03:38

column why do you think teachers use expression and comprehension to bat parents off

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 21:06:40

Because some parents are damned sure that their children can accurately rewrite the story in a different language... and are still being sited comprehension difficulties.

On the other hand not all comprehension difficulties are made up.

Expression is in the eye of the beholder. Knowing what it is and when to use it is one thing. Being satisfied with someone else's use of expression is quite another. Nobody is as good at reading with expression as I am. You're welcome to come round for a demonstration, if you like...

simpson Thu 27-Feb-14 21:15:13

I would ask for him to be re-assessed tbh. I would not be hugely happy with this progress. Also check what he needs to work on. I don't hugely agree with the comment "once they can read" as even adults learn from books they read.

DD is now in yr1 and also started yr1 on a 2A and she seems to be progressing nicely although there was a point where she hated her school books and wouldn't read them (so they were ignored) but that is all sorted now.

Does your DS actually want the reading quiz? Not sure if it would be up my DD's street (would depend on how it was done really) but if he isn't too bothered I wouldn't push it just ask the school what he needs to work on.

I would keep things simple atm (re the chat with the teacher) and see what they suggest first.

Sleepyhead33 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:18:12

Reading comprehension is far more than just being able to retell a story. This is a very low level skill.

Some simple examples of progression in reading comprehension

I teach many children working at L5 in reading comprehension-it is still a target otherwise how will they achieve L6?

Sleepyhead33 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:21:27

The teacher may mean 'once your child can decode they can decode'. Well that is true I suppose but that is the very start of learning to read.
2a-3c is quite a jump-ask the teacher what your child's specific targets are in order to move him on.

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 21:32:30

I don't think any of those points (except the clearly tangential ones like can I discuss X,Y,Z) are left uncovered by retelling the story in a different language.

Retelling the story in its (and one's own) native language, possibly.

RonaldMcDonald Thu 27-Feb-14 21:35:44

Our response was the same. D1 is in Y3, she is constantly given Early Reader books by the teacher and yet read Harry Potter in its entirety last year. The teacher says, oh she can fluently read, it would be wrong to move her further out of her year group. She doesn't have books sent home with her at all now and simply reads any dross I dredge up for her. Pippi, Roald Dahl Majeika etc. she loves to read and write stories (lord help me) but I feel completely let down

Sleepyhead33 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:42:54

Hmm, and I don't think any of the AFs would be covered in anywhere near enough depth by a retelling.
language features, author intent...areas many excellent readers find challenging and need to be demonstrated across a range of genre could not, in my opinion, be shown in this way.

We run reading workshops in KS2 and the parents always seem amazed at the depth at which children are expected to explore quite mature texts. Simple fact retrieval, basic predicting and the ability to recount events are not going to move a child beyond a 2a.

We shall have to agree to differ smile

mrz Thu 27-Feb-14 21:54:36

Retelling is a very low level comprehension skill
to move to level 3 the child needs to be able to explore underlying themes relating them to own experiences and other books, identify where language is used to create mood, build tension, quote directly from the text to supprt opinions, discuss how characters are built and the motivation for their actions, sometimes emphasie with the different characters point of view, explain what/why characters think/feel/act, can comment on the authors choice of language to build mood create tension/atmosphere, can discuss reasons for actions/events based on evidence etc etc etc.

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 21:57:17

Can we agree on a different language and have a go...

mrz Thu 27-Feb-14 21:58:48

distinguish between fact and opinion, use clues from action, description, dialogue, identify between different genres, elaborate on opinions and predictions referring back to text for evidence, can identify language features etc

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 21:59:38

No, I mean can we retell a story in a foreign language?

mrz Thu 27-Feb-14 22:00:34

The ability to retell in another language is still a low level reading skill even if it involves language skills

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 22:04:46

French or German? (or Welsh, if you prefer).

Silkyandmoonface Thu 27-Feb-14 22:05:44

I don't understand what the other language has to do with reading comprehension?

The ability to translate may show very sound MFL skills but still only be L2 in terms of reading comprehension.

I couldn't do it-I am absolutely rubbish at other languages however I have well developed reading comprehension skills!

mrz Thu 27-Feb-14 22:07:02

I prefer to teach higher order reading skills rather than introduce translation into the process but carry on if you want to make yourself look foolish

simpson Thu 27-Feb-14 22:10:47

Mrz - what would you consider are higher order reading skills? <<curious>>

columngollum Thu 27-Feb-14 22:11:06

Well, you did argue above how easy and what a low level skill using another language is.

simpson Thu 27-Feb-14 22:13:16

Sorry, just seen your previous post blush

That seems to be stuff DD is working on. I know she is doing lots on creating mood/atmosphere in her reading/writing and having to pin point which words/phrases do this (in reading).

DoneWithStruggling Thu 27-Feb-14 22:25:02

simpson What sorts of things is your DD doing in school to work on these higher order reading skills? I think I have read elsewhere that she is Yr1?

I think DS could certainly do many of these things, but whether he would do so in school environment or to which degree he would need to do them, who knows? But it is good fodder for parents' evening.

BTW I agree translation/precis is not a reading skill. DD1 is very good at this, especially for elderly relatives in my home country. However (with much love) she is a dunce at reading. She is far more technically minded at the moment.

mrz Thu 27-Feb-14 22:25:21

No columngollum I said retelling is a very low level reading skill you are adding translation into the process which isn't a reading skill which most people but apparently not you knows

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