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Reading levels and punctuation.

(11 Posts)
lunar1 Thu 27-Mar-14 13:45:24

I have to start this by saying that at school I was never at any point taught punctuation and grammar. I am dyslexic and was put in a group of children who were given endless spelling lessons.

While the rest of the class did punctuation, grammar and learnt what nouns and verbs were my little group practiced lists of spellings.

I still can't spell and have never been properly taught any of the things my reception age ds is starting To cover.

Ds1 is starting to ask me questions that I just can't answer! He is currently reading the red level new way platform books. There are between 3 and 5 sentences per page. There are places where I'm sure there should be question marks but they have not put any in. Is this because of the reading level of these books? Or should they not end with a question mark even though someone asks a question?

Do they save question marks for harder books. Oh dear I'm actually going to have to learn all this aren't I!

Flexiblefriend Thu 27-Mar-14 14:03:43

I don't know the answer to that. I'd have thought if there was a question there should be a question mark regardless of the level of the book. I will say though, I did A level English, and I have found myself having to Google the answers to DD's questions several times already, as I seem to have forgotten a lot of what I learned at school. Don't beat yourself up about not having all the answers, just enjoy learning with him!

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 27-Mar-14 14:05:39

ah well New Way don't have speech marks or question marks or anything other than full stops in my experience. It isn't you. it isn't the level, it is the scheme!

PastSellByDate Thu 27-Mar-14 14:07:54

Hi lunar:

I'm not sure how old your DC is and am not familiar with the New Way books (perhaps someone will come on later with more of an idea about when punctuation is introduced) - however just searching quickly I found: - which rather sounds like punctuation is introduced in pack 8 of the red level series and then is used from then onwards.

Our school was terrible about teaching grammar - even though many of us knew last year (as early as October) that SPAG tests were now coming. DD1 absolutely astounded me at some point when she explained she had no idea what a verb was - so I resorted to the GCP literacy workbooks: - these start from Year 3.

Woodlands Junior School literacy pages has some useful stuff: - just scroll down and use punctuation resources.

BBC Bitesize KS1 (so reviewing in run up to KS1 SATs end of Y2) - has some exercises in spelling & punctuation here:

BBC Bitesize KS2 (so reviewing in run up to KS2 SATs end Y6 - best used in KS2 upper (Y5/ Y6) also has some useful review here):

Primary resources also has some basic punctuation resources here:

With Woodlands/ BBC Bitesize/ Primary resources - you'll have to hunt about for the right thing & perhaps try it out to ensure it isn't too hard - but there's usually something there for you.

The nice thing about being a parent these days is that usually - there is something on the internet out there that can help in a crisis - you can quite literally type in when to use semi-colons on a search engine and explore from there. - and this is what I found which was fabulous:

Finally - you may find the VCOP pyramid really useful (Vocabulary/ Connectives/ Openers/ Punctuation) - this shows you visually the kind of building blocks (top of pyramid is easiest level to bottom of pyramid highest level) in these areas - and is very useful as a parent - because you can see what your child is regularly using and what to encourage them to go on to use. Link here:


AryaUnderfoot Thu 27-Mar-14 16:26:40

I remember those books! They are horrible - no punctuation at all!

I think they are from a really ancient reading scheme. I may be remembering it wrongly, but I think someone on here (Mrz?) said they used to be called 'Gay Way'.

mrz Thu 27-Mar-14 18:36:15

Yes they were Gay Way when my son had them - he hated The Fat Pig! They date from the 50s so were ancient even before the renaming

Ferguson Thu 27-Mar-14 19:06:01

"Gay Way" - My, how language changes with the passage of time!

Yes, I have some across other scheme books that don't have conventional punctuation in the early books, presumably so a child concentrates just on the words.

OP: relax, and enjoy this classic item; if you do require support with punctuation, I'm sure MNers will be happy to help:

mrz Thu 27-Mar-14 19:10:38

It's going to be part of the new SPAG test for 7 year olds

lunar1 Fri 28-Mar-14 14:56:44

Thank you for all the replies and links. I'm glad it's the books and not just me! New way books are driving me mad and they seem to go on forever. I'll just hope they don't have all the levels in them. We are almost at the end on the list at the back of the books. Does anyone know what book band level they are the same as? Keeping my fingers crossed that they send some read, write inc ones next they are much better.

Do I dare ask, what is the SPAG test? Our school doesn't do sats so maybe they will opt out of this too.

LittleMissGreen Fri 28-Mar-14 15:18:38

SPAG is spelling and grammar I think.
How can you get out of SATS? Or are you not in England?

lunar1 Fri 28-Mar-14 15:34:27

In England but its an independent school. They do these NFER tests instead and wait till the summer holidays to give the results so that we can't compare or drive the teachers mad with questions.

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