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I don't agree with the reading level DD is on...

(19 Posts)
FamiliesShareGerms Fri 12-Dec-14 17:16:49

...because her teacher has put her up a band and I don't know why! Or rather, presumably the teacher is happy that DD can read / blend sufficiently to move her onto red band books, it's just I've yet to see her read anything other than her name without significant prompting and use of the pictures in her books.

Oh well! I've said well done to DD and won't say anything to the teacher, and I'm pleased she's doing better than I thought. smile

Heels99 Fri 12-Dec-14 17:48:17

Please don't get hung up on reading levels! Praise your daughter for effort rather than achievement of reading levels, eg. Well done for trying so hard, well done for concentrating, it's great you like books etc. don't make it about what reading level she is on or not on. Keep reading in the holidays and enjoying books together

postmanpatsreindeer Sun 14-Dec-14 15:14:57

Perhaps she has read every pink book they have in school already?

tobysmum77 Sun 14-Dec-14 15:24:33

my dd got moved to red rather quickly but was in it a while grin . Seriously chill, there isn't that much difference between the levels add far as I can see.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 14-Dec-14 16:41:31

I'm v chilled re pink / red / whatever - I'm more genuinely taken aback that school think she can read better than I thought (most MNers think their DC should be three levels higher than they are smile)

Ferguson Sun 14-Dec-14 17:34:46

If you want to help her more at home, this could be useful for you both:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’.

diamondage Sun 14-Dec-14 17:37:05

Maybe she can't read any better than you think - maybe the school still teach mixed methods and are happy to move her up because she's good at guessing from pictures and responding to significant prompting (other than for her name hmm)?

What ever the case is, I wouldn't be so inclined to dismiss your own instincts about the matter. If you hear her read daily you'll know your DD's capabilities just as well as her teacher, if not better, because she/he may only hear your DD read a few times a term.

maizieD Sun 14-Dec-14 18:20:20

I agree with diamondage but didn't like to say so earlier as I was worried about this thread turning into yet another phonics argument.

I would keep an eye on her and be ready to intervene if necessary.

ReallyTired Sun 14-Dec-14 19:47:07

I can understand your concern. I suggest you practice her letter sounds alongside her blending skills.

I found that working through the Jolly phonics activity books

and using Jelly and Bean readers really helped my daughter.

I think you are right be concerned and guessing from pictures is not an effective reading stragery.

erin99 Sun 14-Dec-14 20:58:18

We found pink very difficult, I think it was a lot about showing 'reading like behaviour' like pointy finger, navigating left to right and top to bottom, using pictures to guess at story. The words themselves weren't all that easy because we were meant to tell them to the child, rather than her decoding them all, or something. It might just be our school's books but the reading got easier in red IMO because there were more cvc words that DD could actually attempt.

ReallyTired Sun 14-Dec-14 22:07:39

Dd was only allowed to read decodable books for the whole of reception. I think it stood her in good stead as it made her confident.

Papermover Sun 14-Dec-14 22:34:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 14-Dec-14 22:42:16

Thanks all - I was wondering about Jolly Phonics the other day, so I'll look at it properly. DD's smart enough to make a good fist of guessing from the pictures (Biff and Chip are quite predictable...) but she really does just guess if she sees random words

DS is a brilliant reader and we really didn't need to do much with him, so we're having to do this for the first time with DD!

erin99 Mon 15-Dec-14 11:39:42

Reallytired my DD would have really benefitted from that. It is all about confidence, especially for those who don'tfind it easy.

Guessing is not in itself bad though. At least she is having a go, even risking making a mistake. Sure it's not enough in itself but i'm sure it's one of the things they looked for before moving DD up from pink.

diamondage Mon 15-Dec-14 14:04:00


Schools that look for guessing before moving children up are using mixed methods. Synthetic phonics does not encourage or reward guessing. This method teaches children to look at pictures instead of words. It does this because the words in look and say books don't use code that the children have been taught so there is no way they can decode the words - i.e. they have no option but to guess or be told the words.

An analogy might be would you teach children to estimate instead teaching them how to count?

Oh yes, Jonny guessed there are 8 beads, there are actually 11 but what great guessing Jonny.

It's not necessary to teach children to guess when decoding can be taught by teaching them the simple code, getting them to practice from reading books they can decode, and then building on their knowledge gradually. At the same time you read to them lots to ensure they learn about all of the different aspects of reading. No early reading books, be they phonics or look and say, have particularly spellbinding stories, plots or character development.

The main inhibitors to schools getting early readers that children can decode are obdurate views and lack of money (which is usually the excuse used to hide obdurate views).

erin99 Mon 15-Dec-14 22:12:04

Thanks diamondage that's really interesting. Did OP say they are using purely synthetic phonics? If so I missed that bit, I thought maybe she had similar structure to ours.

maizieD Mon 15-Dec-14 22:40:42

OP said nothing about how her DD is being taught, though, from her decription of her DD's reading, it does sound suspiciously like the structure of yours, erin99.

However, what diamondage says is absolutely correct, so whatever the school does the guessing element doesn't have to be used at home.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 15-Dec-14 23:09:28

I must admit I don't know how DD is being taught reading blush

I've been caught a bit on the hop because DS was such a fluent reader from early on we didn't need to do much with him. Must pull up our socks with DD !

diamondage Tue 16-Dec-14 09:50:51

When you have a DC with an amazing visual memory it can give you a warped view of how most children learn to read.

The majority of children (that's non-mumsnet-land children) learn gradually over 18 months to 3 years (getting them from pink to lime & beyond), with small steps building on the simple code and blending cvc words all the way to fluent reading and relatively complex understanding.

Unfortunately guessing as a strategy for reading is still being taught encouraged at far too many schools.

You can ameliorate this for free via the free ebooks available from Oxford Owls (just choose the phonic books as there are also look & say books too). Some libraries have a stock of phonic books, charity shops are worth a check too. If you're in a position to you can subscribe to reading chest - again you have to choose phonic books or you'll get a mix. Also there are some excellent free resources available on-line at Phonics International and Sounds Write as well as Jolly Phonics, which will help you to support your DD learning the complex code once she's ready.

If your DD continues to believe that reading is a guessing game she is likely to become very frustrated at some point.

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