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Can any teachers/TAs advise re reading record please?

(29 Posts)
PatterofaMinion Mon 02-Feb-15 10:09:24

I hope this doesn't sound really arrogant or anything, because that's the last thing I want to be, but I am looking for a way around the problem and thought I'd try here.

We've just changed primary schools, ds is in Y3 and is a very good reader - I don't know how as we haven't done much of it but he just knows how and is pretty much able to read anything, quickly and with appropriate emphasis etc. I have an older ds who is nowhere near as quick so I'm not showing off.

We've got through his book last week in one go, that's a 50 page book, and he read it out loud to me. I wrote in his book and thought that was fine, we'd do it at the weekend as I have a bit more time then.

I got a bit of a terse note in his reading record saying that I am supposed to sign it every night pretty much, but we don't have time to read together every night - I'm a single parent with three boys and one is a toddler and you know how that can be. Ds2 is also very tired at night and I don't want to force it at this point as that will just create resentment. I enjoy doing it with him once a week, but every night is going to be difficult.

Is there a way round this or am I going to get a big red mark in his homework folder every time we can't do it (and a reputation as a bad mum) - I like and support the school but he can already read fluently, and I don't think he needs to be reading to me every night. I have to prioritise - there are other things he needs help with too.

How should I approach this and is there in fact something I'm missing about why this matters so much?

Thank you if you made it this far.

TeenAndTween Mon 02-Feb-15 11:11:18

Does he read independently during the week?
If so you can record this too. They want to get them to read, if he reads aloud sometimes but otherwise to himself that should be fine.

Sometimes DD y5 says she has finished a book she has been reading to us, and I get her to summarise the story to me and then record it.

teeththief Mon 02-Feb-15 11:22:19

If you're happy with his reading then let him read alone on the nights you don't have time to listen and then record that in his diary just omit the fact that he didn't read it aloud

PatterofaMinion Mon 02-Feb-15 12:23:15

Thank you, I'm not actually sure whether they want him to read aloud or not, so maybe I should ask.

It's really not the reading so much as the faff of having to get the book out of his bag, at which point it may well get lost or taken by the baby, and find a working pen, and write something. Thankfully he's allowed to read something from home, instead of the book from school (some of them are quite good but others, not so much) but I really hate reading myself after being forced to do it at primary school and I don't think it's a good idea to make them do it all the time.

He's interested in reading me things when they are meaningful to him, but I can't stand the idea of putting him off.

Maybe we ought to revert to HE sad not the HE isn't nice but he likes school.

Pikkewyn Mon 02-Feb-15 12:30:01

I think you may be letting your experiences cloud his chafes to read.

My DD is a free reader, she reads a book from home. When I am settling her sisters at night she sits and reads a few pages of her current book. I then write 'read tonight' in her book. She uses a bookmark so when she reads 1 to 1 at school she knows where she is in the book.

On another not - I keeps working pen in her book bag which means I just have to whip out the reading record and pen for a 3 second note and then bundle it all back in.

Pikkewyn Mon 02-Feb-15 12:30:19

not chafes but chances.

redskybynight Mon 02-Feb-15 12:38:53

Ask your DC to record what they read as they go along. ON Friday morning, sign it all. Or get him accustomed to waving book and pen under your nose after reading every time. Basically, make it his job to get his reading record signed.

On the subject of reading every night, 5 minutes when you are cooking dinner counts. As does reading aloud to his siblings. These + one quality session should be fine.

(our school has similar system, thankfully finally abandoned in Y6)

WUME Mon 02-Feb-15 13:04:28

You need to get organised.

Go on amazon, order a pack of biros. Put them up somewhere only you can reach. Now you always know where a working pen is so that's that problem solved.

I also have 3 dc, dd3 is just 1yo. It's difficult but not impossible. You just have to pick a time he reads to you.

DD1 (yr2) reads to me as soon as we get in from school. She may not want to but as soon as we start reading she's fine. Sometimes she reads a chapter, sometimes half a chapter. It's really important to listen to her read imo. If we can't do this then she will read to me in the morning before school whilst I am getting dd3 ready, I listen as I change the nappy and put her clothes on. It's not ideal but it will do.

Then I read her a chapter of own book before bed and she will read a chapter by herself before going to sleep.

Fleurdelise Mon 02-Feb-15 13:18:41

Dd is in year 3 and she reads every day. She is a very able reader and she can read what she wants, a book from school or a book she chooses at home. She reads at bedtime as this is what she sees around her, I never go to sleep myself without reading.

Sometimes she reads to me but other times she reads to herself and I ask her to summarise what she read. Then I sign her record either before I go to sleep or first thing in the morning.

The school target is to read 4 times a week at least and it does happen to forget to sign her record daily but I do it the following day for both reading sessions.

I think it is really important for kids their age to read daily no matter if it is aloud to an adult or silent.

DeWee Mon 02-Feb-15 14:18:18

I'd echo what everyone else says.

Mine (year 3 and 6) don't bother with the reading book from school, we read other things.

For dd2 (year 6) the teacher consistantly checks the reading diary on Monday, so she takes it out of her bag on Monday night, and if I'm feeling good then I fill it out every night, or on the less organised weeks it might be filling it out on Sunday with a little poetic licence when I can't remember what she's read. She's never without her nose in a book if she can avoid it, so I've no worries about doing that.

Ds (year 3) they do check more randomly, so I fill it out every night. Sometimes he reads a magazine, sometimes it could be a script he's doing in drama, or it can be a couple of chapters from a book at bedtime. He does have perhaps a more interesting taste than the reading books at school, so a lot of what he reads are factual books. Woe betide the teacher who decides to ask him about those unless they've got the rest of the day to listen to him. grin

If they're fairly fluent then you can have them reading while you're doing other things. When you need more attention then I found the best time was in the car waiting for their siblings. There's nothing more interesting to do then, and they're a captive for you.

Meita Mon 02-Feb-15 14:52:28

How long did it take him to read you that 50 page book?

I think what you may be 'missing' is that school would prefer you to hear him read for 10 minutes 5x/week, than for 50 minutes in a one-off.

Of course your DS might prefer to finish the book in one sitting; he still can; but you stop 'listening' and get on with whatever else needs doing. Then you write in his record and if you don't get a new book, you get him to read something else the next day.

It sounds to me that your problem is not getting your DS to read every day. But finding the time a) to listen to him for 10 minutes and b) to write into the reading record.

For a) as previous posters have said, get him to read to you while you're cooking; for b) do it every night on your way to bed.

Of course, you do these things in order to keep school happy; you are right that his progress in reading does not depend on how diligently you do the reading record. So if you don't mind what school thinks, you needn't worry about the record.

Regarding the reading out loud thing,I believe it is thought to benefit even strong readers to read out loud to someone regularly. And things like this, in general children make better progress from little and often, than from big chunks of time put into it irregularly. So there is good reason - not to make school happy, but to help your DS reading progress - to listen to him every day in short bursts, rather than once a week for a longer time.
And if you do manage to do that, why not ALSO keep school happy by recording it daily. smile

GoogleyEyes Mon 02-Feb-15 15:02:09

I asked dd1's teacher if she really wanted me to list everything - dd1's a voracious reader, it's often a book a night / early morning if they're something like Mr Gum or Enid Blyton. She said that it was fine to just do a list every few weeks, to give her a sense of what dd1 is reading, and that dd1 should just bring a book from her own shelves into school for guided reading.

The TA, on the other hand, seems to want to keep giving dd1 scheme books which are out of date, dull, much too easy and dd1 hates.

I'm going with the teacher's advice.grin

mrz Mon 02-Feb-15 17:14:03

As a teacher I don't want every book a child reads listed in their home reading record (great that the child is reading other things and I'm always interested in hearing from the child about any books they particularly enjoy) I want a record of when the child read with an adult and how they managed with the book ... Sorry!

BellaBearisWideAwake Mon 02-Feb-15 17:17:21

Like another poster, I keep a pen in the bookbags. Such a little thing but makes a difference!

GoogleyEyes Mon 02-Feb-15 17:50:07

mrz I'd be happy to do that, too, but that wasn't what she said. I will try and write a bit more often though, if it's genuinely useful. Though it does get boring saying 'read with expression, discussed what might happen next, explained the meaning of (a few words she didn't know), thought about how X might be feeling".

Ferguson Mon 02-Feb-15 18:07:12

When I was a TA the more able readers filled in the Reading Record themselves: maybe you could just sign it once a week to confirm you know what's going on.

mrz Mon 02-Feb-15 18:29:23

Googled eyes all I'm saying is that I wouldn't find it terribly useful to have lists of books read at home. I allocate books with a specific teaching point in mind ... Of course reading lots of books is to be encouraged but the reading record has a different purpose.
Unlike the OPs child's teacher I'm quite happy with records signed once a week (or when the book is completed) rather than daily.

mrz Mon 02-Feb-15 18:30:30

Googley sorry predictive text likes to change names!

yetanotherchangename Mon 02-Feb-15 18:46:19

I'm in a similar situation to you OP. Twins in Y3 who get 40 mins of homework per night. We get home at 5pm on average and they have music practice as well as homework. Add having tea into the mix and looking after the preschooler and there is simply not enough time for me to listen to each of them for 20 minutes as the school requires. They read in bed every night while I am putting the little one to sleep, then I read to them. I also get them to read to their sister aloud sometimes. We try to do quality reading (them reading aloud, plus discussing the book) at the weekend and maybe one night a week. So twice a week.

I've put the onus for filling in the record onto them but they are not very good at doing it. I completely lose track of what they are reading when so I'm lousy at doing it too.

We've got parents evening coming up and I'm planning to ask their teachers what they are looking for from the reading record.

Both DTs are advanced readers and talk about their books passionately all the time (to each other as well as me), so like you, the reading record feels like one more "task" to be done that isn't really necessary. Reading aloud from their books also makes the task more onerous for them - I don't want to put them off reading when they love it so much.

I guess you need to discuss it with the teacher face to face.

yetanotherchangename Mon 02-Feb-15 18:50:35

Also to add, I was diligent about reading aloud while they were first learning to read. Fortunately my DC3 was a baby so I could breastfeed her while they read to me. But I have got to the stage where I think "really, is this really a priority???." They have been free readers since Y1, and I wonder if the finite amount of time we have in the evenings is best used logging their reading or making them read aloud to the back of my head.

WUME Mon 02-Feb-15 19:29:18

Absolutely no way could a child be a free reader in yr1 at my daughters school and I'd be worried if they could.

They have target cards which, for example, involve comprehension, reading between the lines, ability to talk about authors choice of words, similar books and that isn't even the top end of the scale.

Being able to read involves much more than reading words off a page.

It's been proven that not only should your child read aloud to you, but you should read aloud to your child for as long as they will let you so they can pick up the nuance of how words are pronounced etc.

I will be reading to mine till they physically kick me out of their bedrooms when they are about 12 grin .
I say that as a mother of a very good reader.

Yoruba Mon 02-Feb-15 20:20:02

Why not wume? My dd is only a level away from being a free reader. She's year 1. They are definitely working on and capable of all the things in your list so I don't think it's depth without breadth so to speak.

Just interested!

Madcats Mon 02-Feb-15 20:25:25

DD yr3 is a good reader, but the schoolbooks are often going up a notch in terms of language, grammar and themes. She is getting into the habit of saying "but this doesn't make sense" or "what does that mean", but we get her to read aloud new books or books we know to be tricky for a few minutes until we have sussed whether she is absolutely fine or whether we ought to help a bit.

It might be harder with younger children in the house, but I think 2 or 3 pages out loud will give you a clue about whether they can just carry on reading in their heads (and yes, DD has been known to cheat with boring books).

If you aren't an enthusiastic reader yourself, could you rent talking books from the library to reinforce the love of story-telling? They are free for kids where I live: DD loves them!

yetanotherchangename Mon 02-Feb-15 21:25:21

Sorry my point about the free reading thing was just to question how long they have to carry on reading aloud each night for after they have become free readers.

They have plenty of areas which need work other than reading, so in a busy household similar to the OPs, I have to think about how we prioritise everyone's time. If I had the choice reading to me and discussing wouldn't be a priority as I'm happy for them to plateau for a bit while their writing catches up.

Cedar03 Tue 03-Feb-15 09:55:52

My daughter's school ask us to read but I haven't been chased on the fact that we haven't (or haven't made a note of it). Half the time she fails to bring the book home with her (shes in Y3).

I'd explain it to the teacher - just say you find it easier to do it at the weekend. I do think it is important to get them to read aloud becajse they do get tripped up by words but this is hard to do with the longer books (read the whole thing aloud). But at the same time it does need to be done when you have time for it.

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