Paired reading - feels really false

(15 Posts)
vvviola Mon 18-May-15 20:21:45

DD1 came home last week with instructions for paired reading. Initially I thought it was taking it in turns - but no, I am to read with her until she signals me to stop, and then join in again if she hesitates or makes a mistake.

It feels really really forced.

What I've read online seems to say it's good for encouraging fluency - but that isn't really a problem for her and the whole class are doing it, so it obviously isn't a targeted thing for her.

Can anyone give me some hope that it gets easier? It feels like an utter waste of time compared to what we were doing (her reading, me helping/correcting and occasionally reading out a full sentence if she gets the emphasis off)

redskybynight Mon 18-May-15 20:43:05

If she's fluent already won't she just want to read all the time (when I try and read with my DD, she very swiftly takes over!)?

I can see how this method helps fluency - otherwise the child may feel they are totally bogged down just reading a single sentence.

vvviola Mon 18-May-15 22:41:27

The thing is, she's very rule abiding - so she gets concerned if she feels she's not "doing it right", so the whole thing just feels very stilted. She's much more fluent without me.

I have no problem continuing it if it will do good, but it seems to be producing a more self-counscious reader rather than more fluent.

Ferguson Mon 18-May-15 23:20:33

Twenty-five years ago, as a parent helper in a primary school, I was asked to support in that way for a while, but that was with Yr 6 children who needed a bit of a reading 'boost' before going on to secondary, so there was (possibly) a valid reason for it.

It does feel strange at first, and if you don't feel comfortable with it, maybe query it with the teacher. Perhaps the Literacy coordinator has been on some newfangled course, and thinks this is how it's going to be done in future!!

If you know other parents, see how they feel about it. And ask the teacher exactly what the thinking behind it is, otherwise, if you can, I would discretely 'drop' it (but don't upset DD).

vvviola Tue 19-May-15 09:55:17

I don't do school pick ups (DH's job) so I don't know many of the parents, but there are one or two I can ask (and as they are around at pick up time they may have picked up on the reasoning --unlike DH--)

She has just taken off with reading by herself silently at bedtime, which we are thrilled about as she didn't show much interest before now, so I'm just very wary of anything that might turn her off reading again or dent her confidence.

kesstrel Tue 19-May-15 15:39:54

That sounds ridiculous to me, at your daughter's level. I know the problem about rule-abiding children, though, so could you perhaps email the teacher to ask if it is ok to stop? School website or office could tell you how to do this, hopefully.

Millymollymama Tue 19-May-15 16:30:08

There is a great deal of information about paired reading on the website of the National Literacy Trust. May I suggest you read it, OP. I think you fill find the school are not implementing the scheme correctly. The optimal age between tutor and tutee is 2 years. In other words it is an in school scheme set up between careful selected pupils and does not involve parents at all. I would definitely go back to the school because they seem to have set up their own scheme and bypassed some very important elements.

AmateurSeamstress Tue 19-May-15 19:15:08

if you ask her if she prefers reading in unison or just her reading to you, what does she say?

If she prefers the unison thing, that's reason enough to carry on. If she doesn't, suggest she gives you the signal right at the start. Then you are back to you listening to her reading and just giving her the right word when she gets stuck, in a way that doesn't bog her down with dissecting it. In that sense I find the concept useful. The unison thing has thankfully passed me by.

vvviola Wed 20-May-15 11:45:47

She prefers to read by herself. I have noticed now though, that when she gets to a word she doesn't know, she now stops and waits for me to provide it instead of trying to figure it out herself. Which seems to be the complete opposite of what you would want her to do!

Millymollymama Wed 20-May-15 14:33:34

As I said above, it is inappropriate!! Just don't do it.

vvviola Wed 20-May-15 14:49:53

Millymollymama this leaflet seems to suggest otherwise - it's this sort of paired reading that we are doing. Although again it suggests using it for a child who is really struggling, not one who is at or above (as my DD seems to be) the expected reading level for her age

Millymollymama Wed 20-May-15 14:55:42

The National Literary Trust would seek to differ then. Just because a school gives you a leaflet that is not the only resource you can read. If it does not suit a good reader, then why do you have the leaflet and the instruction to do the paired reading? It is clearly the wrong scheme for your situation so I would go back to the school and query it.

Millymollymama Wed 20-May-15 15:04:26

My DDs read one paragraph and I read the next one. We called this paired reading in my day! It made the story come alive more quickly. I helped out on the more difficult words. We could tackle more interesting and advanced books. DDs were not slowed down by sticking to rules. We just read for fun. I think your DD would like to be able to do this.

vvviola Wed 20-May-15 15:49:08

That was just a leaflet that I came across in doing my research on the scheme, not what the school gave us.

We are not in the UK, so perhaps there are organisations here that consider it good practice (it certainly seems to be done in a number of schools from what I can see).

It may be the wrong scheme for our situation, but it seems to be a whole class scheme (perhaps to give them a chance to break away a bit from the standard "readers" now that we are approaching the end of the school year).

Interesting how some things suit some children and not others - I had tried the "I read one, you read one" system with DD for her library books and she hated it. She much prefers to just read herself OR have me read. I guess she's not one for mixing and matching smile

We'll keep going until I manage to talk to the teacher and some of the parents. I'm looking forward to hearing my Mum (former teacher) react to it when she has DD after school tomorrow! smile

Millymollymama Wed 20-May-15 18:14:19

I can see that reading with your child, in some form, checks that the child actually understands what they are reading because you can talk about the text as you go along. Silent reading can mask lack of understanding, although I am not suggesting this is happening. Perhaps you can ask her to tell you about the story when she has finished or pick out some more difficult words or concepts to see if she has understood them if you wish to follow up on this.

The school may also be doing it to get the children to read out loud, especially if your DD is reluctant to do so. Just a thought....

The scheme I referred to did have positive outcomes for the readers and did not appear to be confined to poorer readers. However, enjoyment of reading counts for so much!

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