ORT - when to move up a level? And other questions

(6 Posts)
PagesOfABook Sat 10-Oct-15 08:00:17

I helping DS at home with his reading as he has mild autism and needs the extra help. He is about to turn age 6 - year 1.

He only started reading books last August. I started him on the level 2 ORT and them did levels 3 and 4. The library doesn't have the full range of the level at all. So there might be about 10 level 5's or maybe more - they might be out on loan. They have other readers too - but I'm not sure what they are or what ones are good.

He just started level 5 this week and is reading them with hardly any problems at all. He might struggle with one longish word in the book that he tries to sound out a few times.

Sometimes he tries to read to quick and might put in his own word which he assumes is in the book - and which would make sense in the context - but I tell him to read the word that is actually in the book and then he will correct himself.

He understands what he is reading and is really enjoying the Biff and a Chip stories - especially the more magical or funny ones. Once he sees the book has an interesting story then he is eager to read - whereas he used to get annoyed if i said it was reading time.

I'm kind of amazed about the way he is starting to immediately read words without sounding them out - and sometimes I can't understand how he knows certain words as we haven't come across them before.
I read somewhere that it's ok for children to work out the words from the pictures and the context.

And I'm not sure how many times he should read one book - like yesterday he read a level 5 for me after school and sailed through it by and large - and he wanted to read it to his dad at bedtime. So if he read it twice with no issues is it ok to bring it back to the library and get a new one?

Should I find other readers at level 5 and keep him at the level for a while? I looked at the level 6s and they don't look too hard for him.

It's tempting to want to rush on as I feel like I'm making progress after having such trouble with DS and his reading last year. When they started learning phonics I was quite worried as he was very slow to get going with it and really struggled with recognising the letters.

irvine101 Sat 10-Oct-15 08:17:24

My ds is a good reader, and when he worked out how to decode, he had no problem reading harder books.

He has not been diagnosed ,but I think he has traits of ASD,ADHD etc.

His biggest problem was comprehension. He takes the sentence literally, so inference and deduction was really difficult.

Now I work with him mostly on comprehension side of reading rather than keep giving him harder book to read.

If his understanding is ok, I think its ok to give him harder books to read for more challenge.

My ds reads loads of books for pleasure, but I don't know if he actually understand it or not, but I love watching him read.

Y1questions Sat 10-Oct-15 08:54:43

You have achieved so much - importantly, your DS enjoys reading!

I think his pleasure is a great gauge to go on. As long as he is enjoying his books, they are clearly not totally wrong! IMO at this young age particularly, children learn best when they're having fun, so moving him onto something harder (IF that would mean he didn't enjoy it anymore), would be kind of counter-productive. On the other hand, if the books were far too easy, he would be getting bored of them.

Though it sounds like you are running out of books at that level. Did you look at the ones available on Oxford Reading Owl (free, e-books)? You could also consider signing up to Reading Chest. You say you have been providing the books for him, is school not giving him any at all? Even if they have switched completely to phonics books, they may still have the old ORT in a box somewhere. Perhaps ask his teacher?

I think my strategy would be: As long as he is enjoying the books on the current level, keep him going on them until you have exhausted your sources, then move him up.
But check with him if he is actually enjoying them, and you could even ask if he would like to try some harder books.

Meanwhile, you could occasionally mix in a totally different book i.e. not Biff Chip and Kipper. Such as a non-fiction book perhaps.

I found that once my DC was comfortable on Level 6, they could manage pretty much any 'Early Reader' type book from the library. The levels became less important, we could just go with interests and fancies.

As for the 'reading same book again' question. My DC read the same book again if they want to. At the early levels, that was quite often. Higher up the levels, it became rarer. It doesn't hurt to re-read if they enjoy it! So given your relative lack of books, I would encourage him to re-read, but not make him if he didn't want to. We get a new book every day from school, so only re-read when we feel like it.

Fairenuff Sun 11-Oct-15 11:32:39

They do not have to read every book or every level. Try a stage 6 with him and if it's too hard, go back to 5 or switch to different reading books. Simple fairy tales or anything new with repeated phrases would be a good start. What do the school give him to read? Try looking at non fiction together too.

catkind Sun 11-Oct-15 22:34:33

I'm also wondering where school are in all this. Are they not providing appropriate books? Or is it that he's not finding the school books as engaging? If the latter, have you talked to them? they may be able to dig out something he likes better if they know the problem.
Re reading words you don't think he knows, it's possible he's sounding out quickly in his head, or that he's read the word before at school.
I would think level 5 or 6 would be quite hard going if he's only 'starting to' read words without sounding out? Or is it a bit more than starting to? Does he read word by word or sentence by sentence? After levels 1-2, I took stopping to sound out for max a couple of words per book as time to ask school for something harder. (Usually after then dithering for a few weeks in the hope they'd notice themselves.) Sometimes they agreed, sometimes not.

In terms of the phonics covered, I found levels 1-6 songbirds plus me supporting as new sounds came up was enough to get DC through whatever random stuff they picked out at the library. So hopefully you're close to the point you don't need to worry about levels so much.

catkind Sun 11-Oct-15 22:44:00

Oh and in terms of re-reading, Ds didn't like it so we didn't ask him to if it was fluent the first time. Until he got to certain books (post schemes) which he would re-read for weeks on end and cry if I suggested they were due back at the library.
DD re-reads anything and everything.

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