Ahhhh reception reading books(68 Posts)
DS brought home his first reading book with words 3 days ago. He was very excited and wanted to read in straight away. It was a big cat pink band by Collins I think. It was about getting dressed.
Etc but he soon got frustrated as 'my' doesnt sound as it is sounded out not that he has learnt the 'y' yet and all the other words were undecodable to him at his current level. They have learnt up to jolly phonics 'll'
Today he brings home a book about teeth and after 2 pages refuses to read it as he can't make sense of any of it with his limited knowledge.
Along the lines of
He ended up in tears saying he couldn't do it. I of course reassured him and we read a book from home to help his confidence.
Am I right to want to go in and talk to the teach tomorrow? It seems so unfair to give him a book he can't decode and ends up guessing by looking at the pictures installing bad habits .
Using visual prompts aren't bad habits by any means IMHO, but I take your point if that's the only source of info he has to draw on.
I would stick with them for a few more weeks, decoding can vary in difficulty for kids and maybe he just needs to get used to it.
Have to say, I don't agree that phonics is the only way to skin the reading cat, though. I believe that building confidence is the most important first step...have no problems with memorizing words "fake it until you make it" and all that. Lots of encouragement and treating it like a game would be my advice.
Sounds like you're doing a great job. Good luck to you both.
You'll probably have the book for a week so if he's refusing maybe try something like this:
Day 1: look at the pictures and talk about them , maybe using key words in the text.
Day 2: read the book yourself tracing with your finger.
Day 3: read part of the sentences an key him fill in the gaps.
Day 4: let him read it he should be familiar with it by now and confident
help him decode the words he knows and using picture cues is fine.
At this point children are still getting used to how a book works, text going from left to right etc.
Once he gets his confidence back and has learnt more sounds you won't have to do the above.
Sorry but I completely disagree with the above posters. The curriculum states that children should be taught to read using phonics. It is completely nonsensical to give them reading books that do not use phonemes that have already been learnt. Our school have books which match the order that they learn the phonemes in and that is much more sensible than random books.
I agree needing decidable books. My dd is in year one but still on red and is ontinually given books she can't decode at all. It is not helping her reading ability at all, plus half the time the picture does not match the words so guess ing with picture clies isn't helping either. Half the time she just makes up a sentence then tries to turn the page. Even if the words donor start with the same letter as the words she is meant to be reading. (I stop her, obvs) and of course, school can't see an issue...
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The Julia Donaldson songbirds phonic book was excellent I found when my dd was at the first stage of being able to blend sounds. It had 12 stories in it all short and basic and was worth every penny!!
It's incredibly frustrating for new reader to be given a book to read with sounds that they haven't been taught.
It's like covering 'one more and one fewer' in school and then sending them home with a long division.
I would speak to the teacher about 1) school sending home books he can't read b) what scheme/system they are using to teach reading and how you can support it at home.
Also highly recommend Julia Donaldson's Songbirds for decodeable books up to orange level.
This is the way reading WAS taught - THIRTY years-and-more ago!!
Unfortunately, despite Phonics teaching having been introduced several years ago, MANY SCHOOLS, still REFUSE to teach it correctly - whether through ignorance, or pig-headedness by HTs and/or class teachers, or they are so near to RETIREMENT that they don't intend to change their methods, I don't. The result is confusion and annoyance for Parents AND Children.
Fortunately, I did work as a TA in schools that DID teach it correctly, chucked out ALL the old books, and invested in new decodable books.
No matter how 'bad' the books are - and I remember Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat, the Fuzzy Buzz, and other 'schemes' - you can still gain something from looking at the text:
look at long and short words; look for short words WITHIN longer words ('bed' in 'climbed'); look for words that are repeated, and count how many times the word occurs (Literacy AND Numeracy together!).
HOWEVER: if your child can get over the confusion, and not be too demotivated, it is STILL POSSIBLE to learn to read. no matter how 'bad' the books are!
Sorry, ferguson, how is looking for 'bed' in 'climbed' going to help a child read phonetically?
I feel your pain. I taught DC1 to read 16 years ago using Ladybird phonics along with word cards for key words like 'the' 'me' 'my' etc. The school refused to acknowledge their use and said they did things a different way.
I did it the same way with DC2 and 3 and have added the Julia Donaldson Songbirds to our collection with a few other phonics books. We are now starting with DC4 who has known his phonetics sounds for over a year, helped by the nursery.
Yet here we are with Oxford Reading Tree books with no words (I hate them) and now we have moved onto books with no decodable words in them. I fully understand the 'enjoying' books - my DC4 very much enjoys books and will sit for a long time looking through them, but he is at the stage where he wants to read the words.
The school do practice phonics sounds but I don't understand why they don't use them in reading at this early stage.
I would ask for books that use his present phonetic knowledge.
However even with appropriate phonics books, we also come across rare words that use 'y' or 'Th' or 'ee' or 'oo'. I simply introduce the appropriate jolly phonics rules and decipher tricky words together.
I had the same issue with DS2. Complained to the school, and was told they couldn't send the proper phonics books home because too many never came back to school... We borrowed the Songbirds books from the library - decodable and in the really early ones they use the pictures to tell the story, and the story is quite fun. Not like some other schemes!
Really poor practice to send home books the child is unable to decode with their current level of phonic knowledge as set out in the curriculum.
Visual prompts don't help you to read "my" and shouldn't be encouraged far better to simply tell the child words they haven't a hope reading independently (you could explain that the letter y is the sound /ie/ in my but as you say he hasn't been taught y as the sound /y/ yet I would wait) it's setting children up to struggle/fail!
Your school sounds as crap as ours. We had exactly the same problem. I bought Julia Donaldson's Songbird series and from that moment on, DD was on a roll. Once we had finished with it, I took a subscription to the Reading Chest as the second problem we encountered was DD forgetting to bring home books and the teacher not reminding her. Sigh.
Have a chat with your teacher about what your child knows or has been taught in class.
My ds was taught high frequency words like my quite early on - we have the jolly phonics book at home so I could see how they were introduced.
I found reading with ds very stressful in the early days as I inadvertently put too much pressure on him and he would then say he couldn't do it.
He still says he can't read words, in year 1, as soon as things get tricky. He can and just takes gentle encouragement.
So it might be a bit of that too.
Anyway talk to the teacher asap.
We got a pink band book with the word 'aquarium' in. Which is nowhere near decodable for my 4yo. She guessed at 'librarian', presumably from hearing it read at school. I put a note in her reading record saying she couldn't decode words like that yet and am waiting to see what happens...
I've also invested in the Songbirds series from the Book People, as she can read those by herself and loves doing so. If they do have any phonics she hasn't learned yet, it will be something like 'ch' which I can explain to her and then she remembers it because it comes up a few times in the same book.
Spoke to school this morning. Apparently he isn't meant to read the words. He is meant to look at pictures and we talk about it together whilst I point out the words to help with comprehension.
I queried and asked whether that was an outdated method and whether phonics so the way forward.
She said they do the mixed method.
I'm going to buy song bird and forget school books for me
I'm a huge fan of knowledgable Mrs!
Anyway, back to topic. We have had 'my boot see' and I just explain the sound y oo and ee make each time we come across them. He seems to cobble it together quite well with support but if he didn't I'd tell him the word and move on
Definitely talk to the teacher but be aware that teaching children to read English is problematic for teachers too.
Every time governments change their guidance on the teaching of reading, as last happened in the UK again in 2007, schools have the problem of
a) choosing a new course for teaching it from the many that suddenly get produced by publishers,
b) finding and paying for reading books that support it.
The root cause of their problems is the messiness of English spelling which leads to disagreements about how best to teach children to read and write, and also changes in advice to teachers. Because many spellings have more than one sound, like y in my and many. It all needs to be quite carefully structured and progress tends to be very variable, with some children zooming ahead and others getting quite despondent at times.
It also means that not all books are equally suitable for teaching reading to all young children, unlike in other European languages where any book serves as well as another. In English they need to support what teachers do and to suit children's abilities as well. Some can quickly move on to 'my, high' and 'bite', others less so.
DS2 only started to get worded book in second term in Reception, I guess that was good, as they had learnt more phonics. He was given picture books without words for the first term. But school sent home cards with the phonics they learnt and a few sample words. We just practiced that.
Then the book with words came, I remember most words can be decoded. But there were words you can't decode, I just told DS2 that are irregula one that you have to remember.
My little boy is in reception. He has had books with words since the 3rd week of term but all are easily decodeable and tally to the sounds they have learnt in class.
They are using the Jelly and Bean series and he has had books like
A dog on a log
A mad Dog.
A dog and a frog
A hen and a rat
This week he has started having books with 'tricky' words in that they have been learning such as I and the. He was fine with those but struggled initially with jelly and the e sound that the Y makes but after a couple of reads he remembered what he was doing. Very proud of him actually. he is a very late July birthday and I thought he would struggle but he loves it and his confidence has grown and grown. Your school sound like it is managing the process very strangely.
christina - No, it won't, and I don't think I said it would. But it does get them LOOKING at words and groups of letters that can go together, and maybe become more familiar and relaxed with letters and how some go together in certain 'patterns'.
If some children ARE being presented with 'non-decodable' books, it doesn't mean these books are totally useless; children and parents can still make some use of them, and there are likely to be some words that ARE decodable, and some that are 'tricky', and just have to be 'learnt' - 'the', 'my', 'said' etc.
Many years ago, as a mature adult, I hadn't previously met the word "paradigm" and had no idea how it should be pronounced. Surely, to young children with very limited experience, many words they meet are going to seem just as obscure and mysterious.
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