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A reading rant

(30 Posts)
catkind Tue 05-Jan-16 15:27:48

Kids who blatantly can't decode on level 3 reading books. Why?? I do my best as a volunteer but it must be so dispiriting for them, spending a whole session struggling through 1 double page.

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 16:02:52

If you have gifted child, I think it might be quite difficult to teach or guide less able children, unless you have experience or training? I can never volunteer in school.

Y1questions Tue 05-Jan-16 17:24:11

I know the feeling, catkind.

irvine, my DS is a very strong reader, but I still enjoy helping out at school, especially supporting those children who are still struggling with things my own mastered before he started school. I get frustrated, but not at the children who don't pick things up as easily as I am used to; rather at the school, which fails to provide them with the resources they need. (Our school preaches phonics but teaches mixed methods.)

My personal rant would stem from seeing a child being told off for guessing at words. The child had been given a non-decodable ORT book - what was the child supposed to do?!

This child was then kept on their level (on non-decodable books) for ages, until they 'stopped guessing'. The child didn't stop guessing but eventually exhausted all the books in the level. When the child was then moved up, on to decodable books in the next level, they had learned that you need to guess even when the adults tell you not to. The child continued to guess at words despite now having decodable books ... sigh.

Why indeed?

vladthedisorganised Tue 05-Jan-16 17:34:47

Exactly, y1questions!

I know the argument for pure phonics but I'm convinced it's switched my DD off reading completely. She sounds out every single letter, gets frustrated when it doesn't 'work' and just gets told to 'practice her phonics' instead of looking at the context and sight-reading where appropriate.

As a result, she'll run away from a book unless it's being read to her.

And yep, she's stuck on level 4, hates it, won't practice - and if someone said 'what do you think that word says?' she'd be absolutely fine.

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 17:37:00

Y1questions, sorry, there must be people who are good at these things.
I really had bad experience in the past, a Mum of a able child, who helped out at school, and complaining how bad some children are. But I realized now, it's only one person, and she is horrible!!!(Naming those children in front of all the other parents and everything, etc., and I didn't want to get involved.)

catkind Tue 05-Jan-16 17:41:23

I hope it's not that irvine. DS learned to read at a more normal speed at least, but when he was at the stage these kids are he was given level 1 books. I thought the norm was parents complaining the reading books were too easy, not kids not being able to read it at all!

I really just want to play phonics games or read easy books with these kids so they can have a much higher success rate and stop guessing sad

catkind Tue 05-Jan-16 17:47:58

I hope I'm not coming across as complaining about the children - it's the teaching I'm worried about not the children. And coming on here to do it very anonymously! Ended up just reading a page to some of them today so we could talk about the features of non fiction, which is what we were supposed to be working on.
I'm wondering if the actual problem is resources really. The head doesn't appear to be properly on board with phonics. They don't have enough phonics books to send any home in year 1 and are pretty stingy with them in reception, so maybe these kids have indeed seen all the level 1 books the school own by now.

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 17:52:16

Some children start to read early, and some later stage. But I realized, by YR3, most children get it. As a child, I never been read by parents(it was normal in my country), and never read to them either. Never had problem learning to read. Maybe teaching them to read so early(like 4 years old) might be the biggest problem here. If they do ok, fine. If they struggle, they start to hate it.

catkind Tue 05-Jan-16 18:53:29

I don't think it's when they started that's the problem, it's that they're expecting year 1 kids to read year 1 books irrespective of what stage they're actually at. Really hoping they won't apply this principle to DD who is my strong reader.

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 19:03:47

hmm, I'm not so sure. In my country, we still have textbooks for each year groups. All the children are expected to read the books at same level.
But school starts the year child become 6.
I don't hear so many children failing, not at least from my experience.
I was quite shocked there's so much difference in ability in same aged children in my ds's class in reception/yr1. Some can't barely read, some reading Harry Potter. It must be such a hard work for teachers/TAs/volunteers.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 05-Jan-16 19:15:56

Is where you come from an English speaking country, irvine?

maizieD Tue 05-Jan-16 19:19:03

Is English the first language of your native country, irvine100?

maizieD Tue 05-Jan-16 19:19:46

Oh Rafa grin

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 05-Jan-16 19:22:45

Great minds maizie? grin

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 19:32:41

No, I'm not from English speaking country, but said to be one of most difficult language to learn(of course not for natives smile). I don't want to say where, I don't want to out myself.

mrz Tue 05-Jan-16 19:33:44

Obviously books should match the child's reading stage. It's pointless giving books that are beyond the child's current reading skills ... So disheartening for the child.

mrz Tue 05-Jan-16 19:35:41

Some language that are difficult to learn to speak are quite easy to learn to read and write it depends on the transparency of the orthographical system.

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 19:43:57

I've met people who speak my language properly, but cannot read or write because it's too difficult, they say, mrz.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 05-Jan-16 19:46:45

That's fine it doesn't matter exactly where. It's just that the 'whole language/guessing strategies approach to reading seems to mostly be restricted to English speaking countries. It makes a huge difference to how quickly the children at the bottom fall behind/fail and how many of them do.

How do they start to teach reading where you are from and what are children given to read in the very early stages?

irvine101 Tue 05-Jan-16 20:04:42

It's quite difficult to explain without outing myself, but school system seems to be completely different.
We start school later than England, and we are expected to revise what we learned that day everyday from the start as a form of homework(5~10 mins a day, so not too much.).
We start learning to read phonetically. I can't even remember how I was taught to read. There was no culture of parents reading to children or children reading to parents. I learned to read completely at school.
My nephew was one of least able child, but even he didn't struggle to learn to read.

Babymamamama Tue 05-Jan-16 20:15:17

My aunt helps children read in schools. She's an ex teacher and goes in now as a volunteer on behalf of a charity who also gave her really good training. She does lots of word based games, word searches etc so she can build the confidence of the children without too much straight paragraph reading.

HotterWok Tue 05-Jan-16 20:28:45

Please excuse my ignorance as ds has not started school yet, do they have to read each word phonetically, sounding out each letter? 'm a bit worried they might undo all the work I have done teaching him to read

mrz Tue 05-Jan-16 20:36:49

No they have to be able to read the words on the page accurately. Thus might involve sounding out some words sound by sound or reading some words automatically.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 05-Jan-16 20:38:13

Sounding out and blending is only a step on the way to reading fluently. He won't be expected to sound out words that he already recognises, but obviously he will still have to use his phonics knowledge to read any words that he hasn't seen before.

HotterWok Tue 05-Jan-16 20:40:31

Ok, thanks, that makes sense

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