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Pink book band

(52 Posts)
Kanga59 Fri 08-Jan-16 15:21:50

my son is 4.5 and in reception at a private school. He has been on pink band books since the summer term of nursery. We didn't read a lot over the summer holidays.

phonics wise he knows up to cks, igh, ng, sh, th, that sort of thing.

how long did your children spend on pink? he read his book last might very well, reading words by sight and not sounding them out

over the Xmas hols he read 8 x ref ort booms and 4 x yellow from a set that I purchased a while ago from book people. so I know he can cope with books other than pink.

what are teachers waiting to see before moving them on. and actually, does it really matter.

Ferguson Fri 08-Jan-16 20:20:33

Private schools may be more 'rigid' than state schools, but I was a TA for twenty years in primary schools, and children would move on as soon as they were fairly competent on any book level; there is no set time scale for these things. Also, if the child or parent asked if they could move up, we would try to accommodate it, unless it was evident they were not coping. Comprehension and expression also come into the equation.

Some schools insist on reading every book at every Level, but I don't agree with that.

I'll give you a couple of items that could help, if school 'are dragging their feet':

ONE - An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

TWO - When reading harder books with a child, get him to point to words as he goes along. If he knows the word, or can sound it out, he can say it. If he doesn't know the word, he can hover his finger over it, and YOU say the word for him. Don't stop to analyse or discuss the word at this stage, but try and keep the 'flow' of reading going. Review difficulties at the end, if you wish to. This way, he has the satisfaction of reading more difficult books, without the fear of getting 'stuck' on words.

Try to use a variety of books, including non-fiction on topics he likes. And, if you can, don't be dictated to by the school's 'regime'.

Kanga59 Fri 08-Jan-16 20:27:32

Very helpful thank you. I get the impression they are being rigid. and they probably care a lot about the comprehension side. I hadn't considered that he might be reading every book. We have done ort and ginn (and possibly another one but I can't recall it's name at the moment)

Cressandra Sat 09-Jan-16 12:40:07

You only know what he's missing (if anything) by asking them.

I wouldn't worry too much about the bands. My eldest read higher levels at home than at school too - to be honest I thought the home sets were genuinely easier, but that might just be the different brands. It was a bit of a boost to her confidence to have the higher bands at home.

If he starts to rail against the pink ones and decides they are too easy, I'd definitey mention it. If he's happy I wouldn't worry too much... but I say that with hindsight, after going through this twice already. First time round I'd probably have been less laid back!

Teacherandmumoftwo Tue 12-Jan-16 20:45:40

As a teacher with 11 years experience, I would suggest you ask your child's teacher the same thing. With the best will in the world, teachers don't have time to hear every child in a class of 30 read on a regular basis. If they did, they wouldn't have any time left for actually teaching! As long as you give the impression that you want to work with the teacher, rather than questioning if they are doing their job properly, they should be fine with you asking. It is entirely possible that your child could be reading harder books. Teaching is a hard job with a million things to multitask at any time and we are only human. Sometimes things are overlooked and, personally, I would much rather a parent point these things out rather than for them to worry. However, I would also say that if your child stays on pink band books, that is also fine. Think of it as consolidating what he knows and gaining confidence.

Kanga59 Wed 13-Jan-16 13:41:27

Thank you. It's a private school with 11 children in the class. They listen to them at least 3 X per week. I wonder if he isn't "performing" at school as at home.

I asked what they were waiting to see before moving him to the next stage. Because we would like to Help at home with whatever is missing. They said they would listen again to him and asked if I felt the books were too easy, I said yes.

They sent him home yesterday with Go Away Floppy which IMO is still too short and easy for him. Not sure what to do now. Don't want to seem to keep asking them about this and appear as a nagging parent. Will wait another week and see what comes home. He gets a new book every day.

Cressandra Wed 13-Jan-16 17:08:31

Is it still a pink?

Honestly, just ask. How will you know how to help him otherwise? Plus it'll be fresher in the teacher's mind now.

I wonder if they are looking for something you don't even know he's meant to be doing, like using a finger to point to the words.

It's not meant to be hard for the children, but equally I wouldn't expect their phonics class teaching to keep pace with their reading books particularly. Maybe this is just our state school but they taught phonics as a class but did reading by ability. One of my children was on reading books well ahead of the sounds he'd been taught (I think they sneaked in extra learning for them, but they still did the class stuff), the other learned sounds well ahead of reading them. Neither seems ideal but it hasn't broken them, and they are both MN-style good readers.

Ferguson Wed 13-Jan-16 19:51:32

I have just looked at "Go Away Floppy" as it is on YouTube!

It seems to be level 1+, and equating to Red, not Pink.

But what does HORRIFY me, is that these books seem to have gone back THIRTY years to when I was first a TA, as it is NOT a proper decodable Phonics book!

[I do have an email contact in OUP, and I will try to find out from them what their current thinking on Phonics and learning to read is.]

If, as I assume, you are PAYING for this school, I think you would be well entitled to 'nag, nag, nag' until such time as you consider your child is being taught properly, and is making the progress that you obviously consider he could make.

PennyHasNoSurname Wed 13-Jan-16 19:56:18

My dd is 4.2 and in Preschool (state) and literally knows M,A,E,G and S.

Id say he is doing bloody well!!

Kanga59 Wed 13-Jan-16 20:20:35

Ferguson, my friend who is a reception teacher state school said she was surprised at Go Away Floppy too, as it isn't decodable. He read it without blending though.

Tonight's book was "Reds and Blues". Which has a red sticker on it.

IMO these books are too short. And they don't have decodable words using the diaghraphs he knows.

I wonder if it's all tricky words practice? I'll ask tomorrow

Ferguson Wed 13-Jan-16 20:42:44

It looks like they are in a series called "First Sentences", which may possibly come after the more simple decodable books, and there is obviously repetition, which helps in the early readers. And there is an element of humour, which ORT have always used, which children like (but some parents hate!)

MrsKCastle Wed 13-Jan-16 20:50:47

I would try not to worry too much about the books that he is getting from school, just make sure that what he reads with you is appropriate to his level. You can read library books, get some phonically decodable books (Songbirds are good) or try the oxford owl website. You could write your own sentences using the phonics/tricky words he has learned so far. Or as suggested above, read a harder book but share the reading so that he only reads appropriate words.

IME as a teacher and parent, no one minds too much of you don't read the school books every night, so long as you're reading something.

Cressandra Wed 13-Jan-16 21:01:35

Do ask.

As a private school are they obliged to do pure phonics though? Can't they do mixed methods or whatever they like?

Kanga59 Wed 13-Jan-16 21:30:20

Thanks MrsK but One of the reasons I chose private school so that this would all be taken care of and I wouldn't have to think about it too much. So I'm a bit disappointed that they aren't pushing him much....

mrz Thu 14-Jan-16 06:30:31

Private schools don't have to follow the National Curriculum so don't have to teach phonics or provide books appropriate for the child's phonic knowledge. Obviously this school is happy to use books written thirty years ago

mouldycheesefan Thu 14-Jan-16 09:19:50

My children couldn't read at all on starting school, state. One of them was struggling to blend still at Xmas but once she grasped that she was well away. The other one took to reading very quickly and I think was on level five orange by Xmas and level gold which I think is level 9 by end of reception. I have found the school really effective at teaching and supporting reading, they teach 120 children per year! And they cater to every level of need.
It all sounds a bit old fashioned and plodding at your sons school. In a state schoo There is a minimum target of yellow, level three for end reception, although obviously not all would achieve it whereas others would pass that level by the first half term, , and they have to pass the phonics test in year one. I am not seeing what you are getting for your money.

mouldycheesefan Thu 14-Jan-16 09:21:54

Wondering if the teacher is a qualified teacher? As they don't have to be in private schools.

Kanga59 Thu 14-Jan-16 13:35:20

Thanks al. The hubs is speaking to the teacher tomorrow morning to see what's going on and to whip her into shape (jest)

George2014 Sat 16-Jan-16 07:30:37

Ds is also in a small reception class in a private school. They have lots of different types of books they use - biff chip and kipper, songbirds etc and many more but they have gone through and classified them in their scale eg a level 4.1 (4.1, 4.2, 4.3 available) at school might be level 3 in one brand of books or level 5 on another as the difference is quite a bit in some books. I quite like it as all their books have a school sticker on so we know what level we are on and the books they use vary from story books, phonetically decodable, to non fiction info books which makes a nice change.

He reads to someone every day and it's logged in his reading diary (we write into too) and gets a new book daily. Ds was on school level 3.3 just before Christmas and we had 4 books over the holidays and he did them really well. I wrote this in his book and he came home with a 3.3 and a 4.1 to try at home to see if he was ready to move up and now he's on 4.1.

We have an open door policy at school. Email / chat etc, very receptive. I often miss the teacher as dh drops off so I regularly send emails in and the teacher usually emails back within a few hours (and at night poor thing!). Def ask to speak to the teacher or email. They are usually very accepting of queries I've found and ask for an update on reading progress.

mrz Sat 16-Jan-16 07:43:05

The idea behind book band (coloured bands) is that all books with a pink band regardless of publisher will have the same level if difficulty against set of criteria based on Reading Recovery.

Kanga59 Sat 16-Jan-16 12:16:28

George we had a chat after school and alls good. like your school, they have loads of books and series of book ranging back and thy encourage depth and breadth of reading to consolidate all knowledge. they could keep whizzing the children for wed for colour of band sake but by reading wider and each band for a bit longer, you'll get better vocabulary and comprehension. It also helps with writing confidence as they are practicing simpler words that they also see in books.

she also said that book bands have always been a guide and you need to open the book to see what's in it to really vague. thy have their own school colour stickers on as a guide for the teachers. its not a case of following the books guide to the letter - you are allowed to use your own initiative (unlike as suggested by above post)

so we r going to do two books a night now and will read the project x ones next

Kanga59 Sat 16-Jan-16 12:17:40

bah. couple of typos there. gauge and forward

mrz Sat 16-Jan-16 13:37:06

What a great platitude!

Feenie Sat 16-Jan-16 14:05:49

Agree - classic fobbing off!

Kanga59 Sun 17-Jan-16 17:47:58

You seem to have beef mrz and feenie. I assume your children are at state school and therefore whatever the teachers reply was, you'd have picked a hole in it. Scurry back to your holes.

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