advice on buying reading books for school please?(14 Posts)
Have been reading threads on phonics, suitable reading books etc with interest. My school uses book banding to organise lower school reading books, but we don't have very many books in each bsnd, and the ones we have are pretty old. We are getting to bid for some parent council money to buy some new ones, and also have scholastic money to spend. We are looking at the higher bands to start with- purple to lime probably. Could anyone make any recommendations as to good schemes? The only books that have been bought recently were Ginn Lighthouse. Thanks!
If you are looking at purple to lime, then you are over the level of most phonics schemes so you don't need to worry about decodables really.
Personally I quite like Collins Big Cat and Rigby Star. I wouldn't necessarily go for ORT.
Are you looking at mainly ks1 readers or also at purple to lime level readers that might interest older readers reading at that level?
Thank you! I am in Scotland, I think the books would be used mainly p3 and p4 (yr 2 & 3) who are good readers but maybe don't have the stamina for longer books? Also they can't work with bigger books in terms of finding info inside them etc. But also yes, they will probably be accessed by poorer readers in p5-7 (years 4-6).
I've looked on the scholastic website and they sell packs of big cat readers so that might be good, think the bulk of our spending will have to be with scholastic
Any opinions on Oxford's "project x origins" series?
Sorry, I've never used them.
I wouldn't go for the lower levels for earlier readers as they don't look to be decodable.
There are some schemes that are aimed at upper KS2 readers with reading levels between purple and lime, but it depends on your budget really. It wouldn't be my highest priority if money is limited.
Have you thought much about what you might need in the long term?
Thank you again!
Sorry what do you mean by lower levels?
We have only recently banded our books and pink to turquoise are quite well stocked - bands beyond that only have a few titles in each band.
So I think the main priority is filling those up for readers in upper ks1 (or our equivalent of that)
If you are using bookbands, anything below orange/turquoise. Ideally those will be decodeable and ordered by sounds introduced rather than bookband.
Anything orange or above would probably be OK from any scheme.
In an ideal, money no object world, this is what I would aim for overall:
Decodable reading books aimed at KS1 (prob P1-P2) that take children from first sounds through all the sounds and alternative spellings (e.g. big cat phonics, songbirds, phonics bug, Dandelion readers/launchers)
Banded reading books for KS1 to move onto after finishing the decodable schemes. Probably orange level to whatever level your school finishes at.
A small number decodeable schemes aimed at KS2 for catchup or remedial work (e.g. totem or talisman series from here)
I'd probably add some books for more able KS1 readers (the ORT have some) and something like Collins progress for upper KS2 children who are reading between orange and lime level.
Obviously this will be massively expensive to do all at once and you aren't going to have the budget for it now. But it might give you something to work towards and help you figure out where your gaps are and how best to spend the money you do have now.
DS's school use bugclub For KS1. I don't know the cost, but children are allowed access to huge range of books in their own book band on line.
We bought project x books at our school. I hate them! I'd suggest Big Cat and Rigby Star over any ORT and agree about Bug Club. My DD's school uses it and she's always on there. It even asks them comprehension questions while they're reading
I like Collins Big Cat ones myself. read some of the project x ones online and my girls didn't like them at all. they also would NOT have wanted to read the higher level ORT ones (the longer Biff Chip and Kipper ones brought out recently). I found with my girls that once they got to Turquoise they really had zero interest in the school books at all. they rapidly moved to reading Winnie the Witch, Laura's Star, longer picture story books and early readers and the school books were just rubbish. I would say if you have the money to do it you would be better looking for some "real" books which equate to those levels. perhaps not so much for Turquoise and Purple but above that you should be able to find lots. There are lists around of normal books that have been leveled and whilst it isn't an exact science the children would enjoy it more I expect and it would show them they can read real books not just scheme books. Meg and Mog books for example are generally around book band 6 I believe, Winnie the Witch band 8ish. Will see if I can find the list I had online.
I think some of the ORT non fiction (is that fireflies?) and poetry (glowworms?) are good though at the higher levels.
The ORT non-fiction is really good and has completely engaged some reluctant readers - more useful for reading in groups in school, than sending home to read.
Thank you all so much. Head was very vague about budget so think I will go back and pin her down to a specific amount! Going to spend some time looking through your suggestions, thank you
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