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comprehension and reading levels

(14 Posts)
chamenager Thu 05-May-16 10:23:21

DS is Y1 and a reasonably able reader. At school he is on purple books, but he hasn't been heard 1-1 since October/November. They make them read every book at each level before moving them up. At home he can and does read higher, roughly white level I'd say.

Does it make sense for him to get 'comprehension' homework at blue level? I.e. a blue ORT Biff Chip and Kipper book (which he read as a school book about 18 months ago) with a matching work sheet, with very simple multiple choice questions.

irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 11:06:29

Maybe just a simple mistake by teacher or your ds picked up wrong paper?

chamenager Thu 05-May-16 15:11:06

No, definitely not a mistake. The 8 or so most able readers have been given comprehension homework (rest of the class gets phonics homework). All comprehension homework is the same. These eight kids range in reading levels (school reading books - some read more difficult stuff at home) from orange to gold I believe, but all have been given this 'blue' level comprehension homework. Hence why I was wondering if it is usual to do comprehension on 'easy-for-the-child' books?
If yes, does it matter HOW easy? DS would find e.g. turquoise pretty easy these days. Blue however is so restricted that a major part of the story is told via pictures, and some of the questions test 'comprehension' of the pictures rather than the text.

MakingJudySmile Thu 05-May-16 15:22:42

I'll say up front that I don't know the Biff and Chip levels so can't figure out the standard.

But interpreting from pictures isn't necessarily simple. It'd take use of imagination (doesn't always come naturally) and the ability to interpret pictures.

A child can have a high reading ability but not be able to comprehend very well what the words actually mean or interpret things like certain fact and possible fact from what they read.

Local libraries often have books aimed at different reading age but at certain actual age interest. For example: Reading Age 10-12 Interest Age: 6-8 (or vise versa)

MakingJudySmile Thu 05-May-16 15:23:52

What is he comprehension like for the books he reads at home?

irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 17:58:21

My ds's school uses bug club in KS1 for reading comprehension, so reading(decoding) level always seems to matches comprehension levels.
MN has sample bug club books.

Choose the free ebook on the page and select books on your dc's level, and try some interactive see if your dc's level matches reading level, and you can ask the teacher about it with evidence?

Ferguson Thu 05-May-16 20:42:26

I would be slightly suspicious as to why school is doing things this way: either the teacher is not putting in much effort, taking the easy way out to make it LOOK like something useful is being tackled with worksheets; or she is not a very efficient teacher, and doesn't know any better.

Also, having to read every book in a series is not very helpful, and would not normally have happened in classes I worked in.

chamenager Sat 07-May-16 10:28:22

MakingJudy, his general comprehension seems ok/decent to me. Of course, sometimes he does miss things and often he doesn't like questions such as 'what do you think will happen next?' as he prefers to just read the story, rather than guess at what might happen. Inference is obviously still developing but not terrible either. He is good at the 'recalling information' part of comprehension though. And by the way he uses expression (e.g. excited/sad/scared voice) when reading aloud, I infer that he actually 'gets' quite a lot.
But as the teacher never hears him read, I doubt she has a good understanding of his stage of comprehension.

I agree that interpreting from pictures isn't necessarily simple, but in these books it is! Questions are for example: How many children came to the house? So the 'reader' simply counts the children. Seeing as the books are 'non-decodable' when they are usually first encountered, they are designed so as to make the pictures explain the story and help the 'reader' guess the words.

irvine thanks, I'll try that with him when we have a moment. He does readtheory sometimes and is quite good at it.

Ferguson, yes I have similar suspicions. The teacher is lovely but really seems to be letting the more able kids just get on with things.

irvineoneohone Sat 07-May-16 11:04:43

If your ds does read theory, have you looked at progress report?
They tell you the grade(us) level and average lexile level of your child, and level of mastery of reading skills.( you can see what's the goal of each skill is, if you press learn more.) It does tell you how good your dc is at reading in details. (obviously not decoding skills, but comprehension.)

irvineoneohone Sat 07-May-16 11:56:46

Second thought, the progress report may not be accurate, unless your dc done it for while, since you can guess the right answer. ( My ds goes up to grade 12 levels sometimes, but that doesn't mean he is averaging in grade 12 level. Normally floating around 7/8/9.)

chamenager Sat 07-May-16 12:21:40

irvine, DS works at grade levels 4-6. However, I do help him with some things - not by telling him the answer, but by showing him how to work it out. Because I sort of use it as a teaching tool, rather than for independent learning or even testing. So if he did it completely independently I suspect he'd work on about grade 3, maybe 4. Which isn't too bad seeing as he is in Y1.
He gets 95% on 'key ideas and content' and about 75% on the other measures (integration of knowledge, craft and structure).

I'm pretty sure the difficulty of the comprehension homework he has been given has little to do with his actual abilities (also because they all have been given the same). I'm just wondering how usual/unusual it is to be given comprehension work at a level so far below one's reading level.

irvineoneohone Sat 07-May-16 12:36:14

Can't you print out the report and show it to your ds's teacher? It seems pointless doing blue level comprehension. He sounds like definitely needs proper differentiation.

SaturdaySurprise Sat 07-May-16 17:32:03

I read with a year 2 class. Some of the children read quite well, but have very little understanding of what they've just read. Sometimes they have no clue. Their comprehension is way below their decoding.

However, 6 months is a long time to go without being listened to by the teacher in year 1. Perhaps you should ask to speak to the teacher.

slev Sun 08-May-16 00:47:12

DS is also Year 1 and on white level books. However, while he's perfectly capable of reading the individual words, because it's a school book and therefore homework, he rattles through it quickly without really taking in what's happening.

So although he doesn't get comprehension homework, we spend a lot of time talking about the books and what's happened. Toy could put him in any level and he'd be fine with the vocabulary, but that doesn't mean he's really reading it.

So while I'm not sure your son's homework is normal, I can absolutely see the point in starting comprehension work early, to teach them to read rather than just saying words out loud.

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