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Reading in Year 1

(23 Posts)
MariamaMay Fri 30-Sep-16 00:16:05


I don't know if anyone has any thoughts. I am extremely frustrated. My son is coming home with ORT (Oxford Reading Tree) level 1 and 2 books and occasionally level 3. However, this evening he read fluently through a level 4 (he was able to read level 7 books with me in reception). I have tried talking to the teacher but got no-where. She mentioned that it's about comprehension too. As I was aware of this, I ask him about the title of the book / what he thinks the book might be about / questions about the story he has just read / what his favourite bit(s) are / what he likes or doesn't like and he can answer all of these for the books he brings home / he could also do this with ease for the level 4 book he read with me that I got him and has been able to do it for higher level books as well! He is reading the books he gets sent home with without any sounding out and within about 5 mins!!! I do check later!!!

I cannot work out why I am so frustrated by this. Part of me says, lets just supplement at home and not get too bogged down with school. But it worries me that if he is not reading at an appropriately challenging level that this could be happening in other areas of his work too.

Arghhh!!! Should I relax ... and go with the flow! Or should I find a way of saying something again?

Has anyone been in a similar position?

Any thoughts/suggestions/advice welcome!

ScarletSienna Fri 30-Sep-16 00:23:57

Ask directly which comprehension skills she thinks he is struggling with that are preventing him from reading the next levels as it sounds to me that he'd be able to.

Google Bloom's Taxonomy. It shows the different levels of thinking and understanding linked to reading. You could use examples from it to back up your reasoning if appropriate.

Good luck!

redcaryellowcar Fri 30-Sep-16 00:25:39

I suspect they are just getting to know him. Maybe it's best for you to take him to the library or bookshop and allow him to choose books he would like to read, fiction/ non fiction etc, then just help him read where necessary. Maybe Encourage a love of reading and books in general rather than feeling the learning to read is a race?

irvineoneohone Fri 30-Sep-16 06:09:35

When asked question by teacher, is he answering properly like he does at home? Is he shy?
My ds always used to say "don't know" for everything, and teacher thought he wasn't getting it. Truth is, he was just being lazy. He jumped few book band levels after teacher started to dig deeper.

sashh Fri 30-Sep-16 06:28:39

Not an expert but for reasons I won't go in to I have been spending this week in a primary.

In the year 2 class this week they are concentrating on 'soft c' sounds. (ie city, century, nice rather than cat or carpet) so the reading is looking at that but so is the writing spelling.

It sounds like he is sight reading, which is fine, but can he spell the words he reads? Can he write them?

Also agree with talking to the teacher and getting him some books / a kindle (loads of classics free) or taking him tot he library.

Feenie Fri 30-Sep-16 07:14:03

His reading book doesn't follow the instructions given to teachers in the curriculum - he's supposed to be given one which closely matches his phonic knowledge. Some teachers seem unable to grasp this very simple point. I would subscribe to Reading Chest and select more appropriate decodable books from there. They come in an big envelope addressed to your ds which my ds found v exciting.

ROSY2016 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:48:07

Sashh year 2 what level reading they are on? My daughter brought a phonic level book about soft c. She was good at look and read rather than phonics. So after reading I giver her some phonics words to find and write without looking .she can go up to level 8 with her reading,but I think they keeping children at certain level to know all their phonics. They changing books everyday and two books everyday, so even she is bored She can change very often.

Feenie Fri 30-Sep-16 10:54:23

They shouldn't be 'keeping' the children anywhere - their reading needs to match their phonics level, not their spelling! The idea is rapid progression, not holding children back because they can't spell the words as well, fgs!

Ginmummy1 Fri 30-Sep-16 13:07:35

Feenie, can you clarify a bit please? You say reading book should match phonics level. Are you expecting the whole class to be learning the same phonics sounds (eg this week we’re covering ‘oo’) and all bringing the same books home that use these sounds, even though some children won’t be up to that level in their reading, and others are way above in their reading?

If that is the case, judging from the number of issues raised by parents relating to reading levels on this forum, very many schools are not following the curriculum.

However, as the mother of a typical MN child, do I think my daughter may be missing out because she hasn’t brought home a book with five words per page including some ‘oo’ words? No: the phonics lesson will have been sufficient to reinforce what she had already worked out by herself by reading. It’d be a waste of the teacher’s time to issue a book that would take DD 30 seconds to read at home.

chamenager Fri 30-Sep-16 13:57:33

Ginmummy, I believe the books are supposed to match each individual child's phonics ability - not the current classroom teaching level. So they should take into account any phonics knowledge a child has acquired through differentiation, or from outside of school.

When in reception, DS' teacher didn't want to move him up a book level because 'we won't teach those PGCs until Y1'. (That's a problem of differentiation there.)
So I taught them to him myself, and then he was moved up.

So at that stage, they were in keeping with the rule that books should match phonics ability, but they were rubbish at differentiation - they would have happily kept my DS at the same level for the whole year (and indeed they did do that to some other kids).

Now they have changed their policies, and no longer match the books to phonics abilities. Instead they make the children plough through all books on each level. So very little differentiation, AND no matching up of phonics abilities to books. <sigh> Luckily DS is beyond that now.

Feenie Fri 30-Sep-16 17:48:38

You say reading book should match phonics level. Are you expecting the whole class to be learning the same phonics sounds (eg this week we’re covering ‘oo’) and all bringing the same books home that use these sounds, even though some children won’t be up to that level in their reading, and others are way above in their reading?

Firstly, I don't say it - it's the curriculum. And no, children's developing knowledge differs across the class. The children wouldn't all be reading the same book!

Feenie Fri 30-Sep-16 17:54:08

So children should be reading decodable books and moving through the scheme as their knowledge develops.

Ginmummy1 Fri 30-Sep-16 22:00:23

So, DD’s school is one of those many schools that don’t follow a single reading scheme – they have books from a range of schemes and assign them to their own banding system (which appears to follow the ORT colour bands up to Lime and then goes off piste!).

I know from obsessing on MN for over a year that this is not the recommended approach, and it will be no surprise that not all of books in DD’s school are decodable at a level that matches the ‘scheme’ level (some of the books are almost as old as I am).

So, for a child that enters Reception already being able to read independently, is the teacher supposed to check systematically through the phonics sounds until they find the first one that the child trips up on, and then put them at that reading level? I would expect there to be a few random gaps and it’d be difficult to match on this basis (it seems more natural to look at fluency, comprehension, inference, stamina).

DD (Y1) is learning phonics in class, and she enjoys it and I understand the benefits. She is happily playing the games and decodes real and alien words and all that stuff. However, her reading must be several years ahead. I can’t really work out how it would be sensible to analyse her decoding level and match it to a scheme level, not with this child at this school anyway.

I get the impression on MN that neither DD or her school are that unusual. No doubt this post will depress all those that are trying to do things as per the curriculum. I’m just stating the ‘facts’ in my situation presently, and am genuinely interested to understand how Feenie, Mrz etc would determine which level of books someone like my DD (or indeed the OP’s DS!) should be on.

Feenie Fri 30-Sep-16 22:08:21

Really easily! Just read with them. Very easy to find the correct level and progress from there.

Ginmummy1 Fri 30-Sep-16 22:29:32

Thanks - I'm overanalysing as usual smile

Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Fri 30-Sep-16 22:42:18

I would subscribe to Reading Chest if you can afford to, or use the local library. My first two DC had a reception teacher who insisted that every child read every flipping Ginn book in sequential order, and by DC2 and book 1 of level 1 I wrote a note in the reading record saying:

I have taught cakechild to read at home, using phonics. He is currently reading Floppy's Phonics green band books. I feel that reading look-and-say books at home will be demotivating and counter productive, so I will continue to listen to him read phonics-based books of my choice until I feel he is ready for a wider repertoire. Kind regards, cakemum.

I was that parent. But by DC3 there was a new reception teacher who assessed DC3 at the start of term and put her on the level of books above what we were doing at home. The Ginn books all seemed to disappear within a few weeks of term. I trusted her completely with my child's reading, so just read the books sent home with DC3.

MariamaMay Fri 30-Sep-16 22:44:44

Thanks everyone smile

This evening the teacher (who seems lovely) reassures me they have been assessed and moved up from reception books! I open son's book bag and we have ... a stage 2 book. Words like "put it back"! Son could do this in November of reception!!! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Will wait to see what comes home next week. But not holding my breath.

I work in a school and the philosophy is not to hold them back with reading. If they struggle with phonics but can read they get extra help. Though, there is no evidence that my son is struggling and he is able to decode words using phonics when I ask him to. Like a lot of boys, he will take the easy way out and guess!!! But he can do it when pushed to!!!

I guess its off to the library we go ... can I burst into song here ... hey ho., hey ho, hey ho (just had to!!!). Will also see if school I work in has any books son might like!

Thank you for all your replies. It seems reading is a tricky one to discuss with teachers!!!

mrz Sat 01-Oct-16 05:44:34

As Feenie says the easiest way is to listen to the child read aloud.

mrz Sat 01-Oct-16 05:45:24

Should probably add we don't use book banding

Blueberry234 Sat 01-Oct-16 06:22:15

Having similar with my son in year one on yellow coming home with 2 books and reading them in under 5 minutes and can answer questions about them. I was going to wait to parents evening to speak with his teacher but last night DH and I were saying we at comment in his log.
We have been going to the library and supplementing with books he can choose and read to me. They came home with new reading logs last night and it does say to write any extra reading down so will do that too.
So last night he read 2 bloody biff, chip and kipper followed by 15 pages of a Star Wars book called rescue at jabas palace, which he enjoyed more.

I hate all this book banding and after recently another mother commenting my son was dim being a level lower than hers I had a complete wobble. Have since seen sense and got over myself am going to just continue doing what I am doing.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 01-Oct-16 06:51:49

The discovery that reading specific books at home wasn't compulsory was so liberating. At first I might write 'dd thought this book was too boring so read x pages of rainbow fairies instead' eventually I just said we weren't taking any more books home. You need enough other books from library/ book people to do it but actually I discovered that the teachers weren't too bothered when we stopped and it was just me getting exasperated. For all three of mine I have been the person who decides because it is me sitting listening to them. I would just tell her that he is obviously a much more confident reader at home with you so you will source his books, jot them down in his record if you can be bothered and he can read school books at school.

Feenie Sat 01-Oct-16 10:50:54

The raison d'etre of a reading scheme is to enable your child to read real books eventually. If that's already happening, that's fantastic!

Cleverkid Sat 01-Oct-16 13:35:21

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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