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Reading records

(31 Posts)
NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 17:16:38

Could any teachers please let me know, what exactly is the purpose of the home reading record being fully filled in each day i.e. what does this informal record-keeping get used towards in an official sense?

When I tick to say my child has read to me every day, does the teacher then transfer that to another record for the school's/inspection purposes?

I am wondering because we have a very able, extremely voracious Yr 3 reader. They read to themselves constantly - it's actually a flash point of parenting to get the book off them when they're supposed to be doing something else!

I do not get them to read aloud every day, probably 3-4 times a week. As a household we are bad record-keepers, so sometimes we don't fill the reading record in. When I do fill it in I make sure we stress we have checked comprehension, discussed idioms or tricky pronunciation, read between the lines to see what the author is implying etc. so it's clear we are engaged with the process, we just don't fill the damn thing in enough. The teacher knows we are a bookish family.

Yet we get the exasperated notes in the record, the most recent saying that they need to know "that DC reads aloud to an adult daily." Well, they don't, and I have no problem saying so. To be perfectly honest, there are loads of other areas DC needs more effort putting into, so we do that, because I'm not in the slightest bit concerned about their reading ability (comprehension, expression, fluency all excellent as far as I can tell).

I know the teacher isn't concerned with DC's ability either. But yet the tone of the notes about the importance of record-keeping that they are reading aloud every day to an adult are really insistent.

So, I am wondering: what purpose does the reading record serve? It's not for the teacher to "just know" that DC is reading aloud (as we've had this discussion in the past face-to-face about how often she does so at home, and were told it's fine just to record books she's read independently), the tick-box must be getting filled in somewhere else too.

Are teachers/schools assessed on a tick-box type thing about how many children are reading aloud every day?

I may have just written a slightly ranty response in the ruddy Reading Record that will need ripping out before Monday

2014newme Fri 14-Oct-16 17:21:45

We only have to do it x4 per week. There is a lot of value in Reading to parents. Discussion of characters, plotting, vocabulary, punctuation -like a book group would do. My dd is a voracious reader but I do think she gets a lot out of reading to us.

NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 17:24:19

I don't have an issue with the results of reading aloud - and like I say, we listen to them read aloud, and discuss, and I am honestly not just paying lip service, books and reading are v. important here.

It's how the tick-box record-keeping is used that I am interested in.

irvineoneohone Fri 14-Oct-16 17:33:16

Wow, I am quite shocked at your anger. Don't do it if you don't agree. It doesn't cange anything about your dd's ability.
My ds is a good reader, but I still make him read to me, and sign reading diary everyday. Only because I don't mind doing it. But if I was so angry about it, I wouldn't.

Undersmile Fri 14-Oct-16 17:39:27

The teacher has no idea if your child hasn't opened a book from one week to the next if you do not fill in the record. They could have read Great Expectations, but IME 7yos are not great at informing their teachers of what they've read and discussed with their parents.

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 14-Oct-16 17:44:10

Ask the teacher... your school sounds weird, our school isn't bothered at all about our reading record, whereas I know they are encouraging of kids who are struggling more. We barely write it in - we only write in the school reading book which averages less than one a week - as DD isn't very good at remembering to change it so the same one arrives home and we don't read it again.

We never record any of the reading she does by herself, and don't specifically aim for her to read aloud to us - she'll still do it on occasion. There have been no comments about record keeping, even though the school are very encouraging of other kids to read and it would look from the reading book that DD rarely reads. Maybe the school just don't like us, but I think they're actually sensible and actually target where it's useful. The kid who can read fluently is not a good use of irritation to all concerned.

I suspect it's some sort of messed up school policy that is not good for anyone. Like irvineoneohone says, don't do pointless stuff that causes anger!

NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 17:49:25

I'm not seething or anything! smile

I'm not angry that they need the record-keeping (and have apologised in my ranty note, in fact, that we are so bad at it), more that I am wondering how is my lack of record-keeping impacting on the teacher?

Given that no-one is questioning DC's ability, why does it matter to the teacher if the box isn't ticked?

Reports/parents evenings/guided reading etc all say excellent comprehension/ability yadda yadda. So it must be an "official" need for the record itself to be ticked, no?

Tiggles Fri 14-Oct-16 17:53:36

Yes ours get transferred into 'official' school records.
And actually, my DS1 is now in year 10 at secondary and the school still like me to hear him read. He was reading Harry Potter by the time he was 5 so a good reader. However, reading out loud is a different skill to reading in your head and always good to practise. I can also pick up if I think he is skipping over new vocab. We only do this a few times a term as he has a lot of other homework.
I have made the effort to read more with DS2 and 3 than I did with DS1 - I stopped with him during primary as didn't think it was worth it for reasons you give above. It has actually been really good for them to keep on reading to me and their reading has progressed faster than their brother's did.

NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 17:56:18

X-post sirfredfred

The kid who can read fluently is not a good use of irritation to all concerned.

Yes, that's it - they & I both KNOW that the lack of the tick in the box means nothing about DC's ability and progress, so what is the purpose of the hassling about it? If not that it must be part of a greater record somewhere?

Previous school had much more of the attitude you mention. Which worked fine for me grin. And I am happy to put a tick in a box if it is useful to the teacher in some meaningful way . . . I'd just like to know what that is.

I guess I will just have to ask and hope the answer is not "because we tell you to"

NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 18:08:04

Ah, so there might be an official need for it - thanks Tiggles.

I do absolutely and thoroughly agree that reading aloud is really important, even at older ages. We do it, I promise! We just are crap at remembering to put the tick in the box. I was never convinced at school myself about the "showing your workings"/"demonstrate your research notes before you write the essay" etc and clearly I am passing on my crap attitude. Must try harder. grin

I have informed DC that I am delegating the daily-tick-in-the-box to them, and will fill in more specific comments as and when as we already do.

Greenleave Fri 14-Oct-16 18:11:13

We dont have that box in our reading records, my daughter only read outloud to me for 1 month around term 2 year 1 when I started my mat leave. Before and since then we never have time for it. Reading outloud is exhausting compare to reading to themself. My child is a bookworm and this was what she wrote in her reading record sometime last year. I occasionally read her book records. She has always done it herself

mrz Fri 14-Oct-16 18:12:27

*"*^*So it must be an "official" need for the record itself to be ticked, no?*^*"* No

wineusuallyhelps Fri 14-Oct-16 18:14:24

One of my children is year 3. He has a reading age of 13 (all his own doing, it's just the way he is - not a boast.).

Because he reads so much, I told his teacher I would only listen to him read aloud once per week - twice at most! - and write in the diary then. I couldn't possibly list everything he reads. He's the kind of kid who sneaks a torch under the covers and you have to tell him off for reading late at night hmm

I wouldn't worry too much. Explain your position and just write in it when you want to!

TeacherBob Fri 14-Oct-16 18:21:23

For me, its just used to show that the children are reading at home.
And I use home reading as a tool to get them excited about home learning and learning in general.
I don't use the information to assess or anything.
I will use it as a tool if a child is underachieving to show that the parents need to do more at home, too (which I know MN'ers will whine about but I have high expectations and it is my expectation that families actually support their children to learn

Starlight2345 Fri 14-Oct-16 18:22:14

We have to write in reading record...If its not and signed by parents then children don't get homework homework signed off. So I do it for my son's sake as he has done his homework.

I would also like to know what the teachers do with information. I have his completed reading records returned so get binned.

I am sure it is a paperwork exercise as there is a lot of this in teaching so do it also as the teachers have enough to deal with without me moaning about a 2 minute job..

NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 18:28:20

Ah, I dunno. I have explained my position in the past. But it keeps coming up, so I figure it must be really important. (Tho mrz says no!) It's just that, like this thread, there's presumably either the assumption that you don't really care about the value of reading aloud & probably don't do it if you're not ticking the box, or that I am being deliberately stroppy about it. I'm not, just disorganised. I can and will make more effort but only if it's serving some purpose. Because the tick in the box is not helping my child in and of itself - but if it's helping the teacher/school then I'll try harder.

mrz Fri 14-Oct-16 18:37:38

Tiggles school obviously like to keep records for their own purposes but there is no "official" reason to transfer information in a reading record.

It may be the school are concerned about your child's reading and think reading aloud at home would help. Unfortunately many people (including teachers) stop listening to children read aloud much too early and they develop bad habits.

Bluepowder Fri 14-Oct-16 18:44:22

In many schools it is the TA/parent volunteers who most often listen to small groups or individuals read. Without a comment or tick there is no way a teacher would know if any reading is being done at home. There are some parents who do no reading at home with their child.

TeacherBob Fri 14-Oct-16 18:45:35

Nosquirrels imagine you are me as a teacher.

I need to know who reads at home. I need to know if child a is at level 1b for instance because he is reading at home all the time but genuinely struggling with what he is doing (so I can put an intervention in place to work at his specific problems) as opposed to the child who never reads at home and so never practices and just needs more opportunities to read.

It also tells us a lot about how parents can act at home and the childs homelife (those who don't care about education, etc). And even things like if parents have learning difficulties etc.

I think what I am trying to say is, I find it incredibly useful, and insist all my children read, and I make it clear to the parents that it is an expectation I have. It makes a difference to my classroom. It makes a difference to little bert who gets to read with an adult every day because no-one reads at home with him. And to let bertrina who actually reads a lot but struggles so other stratagies are needed.
It may not actually make a difference to your child but it helps build a picture of what I can do to make school a happier place as a group. As a result, little bert is better behaved because we can properly meet his needs and that results in a better environment for your child to learn in.

Does that make sense or did I just type gobbledygook lol

LoisEighty Fri 14-Oct-16 18:50:00

They just want to know that your child is reading aloud to you at home.

I just write the date/title. Occasionally a note if he has struggled with something.

If the expectation to read daily isn't working for you then write a note back saying 'we can only read 3x a week'.

Starlight2345 Fri 14-Oct-16 19:00:02

That makes sense to me Teacher bob...However I do know parents who who get their children to read on a Friday and divide up there Reading into 3 days so homework is signed off.
I also have a child who despite been in year 5 finds the fact his reading record should of been bought home every night for the past 6 years still finds it hard to remember to bring it home every night... So when I have spoke to teachers it has not been filled in they say ph yes we know your DS reads at home..So in that sense I see no point..

TeacherBob Fri 14-Oct-16 19:10:55

I am not saying it is perfect, far from it, but we can only use what is available to us.
I am always open to suggestions

irvineoneohone Fri 14-Oct-16 20:20:40

Op, I hate listening to my ds, and ds hate reading aloud to me. We only do it because I believe there's something to gain. Reading aloud is different skill to reading to yourself. Also signing reading record can make teachers aware of which children are reading at home, and which children may need extra help at school, which is very helpful for teachers. I try to listen to him as many times as possible a week, but sometimes it's not possible. It doesn't matter.

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 14-Oct-16 20:48:36

I think reading aloud is a skill, I'm not sure that reading biff and chip takes you towards it though, and particularly not when you don't have the speed and stamina to read and know what's coming up to be able to add the right stresses.

But I'm sure it is good for ensuring that they understand the words they're reading and leading to discussion if you're a kid who doesn't do that otherwise.

NoSquirrels Fri 14-Oct-16 21:19:20

Thank you all.

I am as convinced as I can possibly be that no one at school is actually concerned about my DC's ability. If there were, I assume they'd tell me they were struggling, but I am consistently told the opposite: reading, fluency & comprehension is excellent.

I don't hate listening to my DC read aloud - I enjoy it, actually, and we always have quite a good discussion.

I can accept that no one can see the "results" of this - except in my DC's actual ability, which is my point I guess!

I appreciate your position teacherBob, and I do understand WHY reading at home and being able to see who does it is important to evaluate circumstances - even to the extent of it being a group expectation I can understand that. But if you DO know that my DC reads at home (because we have discussed it, because you have said you can see the evidence of it in their ability) then why place such importance on the record-keeping aspect? That's my genuine ?? moment with it.

Of course part of why I am so niggled by it is that I'm personally failing at a ridiculously trivial thing (box ticking), but which is clearly being taken as a measure of my competence at supporting home learning, so I feel peeved that no one is recognising the actual results of my efforts (in DC's ability) if they can't see the tick every day.

But eh, I have now had wine and will get over myself and make sure I knuckle down to the record-keeping.

Thanks all for the comments!

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