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Going through ORT book band levels too quickly

(11 Posts)
thisagain Tue 18-Oct-16 22:33:20

DS is in year 1 and started the year on Book band 6 (Orange), having ended Reception on 5. During reception the school only gave a book a week, although we went to the library and he read every night. He moved fairly slow through the levels as they never heard him read, and only checked his reading and moved him up if I asked them to assess him.

Now in year 1 he seems to be flying through the colours very quickly - and not because his progress has quickened. In year 1 they can change their books daily - which we do. The series (Project X) he is reading at school has 6 books to each level, and so far he has just read 6 books and been moved up. He has just read the last of the 6 of the purple books and we are wondering if tomorrow he will go up again - he insists that he will because once you've read all 6 books you move up. I can sort of understand it, because he is in to the story and wants to read the next one, but can he continue up at this rate. Currently, he is going up a book band a week!

What does anyone else think?

Muddlingalongalone Tue 18-Oct-16 22:55:01

My dd's year 1 teachers are approaching ort differently this year & they aren't religiously following level development, ta changes the book x 1 per week & otherwise the children have quite a free choice in what to read.

However her progress is similar to your ds in that she finished reception on blue, skipped orange completely was given a purple book that was tricky for her so went back to turquoise & read loads of those & is now back on purple & reading them comfortably but wasn't keen on the gold book she was given last week even though she could read it ok.

I would focus on how easily he can read them & whether he is clearly understanding what he's reading. If he isn't ready for the next level, speak to the teacher otherwise let him carry on. A whole 30 page book a day is a lot so he must be enjoying it?

itlypocerka Tue 18-Oct-16 22:59:11

Don't worry too much.
In y1 the book bands are infinitesimally spaced, with differences in the levels being virtually undetectable to a non-professional. This is quite deliberate to ensure that the kids who aren't quite "getting it" don't feel they are stagnating at the same level for weeks/months. It's perfectly OK for a child to leap and bound over these levels if they don't need to take the same amount of time. They will slow down again as the levels get trickier again.

irvineoneohone Tue 18-Oct-16 23:03:32

I think if he is enjoying reading, I see no problem going up the level quickly. My ds skipped and gone through levels very quickly, but it didn't stop him from progressing his reading ability and love of reading.

catkind Wed 19-Oct-16 00:35:59

DS just read up the Project X series from level 7 to 11 one holiday. I think it's not as hard as reading other books at the same level as they're very familiar with the characters and the style and a lot of the words will be familiar too. Question is what happens when he runs out of those books, will he find other books at that level too hard? But I wouldn't buy trouble, if that happens, you can ask for a change then. As long as he's happy with the books he's reading now I think it's fine. It may be he's doing a bit of level catching up and he's more able than his current level suggests if they were moving them up slowly last year.

Do school not own any other books at these levels? We had something similar at school where they only had one series (4 books in our case) at certain levels, half of which had already been used in guided reading. So DS moved up every other book for a few weeks. As he'd already read a long way ahead of that at home we were just pleased he was getting something of a bit more substance from school, but it did amuse me when we'd been puzzling for months why he was stuck on the level before that for so long.

thisagain Wed 19-Oct-16 07:04:54

Thanks for your replies. He does enjoy reading them but I don't think he will be a natural reader. It is complete habit for him to read a book a night to me and then for me to read to him. At some point soon it will have to stop being a book a night, as they get longer. I never see him pick up a book any other time "for fun". He is very competitive though and they discuss book bands at school - getting their books to read to themselves while the teacher calls out the less advanced readers. He knows that he is on one of the highest book bands (but not the highest) and is always keen to go on to the next level. I think competitiveness drives him more than a love of reading.

I don't know if it's the only series they have. I was looking forward to the Magic Key! wink DS says that's all there is. I thought he must be wrong, but perhaps he isn't. I thought the girls must be being given something else.

I know it doesn't really matter, but I guess that is it, when he gets to lime I don't think he'll be a true lime - having been professed up too quickly and never fully consolidating each level. I can cross that bridge if and when it comes. It's not like it's a real problem because he's clearly doing well. I can remember my DDs being on book bands for ages (though I've got big age gaps which makes it hard to remember and compare) so just wondered what others thought.

irvineoneohone Wed 19-Oct-16 08:46:15

One of the good habit my ds got from reading challenging books was to get into the habit of looking up dictionary for unknown words.
He was able to decode words, but still came across lots of words he never heard before.
We bought electrical dictionary in the end, so he can look up words quickly while reading, without breaking flow of reading so much.

chamenager Wed 19-Oct-16 09:35:49

Regarding the 'not reading for love of reading' - 'I don't think he will be a natural reader' - on this point my DS was similar at this stage of Y1. We read the school books daily (there was also some level competition going on at school, but mainly it was just part of our daily routine). Similar level, started Y1 on Turquoise but moved very slowly through the levels despite reading them easily, due to school policy of reading every one of the 50 books per level before moving up.
No matter what I provided him with - and I tried lots, and really tried to engage his interests - he very rarely picked up a book by himself. He'd happily choose a pile of books from the library but would only actually read them if I bribed him in some way. Even if he loved the topic.

Fast forward half a year. Around May half-term he suddenly caught the bug. And we haven't looked back! Another half year later, he now (Y2) reads a chapter book (with on average 120 pages or so) every two days or so, plus the daily school book. He usually has about five books on the go at any one time. He states that reading is his favourite thing ever. Sometimes he begs to go to the charity book shop after school, and when I say yes, he squeals with delight and goes and shares the exciting news with his friends.

So, I wouldn't give up on the idea of him becoming a 'natural reader' quite yet smile

thisagain Wed 19-Oct-16 10:19:49

I hope this will happen to my DS too chemanager. I did think I might be making assumptions too a bit soon.

MariamaMay Thu 20-Oct-16 00:53:17

I am having opposite problem. Ds has been on same level for months. Can read them . All comments in log positive but no change to level. He is year 1. Still on reception level books. Can read higher levels with me. So frustrating!

Moving through book bands quickly is ok as long as child also has good understanding - I work in a school. Different skills expected as progress .

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 20-Oct-16 09:09:12

In y1 the book bands are infinitesimally spaced, with differences in the levels being virtually undetectable to a non-professional.

grin They're undectectable to professionals too. There's some vague wishy washy criteria, but other than that it's a bit of a mystery that the creators won't be drawn on.

Books are supposed to be matched to the decoding level of the child so as long as he doesn't seem to be struggling to read them, I wouldn't worry too much about how fast he's moving through the levels.

Enjoyment of reading is a strange thing. For most children it won't come until they are reading effortlessly (and even fluent child readers can be putting in more effort than they appear to be). A few will develop it early on, a few until not much later. Often it's just a case of finding the right book or books to engage the child.
Letting him see people around him enjoy reading for pleasure and exposing him to a wide variety of different texts will help.

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