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Negative feedback in reading diary - how to respond?

(26 Posts)
DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 07:14:53

Every Friday ds has guided reading. He has sn and is in year 5. Every week the teacher leaves a comment which invariably states that ds failed to answer the questions on motive/themes/characters.

I am starting to wonder what to do with these comments? So yes we should talk to ds about his reading and we do as much as we can though it's difficult. But apart from that what is gained from a weekly comment recording how he failed? Wouldn't it be more helpful to record strategies used to help him?

Should I say something to the teacher?

IfartInYourGeneralDirection Tue 29-Nov-16 07:26:39

I'd write back
' how are you helping him to be able to answer questions'

She shoe be providing help not constant negativity

irvineoneohone Tue 29-Nov-16 07:51:55

Try this site for reading comprehension.

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 09:05:10

Thank you for the link. I was just wondering if I was expecting too much!

steppemum Tue 29-Nov-16 09:13:35

if he is not able to cope with the guided reading group he is in, then he should be in n easier group.

I would write back as said, what are you doing to help him, and also, haven you considered giving him work at his level rather than work that is obviously too hard?

This is lazy of the teacher really. You could also ask if you could have the book/passage they are working on. If they are reading through a book, maybe you could read it together the night before, so when he reads it in class it is the second reading not the first. You would need to ask teacher how much support you are allowed to giev, eg can you read it to him? Does he have to read it himself? What is more important here, reading level or comprehension, as you reading aloud might strengthen his comprehensions skills.

JerryFerry Tue 29-Nov-16 09:16:56

How depressing. All they need to do is phrase it a bit more positively ie this week's goal...

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 09:52:25

Thank you, this is really helpful. I was wondering if I was being precious, but now I really want to get this sorted.

Primaryteach87 Tue 29-Nov-16 10:08:24

I suspect this is a response by the teacher to criticism (quite likely by some other parent) that they were shocked and surprised at parents evening that their child was having challenges when only nice comments in the reading diary. The trouble is, you can't win and all parents want different things. Maybe ask the teacher to stop commenting on this area as you are now fully aware it's an issue and don't need a weekly reminder!

Primaryteach87 Tue 29-Nov-16 10:09:47

Sorry that sounded grumpy! Totally not unreasonable not to want to see this, I was just empathising with how this silly situation might have been instigated but not if your making and not nice to read.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 29-Nov-16 10:10:19

My first question to anyone complaining or stating negative things about their job is exactly the same whether they are teachers, junior employees, clients:

So what are you doing about it?

SaltyMyDear Tue 29-Nov-16 10:12:21

Phrasing it positively rather than negatively won't change the problem. Nor will writing nothing.

The problem is your DS doesn't read very well and school don't know how to help him.

You can have yet another meeting with the teacher and SENCO but they are telling you loud and clear they don't know how to help them.

So unfortunately you need to reasearch his problems yourself and suggest to school what they can do to help.......

irvineoneohone Tue 29-Nov-16 10:16:49

I think I find it really sad and demotivating if my ds got negative comment week after week. If it came with suggestions how to improve, it maybe different, but this is so wrong.
I had the same sort of issue with my ds' reading in yr1, and the teacher just told me how bad his comprehension was, without any suggestion for improvement. She was worst teacher ever for my ds. (Although some parents raved about her, so she was great with others.)

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 10:18:31

Why yet another meeting? I am very hands off and trusting usually, maybe too much, and only ever have meetings that are scheduled by the school.

In terms of decoding ds is a fantastic reader, with a reading age above his chronological age. He struggles with meaning, inference, deduction.
We want to help him at home but due to his physical, emotional and intellectual difficulties he is often not in the right frame of mind at home.

He has one to one support at school in the morning.

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 10:22:40

The problem is your DS doesn't read very well and school don't know how to help him.

If that is the case why is he going there?

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 10:23:38

Primaryteach I understand. I don't expect to be told he's doing great when he's not, just some pointers what the way forward is!

CryingShame Tue 29-Nov-16 10:23:58

My son struggles to read and finds it easier to read at home in the morning when he's less tired than in the afternoon after school. Is this an option?

Is there anyone in your wider family he might read to, even if it's grandad over the phone or via Skype, who could work with him on meaning - can you think of anotherword that also means X? etc.

SaltyMyDear Tue 29-Nov-16 10:57:07

Sorry, I was assuming because he had SN that you were in contact with the SENCO. If you're not - then you need to be!

If he has 1:1 support at school, then really they need to be teaching him this stuff, not you. That is why you send him to school.

What do you mean, "why is he going there?" He's going there because you send him there. Do you mean why isn't he going to a school that knows how to help him? Well that is partly because you don't think there is a problem, and so aren't looking for a different school, and partly because most schools are like this. There are very few schools which are better.

But certainly this is not the kind of problem that would cause school to admit to you that there was a problem.....

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 11:06:19

Sorry what I meant is what you said - he is going to school to learn this stuff, why are they not doing more?

irvineoneohone Tue 29-Nov-16 11:23:35

My ds is very good(or rather fantastic) decoder but tends to read literally and struggles to read between the lines.
We have been working on comprehension side since yr1 teacher's negative comment. I think it's most difficult skill to learn for child like mine.
So I am kind of grateful that the teacher made me realise the school wasn't helping and I had to do something about it. And he has improved massively over the years, imo .

FrayedHem Tue 29-Nov-16 11:25:59

It doesn't address the school problem, but I found a joke book was useful at home. DS1 wanted to understand the jokes so was happy to engage in it and ask questions, which I think helped with his inference skills in general.

DS1 will often respond with "I don't know" when he feels put on the spot; is that a possibility with your DS?

steppemum Tue 29-Nov-16 11:43:24

One thing I would recommend is to read out loud for fun to him each evening. Mnay people stop this once their children can read for themselves, but an adult reading out loud, putting in changes of pitch and voice is a great way to improve theri understanding of the book. Choose a book slightly harder than he could read himself, snuggle up on the sofa with the book held so he can see it, and could follow if he wants (but no pressure). Pause regularly and ask about the story, but not in a teaching way, just as fun, eg OH no, what do you think is going to happen!!! Hmm, she is being a bit odd, what do you think is going on? Maybe she is hiding something. OOO now would be scared to go in that house! What do you think? Would you like this person as a friend? Why not?

This helps to open up the story, let him think it through with you, spot the pointers in a passage, and deepen his understanding. And it is a nice activity to do together.

ReggieJones Tue 29-Nov-16 11:48:10

The school should be providing strategies rather than just telling you what your ds can't do. Does he an IEP and is the one-to-one support in the mornings helping him with specific targets like comprehension?

If he finds the comprehension of stories difficult rather than the reading as such (which seems to be the case as his decoding is at a high level) then perhaps use tv shows/films/audio books to talk about characters, motives etc. Obviously reading is important but using other media can just help children get their heads around the concept of stories. Also using non-fiction can be good to practice comprehension especially if its about a subject he's interested in.

SaltyMyDear Tue 29-Nov-16 11:50:17

But is it actually a reading problem?

If he can't answer those questions when in discussion, then it's not a reading problem at all.

If he has ASD or something similar, and can't tell you if if his friend is happy or sad, then he won't be able to tell you if the character in the book is either.

I suspect what he needs is an intervention to help him more with feelings and emotions etc and not a reading type intervention. I suspect it's not that the books are too hard, but rather these are just perfectly normal symptoms of ASD.

DorothyL Tue 29-Nov-16 13:34:25

He doesn't have an asd diagnosis though I believe he's o the spectrum.

steppemum Tue 29-Nov-16 14:50:04

Not understanding inference and reading between the lines, or being able to guess what happens next would all be very typical of someone on the spectrum. As salty says, the way to help is to address those issues of empathy, communication and understanding in real life.

Lots of help with that on the SEN boards.

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