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Are these reasonable concerns for parents evening?

(13 Posts)
Mibby16 Fri 03-Feb-17 12:49:30

DD (6) has parents eve next week. My 2 major issues are

Reading. Teacher (or assistant) are meant to read with her/assess her reading every week. There are only 2 entries in her reading diary by teaching staff since September. She says the teacher rarely reads with her

Handwriting. Hers is readable but not great, letters all the same size (n as tall as h, tail of g on the line not under etc). They don't seem to teach proper letter formation and all writing at school/ homework is on plain paper, no lines to help get the letters correctly proportioned

Am I being too fussy?

FATEdestiny Fri 03-Feb-17 12:55:42

Teachers doing reading assessments don't necessarily write on the reading diary. Likewise reading with someone at school may not be recorded in the reading diary.

It will be school-specific, but ours is a home reading diary. Ours is only meant for recording reading at home. Staff occassionally write in it, but nothing being recorded by staff does not mean it is not happening.

I wouldn't necessarily always believe the word of a 6 year old.

Yes - of course you need to ask your teacher how they read at school and assess her reading. Many schools have a policy on this, have you checked their website? But be careful not to go in all guns blazing. It might just be that you were uninformed on reading in school, or a lack of communication.

OdinsLoveChild Fri 03-Feb-17 12:59:44

At 6 my children's school expected parents to listen to their children read daily and staff would listen once a week to check progress.

They did do plenty of writing practice though in school. This may not be evident on paper as they heavily use whiteboards/interactive note books. At least 1 written piece was put down on paper though daily.

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Fri 03-Feb-17 13:00:07

Handwriting sounds normal for her age as fine motor skills are still developing. Maybe ask teacher if they have any concerns about it.
What FATE said about reading is spot on.

Ginmummy1 Fri 03-Feb-17 13:29:59

Regarding reading, I would defend the OP somewhat.

Every single day on the walk home from school I ask my DD (also aged 6, y1) whether she's read to a teacher (or a TA or a parent helper). On the three occasions she's said yes, there has been an entry in the reading record. That's three entries since September.

Naturally, the teacher will hear children read bits and bobs during the day, eg reading a sentence off the whiteboard or whatever or while working at something in class, but in terms of 1:1 reading it rarely happens in some schools for the children that are not a concern.

My DD and I chat about school quite a lot. I've never had reason to doubt the things she tells me. Not all 6-year-olds are away with the fairies.

MrsKCastle Fri 03-Feb-17 13:30:25

Your two concerns seem to be focused on the quality of teaching. I would suggest that in order to get the best out of the meeting, you try to focus on your child's learning.

1) Ask the teacher how they feel your child is doing at reading, what they need to work on and how you can best support them. The teacher's answer will tell you a lot- if they can answer in detail then you will know that they are assessing and monitoring her reading.

2) Handwriting. Explain what you have noticed about the size of her writing and the plain paper and ask them when/if they will move on to lines. Ask for more information about how they teach handwriting.

Most teachers will want to work with you, and will be happy to discuss the school approach if you appear interested but not confrontational.

Mibby16 Fri 03-Feb-17 13:55:14

Thanks for the replies

Gin that's exactly what happened, the only two times she's said she read with the teacher match the two entries in her diary, and both times she was moved up a level.

MrsK I shall try for that approach

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Fri 03-Feb-17 14:40:20

Many schools use 'guided reading' in which the teacher works with a group, all reading the same book and completing comprehension activities based around the text, rather than 1:1 reading.
The recording of this is not usually done in the child's reading record. Is it possible that she is doing something like this?
I've had a few children tell their parents that they never read when we have done guided reading. The don't seem to count it unless it's 1:1 and using their reading book.

Mibby16 Fri 03-Feb-17 14:44:57

I've never heard that mentioned winky but I'll ask, thanks

noramum Fri 03-Feb-17 16:48:16

During Infant times DD only read in groups, guided reading once a week. In Y2 they had sometimes parent volunteers who read with them but it wasn't on a regular basis.

Handwriting - DD is in Y5 and now it gets decent. I wish we had focused on it earlier. So, at home she only writes on lined paper and with a decent pen not a pencil. We also use Collins handwriting workbooks at least once a week to get DD to practice letter formation.

BertPuttocks Sat 04-Feb-17 10:45:05

DD's class has a system like the one that Winky describes. The class works in groups and the teacher works with a different group each child. This isn't recorded in the reading diaries.

The 1:1 reading is done at half-termly intervals so that an adult can assess whether a child is ready to move to a different book level. This will be put in the reading diary so that the parents and the staff member who changes the books can check that the child has the right book band.

The handwriting sounds fairly typical. In my DD's Yr1 class their main work is on plain paper but they also have lined handwriting books which they use for practising letter formation at set times.

BertPuttocks Sat 04-Feb-17 10:45:47

That should say "a different group each time".

ReallyIam Sat 04-Feb-17 12:20:25

As a teacher, I would agree with MrsK. That approach would indicate you have concerns and are aware of what's happening, but won't put the teacher on the defensive from the get go. It may be the school has a policy not to read more frequently and you might need a discussion with the Head regarding this, but your first point of contact is the class teacher and she should be able to reassure that she's aware of your daughter's current level (I wouldn't be a bit surprised if an entry appeared in shortly before parents evening...).

When I taught Year 2 I made sure either myself or the TA read with each child each week and alternated. I personally think only hearing a child read twice so far this year is a concern - even if your child is progressing at a steady pace she still deserves to be heard and have a conversation with the teacher to determine comprehension etc.

At my daughter's school the teacher will stick a typed label in her home/reading record to explain that a guided reading session took place instead of a 1 to 1 read. Don't know if this is possible everywhere, but it works well.

Handwriting sounds quite normal - could encourage her to edit for correct position of descenders (letters that go down through the line) and draw lines on a blank piece of paper?

Good luck!

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