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Meeting with Y1 teacher this afternoon re. phonics

(20 Posts)
PseudoBadger Tue 21-Feb-17 11:54:55


I am concerned regarding my (just) 6 year old's progress with reading. He had a good grounding with Letters and Sounds in reception and his teacher was happy with him.
The first term of Year 1 his teacher did not follow Letters and Sounds. She encouraged guessing, look and say, use the pictures etc. His teacher was sacked left at Christmas. He has not improved or made progress IMO since Reception; he is not a 'natural' reader like I am, and needs the phonics techniques to learn. After this I met with the KS1 lead and we agreed that he be moved back a book band (down to red) as he was finding the yellow too tricky and he would have some extra time one to one reading. He has now moved back up to yellow.

From my own crude benchmarking I would say he is pretty good at the Phase 3 elements but struggles with Phase 4. Phase 5 he struggles with all elements. So I think very behind for January Y1.
He makes wild guesses straight away, does not first try to sound out new words, struggles with words that he has seen and read many times, he gets frustrated and gives up quickly. He mixes up b and b, p and q etc. Sometimes I worry that he seems not to see the words as it's written IYSWIM.

Our book on Friday was 'Feeling Things' (yellow Collins Big Cat) and he seemed to struggle with the title, let alone with the more complex words within. The only way I can get him to read the school books is by agreeing to read every other word with him, and only doing a couple of pages each day. I don't know if he is being lazy or really struggling. I don't want to force this any more than I have to.

Before Christmas I was reading chapter books to him for fun at bedtime, and he was reading me simple Songbirds books. He now doesn't want to do either of these things and only wants me to read him "stories with colourful pictures."

I am getting his eyes tested this weekend (they were fine a year ago). I am getting quite worried about him. Do you think I am right to be worried, and what should I say to his teacher this afternoon?

MusicToMyEars800 Tue 21-Feb-17 12:10:10

Try not to get too worried about your DS, my dd is the same but with maths she will just guess the answer instead of working it out, it's a case of gentle encouragement and patience. When she was in yr1 every child had a phonics test, and the ones who didn't pass had extra support in yr2 and then took it again recently. On the other hand I don't want to worry you but do you think he could have dyslexia? my df dd has it and he sounds the same as her, she is getting a lot better now in yr2 though and she excels in maths, discuss your concerns with the teacher and see what she has to say on his progress and level.

PseudoBadger Tue 21-Feb-17 12:46:58

Well his dad is dyslexic, although I don't know much about dyslexia, and thought that 6 might be too early to diagnose or address it? I have looked up a couple of lists for example this one and to be honest he has several of these signs. I'll see what his teacher says.

nat73 Tue 21-Feb-17 12:48:21

Tell the teacher your concerns.

However unless he is significantly behind the rest of his class I would not worry. Learning to read felt like a real slog in reception and Year1. It starts to come together at the end of Year 1 and Year 2. DD1 is Year 2 and now on book band 10 but some of her class are still on 5!

mrz Tue 21-Feb-17 12:52:10

"*^ to be honest he has several of these signs. I'll see what his teacher says.*^*"* To be honest I've not met a child who doesn't have several of them. Does that mean the hundreds of children I've taught over the years were all dyslexic?

PseudoBadger Tue 21-Feb-17 12:53:00

mrz that's why I haven't given it serious consideration at this point at all.

mrz Tue 21-Feb-17 13:00:08

I believe the problem is his previous teacher. For many children being actively taught to guess, use picture clues and told that they need to learn words as wholes can cause the difficulties he's experiencing which is why mixed methods alongside phonics isn't as effective as phonics along.
It sounds as if the school are paying lip service to Phonics to be honest. What Reading scheme are they sending home?

PseudoBadger Tue 21-Feb-17 13:05:31

Collins Big Cat. The last teacher didn't even pay lip service to phonics. I'm so annoyed, it feels like a wasted term.

mrz Tue 21-Feb-17 13:44:36

The book sent home assumes he knows digraphs and is secure in phase 4

PseudoBadger Tue 21-Feb-17 13:49:59

So the first words in the most recent book are 'tickle, prickle'. Next page 'splishy, splashy'. He refused to attempt them.

mrz Tue 21-Feb-17 14:01:22

If he hasn't been taught the alternative spellings for sounds he will struggle and if he's been encouraged to think that some words are too difficult and need to be learnt as wholes he's going to be reluctant to try new words. In my honest opinion the books aren't the best for beginner readers which doesn't help.

I'd cover up the <le> and get him to blend /t/ /i/ /k/ tick then explain that <le> is another way to spell the sound /l/ tick - l can he hear the word now...
Prickle will be harder if he's not secure with phase 4 so I'd encourage him to blend through the syllables /p/ /r/ pr /i/ pri /k/ prick - /l/

mrz Tue 21-Feb-17 14:03:15

Splishy and splashy are even more difficult with three adjacent consonants at the beginning really doesn't sound appropriate for a child whose not confident

PseudoBadger Tue 21-Feb-17 14:10:28

Thank you mrz this is very useful.

mrz Tue 21-Feb-17 14:19:15

Who isn't not sure why it's auto corrected

MusicToMyEars800 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:07:21

nat73 yy to what you said, like I said try not to worry, it's nothing to get too worried about unless he is significantly behind the rest of the class, some children are a bit slower than others but get there in the end. I agree with pp it is mostly down to the previous teacher not doing her job properly, a lot of learning to read and write relies heavily on phonics and how to say them. good luck with you meeting with the teacher I hope it all goes well.
mrz I agree with everything you have said, that is how I teach my youngest with sounds, also some words ( dds school calls them red words ) need to be memorized such as 'the' 'of'

Campfiresmoke Tue 21-Feb-17 23:27:21

1 in 10 children are dyslexic and if dad is dyslexic then there is some justification for OP's concerns over dyslexia. We had similar concerns for our twins (dad and uncle both dyslexic) teachers said all would be well but they did both turn out to have dyslexia. It becomes easier to see as the work gets harder. I wish I hadn't taken the teachers dismissal seriously and listened to my own thoughts.

mrz Wed 22-Feb-17 06:08:16

*"*^*need to be memorized such as 'the' 'of*^*"* they both very common words that soon become automatic without the need to learn as wholes .

MusicToMyEars800 Wed 22-Feb-17 09:17:32

"^*need to be memorized such as 'the' 'of^*" they both very common words that soon become automatic without the need to learn as wholes .

this is what I meant, because they are common words that are used so often children end up knowing them automatically by seeing them so often, this is the approach my dds school takes with learning to read.

mrz Wed 22-Feb-17 09:39:35

The approach should be ..this is how we decode these words ...and pretty quickly they become automatic

HumphreyCobblers Wed 22-Feb-17 11:50:37

Dyslexia IS highly heritable, but it doesn't mean he is necessarily dyslexic. Dyslexia is just a collection of symptoms anyway - there is no magic bullet that will sort out the condition, if he is dyslexic proper synthetic phonic teaching is even more important.

Are you having the standard eye test or going to a behavioural optometrist? I would opt for the latter. It is always worth ruling out a visual problem if you have concerns about reading ability.

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