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How challenging should reading books be?

(9 Posts)
Readytomakechanges Mon 27-Feb-17 22:13:57

DD is 5yo and began reception last September.
She gets books from school 1-2 times per week. The scheme is focused on key words and DD reads the whole book without hesitation. The level of the books that she is on correlate to book brands orange - purple according to this chart:

I supplement the school books with reading chest and Songbirds, but am unsure which bands to give her as am not sure how difficult the books ought to be.

How much ought she be able to read without sounding. With the orange bands she seems to have 1-3 words per book that she either self-corrects or needs help with. She does well when I ask comprehension questions at the end and seems to enjoy the books.
Does this sound like I'm pacing them correctly or should she be able to read the whole thing without any hesitation like the school books or should I be looking to challenge her more.
Apologies for all the questions lately, I just want to do the best thing for DD.

mrz Tue 28-Feb-17 05:17:28

In theory if she can read orange band in one scheme she should be able to read orange band in any scheme. You say the focus is on key words so can she decode all the words in the book accurately? If she can with 100% accuracy I'd try her on green/orange Songbirds books

irvineoneohone Tue 28-Feb-17 06:32:33

I thought once you are orange level, you can read most of the words?
It's just length(reading stamina) and comprehension which is different in later books.
My ds progressed from orange to lime in one term.
Sounding happens when they encountered totally new word that they never seen before, ds was definitely doing it, even at lime level.

mrz Tue 28-Feb-17 06:50:27

In theory once you can read orange you should be reading accurately but the key word comment concerns me. I'm wondering how the school is teaching reading.

Readytomakechanges Tue 28-Feb-17 14:13:08

Last night we read 'Where Were You, Bert?' Orange Band. Songbirds.
DD read all words without hesitation except worm which she originally read like warm and then immediately self corrected and circus, which again she self-corrected.
We also read 'Kipper and the Giant' ORT and DD self-corrected 'tiny' and sounded out 'broken'. The other words were read without hesitation. DD used different voices for the characters.
DD can read the school books at a higher band as they mainly contain keywords that the school ensure that the children know. They encourage learning these by sight, but I've always showed DD how to decode these words with phonics.
I've read on here before that DCs should be able to read 95% easily and have the rest as a challenge - is that correct?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 28-Feb-17 16:06:06

I think the 95% rule was before phonics were used from what I can recall. Tbh the ort are very odd as they are mainly keyword based for the general biff and chip and the floppy phonics at lower levels are more based on phonics (funnily enough).

Readytomakechanges Tue 28-Feb-17 20:03:50

Thank you,

So, as the 95% is from when look and say was the norm, ought DD be able to read every word without hesitation?

Tonight she read 'The Lost Key', turquoise band well with no hesitations, however I noticed that it did contain lots of her school's key words.

She also read 'I want a pet', Collins Big Cat green band with no hesitations, but that was obviously easier.

She only has a few orange Songbirds that she hasn't read yet so will read them over the next couple of days. We're waiting on a delivery of orange band reading chest books, I'm hoping this will be right.

Thanks for the advice so far.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 01-Mar-17 07:05:44

So, as the 95% is from when look and say was the norm, ought DD be able to read every word without hesitation?

Not as long as she is sounding out accurately. Under a phonics based system the books are matched to the level of phonic knowledge of the child. So the right level would be one where the children have been taught all the sounds in the book so they can sound out unfamiliar words. By orange level, most schemes have taught all the sounds they are going to.

With a child with a good visual memory I'd watch for any gaps in phonic knowledge or bad habits (adding or missing words, misreading unfamiliar words in a way that isn't phonetically plausible and suggests she's using other strategies). But otherwise I suspect you'll find that if she can read the orange books she won't have much problem with the higher bands (especially with ORT) since the difference is largely the amount of text rather than the complexity of it.

Readytomakechanges Wed 01-Mar-17 12:39:47

Thank you.

I'm careful to check for bad habits as she seemed to be developing some at one time whenever we'd read her school books.

We play a lucky dip letter sounds game sometimes where she pulls a word out of a bag and reads it (I make the words with sounds from her phonics book) without context and she manages, although I'm sure she does use the context sometimes when reading books.

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