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Does the reading stage/level really matter?

(66 Posts)
SleepWhatSleep1 Fri 23-Jun-17 22:57:09

DD(yr1) is coming home with orange level books. At home she reads anything and everything and her comprehension is excellent. She finds her school reading books a bit of a chore and just something to be got through until she gets back to her "real" books (which I occasionally make her read a section aloud just to check).
We visit our local library each week and also have probably too many books at home she has access to.

So does her reading book level matter as long as she's reading?

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 24-Jun-17 09:50:42

You need to ask the teacher, the use of book levels is by the teacher, it's not some single national standard.

An orange level book would take a reader who can read anything and everything might be a chore in boredom terms, but it would take barely a couple of minutes? But how the school uses reading levels is the thing to find out.

GreatWhites Sat 24-Jun-17 10:10:31

School reading books aren't really for providing a love of reading, especially in the younger years. Unfortunately.

They're supposed to help them to progress in her literacy. So if I were teaching your DD, I'd be trying to match her books with what she's learning in class- whether that be a particular phoneme, correct use of question marks, etc. As they get older, that can be a broader goal like developing vocabulary.

Sadly functional reading scheme books are often deadly boring.

Be glad she's reading and enjoying books.

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 10:58:54

As far as I can tell she has done all the phonemes (she did split digraphs last term, and igh, ugh, ough). She has known the basic punctuation since reception (",.?!) - I'm not sure what her books are supposed to be supporting? That's what I'm confused about. The only thing she struggles with is the "why do you think x character felt that?" sort of question - but that's most likely due to her probable (undiagnosed) autism anyway.
Im just Glad she enjoys reading - we are all big readers - well I used to be before children anyway, find it too frustrating to be constantly interrupted nowadays! grin

GreatWhites Sat 24-Jun-17 11:06:33

I'm not sure what her books are supposed to be supporting? That's what I'm confused about.

Do you feel comfortable asking her teacher? I'd be more than happy to explain why I was sending out particular books.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 24-Jun-17 11:10:04

SleepWhatSleep1 The use by teachers is individual, some teachers on here say they do as GreatWhite does, and curate books that consolodate learning often with no nod to levels at all.

Other schools and teachers just have the kids pick the books they want to read and use bands as a way to stop them picking inappropriate books. That's why you need to ask your teacher/school how they use it, then -when- if you find out that it's not some actual tailored choice of book, you can just ignore the school levels.

Remember also that phonics is not just for reading, so the book might be wanting to give experience and remind the kids of the different ways of writing a particular sound so the book is full of those.

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:13:23

Well I did ask - and got a waffly answer about it supporting her level of reading. At which point 3yo started wandering off, so I had to rush off. But as far as I can tell (although I'm no expert obviously) her level of reading is much higher. She can read Winnie the Pooh with its made up words, and tends to choose lime or white band books for herself from the local library - and reads them aloud to her little sister ok.

I remember as a child being forced to read through every sodding book band, when at home I was reading the Hobbit, and Narnia books. I thought those days were passed.

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sat 24-Jun-17 11:14:27

OP, in my school we consider that orange is the lowest 'expected' level for Year 1 readers. Although children take home their correct colours (only they don't - most of them seem to take random colours unless we stand over them when they choose grin), I frequently tell parents that reading is a much wider activity that reading the frankly very boring reading scheme books that we provide. And I actively encourage them to read home books.

jamdonut Sat 24-Jun-17 11:19:33

I don't want to come across as rude, but lots of parents say " Oh, yes , s/he understands well', but comprehension involves more than just telling you what the story is about. They need to know what vocabulary means and inference ( which a lot of children find difficult) , things that are all looked for in KS1 SATS.
Some of the best readers in the Year 2 class I work in, have wonderful fluency and expression and can retell the story, but if you ask them about some of the vocabulary or language used in the book, they can't necessarily give you a correct definition or even a good guess.

If she is reading other books at home, check she knows what unusual words mean. Ask her what the author means by certain phrases. Ask why a character is behaving as they are.
It could be the teacher is not getting the responses she requires when listening to her read, hence the orange level.

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:23:21

Jamdonut - that could be it. Trouble with that is that she doesn't get inference OUT of books - due to her (probable) autism. She doesn't get sarcasm, non direct phrases or hints either. Or have any idea why someone might think something - but that's nothing to do with her reading ability.

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:24:26

But yes I will continue to check understanding of unusual words thank you smile

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:34:33

And thanks for the explanation of how book bands are used smile

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:40:47

MsSusan How DARE you say that about my darling D's! angry. although it's sadly true grin

(Love the user name)

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:41:21

Oops! Wrong thread for my last post! grin

mrz Sat 24-Jun-17 11:46:22

*"*^*As far as I can tell she has done all the phonemes (she did split digraphs last term, and igh, ugh, ough).*^ *"* there are 44 phonemes but around 180 common ways these can be represented in English. For example the sound /ae/ can be spelt a as in apron, ai as in rain, ea as in great, ay as in day, a-e as in name, ey as in they, eight as in eight, aigh as in straight, et as in ballet, ae as in sundae.
(ugh isn't an English grapheme)

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 11:52:02

Don't know what I was thinking of there then! Ok lots more to learn then smile

catkind Sat 24-Jun-17 12:05:45

School reading books shouldn't be some dull homework that has to be gone through, if they are they're failing. No reading level doesn't matter - but keeping your DD engaged with reading does.

If the school books aren't bringing anything of use, I'd just read maybe 1 a week (2 minutes if it's level 6!) and write what she's actually reading in her reading diary the rest of the time. With comments on comprehension things you've talked about to show you're working on the right sort of skills.

mrz Sat 24-Jun-17 12:08:39

I missed ei as in veil

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 12:27:17

Is it possible she is being held on a lower band due to her autistic traits though? School are aware of her issues and have her in the social skills intervention group, plus other reasonable adjustments for her sensory issues.

She currently is choosing the Magic Key books from our library, which she seems to love for some bizarre reason - plus the dragon train books - so we do those at home. Hopefully the school doesn'f mind!

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 24-Jun-17 12:32:26

ugh isn't an English grapheme

Isn't it one in the word ugh ? Bit of a special case, but I can't see how it can be made up of any other graphemes?

mrz Sat 24-Jun-17 12:35:27

Even in ugh it's two sounds not one

mrz Sat 24-Jun-17 12:39:36

/ʌɡ/ or /ʊx/

SleepWhatSleep1 Sat 24-Jun-17 12:49:56

I'm obviously mistaken - was just trying to remember what I'd seen in her book when I went on before Easter.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 24-Jun-17 12:51:28

Not in my accent mrz, neither of those are how I'd say it (which is just /ʌ/ I think) but I can accept that's the unusual thing - the people of Trumpton certainly have a couple where it's only oo, but I'm always happy that names aren't really English.

mrz Sat 24-Jun-17 12:59:04

So you just say /u/?

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