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reception reading programme and me volunteering (a daft question from ask)

(22 Posts)
biglips Tue 26-Sep-17 20:25:14

I've been offered a place to help with the silver readers team, once a week (cos i work the rest of the week).

What am I expecting from this? Would it be that I'll be helping children to read their books? As that is what I am expecting. Or is there more to it? .... I'm going to pop in the school tmrw morning but I'm just curious. Lol.

spanieleyes Tue 26-Sep-17 20:39:27

I did a reading workshop today for volunteers! I talked through basic reading book skills-talking about the book, identifying the author/illustrator, asking about why the book was chosen, what they expect the book to be about. I then went through phonics-mainly alternative phonemes, what to do if they came across an unknown/un-remembered sound, segmenting and blending etc. we then looked at spelling rules for older children and finally questionnaire techniques, looking at retrieval, inference and deduction and the types of questions for each! I then talked a little bit about timings,organisation and confidentiality! Hopefully, if I haven't put them off, they start next week!

biglips Wed 27-Sep-17 11:46:21

Spaniel....thank you for explaining. would they expect me to know step by step or will they teach me??

LapCatLicker Thu 28-Sep-17 13:36:51

Hi @biglips I've come on to ask pretty much the same question. I started as a reading volunteer 3 weeks ago with Primary 1 to 3 (Scotland so reception to year 2 equivalent in England). I missed the induction where all the volunteers met with the head but from the sounds of it there wasn't much guidance on how to help them with reading but more about what to write in their reading records and what to report in the teacher's record. @spanieleyes, could you recommend a book or website that would explain some of the techniques you describe?
I'm not a natural teacher and groups of children freak me out a bit (mine's an only) but the school are desperate for volunteers and I'm free one morning a week. How do you engage them with the subject of the book when one child is reading very slowly and sounding out the words and the rest of the group are off in lala-land? I have trouble getting the gist of the books myself because I'm concentrating so hard on the reader getting his/her words right and keeping the rest of them quiet. What kind of questions should I ask the group? How often? Do you make corrections of the child who is reading or just let them get on with it and report back?

Sorry for the hijack biglips. I'm hoping that my questions are the same as some of your questions.

irvineoneohone Thu 28-Sep-17 14:00:23

I think catkind is the expert in that department.
If she isn't responding, maybe you can PM her and ask her? She seems to know her stuff.

biglips Thu 28-Sep-17 16:23:12

Lap....... No, I'm happy for you to fire your questions away.

biglips Thu 28-Sep-17 16:24:13

Ps lap, thanks for your post. how many children do you have at a time?

catkind Thu 28-Sep-17 17:39:36

Did you actually mean me irvine? I do help as a volunteer, but definitely not expert. My helping is mostly year 1 and one child at a time.

What I do with them depends very much on the specific child and how they're getting on with their book. There's a lot of helping them to decode words using phonics, and beyond that we get into chatting about the story and working on reading with more fluency and expression. Sometimes there will be a specific instruction like see if they can spot rhyming words on page 3, or talk about how the characters are feeling at different points in the story, or the teacher will give us a phonics game to play instead of a book to read (the kids love those!).

Hopefully they'll offer you some training on phonics, if not maybe worth looking up - e.g. MN has a FAQ.

At the end of the day though it's up to the teacher to tell you what they want. Do ask questions if things aren't clear.

I haven't done groups, but if they're little I'd definitely be getting them all involved very often. It's hard enough to keep one child focussed sometimes! And yes definitely correct/discuss as you go along. You're there to help them learn not to test them/report back on them. Perhaps that could be a way to involve the other children too. e.g. get them all to blend a tricky word together, discuss what's happening in the story all together.

catkind Thu 28-Sep-17 18:05:01

PS meant to say, have lots of fun OP and other volunteers. I love doing it. The children are so funny and enthusiastic. I love seeing how they progress over the year - it's kind of in fast forward as I only see them once or twice a month.

biglips Thu 28-Sep-17 20:37:01

Catkind- thanks for your input about the reading programme as I'm getting a better idea of it now. Also, in the email they said that I will be in the silver readers team?? Would that be one team is silver and other team is gold?

As its be a learning curve for me as well 🙂

catkind Thu 28-Sep-17 21:08:25

I was guessing silver as in silver hair as in it's mostly grandparents - is that possible? One school we looked around had something like that. Pure guesswork though!

biglips Thu 28-Sep-17 21:39:55


I don't know. I'll find out soon. I can't waaaiiiitt!!

LapCatLicker Sat 30-Sep-17 10:43:20

Hi @biglips @catkind, I am usually with groups of between 4 and 8 but get a different group every week. This week was a disaster with the P2 class as we finished their book and then we finished writing their tricky words in their jotters but still had 10 minutes to go. I tried to talk about the story but they couldn't focus. What questions should I be asking?
I find that 1.5 hrs every weekend sooooo stressful. Good luck biglips!

catkind Sat 30-Sep-17 17:30:55

Gosh that sounds a lot harder than what I do LapCat. Can't you just send them back into class when they lose focus? Mine are only Y1 so maybe lower expectations, but there's not much point in flogging it when they've had enough. Even if it means we don't use all the time available.

I have a whole page of example questions to ask which Dd's teacher once gave me. Things we might do at the end of the book - try to summarise the story, did they like the ending, can they think of an alternative ending, who was their favourite character and why, was there a problem in the story and how did the characters resolve it... If they're not engaging I'd maybe go for something concrete that they can all join in at once. Hum. How many adjectives can they find, get them to write them down then take turns to say one so they all have a go? True or false sentences about the story and have them vote? Who can find the page where ... first? But you don't have to be inventive, you're just helping out, do your best then hand them back to the experts.

biglips Fri 06-Oct-17 20:02:37

Well, my DBS had arrived today. 😁

How many hours per day do you do on helping the reading groups?.. As I'm helping out at once a week as other days I work.

Ferguson2 Fri 06-Oct-17 21:04:44

I started as a voluntary 'reading helper' and went on to work twelve years as a TA.

One of my first readers turned up seventeen years later in another school, when she was in her final year of Teacher Training! Our roles were reversed, as SHE needed to direct ME in the classroom.

catkind Fri 06-Oct-17 21:16:31

Once a week too. And just an hour slot - usually get given a list of 5-6 kids to hear in that time.

biglips Sun 08-Oct-17 14:25:47

Ferguson grin

Thanks cat

biglips Tue 10-Oct-17 21:22:51

Am I allowed to help out in more than one school? As just curious.

biglips Wed 11-Oct-17 21:28:35


suitcaseofdreams Wed 11-Oct-17 21:34:03

Biglips - no reason why you can't help out in more than one school - I used to do both my own children's school and another local school that I was governor at
You will likely need a separate DBS for each school though

biglips Wed 11-Oct-17 22:07:34



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