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Reading book in Reception

(33 Posts)
HHH3 Mon 02-Oct-17 17:23:25

Hoping someone can help as I'm confused...

DS2 started Reception 4 weeks ago. He's struggled from the beginning with his reading books and word cards. Partly because he can't blend and partly because there are always words with sounds in he hasn't learnt yet.

His latest book has things in it like 'The bulldozer comes on the big truck'. There are only 2 words in that that he can attempt to sound out and every page is the same. So I end up telling him the other words. I did put a note in his reading record but the same book came home with a comment in his reading record saying 'good effort'.

Is this normal? And if it is could someone explain the thinking behind it please? Because I'm struggling to understand how it helps DS.

irvineoneohone Mon 02-Oct-17 17:30:15

No, I don't think so, but I can't advice you since I am not an expert.
Wait for experienced teachers like mrz, Feenie, Rafa and many others.
Good luck.

wendz86 Mon 02-Oct-17 17:30:51

When my daughter was reception they started with books that we read to them . Then when they were ready and were starting to get blending they got a simple reading book .

HHH3 Mon 02-Oct-17 17:35:04

This book says stage 1 so I'm assuming it's a reading book for the child. We certainly haven't been told anything different. We've also had a couple of the books with no words which he struggled with too as he can't work out what's going on from pictures.

Btw he has some SNs so not being able to work out stories from pictures and not being able to blend isn't a surprise to me.

Justgivemesomepeace Mon 02-Oct-17 17:38:19

My son also just started reception got a book like that. I think it might be to get them to look at the pictures and use the pictures to figure the words out? E.g. picture of a boy on a tractor and the line 'I like riding the tractor.' I could be wrong though....

irvineoneohone Mon 02-Oct-17 17:45:56

Just don't trust anybody tell your dc to memorise the words.

MiaowTheCat Mon 02-Oct-17 18:14:38

We're getting them at the moment - with the express instruction that it's just to sit and enjoy with our kids and get into the routine of doing so daily - not to remember words from or anything like that. Ours are marked with a different sticker to the phonically decodable scheme books too (but a similar level to the ones the OP is talking about).

Ferguson2 Mon 02-Oct-17 22:01:50

It seems like they aren't teaching 'proper' phonics but are using books from the 'mixed methods' era (thirty years ago or more) - but don't worry about it, let him read the words he can manage, and you fill in the rest for him.

HHH3 Mon 02-Oct-17 22:09:54

We've not been given any particular instructions so I'm assuming he's supposed to be trying to read it.

They're teaching them jolly phonics in class. What's the mixed method?

DS1 is in Year 9 now so it's been a long time since I did this. I don't remember much tbh but what I do remember seems very different.

irvineoneohone Mon 02-Oct-17 22:17:50

Mixed methods use guessing and memorising words as whole, which doesn't follow NC. Which shouldn't be recommended since 1/5 children fail to learn to read properly.
If school is following phonics properly, they should be only sending books matches the child's phonics ability, and not sending words to memorise and sight read.

HHH3 Mon 02-Oct-17 22:48:37

Thanks that's really helpful. His books definitely don't match his phonics ability. With the words he has 1 that has to be sight read/can't be sounded out, 1 alien word (they didn't even exist when DS1 was this age!) and the rest can be sounded out (although he hasn't necessarily learnt all those phonics yet).

Parents evening in a couple of weeks so will ask then.

Bitlost Mon 02-Oct-17 22:56:56

I ditched those mixed method books and went for Julia Donaldson's Songbird series, which are entirely decodable. DD's progress from then on was amazing.

Laburna Mon 02-Oct-17 23:42:40

At this stage the idea is usually to get the children to use the pictures to decode the sentences, it doesn't matter if it's not entirely accurate. They can also use the pictures to tell their own stories.
I'm surprised the school hasn't given more instruction on how you can help and support him better with his reading, I would have expected even a brief note on what expectations are.
Decodable books would be ideal, and you could get some to help him at home, but 4 weeks into reception he won't have a huge level of phonics or blending/segmenting to read much, and the books are generally pretty dull when they can!
You could encourage him to locate sounds or words he is learning on the page, or work out what words are based on their initial sounds. In fact you could do this with any book. But make it fun and interesting, ask questions about what is being read or what he can see in the pictures, what he thinks might be happening - anything to help him enjoy the books. The more fun he has with his reading, and decoding, the more he'll enjoy the books and reading time later on when he starts getting harder books!

Norestformrz Tue 03-Oct-17 02:09:05

*“*^*At this stage the idea is usually to get the children to use the pictures to decode the sentences*^*”* not if they are teaching children to read.
As others have said books should match the child’s phonics skills and knowledge right from the start. Using picture clues is a strategy that shouldn’t be encouraged.

HHH3 Tue 03-Oct-17 16:32:10

Now I'm really confused!

catkind Tue 03-Oct-17 16:46:53

In short, if they are expecting him to try to read it then they're teaching it wrong. So best assume they're for you to read to child.

Our school did use out of date scheme books in the parent-reads-to-child book trolley, so the fact it has a level on doesn't necessarily figure. Normally you'd be given some explanation though!

If he's not blending yet anyway, then I'd just play letter recognition and blending games for his own reading. When he can decode simple cvc words, if they're still not sending home decodable books, then either complain or just get your own. (The aforementioned Songbirds are great and very cheaply available, there are also things you can get for free online.)

HHH3 Tue 03-Oct-17 17:32:37

Thanks catkind

I was going to wait and ask at parents evening in a couple of weeks but I think I'm going to put a note in his book asking what I'm expected to do.

Anotheroneishere Wed 04-Oct-17 03:17:15

Our school takes books like that and covers the words with a post-it note. Then they write in a word within the child's phonics ability to practice blending.

Maybe it is too much work, but this seems like the perfect solution to non-decodable books and children who can't yet blend wanting to read real books too.

Feenie Wed 04-Oct-17 06:21:12

Or they could just buy the books they're supposed to have been using fir at least 3 years now and were given matched funding for!

Post it notes - wow shock

Norestformrz Wed 04-Oct-17 06:49:22

Why are you’re covering the text with your own? It’s pretty pointless ( the illustrations won’t match the text). If you really can’t afford appropriate books (bearing in mind the book people sell 36 Songbirds for £17) why not just send home the post it notes minus the book?

Anotheroneishere Wed 04-Oct-17 07:19:48

I don't do it. It's done by the teachers for kids who can't yet read.

What's the point of getting a book saying, "My dog ran fast," when you're working out "d--o--g"? Seems like it would be frustrating.

It's not for all kids. My kids never needed it because they both went into reception reading.

Norestformrz Wed 04-Oct-17 07:27:02

What’s the point of sending home books until the child can decode? That’s why the NC says books sent home should match child’s current phonic ability.

Anotheroneishere Wed 04-Oct-17 07:40:38

Pushy parents? Maybe reading books get done but other homework doesn't? Better use of non-decodable books than just tossing them in the bin? Kids like reading in a book more than a list of words on a page?

No idea. But adjusting a book to a child's level makes more sense to me than sending a book at an inappropriate level.

Feenie Wed 04-Oct-17 13:08:21

Really? I think it's barmy. And if it's a state school, they aren't allowed to send reading scheme books home which aren't decodable anyway.

Norestformrz Wed 04-Oct-17 17:21:31

*“*^*No idea. But adjusting a book to a child's level makes more sense to me than sending a book at an inappropriate level.*^*”* I think both are pretty poor practice. I certainly wouldn’t be impressed by any school wasting time sticking post it notes in books because they still haven’t got the message that they must provide appropriate books.

*“*^*Kids like reading in a book more than a list of words on a page?*^ *“* then the school should be providing books they can read. Why would they be sending home lists of words?

*“*^*Better use of non-decodable books than just tossing them in the bin?*^*”* Or they could wait and send them home once the children have the skills and knowledge to read themhmm

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