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Real books that correlate to the appropriate school level?

(24 Posts)
Readytomakechanges Mon 02-Oct-17 21:14:58

I'm afraid the least helpful part of this post is that I don't really know what level/book band DD should be reading.

School say they put all kids back a few levels after summer and, due to staff illness and different people covering the class each day, they say they're unable to assess reading levels until after half term.

DD reports no reading in groups at school so far and has not been heard reading.

The problem with automatically putting them all back is that DD read loads over summer and progressed. The orange band books she brings home are very easy for her. Before the summer she had purple band.

Although at home I can 'assess' how easily and confidently she decodes and reads with expression, I'm unsure how to tell whether she comprehends appropriately to determine the best level for her.

I managed to have a brief chat with a TA who was watching class for two days, she said if DD's not getting benefit from the school books, to just let her read what she likes.

Anyway, the question:

I'm looking for books that DD will enjoy, that will help her develop her comprehension and other reading skills.

The only clue I have as to the best level is that we recently read a gem of a book that seemed perfect.

Billy and The Minpins by Roald Dahl.

DD loved it. She read confidently with great expression. Was engrossed in the story and enjoyed predicting what may happen next. There were nonsense words such as 'vermicious knid' that she decoded well. She answered questions such as 'why did the author describe the Gruncher as ravenous instead of hungry?' well. There were words not in her vocabulary such as 'tantalising', but I explained them to her and then when she came across them again later, she knew what they meant.

So, I'm looking for similar books that tick the above boxes. That will further DD's love of reading, whilst also helping to expand her vocabulary.

Please, any ideas will be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Tomorrowillbeachicken Mon 02-Oct-17 21:18:15

Readytomakechanges Mon 02-Oct-17 21:24:51

Thank you. That link is useful.

I'm guessing she's about gold band, but not really sure. Any tips on how I can figure it out, or do I just carry on giving all sorts of books?

OP’s posts: |
Thegirlisnotright Mon 02-Oct-17 22:51:09

So your daughter is just not doing guided reading at the moment? That does not sound right at all. Also, I have never heard of kids being automatically put back a few books bands. Have you spoken with school about your concerns?

Readytomakechanges Mon 02-Oct-17 23:07:20

I have tried, but they've had different staff on and off since the start of term.

The teaching assistant's advice was the only advice so far.

I have a meeting next week with the head to discuss my concerns about continuity for the kids, but I'm not sure what I'll achieve.

I'm just hoping and praying that the usual teacher becomes well enough to return after half term.

I'm the meantime, I'm trying to do what I can for DD at home.

OP’s posts: |
Thegirlisnotright Mon 02-Oct-17 23:29:38

Having a teacher off is hard for a school, because supply teachers often don't want to step into a class full time. Someone must be planning for the class though so maybe find out who that is. It should be entirely possible for a supply teacher to read with the kids if planning is supplied. Obviously I can't speak for every school and circumstance. I would ask why they are going back levels too.

meadowwalker Mon 02-Oct-17 23:32:27

Might Reading Chest be useful for your DD? My DS loves getting books in the post.

loveisasecondhandemotion Tue 03-Oct-17 02:37:55

Hi op- what year is your dd in?

user789653241 Tue 03-Oct-17 06:38:03

Agree with pp, reading chest is often recommended on MN.

If she is comfortably reading purple/gold, she should be able to read any books phonics wise. Maybe take her to library and let her choose books? It doesn't need to be exactly at her school reading level any more, since she can read. It's time to concentrate on understanding/comprehension and enjoyment at this point ,imo.

Ginmummy1 Tue 03-Oct-17 08:55:08

I agree with Irvine that the library is probably the best starting point. They will have plenty of banded books (bear in mind that they will be from different schemes though). You/she can pick a selection and see how you get on.

brilliotic Tue 03-Oct-17 10:01:55

The magic treehouse series is good for that reading level.

With reading I've found that sometimes you just need to let school catch up. For example in your case of teacher being off sick, in our case it was a NQT who was struggling to keep on top of things, but when parents voiced concerns (well in actual fact parents suggested ideas to help) the head turned all defensive and instigated new rules such as 'all children must read every book of every level' so as to take work pressure away from the struggling teacher without having to admit that the teacher could actually do with some help. Resulting in children being stuck on 'wrong' levels for long periods of time.

There are lots of very engaged parents at our school so most just supplied their own books for their children.

bearstrikesback Tue 03-Oct-17 10:45:31

The Rainbow fairies are good for that level (be warned though there are a lot of them!) as well the Killer Cat books by Anne Fine, Isadora Moon books, Winnie the Witch chapter books - there are a lot of great books out there that are not in a reading scheme.

Readytomakechanges Tue 03-Oct-17 14:11:26

Thank you for some great suggestions.

DD is in year one. She comfortably reads purple/gold and before summer she was bringing these home and the teachers told us to focus on the more subtle points of comprehension such as inference.

The orange books she brings home now are very easy for her and I find it hard to ask the more challenging comprehension questions as the stories are quite basic.

OP’s posts: |
Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 03-Oct-17 14:14:07

DS is same age and same level and we like the storey treehouse books. Also been reading happy family books from school. The orion early readers are turq/purp/gold so may be good as are some of the banana books (probably the red bananas)

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 03-Oct-17 14:17:35

some picture books also have challenging language as they are meant to be read by parent to child.

G1raffe Tue 03-Oct-17 14:21:52

if she's on year 1 byt with a good reading knowledge I'd take her to the library and look for some shirt chapter books with the odd picture.

My first was an early reader and now looking back I think I was in too much of a rush to encourage it. With my second Im going for enjoyment first and if they have another year enjoying easier books what does it matter? They can obviously read so to build up enjoyment and stamina with whatever they want to read.

My year 1 child is an able reader but easily distressed by anything slightly scary. So she's enjoying reading to me books slightly easier for her or books she's chosen from the library that appeal to her alongside whatever school have set.

Even when the teacher is there full time I've let mine read for pleasure around the book bands . If honestly focus on that .

catkind Tue 03-Oct-17 15:37:13

At that level pretty much any picture book or "easy reader" she feels like reading is going to be OK - there aren't many words altogether so even if a few of them are not in her vocabulary or tricky to decode then it won't be onerous to fill in the gaps. And none of these books tend to be age inappropriate.

A lot of easier/shorter chapter books are going to be approachable too. I find it's easiest at the library if you have some ideas of authors to look for. So some mine have liked at a similar stage:
Winnie the witch chapter books, Dinosaur Cove, Ottoline, Magic Treehouse, 13 Storey Treehouse (not the same thing), Claude, Rainbow Fairies (I hate them tho!), anything Jeremy Strong but start with the shorter ones, Jill Tomlinson (Owl who was afraid of the dark etc), Worst Witch, Tom Gates. Other Roald Dahl of course. (Giraffe Pelly & Me, Enormous Crocodile are similarly approachable I think? My kids aren't big RD fans.)

You could also try things like comics, or comic books like Asterix/Tintin. And non-fiction, you can usually work out what's going to be approachable by the font size and weight!

SuiGeneris Sat 07-Oct-17 09:19:33

Alternatively, look up the lexile levels of a couple of books you have at home that she finds ok with some challenge and then search the lexile website for books at that level. Google lexile find a book.

Lexiles are a standardised reading measure in the US so many of the books referenced above will be graded. Will post example shortly

SuiGeneris Sat 07-Oct-17 09:20:48

This shows you Lexile measures for UK book bands

SuiGeneris Sat 07-Oct-17 09:25:17

And this allows you to check the levels of books you have. Bear in mind the find a book function does not seem to show on phones but works on tablets and desktops

Readytomakechanges Thu 12-Oct-17 20:50:22

Update: DD's school have sorted out the continuity problem and have now put one teacher in charge of her class until her permanent teacher is well enough to return.

They've now benchmarked the kids and DD has more appropriate books coming home. She's 'level 30', which says ORT 15/16 on the back. They're also starting her on the accelerated reader program.

Thank you for all of the book suggestions, we've got some more at home now to supplement the ones from school.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 13-Oct-17 01:43:09

I would add, keep going to the library. Emerging readers or easy readers will have plenty of choice and children get enthusiastic about choosing from a wide selection. Read together. Help with any challenging words. We also had poetry books. Great for rhythm and a different perspective on the written word.

RueDeWakening Fri 13-Oct-17 11:58:49

I know you've updated, but I've attached a photo of the comprehension questions school sent home when DS1 was in year 1. We found it really useful.

user789653241 Fri 13-Oct-17 12:19:27

Only thing I think you should be careful is, RR level 30/ ort lv15/16 is aimed originally at yr5/yr6 children. So some contents could be age inappropriate for yr1 child.
My ds's school won't let children go beyond lv11 in ks1. And reading MN, many schools are similar. (It's great that your school doesn't cap the progress. )

But anyway, great news it's all been sorted.

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