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Do i need to be concerned that the school are giving DS reading books that aren't at his reading level?

(16 Posts)
sclubheaven Tue 23-Sep-08 16:36:53

Would love some advice, especially if there are any teachers around.

DS1 is in year 1 and has always been a good reader since the start of reception. His teacher is aware of this and we have talked a few times about his ability and love for reading.

The thing is whenever he comes home with a reading book it is always way below the level he capable of reading at. I comment in his record book that he has managed it easily or that he has read it without help. 2 weeks ago I wrote that he found a book too easy, he was given one 2 levels up the following week, but this week he has been given a book 2 levels lower again!

What I really want to know is does it matter? Part of me thinks that the school should be giving him books that stretch him, however he reads a lot of books at home and from the library, so he does get variety.

If it's just the case that someone other than the teacher is giving out the books and is not very observent or doesnt read the comments should I mention it to the teacher? Or is it not worth bothering about - I really don't want to come across as pushy!


dinny Tue 23-Sep-08 16:39:18

are the books grouped in boxes though, byt the teacher? the levels can vary within a box...

MatNanPlus Tue 23-Sep-08 16:40:08

in 2 minds as he does read with you to increase his reading level but pretty pointless having reading homework that you can do in 2 minutes surely.

Could you also note in the reading record the home books he is reading, title and pages read? to maybe show his actual reading material?

aintnomountainhighenough Tue 23-Sep-08 16:45:30

It would be useful to know what levels you are talking about but, for me, it would be a problem and I would say something. As you go up the levels not only do the books include words that are harder but also they books become longer. Most importantly for me, and I know for my DD, is that they become more enjoyable. For example the lower level ORT books are just so repetitive and not very interesting. Rather than writing in the book I would speak to the teacher and ask how they are finding his reading in class, if he reading it easily then they should be giving him different books.

sclubheaven Tue 23-Sep-08 16:57:25

Matnanplus - I thought about doing that but wasn't sure if it would look a bit ott, in a kind of 'look what he can read - don't you know your job?' kind of way.

aintnomountainhighenough - he has never been given higher than ORT 5 which he read without difficulty. He has been given level 3 again this week.

I don't know how these levels compare but he will comfortably read Ladybird read-it-yourself level 3, Dr Seuss (cat in the hat, green eggs and ham). He also will read things like Mr Men books and Thomas the tank engine stories on his own, often asking for no help with words.

When I look at the stuff he brings home from school it is much more basic in comparison.

sclubheaven Tue 23-Sep-08 16:59:07

He has a parents evening coming up soon. I think I will mention it to the teacher.

wannaBe Tue 23-Sep-08 17:02:14

our school's policy is that it is up to the school to stretch the child, and that they should be bringing home books that they can read comfortably.

Do you know what the school's policy is on reading with children? In ours they do guided reading once a week, when the children read at one level higher than they are taking home, so once they can read that level comfortably they bring that level home and get the next level at guided reading, iyswim?

I would talk to the teacher and just make sure that his reading is being stretched at school.

SpinMeRightRound Tue 23-Sep-08 17:05:11

I'm in a similar position with dd1. She gets a new book every day and they are only 6-8 pages long with 2 maybe 3 sentances on each page.
I know that the teacher isn't hearing her read them as they are just replacing them each day. Now I know that teachers are stretched but I would like her to have a book that she will learn new words but also that she'll enjoy reading.

I'm nervous about approaching the teacher about it though as school term as only been going a few weeks and some children are still settling in.

Might mention it next week [wuss emoticon]

sclubheaven Tue 23-Sep-08 17:09:56

I'm like you spinmerightround - I feel a bit nervous of stepping on the teachers toes. But I would like to see him bringing home books that he actually enjoys.

When he likes a book he will go back to it again and again. I find with the easy school books he reads it once for me, then has no interest in picking it up again.

Mercy Tue 23-Sep-08 17:13:34

It's not just being able to read the words though, it's also about comprehension.

My dd has always had an above average reading ability but doesn't necessarily understand the point of the story or the use grammar and punctuation. But in a book with less words she can often see things more clearly. For example, she wasn't really aware of contractions in a longish chapter book but noticed them in a more simple, 3 or 4 sentences a page type book.

(and fwiw, yes I did once ask the teacher for more 'demanding' books!)

hana Tue 23-Sep-08 17:13:49

school reading books from schemes are usually pretty dire. I think if your kids are reading interesting books they have chosen themselves from the library it really doesn't matter. dd flies through books she brings from school and then goes back to the ones she likes
so I guess I'm saying it doesn't matter esp if they are already independent readers

Marne Tue 23-Sep-08 17:13:53

I would talk to the teacher, i did last week, dd1 is in reception but read level 1 at nursery, they were sending her home with books with just pictures in hmm.

I wen't to see the teacher and asked if she had read dd's notes from nursery, she said she had'nt had time to read them all. The next day dd came home with a book with words grin

Worth saying something.

sclubheaven Tue 23-Sep-08 17:21:37

Ok, thanks for the replies everyone. I'm not going to get stressed about it - I agree with you hana, he has a love of reading and that's whats important. If the school books don't stretch him he reads plenty of other stuff that will.

I will mention to the teacher about the jumping betweeen ORT levels. It could just be an oversight and worth pointing out.

Thank you MN! smile

Mercy Tue 23-Sep-08 17:21:37

But you could use the pictures or illustrations as a starting point to get them to use their vocabulary and imagination.

One of dd's favourite books was fab illustrated one without words - and this was in Yr 2!

Smithagain Tue 23-Sep-08 18:37:52

When DD was in a similar position, I let it go for several weeks, because I didn't think it mattered as long as she was reading at home.

It was her that started compaining about them being boring and too easy. When I relayed those comments to the teacher, she was very supportive and happy to try out harder levels. But she did want to hear DD listen in class, make sure she was really understanding what she read, etc.

DD was much happier and more motivated when she had books that were at a good level - by which I mean interesting, manageable and just a little bit stretching.

imaginaryfriend Tue 23-Sep-08 22:32:51

Something similar happened to dd when she went into Y1. She ended YR reading level 6/7 books then the first Y1 book she brought home was a level 3 book.I did make a friendly note in the reading diary that she'd read that very book back in November in YR. The teacher then re-assessed dd's reading and she ended up coming home with a level 9 book. From the sublime to the ridiculous. She doesn't have many problems with the words but the length of the book is quite trying for her so we do it a chapter at a time.

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