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Oxford Reading Tree stage 1... why are there no words?

(18 Posts)
fryalot Thu 25-Sep-08 10:07:11

I don't understand how it is supposed to teach her to read when there are no words in the book???


(or maybe tis me being fick hmm)

MissusH Thu 25-Sep-08 10:12:43

I wondered this too when dd was in reception.

Apparently the idea is to get the children used to looking at the pictures in sequence, describing what they see and almost making the story up themselves...

ALthough dd didn't really get the hang of it and was much happier when sentences were introduced!!

Marne Thu 25-Sep-08 10:16:58

Yes, its to get children used to looking at pictures and to use the pictures to work out what the story is about.

I think for most children this is a waist of time because most parents have read and looked at books with their children since a very early age, but for some it can be very helpful (if they hav'nt had much contact with books)

Dd was an early reader but started with these books at nursery.

TotalChaos Thu 25-Sep-08 10:17:11

yeah like MissusH says I think it starts off with pre-reading skills like reading the book in order etc. I would also like to ask why the characters have such bloody stupid names and all look so similar.

MissusH Thu 25-Sep-08 10:18:18

same here - dd had lots of exposure to books at home & pre-school so was a bit bemused...

Buda Thu 25-Sep-08 10:18:48

Oh God they are tiresome aren't they?

As others have said - to get children used to holding a book and looking at the pictures and describing what is happening etc.

nix66 Thu 25-Sep-08 10:21:52

Again I thought it was strange when my dd started reception, but I think they have them for a number of reasons the main one being to get them use to holding books and turning pages, looking at what is happening on each page and describing it in their own words. You would be surprised how many children are not used to handling books when the start school.

In dd's school they come with a laminated card with an extended story on for you to read to the child, there are a few questions to ask as well (I think smile )

I have been a parent helper since reception (dd is in yr2 now) and they really do help. You will find if a child is already capable of interpreting what they see they will fly thru these as I think there are only about 6 or 8 ORT books without words. I hope this helps!

fryalot Thu 25-Sep-08 11:09:32

ah, thank you.

She is of course, well used to handling books and has been an avid "reader" since she was teeny tiny.

I suppose it would have made more sense to me if we never looked at books grin

VanillaPumpkin Thu 25-Sep-08 14:52:00

Helps them to use picture cues too smile.
I enjoyed them as dd's stories made me laugh and were much more interesting than some of them with words (though I like the Biff and Chip stories).

lingle Fri 26-Sep-08 09:13:59

I got reprimanded because DS1 "didn't know the names of the characters".

How the hell would he know, given that there are no words?

yellowvan Fri 26-Sep-08 09:19:48

With the move to synthetic phonic though, this approach (and ort in general) is moving out of favour, for the reason that "looking at the pictures for clues" (part of what used to be called the "searchlights" approach , which involves a certain amount of "guessing" from context and other clues) is NOT the same as reading. Ask school what phonic work they do.

Zazette Fri 26-Sep-08 09:31:37

Drawing on contextual information from pictures and other clues is not the same as 'reading' in the phonics sense of decoding words, no. But it is an important part of the process of reading as it is actually practised in the world.

Working out the narrative from the pictures - being able to anticipate what will happen next/later for instance - is actually quite a high-level reading skill. Plenty of children who are skilled decoders in Year R struggle with the more complex demands of making sense of a whole story. The ORT picture-only books are good for developing that skill.

If your dd is confident with books, she will probably move on quickly to books with words.

throckenholt Fri 26-Sep-08 09:33:57

looking at the pictures is always what stops my boys reading - they are so busy commenting on the pictures - they don't bother to read the letters and work out the words.

I wish sometimes they would try books with no pictures - just to see how they get on.

My boys were also flummoxed by the books with no words - it wasn't easy to explain to them.

Fennel Fri 26-Sep-08 09:41:50

My dd was flummoxed by the no-words books as she was already reading at the point she was being given them, but the teacher suggested she wrote the stories, so she did that. Which worked really well, she enjoyed that, so I stopped being rude about the books-without-words.

AbbeyA Fri 26-Sep-08 09:43:04

If they are busy commenting on the picture it means that they are more likely to read for enjoyment. Decoding is all very well but lots of children who can do it don't associate it with pleasure. If there are no words you can get them to tell the story with speech and dramatic expression.

muppetgirl Fri 26-Sep-08 09:50:47

My ds has just started school and we had this also. Ds has been read to on a daily basis since early babyhood and he found this rather insulting as 'there are no words...'

I think the searchlights model isn't a good way to start reading as children are encouraged to guess the words and 'find' the difficult words form the pictures. Why not just have simple words that can be sounded out? The Songbirds set of books is a much better series than the normal ort as they are stand alone stories that have easily decodable words so the children are 'reading' by themselves much earlier. They are still learning how to turn a page, what a title is etc but they are reading not guessing.You can easily check a child's comprehension in the same way you would any book. Floppy's phoncs series is also good as well. My son spent ages searching for the answer to the word 'pot' when I just asked him to sound it out he could and then read the word easily.

These new series were highlighted as good examples of reading books (although not strictly mentioned they were easily identifiable) in Jim Rose's report Independent review of the teaching of
early reading
Final Report, Jim Rose,March 2006

It's an interesting read if you fancy it.

nix66 Fri 26-Sep-08 10:38:59

Lingle - hello smile do they not put a card in the book with the story for you to read to your ds1 whilst he's looking at the pictures? If not that would make it confusing. At dd's school they also had colouring in sheets to bring home with each character so they could become familiar with them before they read and they also had "words" to learn at each of the lower ORT stages and all the names were in there to learn up until stage 3 I think.

FME the children who are capable of reading early in Reception will fly thru these, but thru helping in school I have found that the children who struggle find them useful because it makes them actually look at the book and become familiar with stories in this style, and with the characters.

When we read at home I make sure we talk about the pictures and we try to predict what will happen next based on the picture as well as the text and we also discuss the book as a whole and what bits they liked after we have read it. Many children can read well by the age of 6-7 but not all can tell you what the story was about that they have just read, or tell you their favourite bit,because they are just decoding the words and not absorbing the story.

I think that as it is such a small part of their experience of learning to read it's no big deal and by the time they are reading books with lots of words in they will forget all about the books with no words and hopefully enjoy whatever they are reading.grin

lingle Fri 26-Sep-08 19:18:23

There may have been a card - but I didn't see it - and it shouldn't be an initiative test grin

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