book banding and pupil choice(17 Posts)
My daughters' primary school has a new head and she has introduced book banding for reading. In reception dd1 was given the next book up in 'Jelly and Bean' as she progressed, then Oxford Reading Tree. Now dd2, just starting reception, will choose from a box of books from all different shemes. Am I right to be concerned that she will not be on a carefully designed reading scheme? A friend who also has experience of both methods says ds has struggled with bringing home such a vast array of different books with no inbuilt progression. Does anyone have experience of both methods? I'm not convinced at a starting level that choice is as important as the confidence that comes from being introduced to a few new words at a time which dd1 did so well with.
DD1's school did the same exercise about half way through Yr1.
To be honest, both she and I found it better. There was more variety, as a result of the mixture of books from different schemes, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. And it was nice to have a break from Biff, Chip & Co from time to time!
The only thing that was confusing was that you end up jumping around the levels in a particular scheme - especially the ORT books, it seemed. We ended up having books from about three different levels, which were in the same book band (and were, in fact, of a very similar standard so goodness knows why they were on different levels in the first place).
My DD's just started school, and this is how they do it too.
I think I'm quite pleased. It gives the teacher some credit (credit's not the right word - value? worth? ...I know what I mean). As well as will give DD variety.
There does still seem to be a progression with the keywords they use in reception.
But like I say, we're just starting out - I could well change my mind in time.
Definitely better to read a variety of schemes.
The LEA literacy leader came to talk to the parents at our school and she said (in the days when they did a KS1 SATS reading test)often children who had only read say ORT became very used to their style of writing and sometimes found it difficult to read writing at the same level from a differeat source.
dd's school uses a wide variety of books from various schemes. I think it is good as it means that they get used to a wide variety of writing styles. Initially progress might appear to be slower than if the child is on a single reading scheme but in the long run I think it is a good thing.
The school did however ensure that they read the six/eight books from a particular scheme before moving on to the next so they were familiar with the style.
DS's school does this too and I think it is preferable to having just one reading scheme. for example, DS gallops through the ORT books because he understands what the stories "should be" so he sense guesses a lot of the time. Having to read different styles means he actually has to stop and look at the words!
Our school deliberately uses books from a number of schemes so that the children don't think that all books "should" look a certain way. The greater variety also means that if one particualr schme is not engaging a child, then a different one might.
I get what you are saying about the helpfulness of a variety of schemes. DD1 was given other schemes as well. She'd complete a block of ORT and then be given other books at the same level which was good. What concerns me is that at the very early stages all the different schemes introduce a variety of words and as dd2 (starting in reception) will be choosing books at random off a shelf she will never get the chance to reinforce new words shes just learned.
She will by reading her books with you at home.
I'm picturing that it won't be so easy when one day dd2 brings back a book with 3 words a page and the next day the book has two lines a page and not necessarily the same sorts of words as yesterday. Not a problem once they get going but hard when they are just starting out.
But surely thatis the point: that she learns that books and words can look different?
Otherwise she is not learning to read - just to repeat words parrot fashion?
I'm not sure how decoding or learning a word on a page and then remembering it when you see it the next day is learning parrot fashion. Once a set of words are reinforced then theres no problem with going to another scheme and learning other words. My concern is just at the very early stages. It gave dd1 such confidence and a belief that she really could do it because she learnt a few new words at a time. Her reading just took off and now in year 2 she reads whatever comes her way...
How about you teach your daughter at home then?
If you are concerned, thne you should take it up with the school.
In my ds' case, he learnt to "read" all of the Biff & Chip books and books from other schemes wthout ever really learning to read - he just learnt the stories off by heart but couldn't read anything independently.
It took him until the end of P2 (aged over 6 and a half) before he actually learnt to de-code words and read properly.
I think the book banding sytem is great. Much better to read books from a variety of sources. Ours is still heavily dominated by ORT though - Jackdaws are unpopular with the kids as are the hideous Oxford Literacy Web Information books, hopefully someone's dog will chew them up soon.
Mrs Magnolia's school sounds like its done a good job. My friend's son's school had very wide bands and I fear our experience will be similar. What I wanted to know is of anyone that has done both ways to compare them. I have experience of using schemes progressively already so can see how it worked well but it sounds like others have had success with their children choosing banded books - are we just all biased to what we have seen in action?
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