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Reading question for YR2...

(51 Posts)
educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 20:39:16

My dc has come to the end of the reading scheme and is now a 'free reader' which apparently means dc can choose from a selection of books to read (not from a reading scheme) is this normal at this stage?

I expected her to still be on a reading scheme with A specific format for a bit longer but still read books she has choose from the library etc.

BendyBusBuggy Fri 15-Mar-13 20:40:48

Normal, i think - it just means your dc is good at reading smile

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 20:45:59

This is where I'm a bit sceptical as I feel, at times that she struggles with reading!! Teacher assures me she is fine...but I'm not sure and I only have friends children to compare to (who are very bright and advanced readers) so I don't really know what the 'norm' is.

incywincyspideragain Fri 15-Mar-13 21:12:02

it means she's good at reading - not just reading the words but understanding the context and doing comprehension.
ds is yr 2 and still on staged books even though he is a 'free reader' at home because he needs to improve his comprehension and recall of the story at school - teacher called it 'barking at the text' if he can't do this on demand.
I think the aim is to get the majority of children free reading at school by the end of yr2 so she's slightly ahead I'd say smile

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 21:19:21

So is there any particular criteria a book should have to qualify as a 'free reader' book?
And in terms of levels why does the reading chest go up to white etc as I assume there are still reading scheme books for the final bands? I personal feel she prob still needs some books tailored for 'learning' to read as her reading is inconsistent.

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 21:19:56


simpson Fri 15-Mar-13 21:45:53

In my DC school they become "free readers" after finishing lime level of ORT.

This happens at the start of yr3 (they don't like having free readers in KS1 -whole different story).

Has your DD finished lime level?

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 21:51:28

The books she has read don't follow the same coloured levels as I've seen on the reading chest so I'm assuming what she has finished equates to what would be the last 'normal level' before becoming a free reader.
I did approach her teacher about possible options for a higher level reading scheme book but she said they wouldnt benefit her! Not convinced myself!!

simpson Fri 15-Mar-13 21:55:37

Is it your DD that has the dreaded jolly phonics books?

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 21:57:01

That's the books she has don't worry I'm not complaining they are done with but think she could of maybe moved onto sometimes else rather then free reading!?

simpson Fri 15-Mar-13 22:00:06

The last stage of JP books is the same as ORT stage 7 I I would not have thought she would be ready for free reading yet (my opinion) but then my idea of free reading would to be able to read Roald Dahl etc....

Although it does depend on what books they are now giving her. Do they not have any scheme books after blue JP?

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:07:54

Think the info I found online said jp blue equated to turquoise reading band, don't know what level that is.

She is reading early readers I have bought, and has choosen some none fiction books from the school and they have quizzes at the end which she has answers correctly even though there were some words she needed help with.

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:08:47


simpson Fri 15-Mar-13 22:10:04

I guess each schools idea of a free reader is different and as long as the books she is getting (from school) are not too hard then it should be fine.

simpson Fri 15-Mar-13 22:12:22

Yes turquoise is stage 7 IIRC....

DD has been put back onto JP (non fiction) and we had one about Henry Ford the other week (I wanted to slit my wrists listening to her read it grin).

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:13:23

Having said that I've just had a look on the reading chest at the lime non fiction example book/page and it is very similar to what she has been reading to me tonight (chosen from the school library) so maybe I need to have more faith blush

simpson Fri 15-Mar-13 22:16:11


gaelicsheep Fri 15-Mar-13 22:22:41

educator - from bitter personal experience I would say don't knock it! If you've managed to ditch the reading scheme then celebrate fgs!

educator123 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:25:24

smile thank you - I do see what you mean a lot of the schemes are awful.

But in my eyes she has struggled with reading (maybe it's me - nothing to compare to) so I don't want her to go ahead if she isn't ready.

PastSellByDate Sat 16-Mar-13 06:13:44

Hi educator123

agree with most of what has been posted above. I just thought I comment on your I don't want her to go ahead is she isn't ready comment.

Just because your child is labelled 'free reader' doesn't mean you have to stop reading with them and they have to stop reading to you.

You may not feel so duty bound to do it every evening or so - but you can still build in reading time into your week. DH has his favourites (the Hobbit being one) which is above DDs reading ability - so he reads to them once a week. Eldest is asked to read some & when there is an easy passage youngest asked to read as well. Both still like to read to me and I find it useful to read with them at least 1x or 2x a week just to check that they understand what they're reading.

Take this label 'free reader' as an opportunity for you and your DC to explore what books are out there and develop new interests/ new favourites.

My main role now is to identify words that they clearly don't understand and talk about their meaning. I've played dumb and looked up words, so that they feel free to do so as well. It's really important that they absorb it isn't just reading the words out loud (or to themselves); it's about understanding them.

Another trick is to google book title + worksheets (i.e. Lion, Witch & Wardrobe series by CS Lewis (admittedly when she's slightly older) - CS Lewis foundation has some brilliant study guides full of ideas ( No you don't have to do it all - but you can steal a few good ideas and really start that process of thinking about the story's deeper meaning going). Also good for Harry Potter: ( or just as two examples - we recently found the Harry Potter Character jumble a lot of fun to play with 8 - 10 year olds who I was hosting on a snow day).

some great reading ideas here: - they keep changing website - but basically look for Book Finder - books are organised by age groups and genres.

Guardian building children's library article:


exoticfruits Sat 16-Mar-13 06:26:25

The best thing is to join a library, if you haven't already, and go every week.

redskyatnight Sat 16-Mar-13 10:22:56

At DS's school the "free readers" (which is everyone over lime level) still pick their books out of a coloured box - they are all "real" books by this stage. I actually think this is useful as it ensures that DS continues to try books that are a little bit challenging - left to himself he tends to pick very easy readers. The school still requires regular reading. As you say there are still skills to be learnt at this stage and we've had interesting dicussion about some of t he themes in the books.

mrz Sat 16-Mar-13 12:57:18

What year group is your daughter educator?

mrz Sat 16-Mar-13 13:04:10

Ignore my stupid question ...I didn't read the thread title.

Personally I think children still need structure and guidance to choose books that will develop as readers at this age and feel the whole "free reader" concept is a cop out.

learnandsay Sat 16-Mar-13 13:13:13

If the school doesn't use reading scheme books doesn't that mean that its children were always free readers?

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