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Book Banding and Decodable Reading Books

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by cariad2, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    Has anybody got any experience of trying to reconcile book banded books and decodable books?
    We've just had all the books in school book banded. Before it happened, we hadn't seen the criteria that is used (although I had heard that it was linked to Reading Recovery, so was a bit wary).
    In foundation, our books were already graded. We'd fine tuned our system so that our children were given books based on their phonic knowledge, and with key words introduced very gradually. Basically, the children are given books that they can read.
    Book banding has led to them being completely reorganised. Eg the pink books which are the lowest band (apart from picture only lilac books) are based on characteristics such as predictable, repetitive texts and picture clues. There are masses of words in them that the children can't read.
    Has anybody else been in this situation, and if so, what did you do about it?
     
  2. all our decodable books are book banded too so it has never been a problem. Within some of the pink band we have sub divided them.
    What books do you use? We use big cat, dandelion, bug club, ORT songbirds.
     
  3. I researched this last year and discovered that the authors of the 4th edition of Bookbands for Guided Reading explicitly excluded decodable books from their lists and at the same time said that the bands were aligned to the Phonic Phases of Letters and Sounds. But as far as I could tell, it was the high frequency irregular words only that seemed to fit.

    This has meant that those of us who produce decodable books can only make an educated guess as to its coloured book band.
    My guesses for Jelly and Bean are on the website in a document called Reading Order accessed from the teaching guides.

    I think most of the companies who produce decodables have done this too. They are in the match-funding phonic catalogue.
     
  4. I also had this dilemma. I bought Dandelion Launchers and Floppy Phonic decodables for the new school I joined last year, who had no suitable books for starter readers. The children have made great progress! Now I have to transfer those children who have finished the 40 dandelion books onto ORT story books. Pink are too easy, red and yellow are about right, but they have lots of wh words and ed words and more, which are Phase 5. I have been teaching high frequency words to these confident readers in 1;1 reading, so they can cope and I have talked to parents about the possible pitfalls. I am sending home one yellow and one red to try and get a balance, but it isn't ideal, why are ORT story range not systematic in the way their early books like debbie's floppy phonics are ?
     
  5. That is because they are designed for a completely different system! The original ORT are designed for Look and Say instruction, not phonics instruction. I suspect that anyone is onto a loser if they try to get two diametrically opposed systems to work together...
     
  6. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    We've got some of the new Floppy's Phonics and they are colour coded in the old ORT style (ie using the same colours) according to the graphemes in the text. It would need a little work, but you could probably use that as a basis for coding the rest of the books.
     
  7. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    I'm going to have to go into school over Easter and try to work something out. Book banding was imposed from above, so I've no choice about that. After school yesterday, I took all the books out of the boxes they'd been put into and put them back into my old order.
    I was hoping that I'd be able to look at the colour stickers, and see something workable eg start children on pink band but sub-divide them my self, then put them onto red band but sub-divide them etc.
    Of course, life is never so easy. Pink band books included old scheme ones, totally reliant on repetion and predictability, including words that most children couldn't decode until they were half-way through the year. Red band books, on the other hand, included some of the really easy Dandelion books with only a few cvc words.
    Aaaargh!
     
  8. I hope that I may be able to help here re the use of books which are not cumulative and decodable.
    This includes any type of book - be it ORT originals, or story books or anything.
    There are several ways of addressing this but it relies on the supporting adults appreciating that children cannot be expected to 'read' words when they haven't been taught the alphabetic code in the words.
    The adult can teach any code 'incidentally' - "In this word, these letters ARE CODE FOR the /ai/ sound..." and then the child can blend the word.
    Or, model the blending.
    Or, tell the child the word.
    Some children, in any event, will have no problem with reading books with wider vocabulary in - they can even self-teach when they understand the principles of the alphabetic code and blending.
    The big difference is when the supporting adults don't expect the children to be able to read books which are not decodable INDEPENDENTLY.
    In the pre-synthetic phonics days, children would be provided with a non-decodable book in the bookbag - and the parents and children thought the book was for the child to read independently.
    It is time that the Bookbanding system was replaced.
    I suggest that teachers work out their own order of using reading books in their schools.
     
  9. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    Oh my goodness ... Mumsnet would implode if we got rid of book bands!
     
  10. Are you claiming that SP somehow guarantees that parents will read with their children, debbie? Or that it somehow enables good communication between school and parent? And that 'pre-synthetic phonics' no parent read a child's reading book with him/her, and pointed out how to read unknown words? Just to set the record straight: in 'pre-synthetic phonics days' it was a common practice to send home a reading book which the child was able to tackle with minimal help and a library book which was for sharing parent/child; the parent would write a comment in the child's reading record about their child's reading, and be able to see comments made by the adults in school who had listened to their child. Not quite as hopeless as you seem to believe. Why, there were even workshop meeting and letters home explaining the processes involved!
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Perhaps you should re read what Debbie actually said thumbie

     
  12. Please tell me what I have misread.
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
     
  14. I tend to stick to one series of books, in my case Storyworld. These offer a selection of genre. I have found the early decodeable books are so boring so do not tend to use them until later- when children are more confident and books are more interesting! I have 'tricky' words on cards to look and say; these then support reading in the next level of books. Tend to use ORT when children are at blue level and their confidence is high. ORT is then a great way of widening reading experience.
     
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    ORT widen reading experience [​IMG]
     
  16. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    They are pretty boring for the adult who has to listen to a child reading them. But I always find that the children are far from bored - they're very excited that they can actually read their books. I wait until children recognise most single letters, and are beginning to blend orally before I give them a book, and then they are generally pretty confident, because when I give them a book to read I am asking them to do something achievable.
    We also encourage them to take a second-free choice book (non-scheme, ordinary story or non-fiction book) to share with an adult at home, as well as their graded book.
     
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Aren't all early reading schemes fairly low interest level given number of words to page.
    I find the the repetitive text of Look and Say is more boring for children
     

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