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Guided reading or individual reading in reception

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by nicholaj69, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    Again as im new to reception it would be great to hear about what other people do for reading.
    In my school the current reception teacher hears individual readers therefore they change their book on a regualar basis. Everytime i go into the room thats all the teacher seems to be doing. She doesnt seem to observe or have teacher led groups. I think individual reading would be a waste of my time. She is only listening to them read not really teaching them reading skills.
    I would prefer to hear guided reading groups but was wondering if this was the norm in reception class? Also how oftren do children change their home reading books and when do you begin to send home books?? I have so many questions on this matter and even in my current year3/4 class have found it a difficult area.
    Any advise will be more than welcome [​IMG]
  2. Katille

    Katille New commenter

    I can only speak from experience in my own class but I found that at the beginning of the year the children did not have the skills needed to participate in group reading, by which I mean sitting as a group and reading/discussing the same book. Remember, reading does not always have to take this format, I have used trails outside and around the school grounds (supported by an adult) so the children have to follow the clues e.g. go to the tree, go to the sand with something to find at the end of it, reading labels and matching them to sets of farm animals for Old MacDonald or reading action words for Simon says. I then did individual reading as well as these type of group activities until they were ready to 'group read' in the way I think you mean.
    I also found that some children were ready for this before others. We eventually got to the point where all children group read once a week with me or TA and then read individually with parents helpers, TA or me depending on what else is going on in the classroom that week. I am fortunate in that most weeks I have 2 parent helpers for a morning or afternoon.
    The children's books are changed at least once a week and home/school diaries filled in too. Initially I sent home one book at a time and as the children have been ready I now send home two books at a time. There's no pressure-if they have read both by the next week they get two new books, if only one has been read that's OK they keep one and change the one that has been read.
    I'm sure you will get lots of advice, pick the bits that work for you and your class.
    Hope it all goes well for you. Foundation Stage is fab!!!
  3. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I agree with Katille. At the beginning of the year the children aren't ready for guided reading sessions. Are you going to be the only FS teacher? You will probably have to be guided, initially at least, by the head of the FS, school policy etc. As I am the Head of the FS stage I can do what I like so here goes ...
    At the beginning of the year my FS children (I have Yr 1 and 2 as well) take home "real" books to share with their families. They can change these as often as they like and take home as many as they like. They love this, even choosing to take home books which they own (aren't children wonderful?). Sometime between October and December they will start taking home scheme books. We have a weird and wonderful assortment of these including lots of the wordless ORT books. Most of our book stock isn't in phonetically decodable, easy stages as we have lots of old "look and say" ORTs but I can't afford to chuck out the ones which don't conform to the current orthodoxy. Most of the children start guided sessions toward the end of the year but this year we haven't and they will all start in September.
    My children can change their books as often as they like, most change them 2 or 3 times a week. I make it clear to parents that this doesn't mean that they will be racing through "the levels" as I encourage children to read books more than once (as they do with story books) for reinforcement and consolidation. It is a bit of a muddle and mish mash but works for us. This year's Yr 2s all scored at least a L2 with 3 (out of 8, so 37.5%) scoring a L3 despite the fact that they aren't a very able bunch. Next year I expect 50% L3 but also 25% L1 although my target is 50:50 L3:L2 but I have an SEN child in that year (all 4 of 'em).
    I'm not precious about who hears them read. Our caretaker comes in early one afternoon a week, I have 1 mum who comes in one morning a week and the Yr6s love reading with them on a Friday afternoon. We used to do paired reading once a week with the Juniors but sadly this slipped through the net with a curriculum squeeze. I'm pushing to get it back next year.
    We also spend 15 minutes a day (at the beginning of the afternoon) doing what used to be called ERIC (every-one reads in class). We have to have a seat foreach child as that's where they eat their lunches (and I'm aware that not all FS/KS1 classes do) and the children sit at the tables and read together. It is a mad free for all - not the silent reading of old. The children have to sit down and stay in the same place (for that day, not forever) but they can (and do) share books. Some choose to bring in books from home for ERIC time. If she's around the head pops in at ERIC time, usually choosing to share a book with one of the ones who doesn't have any books at home.
    As Katille says try different things, see what works for you but above all remember that the most important thing that you can do is foster a love of books. That will feed into the whole of their education.


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