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Make parents feel like a beginner reader

Discussion in 'Primary' started by dolceandgabbana, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I hope someone can help me. I've got to do a presentation next week for parents about listening to their child read. When we have seen them do this in the classroom they are quick to jump in and supply words that their children get stuck on and don't encourage the use of strategies such as sounding out, using contextual clues etc. I thought I'd start the session by gettting the parents to understand what it feels like to be a beginner reader. When I did my training (many years ago!) I recall doing an exercise where we had to read a piece of text which was written from right to left that contained lots of tricky words that took a lot of decoding. Unfortunately my uni files are long gone, and I can't find any similar exercises on the internet. Wondered if any of you could possibly point me in the right direction (or even better, if anyone has such an exercise that they wouldn't mind sharing)?!

    Many thanks
  2. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Oh I'd just get a Roald Dahl revolting rhyme and type it backwards - but I have my doubts about the whole exercise really - see below.

    As a parent, please can I beg that you provide parents with some means afterwards of seeing and hearing all the different sounds that their child will be taught (e.g. from Debbie's Tiny Reading Seeds on Phonics International, or on Mr Thorne does Phonics etc). This way you will help them to help correctly with reading at home.
    The other exercise is fun, but I don't really think it creates the reading experience of a child being give decodable words to read based on some grapheme -sound correspondences that they have learned.
    A better illustration would involve a new alphabet for them to learn, and then some words to read in the new alphabet. Maybe even just some letters from the greek alphabet and a few words to go with that?!!

  3. Wuzzy

    Wuzzy New commenter

    Why not take the parents through a typical phonics session? Have them doing it as the children would.
    Review, teach practise, apply and end with a tricky word or two.
    This would be more meaningful - give them whiteboards, phoneme frames etc, show them the flashcards for GPCs etc.
    Show them how to sound out and blend, sound talk, add sound buttons etc.
    Then at the end you could give them the rational behind each part of the session.
    You could also give them the pages from Letters and sounds with all the phonemes and alternatives plus the graphemes and spelling alternatives as a reference sheet for when their children get stuck at home.
  4. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    The dvd in the letters and sounds pack has a film of how to pronounce the phonemes correctly as I think parents still tend to add an uh at the end. It also has some films of teachers doing various activities.
  5. Try this - it made my brain ache reading it for the first time..
    The greep dawked forily prip the blortican. It snaughted preg the melidock trippicant and shrolled nong the cretidges. Pronutically, the greep caught up with all the other dogs. They had found a fresh murchin burrow and were sprooling and muting round it.
    The old bradilihund was sletching his paw down the hole and a persistant Chinourier had started to dig. None was s_____ enough to plurt inside. The greep was not re____ interested; after a quick sprool. he continued his journey home.
    The two omissions give examples of guessing from context and reading on respectively if still allowed ... I give (adults!) some of the 'difficult words' to find in advance
    You can ask some comprehension Qs and have fun working out what a greep is and where it might be dawking.

  6. sarahmilly

    sarahmilly New commenter

    This is brilliant, nooilpainting!
    I was going to suggest a similar idea, teaching the parents some of the more complecated sounds and using them to spell made up words... I'm going to save this thread, it's fab!
  7. titus4t

    titus4t New commenter

    I felt like a beginner reader when I cycled through Bulgaria. Our map was written in English but all the map signs were in Cyrillic (I think?) So to work out road signs you had to sound out every time. It was exhausting! I wonder if you could do something like that where you had to match Bulgarian and English. I'm expecting Russian might work the same or even Arabic? I remember being in China begging someone to read a road sign because our map was in Pinyin but the road sign was in characters!
  8. No, it's not still allowed and can I, as someone who works with KS3 struggling readers, beg you not to teach it at all. When you have tried to break child after child's habit of reading the first word or two of a sentence and making up the rest of it you will begin to think very evil thoughts about the teacher who taught them (very successfully) that guessing was an OK reading strategy
  9. Forgot to say, I did a similar exercise for our staff. I found a site that listed lots of very long and obscure words, used them to write a nonsense piece of text, then handed it out and chose people at random to read bits aloud. Many confessed afterwards that they were terrified of being picked to read...

    And, boy, did they struggle to decode some of those words...
  10. Something written in Old English is good... You kind of recognise bits of it, but there are unfamiliar letter shapes and odd combinations!
    For decoding vs. comprehension, some legal gobbledegook or other form of technobabble is good. You can read the words, but the meaning is a whole different ball game!
    I've got some stuff from a presentation I did a couple of years ago if it's any help..
    C x
  11. A big thank you to everyone for all of your ideas and suggestions - lots there that I will incorporate into my presentation. I really just want to put across at the beginning of the session how it feels to be a beginner reader so that the parents are more receptive to some of my suggestions about encouraging readers to use a variety of strategies to read unfamiliar vocabulary, to encourage the parents to discuss the book and the pictures before starting to read (I've seen them open the book at page 1 for the reader, before the reader's even had a glance at the front cover or the title of the book!) and to emphasise the importance of comprehension (rather than just 'barking' at the text but not having a clue what it's about - Cathyd, your 'technobabble' suggestion will be great for this)!
    Thanks again for your suggestions
    D&G x
  12. D&G - You are right to be concerned if parents supporting children to read are neglecting to do the 'engagement' and 'comprehension' and 'love of literature' side of the things.
    Your comment about 'barking', however, and your concern about 'strategies' makes me wonder whether you are not mixing up what it is you are trying to achieve.
    A supporting adult needs to know about the alphabetic code and how they can support children to blend new and unknown words where the child knows the 'code' in the word, how to model the blending in a word which proves too long and challenging, how to tell the child, "In that word, those letters are code for the /.../ sound" so that the child can attempt to sound out and blend the unknown word.
    Or simply tell the child the word.
    It is not a great idea to tell the child to guess the word according to the picture, from reading on and going back to guess through the context and to guess from the first letter/s.
    There may be times that a child is such a beginner that the book that he or she is being asked to read apparently 'independently' is not really suitable - but can still be shared and enjoyed for the content of the book.
    Parents would need a steer on this as well - when to judge how to take over the reading and just enjoy the book for a lovely session of shared reading.
    Do you always give your parents a clear-enough steer on how to make these decisions?
    Someone suggested referring to Letters and Sounds in terms of looking at the tables in there to show the relationship between sounds and letters.
    The several tables in Letters and Sounds will be confusing even to many teachers. I've designed an alphabetic code chart which is in many styles (according to need) and which are free to download in the unit 1 of www.phonicsinternational.com.
    There is one in particular which I think is very user-friendly for parents and their children. There are also video clips which demonstrate saying the sounds of a 'basic code' and also the 'extended code'. All of these things are free.
    If parents wish to support their children at home with the decoding aspect of reading (which even many adults apply for longer, new, technical words - unless we 'blurgh' them in our heads when we read privately).
    The sad thing is that I suggest that our pupils 'blurgh' a huge number of words when they read to themselves.
    Between guessing and blurghing, they are maybe getting the gist of text, maybe enjoying the books, but they are not being done a favour by avoiding teaching the alphabetic code well - or by encouraging the 'guessing' strategies - which may 'get them through' each book but which will not advance their reading ability.
  13. At uni we were given a photocopy of a kids book (Ithink it was The ZOO). Really simple text..quite repititive..witht he same word (zoo) on each page...along with a afew others. Thing is it was written in Greek! The pictures were still there but we had to try and decode it. It was good fun and really made me feel like a new reader. We all saw the same word on each page and from the pictures we figured out it was zoo. we figured out a few others on each page and using a combintion of word matching and pictures we got the jist of the story.
    We then had a random selection of 'new sounds' given to us to learn (like rd now made the oa sound). We then had to read words with these sounds in (so crdt was now coat).

    This was weird but I understood the point.

    I do agree with giving parents pages from the letters and sounds so they know what their child is learning, the tricky words and how teh sounds should be pronounced.

  14. I remember having something similar but can't put my hands on it.
    Di Tre Berres - might do what you have in mind (use contextual cues, sounding out, prior knowledge etc)
    If you you tube it you will get a script and also a video of someone reading it aloud fyi - you might take this role yourself - good luck [​IMG]

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