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Raising levels in reading

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jellybellysmum, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Does anyone have any ideas on how i can raise reading standards in my class? We set our children for phonics, do guided reading, shared reading and listen to individual readers. The majority of my class need to go up 1 whole level to be in line with national expectations. The problem is most of them don't read at home and in some cases there are literacy issues at home. We have rewards for reading at home but doesn't make much difference. I am concerned and don't really know what else I can do. Any suggestions will be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
  2. Does anyone have any ideas on how i can raise reading standards in my class? We set our children for phonics, do guided reading, shared reading and listen to individual readers. The majority of my class need to go up 1 whole level to be in line with national expectations. The problem is most of them don't read at home and in some cases there are literacy issues at home. We have rewards for reading at home but doesn't make much difference. I am concerned and don't really know what else I can do. Any suggestions will be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
  3. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    To raise the profile of reading in my class (very reluctant readers) we have a reading tree & book of the week etc. Every time the children read a book at home they write it on a leaf and add it to the tree. For most of them the decoding is fine, it is the understanding behind it so we set a lot of reading comprehension homework and discuss our class books in detail. Other than that I dont know - you cant force them to read at home. Do the school have some literacy support for parents? Could you have a book club at lunchtimes and choose some really appealing texts?
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

  5. Thanks for that. The children love listening to me read and I do encourage them to read different things at home. We invested in Rigby Star books a couple of years ago but I think we definitely need more books and a wider range but as with most schools money is a big issue. I think I'm worried because the dreaded 'O' are due soon and reading was an issue that was raised last time. I like the idea of the reading tree and might try this.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  7. What age?
  8. Well, according to our resident literacy expert, mashabell, you have no chance. Here's what she said on another thread:

    And anyway, our spelling system is just so bizarre that you can't expect anyone to be really good at reading and writing. I expect she'll add to this with a link to her site. She might even entertain you with one of her lists of naughty spellings....

  9. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Its not the being able to read and the mechanics of learning and decoding etc that KS1 children go through I have a problem with its the insistence of holier than thou teachers (coming back to my widely held view that teachers are control freaks) that children should LOVE reading and that if they dont its incredibly sad and they are virtually finished as human beings-if a real savvy L4/5 kid comes upto me at 11 and says he hates reading fiction books and could explain why I have no problem with that at all
  10. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Back to the opening question, which year group are they, what levels are they, and what levels are you feeling they should be?
  11. Surely, if the OP is talking about 'levels' it's not really a 'love of reading' problem at all, but a failure to tick the right boxes.
    What hoops do the children have to jump through to achieve the desired 'level' ? I always find it very weird that anyone believes that reading can be 'levelled'...
  12. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Last post, post of the night...I still love to read Roald Dahl as an adult so my 'level' wouldnt very high would it? I like reading papers, football programmes, magazines, the Beano etc so Im sure the system would hate me
  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    At the end of the day what is reading for?
    Is it to equip people with skills to read and enjoy or to pass some imaginary level of achievement?Obviously they need to be able to read and comprehend what they read is crucial.....but the level of your understanding is as crucial ,as the language of a society carries with it much meaning...and the skill is to decode the words so that the writers intent and pupose is understood, is paramount.
    Words are conveyors of meanng and so we teacha wide range of words and contexts to ensure children are bale to both understand those words and use them to state their own meaning ad understanding.
    To me ,a very late reader, the ability to be able to pick up most books and understand is crucial.....i enjoy reading and the symbols called words convey ideas and meaning..I do understand that some technical books require specialist helpers.....but for kids its as many described.They dont 'progress' steadily up levels and they dont all progress the same........so why folks and organisations seem to insist they do I do not know!

  14. my class are mixed age Y1 and Y2.
  15. most of my year 1 don't concern me they are either on target or above but the y2 need to make 3 sub levels progress by end of summer term. they are mostly level 1c. I totally agree that it is more important that chn need to have a love of reading but we are still required to assess their reading levels and report them. Whether this is right or wrong is another story. My chn are making progress which I think is important but they have targets to meet. I have been told to do lots more reading with them but I dont want to turn them off reading. Their levels from last year were recorded with support and mine were assessed indep so there is obviously a discrepancy which is being questioned. Also the resources we have are quite limited. There isnt a great range of books.
  16. Most books written specifically for teaching children to read are not great.
    A speedy way of helping weaker children to improve their reading is to make sure they can at least read all the 300 most often occurring English words without hesitation.
    Half of them are decodable, but the others have some tricky or confusing letters in them.
    But just going over those 300 again and again is worth doing.
    I'll paste them all in, with the tricky ones in bold.
    The regular ones can be used for reinforcing basic phonics, if u have any children who still need that.
    Cat dad gran grandad had has hat man animals
    any many after all asked called can’t fast last plants said saw small want wanted was what water baby came gave made make place take are have because laughed
    the be he he’s me she we we’re even here these ever every everyone never there there’s were where eyes key each eat please tea great head ready bear big children did didn’t fish him his if in is it it’s its king little miss still thing think this which will wind wish with find I’ll I’m I’ve inside like liked time while live lived river cried friends box dog fox from got hot long lots not of off on stop stopped top floppy across along cold old told another coming don’t most mother oh once only other workgo going no so do into to two who clothes home over one come some something gone but duck fun jumped just much mum must run sun under up us pulled put about around found house mouse our out round shouted
    could couldn’t thought through would you your food room school soon too book door good look looked looking looks took down how now town grow know snow window give giant people boy Mr Mrs narrator suddenly
  17. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Well, if you want a reading scheme that works its way slowly and logically through a few hundred keywords, it's Ladybird Peter and Jane for you!!! I'm not entirely joking. Flipping between Read Write Inc decodable story books and Peter and Jane seems to be a good balance for fast progress. It develops the phonic decoding, and hammers in the key words without having to resort to flash cards. If you use loads of books kids feel they are progressing.
    Why aren't there many reading books in your school? What did they spend the money on instead?
    Still not clear what age and level the children currently are? Are you saying they are Year 2 and 1c and need to make it to a 2c between now and the end of Year 2? Do they know phonics? How many of them are there?
    Personally, I think it's very difficult for a child to truly enjoy reading until they have reached a level where they can read books that are interesting to them. This is so not possible at Level 1c, particularly if you are already 6 or 7. You'd have to be weird to enjoy a 1c reading scheme book at that age - even at age 3 or 4 they are hardly appealing.
    How many children are you talking about? How can they access the year 2 curriculum with reading at level 1c?
    My answer would be, get in loads of volunteers, quickly train them in pronouncing phonic sounds properly, make sure the kids know a good number of phonic sounds, then get the volunteers reading with those kids really often - 10 mins two or three times a day. Get their parents on board too if that's possible, practising with them at home. Unless they are children with real learning difficulties they should learn to read fast at age 6-7. The thing that puts a child off reading is not being able to do it, and not being required to learn in a pacey fashion.Who is interested in reading boring books for years on end and making no apparent progress?
    Get kids to find a book they really want to read, whether they can read it or not. Teach them to read the words they should be able to approach. Get them reading those and fill in the gaps for them. Let some intelligent volunteers ........ and I'm assuming your school could find some ...... devise ways of teaching these children that appeals to each individual child. Once they're on the right tracks, they'll fly.
    Surely it's a priority? They are not equipped for the rest of the curriculum.

  18. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Just read your OP again. Contact the parents who can read but don't help their child at home. Tell them you want to get their children reading well and fast and you need their help for the next few months. Tell them their children cannot access the curriculum because their reading is not good enough. Work out with them how many times a week they do have time to hear their child read. Give them something very specific to do during that time. Teach them the phonic sounds. Tell them if they do not do it with their child for the agreed number of times per week, the school will kindly make up the time during break-time with the child.
    If they really are complete unco-operative, give up on them and make sure that the children are heard frequently by other means. Lavish praise in the reading record, show the child how much they are progressing. Don't read the same book again and again - it's a killer. Use more books at the same level so that words are being repeated and learnt but not by having to read the same story again and again.
    You might find that some parents would like to hear their own child just before the end of the school day, while older siblings are in school. This gives them a tranquil moment compared with home. If there are pre-school siblings of course this might not work. Maybe somehow you can arrange reading sessions straight after school so that the parents each hear their own child while younger children are kept occupied by older siblings and other parent volunteers.
  19. Hi thanks for the advice.
    My Y2 are not accessing the Y2 curriculum, that's part of the problem. We are in a mixed Y1/2 class with low ability Y2. There are 9 mostly working at 1c, one is still on P scales and 2 are working at 2c, 1 speaks very little english. We are in a deprived area. I couldn't say where the money has gone. We invested in some phonics books 3 years and bought rigby star reading books 2 years ago but as they are not looked after and get lost quite often the number of books is diminishing. I was hoping to be able to buy a wider range of books and book band them myself. I am in the process of organising a course to teach parents how we teach reading in school and build up a reading army of volunteers. We have phonics daily, the chn are set in phase groups. Some of the children have ELS, but it is inconsistent as TAs cover other classes and absences. I do guided reading with my lower groups several times a week. As for getting parents to read at home with them, we told all parents at parent evening about how important reading was and how big a role they can play at home. When I sent out letters to the whole school inviting them to come on the reading army, I only got 8 replies and only 1 of them was from a child in my class - she is a Y1 and is already at 2b.
  20. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    That all sounds tough to deal with. Hope someone else can reply with some helpful advice that is appropriate to your situation. You sound as though you have good reason for not getting them all up to expected standards by end of Year 2. It's a shame the book stock is disappearing.
    Would one to one reading work better than guided reading to speed up the progress?
    Can you involve the wider community in your reading army, not just parents? The CRB can take a while but sometimes is quick. There might be some retired people who would enjoy the challenge? Advertise at your local volunteer bureau? Can you widen this out so it becomes the school's problem not yours, and get other staff focussed on these 9 children too? After all, if they continue on through school with low reading levels it's going to be a drain on everyone right the way through.
    Is your group atypical for your school? If not, how has it been dealt with in previous years?

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