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Reading in Reception

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mindy1984, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. I am in Cheshire and we are encouraged to do guided reading and individual reading if we can. I do both as I have a full time TA and a fantastic parent helper.
  2. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    What sort of comments do you write in the childs reading log that goes home with them. And do you keep a seperate one thats just kept in school?

  3. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I have a Reception/Yr 1/Yr 2 class. My Yr 1s and 2s all have 2 guided reading sessions each week and read individually at least once a week - more often for those that I feel need more input/aren't read with at home/have PSED problems and need more 1:1 adult input, self-esteem raising.
    My Reception children choose books from our class library which they take home and share with parents - they can change these as often as they like. They also read with an adult in school at least once a week. They start to have a scheme reader when I feel that they are ready/ taking an interest in books/ starting to recognise key words etc. Generally this is in the Spring term and is partly influenced by the fact that our stock of individual readers don't really support a synthetic approach to decoding so they need to be able to decode quite complicated words/have good sight vocab.
    We start guided reading with Yr R in the summer term. It all seems a bit hit and miss but our reading and writing results are good and the progress made by the children is excellent.
    I try to make the remarks made in the home/school reading log positive, focussing on success. I have a separate record at school which is more factual and less fluffy but is an open document which I would feel happy to share with parents. It just means that I have a record of the child's performance at school so that when - inevitably - book bags and reading records go missing I have a record of the child's progress. It also means that I have a record of the reading done at school for those children whose parents can't be bothered to help them to remember to have their book bag in school regularly.
    I have a separate, group, record for guided reading which works well but is a bit confusing when I review the groups (usually half-termly). Hope that this makes some sense and is helpful.
  4. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    Thought I'd also mention that, in general, the books that the children take home are a level lower than the ones that they read in guided reading sessions. My view is that parents shouldn't be teaching reading. Home reading books are for consolidation and practise; we, as professionals,should be guiding/teaching the children as they read more complicated texts/challenging vocab etc.
    I have had one or two parents who have questioned this strategy but seem happy with my explanation and most are delighted by the fact that their child is confident and happy when reading at home reducing bedtime tears and reading battles.
  5. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    Thank you
  6. Thank you for your comments. Glad to hear that I am on the right tracks not starting immediately with guided reading just doesn't make sense!
  7. I send home individual readers when the child is confident at decoding. Guided reading starts in Reception in September, but our guided reading scheme starts at a level where there are no words in the books, so focussing on the front cover, title, turning pages, talking about book etc.

    I absolutely hate guided reading and would much prefer to spend the time with individual readers or helping children to practise sounding out and blending.

  8. I hated Guided Reading too, but our Literacy Consultant is brilliant at showing us new ways of doing things. No longer should GR be each child with the same book, but should inspire the children and leave them wanting to know/read more. From one of the books I had last year in Y1/2, we had a race outside to illustrate a part of the story. I'm in Reception now, and one of our books was 'Down the side of the sofa' so I used a box of props (things I gathered from the classroom) and asked the children what they might have found down the side of their sofa. Then we read the book together with a few strategies thrown in. After the props, they were really keen to see what was in the book. They are usually keen to come and take part in reading activities, so I hope they will continue to be!
  9. Wow! I love this idea how creative. You are right it's about being imaginative with the books and reading time in a group. I have to say since posting my last message we certainly are having more fun!
  10. In our inner city school, with a high proportion of EAL and SEN children we do GR and individual reading.
    The children enjoy both. Individual reading is not just about reading it 's a time where you spend 1:1 with a child. You can gleen so much about their progress in all areas of the curriculum and from individual reading. I could go on and on about the benefits of individual reading. The children will often tell you if they have a problem or worry because of the 1:1 time.
    The children also take a banded book home daily (usually a level below their reading ability) to share with their parents. We consult with the parents and visa versa about their progress and different strategies.
    For the children whose parents won't or are to busy to read with their child we keep encouraging them to read the book as a bedtime story and perhaps just discuss the book/story. After a while we find the majority of parents are so thrilled when they hear their child starting to read they start coming in and chatting at the end of the day to discuss their child's progress. There are usually only a handful parents who will not share a book with their child before the end of the second term (Y1)
    The children will inform you if you have forgotten to hand the books out or they have had the book before. The TA monitors the books in and out and will write comments in the reading log or just sign to let parents know that we have looked at the log. The reading progress has been very dramatic since implementing this system. Until you have parents on board helping at home it can be a struggle for lots of the children.
    The children in the Reception class have a similar system in place on a smaller scale.
  11. MissASmith

    MissASmith New commenter

    Once a week in a group of 6 children, 20mins per group. With only a morning TA there's no time for individual reading. The last school I worked in was individual, however this took far too much of the week in my opinion.
  12. Post 5, wotworklifebalance said:
    "My view is that parents shouldn't be teaching reading."
    I am non-judgemental about whether parents support reading, teach reading or ignore the information and books sent home from school because it is the parents' choice to make.
    Naturally I hope that parents will support school in the quest to teach children to read.
    But, I believe it is a school's duty to inform parents in the way that we teach reading in school - and I wouldn't dream of suggesting that parents shouldn't teach reading to their own children if they chose to.
  13. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    For me, seeing my children learn to read has been fantastic. I would put seeing them learn to talk, read and write way above anything else on the parental pleasure scale. I may not be the typical parent of course.
    One of my selfish concerns about school was that I would not see the moment when it first "clicked" with my child - when they looked at a word, spoke the individual sounds, and then put it together into a word. I was lucky that it happened with both of mine at home, before they started school, and I was even luckier that with my second child my husband was there too. She was sitting on his lap sharing a book with him at the time.
    I would not say that I have taught my children to read as without the daily input of Jolly Phonics at nursery school (and from the DVD I bought) this would not have happened in this way with either child as I don't think my children would have done the daily repetition at home with me. Also, it was great fun for them doing this repetition and consolidation at pre-school in a group with other children singing songs, doing the actions etc.
    My experience with their reading progression has in a way been the opposite of the one most teachers aim at; to a degree the ground breaking has taken place at home, the consolidation at school. Whether this is to do with me, my children, or the school, I cannot put my finger on.
    And partnership with teachers - both pre-school and school - is the thing that has marred the experience. Discussing a child's reading progress at pre-school was a no-no -- the staff were clearly all in their own individual camps about whether children should be reading at pre-school, whether it was too early to do Jolly Phonics etc etc, and their were differences in opinion between the pre-school owner and individual members of staff so I don't think staff could express their own opinions freely. So you felt you couldn't really talk to any of them without "putting your foot in it" in some way.
    My first child's transfer report from pre-school to school did not mention that she could do any segmenting, blending, reading of CVC words etc which she most definitely could at home. Parents had the opportunity to add comments before it was sent on to school, which I did, but I always felt after that maybe the school thought I was rather fanciful about what my child could do, and a reading book never appeared in the bookbag during the whole reception year!
    At school, if I ever do try to discuss reading progress etc with a teacher (and I've given up now), it's always been a condescending kind of "don't worry" message rather than a profitable two way exchange between two intelligent adults. I've taken this to mean in the past that I come across in some way as a stressed, concerned parent rather than one who is interested and wants to work with them to achieve the best progress in the time available and the most enjoyment for my children. More recently it has become clearer to me (partly with the help of these forums) that the "don't worry" message is more a "back-off, we are educating your child not you" message.
    I would think that teachers have less cause for concern about parents "messing-up" the learning to read process than ever before. With Jolly Phonics, Read Write Inc, Songbirds, Floppy Phonics, Dandelion readers etc etc, they are so logically structured that really a parent can't go wrong unless they mispronounce the phonic sounds - buh and cuh stuff. But as long as the reader is the right level, hopefully the parent will not be doing any of the sounding out anyway.
    But to be honest at times I've found it the other way round - incorrect sounds came home from school, not vice versa, from TAs, teachers, volunteers, and other children. It's quite difficult to give a diplomatic answer when every day you are told by your child "well mrs x says it like this". Also, reading books from carefully graded extremely logically thought-out reading schemes came home in the wrong order. Children were given choice in the book they read from reading schemes. Of course beginner readers choose by the front cover, so it's only when they get home they discover they might not like or be able to read what's inside the book. We've had books that I didn't want my children to read ...... why do children's authors think it's a good idea to write books for early readers with burglars in them? I don't particularly enjoy discussion with a four or five year old reassuring them that burglars couldn't possibly get into our house tonight, when you know damn well that they could if they had a mind to.
    Once the child has accidentally chosen a few books that they don't like or that don't fit properly with where they are progress-wise (and some schools' colourbanding is pretty haphazard, as are the old ORT stages - e.g. a stage 7 ort book can be extremely easy or very difficult, and I don't think all teachers realise this) , they bring the same one home every time - one they did like on first reading - but then announce that they don't need to read it as they've read it before.

    But despite the grumbles above, my children have learned an awful lot about reading at school. It is a partnership, whether some teachers want it or not. It's rather like a marriage that looks terrible to casual observers but where, out of sight, some harmonious and productive activity is taking place, maybe even without the partners acknowledging it.

  14. gcf


    Mystery10. What a wise and informative post. Thank you!
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    To the OP, use what works best for you and this particular year-group. Advisers come and go, the methods they peddle change with the fashions.
    As a parent I would like to think that my children were being heard to read individually (maybe once a week or a fortnight) by someone who is an expert in teaching reading, so that they know how they are progressing and can give child some individual tips to aid their progress, and note this down in the reading record to help me when I am hearing them at home too.
    As a parent I'm really not sure about small group reading in reception ....... can you really achieve any more than you could in a good whole class session enjoying books? The majority are going to be mostly pretty slow or basic readers ----- it's probably great for the ones who are reasonable readers towards the end of reception to be able to read a book together, but when you are carving out teacher time is that the best way to achieve the most progress with the greatest number of children? Or is small group reading more to do with the fact that most schools will only have 6 or so copies of the same book?!
    But in KS1 also I would like to think that group reading is happening ------ children enjoying one book, or different books, together, learning to read in their heads as well as out loud, discussing the content of the book, answering comprehension type questions etc etc. Maybe there isn't time for all of this, but this is what I hope for. But I don't want children to spend too much time listening to other children's reading .... for the most part it's not great!! I know that sounds a bit OTT, of course they will spend some time doing so, and that's good, but if it's a lot of time, and they're in a group with other readers who are not very fluent, I feel it slows progress down, not vice versa.

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