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reading levels/colour codes/phonics stages HELP

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kaz_allan, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I am looking to make our reading schemes all fit together with phonics - its a massive job! Does anyone currently do this or does anyone have a list of all the colour codes, the nc levels, RR levels and the correct stage of phonics that should be taught at each level?
    I would be so grateful for this or any help towards this huge aim for September!
    Thanks all
     
  2. Hi
    I am looking to make our reading schemes all fit together with phonics - its a massive job! Does anyone currently do this or does anyone have a list of all the colour codes, the nc levels, RR levels and the correct stage of phonics that should be taught at each level?
    I would be so grateful for this or any help towards this huge aim for September!
    Thanks all
     
  3. There's been a lot of discussion about just these issues on the UK Reading Reform Foundation website recently.
    It's very difficult to reconcile all the different types of books - especially with specific order of introducing alphabetic code.
    The Book banding catalogueing system seems to attempt to suggest that various books fit in with the Letters and Sounds phases - but this is still trying to mix different types of books together and they do not all fit neatly.
    The main thing, in my view, is that you make sure that you have a systematic, synthetic phonics programme which has some cumulative, decodable reading books to match the phonics programme, or as part of the phonics programme.
    Then, you need to use any other types of books 'advisedly' according to your decisions.
    I promote a two-pronged approach to phonics teaching - the planned, systematic teaching plus the incidental teaching (any alphabetic code as and when you need to teach it or mention it: "In that word, those letters ARE CODE FOR the sound /..../."
    If all the supporting adults are trained how to support wider reading like this, and to either tell the children the sounds which are not known, or model the blending, or tell the child the word (rather than tell the child to guess the word), then you will find that allotting reading books is not as difficult as you think.
    However, there are some children who really need masses of the cumulative, decodable type of reading material and who should never be asked to read books with 'advanced code' (or code not yet taught).
    There are other children who find it very easy to pick up almost any book, and who 'bootstrap' their own learning once they get the idea about alphabetic code and blending.
    As a teacher, then, even when you think you have all your books neatly labelled and organised, you still have to think about the needs of the children concerned.
    What I would say is that we do not yet have full transparency about the different types of banding of books.
    It is surely more important that you can understand about the notion of what is 'decodable' to the child and what is not than to rely on what other people tell you about the Book banding system.
    Further, the MAIN ISSUE is what you ask the children to read INDEPENDENTLY.
    If you send a child off with his or her little bookbag and the reading record book and the school reading book - the expectation seems to be that it's the CHILD's reading book to be read at home. This is fine if the child CAN read the book and does not have to struggle or guess words all the time.
    Perhaps in the talk to parents about 'teaching reading', you could include the guidance than the parent can support the child to read any book - that they can 'share' the book, and that children should neither have to guess the words, nor be told to guess the words.
    Better to tell the child the word than to tell the child to guess the word.
    That is the essential difference with supporting reading nowadays.
    Now, if all the supporting adults understood that principle, schools would not have to be so worried about the reading book system.
    So, I have no encouraging comments to make, no magic bullet for sorting out people's reading schemes, and the Book banding scheme does not work for mixing all the different types of books. The bottom line is that each teacher needs to know what he or she is 'doing' and use common sense and professional understanding.

     
  4. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Mmmmmmm, wait for an expert, but I don't see that you can make books that were not written according to some particular path of phonic progression fit with phonics books.
    I kind of did this at home with a small collection of books I had from phonic and non-phonic schemes. I had to read each book myself to see which phonemes and graphemes it contained in order to decide when DD could read it.
    The only rule of thumb I could give from my scanty efforts were that once DD had learned all the phonemes and graphemes in Read Write Inc speed set sounds 2 and 3 and read plenty of decodable books which had taken her through these sounds progressively, then she could read stage 5 and upwards of the old ORT books that were not written phonically (e.g. the old Biff, Chip, Kipper books)
     
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Oh you beat me to it Debbie.
     
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes v. helpful advice from Debbie.
    Also, if parents have something at home that helps them to explain sounds to the child in the same way that it is done at school, then they can do a little more than just tell a child what a word says.
    So for example, if child is doing RWI at school, and the parent has the sound cards at home, or a sound book for their child, when they come to an "ee" in a word, if the child does not make the right sound, the parent can say that's an "ee what can you see" (this is the way children remember the /ee/ sound spelled as a ee in RWI), and ask the child to have another go at sounding out the word.
    We use both approaches at home; DH who has not had the time to mug up on phonics will just tell the child the word, I will help them work it out using phonic principles. It just depends which of us is hearing the child read, but either way we are trying to avoid guessing. Of course they do guess sometimes.
    I think you spend an awful lot of time trying to make schemes fit together that do not, and have a right old muddle of books in one so-called level.
    Maybe really you are lacking a decent set of decodable books in the early stages rather than a grand sort-out being the answer?
     

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