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reading scheme books being used in Nursery?!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by JEH, May 5, 2012.

  1. JEH

    JEH New commenter

    I just want some opinions and ideas about other teachers' practice. Discovered recently that the teacher in our nursery has started using the scheme books (borrowed from a Reception class) for our 3/4 year olds - 'because they are ready for it'. This is with approval of an acting HT (who is not an early years expert by any means). Our catchment is an area of high social deprivation - most children can't even speak a sentence on entry to Nursery. I am the EYFS co-ordinator and am deeply unhappy about this, as I think speaking and listening + Letters and Sounds Phase 1 type activities should be the priority for these children - but my opinions do not seem to count any more - HT and Nursery staff just seem to think I want to 'hold children back' and are thrilled that they have such 'advanced' children!
     
  2. JEH

    JEH New commenter

    I just want some opinions and ideas about other teachers' practice. Discovered recently that the teacher in our nursery has started using the scheme books (borrowed from a Reception class) for our 3/4 year olds - 'because they are ready for it'. This is with approval of an acting HT (who is not an early years expert by any means). Our catchment is an area of high social deprivation - most children can't even speak a sentence on entry to Nursery. I am the EYFS co-ordinator and am deeply unhappy about this, as I think speaking and listening + Letters and Sounds Phase 1 type activities should be the priority for these children - but my opinions do not seem to count any more - HT and Nursery staff just seem to think I want to 'hold children back' and are thrilled that they have such 'advanced' children!
     
  3. You are likely to have a wide range of abilities in nursery, despite the overall poor language skills you mention. Maybe it would be worth your while to go into nursery and observe the children that the teacher feels is ready for books. It could be that they are.
     
  4. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I work in a similar school and have occassionally had children ready for reading in nursery.
     
  5. I agree with you, JEH, and usually only start sending reading scheme books home from about the Autumn half-term of Reception year, and only when a child can recognise the letter sounds in the book and blend them. Most have a book by Spring half-term, but some of my reception class still aren't ready yet. Nursery children are occasionally more advanced than the rest of the class, but I think there's plenty of oral blending and segmenting practice that can be done with them before giving them reading books. There are also lots of picture books without words that children can use for practising telling stories and developing their language. Does your nursery teacher back this up with Phase 2 letters & sounds teaching? Or are they just ready to read because they are learning at home?
     
  6. I think children in nursery should be taking sharing books home on a regular basis. They may not have books at home and this gives them a no pressure opportunity to build up an enjoyment of books. I used to send favourite books that we had read in class home with the children so they could re-visit them.... I only wish we had been able to afford multiple copies! They had to be shared out and passed around as best we could. They also chose 2 books from the nursery library to take home each week. And yes, I have had children who show phonemic awareness and start to pick up letter/sound correspondences and blending skills. In addition to the library book they have started to take home readers, after sharing them one to one with an adult in school.
     
  7. I remember this battle from a previous setting. I felt that if children in Nursery (ours had children aged from 3-5) were truly ready for reading we should start them off. I had about 2 children per year who left as confident readers,working beyond way beyond foundation stage and many more beginner readers, much to the pleasure of their next teacher.These days there is also such a good range of early phonic/reading books available that it makes the job easier. I guess the arguements could be that the child is not truly ready,or is being pushed by parents, or that the time you take on this minority of children might impact adversly on the time you have with the majority, who need phase 1 type activities, shared big book reading etc. I now teach in reception, where I have 10 children out of 60 at phase 4/5 level right now. It is really hard to find a way to cater for their needs within the crowded timetable and one could argue that they will be fine anyway and are not a priority. However, this week, one of the children who have been taught phonics by my TA using my planning, read the words "frightening" and "ride" using alternative spellings for the long vowel i and could explain how she worked it out. If time, staffing and resources allow, I think we should be aspirational for our children whatever their age.
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Can they read and understand the books and talk about what they have read?
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I agree and would be inclined to ask to hear the children in question read a book they haven't practised previously
     
  10. I don't think poor oral skills should necessarily be a barrier to starting on reading books. Reading can enlarge children's vocabularies and introduce better grammar, as they read well-formed sentences (depends on the quality of the reading books, of course). Neither do I think it necessarily means they can't start on phase two of Letters and Sounds. In my experience a few children are ready to start on readers towards the end of the nursery year, because they show awareness of letter sounds and understand how print works. They tend to be from among the older children. I have found that typically about a third of the class are ready to start on phase two by this term, with phase one continuing alongside. What worries me about the scenario you describe is that, if so many children are on readers, adults will not have time to interact with children as they play and work on the oral skills. When I have given children readers in nursery it has been in a pretty laid back way, without pressure to change books too frequently - an bit of an optional extra really. It also seems a bit strange to have a lesson with recording for PSRN as, if children's vocabulary is not good, it is essential they talk about PSRN before moving onto recording and doing sums; the danger is that the understanding is not there to support the formal skills. However, you can't know for sure without checking the children's development against the development matters.
     

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