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Reading Scheme

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by cyprusare, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    I have just purchased some lovely decodable books... Floppy Phonics, Rigby Star and Songbirds. Am v. excited.

    I was chatting with the Year 1/2 teacher and we were getting confused as to how to transfer from decodable books to our current reading scheme. Our reading scheme has a range of books in it from schemes like storyworlds, ORT, Oxford Literacy Web, Cambridge readers etc etc. The scheme has been organised in line with the Book banding book that came out a few years ago.

    Where do the children slot into the reading scheme from the decodable books? i.e. when they have exhausted the decodable books and have reached the end of reception what then?

    I'm sure I read on here somewhere that after a certain phase you can slot them into a certain colour. Have tried searching to no avail.

    Please help!!!
  2. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

  3. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    Sorry... it is me again!

    Have read on here that some people have changed the text in books at the beginning of the scheme to decodable text, which I think I will do with the type of books that say 'this is a car, this is a butterfly, this is a flower, etc' or 'are these my dancing shoes? No! Are these my dancing shoes? No! Are these my dancing shoes? No! Etc.'

    But will I have to go through every book and look at the sounds they are learning and reband according to phases? Help!!

  4. This is what we do - I don't think it's perfect (what system ever is), but it works for the majority of our children.

    I spend the first term teaching the JP sounds (sorry, I can't remember exactly how that fits into Letters and Sounds) and teaching them to blend and segment. When the children can read cvc words and have learnt enough sounds I give them decodable books. I use starfall, Songbirds and JP readers (up to yellow level). I am currently teaching some of my children alternative spellings for the sounds. Probably at the beginning of next term these children will move to stage 4 or 5 of ORT and will cope easily. If they come across a digraph or trigraph that they don't yet know I just tell them that e.g. 'igh' is another way of making the 'ie' sound.
    The children will have the alternative spellings reinforced in Y1,2, 3.....
  5. Yes, essentially you will. It sounds very time consuming to me and I would really question if it is worth it. The original book was hardly riveting and was aimed at teaching children to guess from pictures. Your new book will hardly be better.

    We start of by not giving children any books apart from a sharing book, which the parents are expected to read to the child. We give out our old ORT books but ideally I'd like to give them real books. The purpose of this is communicated clearly to the parents on several occasions and written in the front of the log book.
    They have lots of decodable words, which they practice along with their sounds. There are also captions, etc.. about. Few can decode fluently before they have learnt their first set of sounds.
    Then they can have the decodable books. Which, of course, they can read. But even then, we insist they must be GOOD at blending before giving them out, as they all contain extra tricky bits: capital letters, tricky words.
    I think that giving a book to a child who can not yet decode, is really a waste of that book because when they are at the stage where they CAN decode and therefore benefit from it, they are not going to want to read it 'cos I've done that one'.

    As for your original question, it really depends on the books! Ideally, they will have more decodables in year one, otherwise you are sort of leaving the children stranded as they probably won't have sufficient code knowledge yet to read normal books. They will then have to learn guessing strategies :(
    However, the schemes you mention do have charts, I think, to show you where you would place them along side their old products. So have a look at those.

    Personally, I didn't like Floppy's Phonics. There were too many tricky words introduced too early, in my opinion.
  6. Re post 3:

    The kind of repetitative text books that you describe are really not helpful at all for early reading. When you consider the content as well, they are really not suitable for any other child than a toddler. Most four year olds, for example, should surely be past the stage of 'this is a cup' unless, perhaps, they have English as an additional language - in which case you could use such books for the vocabulary - but NOT for the children to 'read' per se (having said that, 'this is a cup' is quite readily decodable.

    The point is that many phonics decodable books have received criticism for their content - or lack thereof - whereas the reality is that many of the types of repetitive books in foundation stage are often sadly lacking in 'content' in any event.

    The other 'type' of book is 'predictable text'. These are the original ORT type books where words may be predictable because the pictures tell stories of ordinary life events in generally sensible sentences. Once again, these books are often riddled with words which are not at the 'readily-decodable' level for beginner readers.

    Thankfully, there are now several publishers which have produced lovely sets of cumulative word, decodable text stories. In an ideal world, therefore, foundation stage practitioners (specifically reception age) might even consider making the repetitive text and predictable text books 'disappear' and start replacing them with sets of decent decodable books.

    In general terms you are on a hiding to nothing try to 'fit them in' with each other's banding system. I know of publishers of decodable books who have declined to be added to the Bookbands catalogue precisely because decodable books and the other types are designed on an entirely different basis.

    The new budget comes up soon for many settings. Perhaps you can budget for new books for the following year.

    Good luck.
  7. "repetitative" - got a bit carried away spelling this word!

    repetitive = correct spelling!
  8. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    Thank you for your replies.

    I agree with Disco Stu in that the books I described are anything but interesting and wondered whether it would be easier for them to 'disappear' (as suggested by debbiehep!) rather than me spending hours adding decodabe text to them.

    As an additional question... how are the books in the Bookbanding system banded?

    From the comments it seems it may be better if I go through the books we have in our current reading scheme and 'reband' them in line with the L&S/JP programme we are following. Does this sound ok to abandon the book banding scheme and create our own? Or can we jut rejig the first few bands (making some books 'disappear') and then continue from, say, green band/orange band??

    Any more thoughts from anyone very much appreciated.

  9. If your orange band is the same as our orange band (which most children reach end of y1/beginning of yr2) then they should have pretty much finished any phonics programme and should, therefore, have enough code knowledge to read them.
    You might be able to look at the books and re-band them to fit in with the jolly phonics progression. Be warned, however, that this would be very time consuming as you'd have to read every word and think about what graphemes it uses and whether these have been taught.
    I went through the 3 phonics schemes we use (Songbirds, Dandilion Readers, Rigby Star) and arranged the books so they fitted the Ruth Miskin scheme. This took AGES - and that was with deocable books and a teacher's guide listing the graphemes and tricky words used in each book. It was worth it, though, as I now have a fine progression of books rather than quite crude bands (how many times did you get parents complain that their child 'can read orange level' when all the kid has done is gone through and pick out the easy ones!)
    So dumping book bands sounds fine.
    Don't feel guilty about throwing old/unsuitable books away. If your school is anything like mine, many of the books are older than I am. I think the tax payer has had their value out of them!
  10. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    I too have arranged the decodable books we have so that they are in line with the L&S/JP programme we are using and I agree... it took AGES! Am reluctant to spend many, many hours on the rest of the original scheme. But if orange is ok for end of year 1, then maybe I can just reband the colours before orange. Thanks for your advice/thoughts.
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The Songbird and Floppy Phonics are published by OUP and are colour coded to match ORT bands if you really want to organise your reading scheme this way.
  12. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    Thank you Msz. Hadn't thought of that!
  13. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    The Songbirds are the same colour as the main ORT scheme, but because they are phonic based and ORT started as a whole language approach, I don't think that they are really compatible.

    Cariadlet has just been moved "up" to ORT red books by her teacher, and these are far easier than the blue or green books. I no longer have to nag her about guessing, as she can decode most of the words and doesn't need to look at the pictures.

    We were lucky enough to be given quite a lot of money to buy decodable readers this year. We already had a few Jelly and Bean books, and have now bought Dandelion Readers, Rigby Star, ORT Songbirds and Read Write Inc.

    It's wonderful to have all these new books, but seeing how they slot together is a nightmare. I ended up taking them all home, going through them page by page and putting them into 4 levels based on the phonics that are included and the tricky words included.

    It's not perfect by any means, but I could post it, if it would help anybody.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've had one of those days today...
    This morning I had to attend a CP core group meeting so was out of school most of the morning (popped in to deliver phonics input and left work to be completed) in my absence my nursery nurse decided to hear readers and decided to put half the class on non phonics books that had been removed from the shelves when we purchased new books ... because she thinks it's better for them to have one high frequency word per page to read because they were sounding out each letter in the other books!!!and she's sulked all afternoon because I made her get them out of book bags and return them to the cupboard.
  15. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    cariad2 - I would love a copy of your list. I have also done a list based on the order in Letters and Sounds. I could send you that if you like.


    Msz - it is hard to get people who believe that 'any book is better than no book' to latch on to giving phonics books as and when children have learnt the sounds in them!!!
  16. I've done a list based on the Read Write Inc order, if that's any use. We use Dandilion, Songbirds, Rigby Star & Collins Big Cat.

    I chose to order them rather than have just boxes full of books. I think this is important particularly in the early stages.
  17. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    I totally agree Disco Stu! I have a list of ordered books!

    I found in our old scheme the range of books in one box was phenomenal so decided an order was better!
  18. I would be very grateful of order of books as this is on my never ending list to do!
  19. cyprusare

    cyprusare New commenter

    It is in school! Will send tomorrow evening!
  20. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

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