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Struggling reader

Discussion in 'Primary' started by rta, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. rta

    rta New commenter

    I have a lovely lad in my y2 class who excels in maths but is really struggling with his reading, specifically decoding (comprehension is fine). He's still covering phase 5 phonics. He has glasses which he should wear more than he wants to. I can't put my finger on it but I feel there is something else we could look at that's holding him back. He tries so hard and parents read with him daily etc etc. Just wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to what I can look into to find the root of what's making it so hard for him. Might it be worth getting further eye tests? Many thanks.
  2. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    This probably counts as heresy these days but personally I would say ditch the phonics and try another approach to reading
    Wotton likes this.
  3. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Sounds like my son who was still on the school reading scheme in Y5. We did lots of reading at home but he just wasn't interested, school readers didn't help. In the end I ditched the school readers and gave hin Captain Underpants to read, never looked back. I'm not sure if he found phonics difficult but he is the best speller out of my 3.
    I'd also ditch the phonics and go for whole word teaching or precision teaching. You could try assessing for dyslexia . I have this book Overcoming Dyslexia by Hilary Broomfield which has an assessment and activities to support any weaknesses. I have both book 1 and 2.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Give him books like Horrid Henry and leave him with a friend to read and enjoy reading.
    Skip phase 5 phonics...he'll learn all of it by reading widely.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I knew a child who struggled; they thought it was because he was short-sighted, but the glasses didn't help as much as they expected. At about 9/10 they diagnosed nystagmus, and they finally diagnosed dyslexia at 12/13. Nystagmus is a vision problem - so further eye tests were definitely a key thing for him. (The lens of the eye is too curved, which makes it difficult to hold focus. You can sometimes spot a nystagmus sufferer because they often tip their head to one side because that helps a bit.)
  6. TheIrishTeacher

    TheIrishTeacher New commenter

    I have two suggestions that might help. It has helped with some of my children in the last few years.

    1) Have you tried Whole Class Guided Reading? This will allow this boy to hear the text modeled by a higher ability pair before he tries to read it? This way the children learn from each other and have a chance to read to/with a child as opposed to an adult. I have seen massive improvement in children's fluency through this method. I sometimes label them as partner a or partner b and they must read a paragraph each. If it's a more difficult paragraph, I'll ask the more able reader to start and then the less able reader "echos" what was just read. It slowly builds confidence and fluency without the child realizing.

    2) There's an app called 'the Reading realm", it is really effective for drawing in your more reluctant readers. I know using technology for an individual child isn't always a favorable choice, but even if it was used once a week to improve his reading skills, it could be worth it.

    I hope some of them were helpful. I have tonnes of posts with regards to reading on my blog, which I'll link below.


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