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Supporting Reading for struggling readers

Discussion in 'English' started by jasminemay, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. I am currently supporting year 5 children. They currently read a text over a week, then answer comprehension questions based on the text. This means that over the week the children will have heard the story four times and as they take turns to read different parts of the text, if they attend all of the sessions they will read it once over a week. These children do not read at home or are they listened to by their parents regularly. I have noticed that some of the children do not know all of their sounds based on the letters and sounds KS1 programme. They also lack knowledge of some of the high frequency words. They occasionally struggle with some of the blends such as words ending in mp or tch.
    I currently assessing them to find out where the gaps are, so that I can advise the teacher. I know that children need a combination of phonics knowledge and to a variety of texts to develop their reading skills adequately. I am concerned that I am using the time slot effectively to promote their reading or should I be doing something else such as word games. I have been asked to help them with fluency and expression,but It is difficult when they are unfamiliar with basic words. Once I have found out where the gaps are would it be more effective to teach the high frequency as sight words in a game format for a while before going back to main texts. Any ideas welcomed.

    Also at my son's school the reading books are colour coded according to reading age. Children take a book based on their reading age and are not allowed to progress onto the next colour code until they are ready. Is there a publication anywhere which I can use to give me an indication of which modern texts are suitable for what reading age ability. So that I could organise the books in the classroom accordingly.
     
  2. I am currently supporting year 5 children. They currently read a text over a week, then answer comprehension questions based on the text. This means that over the week the children will have heard the story four times and as they take turns to read different parts of the text, if they attend all of the sessions they will read it once over a week. These children do not read at home or are they listened to by their parents regularly. I have noticed that some of the children do not know all of their sounds based on the letters and sounds KS1 programme. They also lack knowledge of some of the high frequency words. They occasionally struggle with some of the blends such as words ending in mp or tch.
    I currently assessing them to find out where the gaps are, so that I can advise the teacher. I know that children need a combination of phonics knowledge and to a variety of texts to develop their reading skills adequately. I am concerned that I am using the time slot effectively to promote their reading or should I be doing something else such as word games. I have been asked to help them with fluency and expression,but It is difficult when they are unfamiliar with basic words. Once I have found out where the gaps are would it be more effective to teach the high frequency as sight words in a game format for a while before going back to main texts. Any ideas welcomed.

    Also at my son's school the reading books are colour coded according to reading age. Children take a book based on their reading age and are not allowed to progress onto the next colour code until they are ready. Is there a publication anywhere which I can use to give me an indication of which modern texts are suitable for what reading age ability. So that I could organise the books in the classroom accordingly.
     
  3. You really need decodable readers which teach, revise and consolidate phonic knowledge. I use the excellent Ruth Miskin Freshstart (OUP) which is designed for Y5 to Y7/8 and works on reading, comprehension and spelling. It is expensive, though. You could look at Phonics International ( www.phonicsinternational.com )which has a lot of free stuff, the rest being very reasonably priced.
    I think that you need to do as much reading as possible with the children, as reading meaningful text is by far the best way to improve. But the text MUST be within the children's phonic capability so that they gain confidence and actually enjoy reading. I don't think that 'word work' is at all helpful as children don't seem too inclined to transfer knowledge!
     
  4. Thank you so much for your help I will look up that website.
     
  5. It can be.
    Learning to read the tricky words in a text, before reading it, can be very helpful.
    It is also helpful to keep going over the 300 most used English words, because they keep cropping up all over the place, and if a child still stumbles over some of those, they won't read anything well.
    Many of them have regular spellings and can be used for reinforcing basic phonics,
    but many of the tricky ones need going over again and again.
    U really need to test each pupil on those and concentrate for each on those they have trouble with.
    <font face="Times New Roman">Words with reading problems in the 300 most used English words</font> <font size="3">A am an and as at back bad can cat dad gran grandad had has hat man</font>

    <font size="3"></font> <font face="Times New Roman">baby came gave made make place take are have because laughed</font> the be he he&rsquo;s me she we we&rsquo;re


    big children did didn&rsquo;t fish him his if in is it it&rsquo;s its king little miss still thing think this which will wind wish with find I&rsquo;ll I&rsquo;m


    box dog fox from got hot long lots not of off on stop stopped top floppy across along



    go going no so do into to two who

    clothes home over one come some something gone
    pulled put
    <font face="Times New Roman">about around found house mouse our out round shouted</font> could couldn&rsquo;t thought through would you your
    food room school soon too book door good look looked looking looks took


    <font size="3">boy Mr Mrs narrator suddenly</font> If u want more words to practice with, u'll find ones with regular spellings on
    The Learning to Read page www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk
    and trickier ones on the Sight Words page.
     
  6. I am sorry that this website messes up formatting.
    I had all the words the same size, but the ones with reading problems in bold.

     
  7. You might find some useful ideas here:

    http://specialed.about.com/od/balancedliteracy/a/comp.htm

    You say that you go over the same text with the children, four times a week, and that they then answer comprehension questions. Is this strictly controlled? There are many ways of engaging children in reading rather than repetition of the same task. I&acute;m also interested in what you say about the absolute lack of parental support for these children and why the class teacher and indeed the school are not creating a home school link here.

     
  8. It sounds like your using the time pretty effectively, as far as reading goes I stand by the idea that the most important thing to do is make sure that students are finding and reading books that they can really become engaged with. Breaking the lesson up with a game is a great idea too, there's a good word game called password you could play with them.
     
  9. Hmm I wish I could edit my posts, I always see my spelling mistakes after I've posted (I meant 'you're' not 'your')
     
  10. But children can only become really engaged with a book if they are able to easily read what the words 'say'. To expect them to become engaged with a book before they have the basic word reading skills firmly in place is very much putting the cart before the horse!
     
  11. Thank you for your reply. The class teacher is creating a home school link with the parent, but despite assurances they will support their child at home, the reading record is regularly signed with excuses for it not happening. The comprehension questions are set as part of the ( LDA) supporting struggling readers text. Thanks for the link to the website.
     
  12. I don't know if this is at all helpful but it is just something that has worked for me.

    I think it does help to go over the key vocabulary - especially if you do this during the introduction to the lesson. I found that breaking down complex vocabulary into other words (smaller easier ones - but always including the root words) really, really helped.
    I would present it as a quiz with some sort of prize (table points, house points, golden time) and use the lolly sticks to make it fair. We would then work from the root words and build up the meanings of the actual textual vocabulary together. Later, when reading the text, the children would really enjoy finding these words in there. Plus they were getting a practice session on how to break down and build up words, talk around a subject and gaining confidence in expressing their own ideas - techniques which you could then use to help them understand the text. Also they could use these techniques to help when decoding a text.
    It did take a bit longer.
    I also went in for a bit of 'team reading' sometimes where I would alternate with them.
    I don't know if this is at all helpful - but it worked for me.


     
  13. Some great suggestions here. I work with some Year 8 pupils (i.e. aged 12 and 13!) who still cannot read even the simplest words, cannot blend consonants together and cannot even sight-read some of the more common words. There is absolutely no support from home (I suspect some of the parents can't read) - and I'm supposed to be teaching them a variety of units of work on media, stories from different places and times, how langauge changes, how to write essays, etc. etc (all the stuff in the Y8 curriculum) when they're functioning at the level of reception pupils in some cases! One wonders how on Earth they made it through seven years of education like this.....
     
  14. At least 1 in 6 can't.
    It's not easy for teachers to acknowledge that the pupils who do learn to read are nearly all helped to do so more by their parents than by schools - by listening to them read regularly at home when they first start to learn, but also by assisting their language development and by motivating them and encouraging them to learn.
    They have to come to school, but when u look at how much rote-learning the inconsistencies of English spelling necessitate, it's almost surprising that only 1 in 6 get totally defeated by them.
    I have written quite a bit about it on my two blogs:
    http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com and http://www.improvingenglishspelling.blogspot.com/

     
  15. If they are that poor there is no way you'll be able to teach them much from your units of work! I suggest that you get well informed about phonics and teach them the rudiments of reading. They won't achieve much in conventional academic terms (whether you teach them the 'units' or not...), but at least you will have, hopefully, given them a skill for life.
    As a matter of interest, our highest CVA score last summer was achieved by a pupil who came to us on a managed move at the end of Y7, barely able to read a word.His reading wasn't brilliant when he left us; unless you have time for daily, focussed phonics instruction it is very difficult for pupils this poor to catch up with their peers in terms of reading ability, but any input is better than none.
     

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