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Teaching reading to KS1 children

Discussion in 'English' started by cgregory15, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    I'm finishing off my third year undergraduate dissertation and I was wondering if any teachers out there would be able to comment on this post with how their school and themselves teach reading to their KS1 pupils.
    Do you choose your own ways to teach reading, if so what ways are these, or do you have to religiously follow the government guidelines the school wants you to follow, which strategies are you currently following?
    How many methods do you have yourself and are the methods you use successful?
    Are your class doing well in learning to read? What percentage of the class do you think will be able to read well/ their reading age matching their actual age by the end of the year?
    What learning materials do you use when teaching KS1 children to read?
    Are the KS1 children asked to read at home and if so do they have a 'reading diary' where their efforts can be recorded by a carer? Are carers, on the whole, encouring and helping their children to read at home?
    What ways of help do you have for children who are struggling to read?
    I understand there are a lot of questions here but any comments, short summary or recommended materials will be very gratefully received,
    Thank you very much in advance!
  2. I suggest that you post this on the Early Years forum.
  3. Hi
    Take a look at this http://www.readingtolearn.com.au/ . Developed in Australia for use with aboriginal children and has now proven success worldwide. Unfortunately little known in the UK. We're using it with L1 and EFL in special needs in Switzerland.
    Look at http://manxman.ch/moodle2/course/view.php?id=4 for a theoretical explanation. It works, really!
  4. When I worked as a voluntary assistant with weak readers, I helped children learn to read the words which kept tripping them up by respelling them more simply. (The words which they had trouble with were invariably ones with some tricky letters.)
    e.g. said - sed
    one - wun
    people - peepl
    I found this very effective with struggling readers who don’t get any reading help at home, because it helped them to learn the tricky words at home, without help from a literate adult.
    I used to fold a sheet in half and make a note of the words which tripped them up when I listened to them read their current reading book. When I had collected 7-10 such words, I unfolded the paper and wrote the simpler spellings on the other half, telling them that they were only there to help them to learn to read the tricky words.
    It worked very well.
  5. Interesting, but rather hazy about how children actually are taught to determine what the words on the page actually 'say'! As effective word identification is key to successful reading I would suspect that the OP needs to get more information and opinions on the teaching of this foundational skill.
    Which is why I suggest that the OP reposts this on the EY forum where the people who actually teach this skill daily, to hundreds of children, will be found.

  6. Hi
    Point taken. There's a lot of theory behind the strategy. Think about kids who are successful readers at school. Often they'll have had several years of pre-school interaction with books if their parents are literate and positive about education. These children will have learnt a lot of peripheral contextual info about reading and books and know how to engage in reading activities. In other words they come from a 'top down' contextual approach.
    Kids who have little or zero pre-school support and experienceare then faced with the traditional phonic and spelling approaches which can often overwhelm them. I've seen teenagers who've mastered phonetic skills read a text out loud in a monotone voice and understand very little of what they're actually reading.
    The 'reading to learn' approach attempts to compensate for this lack of contextual understanding and can be used in parallel with traditional activities. The teacher's pack includes a discussion of this. Functional Grammar grouping of words into units of meaning helps kids to understand the components of phrases before examining the detailled spelling. The iceberg metaphor is useful to understand the consideration. See http://manxman.ch/moodle2/mod/resource/view.php?id=133
  7. I'm sorry, this is rubbish. You are clearly unaware that the UK has moved on from whole Language practice in the initial teaching of reading.
    I recently (2 days ago) was watching a couple of video clips of published children's authors reading their work aloud. Their reading wasn't much better than that of the the (mythical?) phonics taught teenagers you claim to have observed. Boring reading is the product of all sorts of things.
  8. I think the point being made is that if you have to read every word by decoding it then you aren't as able to add expression to the reading. In fact, you may not even understand what you are reading.
  9. Are you stalking me as well as masha, HG?
    I would question why a teenager would be reading every word by decoding (by which, I assume that you mean sounding out and blending every word). The only teenagers I have heard do that are a tiny handful with processing difficulties.
  10. I know you and masha share a similar view, but I don't recall responding to you recently.

    A great many kids have had their reading crippled by the current inflexible ideology, but at least you can measure the 'results'.
  11. The 'good' news is that there is to be a commission on spelling reform to make phonics even easier.
    well done you.
  12. How insulting[​IMG] We are poles apart.
    True. I just had a touch of paranoia this morning. [​IMG]

  13. http://whelk-stall.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/dead-end-of-spelling-reform.html


    Phonics and spelling reform are two sides of the same dumbing down coin.
  14. Eh? Where is the dumbing down inherent in teaching more children to read than is presently achieved?
  15. Hi
    Why is my observation rubbish ?
    I've watched weak learners hammered with phonics over many years and they very often remain weak readers and spellers. They are not dumb and are often very good at other activities e.g. learning to SMS in slang etc..., learning the names of 100s of pokemon cards. They learn these skills socially with friends (Look up Vygotsky and compare with Piaget).
    Clear, everyone needs phonics to decode unfamiliar words but normal proficient readers also recognise known words contextually, graphically and importantly also predict what's coming next without even thinking consciously about it. Those kids, who've missed the extensive contextual support that kids from literate famililies get, can often remain trapped in decoding phonetically. Hammering them with more of this will only make their self-esteem worse.
    Genre and contextual teaching on the other hand has achieved provable success in improving reading skills with weak readers in Australia, Asia, Scandinavia and South Africa. However the linguistic theory (SFL) behind such strategies is at odds with mainstream Chomskian and Genetic theories of language which have a considerable lobby.
  16. I work at KS3 (secondary) with the weakest readers who come to us from our feeder primary schools (up to 20% of the intake). Not one of them has been 'hammered with phonics' at all. They've been hammered with sight words and guessing from pictures and context. Once they start filling in the gaps in their phonic knowledge they start to make progress (sometimes making more progress in one term than they made in 6 years at primary school) The only time that phonics doesn't 'work' is if it is very poorly taught or the child is one of the exceptional few (1 - 2%) who never 'grasp' phonics.
    Australia is not the best of examples to choose as they have as great a literacy problem as we do in the UK and are strongly resistant to structured, systematic phonics instruction.
    I'm afraid that that belief was found to be untrue way back in the 1970s by Stanovich and West. Try reading some proper research rather than Smith and Goodman.


  17. Please explain that Heming.
  18. Reading is not just making grunts by decoding. If I happened to want to sing some Lithuanian songs it might take me a day or so to learn to decode and make the noises but I would not be reading. (You need meaning to do proper intonation. You would look daft singing a lament with a smile.)
    We are teaching kids to grunt. Spelling reformers just want to make the grunting easier. Reading sills and the genuine love of reading is being lost to spurious statistical claims about grunting.

    phonics is an eSsential adjunct. By making it the only method we are crippling kids. I meet so many these days who cannot read without sounding. I wonder if the people who proposed this read like that and assume everyone does.
  19. You could teach carpentry by having kids sand, plane, saw, joint and glue random bits of wood. What you actually do is make something which incorporates those skills. Reading is about books. My grandmother understood that which is why I developed a love of reading.
  20. Gareth-Brown

    Gareth-Brown New commenter

    We teach reading using the THRASS method, which is basically breaking down each sound into the different ways of spelling that sound. For example, the "C" sound like in Cat can be spelt with a 'C', 'K' like in kitten, 'CH' like in school, 'Q' like in queen and 'CK' like in duck.

    It works pretty well even if it is a bit complex to start with.

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