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When does a child become a free reader?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by butterbeer, May 25, 2011.

  1. In their individual reading we go up to Jackdaws (stage 10? ORT) and at that stage I let them choose just the ones that appeal to them and then they are free to choose from a range of easy chapter books, simple poetry books etc then they can move onto any of our chapter books, poetry books, non fiction etc. I vary it depending on the child, but encourage them to choose a range so they are reading different genres. We carry choosing their books for guided reading, which are mixed books up to book band 11.
  2. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Every school seems to have a different idea of what a free reader is ....... ours takes the view that once a child has a Suffolk reading age of 8 years or above they can dispense with reading scheme books and choose books where they have a 5 to 10% error rate when reading, and suitable content for the actual age of the child.

    Bookband colours and numbers do go on beyond level 10 white.
    11 Lime 3C
    12 Ruby 3B, 3A
    13 Sapphire 4C
    14 - the colour has been obliterated from my list 4B

    I think there are some books you can buy which will put both reading scheme books and "real books" into what the authors think are the right bookbands - but I'm sure it's an art not a science and it would a terrible chore to do it for a lot of library stock.
    I think most schools give up with the bandings round about white or lime. I guess it's still worth keeping some of the easier chapter books together lumped in with the scheme readers that seem to be like easy chapter books -------- to make it easier and less overwhelming for the child who has just moved on to chapter books to make a choice.
    Keen readers will be able to make appropriate choices for themselves - reading the blurb on the back and the first page will be enough for them to judge for themselves if they like the subject matter and if the reading level is not too difficult. Not so keen readers will need some suggestions and injections of enthusiasm ...... again not bookband colour related.
    Just my thoughts. With my own children I was more interested in where "real" books both fiction and non-fiction fitted into the bookbands 1 to 11, particularly non-fiction as this seems to be very neglected in our school's stock of scheme readers.

  3. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Normally when they clock that the banded books are all utter drivel and ask if they can possibly read something slightly more interesting and better written.
  4. Hettys

    Hettys New commenter

    Couldn't agree more! Wonder if this is why so many boys have been put off reading before they get to the end of these reading schemes?
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    But the trouble is that some children tire of the drivel so early on they're a bit stuck - there is no book that isn't drivel that is appropriate to the reading skills that they have. This is where I think well written books for shared reading would really come into their own ...... so the parent can read something more complex that guarantees it is a good story and the child chips in with their easier but still interesting bit.
    Also I think some schools may drag out the learning to read process a bit too long so that the children are reading material that a younger child would be thrilled to read, but an older child feels cynical about - even a few months can make a big difference in this respect. My younger child loves the Magic Key stories from ORT Biff, Chip, Kipper stories now at 5 and a little bit, but by 5 and one-third my older daughter was droning "and the key began to glow why do all these books say the same thing".
    It's not just boys who get put off reading before they get to the end of the schemes. Now to be fair to the publishers, if you look through all the catalogues there is some lovely material now, both fiction and non-fiction, for the stages of reading up to about bookband 8 or 9 when it really is useful to have some "scheme" books ......... but they cost an arm and a leg for schools to kit themselves out with.
  6. I would confidently ask some bright year twos to select suitable books from the class library for the higher bands. It's probably something they would enjoy doing, too.
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    What is a free reader.One who is free to chose what they read seems an obvious answer.
    To me they are children who can make decision about the boks they can read, who can decipher independently and are able to understand the content of that which they have read and are able and to discuss it with another.
    Others are free within a scheme.They can cope with a level and have remembered all the stories of that scheme,and are prepared to tackle another area....often we hold children down as we want them to read the same book over and over.Yet few people read a book completly.We often, as adults, skim read ,stopping only at something which makes us think or challanges an idea.So to with kids unless we force them to read it word for word to check whatever we are checking.
    For me there shoud be schemes ,with material available right up to yr6 interest level. yet along side other books within the clasroom/school for them to read freely as and when.I often used to gain these from good quality charity shops and boot sales(amazing how many school books you find in boot sales!).Often these can be purchased for nominal sums...........in my last class i ended with stocking the class bookslf for a modest £20. They were like new books,up to date and relevant and a range of interest...even in a yrs 3 class where i had kids with reading ages of 5-11!
    One plea....for boys please realise they dont like girls books.They like non fiction.or stories of humour,thrill and 'activity' books.The books they used to cluster around the most where football,motor racing, find wally.activity books and puzzle books, plus books on dinosaurs and interesting facts with lots of interesting pictures.They loved the ones in 3 d creepy crawlies.if only to frighten the girls ! lol

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