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Y1 teachers: have you practised the phonics screening?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lardylady, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Before half term, the Literacy co-ordinator seemed quite appalled that I hadn't been practising the format of the phonics screening test with individual children. I just assumed that we would administer the test and that would be that. Her argument is that children might be freaked out by it, which might affect their scores. Having said that, she is in Y2 and pretty much does wall to wall practice SATs throughout the year, whereas when I was in Y2 they had one reading practice and one Maths pracitice and that was all. What are other Y1 teachers doing? I just can't justify wasting teaching time by practising a test!
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm the literacy coordinator not the Y1 teacher but I'll be administering the phonics check and our's haven't practised either.
    Our Y1 teacher actually asked if she should be panicking because everyone she knew seemed to be.
     
  3. No practise for year 1.

    One practise paper for the Sats so that the children are used to the booklets.

     
  4. We have decided not to do a practice test with our year 1s. However, as its the first time a test has been administered in this way, we are trialling the format on a couple of year 2 children to ensure that both yr 1 teachers will administer the test in the same way (and will be interesting to 'moderate' the answers - ie which pronounciations will be acceptable!). I have mixed feelings about not giving the year 1 children themselves a chance to experience the format. I am guessing that should the results not be to SLT's liking we will end up doing a practice next year like it or not!
     
  5. No practise, life is too short. Still wish I could administer the test instead of lit coordinator. I feel that will have a bigger influence on how stressful it is for my little darlings, and whether it provides an accurate reflection of their phonics knowledge.
    Ah well! Onwards and upwards!
     
  6. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Thank you for the replies. I can't understand why a Literacy co-ordinator would be the best person to administer the test- unless, of course, they work with the children regularly.
     
  7. have not done a practice test. have however practised nonsense words, 'say what you see', cos lots of our chn tried to make the nonsense words into real ones. will not be a scary experience, i am taking sweets for mine and lots of teddys to cuddle!
     
  8. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Yes, I was thinking of taking some sweets so they can have one on the way out, with a big well done from me. I may take a teddy for myself.
     
  9. Lit coordinator teaches Year 2. Makes no sense to me, but seemingly same person has to administer test to all y1's who are in 3 different classes, according to the information that has come to our school anyway [​IMG] I think I will need the teddy to hug when I'm told my bright but extemely shy child knows no phonics because she will either say nothing, or the first thing that comes to mind. Still, I DO know what they can do normally, every day.
    I have done a lot of nonsense words, but have always used these anyway,usually in a trash or treasure type game. I find the poorer ones do better with these as they do just apply phonics. The better readers,especially those with a good vocab, try so hard to read it as a proper word unless they know the aliens have been busy.
     
  10. Nope - that's not right. Sounds like powercrazed (desperate) Lit co-ords to me. We were told usual teacher is best (for obvious reasons) and also, for info, that, if moderated, access to the test by moderators was at teacher discretion (in case it scared the little darlings - pupils, not teachers that is!)
     
  11. In our school, I think it's partly because the very short words on the check often 'look like' familiar words, so children tend to think they must be connected in some way. Partly it's because many high level readers simply aren't asked to read non-words in our normal school context. We rarely ask a child reading relatively independently to read non words, so they are 'unfamiliar' with the format. Good readers (reading books at a relatively appropriate comprehension level) often don't come across many words they don't know the meaning of (although I recognise this will differ wildly for different schools) and many good readers often recognise when a word is a name because of the context and capital letter.
    The upshot is that in my school, we may have some excellent readers, who will perform poorly on this check. I am not especially bothered by this (I am one of the Lit Co-ords) but my Head might be!
     
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    That's interesting because my best Y2 readers (reading comprehension age 12.5+) can read longer more complicated pseudo words (from Phonics International assessments) without hesitation and it isn't something they encounter regularly
     
  13. Perhaps it's because good readers expect to know short words at sight but do not approach longer, more difficult words with the same expectation.
     
  14. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Maybe .......... but they'd make a lot of mistakes then if presented with a list of CVC, CCVC, and CVCC words that were not within their vocabulary - of which there will be plenty unless they are champion Scrabble players at the age of 5 or 6.
    I am still very dubious about the very frequent claim on here that the "best" readers, and the cleverest kids in the class, will try and turn the nonsense words into real words as they are reading for meaning.
    If they can't understand the statement "these are nonsense words, they have no meaning, they could be the names of aliens from outer space, you will never have read these words before" etc etc, how come they are so hot on reading for meaning despite what is actually printed in the page?
    I'm sorry but as a logical person I find that to be complete garbage!! I'm a good reader and I have no problem with nonsense words. Do you all? You don't (I hope) so why do you think a 6 year old who is a good reader will? And if they do, it tells you something either about the child or what they have been taught, or how they were feeling during the test.
     
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No my good readers know how to decode any unfamiliar word they encounter whether long or short thumbie
     
  16. ....Just trying to think of a reason for the reported phenomenon of better readers being fazed by the test. Sorry, if I insulted your good readers Msz. We know that adult readers skip read common words. I thought these children might be en route to that skill, and assuming they would know the short words they do not look with enough concentration. Mystery, it may seem ludicrous, but several people on these forums have said their good readers found the test harder than the less skilled readers. I see no reason to disbelieve them. I'm just speculating as to the reason.
     
  17. However good, a 6 year old is going to be a novice reader. Hopefully they will not be used to reading lists of words that are not in their vocabulary, as it would be a pretty worthless activity. Having been used to reading meaningful text, they automatically look for meaningful words in the test. Yes, I'm sure teachers are stressing to them that the words are not real words, but you need to think of the level of understanding of the children, and their status as novice readers without the adult ease with words and experience of reading. They may well listen to and understand this explanation in theory, but faced with the words their first response is nevertheless to approach the word in their normal way. If this is really happening, and why should we disbelieve the people telling us it is their experience, it would be useful to have a think about why.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm sure my good readers weren't insulted thumbie but word length isn't a factor ...
    I'm not even sure what skip reading is ... so can't say if Ido it or not.
     
  19. When adults read they concentrate their gaze on points within the text, they do not concentrate their gaze on every word. They generally look at the longer words and frequently skip the more common, shorter words. Their only awareness of these words is through the parafovea belt, with reduced visual acuity.
     
  20. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes I agree with you Thumbie that it is important to look at the reason for this phenomenon. One should also therefore question if it is indeed the poorer readers who perform better in the test and the good readers who perform worse, or if this classification of who are the good readers and who are the poor readers is wrong ............ for risk of being told I am constantly complaining about a certain school and doing nothing about it, I have witnessed this phenonemon too!
    How would a good reader make sure that common shorter words are always in the parafovea and longer words in the foveal region? That sounds most unscientific to me.
     

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