Transition to free reading

This is a dedicated forum to allow parents to post questions, discuss issues and to ask for, and receive advice about, any concerns they may have regarding their children and the reading instruction that they are given at school.
Meraud
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:45 am

Transition to free reading

Postby Meraud » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:37 pm

Hello,

I'm after some advice from teachers about what is usual when children are well into chapter books for their school reading in Year 2. How much contact would you expect them to have with the teacher about their choice of book and reading? Would you expect the teacher to listen to them read at all, or discuss the book with them?

What sort of difference would you expect there to be between the level of difficulty of their reading book and a book they might do in an ability-selected guided reading group session?

Would you expect to read and/or respond to a parent's comments in the child's reading diary? Would you expect the child's reading to be recorded in the diary at all, or would you just want to record the group reading?

Many thanks,

Meraud
Meraud
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Transition to free reading

Postby Meraud » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:15 pm

Hello to all the people who are reading and not commenting!

Any opinions gratefully received - I do understand that what you do might vary according to the child/cohort concerned. It would be very useful to know, though, if there are generally accepted norms, or whether practice varies a lot.

Thank you :)
User avatar
Anne Glennie
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:51 pm
Location: Isle of Lewis
Contact:

Re: Transition to free reading

Postby Anne Glennie » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:05 pm

Dear Meraud,

Many thanks for posting a question. I'm so sorry that no-one had responded yet. It's probably because, as you say, there isn't just one way to manage the practicalities of reading in the classroom. Indeed, practice can vary, from school to school and indeed from class to class, depending on the preference of the teacher and of course, the reading material and the age / stage of the children. I will try to briefly outline for you, what I try to encourage teachers to do. (I train teachers in Scotland.)

Firstly, the 'hearing' of reading can be a big time waster, especially when you can have a class of 30 children. Traditionally, the teacher would hear a group at a time - one child reads, while the others listen - when they could be getting on with something else - such as discussing aspects of the story or doing engaging comprehension activities. It is often a physical impossibility to actually hear every child read every day. It is nonetheless, especially important at the early stages, (but beyond also!) that children are given ample opportunities to read aloud. This can be easily accomplished on a daily basis if children are given texts that they can read independently at their own level - they can essentially read out loud to themselves, to a partner, to a teacher / learning assistant and at home to a parent. Reading aloud helps develop fluency (accuracy, speed expression), automaticity - and it ensure children are not skipping words - as they are prone to do when they read silently. Choral reading - where the whole class read aloud a poem / rap /song is also an enjoyable activity - and again improves fluency / automaticity. Handled in this way, the teacher can then focus on the children who require the most support with their reading. Subsequently, I would not expect a teacher to sign / write in every child's reading record book every day - especially when on chapter books. However, I would expect to see that someone has signed - and listened to the reading - even if that is another child. Reading aloud need not take up a huge amount of time - once children are reading freely and on chapter books - 5-10 minutes at the start of every reading / language lesson should suffice.

In addition to a 'reading book' if this is a chapter book I would also expect some sort of comprehension and discussion work to be carried out - to explore understanding of the text - as this is what it is all about! (I also expect non-fiction texts to feature as well as 'reading books'.)

Children should have their own 'personal choice' book on the go that they use for silent reading for fun / pleasure every day. Time should be given to build up this important habit in class through at least 10 minutes of ERIC (Everyone Reading in Class) or DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time everyday. Also, teachers should make time to read to the whole class - there is no nicer way to finish the school day than sharing a favourite text - in particular, a chapter a day from a novel that would be too demanding for the children to read independently. This fosters reading engagement, builds vocabulary, models good reading and instils a love of reading too.

I hope that helps - please do feel free to come back to me with any further questions.

Anne :D
Meraud
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Transition to free reading

Postby Meraud » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:19 pm

Thank you Anne, that's really interesting, and encouraging. I'm interested in the variety, actually - there are bound to be lots of ways to do it well.

I wouldn't have expected a teacher to hear a child read their personal book every day, or every week - it would obviously be impractical - but I would hope that there would be some kind of framework for making the personal, private-reading books feel an integrated part of the child's experience of class literacy work. I'm interested in the ways that people might do this: reviews (written or oral), recommendations, discussion, guided book choice, etc...

I'm interested in how the more able readers are catered for, since their reading might sometimes be more advanced than the material/level of discussion which works for the class as a whole. But I'm also interested in the ways people manage to deepen the experience of all the children in the class - I know some teachers do whole-class reading rather than using ability groups, for instance.

I'm interested in all these things in principle, because it's part of the probable next stage of my blog... But I'm also interested from a personal point of view, because at the moment I'm finding that for my children being a more able reader is tending to create a disjuncture between their class work and their private reading: they read loads, but there is no opportunity to discuss it at school, so it feels a bit invisible. So I'm interested in the means by which children's private reading is guided and validated (or not) by school (and parents).

Meraud
User avatar
Anne Glennie
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:51 pm
Location: Isle of Lewis
Contact:

Re: Transition to free reading

Postby Anne Glennie » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:49 pm

You're welcome Meraud. :D I will try to address each of your points as best I can.

With regards to personal book choice and reading, I recommend that teachers and children take part in reading discussions on what they are reading (and watching and listening to) and what they've enjoyed and why etc. at least once a term. (I use a template called a Child Friendly Assessment Booklet) In the classroom it is quite difficult to monitor what everyone is reading for pleasure, and often the teacher will not have read the text themselves - but it is important. I'm not a huge fan of Accelerated Reader - but where schools are using it as an 'add-on' for personal reading it can work well - as children complete little quizzes about what they've read and they choose from a certain range of banded books. (Note: books banded in this way are only appropriate for free readers) So children's choices and comprehension are monitored without creating extra work for the teacher. Also, because the personal book has been chosen and it's main purpose is to encourage reading for pleasure and engagement, I do not recommend book reports / reviews - as this then adds the unnecessary burden of work. I did however, in my class, offer rewards for people who went on to write review that we could display in our library - but this was entirely optional.

However, I would expect that whatever novel is being read by children is appropriate for their level of reading. For example, if I have three reading groups in my class, each group will be reading / studying a different novel - so that the texts and activities are differentiated to suit their needs. On occasion, perhaps twice a year, I would be happy for the whole class to do a short novel study together - but the bulk of the work needs to be differentiated - so that my able pupils are being stretched (and my less able readers are being supported) when required through their day to day work, rather than just their personal reading for pleasure, if that makes sense.

With regards to ability groupings, I recommend that on three days children work in their ability groups where they read, discuss and complete higher order skill activities of their choice directly related to the text. (Not just generic questions) On one day a week, I encourage mixed ability grouping - to allow whole class teaching, discussion and to motivate learners. This lesson has a comprehension focus and is usually related to the work of the class. It is often a non-fiction text.

Hope that helps for now - I'm rushing off to the cinema - please add further queries and I will respond tomorrow :D

Anne :D

Return to “Parent Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests