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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Have a dd who is very good with creative writing, punctuation grammar etc.
Dilema is that she is very poor with comprehension skills - in particular the inferential style questions...have used the cgp book KS 2 on reading comprehenstion. Went through them together initially and talked about what to look for etc.. we are continuing practice in this area but is there anything out there that might help her further? - we also read on a regular basis to help with vocab and understanding. :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Hi yummycool,

There is a series of books called "New Reading and Thinking" (if you search this on the web they will come up). They are a series of 6 books to help ks 2 and 3 children with inferential comprehension questions. I think it costs around £20 for the set of 6. They are very good, might be useful for your DD :-)


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:26 pm 
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mummabear - thank you for your recommendation :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:52 pm 
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It helps a lot to read aloud with your DC and ask them questions. 'Why do you think they did that?' Or, 'Can you guess what this means?'

Check she is solid on the really obvious stuff. Does she know what the word 'text' means? Does she understand the difference between being asked to quote and paraphrase? Embarassing moment yesterday when I discovered DS didn't and had assumed it meant something else. No wonder he was weak on the questions that began: find evidence in the text...

Yesterday I also discovered that likening a question to NVR helped DS. He said the information being asked for didn't exist in the text. It was 'hidden' in that you needed to put two unrelated pieces of info together to arrive at the correct conclusion. When I said it was like a 2-part NVR e.g. rotation and mirror, the lightbulb went off in his head and he enjoyed spotting the connections.

Bond papers also have a 'How to do comprehension' book. I've just bought it - not read it yet. Will report any useful tips.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:35 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
hi yummycool again.

My dd has problems with comprehension altho her spelling etc are v. good. We're just practising them and discussing vocab. As she does her papers too quickly, I have got her to do comprehension alone, leave the rest of the paper. After she's done the comprehension, we go through it. I am trying to get her to eliminate some answers on mc papers. I find them quite difficult myself!

I am frustrated with her because she reads a lot but apparently doesn't do much comprehension at school - and it's too late now. I had wrongly assumed that because she reads a lot, comprehension would be easy. Suddenly her maths, vr and nvr don't seem so bad!

I've sent off for the Bond how to do comprehension book, will let you know if it is any good. I am glad to know it is not just us with this problem. I really don't think she will pass but feel we can't stop now we've started and she is keen. Looking forward to when it's all over! then got to wait for results .. then SATS. Poor kids! and parents!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:32 am 
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hi ginx

when I first posted this in May - we were at a loss with her ability to comprehend. Like your dd my dd also can spell and write with ease. The descrepency we noticed when doing papers is that she basically has a lack of understanding of vocabulary - she reads, skims, interprets and moves on without questioning and thus has left a gaping hole when she does comprehension questions.

This is still work in progress and doing the verbal reasoning papers is helping a little but not at the level I think she requires to pass (don't like being negative but sometimes you just have a feeling).

I have used the Bond How to do book - a bit long winded with little time left - however there are some very good tips in there - someone kindly on this forum recommended the CGP Reading comprehension booklet (£3.75 ish) - found this very good - I ordered it from Amazon.

Yummycool


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:44 pm 
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See also the other thread today on comprehension and inference. It might be helpful.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=26811

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:08 pm 
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I feel that with particular reference to the Essex papers and inference, what they're asking for is above and beyond what even the brightest of end of Year 5 children can produce. I say Year 5 because that's now what those children who sit the 11+ now are, since some will only have around 10 school days of Year 6 by the time 22nd September comes :roll: I know it's important to ensure that the bar is set sufficiently high enough but my eldest DC, who had much more finely-honed inference skills than DC2, struggled with the English papers years ago.

I think it's important to remember that not many parents will be in the position of knowing for sure that their DC will come up trumps big-time, on the inference questions. We've read to DC, got them to read aloud and ask them questions on their understanding of what's happening, what could happen and on the types of imagery used etc. We always bear in mind that on the Essex papers, there's quite a lot of multiple choice questions, so that can be a bonus. We've also concentrated on the things DC can control on the day, like spelling, punctuation and knowledge of literary devices - that gives DC so much confidence. Even though we're in the wonderful position of everyone telling us they have an amazing vocabulary, we've emphasized that there's no point agonising over that aspect of the English exam as goodness only knows what text they'll use... and I never was a gambler lol!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
hi yummycool again

You and I sound in similar situations. I too have a feeling my daughter won't pass. She is keen to as all her friends are desperate to get to a grammar school. I am pleased she is keen to work but really do wonder why when overall she only scores about 50% in everything - sometimes she has flashes of brilliance, at other times I despair.

Regarding the comprehension, I cannot understand how she is doing so well at school and reads so much, if she does not understand it. As you say, work in progress. The problem is, there's not much time left, it is summer, and there's an awful lot of work in progress! I don't think we can change her nvr skills; they are ok; her vr is better, but not brilliant, her maths is sometimes v good. No consistency.

I don't like to ask her if she is trying because that seems insulting! This forum is great. There seem to be an awful lot of mums and dads with comments and advice!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:22 pm 
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ginx wrote:
hi yummycool again



Regarding the comprehension, I cannot understand how she is doing so well at school and reads so much, if she does not understand it. As you say, work in progress.


I don't know what the English exam is like for your chosen school/LA but I can understand why you feel some confusion.
It's such a positive thing that your DD loves to read and I bet she does understand what she reads...and then some :D But sadly, the extracts they use are incredibly challenging - some are "A" Level texts and way beyond what even a really seriously able KS2 pupil can interpret, inference-wise. Sadly the comprehension part of the 11+ is only the beginning - it's the inference that's the killer for many :(

I hope that I can help to put things into perspective without sounding patronising? DD1 didn't really stand much of a chance of passing when she took the 11+ but she desperately wanted to have a go - we have VR, Maths and English. She'd had SENCO help up until YR 4 but everyone knew she was very intelligent - huge vocabulary, good comprehension skills, good reader - in a nutshell, really good at English despite having a really poor start. She pushed herself but we all knew she'd need an awful lot of luck to pass. However, we kept slogging on, despite everything life chucked in our path. We all felt that even if she didn't pass, the help we'd given her to improve her Maths, English and VR skills-base, could only benefit her for the rest of her life - afterall, no education and learning is wasted :D :D :D She didn't pass but she was incredibly proud of her ranking and that she'd hoiked her Year 6 SATS up to the highest you could get then. Basically, many had written her off but we knew she had some pretty amazing talents and above all, was determined and self-motivated :D

So, what I'm saying is that at times, it frustrates me that I'm having to encourage DD2 to analyse a text to this level and then I have to watch her struggle and lose confidence. I know how you feel because like you, I know DD2's understanding a wide range of reading matter but we're finding it hard to bridge that gap between YR 5 KS2 comprehension and 11+ inference skills. But with the experience of both DD1 and DD2 I'll say hand-on-heart, that whatever the outcome, please know that what you're doing for your DD and what she's doing for herself, is an amazing thing and will set her up for the rest of her educational journey..and more importantly, life!


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