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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:24 am 
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Sorry to bore everyone again , but I just need a bit advice again re reading and my year 5 boy. We went to a parent consultation last night and although he is now a 4b in reading, after taking that Burt test again, although his reading age has improved to just over his chronological age ( he used to be 6 months behind ) the school would like it to improve and are suggesting I push the reading at home.I did ask how that tallied with being 4b ( which I'm pleased with ) and was told it's just the decoding...but even if he can't pronounce them properly he apparently does know what they mean and indeed he doesn't seem to have a problem with those verbal reasoning question where you have to find similar words , the right spellings etc.

So, should I worry ? The thing is I find it hard to get him to read, although he has told me detailed stories from certain books we have , so must be reading secretly somewhere ! The other problem is that he still sounds really painful when he reads. He does take ages to " spit it out "and gets there in the end, but I'm wondering if the child only has one go at the Burt test, maybe that's why he is scoring low...you initially think he doesn't know what a word is, but he gets there in the end...but of course I know to be patient and give him space ! Will regular reading help with this ? He sounds as if he needs an oxygen cylinder by the time he finishes . :shock:

I don't want him to be that child at school that you can't bear listening to and you find yourself reading 5 pages ahead whilst you are waiting for them. A bizarre thing is that when we go to church , DS1 and DD have started doing the readings or prayers and DS2 used to be really shy and not want to, but has recently said he would after all. I have been worried that he would find it hard, no one would understand him and it would upset him, but he kept asking to read out the soldiers poem at the Remembrance service ( with his Dad ) and he did it perfectly with no stopping and starting, very fluent...and that was under pressure ! It's all very strange . :?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:04 am 
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Poems have a rhythm and perhaps that helps him 'get' how to read a line, whereas when you're reading a reading book it's difficult to know how the sentence is going to 'sound' and I think that takes a lot of practice. Even now, I can begin a sentence reading to DC and realize I've got the sense/ emphasis wrong and have to re-read it in order for that line to make sense. Not sure I'm explaining it very well :? .

It sounds to me like a lot of progress has been made on the actual doing-the-reading side of things and enjoying the reading so perhaps he just needs to hear it a bit more? Perhaps some talking books might help? To be honest, I think it's all just practice, it sounds like he's getting it and, as you say, a 4b is very good.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:22 am 
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What about audio books where you can listen and read at the same time?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:00 am 
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OK, well you need to know more about the Burt reading test before you know whether his score in this is something to be bothered about or not. As a gov's wife(!!!) and a resourceful one at that, I think you will somehow manage to find out what the test consists of, how it is measured etc etc.

Teacher's answer to everything is always going to be "read more" as reading more does generally improve people's reading. That is unless they are reading in their head so poorly, and the books are of too high a standard, so more reading is just going to result in more faulty guessing etc etc.

If the problem is just that your son sounds terrible reading aloud from cold, well you have to take a view as to whether this matters or not. It sounds as though he practised the piece for church? So he's ok if he's practised it.

If you think he is making many errors when he is reading in his head then the type of comprehension questions you ask him will show up whether this is the case or not. Also you could try getting him to read out loud to you some chapter or other that he has already in his head. This will give you a feel whether his errors are just "normal" or worrying.

As you are preparing for the 11+ and it sounds as though both by your measures and the school measures (other than the Burt test) his reading is ticking along well enough to be able to read to learn, to do VR, and to read and interpret the 11+ questions, I wouldn't worry.

Then when the 11+ is over you can all do family play readings in your most dramatic voices and charge us EPE saddos money to come along and watch.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:43 am 
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When DD was in year 5 they did a reading project to encourage parents to read with their children as by that age many had drifted away from it. The idea was that you read aloud with your children each night. My DD had always been an avid reader, although with hindsight she may well have been reading but not really understanding. However, listening to her read out loud was very painful - completely monotone and stumbling. I decided drastic action was needed (we were taking it in turns to read pages) so I read my page in exactly the same way she did. She looked at me as though I had gone mad and asked why I was reading in such a boring way. This may not be the right way to tackle it with your son, but my point is that he may not know what he sounds like, and may just stumble through feeling self conscious (maybe it isn't cool at school to read well out loud?). It sounds to me as though he is doing fine in his reading, but I know nothing about such things really! I would say keep going with encouraging him and buy him some good books for Christmas. Have you though of a Kindle? Would he prefer reading on a cool electronic device?

PS DD is now thinking of doing English (today's favourite :roll: ) at uni, having been in the remedial reading group at the age of 6 :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:56 am 
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That could well help. But with 11+ prep being the focus for Scarlett this year, do you think it could safely wait until year 6 unless Scarlett's researches show that there really is a decoding or comprehension problem (which seem unlikely at a 4b?)? Or do you think the longer this bad habit is left the more likely it sticks for life?

It's also relevant to me - my year 3 reads like a computer with a faulty speaker, it's painful to listen to, but give her some plays to read and it's fine. I know she can do it, but if I ask her to it gets even worse. It's some kind of rut she has got into and asking her to change it only makes it worse (I have very awkward children!!). No matter how subtly I do it, as games etc etc, nothing sticks for her day to day reading. I'm thinking one day I'll give her a tape recorder and ask her to make a really good recording to play back to the Queen or something and see what results we get!

I think she actually prefers reading to herself, and the droning is the closest she can get to it when required to read out loud to me.

Anyhow, as an adult, how many times do you really have to read out loud from cold? Only once you've got children of your own, so time is (hopefully) on your side Scarlett.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Quote:
Anyhow, as an adult, how many times do you really have to read out loud from cold? Only once you've got children of your own, so time is (hopefully) on your side Scarlett.


I agree - I was always a reasonably good "out loud" reader, but was very self conscious. I can remember being asked to read to my younger cousins when I was a teenager and feeling excrutiatingly embarrassed at having to read childrens' books with expression, while (as I thought), everyone else was listening. Of course, in reality they were just gald of a 10 minute break and were probably catching up on a spot of sleep! Now give me a small child and I will read to them with great enthusiasm and getting into character for every part :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Thanks everyone..just come back from my usual haunt at times like this ...Waterstones...but controlled myself , didn't buy half the shop ( not for DS anyway ) and whilst I had my coffee..could hear Amber in my head telling me to get it all into perspective.So I came home.

Fb..yes, I know what you mean, sometimes you do need to read things twice to get it to flow properly..perhaps he is rushing a bit too. Unscary...I do try and show him how he sounds, but he just gets huffy so I just try to make my page as exciting sounding as possible. He does understand well Mystery, so that's really what I was asking, should I not worry and accept that's just him ? I did say to DH last night that once we have the 11 plus out of the way, then I can concentrate on his reading. Not sure if I should tell him your idea of " family plays " Think he will only go for that one if dressing up is involved. :P


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:55 pm 
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And what's wrong with a bit of dressing up? No expense needed - you can all just swap clothes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Story Mum told me from when she was in reception herself (1939)
Grandma bumped into Mum's teacher on the way to the shops and thus asked how Mum was doing at school. "Oh she's doing fine," said the teacher, "she's starting to sound out her letters quite well." "Sounding out her letters!" exclaimed Grandma, "She reads whole books at home!"
Grandma accosted Mum when she got home, why was she suddenly unable to read, read me some of that book you were reading last night. Mum read perfectly as usual. "So, read to me something from school." Mum duly read: "cu ah tu...cat" etc. Grandma had a kaniption fit, "Why are you reading like that?" "That is how you are supposed to read at school." says Mum.


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