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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:30 am
Posts: 12
And I so much wanted a good relationship with her.... My DD is in grade 1 and it's taken almost 3/4 of the term for the teachers to test the students. So, now the work finally begins (or so I thought). My DD brought home her reader (take home reading book), and it's four levels down from the one she had in Prep, over a year ago! So a significantly lower reader to the one she had right at the beginning of school.

I question the teacher, and after telling me that it's not good to push the students, much more important to foster a love of reading. She gives me some 'tips' - read one page at a time and discuss it. I state that the book is far to elementary and she is not being challenged.

She clearly doesn't like to be questioned and tells me 'what do u expect me to do, give her a dictionary?' By this stage she is visibly annoyed. I nod and walk away.....
My daughter has been assessed by her previous teacher and her reading level/comprehension is on par to secondary school. They have the test results to confirm this.

I don't understand how the teacher can waste my daughter's time like this.

I'm in Australia and planning to move back to the UK in the next few years.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Where do I go from here? I still want an amiable relationship with the teacher, but I do think she wants it on her terms only.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:31 am 
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I had two gifted readers in reception, both reading around age 14 although there was very little suitable fiction for them to read. Personally, I really don't see why parents think that learning only happens at school. It doesn't matter what book the teacher gives her, you can easily give her another book at home.

One teacher would not let my son move up until he could read with expression. He was, for him, reading with expression but realistically how well can a reception child read with expression? So he stayed on Level 6 for the whole year and he read each book about 10 times each - great insight that teacher had! :x The upside is that we used it as a memory test and he would read the book to me without having the book on him :roll: and I gave him Harry Potter and National Geographic to read.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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If the teacher insists that your child reads the inane books that she provides, you could please her greatly with the following activities:

1. Get your child to translate the book into another language and take it back the following day for the teacher to mark
2. Get your child to read the book upside down - some children can do this very easily but they still find it an amusing way to read a boring book
3. As the teacher says discuss the book. Maybe after that your child could write a better book based on the same plot. The teacher can then mark this.

If none of these 3 things delight the teacher, I think you can assume she is a bit of an old misery .......... well that's if you haven't already got enough facts to know that anyway.

I don't know what to say, other than the same thing could happen to you at some UK schools too. I don't think you unintentionally antagonised the teacher, I think she is easily offended, or a bit lacking, or a bit stubborn.

I guess she wants to be able to show that she taught your child to read in some way, and she can't, other than by starting her off on a low level and then moving her up through the levels. Bonkers.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:14 am
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My son could read competently by the time he was four, having completed several stages of both the Oxford Reading Tree and the Ginn scheme. He had been to a fantastic kindergarten where he was encouraged and also supported at home. Due to a logistical issue, I then decided to remove him and put him at a private preparatory school. It very quickly became apparant that reading there did not take place in the nursery, so I mentioned to the teacher that he was already reading and that I would like him to continue. The next day I was met by the Principal and invited into her office to discuss the reading issue. She told me that my son could not be reading at his age, it wasn't possible-he must have been remembering by rote and looking at the pictures. I was also told he would not know the sounds either.
Since my son was sat on my knee at the time, and I just so happened to have a reading book with me, I covered the picture and asked him to sound out the words to me and then read it, which of course he did.
I was somewhat taken aback when I was told that if I did not like the way that things were taught there, I could always go somewhere else and at the same time remove my other child who was at the school and perfectly happy. It was also the first time I had been in the Principals office for anything. It would appear that sometimes asking for a book in a school is a crime in certain establishments.
A few years later he went on at that school to win an English prize and to this day remains an avid reader.
My only advice would be to continue reading at home as much as you like, you know your child best, and not be put off by those who don't always know best. And don't waste your money!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:49 am
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Having been through this agony myself with one of my children, the answer is simple. Supply your own books, and don't read the ones the school provides.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Sometimes it's not that simple if the teacher keeps on telling the child she should be reading the school books and not the home ones. Hopefully that is not the case, you can just tick it off and send it back to where it came from - or keep it at home for ages and see if it ever gets noticed.

Carry on with the good reading! I think your method is more likely to foster a love of books than the teacher's. Of course, you might find your daughter loves the school books and is happy to whizz through them in one minute and then carry on with what she is really reading. Then everyone is happy.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:49 pm
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I agree - get your own books for home. Local library have loads! But I would still say something to the teacher. They are not there to be your friend. They have a professional job and that job is to teach your child. They should be able to assess each child and place at the right level - that is what they are paid for! Don't worry about being an annoying parent - you don't get anywhere with your child's education if you don't push sometimes!!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:30 am
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11+ friends, thank you so much for your lovely posts, insightful and humorous! :lol:
This information has helped me enormously. I have a meeting with the teacher and feel I am much better prepared. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
Y wrote:
Having been through this agony myself with one of my children, the answer is simple. Supply your own books, and don't read the ones the school provides.

That is exactly what I did (in the end). My DS stayed on a level that was quite frankly boring him, so we decided to do this differently. We (often me!) used to speed read the school book out loud in case he was asked questions by the TA about it, to 'get it out of the way'. Then it would be our time, we would read something like Harry Potter together. That really stretched him, at first when he would read a page, I would then have to read it out loud again because the effort of decoding it meant he couldn't follow the plot. We both thoroughly enjoyed reading 'proper' books together. The next year the school declared them all to be free readers anyway, so the dreaded Stages weren't any sort of issue.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:16 pm
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One of my sons could read when he started school but his teacher insisted he read all of the reading scheme books. It was clear that she wasn't going to change so we read through them very quickly each night and then carried on with our own reading books. Thankfully, when he went into Year 1 his teacher put him straight on to free reading and couldn't understand why he hadn't been free reading in Reception. Good luck with your meeting.


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