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Hasn't moved reading levels since last year


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#1 WaitForMe

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:09 PM

DD1 scraped through to the 'at level' grade for reading at the end of prep - Level 10.

They had no readers for all of first term, and was back on Level 10 when they began again at the start of term 2. Now we are just about the end of term 2 and she is still bringing home Level 10.

Thats pretty worrying right?

We have parent/teacher meetings next week, so I'm looking to gauge how concerned I should be.

#2 Caribou

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:11 PM

What’s her reading like at home? With non home reader books?

#3 Overtherainbow

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:20 PM

You can access these for free at home https://www.speld-sa...onic-books.html
Books are decodable and systematic, so should help develop decoding and fluency.

My question would be is my child remaining at the current level due to fluency or comprehension.
How do they go at home? Are they reading with minimal errors? Are they understanding what they’ve read?

#4 mayahlb

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:22 PM

How is her reading like at home? Does she enjoy it? Can she do it? Do the books seem easy or hard? Does she understand them?

Also had the teacher actually tested her since then? My kids school doesn’t like to test reading too often and if a child is at standard they often won’t test them until closer to the end of the term. I’d chat to the teacher or email them and just see how it’s going. My youngest has been on the same level since the beginning of the yr (yr 3 though) but he hasn’t been tested since mid term 1. He reads every day and I know he can read harder books then his readers but he reads lots of stuff that isn’t readers (we visit the library every week and have a vast collections of books. We have done this since they were young).

Also a number of public libraries have reader type books. Our local library has the Fitzroy readers which is a great phonics based series.

Edited by mayahlb, 15 June 2019 - 09:23 PM.


#5 Bearynice

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:40 PM

Why no readers in term one?

So for ten weeks your DD has been on same level?

I think I’d just be mentioning oh I noticed dd is on level ten, is there something we should be working on at home?

Some teachers don’t test often.

Could u possibly borrow some readers from local library up a level or two and see how she goes?

#6 lozoodle

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:45 PM

It may well be the teacher hasn't done benchmarking again with them yet, so you may find they jump up quite a bit?

They often read in class at a higher level than what they bring home.

#7 robhat

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:45 PM

It's not that surprising if she hasn't done any readers since last year. It's usual over the long summer break for kids to go back a level or two unless they are keen readers or have parents who persist with getting them to read at home. If the school then didn't do any readers for the whole first term, then it's not unexpected that she won't have progressed.

However, it's still concerning in some ways. So definitely bring it up at the parent/teacher meeting. Also ask the teacher specifically if there are things you can do at home to help your child more. Make sure you read to her often as it does help a lot.

#8 WaitForMe

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:57 PM

She is a reluctant reader, because she thinks she can't read.

For Christmas I got her some beginner chapter books with the view to her reading the first sentence and then us reading the rest of the page. She would do whatever she could to get out of it.

She will only do readers at night because thats the time we do them - I think because she is avoiding them. It is very hard to budge her when she's made her mind up.

She gets two every day but often brings home the same ones over and over. I've tried getting some from the library and she refused.

She absolutely loves having books read to her though, but only likes chapter books for this.

Her comprehension when read to her is really good, always has been. When she reads, comprehension is ok but her reading is so slow, still sounding out quite a few words, I think she just loses track of whats going on.

She has always absolutely loved books. As a preschooler she would often bring me books to read throughout the day and would sit and listen for an hour or so. I would get hoarse from reading to her.

#9 Overtherainbow

Posted 15 June 2019 - 10:03 PM

So the problem isn’t that the teacher hasn’t moved her, but that she isn’t progressing in her reading.

I would strongly encourage the decodables I posted earlier, and a phonic based approach. How is she going with spelling and writing?

If she is refusing for you, I’d recommend a tutor if you can afford one. Look for a teacher with strong phonic knowledge, and not an unqualified ‘tutor’.  

If you can find a local Sounds Write specialist, it may help.

Also ask the teacher if they feel you need to start exploring dyslexia as a possibility. Are they in a support program at school for reading?

#10 Expelliarmus

Posted 15 June 2019 - 10:07 PM

If she enjoys books and being read to but is finding it difficult to sound words out, slowing her down, plus avoidance of reading I would be concerned that something else is going on for her.

Bottom line is she should have gone up at least one reading level by now in Year 1 and the insistence of reading only those readers, at only that time and bringing home the same ones indicates there’s some sort of difficulty brewing. These behaviours are at odds with a general love of books and normal reading progression.

I would get her hearing and sight tested and if that doesn’t pull anything up contact SPELD for advice.

#11 mayahlb

Posted 15 June 2019 - 10:46 PM

I agree with expelli and over therainbow. It sounds like something more could be going on. I’d organise a meeting with the teacher for more information but I’d be starting with things like getting her eyesight and hearing checked before moving onto the possibility of something else going on. Speld is a good place to start with that. It might be something as simple enough as just needing extra work consolidating phonological knowledge but that requires specific support. It could be that dyslexia or similar might be a factor.

I would definitely be looking at accessing some decodable readers in the meantime (many schools use readers that are not considered decodable). The Fitzroy readers are good for this and we also used a series I got off iTunes by readingteacher.com that uses a structured phonological approach.

Edited by mayahlb, 15 June 2019 - 10:51 PM.


#12 Sancti-claws

Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:56 AM

Have you looked at Reading Eggs?  Our school negotiated a cheap subscription rate for all students Prep-Yr 2 and it was fantastic.

#13 Caribou

Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:00 AM

I’d like to recommend the Ellie dairies. It’s really good with phonetic spellings for the hard words. Lots of pictures but easy to read and I found it really helped with DDs confidence with reading. It’s less of a home reader learning and more engaging.

https://www.booktopi...9waAjd3EALw_wcB

Definitely have a chat to teacher. Does seem more of a slight fail on the teachers part more than your DD.

#14 Crombek

Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:22 AM

View PostSancti-claws, on 16 June 2019 - 07:56 AM, said:

Have you looked at Reading Eggs?  Our school negotiated a cheap subscription rate for all students Prep-Yr 2 and it was fantastic.

Unfortunately reading eggs won’t help a child with decoding issues, neither will reading recovery or LLI.

I agree with Overtherainbow & Expelliarmus, it’s time to start looking in more detail. At her age I’d be keen to also test her phonemic awareness skills (can she produce/discriminate rhyme, can she identify/blend/segment syllables/phonemes etc in speech). Also ask for rapid automatic naming to be assessed.

#15 Moo point

Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:53 AM

DS is the same age, only on about level 8 of ordinary home readers. Like your daughter, he loves books but often refuses to read himself. He is taking part in the MiniLit program at school, he is in a small peer group with the learning support teacher 4 x mornings per week and is progressing well through it. They use decodable books, a phonics based approach, and the match up the sounds they are learning with the spelling words his normal class is learning.

PPs have given some great ideas. We also have a tutor to help ( my mother in law, a former English teacher) and what is also helping is learning to type using the Touch Type Read and Spell program. Because he has issues with handwriting (motor dyspraxia and fine motor delays), typing helps him get his ideas down. And the program is phonics based - yesterday he was typing words like "big pig fig wig" over and over. Highly recommend it.

#16 Threelittleducks

Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:06 AM

It's also worth checking how your school assesses reading. At our school, and I understand this is a national curriculum approach, the child has their reading level assessed in two ways. Firstly they have to read the book aloud with no errors. Then they have to close the book and retell it. They must state the book's title, main characters and then say what happened at the start, middle, end in the correct order. If they can't do all of these things they don't move on. We practice this at home.

Also consider checking eye sight and hearing.

Good Luck

#17 blimkybill

Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:14 AM

View PostCrombek, on 16 June 2019 - 08:22 AM, said:



Unfortunately reading eggs won’t help a child with decoding issues, neither will reading recovery or LLI.

I agree with Overtherainbow & Expelliarmus, it’s time to start looking in more detail. At her age I’d be keen to also test her phonemic awareness skills (can she produce/discriminate rhyme, can she identify/blend/segment syllables/phonemes etc in speech). Also ask for rapid automatic naming to be assessed.
I agree with others that it sounds like she is failing to progress in reading because the teaching methods are not working for her. She probably doesn't need more readers, she probably doesn't need more chapter books, she probably needs a program of systematic teaching with a strong phonics base. Either in school (like mini lit) or via a tutor.
I do disagree re Reading Eggs though. While not a full systematic phonics program, it teaches a lot of phonics skills, and does so in a way which is non threatening and motivating for many kids who doubt their reading ability.


#18 .Jerry.

Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:16 AM

View PostThreelittleducks, on 16 June 2019 - 09:06 AM, said:

It's also worth checking how your school assesses reading. At our school, and I understand this is a national curriculum approach, the child has their reading level assessed in two ways. Firstly they have to read the book aloud with no errors. Then they have to close the book and retell it. They must state the book's title, main characters and then say what happened at the start, middle, end in the correct order. If they can't do all of these things they don't move on. We practice this at home.

Also consider checking eye sight and hearing.

Good Luck
I would struggle with that method of testing.  I can understand, but memory can be weak.  That sounds difficult.

The Australian Curriculum doesn't have any pre-determined levels for a child to read at each level.  There are reading behaviours that student should demonstrate, but levels can vary.
We also need to remember that most of the "levels" are in commercial schemes and are not necessarily definitive.  They are a guide and should be married with reading behaviours to help form a student's learning steps.

I would argue that level 10 at the end of prep is pretty good really.  No progress past that is not good, however have the students been tested?  Do they skip a book if the child has trouble and try on a different book (some of the books are less contextualised for some students).
We use two different testing schemes in the early years so we can cross-check.

I have also come across teachers that give the home readers too low, in the thought it will "build confidence".

I certainly believe in a phonetic approach to teach reading, but some kids do struggle even with this method, and you have to think outside the box.

#19 FeralZombieMum

Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:21 AM

Definitely get her eyes checked asap and a hearing check.

At this stage I would also seek some outside help, and not rely on the school, as there could be something holding her back, and the sooner it's picked up, the better of she'll be.

View PostWaitForMe, on 15 June 2019 - 09:57 PM, said:

For Christmas I got her some beginner chapter books with the view to her reading the first sentence and then us reading the rest of the page. She would do whatever she could to get out of it.

Chapter books could be too overwhelming for her at this stage. I'd avoid getting her to read those until she is much more confident.

View PostWaitForMe, on 15 June 2019 - 09:57 PM, said:

She gets two every day but often brings home the same ones over and over. I've tried getting some from the library and she refused.

Could she be getting the same ones because she's memorised the words, and doesn't actually read them?

View PostWaitForMe, on 15 June 2019 - 09:57 PM, said:

She will only do readers at night because thats the time we do them - I think because she is avoiding them. It is very hard to budge her when she's made her mind up.

I would look at other ways for her to practice her reading, but in a fun way, and make some of them ways without her realising she is reading.

For instance, I would play "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'ch'".
Just be aware that when it's her turn, she could get the sounds wrong. My DD1 once did "R" - and the word was "arm". :lol:

Sometimes I would make reading their readers a game.
eg I might get them to read all the 'and' and "the" in the story.
When they were better readers, I'd read really fast, to try and trick them and skip over their 'and' and 'the'.
It made them pay attention and it took the pressure off them having to read to me, but gave them the opportunity to read along with me.
Sometimes we'd read every 2nd word, or every second sentence. My DD1 also loved reading the sentence backwards - that was when she was more advanced.

#20 RuntotheRiver

Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:43 AM

My husband used to get up on our roof, with our son, who was a bit reluctant with reading.

Due to the effort of getting up there, they would take more material and he would be on the roof for an hour, reading his heart out and not even recognising how much he had actually read and enjoyed it.

Change of scenery- trampoline, cubby house, in the garden can help get the love kick started.

#21 Jenflea

Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:10 PM

Some people I know do readers at the breakfast table when the kids (and parents) are fresh and rested.
Bedtime they can be tired or overtired and not in the headpsace for 'homework'.

#22 born.a.girl

Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:34 PM

View PostWaitForMe, on 15 June 2019 - 09:57 PM, said:

She is a reluctant reader, because she thinks she can't read.

For Christmas I got her some beginner chapter books with the view to her reading the first sentence and then us reading the rest of the page. She would do whatever she could to get out of it.

She will only do readers at night because thats the time we do them - I think because she is avoiding them. It is very hard to budge her when she's made her mind up.

She gets two every day but often brings home the same ones over and over. I've tried getting some from the library and she refused.

She absolutely loves having books read to her though, but only likes chapter books for this.

Her comprehension when read to her is really good, always has been. When she reads, comprehension is ok but her reading is so slow, still sounding out quite a few words, I think she just loses track of whats going on.

She has always absolutely loved books. As a preschooler she would often bring me books to read throughout the day and would sit and listen for an hour or so. I would get hoarse from reading to her.


That was exactly the problem we had with our daughter. Although she had no problems with reading levels, she was reluctant to read anything where the story was unfamiliar to her.

At that time Woolworths had the Cocky's Circle little books for $2 each, and once a week she was allowed to get a new one.  The deal was we read it to her first, she was allowed to look through the pics etc but then had to read it to us.

It worked really well, once we discovered that her reluctance was because she wanted to know the story.  Knowing the story also made it a little easier to work out unfamiliar words.

You might try that - reading her the story first.

ETA: and ours was identical with the loving being read to - she and her Dad got through most of the Harry Potter books at night.

Edited by born.a.girl, 16 June 2019 - 12:35 PM.


#23 magic_marker

Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:36 PM

Level 10 and chapter books is a very big jump. Overwhelming l would think.

#24 mayahlb

Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:05 PM

Yes chapter books can be very overwhelming. My kids now at level 23/24 are only just getting into chapter books that don’t have pictures. The oldest still gets overwhelmed by blocks of text (he is dyslexic). You want something simpler with less text. The fly guy books are a good example of this. Andy Griffiths does a couple of books that are good too. Big fat cows, Frog on a log in a bog, and there are a couple more. Oxford tree is also a series of decodable texts. Some are written my Julia Donaldson and my kids liked those because she managed to write fun stories at a level they can read and decode.

Mine loved being read chapter books but actually having them presented as part of their reading was too much.

I would also be asking at school if she qualifies for literacy support. Both my kids did minilit in yr1 which a systemic approach to reading that is backed up by evidence. (My dyslexic child is still doing it but the older kids version now).

Edited by mayahlb, 16 June 2019 - 05:06 PM.


#25 PatG

Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:23 PM

Is there any good way to gauge reading levels at home for those of us who aren't getting much info from teachers?




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