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Who Is Happy With Their Reading Teaching?


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I have moved into Reception this year from Year 1. I began to get unhappy with the way i was teaching reading in Year 1 and thought I must really sort it out in Reception as teaching the children from the start has a huge degree of significance.

 

I am not happy with the Reading Searchlights model promoted by the NLS. I know this is a government initiative and supposedly based on research but it seems unsatisfactory to me - what do others think?

 

I find it hard that I should teach phonics in one respect but then not particularly use it in reading - I have to teach e.g. the word 'play' as a sight word before the 'ay' letters and sounds are taught.

 

Also, the phonics in PiPs seems rather slow and loosely structured and that awful handbook is sooooo inaccessible!

 

Guided reading seems a waste of time as the children can't actually read much - and we do our fill of enjoying books and exploring them in whole class sessions.

 

There must be a thorough way of equipping children with the skills to actually read for themselves without messing about with all orts of different methods that work in a fashion for the good readers but seem to fail the struggling ones.

 

What are others' experiences?

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Have a look on the THRASS website. It teaches the 44 phonemes rather than one letter one sound. You may like it.

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Thanks susieb - I haven't been teaching one sound per letter of the alphabet for a long time as I realised this was limiting in my year 1 work so I thought PiPs would be good as it seemed to follow this thought, but not as fully as I would have hoped. I do need some guidence though so I will visit the site - I'm sure I saw a THRASS leaflet in our staffroom once.

 

Do you use THRASS? Does it work?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi jasmine,

I am a peripatetic Teacher of the Deaf and I have three reception children in two different schools. One school uses Jolly Phonics the other does not. I have noticed that the J. Phonics class love it and learned initail letter sounds very quickly, moving onto blends etc. before the other class in the other school. This progress was particularly evident in the deaf children. The two profoundly deaf little boys can write from 'dictation' using the signs for the letters when they can't hear the sound. The other little boy has a moderate hearing loss but has no visual cues to support him, he has a much more limited range and understanding of what letters represent.

This may not help but good luck any way. You SHOULD challenge the NLS and teach the way you find works! Best wishes Anna Johnston

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As a Y1 teacher I totally agree with you. I find that guided reading in the first term is a real waste of my time and energy that I find would be much better spent on other activities. Although in their defence, I do find that the children who are taught the searchlights strategies in the reding recovery scheme we run in school are very sucessful, but that is 1:1, I guess you'd have a lot more sucess based on that fact alone.

 

I'm about to check out the thrass website though so maybe I'll be inspiried!

 

Jasmine I just wanted you to know youre not alone!

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Hmmm... as a teacher with over 20 yrs experience in reception I have to disagree with the points about guided reading being a waste of time at the beginning of the year. I find it a super time to model to young children how to hold and use books. We choose a variety of simple texts things like the wildsmith books are good or Bears in the Night, that sort of thing. I teach children how to look for information about the text in the pictures and the first thing we do is to go on a 'picture walk', by the end of which the children have the basic thread of the story. We then look at what a word is and how there are gaps between and we practice jumping over the gaps with our fingers, 'bouncing' from word to word. We look for initial sounds and try to guess the word using that and the picture, etc. etc.... I'm sorry if I'm talking about what you do already but I can assure you, (I was literacy coordinator for 12 yrs at my last school) that if these early reading skills are taught at the beginning of Reception then children do take to reading knowing what books, letters, words, pictures and all of the other elements of reading are all about. It's like putting down the foundations for good teaching of reading. Have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick here? I do have lots of experience with literacy and the teaching of reading and would be interested to hear what others think! :o

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I agree with you Lyndi, although I also use our allocated Guiding Reading sessions as whole class Reading reinforcement times. And for teaching keywords as sight vocab. etc.

 

As the majority of my class are also EAL learners, we also start by teaching book skills and extend vocab. You can't begin to read English if you don't know the English name of something. We also work with bilingual support to check skills in mother tongue.

 

I'm getting quite confused with the RRF syndicate on another site, though. As a child myself I did not respond to phonics teaching and only learnt to read when my mother taught me via a whole word approach. I remember magic 'e' and being quite convinced the teacher was mad!!

 

Even today I cannot spell phonetically, or use a dictionary for pronounciation. My knowledge/ confidence has progressed tremendously with Jolly Phonics, but I'm glad I'm in Reception and don't have to cope with more complex letter strings!!

 

My own class love guided reading sesssions and its certainly a place to assess progress, check comprehension etc.

 

Susan

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Hi

 

Really pleased to read your advice Lyndi - I've been doing something similar in my Reception class this year during Guided Reading - the progress the children have made has been really good - laying the foundations for book language, behaviour and understanding of the concept of pages, words etc has really paid off. I use Jolly Phonics - not to the letter (excuse the pun) but the general structure of the programme and particularly the signs for each sound. The children love being detectives and hunting for the letter shapes in the texts we use in guided reading. It has really only been during this summer term that my guided reading has involved any "real" reading - as in decoding the text. This has been easier because the children are now equipped with enough phonic knowledge to make this possible. I will continue with this next year. Another benefit of telling stories through discussing the pictures in the books in the first instance, has been that the children are now much more confident talkers - they love to pick up a book and tell the story and do this independently - time well spent in the Autumn term I think!

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  • 3 years later...

Does anyone want to talk about the 'place' or suitability of teaching reading in Reception?

Personally I feel that this is a year one responsibility, and that whilst we have the opportunity to 'just play' we should! I don't mean that we shouldn't be modelling reading and using play based games rhymes and activities that develop letter and sound recognition. But I feel that teaching reading and having 'reading books' that go home each day is old fashioned and not in line with what I consider to be good early years practice.

These are my personal views, I don't wish to ofend anyone, I just want to open up some discussion.

What does anyone else think?

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I agree with you Lyndi, although I also use our allocated Guiding Reading sessions as whole class Reading reinforcement times. And for teaching keywords as sight vocab. etc.

 

As the majority of my class are also EAL learners, we also start by teaching book skills and extend vocab. You can't begin to read English if you don't know the English name of something. We also work with bilingual support to check skills in mother tongue.

 

I'm getting quite confused with the RRF syndicate on another site, though. As a child myself I did not respond to phonics teaching and only learnt to read when my mother taught me via a whole word approach. I remember magic 'e' and being quite convinced the teacher was mad!!

 

Even today I cannot spell phonetically, or use a dictionary for pronounciation. My knowledge/ confidence has progressed tremendously with Jolly Phonics, but I'm glad I'm in Reception and don't have to cope with more complex letter strings!!

 

My own class love guided reading sesssions and its certainly a place to assess progress, check comprehension etc.

 

Susan

 

 

I quite agree with what you say Susan phonics doesnt work for all child and I think it would be very naive and irresponsible if we as teachers thought this was the only way for children to learn to read. My son like you never ever grasped phonics but had a reading age far in excess of his chronological age. I think its our responsibility as teachers to provide the children with whatever skills they might need to become readers. Picture clues reading for meaning whole words and phonics. I also think its important the children see a purpose for reading other than pleasing parents and teachers so as Lyndi says choose interesting texts.

 

Can I also suggest people look at Foundations of Literacy and L is for Sheep for other ideas and please remember the NLS isnt compulsory :D We dont use it in my school!

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