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Please help!

In our school children's progress in reading seems to be the only way parents guage their children's overall progress.

Historically children have always read to an adult twice a week once they are on reading books. These are taken home and generally parents are very eager to work with their children so that once they have read their book they expect a new one to appear in the folder!

The children do not change their books by themselves-we do it when they have read to us and they then have a go at reading the next book 'cold' so we can see how their skills are coming on and work on new ones and things we have covered in J Phonics etc All very time consuming. In fact I seem to spend so much of my time keeping up with readers and less and less time playing with the children or doing observations. Currently we don't have group readers or guided reading sessions.

The children do make good progress BUT I know this is not the best way to do things. I think I'm just doing it because 'this is the way we've always done it'. There just has to be more to teaching than catching up with readers all the time!!

SOOO please would you tell me how you organise reading in your reception classes. Then I could have a re think and who knows maybe even a re vamp before the dreaded visitors arrive in the Autumn term.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Bit stressed


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I can appreciate your concerns about wanting to keep parents happy! I had a couple of parents who were fussingover how often reading books were changed but I stood my ground (in the nicest way possible) and things seem fine. When children come to reception they have 'choice books' which are simple story books which children can read with their parents - i.e. the parents reads it and they discuss pictures etc. Children choose 2 choice books on a tuesday and 2 choice books on a friday. We as staff do not read these books with the children at all, except if a parent helper offers to.


Once children can blend/ read CVC words they start on a reading book. We do guided reading once a week. The children read the book in that session and then take it home for the week. This is the only book they have and we tell parents that its good to read the books more than once. Once children reach blue stage (stage 4) I send home a second reading book mid way through the week. We do not hear individual readers at all. Guided reading is the most effective way to teach reading in my opinion because the session is thoroughly planned to the child's needs, new skills are taught and each child reads the book at their own pace and I can zone in and listen to each child as they read, supporting all where necessary. I usually have 4 or 5 children in a reading group. It seems to take me most of the day to get through all the reading groups so the taught of doing it individually seems impossible!


I agree with you that your time could be much better spent observing and playing with the children. A large number of my children will choose to read books in the book corner so an adult will be able to support them if they need. I do have a couple of children who struggle with concentration and attention so usually read with them inidividually at some point during the week.,


Good luck changing things!

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We hear the children read twice a week between myself and my TA, their books are changed when they have been read at home and they are ready to move. I agree it is time consuming ( we do guided reading too) but I relish the time spent one to one with these children and for some of them it is the only time I do get to spend with them on their own particularly, some of the boys, as they are always playing in groups. We share the home learning journey books at this time too so gives us the chance to talk about what they have been up to at home.



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