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Just 4 Yr Old Reading At Y2+ Level Any Top Tips?


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Hi I have a bit of a child prodigy on my hands. At the home visit last week parents mentioned she could already read ( I nodded and smiled and thought a couple of words maybe) well I assessed her today as I was curious and OMG she flew through both phase 2 and 3 assessments, knew all the tricky and decodable words for both and when I tried her on a book she read a gold level fluently with expression and intonation. She turned 4 at the end of August and is young in other respects. Has anyone ever come across a child like this before? Any top tips? I'm wondering what to do with her a little as she clearly has no need for the phase 2 phonics we will be starting in a couple of weeks with the rest of the class.

Deb

 

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Possibly work on comprehension of what she is reading. I have had children in preschool who could read, but who couldn't understand what they was reading at all. Parents weren't happy when i took one back to the first books though as they said she could understand perfectly.

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That was my son! He needed very much to develop in other areas, but his reading was fantastic. He had a great reception class teacher who spent time hearing him read separately to the other children and discussing stories and other texts with him to ensure his understanding was as good as his reading, and then she just tried to stretch him with other activities. He did join the phonics sessions as I felt that it couldn't hurt for short bursts of time to ensure he could work out how to pronounce words he came across in the future, and it helped him to bond with the class and to learn not everyone can "get" things as quickly as he could. All very important for his PSE development. Because of the way the reception class worked he didn't have time to get bored or disengaged, but the problems began when he moved to the much more formal Y1 class.

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I'd be inclined to use my TA to work on Phase 4/5 or allow her to go to Year 2 just for phonics (This might be daunting for her though). What's her writing like? You could get her to do Phase 2 or 3 but get her to write the tricky words and sentences?

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Thanks for all your ideas, I really appreciate them. Thanks holly35 it's good to have a parent perspective and this child similarly has areas to develop especially psed she doesn't interact with the others much and is a watcher so far, not really initiating play, just wanting to work her way through the book corner! As a school we set for phonics throughout ks1 and up to y3 so I could slot her in a group easily but I think it's a little early and also the writing aspect of phonics would be tricky as she can only write her name. Her understanding of what she has read is not on a par with her reading so I will work on that with her. I'm finding it very exciting, I've never taught a child like this before! I have a particularly interesting bunch this year from the daughter of a burlesque dancer, to the daughter of a head of a huge corporation well known across the world, to a child who is fluent in 3 languages, and a child who only speaks polish. Teaching is certainly never boring!

Deb

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I had a girl, August birthday, very similar last year. She too needed PHSE of EYFS and, after discussion with Mum ( a Y6 teacher at a different school), we decided not to let her join Y1 for phonics, she stayed with us, it helped her writing and spelling. Fine motor skills very poor (as could be expected with her age), she just read at a much higher level independently. Often shared Guided reading sessions with HA for comprehension and follow up activities. All worked out fine, she made excellent progress across the curriculum, and is now a beautiful writer and spells very well. Enjoy.

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I too, last year, had a girl like the one you are describing . She was a challenge due to her lack of PHSE skills and her high reading ability but a nice challenge! Her parents were quite demanding of her academic acheivements but by the end of the year seemed thankful when I reminded them of how far she had come sociallly. She used to do phonics with Yr 1 but everything else was catered for within the class. She was also a gifted mathematician who I needed to extend with each maths activity.

This year I have now got another child who it seems, in these early days, to be of similar ability but I am certainly up for the challenge again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the same in my first year of teaching with a 4 year old girl. We used to go to the school library to choose books together and I also asked for volunteers from Year 6 to come into Reception and share books with her (and some other children) which everyone really enjoyed. I would be reluctant to send her to Year 1 or Year 2 alone but that's just a personal opinion. I agree that it's worth checking if she's understanding what she's reading. We did quite a lot of writing activities with her sequencing what she'd read. We were lucky enough to have a nursery in our school so she also regularly read to the nursery children so we could work on expression etc For me, the most important thing was to make sure that she loved reading and that she wasn't made to feel "different" or put under any pressure.

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I've been reading with interest as I have a similar child and have been feeling my way a little with what to do! Some things we are doing - and I've talked his mum through all of these. He has a reading book at an appropriate level then one of the 'no words' books that others have, partly so he isn't too different and also because actually his story telling skills aren't that strong.

 

His comprehension is ok but could be better. He is mostly just reading the words and that's it (does that make any sense?!). One thing I discovered today is that I need to do more work on his phonic decoding skills and learning digraphs etc. He came across 'chugging' today and didn't know it but didn't really have any strategy for tackling it. He also wasn't noticeably bothered by the fact that whatever word he went for didn't make sense. Also I asked him to 'sound talk' rocket today just to see what would happen and he went for r-o-c-k-e-t using letter sounds not names. He didn't know the ck as a single sound.

 

Much as I hate to I'm thinking ahead to the phonics check at the end of Y1 when he's going to have to be able to do this.

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