“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
― Emilie Buchwald
Evidence strongly suggests that parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading.
Key findings from the evidence include:
• Parental involvement in a child’s literacy has been reported as a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);
• Children whose home experiences promote the view that reading is a source of entertainment are likely to become intrinsically motivated to read (Baker, Serpell and Sonnenschein, 1995 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);
• Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Baker and Scher, 2002 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).
Reading Books Coming Home
This book will be changed each week by their teacher and is matched to your child’s RWI group. These books are specifically chosen as each child can access every word in the book. Parents are asked to follow the program as described with children being asked to repeat reading the same book over a series of evenings in order to develop reading fluency and expression. At times, when needed, the teacher may decide to repeat reading books to embed understanding of the text. Please ensure your child has this book in school every day.
In addition, parents are also encouraged to read to their children for pleasure with a variety of material that inspires their children. A variety of suitable books are available from school if required and age-appropriate texts are suggested in our ‘Recommended Reads’ section of the school website under the ‘children’ tab. We expect our children in KS1 to read daily. This is recorded by parents in their reading diaries which are checked daily.
At its heart, Accelerated Reader is simple. We have tried to expain it for you below:
Once the children in Y2 have completed the RWI program, we use the Accelerated Reader program to monitor and improve their reading ability. Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice.
Children are initially assessed through a ‘Star’ test. This Star Reading test gives teachers a very comprehensive report on children’s reading ability. It is a complete online assessment of children’s reading development, showing skills they have mastered that are aligned to the National Curriculum. Star Reading goes even further to show the skills each child needs to focus on to meet or exceed expected standards. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes around 20 minutes which is taken whenever a pupil feels they want to read a more challenging text. We ensure pupils are tested in school each half term. This gives children a range of decimalised numbers that identify which books are most appropriate for them to read.
Children are then able to pick a book at his or her own identified level from a wide selection held in school. Alternatively, they are able to choose a book from outside school and discover whether it is at an appropriate level by inputting the book title online and using the decimalised number scheme. Each child can then read at his or her own pace but we expect all pupils at this level to read for a total of at least 2 hours a week outside school. Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.
When they have finished reading, they take a short quiz on the computer (passing the quiz with over 70% accuracy is an indication that the child understood what was read). Accelerated Reader gives children immediate feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher can then use to help children in school. Each book has a points value associated with it dependent upon the complexity and vocabulary of the book. Children are expected to achieve the target of at least 5.0 points each half-term. We believe that every child can become a fluent reader and be able to comprehend the text if they are able choose a book independently of their choice and follow expectations.
If a child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may help the child:
- Choose another book that is more appropriate.
- Ask more probing questions as your child reads and before the child takes a quiz.
- Support the areas of learning further in class guided reading.