Reading with children in EYFS and KS1
This is very closely linked to our phonics strategy. Children use phonics to understand the mechanics of reading.
Reading with your child is so important at any stage of their childhood, but throughout a child’s time in nursery through to the end of Year 2, reading daily with an adult is a necessity. By doing this, children practise and develop their phonics, increase their vocabulary and fluency, begin to understand how to sequence events, learn the features of a variety of texts, and begin to make predictions and to use clues within the text to piece together the narrative.
Often at this time, children will read a book repeatedly. This is so that children can learn the story, and practise key word patterns and phrases.
Over the week, we encourage parents to read the reading books sent home, several times with their children. The more familiar children become with a text, the more their recall of words, word recognition, reading speed, accuracy and fluency improves, and the quicker their blending becomes. All these factors allow a child to find the reading process easier and less tiring, and their confidence and enjoyment of reading improves alongside this.
When reading with your child, or after you have read, it is beneficial to discuss the text, to further deepen the child’s understanding of what they have read.
Here is a list of potential questions that you may like to use, further develop your child’s understanding of their book:
- Looking at the front cover, what do you think the book is about? Why do you think that?
- List the characters in the book and describe them.
- List five new words you learned in the book. Write down their meaning.
- Where does the story take place?
- Predict what will happen next.
- What was the problem in the book, and was it solved? How?
- What sounds have you practiced by reading this book?
- Did anyone in the book do something you did not like? Why?
- Tell me 3/5 things that happened in the book. Can you tell me them in order?
- Why did the author write this book?
- If you could continue the story, what would decide would happen?
- How does the main character feel during the book?
- Have you ever read anything like this before? Is there a similar story you have read?
- Do any of the characters remind you of anyone you know?
- Does this book remind you of anything that has happened to you? What? Why?
- What would the main character be likely to do if s/he visited our classroom or visited our house?
- If you were in a problem situation like one in the book, how would you have acted?
- If you could give a different ending to the book, what would it be? Why did you change that?
- What facts did you learn in this book?
- Is this book a fiction or non-fiction text? (A story or fact book?) How do you know?
- Do you like the way the book looks? Do the pictures match the story?
- If we removed the writing from the book? Would you still know what happens in the story? How do you know?
- Did you like the way the story ended? Why or why not?
- Which character in the book would you choose for a friend? Why?
- Do you have any unanswered questions about the story?
Five Finger Rule to use when choosing a book to read:
- A child will turn to any part of the book, and to complete this method over a few pages. The child holds up a finger for every word that they do not know. A challenging but suitable book would be one where the child makes on average two- three mistakes per page.
- This is easier to gauge when the child reads the pages aloud.
- A rough guide as to what has been found to be the correct ‘error rate’: if you were listening to the child reading, you might expect to hear an error about every minute.
School reading books:
Children in Year 1 and Year 2, who are still on the phonics scheme, take home each week 1 RWI storybook and 1 RWI Book Bag Book of the same stage, to ensure the children can practise the key sounds focussed on in that week. These children can also choose their own library book- which is not linked to any focus sounds and is purely to encourage a love of reading.
Children who have progressed through the phonics books, will start on Level 8 banded books. These books are not linked to phonics, but instead allow the gradual progression from reading phonics books to reading a ‘real’ book. This allows the children to further extend their vocabulary and knowledge of a range of texts and their features; not forgetting the opportunity to develop their understanding of how to read a book and applying appropriate reading strategies and skills.