Where to go next?

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Judy
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Where to go next?

Post by Judy » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:07 pm

I have been working with a girl who is almost 12 yrs of age for quite a time now and have got her (Burt) reading age up to 9.10 but she seems to have more or less come to a standstill in the past few months.

I wonder whether anybody has any suggestions as to how I can move her onwards.

We have covered about 120 of the correspondences - many of them twice! - and she has no difficulties blending. But I don't feel that systematically teaching her more correspondences has been helping her to improve her Reading Age, which has only gone up by one month in the past six months.

She enjoys reading but finds it very tiring, as she finds the letters don't stay still on the page, especially when she is tired, and she tends to read fairly slowly and monotously, though her comprehension is good.

During her lessons (and to some extent at home) she reads the decodable stories I've written to go with the correspondences we are working on but I think she generally reads books that have fairly large print and which are quite 'easy' at home.

Is it time perhaps to give her some more challenging reading material and work on any unknown correspondences as they crop up?

Judy
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Post by Judy » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:10 pm

Just one more point - on the whole she reads accurately but sometimes has difficulty with the beginnings of words eg reading 'that' for 'what'.

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Maltesers
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Post by Maltesers » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:35 pm

Have you thought of using a filter for her? I find they do help some children to keep the print 'still'

http://www.colour2c.co.uk/Example_Aqua.htm

This site is interesting you can change the background colour. I could read so much better with the green background.
www.freeforum101.com/hltastaffroom

www.hltastaffroom.blogspot.com

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:07 pm

I have a feeling that Rod Everson might have something to say about this one!

It is possible that she has visual problem. Has she had a really thorough eye test, with a good optimetrist (not Spec Savers!) recently? It costs nothing and could be worthwhile.

In the meantime, trying an overlay wouldn't hurt...

FEtutor
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Post by FEtutor » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:32 am

The Institute of Optometry in London has a dyslexia clinic which does screening tests in addition to the usual eye test- eg they screen for colour sensitivity and unusual eye muscle movement, I understand. I have suggested to some adult students that they have a check-up there at least once in their lives, if they report problems with print- especially if they get headaches too- there is also a migraine clinic. I told an old (migaine-prone) friend about it and she had a check-up there and she was pleased that she did- and she's not easily satisfied!

Institute of Optometry website: www.ioo.org.uk

Some optometrists also do the colour sensitivity screening.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:41 am

Thanks for your suggestions.

We have tried coloured overlays, coloured rulers and so on and it didn't help, though cream paper and standing the book up vertically so that there was no glare on the page did seem to help a little.

I shall watch to see whether she moves her head as she read, as per Rod Everson's website!

I've been thinking some more about why she could be 'stuck' as far as progress on the reading tests are concerned.

I mentioned on another thread that children with a wider spoken vocabulary seem to do better on single word reading tests because when it comes to multisyllable words, they can decode them and then tweak the emphasis (and the pronunciation when there is a choice) because they recognise the word as one with which they are familiar, or at least have heard quite a few times.

I wonder whether, because this girl had a very late start with reading, and still prefers to read 'easy' books, she has not acquired a sufficiently wide vocabulary to do that? I must add that she is not lazy but her confidence is still fragile and she doesn't talk much!

I don't normally have time to spend on widening vocabulary in one hour a week, what with teaching handwriting as well as the reading and spelling (and in most cases, attempting to encourage clearer speech!) But now that she knows most of the correspondences she needs and her spelling is better than her reading, maybe I should spend some time on this.

From what I have read, there seem to be very mixed views on whether this is something that can actually be taught but I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can give me any suggestions as to how to go about it.

Coincidentally, I am also working with a 9 year old boy, who seems to have almost identical difficulties. At the moment he is making good progress as I would expect as he is still learning the correspondences but it may well be that he will get stuck at about the same point for the same reasons.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:50 am

BTW, as far as getting specialist eye-testing done, in both cases it was all I could do to persuade the parents to get an ordinary eye test done! :sad:

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Post by mtyler » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:19 am

What about turning the focus to prosody and delivery? This made a big difference for my daughter. I had her read using "rainbow phrases," a term I borrowed from her violin lessons. I picked text with lots of punctuation, perhaps you could use poetry. Then I would have her read through the text and we would work on making each phrase flow together like a rainbow where the voice rises and falls over the course the phrase. Then we worked on putting emotion appropriately with the words and punctuation. This work had the benefit of encouraging re-reading, which is considered one of the best ways to increase fluency. My daughter had the side benefit of increasing her accuracy, I think because thinking in terms of phrasing made her use her right peripheral vision more. The work on delivery was a nice change for her; it made it a little more exciting. I would then have her give us a recital.

Also, I would not give up on the correspondences. My analysis of texts indicates that middle school and higher level texts requires 200+ correspondences.

Best of luck,
Melissa

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:23 pm

I didn't think there were '200' correspondences.

Diane McGuinness gives the figure of 175+ different graphemes does she not?

Can you enlighten us please?

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:49 pm

I wouldn't be surprised at 200, Debbie. When I did a rough count of ones I had listed it came to about 180. Those were just the commonest ones that are likely to be encountered in most adult text.

I have seen a figure of over 1,000 (or was it 3,000?) quoted, but where that one comes from I don't know :???:

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Post by mtyler » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:56 pm

Dear Debbie,

I am emailing you the information at debbie.syntheticphonics.com

Melissa
Minnesota, USA

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:09 am

Melissa - thank you so much for your email. There are certainly correspondences which I have not addressed and I have found your information fascinating.

I do keep deciding to 'add' to my list but each time I do this, there's so much to change because of it.

I do introduce some ridiculously rare graphemes but the trouble is that the words with those rare graphemes are common words as you have pointed out to me Melissa.

Well - for me my programme is a 'starting point' and I have invited people for feedback when it is finally launched and 'out there'. ;-)

Judy
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Post by Judy » Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:37 am

I do keep deciding to 'add' to my list but each time I do this, there's so much to change because of it.
I know the feeling, Debbie! In fact, I'm in the process of completely re-writing mine because of it! :sad: (also an opportunity to cut out some of what might have been verging on the 'pink and fluffy')

But I've taken the decision to class all correspondences with fewer than three examples as 'rare' and that keeps the total down to about 180.

In the absence of any suggestions about teaching vocabulary, I'm moving towards the idea of selecting short passages with more challenging vocabularly to work on with my pupil, alternating ficition, non-fiction and poetry.

Melissa and I seem to have been having very similar thoughts overnight! :grin: I was delving in my 'teaching cupboard' at 1.30 am finding lots of old books with 'comprehension' passages in them and from RLS's 'Child's Garden of Verse' a poem that I learnt by heart as a child, 'From a Railway Carriage', which I was surprised to still remember word for word! But when I read 'Faster than fairies, faster than witches, bridges and houses, hedges and ditches...' my first thought was what a lovely lot of practice for the correspondences we've been working on!

However, phrases such as 'driving rain' won't mean much to her so there will be plenty to discuss.

An example of the sort of word that she would not get right if it were in a reading test is 'photographer' even though she knows all the correspondences. It came up in the /f/ story she was reading last week and it took quite a few concentrated attempts before she remembered where to put the stress when she was reading the story. She really still needs to read aloud to an adult regularly but I don't think there is much hope of that.

Any other ideas or comments from people who work with older pupils would still be welcome.

Also, as a matter of interest, I wonder if anyone has any idea of what sort of Reading Age a child would have by the end of KS1 if they had been taught using an SP programme?

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:00 pm

Judy asks 'Also, as a matter of interest, I wonder if anyone has any idea of what sort of Reading Age a child would have by the end of KS1 if they had been taught using an SP programme?'

The evidence suggests that the average word-reading age of whole classes of children at the end of KS1 would be over a year above average chronological age. At the end of 3 years in Clackmannanshire, for example, boys were reading 1.7 years above chronological age, on average, and girls were 1.2 years above. Assuming roughly equal numbers of boys and girls, that would give an overall average just under 18 months above CA. Within the average, there would of course be a spread of reading ages.

Jenny C.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:13 am

Thank you, Jenny - I suppose that means their Reading Ages would average at something just over 8 yrs? It had just occured to me that if this pupil of mine has a RA of 9yrs 10mths after having learnt a good number of correspondences, this might also be achievable by beginning readers is two to three years.

Regarding the visual problems I mentioned, reversals, tracking difficulties and so on: I was interested to read about head movements while reading on Rod Everson's website (I think!). And yesterday I made a point of observing this girl while she was reading aloud with this in mind.

At first she did not seem to move her head at all but at that point she had her elbows on the table and was holding her chin in her hands (difficult to describe!). So I asked her to put her hands on the table or in her lap while she read and then she did in fact move her head from side to side as she read. When I lightly held the top of her head steady, she said she found reading much easier.

She told me that she had noticed other pupils moving their heads when they read and that is why she holds hers steady, which I thought was quite an astonishing observation! It is not something I would ever have even thought about if I hadn't read about it on the internet!

I mention this as it may be worthwhile for others to look into.

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