My 4 year old reads. She is still a few months away from starting school yet and I am trying to work out any future problems and how to advocate for her - as we haven't had her tested. Reading is a big thing for her. So just what can most children read on entry to school?
My 4 year old is currently on book 5a from ladybird Peter and Jane. She reads books from the library - reading Rockets, Springboard and learnabouts, etc. Of course from the library we never get them in the right order. She reads independently and I would like to work out whether she would be better fitted for reading in a different class or year or is fine in a new entrants.
In her room she currently has a level 7 learnabouts, Level 9 springboard and red rocket early level 4. And they are all pretty easy for her. We just get what we can from the libraries. Does anyone with kids have experience of what sort of age this would fit for an average child? Books are her thing really...
Oh and does anyone know if you can enter the library reading log comp more than once? She really wants to win a prize!
My son was reading when he started school in August and I did point this out to the teacher. I think she thought I was exaggerating! LOL. After his first day, (they test them on the first day for reading) she commented, 'wow, he really is reading'. He was put into a group in the next class for reading and apparently he is better than all of them too. The teacher made the comment that the school will run out of appropriate books for him before too long but they are onto it with him. There is such a vast difference of ability when they start school and the teachers expect this and have to cater for it.
I moved past those books you described from the library and I get chapter books out now. You will find if you look through them that some are not much harder than the books you are using but they seem like 'big kids' books. I get my son to read all the speech bubbles and I will do the narrative. In the non fiction (which my son is more interested in) I often find appropriate books for his level.
He started at school on L10 because his comprehension is not as good as his reading expression (he has Aspergers) but he is on 17 now after only 1.75 terms so I figure they know what they are doing with him.
Schools are funded for only 1:18 ratio in NE and they have more time to test the kids regularly. Every day except Friday, my son has to read to his teacher so I would think this will be similar for your dd school
Yes we do have some chapter books too. You mention level 10 - Is there a website with the levels on it? I can't seem to find anything consistent - numbers, colours, A/ B. I have no idea what L10 means.
So how is your son finding reading at school. Did he get bored? Or is he coming home with suitable reading matter?
I too had an exceptional reader. We always read lots to him as a baby and toddler and when he was 4 I thought I'd teach him to read as he was giving signs he was ready. He blew us away by reading the first two books I gave him fluently! When asked when he'd learned to read he couldn't say - just that he couldn't remember not being able to! He too, moved pretty quickly on to chapter books.
At his 6 year tests, he was reading at 12 yo age level, and when tested by an ed psych at 7y10m, his reading age was 17. We've just let him go for it, checking with the librarians as to suitable content since he's been gravitating to the teen section of the library since about 8 1/2yo.
School gave up on their readers pretty soon after confirming that his comprehension matched his sight reading, and gave him a teachers ticket to the school library. Where the others could get out one book, he was allowed as many as he wanted! He tends to have several on the go, dipping in and out at will. He tends to have 5 or 6 lined up at the end of his bed at any time.....
Over the years he's moved away from non-fiction pretty much exclusively to high fantasy (via Captain Underpants and the Beano magazine). He devours series and can't understand why it takes a year for the next one to come out!
Don't rely on school to provide suitable reading matter - develop a good relationship with a children's librarian at your local library. It's an invaluable relationship for your child!
I concur with Natalie about working with librarians. They have better specialised knowledge than teachers in the area. My son is very similar to your daughter. His reading age is over 9 years (from psych testing). He reads whatever is about so I let him pick at the library and have plenty at home (second-hand books are great when you have a child reading so many). He does the library reading programmes for Selwyn District. They hae many small incentive prizes. You could make your own programme easily and ask local librarian to listen to daughter talk about her books. The Selwyn programmes all ran along the lines of read x number of books, pick favourite and write/draw something about it, talk to librarian about your drawing/review. Do this so many times for a prize, small incentive prizes along the way and party on completion.
I've been told by local teacher that they really like children to come to school recognising their own name and many (but not all) know the alphabet.
If I was you I'd get your daughter down to school asap so they can be prepared for her. It may seem pushy but it will be easier for them to know they need a plan and advanced reading material available before the actual day she starts.
I bit the bullet today and got Daughter booked in for an assessment. It's not just the reading but the maths and science, imaginative stuff, music, memory...
Thank you for the ideas about using the local librarian - we use the local library a lot - but we don't chat much to the librarian. What a great idea! She has loved doing the reading log over this holiday and so a termly similar project might also prove invaluable. She likes reading for a purpose.
I think she reads well - but then I have been told that a lot of other children are reading at this age too - but then there's 'reading' and reading, I guess. I managed to get hold of two red rocket fluent level 1 - which seem just about right for her. But I don't know what age they are meant for! Is there a website with all this stuff on?
Many thanks - and PLEASE tell me it all gets easier when they read a lot for pleasure!!!!
It definately is easier when they read for pleasure as you've mentioned in your other posts, it stimulates them without an adult having to be involved.
If your daughter likes reading for a purpose then she can be very helpful in the entertainment of your youngest and perhaps earn some rewards for her babysitting efforts!
Right, I knew this had been posted before and after spending half and hour going through all the old messages I found it. Thank you Birgit for posting this back in 2006!!! Here are the reading levels once again for everyone's info. My son got up to level 14 in his first 6mths at school and it took quite a lot of nagging to have him continually 'tested' by his teacher so that he could be put up so that he was challenged. And that was when I was working there and eating my lunch with his teacher in the staff room!! My son was bringing home 2-3 level 8 books and reading them upside down each night before we finally got him onto a more challenging level! This last year however we have homeschooled and he now reads chapter books - although it's still not seen as 'fun' - only as 'schoolwork'. Mind you, that is changing also - a couple of times over the last month he's sat down with a book quietly. Normally for quiet time though the computer takes precedence and as that takes a lot of reading also, I let it slip...
Levels 1 & 2 - Magenta (age 5-5.5)
I have just been reading this thread and found the reading level info interesting. My daughter was started on purple at 5 yrs, and finished the year on sliver level. Her teacher told me that you was able to read for the emerald level but was unable to answer all the questions, so was kept at silver.
Is there anyway to found out what kind of questions are asked at the different levels? I would assume the langage of the questions gets more sophisticated.
I found reading was the one area that wasn't a problem for the school to recognise how well they were progressing and they quickly advanced my daughter to the correct level. My daughter's teacher still remembers the shock she got (4 years ago now) when they had silent reading time and my 5 year old daughter got our her pocket book on Christian Cullen to read!
I don't think all the schools use the same level and colour system.
After gold comes turquoise, silver, emerald etc - I'm not exactly sure which order they come as my daughter didn't go past gold while in school (we homeschool now). I assume that the colours after the initial (up to gold) lot are in line with SSR. I remember that from when I was in school, you'd read a story and then have a whole lot of questions to answer for comprehension. Basically you're ready for the early chapter books once you're past gold.
Don't assume that the teacher will pick up on the appropriate reading levels. My son started school at the beginning of last term. The school has a practice of sending each child home with a different reader book each day, for Mon - Thurs.
After about 6 weeks (waiting for him and the other new entrants to be tested as we expected woud happen not long after they started), we raised it with the teacher that the books were far too easy. (When he starts reading the titles backwards to make it more interesting, you know something has to be done).
She finally tested him, and found that he had a reading age of 7.5 - 8yrs old, but started him on the Orange series (6.5 - 7 yrs) so that he could imprve his fluency when reading out loud.
After that she thought that she should test his maths as well...to find a similar result. She indicated that he would be put forward as part of the GATE program for the school, but nothing was progressed, so next year will be interesting, and we are planning on being much more proactive and "pushy" about it.
All I can say is keep on top of it and if you don't think the teacher has picked up on it, don't be afraid to raise it yourself. Taking in a Red Rocket book of the level my son liked reading gave her some idea of where we though he was at.
The reading levels go up to 30, after gold comes silver(level 23/24) then emerald(level 25/26). Oviously there are two more colour levels, but I can't remember. They are usually on the back of the reading books. Reading ages are not noted of course!
The teacher kept my daughter at silver, but at home she has read all the Secret Seven and is on to the 12th Famous Five book, plus miscellaneous books from the library. Funny enough she gets very bored with the homework books - she already read them at school and doesn't see the point in reading them again at home.
For the whole first year of school (last year) my daughter did not bring home any challenging books (apart from non english words and some names)
My daughter has been tested, the school has a copy of the test, has acknowedged it, but so far very little has been done to try and meet her learning needs. And this a school the is interested in gifted and talanted education.
Tessa, I think you hit a point there. I have heard it lots before where kids have been tested, results given to the school, but they have been "filed" and never looked at again, leaving little done for the child. The poor kids. Unfortuntely in my short 6 months of DS being at school I have learnt you have to advocate for your children, speak up for them because they do not do it for themselves. If this means being pushy and meeting with the principal weekly, then do it. God knows the principal at DS's school knows me!
Regarding reading - funny most people think 4yo's cannot read. Especially teachers! But we all know they can. But there is a difference between reading at comprehending. Reading is one thing but to answer questions about what they have read is another. Also IMO how they read is important. Do they adjust their voice for punctuation, speach quotes, etc. Some mums get hung up on levels (in reading and schooling years) and forget the quality - the old saying quality not quantity comes to mind. Of course most gifted kids do both. I know my son does.
On the subject of reading, we have great difficulty finding appropriate books for our girls because of the asynchrony between reading age (adult) and chronological age (the eldest is 7 and lacks the life experience obviously). I've seen ideas posted many times and am forever searching but does anyone know of any "really" good websites/books/places to search for reading lists? A big issue we have is that our eldest reads so very quickly and so much (and yes, comprehends it all) that we simply cannot find enough to keep her going. I'd love to find a series of books that are really long and engaging but also age appropriate. Or to find a prolific author that she loves. (She read the Narnia series over a year ago and was not interested in Harry Potter at all). Our local librarian, whilst helpful, could not offer us anything she hadn't already read. Any ideas anyone? She's not a huge fantasy fan, likes humorous stories, relationships and families, girl stuff, has read all Beverly Cleary, lots of Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl, Dianna Wynn Jones, the molly moon books, Emily Rodda, Ann M Martin, Andy Griffiths...
I loved the Chalet School Series at this age - it might be a bit dated but it was so much fun! I read the whole series and got into other languages as a direct result. But as for websites - I haven't found one that is spot on yet.
Thanks for that Nikki; that's nothing that we've ever come across so we can have a look. At the very least I know that there are people out there with more ideas!
A note on the reading levels. Some of you (like you Nikki) may have children who are still not yet in school yet progressing through the reading levels. In our experience, the rate of this progression accelerates. Rapidly. We would go looking for 'challenging' books only to find that once we got those 'challenging' books, they had moved on. And as much as we can find value in books for all ages, this is something to keep in mind if you *buy* books to engage your children, especially if you order them and have to wait for them to come in.
For some of these children, you need to be considering reading material that might seem to be way ahead but is in fact just around the corner...
Thanks for the advice, mysterious 'anon'. Later on - I was into Sue Barton nurse series - again all good content for a youngster with nothing to worry about. As well as great stand alone books - like 'moonfleet' and 'The silver sword'.
Thinking of more great titles - but I have to go bath the kids!
Huge thanks to whoever suggested the magic treehouse series. We are reading her her third one. She is not quite at that level for independent reading yet. But we have caught her reading them in her room when we have left them in there!!!
Hard to move from the reader types to chapter books.
Regarding the move from reader to chapter books, we had a similiar reluctance.
The librarian suggested these awesome illustrated novels, all the classics, language at higher level but a full picture on each page with half page of text. Son is lapping these up. He also enjoys the chapter books that have a small, usually black and white, illustration. Started with original Winnie the Pooh, then Milly Molly Mandy, now just whatever from the library.
I actually would prefer he stick to illustrated novels (+non-fiction) and expand his life knowledge as most of the chapter books start to deal with topics he's never encountered. The would give him too many ideas, lol.
(Also it freaks me out that he may start school with a Harry Potter in his pocket.)
My daughter is almost 9 and is very visual spatial. As a consequence it has been an uphill battle to teach her to read. She's still not confident enough with chapter books, even though she would manage quite well, but I have found a wonderful resource in our local library. Graphic novels!!!! These are essentially great stories in 'comic book' form. We've had Richard the Lionheart, The Wind in the Willows, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to name just a few. Our library only has a shelf full, however when you go on line to all the libraries in the area there are quite a large number to choose from!
My son is coming up 7 and for almost a year has been reading early chapter books. I found it hard finding early chapter books for boys as most seem to be about ponys and puppies and girly things! However Zac Powers are wonderful books! They appeal to gifted children as there are lots of very cool 'gadgets' in them complete with diagrams! They are adventure books about a 12yr old boy spy, complete with a website to join. I highly recommend them!!
Does the national library of NZ have more graphic novels? (I'm guessing you know you can use it as a home educator).
Have you ever read Jeremy James, we found that recently, and although based on a boy who I think maybe ?4, I found then hilarious (several levels of humour) and our 7 and 8 year old really loved them (and the 3 year old too!). Innocent humour and very funny.
Will look for Zac Powers. Thanks
I have only just discovered this website. I was looking up some information about reading levels. I have 2 girls aged 8 and 5. My 8 year old has just started going to GKP one day per week this year. She couldn't read when she started school as it was just something I had never thought about. My 5 year old started reading when she was 4. My good friend is her New Entrant teacher and I asked her last year for advice on how to start her reading while she was at kindergarten as she seemed very keen. Within a month of starting she just started being able to read anything. She started school 8 weeks ago and my friend was amazed at how good her reading was. They tested her to an age 7+ level and said her comprehension is also great and she reads with great tone in her voice. She is currently on turquiose 2 or level 18. The only problem with her reading (and also her writing) is that she is streets ahead of anyone else in her class so has to go to another class and read with the top reader in that class. Whilst she may be reading and writing a gew years ahead, emotionally she is only 5 and she was really missing her New Entrant friends being out of her class for 2 hours. The school have been fantastic though and have broken up the day a bit for her so she goes back to her class for a bit more time. As much as I want to advance her I also don't want to make it too much of a shock - she only turned 5 a few months ago!
Welcome to the site Christine. The asynchrony is a difficult issue but at least your daughter's school is aware that your child needs a bit more than is offered at New Entrant level. Sounds as if it might be relatively easy to work with them to address some of the issues about where to put your daughter as she progresses through school?
Thanks. We are very lucky to have some great teachers at the school and they really do like to extend the children. I was very surprised last year when my eldest daughter's teached asked if she could put her name forward for GKP. I guess as a parent I just don't realise how bright my girls are. I think it is great they can be extended without needing to put them up a year. Both girls are bright but certainly don't act overly mature for their age - not saying they are immature but they act as you would expect a child their age to act.
Spoke to my daughters teacher today at school and said miss 6 has been put up to gold level. Wow. She has astounded her father and I. She has read most of the books at home and was wondering if there was any particular books i could get for her. She loves to spell as well - been put up to level 7 and teacher has said she would like to see her in the spelling bee next year.
I don't want to push her but wondered if there was anything extra i could do for her at home?
Hi I am a teacher of year 2 children and the mother of 3 now grown up. my daughters were in the GATE programmes throughout their school lives. I teach a couple of extremely gifted children who want to read at advanced levels. In the library they like the chapter books and I went to my local library book sale and bought about 50 when they were 5 for $1. My class is just finished book week and have written their own books. My gifted ones wrote amazing stories, very mature for 6 yr olds. One of them goes to the One Day School and loves it. he has been tested and is in a high range. He can read and discuss texts at a sophisticated level. He really likes doing project work mostly and finds normal question and answers pretty boring. We don't ask the children questions so much now but discuss the story and see how they can relate to the inferential ideas the author includes. For instance the other day I asked them what they thought rocking to and fro meant (question!!0 and only the two cleverest ones were able to explain what the author meant. Alot of schools used to use the PM testing kits with set questions for each short story read but we try not to now and test them on texts they have had in their groups. Iwas involved with the Gifted and Talented clubs in auckland and Pukekohe for years, excellent for going the extra mile. Mydaughter used to go to holiday programmes at Selwyn college and in Waiuku too and also learnt chess at an after school club as well as debating. hope this is helpful. We use the colour wheel on the back of books, after 2 years they should be at turquoise but most are above that nowadays.
Hi, I noticed you mentioned aspergers. My son is a little below in his comprehension compared to his reading ability. Do you know if this would possibly mean he has aspergers or can any gifted kid have this problem without having aspergers? The main issue the teachers have is the retelling of the story. He often wants to go back and look at the book again and yet if asked certain questions he can easily explain and recall.
Hi Karlinka, I doubt that your son's comprehension being a little behind his reading ability would mean he has Aspergers. One of my sons has Aspergers, and his comprehension is affected only where it involves "people comprehension" - ie. mind reading, or understanding how people think. For example, he had trouble in a PAT with a simple question about a character's motives, but he can comprehend science encyclopedias no trouble. On the other hand, I'm guessing that many verbally gifted kids have reading abilities slightly ahead of their comprehension, especially in early primary, because decoding letters into words is an intellectual skill they pick up very quickly, whereas comprehension often involves a broader understanding of people and the world that develops to some extent with experience. I expect many gifted kids are more advanced intellectually than socially, without it meaning they have Aspergers. Aspergers is diagnosed by a "triad of impairments" - in social interaction, social communication and imagination - and there will be behavioural signs. For more info, try www.autismnz.org.nz/Autism-New-Zealand/More-About-Autism.php
My daughter started school a month ago, and at age 5 she is reading Levels 20 and up. At school she's reading junior journals, but she's a bit bored with them.
It seems that the chapter books at the library that are appropriate for her reading level are aimed at older readers, ages 7-8 and up.
Roni, DD is around that level too, and the best advice I got on here is to ask the librarian - they really can direct you to the right shelf once you explain what level you're after :) Then you can experiment a little and see what your daughter's into.
My DS started school last month reading at Level 19. The teacher was aware that the content of that level of book would be aimed at older children, so he mostly reads non-fiction which he likes to read anyway.