The frustration of changing class reading books
A Preschool Classroom
A little about my job in the classroom
I spend two or three full days a week helping out in the classroom. Some of the jobs I do include organising materials for up coming activities and taking small groups of students to do activities for reading, writing, maths and science. I am not a teacher, but will be commencing study in the coming year to become an education support assistant.
My main job in D's class is to change over the class's reading books each day. I enjoy doing this a lot because I enjoy watching the children develop their reading ability. But at the same time, I get quiet annoyed.
Our Class Statistics
Out of the twenty-six student in the class, about eighteen of them will hand in their signed reading books everyday. The remaining eight students have their names read out and are asked to go and get their reading folders out of their school bags.
Out of those eight students, four or five will not have their folders because they have either forgotten to bring them, or they haven't read their book. The remaining three or four will hand in their folders and reading books unsigned.
World Wide Statistics
These statistics come from the world literacy foundation (www.worldliteracyfoundation.org)
Obviously there are other reasons why people can't read or write such as poverty, but this gives you an idea of the world wide situation.
775.4 million of the world’s adults lack basic literacy skills
122.2million of the world’s youth population are illiterate
67 million primary school age children are not in school
74 million secondary school children are not in school
Millions more are sitting in classrooms and receiving education of such an abysmal quality that it will do little to enhance their life chances
One in five adults cannot read or write
The lowest literacy rates are observed in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.
Global Literacy Rates
Our Class Rules for Home Reading Books
The main rule in our classroom is, if the book is not signed off in the folder, then it doesn't get changed. So some students end up with the same book over and over. The current record for having the same book at the moment is twenty-four days.
The other rule is the student is unable to move onto the next level reading book until they have completed the level they are currently on, and the teacher is happy for them to move up.
we have five reading levels which are pink, red, yellow, blue and green. Most of the students are on red and yellow with some now reading blue books.
Why is reading important?
For the most part, the parents are quite good. If their child is having trouble with the book they were given, they will ask for the book to be sent home again. If their child is having trouble with the book level, they let me know and I pass their concerns on to the teacher and she will let me know what she would like me to do.
On occasion, I have been questioned by a parent as to why their child has had the same book for so long. I just nicely let them know that I am not able to change the book unless it has been signed off.
Nine times out of ten, the book will come back signed the next day. I have no idea if the book has been read, but there isn't anything I can do, the book has been signed off.
Do you read with your child/children?
I fully understand that people have busy lives and all family situations are different. My life is busy in the afternoons and evenings. From helping my oldest son A (10) with his homework, as well as helping D (5) with his reading and doing other household chores. And yes, there are times when we haven't been able to read, but that doesn't happen very often.
But when it comes down to it, is it really that hard to find someone to spend ten minutes listening to your child read?
Tips For Encouraging Children To Read
There are a number of ways you can encourage your children to read, here are some helpful tips.
- Make time to read together daily.
- Make sure that all other activities and distractions are kept to a minimum during reading time.
- Try taking turns at reading the book.
- Encourage the use of strategies when they are having trouble with a work (eg sounding out the word)
- Talk about the book before you read it.
- Take regular breaks while reading. During the breaks ask questions to see if the child understands what they are reading.
- Let them choose the book they want to read.
- Make sure there is a variety of things to read. It doesn't have to be a book, the child can read a recipe, a clipping out of a newspaper or magazine or even the back of a DVD case. The choices are endless.
- Keep the updating your books so that the child is not reading the same book over and over. They will get bored very quickly.
- Let the child read at their own speed and at their own ability level.
Our Children, Our Future
We all want our children to do their best at school, to be able to go to college or university and get a really good job. But how are our children supposed to achieve that goal if they are unable to read or understand what they are reading?
Yes, we send our children to school to learn these skills, but there is only so much their teacher can do.
In Australia, our children go to school for six hours per day, which is broken up into four blocks of ten weeks. That is only two hundred and forty hours per year. It may sound like a lot, but it isn't really.
Parents and teachers need to be able to work together and have excellent communication with each other to help their children reach their full potential.
Don't our children deserve that? After all, they are our future.