Reading

Teaching Reading

From Years 2 to 6 we use two main reading programmes to support the further development of reading including clear comprehension skills, teaching children to predict, make links to other texts and to their lives, to question, clarify and summarise, to evaluate and infer meaning from the texts. Through these two programmes we aim to develop a love of reading, a love of books and a thirst for knowledge.

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Destination Reader

Developing children's understanding of texts in Years 3-6 through the use of strategies and language stems

Destination Reader is an approach to teaching reading that we use in KS2. The approach involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling, prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. Destination Reader is not a scheme or reliant on specific texts, but aims to improve teachers' understanding of pedagogy in reading. Children read with greater understanding, independence and, above all, enjoy reading more.

Benefits of Destination Reader:

  • Provides a systematic approach to the teaching of reading across KS2

  • Enables children to develop key strategies which deepen their understanding of texts

  • Develops children’s motivation to read broadly for pleasure and purpose

  • Increases children’s ability to lead their learning through the acquisition of key learning behaviours

  • Places children at the centre of a formative approach to assessment in reading

  • This approach can be applied to schools’ existing texts and broader curriculum

Destination Reader Organisation

At Pebsham we use Destination Reader from Years 3 to 6. Teachers introduced the scheme by teaching classes about different learning behaviours – Discuss and explain, support and listen and taking responsibility. They then move towards the introduction of 7 learning stems – predicting, questioning, clarifying, summarising, evaluating, inferring and making links. Each stem has a week’s focus before moving to the next. Each week children complete at least 2 ‘Selfies’ – short assessment tasks and 1 ‘Big Picture’ – a longer comprehension assessment task. We introduce Destination Reader into Year 2 when the children are ready, however, we reduce the number of stems and make them a little more accessible to the younger child to enable Year 2 to benefit from this method of teaching as well.

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading. Each child chooses a book that is at exactly the right level and reads it at their own pace at home. When they have read their book, they will take a short quiz on the computer at school. Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read. Accelerated Reader gives children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

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.

Teachers help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.

If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may help your child:

  • Choose another book that is more appropriate.

  • Ask more probing questions as your child reads and before your child takes a quiz.

  • Pair your child with another student, or even have the book read to your child.

In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they’re reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.

How much will my child read during the school day?

According to research, children who read at least 35 minutes a day with a 90% comprehension rate (average percent correct) on Accelerated Reader quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child should have at least 35 minutes set aside for reading during each school day. At Pebsham, children read during their Destination Reader sessions for 30 minutes and also quiet read using their Accelerated Reader books.

How can I help my child become a better reader?

As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookstore on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading, and discussing books that each of you has read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child’s age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning, and creating a loving relationship between you and your child. Make learning a family affair!

What if my child doesn't like reading?

Using Accelerated Reader, your child will choose the books they want to read. The teacher will make certain the book is at the right level so that after completing the book, your child should do well on the Accelerated Reader Reading Practice Quiz. Success on the quiz will encourage your child to read more. With guidance from the teacher, and success, even students who say they don’t like reading will develop a love of reading.

How does the school determine my child’s reading level?

Teachers determine your child’s reading level in one of three ways: a Renaissance Star Reading® test, using results from a standardised reading test, or using their best professional judgment based on their knowledge of your child.

What is a Renaissance Star Reading® test?

Star Reading is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes.

What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?

A ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a Star Reading test. It’s important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPDs. ZPDs will be adjusted based on the needs of your child. If you feel the book is too easy for your child, but it is in the right ZPD, it may be due to the teachers wanting to improve their confidence and quiz scores. When the scores improve their ZPD will rise and so will their confidence!