Wrap Up Your Reading Workshop and Make Summer Reading Plans
- Grades: 3–5
We are in the home stretch in my classroom, as our last day of school is June 21st! However, with summer just around the corner, I have to keep myself from falling into summer vacation mode too early. I want to make sure that all of the hard work I have done with my readers this year is celebrated and is reflected upon in a way that helps my students realize their wonderful evolution as readers in my classroom. I find that encouraging them to reflect on their monthly reading goals and the progress they have made throughout the school year helps guide my students as they make plans for their summer reading.
Learn how my students use their Reader's Notebook to reflect on their independent reading and make plans for their summer reading. I also describe some fun ways to get your students excited about reading during the summer.
Using the Reader's Notebook to Reflect on a School Year of Reading
Using the information and work students have done in their Reader's Notebook during the school year, you can have them create a "Reading Year in Review" booklet that they can take home at the end of the year. Each section below describes the parts of the booklet, but it can be downloaded as a Microsoft Office Publisher file at end of this section. (Each page in the booklet is a half-sheet of paper.)
Favorites: Using their reading log, your students can determine their favorite of the books they read during the school year. This page of the booklet includes spaces for favorite chapter book, picture book, author, poem, and genre. There is also a page for students to either draw or paste in a picture of themselves in their favorite book nook. It will be fun for them to look back at the booklet years later to remember where they liked to read in your classroom.
Genre Review: As you can see in my earlier post on the Reader's Notebook, my students create genre graphs every two months to keep track of the genres they are reading throughout the year. The next two booklet pages require students to pick their favorite books in each genre and to then create a final genre graph that shows their total books read during the entire school year. It is fun for students to see how many books they read and to reflect on the genres that they read the most and the least in 3rd grade. Students can even use this final graph when setting summer reading goals.
Setting Summer Goals: One important task that my students do in their Reader's Notebook each unit is to set reading goals for themselves. A the end of the year, students reflect on the goals that they set for themselves throughout the school year. This really helps them determine areas of reading in which they have grown and areas of their reading in which they still need to improve. They will then revisit their reading logs, genre graphs, unit goals, and IDR task entries to write five goals for their summer reading on the booklet page below. (See the "Setting Goals" handout in my Reader's Notebook post.)
Recommending Books to Classmates: As students reflect on the reading they have done this school year and begin to add their favorite books to their "Reading Year in Review" booklet, they often begin reminiscing about their favorite books. To capture this excitement for reading, you can have each child do a book talk as a way of recommending books to their classmates for summer reading. As students share books with each other, they can write the title of the books they are interested in reading on the page (seen below) in their booklet. They can then check these books out at the library over the summer or even purchase them at a local bookstore. You can use this "Recommending a Book" handout to help your students plan their book talks.
Final Reflection: On the last page of the booklet, students answer questions related to their reading life based on their experiences in your Reading Workshop. These questions are more thoughtful and require students to think more deeply about their reading growth and achievements during the school year.
Download the "Reading Year in Review" booklet (MS Office Publisher File).
Creative Ways to Encourage Summer Reading
We teachers know how essential it is for students to continue reading over the summer. We have all heard about the summer reading loss that affects so many readers, especially those readers who are already considered to be at risk. Here are some ways to get your students just as excited about reading as they are about swimming and all of the other fun activities that take place during the summer.
Hold a Book Exchange in Your Classroom!
Once a student reads a chapter book, he or she is likely to never pick up the book again. It just sits on a shelf or in a box somewhere in the child's room. To make the most out of these "once read" books, hold a book exchange in your classroom. Each student can bring books from home to exchange with books brought from home by their classmates. Ideally, the number of books a student brings is the number of books he or she can exchange. However, I often end up adding some books to the exchange since students are not always able to find enough books that pique their interest. This activity gives students new books to begin reading right when summer vacation begins!
Start a Summer Book Club or Lunch With Your Students
In a classroom where the teacher has established an effective Reading Workshop, the students typically build a very strong community of readers. These students truly get to know each other as readers and become very comfortable talking about books. To encourage your students to continue talking about their reading during the summer, set up a few "meet in the park" or "meet on the playground" days where you invite students to bring lunch and a book to a local park (or the school playground) to discuss the books they are reading. It will be fun for the students to see you during the summer, and it will be a great way to check in on their reading and discuss the books they have read so far.
Take a Field Trip to the Public Library to Learn About Their Summer Reading Program
When I taught second grade, I took my students to the public library for a tour of the library, story time, and an overview of the summer reading program the librarians had put in place for students in the community. Students who did not have a library card were even able to apply for their own card, and all students received a packet of information about the summer reading program to take home to their parents.
Take a Field Trip to a Local Bookstore
Many bookstores like Barnes and Noble also have summer reading programs similar to those students may find at the public library. You can take your students on an inexpensive field trip to one of these bookstore where they can enjoy a read-aloud experience in a fun setting and also fill out the forms necessary to take part in the summer reading programs described below.
For Barnes and Noble's summer reading program, students can earn a free book for every eight books they read if they keep track on their B&N Summer Reading Passport. You can also download reading activity kits for both parents and educators.
Encourage Your Students to Join the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge!
The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free, Web-based program that helps kids find great books and provides a fun, multimedia platform where they can discover new authors and books and keep motivated to read all summer long. This is by far the most comprehensive summer reading experience for your students. Teachers can register their classes and then let the students choose books they want to read and log their reading minutes at the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge headquarters.
Share Your Ideas!
What do you do to wrap up your Reading Workshop and help your students plan for summer reading? Share your ideas with me and with other teachers who read this blog.
Thanks for a Great Year!
It has been a pleasure to write posts for "Top Teaching" this year. I have enjoyed hearing from so many of you and sharing my ideas with teachers around the world. I wish all of you a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable summer!