Summer Reading Goals

By Kristy Mall on May 23, 2012
  • Grades: 3–5

As we wind down for break, set some summer reading goals that will help your students become better readers and some goals for yourself that will improve your next year's reading classroom.  (Plus, there is nothing better than relaxing with a great summer blockbuster!)

The last week of school is a great time to make plans for the summer. After all, every teacher thinks about school or begins to think about what they want in their classroom for the upcoming school year. I think it is important to send your students off with a book in mind and some summer reading goals that they can easily achieve during the break.

 

For Your Students

 

Take a Survey

Ask your students what their favorite books were this year. If they have access to technology, create an easy survey in Survey Monkey, which is free and very easy to use. Also, I like to work with the students in classes and grade levels other than my own to see what they find new and exciting so I’m sure that I stock those books in my classroom library for my multi-leveled students. You just may be surprised at the results. 

 

THIRD GRADE

The Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

Captain Underpants series by Dave Pilkey

Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

“I Survived” books by Lauren Tarshis

The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman

Roald Dahl books

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Magic Treehouse books by Mary Pope Osborne

The Ivan series by Myrna Grant (these are a religious series)

 

FOURTH GRADE

Percy Jackson series (really, all Rick Riordan books were listed!)

The Royal Diaries series

Dear America series

The 39 Clues series

“I Survived” books by Lauren Tarshis

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Twisted Journeys series

The Book With a Hole by Herve Tullet

Dear Dumb Diary

 

FIFTH GRADE

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The 39 Clues series

Percy Jackson series

Guinness Book of World Records books

Ripley’s Believe it or Not books

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rawlings

 

While these are top choices for my population, they may not be the top choices for yours. Surveying your students will help you both recommend books for them to read and know which books you need to stock in your classroom library next year!  It can also ignite some great discussions that will inspire some of your reluctant readers to read!

 

Recommend a Book

One of the things that I think is highly important is to have students share their favorite books and tell what they are about, so that students can hear from each other what each one finds interesting. Then, set up either a book swap or if you can, lend each child a book to read (or start them on a series!) that they can return after summer is over.  Definitely motivate them to read over the summer so that they don’t lose those skills!

 

Help Students Set a Summer Goal

Help your students set a reasonable summer reading goal. While they will likely be in a different classroom than yours next year, you can still set up a system in which they could check in when school starts and show you a reading log or a project that they made over the summer. You could even offer to have a reading contest or let them join the Scholastic Summer Challenge.  That includes a Read for the World Record Challenge that should be lots of fun for your students to participate in.  This is for the Guinness Book of World Records!

 

Encourage Your Students to go on Author Sites

My students love going on the Scholastic site (especially the Goosebump page) and seeing what kind of interactive games, etc. there are. There are some other wonderful websites in place that can really inspire kids to pick up a book that they may not have been interested in before. Particularly popular with girls the Judy Moody site, the Judy Blume site, and the Beverly Cleary site are just a few of the great sites that are available.

 

Encourage Them to Use a Digital Reading App

Storia, which gives you five free books when you download it, has captivated my students. They love that it is interactive, that it can read the story to them, and that there are activities built in.  Some of our digital natives are much more motivated by the good graphics and interactive format than they are with normal reading fare.

 

What You Can Do as a Teacher

One of the greatest resources for building your library happens in the summer – yard sales.  Peruse those sales and see if you can’t get some books for bargain prices.  Scholastic also has some great summer sales going on right now that could save you a bundle!  Plus, they are offering some nice bonus incentives if you order now!

 

 

Organize Your Library

This is one of those time consuming events that you could do during the summer, without the rush of having to prepare your classroom for a new group of kids!  It is easy to just go in during some downtime, casually listen to music, and reorganize your library.  Plus, it also helps to see which books you are missing and will need to get to update your library.  It is also a good time to give some of your used books some TLC or repair work!

 

Start Making a List of Books That You Need

Make the list now, while there is time to really think about it. That way, when your new funding comes in or your new students come in with parents who are willing to make a donation, you can already have a list of needed books in place. It is too hectic at the beginning of the year to really be able to do that thoroughly!

 

Read Some of the Books That the Kids Are Reading!

There is nothing more inspiring to a student who has read a book than to be able to really discuss the book with someone else that loved it as much as he or she did.  By showing them that you read for pleasure, and that you share that interest, you will inspire them to have more conversations about books.  I remember when I was reading the Hunger Games Trilogy when school began several years ago, how my students and I would come in exhausted because we had stayed up all night reading! Those were some of the best conversations that I have ever had about reading with my students!  We really debated the characters, ending, etc. as we pored through the book and had wonderful discussions about the plot as we read!

I hope that these are some useful tips that you can put in place!  I encourage you to take one of those books to the beach with you, or rediscover your own love of reading this summer!  Have a wonderful summer break!

 

 

 

 

Comments

Nook and Kindle both offer free software to read their books on a PC or other digital device and many libraries now have e-books available for loan and kids can get books without having to get a ride to the library. Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Amazon.com (Kindle) have many, many books that are free or very inexpensive, also, although I would suggest that parents do the shopping to make sure the selections are age appropriate.

Ask your students what their favorite books were this year. If they have access to technology, create an easy survey in Survey Monkey, which is free and very easy to use. Also, I like to work with the students in classes and grade levels other than my own to see what they find new and exciting so I’m sure that I stock those books in my classroom library for my multi-leveled students. You just may be surprised at the results.
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Thank you for the survey idea and for including the list of books. I'm a new teacher, so it was overwhelming trying to pick out books for my library. You had some great ideas and guidance. thank you!

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