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April 22, 2016

5 Easy Ways to Help Prevent the Summer Slide

By Brian Smith
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    I love a great slide. I love big slides, little slides, curvy slides, steep slides, water slides, and tunnel slides... I think you get the idea. There is one slide, however, that I hate. I try to never go near it. Teachers know it as the “summer slide.” It’s that unwelcome phenomena where a student leaves for summer on one level and comes back to school, after summer break, at a level — or two — lower than they left. The area that the “summer slide” is most apparent is reading.

    After casting about for resources to help me arm my students against this summer scourge, I ended up finding excellent help very close to home. Here are a few ideas to help your students continue reading over the summer.

     

    1. Summer Reading Logs
    Scholastic Printables has several reading logs that are perfect for giving your students right before summer break and having them fill out during the course of the summer vacation. I have listed three different logs below and for a limited time they are all free. So click on an image to access the printable and print away!


    bookworm bookmarkMy Reading Log My Reading Record

    Best practice is to set individual goals. These goals could be number of books or number of pages. The benefit of reading a number of pages is that a child can read the same book over and over and they are documenting how many pages they read each day. This is helpful for kids who don’t have access to books over the summer months or who are reluctant readers but they have the one book that they love to read over and over. Setting a page goal supports all students.

    To make commitment to the summer reading logs stick, offer an incentive. For all students who bring you their summer log during the first week of the next school year, offer them something from your treasure box or a pack of cool pencils to start the next school year with. I know that some of you just rolled your teacher eyes at that pack of cool pencils idea but there are some fun pencils out there (Smencils, fuzzy pencils, etc. . . . ) that are inexpensive to purchase but would still motivate kids to read during the summer.

    Summer Reading Challenge2. Summer Reading Challenge
    Scholastic offers a great Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is superheroes and this program is the real deal. It's the one that the other summer reading programs wish they could be! You should sign your class up and get the free packet. Remember, like everything in education, the more excited you are about something, the more excited your kids will be about it as well.

    Tons of local libraries and bookstores also offer reading programs. Expose your students to as many of these programs as possible. If they read four books or forty books over the summer, give them the information for all the programs so they can benefit from their reading.

    3. Reading List
    In the coming weeks, I’m going to be sharing the perfect summer reading list so be on the lookout for that on May 23, right here on Scholastic’s Top Teaching blog! You will LOVE these books.

    If you already have a list of books that you want to read this summer, share it with your class. If you already have the books, bring them to school and tell your students why you are excited to read them. This is a great introductory activity to do right before you ask your kids to bring in a book or two that they are excited to read this summer!

    Every Child A Super Reader4. Read This Book Now
    The new book by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell called Every Child a Super Reader is a super read. It’s fast, fun, and full of ideas on how to create a generation of readers, starting with the kids in your classroom. So much of the book also includes how to include reading at home a priority for not only your students but your parents. This is not your typical professional development book. I actually suggest that when you sit down to read it, you have two highlighters with you because my first highlighter ran out about half way through the book. Reading this book was like having someone gently push me towards being a better teacher while at the same time giving me a “job well done” hug. What I mean is that besides all the new ideas, the other thing that I love is that it reinforces so many of the practices that I do in the classroom already.

     

    Book Basket

    5. Summer Reading Book Basket
    This idea came from the Every Child a Super Reader book. On page 52, a master teacher named Debbie Lera talks about reading in her classroom and one of the ideas that came out of those pages for me is to build a Summer Reading Book Basket. Get a basket and advertise it to your classroom families and friends as place to drop off books that have been read and pick up a new-to-you book.

    I want to leave you with a quote from Every Child a Super Reader that especially resonated with me in thinking about my young readers soon to be leaving my classroom:

    “Reading keeps us company. Great literature accompanies us through our lifetime. A good book can serve as a guide, mentor, friend, and companion through our most exhilarating times and through our loneliest of times.”

    Let’s make sure that every child we are lucky enough to know, becomes a lifelong super reader!

    Connect with me, dad2ella, on Twitter and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

     

    I love a great slide. I love big slides, little slides, curvy slides, steep slides, water slides, and tunnel slides... I think you get the idea. There is one slide, however, that I hate. I try to never go near it. Teachers know it as the “summer slide.” It’s that unwelcome phenomena where a student leaves for summer on one level and comes back to school, after summer break, at a level — or two — lower than they left. The area that the “summer slide” is most apparent is reading.

    After casting about for resources to help me arm my students against this summer scourge, I ended up finding excellent help very close to home. Here are a few ideas to help your students continue reading over the summer.

     

    1. Summer Reading Logs
    Scholastic Printables has several reading logs that are perfect for giving your students right before summer break and having them fill out during the course of the summer vacation. I have listed three different logs below and for a limited time they are all free. So click on an image to access the printable and print away!


    bookworm bookmarkMy Reading Log My Reading Record

    Best practice is to set individual goals. These goals could be number of books or number of pages. The benefit of reading a number of pages is that a child can read the same book over and over and they are documenting how many pages they read each day. This is helpful for kids who don’t have access to books over the summer months or who are reluctant readers but they have the one book that they love to read over and over. Setting a page goal supports all students.

    To make commitment to the summer reading logs stick, offer an incentive. For all students who bring you their summer log during the first week of the next school year, offer them something from your treasure box or a pack of cool pencils to start the next school year with. I know that some of you just rolled your teacher eyes at that pack of cool pencils idea but there are some fun pencils out there (Smencils, fuzzy pencils, etc. . . . ) that are inexpensive to purchase but would still motivate kids to read during the summer.

    Summer Reading Challenge2. Summer Reading Challenge
    Scholastic offers a great Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is superheroes and this program is the real deal. It's the one that the other summer reading programs wish they could be! You should sign your class up and get the free packet. Remember, like everything in education, the more excited you are about something, the more excited your kids will be about it as well.

    Tons of local libraries and bookstores also offer reading programs. Expose your students to as many of these programs as possible. If they read four books or forty books over the summer, give them the information for all the programs so they can benefit from their reading.

    3. Reading List
    In the coming weeks, I’m going to be sharing the perfect summer reading list so be on the lookout for that on May 23, right here on Scholastic’s Top Teaching blog! You will LOVE these books.

    If you already have a list of books that you want to read this summer, share it with your class. If you already have the books, bring them to school and tell your students why you are excited to read them. This is a great introductory activity to do right before you ask your kids to bring in a book or two that they are excited to read this summer!

    Every Child A Super Reader4. Read This Book Now
    The new book by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell called Every Child a Super Reader is a super read. It’s fast, fun, and full of ideas on how to create a generation of readers, starting with the kids in your classroom. So much of the book also includes how to include reading at home a priority for not only your students but your parents. This is not your typical professional development book. I actually suggest that when you sit down to read it, you have two highlighters with you because my first highlighter ran out about half way through the book. Reading this book was like having someone gently push me towards being a better teacher while at the same time giving me a “job well done” hug. What I mean is that besides all the new ideas, the other thing that I love is that it reinforces so many of the practices that I do in the classroom already.

     

    Book Basket

    5. Summer Reading Book Basket
    This idea came from the Every Child a Super Reader book. On page 52, a master teacher named Debbie Lera talks about reading in her classroom and one of the ideas that came out of those pages for me is to build a Summer Reading Book Basket. Get a basket and advertise it to your classroom families and friends as place to drop off books that have been read and pick up a new-to-you book.

    I want to leave you with a quote from Every Child a Super Reader that especially resonated with me in thinking about my young readers soon to be leaving my classroom:

    “Reading keeps us company. Great literature accompanies us through our lifetime. A good book can serve as a guide, mentor, friend, and companion through our most exhilarating times and through our loneliest of times.”

    Let’s make sure that every child we are lucky enough to know, becomes a lifelong super reader!

    Connect with me, dad2ella, on Twitter and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

     

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