Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Reading

This is something I think many schools are still trying to figure out. I know we always send something out last minute and it's never followed-up on-so guess how successful that is. We had a meeting last year debating the book list of recommended reading to go home and the way the kids had to document what they read. I fought for an honor system and just trusting them with a list of books read-but I was outvoted. They would be required to write basically book reports on each book. I don't know of any students who ended up doing it. I wish school libraries could be open in the summer-I understand why they are not, but in an ideal world..... I know there are public libraries, however many of our population don't have transportation or sometimes fear the legal documents necessary to get a library card.

So what do we do? We know kids who read over the summer do better in the fall. I think my kids are still passionate about reading. They still go ga-ga over the books I bring them weekly from the public library. This is my plan:

1) I did buy them some books from the Scholastic sale and my library's charity (50 cents per book!). I will send those home hoping they don't end up under a bed somewhere. They are on their level and there are about 3 per child. That should get them started!

2) We use Kidblog and I will encourage the kids to log in and give updates/reviews of what they are reading. On a good day I have about 30% of my kiddos who use it during the school year though.

3) I am asking parents to send me pics of the kids reading in crazy places-I will post those on our class website and they can see each other reading.

4) I'm still waiting for approval-but I really want to meet up with them at a library one Saturday this summer and do a book "club" meeting to discuss what we've read. I have never tried to meet up with them off-campus before, so I need to run that by my admins.

5) We are using the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge site. The logins it generates for them are really long and hard to remember/spell, but they are excited about the competition aspect of it. I'll have a prize for the top 5 readers. (I know that's controversial-but my thought is whatever works-if they won't read on their own and need that motivation....)

6) We do have a district contest that despite the fact we only have 8 days with the students, have not received information on how that's going to work. :(

For myself, I am excited. This is the first year in about 12 years straight that I decided not to teach summer school. I'm tired. From Sept-March I stay after school for student clubs and from Jan-Spring Break I was even working Saturdays. I'm a little scared that I'll get bored-but I have a daily plan! And I also have these piles of books. It's actually pretty amazing considering just 3 years ago-I didn't read for fun at all! This is my assigned summer reading because I have to read the books on my student book club list:

And yes, I have never read Harry Potter books before! :)

This is my pile for fun:

I'm actually excited to just veg out a little bit. My dog and I will go walk in the park every day, signed up for a billion PD sessions. I plan to do some work on the house. I even want to start on my book! (shhh!) But I am also going to do what I ask my kiddos to do and read!read! read! 

Are you doing anything exciting to encourage summer reading?

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  1. Hi. I'm a Teacher from Brazil, and I just wanted to say that I'm loving your tips and ideas! You're great!

  2. Ahhh, to go back and read Harry Potter again. WHAT FUN! Will be curious to see what you think of Liar & Spy. I know it won all sorts of awards but ... I didn't "get" it. :P Happy Reading!

    1. I will definitely let you know what I think! :)

  3. I'm loving #3. I could totally do that.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. They are already thinking of ideas! We'll see if anyone actually does it. :)

    2. Earlier this week I told my kids about #3. Before I could even send home info about it the next day, one of my reader's parents sent me 4 photos of him reading with their pig. Then another reader sent me a picture of him on top of the car. It's just now summer, and I already have 5 pictures. The kids are so excited about this. Thanks for a great idea!

    3. That is sooo awesome Tammy! With a pig, huh? Very cool! So they were excited! :)

  4. Your summer sounds perfect. I love #3 too!
    Grade ONEderful