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?