|Vol. 10, Issue 4, May 2010
Summer Reading, Summer Fun
Spring has finally arrived, and now teachers and students are in the home stretch and look forward to summer vacation. Research shows that summer reading can help children to maintain their developing skills, and that students who do not read may fall victim to sliding back, also known as “summer slippage.” As teachers, we know that reading to and with children opens their world to possibilities. As educators, we also know that reading can potentially make children better readers, and can also help make students make good choices for their own lives.
Teachers are eager to help, and often want to develop Summer Reading Lists. If you choose to do this, try to give students lots of choices of books and a range of reading possibilities. You might want to be sure that you update your list to include current books. If you must assign a project about summer reading, try to make it something fun, and again, try to give children and teens choices about any assignments.
These pages on about.com offer some great reading lists for you to choose from.
Also, I recommend Read, Kiddo, Read, James Patterson’s awesome site that is “dedicated to making kids readers for life” : http://www.readkiddoread.com/home
You might also invite kids to try: Kids Reads (http://www.kidsreads.com/index.asp)
Encourage students to participate in the Summer Reading Program at their local public library. Library summer reading programs have incentives and usually ask students to keep a record or a log of their reading. Different public libraries may also offer other special events such as book clubs and other activities. The New York State Public Library system runs some really great summer reading programs, encourage your students to “Make a Splash” at the public library. Often you can call your local branch and ask for a librarian to visit your classroom or school.
Nanette Dougherty has been working with culturally and linguistically diverse students, grades K-12, in New York City’s Title 1 schools for fifteen years. Nanette is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Literacy (Reading & Language Arts), and is NYS State certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (K-12), Elementary Education, English 7-12, and now as a School Library Media Specialist. She was the NYS TESOL 2009 Conference Chair and is currently serving as First Vice-President of NYS TESOL.