Sunday, June 26, 2011
Slide into Summer Fun & Learning (Part 1)
As a teacher (and mom) I know it is important to keep those skills current and avoid the 'summer slide'.
Many school systems have required reading and even math packets for students to complete during the summer break. I'm going out on a limb by saying that although we want to keep our students' skills honed I'm not sure REQUIRED reading and math packets will do the trick. It has always been a struggle to get my own kids to complete their summer reading. We would be vacationing on Cape Cod that last week in August and I'd be hounding them to read their book. Now, tell me how that instills the love of reading or promotes the retention of skills?
So what is the answer? How can we get our children (or students) to keep learning during the summer?
There are no sure-fire fixes. However, a few suggestions to help keep the kids engaged in summer reading include: finding audio books, participate in summer reading challenges or read with family members.
Audio Books: Find stories that can be plopped onto their iPods or MP3 players. They can listen to a book while riding in the car or while falling asleep. Pair the audio with the book and it's even better. Some places offer the books for free! See a sampling below:
87 Places for Free Audio Books OnLine - offers links to sites that legally offer free audio books.
LibriVox - provides free books in the public domain
Learn Out Loud - highlights 50 of the top free audio books
Summer Reading Challenges: Many local libraries promote summer reading challenges. While this is not effective for all children, some really enjoy a challenge. Check out these two challenges:
SCHOLASTIC SUMMER CHALLENGE - students log their summer reading minutes and enter a sweepstakes (free and no email is necessary).
BARNES & NOBLE: Kids read 8 books, record them in a downloadable journal and receive a free book off a list from Barnes & Noble.
PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge: A six week program to help kids discover the joys of reading. Sign up for receive Emails with tips provided to guide you and your child.
Read Along with your child: It might be helpful if you read the same book as your child. Take turns reading it aloud together. Make it a family event! You will model reading and most likely have conversations around the same book. You can even try some of these Pre-Reading Strategies with your child!
I wish there were some "magic" that would help get children to LOVE to read! Since there isn't, we sometimes have to find creative ways in which to share the joy of reading with our children. Whether it is through a magazine, blog, graphic novel, poetry or museum plaque, we need to engage our children and help motivate them to read!
Please share your ideas on how to promote reading in the comment section!