Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Getting Students Ready for Summer Reading

I updated my door for summer reading.
It seemed the perfect place to share
professional books, middle grade books,
early chapter books, and picture books.
Of course, we had to have a coming soon section.
There was a lot of excitement over these
"coming soon" titles.
As a classroom teacher, I've always looked forward to our end of year conversations about reading as we reflect on all we have read with an eye toward summer reading.  Each year we spend the last weeks creating posters of our favorite books and characters for the next year's class, reflecting on the reading we've done together (using our class library and Shelfari), discussing books/authors/characters we've loved, and using this information to create lists for summer reading.  In the classroom we've also talked about ways to stay connected across the summer.

This year I have been working with students in first and second grade who need additional reading support in their classrooms.  I still wanted to be able to prepare students for summer reading and have these important end of year conversations, but I knew this year it would have to be different.

Here are a few ways I tried to build summer reading conversations in our school community:

Parent Information Meeting:  To help parents to hear about new book titles, ways to keep their children reading across the summer, and to share other information, I invited parents to school to hear more about summer reading.  The ELL teacher and our media specialist jumped in to help.  We offered two different times for parents in hopes of making it possible for more parents to attend.  Key discussion topics included:  getting kids excited about summer reading, places to find books, ways to connect with other readers, using our reading website for updated information across the summer and strategies for supporting young readers.

Our Summer Hub:  Since going digital, I've kept a hub at Weebly for my classroom.  When I moved to a reading support position, I knew I wanted to continue this.  For summer, I updated the hub,, with information for parents and pages for students.  I wanted parents to know how to access these resources so we spent some time going through the site.

Reading Lunch:  Reading lunch has become a popular part of our reading community.  Students I support were able to choose a friend to come to reading lunch to talk about books for summer reading.  We ate lunch, shared titles, and exchanged books.  There was also a prize drawing for students which included books, writing notebooks, and fancy pens/pencils.  We've had several reading lunches across the year.  It's something I hope to continue next year.

Classroom Visits:  During the last few weeks, I have been able to spend time with the classrooms I have been working in this year.  During the time I shared new books students might want to read this summer, talked about our reading hub, campaigned for guest book bloggers for our iRecommend site (let's hope this works), talked up Shelfari and Mystery Shelf, and of course, read a book.  I had to read my current favorite to classes:  My Grandma's a Ninja by Todd Tarpley.

You have to love being able to spend the last days of the school year spreading reading love everywhere you go.

1 comment:

  1. Your weebly is terrific! I love having another place to learn from you!

    Enjoyed reading how you got them ready for summer!

    Love the line "spreading reading love"!