Stopping the Summer Reading Slide
As a reading specialist/coach for many years, part of my responsibility was to work collaboratively with teachers to develop summer reading requirements for students. We were aware of the research showing that if students are not engaged in reading activities over the summer they could lose up to 3 months of their reading progress and low socioeconomic children are at the greatest risk. We did everything to ensure that it would not happen to our students! We would take great efforts to plan a summer reading kick off, organize book drives and create packets so that we could send each student off for the summer well equipped, only to be disappointed when less than a quarter of the students returned to school in the fall with their packets completed.
I recently listened to a webinar “Stopping the Summer Slide with Summer Reads” by Elfrieda Hiebert. She is a researcher and educator who has created textproject.org, aimed at getting comprehensible text in the hands of beginning and struggling readers. Her Summer Reads materials are completely free and leveled for grades 3-5. I was excited to learn of this great resource! I believe that students biggest obstacle in fulfilling the summer reading requirements was that they did not have access to text in their home or at the local library. There is the list of engaging informational text around topics related to summer activities. There are also guidelines on how to use the material, comprehension questions following each text, a reading log and the option to listen to the audio of each text.
In addition to the Summer Reads titles, there are other texts available on her site:
- The BeginningReads program supports teachers, parents, and tutors in bringing children into reading. The goal is to connect student’s oral language knowledge with written language.
- FYI for Kids is a collection of engaging and high-quality magazine articles designed to enhance the Common Core classroom’s reading repertoire. The objective of this project is to demonstrate a type of text that is essential for increasing students’ engagement in and proficiency with complex texts.
Happy Summer Reading!