Summer slide is the term teachers use to describe the learning loss between grades over the summer. While once scoffed at, research has proven the summer slide is in fact a real phenomenon. One of the ways to stop it is by encouraging summer reading. These three ideas come from Really Good Teachers who have tested different ways to get their students excited about reading during the summer months. How will you be encouraging summer reading this year?
Ways to Encourage Summer Reading
Create a Reading Hall of Fame
“As a literacy coach, I enjoy establishing summer reading goals for each grade level,” explains Lisa, a 2nd Grade Teacher, from Harrod, OH. “I also send home summer reading logs. Students who complete their summer logs get their picture posted on our back-to-school fall ‘Reading Hall of Fame’ bulletin board. They also receive coupons for free food items from local businesses.”
Listen While You Play
Make summer reading a family affair with this idea by Angie, a Special Education Teacher, from Longview, WA. “Everyone agrees it’s important to read with children all summer long, but during the warm weather months it can be especially hard for busy, on-the-move families to fit reading in,” she admits. “Why not download some audio books onto your MP3 player so the whole family can listen in? You can also visit the library for some fun family reads on CD or download them from your library through apps such as OverDrive. Such audio literary adventures can be used to enhance long road trips or even short jaunts around the neighborhood.”
Books and Cookies
This idea by Karen, a 3rd Grade Teacher from Peachtree City, Georgia keeps her relationship with her students going strong all summer long. It also keeps her students invested in reading. “To motivate my students to continue learning over the summer I set aside four times during the summer for a ‘Cookie and Bookie’ public library meeting,” she explains. “Since all public libraries throughout the United States have summer reading programs many students are already visiting their library mid-day. At our meeting, that lasts about 45 minutes, we read a story or two and then discuss what we read. I also have special homemade cookie treats on hand to share with my summer reading companions.”
How to you encourage your students to read during the summer months? Share with us below or on the Really Good Teachers forums!