Do you talk to your students about the importance of summer learning or make suggestions (e.g., summer reading lists, Thinkfinity interactives, local field trips) to reinforce what they have learned with you during the school year as well as prepare them for their next grade level in school?
Every teacher in our K-8 school has a blog. They coordinate so that the teacher of the exiting students post activities that will be helpful review and helpful to prepare for the next year. This includes Thinkfinity interactives as well as other online activities, reading lists and even suggested discussion questions.
Over winter break this year one teacher devoted a different page in her blog to each reading group in her class and moderated an online discussion. We found that to be an extremly effective way to keep our students engaged throughout the duration of their break. We're currently looking to see if there is an effective and efficient way to have a similar experience this summer.
How wonderful that your teachers give their time and combined efforts to maintain a Blog for sharing Book Lists with students for summer reading. Can students make comments about the stories they are reading and excite each other?
Thinkfinity has so many wonderful interactives to maintain math skills over the summer that posting relevant ones by grade level can only help parents and students. And how about posting a stategy games like Calculation Nation to excite the students. A blog list for students to share strategies and excite each other would get them going.
Don't forget to share with Parents that they can join the new Parents & Families group right here in the Thinkfinity Community for a wealth of sharing from the Content Partners just for them.
Oh, and another resources to be sure to include for Summer Read is our newest Content Partner, Wonderopolis where every day there is a new Wonder of the Day.
You students will come back to school next year excited and eager to learn.
I think suggesting ideas for family book clubs and discussions that all members can participate in is a great way to make families accountable for reading, discussion and partnering in literacy over the summer months and throughout the year. Many parents share there is not enough time to read and add themselves to the statistics that as a country we are being left behind as readers.
Encouraging accountability for literacy as a family helps with creating learning communities within families.
I think your idea of family book clubs and discussions is a great way for families to connect and share especially during the summer months when children are not in school.
Could you clarify one sentence in your post for me please? It says: "Many parents share there is not enough time to read and add themselves to the statistics that as a country we are being left behind as readers." I'm not certain what this statement means. Thank you.
Thanks for your careful reading. What I meant was that many parents today statistically share as found in current research that they do not read for pleasure but only work related material. We used to be a country of readers for pleasure and every 10 years have found that this hobby has deteriorated. Check out the latest study link below.
Erika Burton, Ph.D.
There are more people in the United States that can read and don’t than those who are illiterate (To Read or Not To Read- National Endowment for the Arts, 2007). Why?
Fact: Less than 1/3 of 13 year olds are daily readers (National Endowment for the Arts, 7). 52% of Americans ages 18-24 reported reading books for pleasure in a 2002 study. This was a 12% decline from 1992. However, this is not a young American isolated age group of non-readers. This decline was consistent within the 25-34 at 8% and 34-44 age brackets at 11% too. Why?
Check out my discussion about the atrophy of reading under IRA's blog.
Thanks for the clarification. I am amazed at your comment that "there are more people in the United States that can read and don't than those who are illiterate." That is astonishing! You certainly provide a wealth of good information about reading. I'm sure educators and parents will find your blogs and discussions helpful. I just finished reading your discussion Is reading becoming obsolete in the US? I'll be interested to follow the responses to this Community Hub discussion.
Again thanks for all your valuable input.
The idea of having a blog where students can post their interactions and responses with reading is fantastic! Especially for those summer vacations and other long breaks. It allows for accountability, engagement, discussion skills and so on. For me, this is something to keep in mind for the future. Thanks!
You definitely could! Because we are a K-8 school, our students are not old enough to have Facebook accounts. We know many of them do, but we don't want to create a situation where they feel obligated to have an account in order to participate in class. The blogs are a safe(r) outlet to have them participate in online discussions. We also tried to have them engage using wikis, but the students were more responsive to the format of a blog.
As an aside, for other K-8 teachers, as an alternative to Facebook, some of our teachers use Fakebook or Edmodo. The students are very excited about both platforms and it opens up a lot of teachable moments around cyber-safety and etiquette. Fakebook allows students to create fake profiles that look similar to Facebook. Our students have created profiles for fictional characters, historical figures and places of interest. Edmodo is a social networking platform that can be completely closed to a class and has many privacy features built in. We use Edmodo for the students to seek peer input and review on long-term projects. We haven't successfully led a class-wide discussion on Edmodo because the nature of the posts are more open and it is more challenging to guide the conversation from a teacher's perspective - which might be something to consider if attempting to lead a book discussion on Facebook as well.
I thought you were just talking about inspiring kids to read over the summer when they are not in class. Yes, cyperspace safety is a concern. I set up my facebbok account so that only my students are on it. You can create groups, but you dont have any control over what they see on their computer. Some parents dont know about parental controls. and yes, anyone can ask you to add them as a friend. so safety is a concern.
When I think more deeply about this question, I am called to mind the importance of family valuing education.
A parent or grandparent taking the time to engage their children to the different sites within the Thinkfinity community is a good interactive tool for them to do this! What a wonderful resources to encourage students to be actively involved. If the kids have a certain amount of time where they are expected to use resources in their area of need there will be less lost over the summer months. As a parent, grandparent, and teacher, I am very excited to learn more and gather sites for use by my students and family to use.
yes, i keep my resources book marked so that kids have easy access to them. I also like to play a game called scavenger hunt. I give them a list of questions and have them search for the answer on various websites. I always learn alot to. If you go the to Harrison County Department of Education in West Virginia website and click learn 21, you will find many interactive educational games on grade level for math, science, languages and social studies. There are dozens of them and they are free.
I am completing a loop with my class and giving them an opportunity to blog and keep in touch over the summer would have been a fantastic suggestion. If even one of them participated it would have been worth while! I am competing with some households that do not have Internet connections or computers, however the majority of my class would have attempted it. Something to think about for the future.
For those of you who might have students blogging over the summer, I encourage you to check out our group Blogging for Elementary Students with Colleen Brown. She is posting about blogging resources and giving the details of blog projects with her fifth graders!
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
–Sir Francis Bacon English author, courtier, & philosopher (1561 - 1626)
Based on the College Board’s recommended reading lists, EDSITEment has composed a guide to our lessons and reviewed websites to help prepare college-bound students.
The EDSITEment list of the best reads for the summer for college-bound students with additional EDSITEment resources can be found at: http://edsitement.neh.gov/edsitements-reading-list-college-bound-students
I have used Bacon's quote many times since I began teaching British literature to 12th grade students. I think Bacon's advice is well stated. So many students think that a book has to be read from cover to cover and that is not always the case. Thanks for sharing one of my favorite quotes that I have used with students for years.
Yes, reading is done on different levels. I read White Fang with grade 10 kids in parts in order to teach them how the author used description and action to develop his characters. However, when we read the Diary of Anne Frank, we chose to digest it because the message was so meaningful. The book has multi-layered meanings that needed to be discussed My kids were inspired to learn more about history when I asked them if they knew who Hitler was. They also responded quite well to my questions about freedom. .
Check out the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. This is a great way for educators and parents to get kids involved in reading while school is not in session. Books open the minds of our children and give them new worlds to explore.
Do you write students over the summer? If so, how do you do this, have you set up an online method of communicating with students? Do you send an email? Do you send a personal, handwritten note by snail mail? Assuming you write them over the summer in preparation for the new school year, do you write your students from the previous year or your students you will have in the fall? I'd love to hear a few more specifics from you. This is a connection I think many teachers would like to make.
I tell my students, "I love to read every summer". I love to read the classics. Each year, my students and I discuss a literary master piece. I provide them with many different ways of expressing their understanding of it. One activity some of my students have liked is creating an advertisement for the book, either as a poster or a fliar. They are allowed to choose their tools. Some want to use clip art and other forms of graphics on the computer. Others are more content with crayons, markers or color pencils because they love to draw their own creations. My students know they have the freedom to explore!
However, I also ask prompting questions. I ask them if they have ever really loved a book. They can use any type of a book to create a presentation of a book they have loved. Making diaramas depicting character and setting has been enjoyed by me and my students. That sense of creativity comes alive!
My final day just before summer, I always tell my students to do more creative expressions of the ideas they get from books. Someday, they will be glad to share it. There are many simple ways to publish i.e. facebook, e mail attachments ect.
Summer school is huge with the clientele at the elementary school I teach at. I am an English Language Learner teacher, so all of my students need some extra support in the summer and school itself is the only way to go. I also encourage my students to go to the library. It is free and they can find all of their favorite books to read there or take with them. I also send the students with a link to a website that our school has bought subscriptions for. It is called Education City. This is a great site with many educational games that I can search to match the students accademic level as well as interest level. The kids love it!
I teach IT I have my students to look at the technology that companys or business use's and compare it with what we learn in the class room. When the students comes back in the fall we have a group disscussion on what they have discover and if we can use any of their infomation in the classroom.
On the last week of school I send home their writing journals with a note for the parents to keep up the writing all summer long. I offer the children a special treat if they fill up their journal with writing and bring it to me at Open House in the new school year. I make a big deal of it with the students and encourage them to write all summer long.
Honestly, I think one of the most motivating things for students (dependent upon age I suppose) is to see their teachers as engaged in the learning as they are. When my 3rd graders heard how excited I was to be teaching about penguins (because I love them so much!), THEY were as equally excited to learn about them.
To put this example in a context that spans the Summer months (for middle and high school students in particular), I'd discuss with my students what their plans were over the break. After the list of vacations, beach trips, camp experiences, seasonal jobs, etc., were chewed over, I would mention participating in this: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/1255507-the-3rd-annual-book-a-day-challenge I'd then ask them what they thought about attempting such a challenge, and take it from there...