Now that we are all fully heading into the summer, I thought it would be a good time to talk about summer reading and writing and how to get kids to continue with their literacy efforts over their break.
Over the weekend, we had a great #HackLearning chat on Twitter (Sunday’s at 8:30 AM) on promoting summer reading, and a lot of great ideas were shared. In the interest of expanding that conversation, I’d like to share a few ideas to help parents and teachers #HackSummerLearning!
The best thing that teachers can encourage their students (and parents) to do over the summer is to simply read and write. Kids can read anything of interest, preferably at an instructional level (which might necessitate teachers sharing reading level information with parents). Teachers can then encourage parents to have a daily or every-other-day reading habit.
A pleasure, not a chore
Sometimes parents get lost when the expectation is to keep up with reading logs and document every page their kid reads. Remove that accountability and use the honor system to help encourage parents to keep up with reading.
Or even better, leverage social media to replace the reading log and have students and parents tweet to a teacher or school-specific hashtag sharing their favorite moments, titles of books, plot twists, favorite characters – anything!
Don’t make the reading just a student event. Even if the students are older, ask that parents read to their children and have discussions about what’s happening in the books the kids are reading for themselves.
Additionally, summer is a GREAT time to start co-reading events where the parent(s) and the child read the same book and have discussions about happenings and inferences.
Another option is “post mortems” where everybody talks about the book in general. We are doing that this summer with our nine year old. We’ve been waiting years to share Harry Potter with her, and this summer is the summer of Harry for us. My wife and I are so looking forward to sharing this with our daughter and can’t wait to rediscover “the magic!”