It’s summer . . . got reading?
by Patti Cleary
Summer vacation is a great time for families to reconnect, take trips and basically just play. Children learn a lot from play and they deserve the relaxation that it brings.
However, don’t let your children’s reading skills slip during summer break. Research has shown that students who read during the summer show greater reading achievement throughout grades 1-6. The gap between students who read during the summer and students who don’t read accounts for about three months of reading loss for typical first graders. But if students continue to be nonreaders during the summer months they will show a 1.5 year or more achievement gap by the time they reach sixth grade. (Cooper, Nye, Charlton & Greathouse, 1996)
Other educational researchers have found the following to be true: of all the activities in which children engage outside of school, time spent actually reading is the best predictor of reading achievement—the more students read, the better readers they become (Allington, 2006; Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988).
The Barberton Public Library has a wonderful Summer Reading Club which runs from June 3rd to August 10th. Besides being the best place to find great books, there are also fun activities this summer that will focus on fossils, gardening, underground animals, construction vehicles, caves, rocks and archaeology. Children can practice their reading skills while learning about science!
Barberton elementary students were given reading and math logs by teachers at the end of school. Student will earn rewards by completing these logs and bringing them back to school in August. Middle school students can check out our website at www.barbertonschools.org to find summer reading and math assignments.
Do your children like technology? If so, you can encourage them to do their reading online. Here are some great websites that include educational games:
Art Games: www.kids.albrightknox.org/loader.html
Great Websites for Kids: http://gws.ala.org
Marvel Kids: http://marvelkids.marvel.com/games/play/75/create_your_own_comic
NGA Kids: www.nga.gov/kids
National Geographic Kids: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids
National Geographic Little Kids: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/littlekids
National Geographic Education: http://education.nationalgeographic.com
Oxford Owl: www.oxfordowl.co.uk
Pass the Plate: http://tv.disney.go.com/disneychannel/passtheplate/index.html
PBS Kids: http://pbskids.org
Science NetLinks: http://sciencenetlinks.com/tools
USA.gov Kids: http://kids.usa.gov
Word Mover is available for free through iTunes.
It is important for kids to get physical activity outdoors, but the summer days are long, and they can also keep up on their reading and thinking skills. Summer reading loss is real, so don’t let your children slump during the summer! Reading can be fun and will help them progress ahead next school year!