Thursday, June 19, 2014

That's a Wrap

Ahhh, sweet summer!  We wrapped up our school year much later than usual due to some nasty winter weather.

I'm so pleased with the progress my students made; they worked their tails off and grew by leaps and bounds.

One of the challenges my students face is keeping that momentum going during the summer months. The "Summer Slide" seems to have a greater impact on developing readers.  In an effort to prevent that,  I made sure I sent students off with summer reading material.  I assembled a reading packet for each student based on their individual interests.

First, I printed several Reading A-Z books.  I attached a Post-It note to each book and spread the books out on the tables in my classroom.  As students came into class, they were asked to "place an order" for their summer reading bags.  They chose the books that they were interested in reading by adding their name to the Post-It note.

Then, I submitted copy requests for each book from our district copy center.  The books were copied, stapled, folded, and returned to me in about three days.  I separated the books into piles for each student. Each pile of books was different, since students chose their own books.

Next, I found a simple reading log, offered as a freebie from Ashley Reed, and printed a copy for every student.  Each year I try to create a fun, fresh summer reading incentive program.  Ashley's reading log was perfect for this purpose.

What I loved about Ashley's reading log was that it came with a sweet letter to students and it wasn't complicated or expensive to implement.

What my students loved was that they received stickers to apply to their calendars for each day that they read.

The Goal: Read for 15 minutes to earn one sticker on the calendar.  Use every sticker provided.  (There are 96 stickers which equals 24 hours of summer reading.)

The Incentive:  Students who complete the challenge will get to brainstorm and vote on the prize of their choice.  (I suggested - reading in the park, picnic lunch, pizza party, or VIP seating at an assembly - but ultimately students will choose.)

Finally, I put all the components together.  Viola!  An easy-to-manage summer reading incentive packet kids are sure to love.

How do you encourage summer reading with your students?  Please share your ideas in the comments.  :)