Reading and math are the two areas in which students show the biggest slide over the summer. For struggling readers, this slide is even bigger. Strong readers can easily stay on pace by reading books at or slightly above their current reading levels throughout the summer. Struggling readers, on the other hand, should be encouraged to attend your school’s summer reading program (if in place), continue to access your school’s online instructional reading software (be sure they have all of the login information), or work with the student’s parent/guardian to create a personalized plan for summer reading improvement.
Use these activities to get your students prepared and excited to read this summer:
1. Help students create a summer reading list that matches their interests AND their reading levels
Reading improvement comes when students read material that is just above their current reading levels (and aligned to their individual interests).
To help students find books at their reading levels:
- Use a reading program or test that measures each student’s Lexile® score, and then have them search for books at the level on the Lexile® website.
- If your school doesn’t have a program or test for measuring a student’s Lexile® score, you can use the five-finger rule. Have your students read 100 words from a book available in your classroom or library. Ask them to raise a finger for every word they don’t know. If they raise five fingers, the book is probably too hard. If they find one that is right for their levels, you can find the book’s Lexile score and have them use that score on the Lexile® website to find books that interest them.
Lexile Book Finder: https://fab.lexile.com/
Have your students write in three books that match their Lexile® score and their interests on the Summer Learning Worksheet and three books that are a little above their Lexile® score.
For Reading Horizons Customers
Send students home with all of the login information to the Reading Horizons Elevate Software so they can continue to improve their reading skills over the summer! Use this parent letter to share the login information and to give parents a brief overview of the program.
2. Create summer book clubs
Sure, you have no sway over your students’ grades in the summer, but, social ties can be very motivating. Have a few of your students’ present books that they are interested in reading this summer to the class; create a summer reading survey; or choose three popular books you think many students would be interested in and do a book preview. After the books have been presented, have students volunteer to create summer book clubs around different books that they’re interested in. Encourage students to create Facebook groups or Google hangouts or exchange numbers to organize their book clubs either in person or online over the summer.
Students can fill in the contact information for students who are interested in creating a summer book club on the Summer Learning Worksheet.
3. Have your students take the Reading is for Everyone Literacy Pledge
To promote the importance of reading skills for every individual, we came up with a list of simple tasks people can do to promote literacy in their families or communities. Have each of your students complete the Reading is for Everyone Literacy Pledge to commit to the cause. You can also choose one of the Reading is for Everyone videos to highlight the importance of literacy skills to your class.
Students can write in their pledge on the Summer Learning Worksheet.