Reading over the summer is incredibly important for students and their academic achievement. Summer is an important time for students to keep reading, improve their language skills, and keep their brains active. Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline. Of course, as adults we don't stop reading in the summer! It's a great lifelong habit.
Our summer reading initiatives have held various forms in the past and there have been pros and cons with our approaches.
We have had lists of books from which to choose that students would then test on in the libraries in the summer. Pros: Students were engaged in reading, we could guide their choices to a list of quality books, and they were held accountable through testing. Cons: Families would have to come to the school library for testing, students were not necessarily reading the same books as their classmates, and we were unable to feather their summer reading into classroom discussion or future learning.
We have also used reading calendars where students would log minutes read. Pros: Students were engaged in reading, their choices were unlimited, and they were held accountable through reporting for the minutes read. Cons: Students could choose below grade-level books, they were not held accountable for any understanding or retention of what they read, and we were unable to feather their summer reading into classroom discussion or future learning.
It is our desire to encourage the habit of reading as a lifelong practice. While we encourage our students to read more, we want to choose wisely the books we ask them to read and we want to make sure that what they are reading is not just something that will be checked off a list, but can be incorporated into classroom discussion and lay a foundation of knowledge that will be built upon through the coming school year.
Beginning with that end in mind we have chosen books that:
Please see your grade-specific details to the right, but in summary: