Teachers play a big role in helping families set up summer reading plans. But it’s ultimately parents who are the key to keeping students reading over the summer. They are the key motivators for fighting summer reading loss!
As much as we want our children to enjoy the freedom and relaxation that summer offers, it is critical that they also continue to read often, engage with the texts they are reading, and enjoy the books they select.
Skipping summer reading altogether can have some negative consequences for students’ intellectual growth and development:
Teachers need to partner with parents by sending home resources as well as making every attempt to recruit every parent to fight summer reading loss.
Download and share the Summer Reading Resource Kit, which includes:
Everyone recognizes that kids today love all things digital and live most of their lives virtually. Bold visuals, animation, interactive media, lifelike graphics, streaming services, and online networking have become the norm for children. As technology continues to advance and virtual tools and worlds evolve, it can feel like we are all drifting further away from simple standard practices ... like reading a book.
Getting kids to turn off YouTube® and pick up a book (whether print or digital) this summer DOES not have to be difficult. The 10 Ways Parents Can Fight Summer Reading Loss Tip Sheet outlines strategies for introducing and executing reading routines in the home. Download the 2021 Summer Reading Resource Kit to access the tip sheet.
One key to keeping kids engaged during their summer reading is to pick books they will enjoy. If you’re a teacher, consider sending parents a list of texts you recommend for summer reading. If parents find themselves without ideas for summer reading, parents can check out social media accounts dedicated to reviewing books for kids. A quick google search will bring up a variety of accounts to follow!
Teachers and parents can also get the community involved in summer reading efforts! One person in the community you can count on to offer summer reading suggestions and inspire children to read is your school or town librarian. Librarians are also an invaluable resource because you can work with them to set up an individualized summer reading program for your child. Check with your local librarian to see if he or she is available to visit. It is a great motivator for kids.
Once you’ve established some fun reading routines and rituals with your children, you’ll also want to make sure that they are making the most of their reading time by engaging with the text—not just flipping the pages.
It’s important that parents/guardians use engagement strategies to help kids (and themselves) stay on track while reading during summer.
I am a huge fan of bookmarks because they can be a great tool for kids to use during independent reading. Every June, I share a special bookmark printable with students to use during summer break. This bookmark printable is probably the most important one that I give them all year, because over the summer I want my students to keep thinking while they are reading. Grab the summer bookmark printable for your students and download the Summer Reading Resource Kit.
Each reading strategies bookmark has a list of questions and reflections that students can look at periodically while reading, and then again after they complete the book. These questions and reflections ensure that students develop a deep understanding of the text by forcing them to stop periodically and reflect on what they are reading.
The reading strategies bookmark questions and reflections are:
Although reading logs are not an earth-shatteringly new strategy, they can serve as a powerful tool for reminding and motivating children to read on summer break! Download the Summer Reading Resource Kit to get a printable summer reading log that helps kids track their reading progress and that includes motivating rewards and activities.
For those summer days parents find reading material is running low, they can have kids complete one of our annotating practice worksheets! The process of annotating helps readers learn to keep track of their thinking and to make connections with what they are reading. With these worksheets students are provided a text for reading and annotation. Since these annotating exercises require that the text be read through three times, kids are guaranteed to get the 20 minutes of reading required for their summer reading log. To learn more about annotating strategies, click here!
Download the Summer Reading Resource Kit now to get the annotating worksheets!
During summer break its common for parents/guardians to want to help their child dig deeper into the meaning and elements of a text, but not know where to start. I find it beneficial to explain to parents that they can select reading material based on companion activities available online that will strengthen important reading skills. Below are some of Sadlier’s free worksheets created for specific books that parents/guardians can use to ensure their child is strengthening their reading comprehension skills!
Isle of the Lost Character Analysis
Pax Theme Think Sheet
Nory Ryan's Song Graphic Organizer
I Survived Setting Analysis
A Mother's Wish Compare & Contrast
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Research demonstrates the value of reading aloud to kids of ALL ages several times a week. Interactive Read Alouds are an awesome resource that can be used periodically throughout the summer to foster the love of reading in kids and help them develop high-level thinking.
An Interactive Read Aloud is when a teacher (or parent) orally reads a purposefully-selected book to students, while asking corresponding, thought-provoking discussion questions throughout the reading process. Interactive Read Alouds provide children with an engaging reading experience that enables them to make meaning, to develop high-level thinking, and to listen to others while discussing a book. An Interactive Read Aloud is NOT when a teacher (or parent) has five minutes to fill time and grabs a book from the shelf to quickly read to kids. To learn more about Interactive Read Alouds, click here!
Sadlier has made integrating Interactive Read Alouds into your summer plans a breeze! Download our free Critical Thinking Interactive Read Aloud Bundle that includes detailed guides and discussion questions for seven different books. Once parents have these Interactive Read Alouds the only thing left for them to do is to track down the books online or at a local library. Download the bundle now!
To stop summer reading loss, it’s critical that teachers and parents work together to offer students exciting texts, strategies to stay engaged, and routines for ensuring they have a successful and pleasant summer reading experience. Using the strategies and summer reading printables highlighted in this article, students can increase their love of reading and maintain key comprehension skills while on summer break. Download our FREESummer Reading Resource Kit now and get started!