Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Resources to Prevent Summer Reading Loss

It all began with a Tweet. A few weeks ago this Tweet (see below) by Mike Ochs appeared in my Twitter feed. It instantly made me stop and think about the importance of preventing summer reading loss before summer vacation even begins.

I've been exploring the topic of summer reading loss by reading the book No More Summer Reading Loss from the Not This But That series published by Heinemann. I've also been collecting blog posts and resources that I want to share with you to stretch our thinking on this topic

As we move into the final weeks of our school year, I hope that we can spend time in our instructional team meetings brainstorming ideas to support our students as readers through the summer months. One of the simplest things that we can do is to preserve daily independent reading and read aloud time. I hope you will join me in the crusade to prevent the "summer slide" in our readers!

Happy Reading!


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No More Summer Reading Loss

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No More Summer -Reading Loss was filled with research that confirms that students who spend time reading in the summer are more likely to maintain their reading achievement.

"...Children who participated in book fairs and received free, self-selected books for summer reading significantly improved reading achievement on high-stakes tests when compared to their peers in the control group who received no summer books."

"In Vitiello's study, students who read more than four books had an average Lexile gain of 80 points, while students who read fewer than four books lost reading achievement during the summer and those who read none of their books or only one book over the summer lost 50 Lexile points in reading achievement."

In a study by Nell Duke, researchers developed scaffolding procedures during the last few days of school. Teachers taught lessons modeling and explicitly teaching predicting, making connections, questioning, rereading, and summarizing. They also provided students with passages for oral reading practice in addition to books. They found that "simply putting books that fit students' interest and ability does significantly improve most students' reading performance but the addition of parent support along with teacher scaffolding may result in greater growth."

School-Year Practices That Develop Summer Readers

Spend 90-120 minutes each day growing independent readers by using these practices:
  • Read/Think-Aloud Crafting (minilesson: strategy and skill)
  • Interactive Read/Think-Aloud (minilesson with turn and talk, pair shares)
  • Shared Reading (choral read, response share, common text)
  • Composing/Practicing/Building Independence (30-50 minutes a day)
*Teacher conducts small group-reading and invitational groups

*Teacher confers with individual students

*Students may read independently, with partners, or in small groups (book discussions and application of learning, such as written responses to text)

  • Reunite Whole Group/Reflections

Resources and Suggestions from Kylene Beers

I would highly encourage you to read this outstanding blog post from Kylene Beers with links and guidelines for summer reading!

Here are two facts shared by Kylene that we should consider.

1. Kids who don't read during the summer lose two to three months of reading achievement. "The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores"

2. Elementary students who read 10-15 books at home over the summer gain as much in reading achievement as students who attend summer school. "Addressing Summer Reading Setback Among Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students"

Guidelines and Ideas for Boosting for Summer Reading

Here are Kylene's 4 Guidelines to boost reading achievement and enjoyment with summer reading!

1. Read Whichever Books Look Good to You

2. Nudge Students Throughout the Summer

3. Give Permission to Read Easy

4. Celebrate Reading Series Books

For more information, check out more great tips from Donalyn Miller, as well as 15 Summer Reading Tips To Get (And Keep) Kids Reading This Summer from Booksource.

I highly recommend exploring this Pinterest Board with more than 100 ideas to Encourage Summer Reading from Michelle Nero!

K-2 Teachers ~ Crystal Hayes shared this Summer Bucket List idea with the first grade team! You may want to share the Summer Bucket List of ideas for parents with your families.

What Can We Do?

  • Many of you use the Remind app to send messages to families. You can use this app during the summer to send messages encouraging students to read.
  • Send postcards to your students in the summer reminding them to read. I'm planning to send postcards to all of my Title 1 Reading students this summer with a note to encourage them to read the books they selected for summer reading from our Reading Room.
  • Send students home with books! We may not have funds right now to purchase books for summer reading, but some teachers have printed Reading A-Z books for students to take home for the summer. You could ask students to self-select 5-8 books that you can send home in a book bag for summer reading.
  • Have students make a summer TBR (To Be Read) booklist of titles they want to read this summer. You can even take a picture of each student with their stack to display in your room on the last few days of school! I love this Nerdy Book Club blogpost from Melissa Guerrette on creating vacation TBR lists with students including a shelfie photo. I hope to make a poster with our Title 1 Readers at WES to display outside the Reading Room. Imagine the message we would send to students if we lined the hallways at WES with these posters!
  • Host a Book Tasting in June where students can explore books that they haven't read yet! Here's a link to the placement created by my friend Melissa Guerette. Check out her blog for more information! I hope you enjoyed the Book Tasting activity at our book talk meetings. I think this would be a great activity to inspire summer reading before the end of the school year!
  • Create a Summer Reading Plan with your students! (Check out the free template.)
  • I would love to help organize a summer reading kickoff assembly at each school! I love this idea!
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Resources for Parents

Last year I sent a number of resources home with our Title 1 students. Let me know if you would like a copy of these items to send home with your readers!

  • A handout for parents about the importance of summer reading, as well as ideas for encouraging reading at home. (Coming soon!)
  • A booklist for grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 that includes favorite titles for students to look for at the public library or local bookstores. (Coming soon! I will update my booklists from last year.)
  • A handout for the summer reading program at the Oakland Public Library. (Coming soon! I'm waiting for the information from the library so I can share it with you!)
  • A Bingo Board of writing ideas from Two Writing Teachers that you can include in your summer book bags:
Primary WRITE Bingo Board

WRITE Bingo Board For Grades 3-5

I included this Bingo Board in my summer reading bags last year for all of my Title 1 readers with a growth mindset pencil and a writing journal. For more summer writing ideas, you can read Kathleen Sokolowski's blogpost, "Ready for a Challenge? Keep Learning Going Throughout the Summer."

Please share any other links to resources or ideas in the comments section of this newsletter!

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School