A Life filled with Literacy
A newsletter for Saint Anne School (May 2017)
by Nicole Hughes (who is thrilled to be the Literacy Coach at SAS)
Why Summer Reading is important:
School is almost over. I am the first to admit that the thought of forcing (I mean... motivating and gently encouraging) my children to read makes me tired just thinking about it. The research is clear, though: in order to be successful academically, students MUST read over the summer.
- Children need to engage with books every day so they can maintain, and ideally strengthen, the literacy skills they learned during the previous school year.
- The stakes for children who do not read over summer vacation are high. Substantial research shows that the two months of loss in reading skills compounds over the years; by the time children reach middle school, those who haven't read during the summers may have lost as much as two years worth of achievement. (<----Yes, you read that right! TWO YEARS)!
WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN AVOID "SUMMER SLIDE":
- Let your children choose the books they want to read. Encourage them to choose books that are challenging but that they will ACTUALLY read.
- Read aloud to your children, even if they are older. It helps build vocabulary and listening comprehension skills.
- AUDIO BOOKS are perfect for summer! Research proves that listening to an audio book is as beneficial as reading a hard copy. The experience of listening to a well narrated audio book can make even the most reluctant reader excited about a book. Plus, let's be honest-sometimes it is easier to just push play on an audio book for my kids than to always find time to sit and read with them. I cannot recommend audio books highly enough. My favorite places to obtain audio books are Audible and the library Overdrive app. If you have any questions at all about audio books, please ask me! I LOVE audio books and would be happy to recommend some topics for your children (or for adults, too!).
- In addition to reading books, children can practice their reading skills by engaging in many different online reading experiences. Literacy-building sites such as PBS (http://pbskids.org/games/reading/ ) and Room Recess are just a few examples.
- Help your children choose a BOOK SERIES at the beginning of the summer. Summer is the perfect time for children to read a book series. When one book ends, they can just pick up the next one and keep reading. Below, I provide some book series ideas!
If you have any questions, please contact me:
Book Series Suggestions
How Do Dinosaurs...? (preschool-1st grade)
Do good little dinosaurs clean up their rooms with a shovel or broom? Or spit out their broccoli partially chewed? No, of course not! Kids love seeing dinosaurs behaving badly in this funny series with silly (but scientifically correct) illustrations of dinosaurs.
Tacky the Penguin (preschool-1st grade)
Always sporting his signature Hawaiian shirt, Tacky the Penguin does things his own way. Although he may be an odd bird, Tacky proves to his penguin pals that he’s “a nice bird to have around.” How? By saving the day, Tacky style. Kids laugh along with the message that it’s okay to be different.
BABYMOUSE (Grades 2-5)
Her dreams are big! Her whiskers are ALWAYS a mess! In her mind, she's Queen of the World! In real life…she's not even Queen of the lunch table.
Three-time Newbery Honor winning author has created a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and appeal—BABYMOUSE! This graphic novel is perfect for fans of Junie B. Jones and Dork Diaries.
The Borrowers (Grades 2-6)
In this classic series, Arietty Clock and her parents are tiny people called borrowers. They live under the floorboards in a house inhabited by giant “human beans,” surviving by sneaking up into the house for scraps of food and other tiny leavings. When Arietty is spotted by a human boy and the two strike up a forbidden friendship, Arietty’s father is horrified. This imaginative tale and its four sequels have sparked a love of fantasy in children since it was published in 1952.
The Underland Chronicles (Grades 4-8) *EXCELLENT AUDIO version*
In the first novel by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games), young Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building and hurtles into the dark Underland. This strange world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (Grades 4-8)- *EXCELLENT AUDIO version*
A witty narrator follows Penelope, a recent graduate, to British country manor Ashton Place, where conniving Lord Fredrick has discovered three wild children apparently raised by wolves. Penelope is charged with taming them in time for a Christmas party, Humorous antics and a climactic cliff-hanger ending will keep readers turning pages and clamoring for the next volume.
We love literacy at Saint Anne!
Jack Prelutsky Poems
The 4th graders read Jack Prelutsky poems, including this one about a maze. Poetry is fun, because words can go upside down, sideways, and in circles!
Sensory language is an important part of writing, because it helps students learn how to be specific. We tasted "Pop Rocks," and students described them using adjectives related to each of the 5 senses. The word "good" and its cousins (fantastic/wonderful/amazing,etc...) are banned from our descriptions.
Specific Word Choice
* Writing Workshop*
Saint Anne will possibly be hosting a creative writing opportunity this summer. If your child would be interested in attending a creative writing workshop, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Reading in the Community
1. Washington County Summer Reading: (May 30-July 8 / All ages / Stories, Crafts, Book Logs, Programs) http://www.wcpl.net/summer-reading-program/
2. Bristol Public Library: (June 5-July 14 / All ages/ Stories, Entertainment, Crafts / Movies, Book Clubs) http://www.bristol-library.org/childrens-department
3. Avoca Branch Summer Reading: (June 2- July 21 / All ages / activities on Tuesday-Fridays) http://www.bristol-library.org/Avoca-Branch-Library
4. Kingsport: (through July 28 / All ages, even adults!) http://www.kingsportlibrary.org/library-info/summer-reading-program/