Curriculum Corner

May/June 2018

Summer Reading

Dear CLES Families,

Please enjoy this last Curriculum Corner of the year. I have enjoyed sharing additional information with the CLES community through this format, and will continue to do so next year. If there is a topic or information that you would like to see included next year, please send me an email over the summer. The focus of this issue is how to support your child(ren) over the summer. Also, I have included some year end reflection topics.

During our attendance at the State of Maryland International Reading Association conference this year, we heard from experts on many topics, from ways to prevent the summer slide to diversity in our book choices. As you enter the summer, we hope the information shared in this Curriculum Corner will provide some inspiration for your summer routines and planning. Enjoy!

What does the research say? Preventing the summer slump.

  • "Conducting meta-analysis of over 50 reading research studies, Stephen Krashen found that the single greatest factor in reading achievement (even above socio-economics) was reading volume—how much reading people do."
  • "Reading research indicates that the reading ability of many children declines between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next because they do not read over the summer." - Donalyn Miller
  • “How to make summer reading effective. ---
  • Doanlyn Miller recommendations to prevent the summer slump based on research:
    • K-2 – Read at least 12 books and write a 1-2 sentence response.
    • 3-5 – Read at least 5 novels and write a 1-2 sentence response.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Thoughts for Reflection over the Summer

Want to hear an inspirational speaker about the importance of diversity in the books we expose to our students?

"What your child reads sets the path for their own self-worth as well as how they see others. Grace Lin is a children's book author/illustrator whose book, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” received the Newbery Book Honor. She shows how the books that are not on your child's bookshelf are just as important as those that are."
Books for a Better World Part One

Provides slides on diverse books for children and adults.

Books for a Better World Part Two

This slide share has diverse books that your child and/or you might be interested in reading.

Big picture

Stay tuned for an exciting summer CLES community reading event!

Our reading specialist, Jaimie Shirokobrod, and our Reading Support Teacher, Jen Davis, are planning a special summer event ---- The CLES Book Mobile. More information will be coming soon, but get ready to have the administration, hopefully some teachers or staff and our reading support staff coming to your neighborhoods with our very own book mobile (or likely my minivan!). In an effort to encourage reading and motivate our students, we are currently collecting high interest books to bring around to our CLES neighborhoods over the summer. Stay tuned!

Don't forget about math!

"Maths skills decline more over the summer than any other academic skill, according to researchers from Duke University. Some students lose up to 3 months of learning over the summer holiday period."

In looking up research on how to prevent the math summer slide, I found this resource. It had some fun tips on how to engage your child in mathematics over the summer. (As a side note, I have not personally tried any of the websites provided nor am I sponsoring or promoting them. Just some good tips within the website:)

HCPSS has outstanding resources as well. Don't forget to access the math pages on the Family and Community Resources page. Look under "How to Support your Child" for independent practice sheets and links to games. --

Discussion Topics from SY 17-18

Over the course of the school year, there have been many topics that have come to the Howard County Community as well as to the CLES community. At the County level, the discussion has been around changing our current report card format, and at the school level, there has been feedback, both positive and negative, about the change in our homework structure. As food for thought in moving forward, I wanted to share some resources on both of these topics.

Report Cards
As a leader, I personally believe the move to a standards based report card would provide a more detailed picture to our families on how students are performing on specific standards. Many states and counties across the nation have moved to this type of reporting of progress. For information on this topic, please see the resources attached below.
As we look ahead to next year, we will be reviewing the community & teacher feedback, research and best practices around homework in order to make any changes. We appreciate all of your support as we reflect on all of our practices. As part of the research, below are some links on the effectiveness of homework.