Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Incentive Programs for Summer Reading

As a follow up for my previous post regarding the "Summer Slide" I want to share with you some summer incentive programs that are available.  Any little bit of help, right?!!   We all know how much our kiddos like to "earn" prizes and be acknowledged! Just click on the link below each description.

This first program is offered by CEDARHOME ELEMENTARY!  Kindergartners through 4th graders will be learning about this reading incentive from Ms. Crimin, our librarian. Students are given a summer calendar to log reading minutes per week.  In September they can turn their calendar in to earn a surprise!

Kids can earn Chuck E. Cheese tokens for reading!  This link sends you to their page where they offer numerous types of calendars that you can print out and complete with your child. The reading rewards calendar is down about midway through the page.

Chuck E. Cheese Summer Reading

This next program is offered by Barnes and Noble.  By completing their incentive program students can earn a free book!  Link #1 goes to their website explaining the program.  Link #2 is a PDF of their Reading Journal.

1.  Barnes and Noble Summer Reading

2.  Barnes and Noble Reading Journal

In my research for summer incentive programs I found this!  Disney's Beauty and the Beast Summer Reading Program, promoted by What fun!  AND, there is a preview of the movie (which of course, I had to watch!).

Disney's Beauty and the Beast Summer Reading

Book Adventure is offered by Sylvan Centers.  It is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them online, come back to quiz on what they've read, and earn prizes for their reading success.  Check it out!

Book Adventure with Sylvan

Half Price Books is offering "Bookworm Bucks" for reading in the months of June and July! Check it out!

Half Price Books "Feed Your Brain"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Regression, aka "The Summer Slide"

As Reading Specialist and LAP Coordinator at Cedarhome Elementary my primary goal is to help students become proficient readers; being able to read fluently and comprehend at their grade level. Yet I do have a secondary goal...I want them to learn to LOVE to read! One of the biggest struggles we teachers have in September, when kids return to school, is facing the dreaded "Summer Slide". I describe it as "taking 9 steps forward (or months) and falling 2 or 3 steps (or months) back. Please take a moment to read the below information. My hope is for parents and families to understand the importance of and make a commitment to include reading during the summer!

Copied directly from's website:

10 Critical Facts about Summer Reading 

- an article from SCHOLASTIC

Losses from the "Summer Slide"

learning or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative, creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students. By the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss has accumulated to a twoyear lag in reading achievement. 2
  •  Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer. 1
  • Teachers typically spend between 4 to 6 weeks re-teaching material students have forgotten over the summer. 3
  • It is estimated that the "Summer Slide" accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle- and upper-income peers. 4
  • During the school year, lower income children's skills improve at close to the same rate as those of their more advantaged peers but over the summer, middle- and upper-income children's skills continue to improve, while lower income children’s skills do not.3
  • Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed.5
  • 3rd graders who can't read on grade level are four times less likely to graduate by age 18 than a proficient reader.6
  • Having reading role-model parents or a large book collection at home has a greater impact on kids' reading frequency than does household income.7
  • An overwhelming 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they picked out themselves.7
  • Ninety-nine percent of parents think children their child's age should read over the summer. 7
  • Parents think their children should read an average of 11 books over the summer, ranging from 17 books for children ages 6-8, to 6 books for 15- to 17-year olds. 7
  1. Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap, Jimmy Kim, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2004.
  2. Ameliorating summer reading setback among economically disadvantaged elementary students, Richard Allington, April 2007.
  3. Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwistle, Linda Steffel Olson, April 2007.
  4. Why Summer Matters in the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap, Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Frazen, August 2009.
  5. The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen, Libraries Unlimited, 1993.
  6. Annie E.. Casey Foundation, Hernandez, Donald J., 2011.
  7. The Kids and Family Reading ReportTM 4th edition conducted by Harrison Group and Scholastic, 2012.
Additional Statistics You May Not Know:

"Research shows that children who do not read in the summers months can lose two to three months of reading development while those who do read tend to gain a month of reading proficiency."
-Richard Allington & Anne McGill-Franzen. The Impact of Summer Setback on the Reading Achivement Gap. The Phi DeltaKappan. Vol. 85, o.1 (Sept. 2003), pp. 68-75

Research Suggests…that children who read as few as six books over the summer maintain the level of reading skills they achieved during the preceding school year.  Reading more books leads to even greater success.  When children are provided with 10-20 self-selected children’s books at the end of the regular school year, as many as 50 percent not only maintain their skills, but actually make reading gains.
-McGill-Franzen & Allington. The IMpact of Summer Setback on the Reading Achievement Gap. (Sept, 2003)

All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in education activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer
-(White, 1906, Heyns, 1978; Entweisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).
Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.
-Cooper, 1996

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

School-Home Reading Connections, April 2017

Reading Connections Newsletters

Please open the below links to view April's School-Home Reading Connections newsletters. Once again, I found many ideas that I think parents could use at home with their reading!

Beginner Reading Connections, April 2017

Intermediate Reading Connections, April 2017

Math & Science Connections, April 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Audio Books and Literacy

Did you know?... One of the Common Core Anchor Standards for grades Kindergarten through 5th grade is "Speaking and Listening"?  Since teachers at Cedarhome Elementary have been teaching toward the Common Core Standards they have discovered that students need practice listening to text being read aloud to them and then be able to participate in discussions or respond to questioning.   

Two articles I've recently read online are what prompted me to mention this Anchor Standard.  The first article was on the "Reading Rockets" website titled "Listen and Learn with Audio Books", by Rachael Walker (2017).  She stated that "Audio books are a wonderful way to expose your child to complex language, expressive reading, and fantastic stories." The second article was authored by Linda Flanagan in October, 2016 (  Her article was titled "How Audiobooks Can Help Kids Who Struggle with Reading". 

Flanagan shared educator Mary Ann Scheuer's opinion that exposing kids to the spoken word through rich stories improves literacy.  Books sometimes require readers to decode every word, while stories told aloud free up the listener to connect with the story and the storyteller.  Also, for students who are not exposed to a rich array of words over their lives, well-told stories can enrich a student's vocabulary.  

Another point made was that audiobooks make a marked change in those students who hate to read. Taking away the need to decode each word, reread for meaning, and then picture the story, struggling readers listening to a story can soon "fall into the book" itself.  They will be able to participate in class discussions about plot and character.  Fluency can also improve because students can hear the narrator's pacing, tone, and expression and try to match it in their own reading.

Walker suggested when introducing audio books at home look for familiar stories your child has heard you read or tell before. Hearing a story they are familiar with can help them enjoy hearing it from a different reader and become a willing listener.  Once you've got them hooked, try something fun and new you both can enjoy. 

Audio books are available on CD's and sometimes online.  A good place to start is your public library.  Sometimes you can find a picture book or early reader that has a CD with it.  I do know that through the Sno-isle Library you can check out audio books online as well.

If you have a struggling reader at home, or just want to enjoy a book with your child in a new and exciting way try an audiobook. 
Going on a road trip this spring or during the summer? How about an audiobook to pass the time?  Don't forget to discuss the story, too!  Share your thoughts on characters and their feelings and/or actions.  Was there a problem in the story, how was it solved?  If you could write a different ending, how would you write it?  There lots of ways a family can enjoy an audiobook together!

Friday, March 10, 2017

School-Home Reading Connections, February & March 2017

Hopefully spring is just around the corner for all of us.  I know the students at Cedarhome are eagerly awaiting dry, outdoor recesses.  Even a little sunshine would be nice, wouldn't it?

As spring nears, so do more activities that keep children busy outside of school hours.  Our hope is that families still put aside the time and effort to keep their children reading, getting their reading calendars/logs signed on a nightly basis, as well as completing any nightly homework.

Below are links to the Reading Connection Letters for February and March.  If you have the time, be sure to browse them!  I always seem to find one or two good ideas that could make the responsibility of completing schoolwork at home more fun and interesting.

Happy Reading!

Beginner Reading Connections, February 2017

Intermediate Reading Connections, February 2017

Math & Science Connections, February 2017

Beginner Reading Connections, March 2017

Intermediate Reading Connections, March 2017

Math & Science Connections, March 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

School-Home Reading Connections, January 2017

Happy New Year Cedarhome Families!  Below you will find links to three different "School-Home Reading Connection" Newsletters.  Each newsletter is filled with fun and interesting reading or writing ideas to try at home. Be sure to check them out!  I will be sharing these monthly for the remainder of the school year.  Enjoy, and happy reading!

Reading Connections, Beginning

Reading Connections, Intermediate

Math & Science Reading Connections