Tuesday, June 12, 2018

School's Out for Summer! Well.....almost

The Summer Slide or Summer Regression is not something you find at the park. No, it is a proven fact that occurs every June, July, and August.  Like most teachers and students I look forward to those summer weeks to recharge and have fun.  But as an educator who works with struggling readers I cringe at the thought of them being out from underneath my wings from the middle of June to the first week of September. I've taught for over 20 years and I've read the research.  I've seen the very evidence that research warns us about.  Here are the facts:

"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 Achievement 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).

So what can you do to help avoid the "Summer Slide"? My first suggestion is to make reading FUN! Find as many ways as possible to show that reading isn't always just for school subjects.  As well, set the example.  If you're telling your kids how important it is to read, but they don't see you reading? Hmmmm? Get the picture?

And, because I feel so strongly about this I've done some of the FUN groundwork for you!  Below are links to various summer reading challenge opportunities and some PDF documents you can print out at home.  Enjoy! Have Fun! and READ!

Dr. Seuss Word Challenge  Sign up and login!  Help reach the goal of reading 20 millions words across the country!

Barnes & Noble Reading Journal  This is a PDF you can print out.  It lists books for grades 1-6.  Read any eight books through the summer, write about your favorite parts and then earn a book from their book list provided!

Chuck E Cheese Rewards  Complete this reading rewards calendar and earn 10 free tokens for Chuck E Cheese! I believe you can do this more than once throughout the summer, but only 1 per day.

DOGO Books Summer Reading  Read and review 3 books on DOGObooks.com and earn a free book, then do it again!

Half Price Books "Feed Your Brain"  This is very similar to a reading log.  Read 15 minutes each day, have your parent initial the calendar.  Once you've read 300 minutes you earn bookworm bucks.  And there is a Half Price books on Everett Mall Way!

The two links below are documents that can be easily printed, posted on the fridge and used for motivation to find a fun way to read.  Challenge the entire family to mark off as many as possible!

Summer Reading Bucket List

Summer Reading Challenge

Monday, April 30, 2018

Too busy to read? Here's what going to happen...

Wow!  Can you tell that spring is just around the corner?  What was your first clue?  Less rain, more sun? Kids becoming antsy at home, being willing to go outside and play? Or, is it the many after school activities? LaCrosse? Baseball? Tennis?  Swimming Lessons? I get it, I really do.  I raised two sons (with a little help from hubby, ha! ha!) who were very active.  There were many nights when it was fast food or PBJ's for dinner, because we were "too busy" for anything else.  And then fit in reading homework? Who has time for that, right?! Well, I'm going to put on my "Reading Specialist" hat and flatly state, "Families need to make the time to read during the week or it can seriously effect their child's future success in school and beyond."

I'm attaching a link to a wonderful article;  The Long-Term Effects of Skipping Your Reading Homework.  The author, Pamela DeLoatch outlines the reasons how completing the nightly reading assignments benefit students.  My favorite part is where she shares an infographic that quantifies the long-term difference between regular, periodic, and infrequent reading. Be sure to look for it.

After you read the article, I would love your feedback. Was this helpful? Has it inspired you to help your child find the time to read?  Remember, it doesn't always have to be at home.  Can they read while their sibling is warming up for the baseball game, or while another sibling is at LaCrosse practice (and they're too young to stay home alone so they get drug along?).  Can they read while you waiting in the fast food lane at McDonalds or are waiting for your Jimmy's pizza?

Just keep in mind that regular reading provides significant long-term benefits. And with that segue, below are the links to this months Reading Connections!  I noticed some great ideas in the Intermediate Edition. There's even a section titled "Road Trip Games".  Weren't we just discussing where opportunities to read may be?  (<:

Reading Connections, Beginner Edition, May 2018

Reading Connections, Intermediate Edition, May 2108

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

My Oh My!!

       My Oh My!  Indeed... what happened to the month of March? Well, Cedarhome students participated in "Read Across America, celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday, along with participating in the Everett Aqua Sox "Hit a Home Run and Read" incentive program.  In other words (pun intended!) we've been busy!!

Now, it's time I catch up with this blog.  First up (yep, I'm still in baseball mode) is posting March and April's Reading Connection links.  I really hope parents are finding new and interesting tidbits on how to support your child with learning at home by looking through these.  (<:  And I would love to hear for you to share with me how you may have found a use for these ideas.  Happy Reading!!

March Reading Connections, Beginner Edition

March Reading Connections, Intermediate Edition

April Reading Connections, Beginner Edition

April Reading Connections, Intermediate Edition

Thursday, January 4, 2018


I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break, full of family, fun, and READING!  Cedarhome is back on schedule with classes and LAP support.  We will begin our winter Benchmark Assessments Thursday, January 11th, allowing students time to get back to school schedules and routines.  Once assessments are complete, data will be reviewed and new LAP support groups will be formed.

Below are links to January School-Home Reading Connections.  In the Beginner edition there is a great idea for "game night sight words".  An easy and fun way to help your child practice. Be sure to check it out! In the Intermediate edition there is an article on how to help your child be a "word attack whiz".  The strategies given are very similar to what we teach here at school.

School Home Reading Connection, Beginner

School Home Reading Connection, Intermediate

And one last note!  If you choose to "Follow" Cedarhome Elementary's Reading Support Blog you will receive notifications of any new posts!  Give it a try!

Friday, December 15, 2017

School Home Reading Connections

Warm winter wishes! Below are the links to the December School Home Reading Connections.  Be sure to check them out for ideas on how to keep reading fun and interesting during vacation!

School Home Reading Connection, Beginner

School Home Reading Connection, Intermediate

Don't Let Important Growth "Freeze" Over This Winter Break

I'm sure many of you are aware of the "Summer Slide" (see previous blog post of 6/13/17 - Summer Regression, aka "The Summer Slide") but did you know that a winter learning loss can also threaten your child's knowledge and academic growth?  You may think that this small break won't hurt, but it can lead students to lose valuable lessons they've worked so hard to master this past semester!

You may think that the difference between summer and winter break is huge and that it wouldn't be difficult for a student to lose skills after months of not putting them to use. Yet in fact, research has shown that the largest losses in some subjects are experienced within the first two weeks out of school.  Our school district's Winter Break is two weeks, meaning students have plenty of time to lose valuable skills, strategies, and information.  This can be the result of not putting their lessons to use and forgetting about school for a couple of weeks.

Don't take me wrong, it is important for students to have a break from a strict academic routine, but that doesn't mean they (we) should forget about school all together. Look for some fun activities the whole family can participate in that are also educational! Visit our local library, practice writing skills by keeping a winter break journal, play math games, and of course as a Reading Specialist I can't miss this opportunity to remind everyone to READ! Read with your child, read aloud, in the car, listen to books on tape, read new recipes together, anything to keep them reading! Be sure to check out the Home-School Reading Connections for additional ideas. 

Less than two weeks upon their return from winter break students at Cedarhome Elementary will be given winter benchmark assessments to determine if their academic progress is on track. These assessments are also used to determine if a student could possibly need additional reading support through the LAP program or within their classroom. So please, make sure your child(ren) continue reading throughout your holiday!  We would like their assessment results to show their true academic growth so far. Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, December 1, 2017

School Home Reading Connections

Greetings!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and now it's just a few short weeks before Christmas is upon us! The Title I/LAP Coordinators have been anxiously waiting for our annual subscription to be filled for our School Home Reading Connection newsletters.  It's finally done!

This week we sent home the November newsletter with LAP students.  Yet I believe these newsletter share ideas and information ANY family can use to help encourage and inspire their student(s) to become life long readers. 

I would have liked to begin sharing these with you the end of September, but alas that was not to be. So below are links for the September, October, and November newsletters. Enjoy!

School Home Reading Connections - Bonus Edition, Beginner

School Home Reading Connections - Bonus Edition, Intermediate

October School Home Reading Connections, Beginner

October School Home Reading Connections, Intermediate

November School Home Reading Connections, Beginner

November School Home Reading Connections, Intermediate