Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Summer Reading: To Require or Not to Require

At our last PLC (Professional Learning Community) meeting with faculty, we looked at four different articles regarding summer learning/summer reading assignments.  Here are the links for the articles we read and discussed:

 The concensus of our meeting was:

1- It is important to be consistent school-wide!  If one grade is going to do it, we should all do it.

2- There needs to be some allowance for student choice to get buy in from students.  A teacher may have a specific theme they want to highlight and they may have 3-4 books they are comfortable recommending.  Students then may choose which of those texts to read.

3- How you assess their reading may vary by age, grade and ability.  Multi-media presentations, old-fashioned book reports, posters, a packet to fill out, diarama, a piece of art and other ideas were mentioned as methods to use to assess the students fulfillment of this requirement.

4- Having an incentive to read, as we just did with our Stuck on Reading challenge, (see blog post on this here), is often very effective for students.  We decided to have a celebration when we return to school in August for all the students who meet their individual grade level goals.  We will set these in our April department meetings.

5- There is no question that reading (and math skills, too!) is vital and needs to occur over the summer months.  This keeps students advancing in their skills and helps combat the loss that some students suffer over the summer (as much as 2-3 months worth of reading levels).  

6- Some teachers asked permission to host "book clubs" over the summer for students, especially middle school students.  That was met with a resounding YES! from me.

What does your school do for summer reading?  What methods have been effective for you in the past?  What methods have not been successful?

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