Saturday, May 19, 2012

Help Wanted - Summer Learning

We're at that point in the year when everything goes crazy. Big kids are taking SOLs (state standardized tests) and little ones are doing DRAs (one-on-one reading assessment) and MRAs (math assessment) and who knows what other acronyms. Our routines are all thrown off.

We haven't had guided reading groups in three weeks. Next week we could get back to that again. I don't want to go back to what we've been doing all year. We've done it. It's been good but they need something different.

I want to use this last month to set my students up for reading success throughout the summer. I want my lessons to prepare them to continue growing outside of school.

I just don't know how to do that.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


teacherninja said...

One idea is talking up all the outside summer reading programs. Barnes & Noble has one, the public library has one. SOmetimes you can even register them for the public library one online.

Another thing I've done is practice writing letters about reading and then give them my mailing address so they can write to me over the summer. Usually only a few will actually go through with it, but it's pretty cool when they do and they love it wen you write back.

luckeyfrog said...

I'm letting the kids have more choice in what they read. Filling out a generic graphic organizer about a book of their choice, choosing a reading story from the year to re-read, choosing a book as a group to read in a 'book club.'

I also like to let kids share a read-aloud and 'be the teacher'- using our anchor charts to ask questions. They might even make a 'lesson' in groups to reteach a skill to the class.

Definitely, this is a time to spice things up, you know? Good luck finding something that works!

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

Mrs. Barton's First Grade said...

I was in the same situation three weeks ago (we now only have three days left of school). Knowing that our second grade teachers do a LOT of Daily 5-style "read to self," "read to someone," and "work on writing" we practiced those elements. We realyl worked on STAMINA and BEHAVIORS (well, re-visited and reinforced behaviors that we had worked on in the beginning of the year). As we walked down the hall to go out for recess I pointed out to my class all the kids in the second grade rooms READING (to self and to to someone) and asked them if they were ready for "that kind" of reading. It seemed to be very motivating to them, and all that read to self and read to someone practice time freed me up to work on DRAs and other assessments. By mixing in technology (iPad/LeapPad/netbooks and Tag Pen books) time and some writing activities, I was able to keep the kids focused and not bored, doing something genuine, while I assessed and did other year-end tasks.

Jenny said...

Jim, we do a lot to talk up our public library as it is pretty close by. My concern is for those kids who can't ever get there in the summer. The letter writing idea is a good one. I have given kids my address every year I've taught but I might give them each a preaddressed, prestamped postcard. It won't cost me that much and might pay off big.

Jenny, I've been thinking about book club type groups so we may have to give that a shot. I love the read-aloud idea.

Mrs. Barton, you've got me thinking about what I want to model for them in the last few weeks of school. That's a good topic for my mulling.

Miss Angel said...

I too was going to say make sure they know about library reading programs, special activities, etc... but you're right, the biggest challenge is that their parents won't necessarily take them. That's so sad, isn't it? Libraries do such amazing things in the summer! But another idea I had was to do an author study or two, read all sorts of books by that author and learn about him or her... Then everyone writes a letter to the author about their favorite among his or her books, making connections to their lives, etc. And send them! Some authors will write back and even send goodies. You'll have to be sure to pick someone who is still alive! It might be exciting for them to get a letter from a real author, and it could be something they will want to do at home when they read good books!

Jenny said...

Angel, an author study was another one of those things I was considering and then promptly forgot about so thanks for suggesting it! Writing to an author is an intriguing idea.