Did you know that when kids continue to read over the summer, it has a positive impact on school achievement? In fact, studies show that reading for just two hours each week makes a huge difference! In an effort to beat the summer slide, Forest Hills Public Schools has some tips and ideas to support our readers over the summer months. They are as follows.
Read 21 Minutes a Day
Did you know that when kids continue to read over the summer, it has a positive impact on school achievement? In fact, studies show that reading for just 21 minutes a day makes a huge difference! Make reading for fun a part of your child’s daily routine. In an effort to keep encouraging our readers to continue to read, FHPS has ideas to help you. For starters, watch this 5-minute video from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to get a jumpstart on your reading life at home. It’s full of helpful tips from the experts!
Visit KDL and the Bookmobile
The Kent District Library (KDL) and Grand Rapids Public Library provide a variety of free programs throughout the summer. Consider signing your child up for a library card there too! Please visit, call them or go http://www.kdl.org/summer-reading or https://www.grpl.org/summerreading/ to find out more. New this summer is the KDL Bookmobile. It’s a library on wheels that will be making appearances all over Grand Rapids, including some FHPS schools. Here is the KDL calendar for Bookmobile locations/events.
FHPS Online Library Open 24/7
Congratulations. . . your student’s library is open 24/7/365! FHPS subscribes to Overdrive for ebooks and audiobooks. We hope you hop online and spend some time browsing our virtual shelves. There are summer reading lists also on the FHPS Media site. Click here for directions to access books all summer!
Start a family reading log. Jot down what you are reading. Over the summer, take some time to reflect back on it and celebrate! Together ask…How much time are we spending reading? What kinds of books are we choosing? What do we want to read next…maybe fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or mystery? Make a family reading goal for the rest of the summer.
Great Book Lists
Looking for some great books to add to your reading log? The International Literacy Association has published their Children’s Choice list for 2019! Take a look. Looking for recommendations for your third- through sixth-grade reader? Another great resource is Random House.
Mmmm….What Does That Word Mean?
Develop a curiosity for words together. Find interesting words in the books you read, offer up word meanings and words that are similar. Explore words and look at parts of the word together. Does it give you a clue into the word? (For example, hydra could mean water. What words can you find with that same prefix, e.g., hydration, fire hydrant, etc. For more vocabulary fun:
- Pick a “word of the day” each day starting with a different letter.
- Have your child write the word and look for other things beginning with the same letter.
- Start a family vocabulary box or jar. Have everyone write down new words they discover, add them to the box, and use the words in conversation.
Looking for some more tips and ideas to keep that summer climb going? Here are some tips from the National Parent Teacher Association.
Don’t Forget About Poems
Poetry is a great way to work on fluency. Repetition and performing poetry are fantastic ways to practice phrasing and expression. Consider creating a backyard poetry celebration or a coffee house poetry reading. Try sharing the poems written by Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. What are your favorite poets or poems? Here are some poems to get you started.
Tap Into Kids’ Curiosity
Wonderopolis is a great site to visit to tap into a child’s natural curiosity! Check it out at https://www.wonderopolis.org/ Another great way to tap into your child’s sense of wonder is to conduct short research projects. Kids can find out more about topics in which they are interested and build their knowledge as they explore and learn. Start with areas of curiosity. For example, ask, “Why do some plants grow through concrete and others don’t?” “What do bats eat and how do they find food?” It’s a great way to get kids interested in finding answers.
Read Together, Read Aloud
Reading aloud is a great way to celebrate summer. Find a blanket and grab a spot under a tree or a cozy spot together. While reading, consider stopping at different points in the story to ask questions, offer explanations for unknown words, and have fun using your voice as you read. Below you’ll find some comprehension questions to ask a child when reading together.
Retell: Retell the story. What happened first? Tell me about an important part of the story? What problems are the characters dealing with?
Characters: What are you learning about the character? How do you think the character feels and how do you know? How is the character changing in the story?
Themes: What lessons can we learn from this story? What is the author trying to tell us?
Don’t Forget about Magazines and Newspapers
Hot of the presses! Magazines and newspapers can be a great way for children to stay connected with current events and the world. They provide opportunities for additional reading and writing. Encourage your child to find a picture from a newspaper or magazine, cut it out, paste it on paper, and write a story about it. Talk about the news together. Pick one story in the news, read it together, and discuss with your child what it means.