There may be no better or obvious statement than the one below that has been echoed in countless studies (I have included a link to many of the studies at the end of this page thanks to the New York Public Library System):
Students who read more show greater reading gains than their non-reader counterparts.
A study of 155 fifth grade students demonstrated that the amount of time children spent in independent reading was the best predictor of the amount of gain in reading achievement.
The summer slide may sound like a great piece of park equipment… it isn’t. It is a well researched and documented situation where students can slide or lose reading skills that can leave them at up to 2.5 grade levels below their peers by the time they reach 5th grade. That is a big loss caused by not being engaged with reading during an 8 to 10 week summer break. To learn more check out this thorough reference article from Metatrix (the makers of the lexile measure system) HERE.
Need Online Reading Reinforcement and Games
TumbleBooks- Great access to e-books that include text to speech capabilities, animation and games. For the beginning reader through 4th grade.
Starfall- Great beginning reader site for everything from letter recognition, letter sound relationships, through phonics and into sentences and stories in a fun, game oriented layout.
Brainpop Jr. (pre-k – 3) Brainpop (2nd – 6th)- Many concepts available in a fun animated video format. this site is more focused on concept introduction and comprehension of information and includes links for further learning, quizzes that check for understanding, experiments to try at home and much more.
National Geographic Kids News- Want to raise a reader that is up to date on current events? This site makes it easy for students to read about global animal discoveries and issues in a kid friendly way with appropriate reading level and content. This makes for a great conversation starter at the dinner table or traveling in the car. Give it a try.
Creature Feature- Does your child love animals and insects of all sorts? Then check out this great tool for exploring more about their chosen critter? Includes facts, photos, sounds, video of the critter in action, maps and more.
WorldBookOnline: Early World of Learning- Designed for the preschool to first grade student, Early World of Learning offers topic areas like the sense, nature and more. Each section includes non-fiction text as well as a story, video and interactive game or activity complete with professionally read text and scroll over button reading making this the perfect tool for students to use to learn basic navigation skills with a computer as well as content information on a variety of topics in a fun and safe online tool.
While our own school library is not open during the Summer, the wonderful West Linn Public Library is open. There are many Summer programs to draw young readers into the library this summer. You can browse their collection online and, with a library card, put things on hold so they will be there when you arrive. You can also get great recommendations for books through the dedicated children’s library staff.
Book Wizard Book Alike: Scholastic has created a powerful search engine designed to help you find the next great book for your child. Type in a book that your child loved and was able to read independently and the system will return results for other books that would be a good fit. I have tried this program over the last month with some interesting and often great results though not every result will be a winner.
A Book and a Hug- This site features book lists for boys and girls, browsing by age and category as well as a search function that can help match books based on previous titles read in much the same way as the Book Wizard but without a connection to a specific publisher. Each title has a recommended age range for the reader as well a brief description of the book.
What We Do at School….What You Can Do at Home
First grade teachers Stephanie Ryder and Justine Lang explain the first grade reading program and strategies for creating successful readers.