Key strategies to prevent the summer slide and help kids discover the power of a good book from Instructor Magazine.
For Pam Allyn’s full story, please visit Scholastic Instructor Online here.
Summer holds many of my strongest and most powerful reading memories. I remember sitting under a tree in the backyard as a child, readingAnne of Green Gables as the shadows crossed the grass. I could not believe such grief was possible when I found out what happened at the end. I remember sitting in the backseat of the car on a long family road trip, sharing jokebooks with my brother and sister and laughing until we cried. I remember bumpy bus rides to my first job as a teen, trying to spend every minute I could reading The Lord of the Rings, wondering how it was possible that an author had crafted those lines. These memories became crucial stepping-stones in my life. I was making choices as a reader and having experiences with books that transformed me.
I want all kids to experience the power of those choices, first, because they feel so good, and second, because the secret power of summer reading is that it will set the stage for academic success. Scholastic has gathered some vital statistics (see “Critical Facts About Summer Reading” at scholastic.com/summer) to remind us of this.
3 | Come On and Get Appy!
Technology is a power tool for building literacy skills. To develop strong reading muscles, children need to read lots of text. The Reading Rainbow app, based on the beloved TV series, invites children to travel to themed islands to discover books. Tales2Go is an award-winning mobile and desktop audiobook app designed to provide thousands of glorious read-alouds for your students. And Storia, a free e-reading app from Scholastic, is one of the only platforms of its kind that’s just for kids. It provides easy access to leveled e-books and lets kids highlight text, take notes, and use an in-app dictionary. Many of Storia’s e-books have built-in activities, and the app also includes a Reading Report feature that tracks reading habits.
Many children want to move back and forth between e-readers and the printed page. My daughter recently said to me: “Only old people are so strict about which is better or which is worse!” The young people with whom we work understand that sometimes it’s great to download and read the digital version of a book, and that other times it’s just so wonderful to slowly turn the pages of a beautiful picture book propped up on your lap.