Last summer my friends at Literacy Land and I read a book by Richard Allington ~ Summer Reading. It had some great ideas, but the one that was most feasible for me was the Summer Book Fair. In the Summer Book Fair, students picked out several books to take home for the summer from a bunch of books. The books were relevant for students and were something they had interests. This summer intervention had the most impact on students and lessened the effects of summer slide better than anything else, including summer school.
I decided this was something I wanted to try this year.
At the end of every school year, we are given an allotment of money to use for our classrooms. This year I really didn't need a lot, so I decided to use the money to purchase books and items for the students I work with. I was given a huge box of old books from a school that closed that I could give the kids. Then I spent hours looking for books at Scholastic and making sure I stayed within budget. I knew I wanted each child to take home at least 4 books. I was able to surpass that, giving each of the kids in grade kindergarten through fourth-grade 5-7 books each.
Here is how it worked.
I started out with books I had purchased and leftover books from an old reading series placed on a cart by grade levels.
I brought in each grade level to choose books and decorate bags.
|Kindergarten and first-grade students got bags and books!|
|The 2nd graders loved that I had included Fly Guy books, one they loved reading!|
|By third grade, I had run out of bags, so we decorated large envelopes.|
|A third grader searching for the perfect books!|
|The fourth graders really had fun choosing books!|
I learned something interesting about the students as they chose books. The older students really looked at the backs and covers of the books to choose the ones they wanted. They even asked me for specific titles, which was interesting to me.
My favorite moment of all was when I delivered the bags of books. As I walked into the classrooms, each student ran up to me and grabbed their books, excited to remember what was in it.
I can't wait until next year when I see who actually read over the summer. I hope the results will show that the summer slide is lessened with these particular students. Stop by in the fall (later in September) to see the results of this little experiment. If it does, this will be an annual event with the entire school!