The Summer Book Fair is Here!

Each year I have made it a point to make sure the kids I work with have at least one book to read over the summer. Most summers I go through my books and get rid of them or purchase a book for each grade level, but this year I did something different ~ our first annual Summer Book Fair!
The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!


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.

The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!

I brought in each grade level to choose books and decorate bags.
The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!

The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!
Kindergarten and first-grade students got bags and books!

The funny thing about kindergarten and first-grade students is that they didn't really think about what they were choosing. They simply picked out books. A couple of students chose books that had puppies on it or such, but most of them simply picked up the number of books they could choose and put them in the bag.

The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!
The 2nd graders loved that I had included Fly Guy books, one they loved reading!

The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!
By third grade, I had run out of bags, so we decorated large envelopes.

The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!
A third grader searching for the perfect books!

The summer slide is real! Why not try a Summer Book Fair where students can choose books to read over the summer. And they get to keep the books they choose!
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!


How do you help prevent summer slide in your school?

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