Every May, we hear countless parents asking, "What can we work on during the summer to stay on track?" We tell our parents to take them to the public library. As teachers, we know the importance of literacy and how much our primary kiddos need as much exposure as possible.
Here's a few tips to help your students take an active role in reading.
Libraries aren't what they used to be....I beg, I mean encourage, my students to visit our amazing public library during the summer.
Most communities offer special library programming for children during the summer months.
And the cost of participating in public library programs cannot be beat. Free!
If you live outside of an area served by a public library, check with the librarian to see if students and teachers can get free library cards. Many times, the answer is yes.
My sweeties feel all grown up when they have a public library card.
In my community, the public library offers books, DVDs, games, computers, board games, programming and popcorn on Tuesdays for children.
And there is a cute little coffee shop inside.
This is NOT your grandmother’s public library.
Let's Talk About It!Library time and books are also the best way to address speech and language skills during the summer. Books are rich in wonderful language and lots of speech sounds. For children working on articulation, point out words with their speech sounds and model the sounds. For example, if your child is working on the /r/ sound and chooses the book “The Sunflower House”, caretakers can say, “Oh, sunflower!” That has your /r/ sound. Sunflower.” By putting emphasis on the target sound, the child still hears correct production but isn’t frustrated by saying it incorrectly.
For children working on language, book discussions are wonderful. Talk about what the book is about, who the characters are, where the setting is, problems, solutions - the list is endless. Also, talk about each picture and what it shows. Try to increase the child’s statement by one word or phrase. For example, if the child says “dog”, respond with “dog running”. If the child says, “The dog is running”, respond with “The dog is running after the ball.” By taking what the child says and adding to it, you are validating and increasing language.
We went to the library.... Now What?!?A few months ago, I was introduced to an app called ChatterPix Kids and I absolutely love it! After your kiddos go on an adventure to the library, they could use the app to practice voice, fluency, retelling, character analysis, etc... The possibilities are truly endless. After you download the free app, kiddos can take a picture of a character, draw a line for a mouth, and record their own voice. My kindergarten students had a blast using this app and it's a perfect informal assessment. ChatterPix Kids could be an easy tool to use during the summer months to keep kiddos engaged and practice their reading skills without them even realizing it!
We hope these tips will deepen your students' love of reading and help stray away from regression.