May 24, 2017

Stopping Summer Slide

Simple strategies for summer slide prevention and easy summer reading activities for kids. Keep your kids engaged in reading so they don't lose up to 2 months of academic progress during the summer.

Every September, I have the same conversation with classroom teachers. They come to me questioning students' reading assessments from the previous year. They insist a student is not reading at the level listed on the assessment. Does this mean the previous teacher did not administer a valid reading assessment? Of course not! This difference in reading levels is typically just a result of summer slide. When students lose months of academic progress during the summer months, it can lead to an increase in the achievement gap between students.

Research and common sense tells us that the more students read the more proficient readers they become. Reluctant readers are often the ones most impacted by summer slide. The biggest way to combat summer slide for these students is by finding ways to encourage them to keep reading. So how can we do that? Here are a few ideas I've found to be successful.


Show Me Where You're Reading

Our school is very active on social media. We encourage students to post pictures with our school hashtag showing us where they are reading over the summer. I printed copies of the pictures to create a bulletin board when we returned to school. We received some really cool pictures!


Simple strategies for summer slide prevention and easy summer reading activities for kids. Keep your kids engaged in reading so they don't lose up to 2 months of academic progress during the summer.


Online Access to Books

Some students do not read over the summer due to the simple fact that they do not have access to many books. Here are some websites to provide students with access to more books!

  • Unite for Literacy - This website has emergent books meant for early readers. I love that it offers a vast selection of nonfiction books. It also allows you to change the language and provides an audio option, both of which are great features for our English Language Learners.
  • EPIC! Books - Teachers have access to free books for students. But parents have to pay for home access ($4.99 a month). Luckily there is a 30 day free trial which is a great option to get students started with summer reading!
  • Storyline Online - Students can listen to stories being read aloud by famous actors. 


Check with your local library

Our local library offers incentives to get students to come in over the summer. Each summer is a different theme that students can earn prizes each time they come into the library. They also offer fun events and activities to encourage families to visit. Look into what programs your local library offers and make sure to tell your students' families! You may also want to find ways to make sure all students have a library card before leaving for summer break.


Reading Challenges

There are so many reading challenges available to students over the summer. Each year we select a different challenge and spend time promoting it to the students before the end of the year. Students who complete the challenge are invited to attend a celebration when school resumes. This past year these students got to choose a new book and attend a Popsicle party in our learning garden. Here are a few reading challenges you may want to consider using:

Reading Scavenger Hunt, Summer Reading, Reading Challenge

What other ways do you encourage students to read during the summer? Any successful tips on how you help stop summer slide? Comment below with the strategies that have worked for you!

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Simple strategies for summer slide prevention and easy summer reading activities for kids. Keep your kids engaged in reading so they don't lose up to 2 months of academic progress during the summer.


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