Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Reading Tips & Giveaway

I know that many of my readers have children that will soon be out of school for the summer.  As a teacher, I've always had parents ask me, "What can I do over the summer to help them, accelerate them, keep them reading, etc?"  Well, when I was in the classroom, I would always send home any leftover workbook pages, copies of books we had made, summer reading lists, and anything else I could think of that parents and students could use for remediation and/or reinforcement.  The parents were always appreciative.

Well, I have the opportunity to do something similar for my readers today.  I was asked to participate in Summer Reading Tips promotion from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.  What does that mean for you?  I am going to share with you summer reading tips, you share your own tips, and you can be entered to win a series of 3 readers from the Treasures program (age specific, depending on winner!).  How great is that?

Summer Reading Tips from Tim Shanahan, author of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill’s best selling elementary reading program, Treasures.  Dr. Shanahan is also the past president of the International Reading Association.

1.  Read Together! Summer usually allows families to spend more time together. This is a great opportunity to read more with your kids to help keep their skills fresh. Children learn a lot when you read to them. Even if your child can read by himself, take turns reading to each other, and be sure to talk about what you are reading. Ask questions, answer questions and explore the ideas together.

2. Share the Experience. As kids get older, help them find books, magazines, or newspaper articles that they would enjoy reading. Take the time to read them too so you can discuss them. The point is to share the reading experience.

3. Ask Questions. Even if you are not reading the same books they are, talk to your children about what they are reading. Ask them questions such as what happened in the story or what might happen next, who is their favorite character, or who is the villain. This builds summarization and recall skills, and your interest helps increase their interest.

4. Designate a Reading Spot. Create a summer reading nook or spot in your home where your child can read. Make sure there is good light and comfortable seating and try to set aside one TV/video-game-free night per week for family reading. Reading night can be a special snack night, too. There is nothing better than reading with a big bowl of popcorn!

5. Use Resources. If your children’s school program provides materials for home activities over the summer, absolutely use them.

6. Find Reading Opportunities Everywhere. If you are taking a trip this summer, send for brochures and maps and have your children read them aloud with you.

7. Leverage Pop Culture. Don’t ignore the value of graphic novels or a popular series like the Twilight books or Harry Potter. These are great ways to encourage adolescents to read more.

8. Plan an Outcome Activity. Whether you are reading to your children or they are reading themselves, plan an outcome event or activity based on the reading. For instance, if the book has been made into a movie, watch the DVD together after reading the book. Book reading can lead to picnics, museum visits, ballgames or even family vacations.

9. Write Letters to Your Children. Writing to your kids is a great opportunity to remind them of experiences that they had when they were younger or to tell them about the lives of older people in the family, like their grandparents. Kids love getting letters and you can even encourage them to write back, helping them practice their writing skills.

10. Mix it up. Don’t just focus on storybooks. Kids often prefer to read about fact rather than fiction, including books and articles about the environment, animals, current events, sports, and other topics. Talk to them about what they like and help them find reading materials that match those interests.

What reading tips can you share?  Leave them in the comments and I will randomly draw a winner to receive an 3 age specific books from the Treasures series.  This contest is open to US/Canada addresses and will run until Friday, June 5.


Vanessa said...

Read yourself! When my girls see me reading, they pull out their books too, and they can't even really read yet. haha

Erin Lowmaster said...

I normally set a time for reading everyday and this excites my one year old. She points to where we keep the books and goes Booh (book). Set a time is my best tip for now.

Staci said...

go to the library together and take part in the summer reading programs there too!!

Unknown said...

It's never to early to start reading to your child.
I started reading to my daughter when she was just an infant and it had a wonderfully calming effect on her.

Unknown said...

Michael has always seen me with a book. So when he was one he got his library card. We go to the library all the time to borrow all the books we can on his card (50 book limit)

Plus he has always taken part in story times and other activities at the library. Every summer we have a summer reading contest. So he knows the more he reads (in he case the more he hears stories) he gets tickets to win prizes through out the summer.

I think just having books available to children is a good thing, If you can't afford them that is what the library is for.

They say even just 5 minutes a day is good for children.

The Allen Family said...

I don't ever turn down a book my sons want me to read, no matter how tired I am, no matter how sick I am of reading that specific book, no matter what!

Kami Garcia said...

As a reading teacher, I can say these are great suggestions.

Nadi said...

Ask your child(ren) to draw a picture that is inspired from the book they just read or ask them to play out a summary of the book using puppets and props.

treflea4 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

forgot to leave email

Tracysweetangl said...

The kids read at bed time! They love to read.

Melissa said...

my tip would be start early - we read to our daughter from the day she was born (practically) and it's just like second nature to her now, she loves it.

thanks for the chance to win!

Carlene said...

I read with my grandson all the time. To keep him interested I get him a new book before each visit. He is always wanting to see what book we are going to read first-the new one. Then we read all the others. Please include me in your giveaway.

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