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Summer Reading and Learning - Previous Revision

What could be better for a student's literacy skills than a summer filled with reading of all kinds? As Cathy Beck et. al explain, "With the time pressures of a regular school year behind us and the new year not quite a reality, we can dust off the books that have waited patiently to give us pleasure and without guilt, immerse ourselves in one of life’s greatest pleasures—reading" (Books for Summer Reading, p. 321). Summer reading programs urge students to read during their summer vacations, developing and maintaining a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. Further, such programs help students retain and sharpen literacy skills during the months that they are out of the classroom.

Teaching Strategies

calendarWhat Happened Today?
The ReadWriteThink calendar is one rich source of summer learning opportunities. Information on the national spelling bee, the birthdays of poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni, the history of the dragon boat festival in China, all with accompanying activities and reading, are just a few of the resources. 

Authentic Persuasive Writing to Promote Summer Reading
Devote time during your last weeks of school to promote summer reading by inviting students to create brochures and flyers that suggest books and genres to explore during the summer months.

Literacies in Learning ExchangeThe School Library--a Partner in Literacy, Not Just a Place to Put the Books!
Most people think of the school library first and foremost as a place to put the books and the librarian as the person to check those books out and say “SHH” to noisy students. Learn how the role of the school librarian is as a teaching partner with classroom teachers to help teach not only what we would consider traditional models of literacy, but also the practice of transliteracy.

Language JournalWriting a Relationship: Home–School Journals
Learn how three elementary teachers engaged with the families of children in their classrooms by using home–school journals. The teachers share explanations of process, findings, and implications of using dialogue journals as related to relationships with families and student learning and identify challenges faced in the implementation of dialogue journals. 

Voices from the Middle
Risks, Rewards, and Responsibilities of Using New Literacies in Middle Grades

Read about the work of nine middle grades teachers’ explorations of new literacies, including digital technologies and pop culture, and their implementations in their content area instruction. 

English JournalFacilitating a Summer Reading Book Group Program
Summer book groups enhance and sustain student literacy behaviors over the break, making available an enjoyable social forum for critical-thinking and critical-reading practices to occur naturally. Learn about one groups feelings about reading and how they learned to see reading as an enjoyable and interesting social event. 

English Journal
Summer Program Assists At-Risk High School Students

Learn how a summer job with a high school literacy project for at-risk students helped Katherine Barr teach content reading and writing strategies, strategies that she intends to combine, next time, with reading and writing workshop.


Professional Readings

Literacies in Learning ExchangeWhat Does It Take To Become a Better Teacher?
The Literacy in Learning Exchange provides the resources and support to help educators improve their literacy instruction and collaborate with others around problems of practice. Step into the learning opportunities over the summer.

When Our Practices Become Habits
It's when we stop reflecting on our professional practices that they become habits. This Literacy in Learning Exchange perspecive provides inspiring and intreguing stories to reflect upon this summer. 

English JournalMentoring and Teacher Development
Readers will find in this English Journal issue a wealth of articles that assist and inspire teachers, administrators, authors, and teacher educators who want to keep their skills sharp.  Offered are countless reasons, methods, and suggestions for meaningful professional development that can support the efforts of those who know teachers must remain at the center of education as decision makers. 

Language ArtsCollaborations for Change
Collaboration among students, teachers, teacher educators, and community/family members has powerful possibilities in promoting children’s literacy. The process of collaborating involves developing relationships where each others’ strengths and resources are combined to create a synergy that is greater than the parts of the whole. The articles in this Language Arts issue describe how some of these collaborations occur and how the authors have found the time and space to develop a vision for change.

Voices from the MiddleQuality Teaching
In this Voices from the Middle issue attention is focused on teachers as researchers and reflective practitioners. The articles enable educators to examine their own practice and to work to engage in collegial conversations about reflective practice, all serving the goal of improved teaching and learning to better support the growth of their students.


Related Resources

ReadWriteThink Out of School Activities
Visit's Parent & Afterschool Resources. Children and teens can stay immersed in learning by reading and writing all summer long through engaging activities and fun online games and tools. Listen to podcasts of booktalks and watch video demonstrations of learning activities to make the most of summer reading and writing opportunities.

Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
The Children's Literature Assembly 
offer invitations to young readers from kindergarten through eighth grade to interact with excellent books highlighting many and varied uses of language. The books selected for the 2012 list invite readers to participate in language play and use innovative texts as models for their own writing.

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award 
Since 1990 NCTE has celebrated reading with this annual award for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction titles for children. Check out the 2013 award winning titles.

Chatting About BooksChatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
Podcasts for Grades K–5 includes chats with kids, parents, and teachers about the best in children's literature for ages 4 through 11. Discussions include reading tips and fun activities to do with children before, during, and after reading.


Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers
Podcasts for Grades 6–12 providing families, educators, out-of-school practitioners, and tutors reading recommendations they can pass along to teen readers. Each episode features in-depth recommendations of titles that will engage and excite teen readers.



WLU 2013 ConferenceLiteracies for All Summer Institute
Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York July 18-20, 2013
Join in "Authentic Literacy Events and Social Actions: Celebrating Relationships and Partnerships" in the forum where progressive educators collaborate and explore the many ways to support learners as they inquire, think, engage, investigate, interrogate, and act within and upon their worlds.


CEE 2013 ConferenceCEE Summer Conference
Colorado State University, July 11-14, 2013
"Moving Forward: Possibilities in English Teacher Education" is the theme for the 2013 Conference on English Education summer conference designed for all English teacher educators and graduate students who focus on the preparation of pre-service and/or in-service teachers of English language arts and literacy.


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