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Summer Student Resource Links

Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide

By Francie Alexander

 
Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they've learned or slip out of practice during the summer months. Try these strategies to help your reader improve her reading during the summer and beyond:
  1. Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy. Take advantage of your local library. Ask for help selecting books that match your child's age, interests, and abilities. Libraries often run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, so find out what's available in your area. Also check our book lists for recommendations.

     
  2. Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Find them throughout the day:
    • Morning: The newspaper — even if it is just the comics or today's weather.

       
    • Daytime: Schedules, TV guides, magazines, online resources, etc. For example, if your daughter likes the food channel, help her look for a recipe on the network's Web site — then cook it together for more reading practice.

       
    • Evening: End the day by having your child read to you from the book he is currently reading (one of the six books, above). Have him rehearse a paragraph, page, or chapter before reading to you. Rereading will help him be more fluent — able to read at an appropriate speed, correctly, and with nice expression.

       
  3. Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child can't, so she will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase her knowledge and expand her experience with text, so that she will do better when she reads on her own.
It's hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. These suggestions will fit into a busy schedule and make reading fun!
 
 
 
Online activities for families
Here are some examples of good interactive educational websites that parents and young kids can explore together. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) http://readingisfundamental.org/ has an excellent bilingual site called Let's Read as a Familyhttp://www.rif.org/leer/default_english_noflash.mspx?flash=false designed to help Latino families read, sing, and share stories together at home. There are lots of other quality websites for kids. Here are a few more:
  • National Geographic Kids : offers great nature videos, activities, games, stories, and more   http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/
  • CoolMath4Kids : take a trip through an amusement park of math and more at this extremely interactive math website http://www.coolmath4kids.com/
  • Smithsonian Kids Collecting : how to start your own collection and see what other kids collect http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/students/idealabs/amazing_collections.html
  • Explore Dinosaurs : FAQs and top 10 myths about dinosaurs, a virtual dig, behind the scenes tours, and more from the National Museum of Natural History   http://paleobiology.si.edu/dinosaurs/index.html
  • Smithsonian Digging for Answers : a site that tests your research skills and knowledge http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/students/ideaLabs/digging_for_answers.html
  • NASA Quest : interactive explorations that engage students in real science and engineering. Topics include robots, helicopters, lunar exploration, and designing your own human-friendly planet http://quest.nasa.gov/
  • My Wonderful World : a multimedia tour of our seven continents http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/mywonderfulworld/
  • Time for Kids: fun games (The Great State Race), an online weekly magazine written for kids, and news from around the world http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/kids
Resources for parents and teachers:
Scholastic.com: Summer Reading Challenge, Levled book finders (you can find books by reading level, topic, intertest, series, etc) , video book reviews, summer lesson plans and activities, videos and tips for parents to read to their kids.
ReadingRockets.org: Lots of articles on teaching kids how to read, working with struggling readers, book and author talks, book lists and summer reading tips.
Pbs.org/parents : Great supplemental activities for the shows that the kids are watching. Bookfinder, book review blogs, activites, crafts and more.
Reading is Fundamental:  http://www.rif.org/kids/readingplanet/6938.htm  Another link to get started on some summer reading fun!