Summer Reading Reminders for Students

I always like to plan end-of-the-year activities for my library classes that encourage students to keep reading over the summer. As someone who always has stacks of books around the house, as well as a public library card, I take it for granted that time off from school just means MORE time to read.  But I realize that for many of our students, the opposite is true.

Here are a few things I like to do:

  I usually do a book swap during the last week of school, but this year we made that one of our Read Across America Day activities.  Click to download the flier I send home for the summer swap.

 Summer Reading BINGO, except I don’t play it as a bingo game.  I give each student a copy of the grid showing all the reading possibilities along with some colored pencils.  I put on some upbeat music and students move around the room collecting signatures from their classmates.  Each student signs a square representing one type of summer reading he/she will participate in.  Not only does this get kids planning for their reading, but it makes a nice memento with everyone’s autograph.  I have also used this as a back-to-school icebreaker, where students sign a square that represents a type of reading they actually did over the summer.  You can download the grid I use for free on Teachers Pay Teachers from Create Teach Share.  (Also includes a Summer Reading Bucket List, which is cool for setting individual reading goals.)

  I also like to create a Summer Reading Brochure tailored to my students as a way to share a lot of info in one place.  I include a definition of “summer slide” and how to overcome it; information on summer reading programs hosted by the public library, the local bookstore, and online sites; and summer reading lists including our state book award nominees for the upcoming year.  Since many kids now have some type of device capable of accessing the internet, I also include URLs for websites with free ebooks.  I include our school library collection, and a link to DISCUS Kids, which includes a free subscription to Tumblebooks for residents of South Carolina courtesy of our State Library.  (Your state library may offer something similar.)

  And finally I entice them with the promise of our annual Summer Reading Celebration, an ice cream sundae party for students who turn in a reading log (signed by a parent) of books they enjoyed during the break or a certificate of completion from an official summer reading program.

How do you get students excited about reading over the summer?  Leave a comment and share!

 

 

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Steve Jenkins Books in the Elementary Makerspace

If you’re a follower of this blog, you know what a passion I have for collage art.  (I’ve written about it here and here and here.)  A favorite author/illustrator is Steve Jenkins, whose non-fiction animals book inspire me with both their facts and their art.

         
(Click the book covers to look inside.)

He’s the inspiration for our latest activity in the STEAM Makerspace this month.  First I share some of his books with my students, and we discuss how they think he created the art.  Then we watch this video on the Steve Jenkins website showing how he creates an illustration for his book Move.

Click to view the video.

I realize that kids can’t expect to measure up to his artistic standards, and I don’t want them to feel disappointed with their results, so I also show them some examples of animal collage art made by other kids.  Then I turn them loose with paper, scissors, and glue!

(Click the photo to enlarge)

I think the results were pretty awesome!  Do you use collage art and/or Steve Jenkins books in your library or makerspace?  Leave a comment and share!

 

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South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference 2018 Recap

  I’m still reflecting on everything I learned and experienced at this year’s South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference, which featured wonderful speakers and fascinating authors and illustrators.  My thanks to the conference steering committee, our SCASL officers, and the local arrangements committee for a fantastic conference!

Hearing Matt de la Pena read his Caldecott award-winning book LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET and talk about engaging reluctant readers was a highlight of the conference for me!

Later on I’ll be sharing more details about what I learned, and some of the new ideas I’m implementing in my library, but for now I’ll just post a copy of the report I created for my principal.  I wanted to give her a quick overview of the sessions I attended and my top take-away’s from each, so I created a google slideshow for my recap.

If you have published notes or a reflection on the SCASL 18 conference somewhere online, please share a link in the comments or tweet me @LibraryLoriJune.  You can also search twitter for #scasl18 to see what attendees have been tweeting about!

 

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Shopping at The Monstore on Read Across America Day

One of the best activities we did on Read Across America Day was our Book Switcheroo!  Each teacher selected a book to read aloud to a small group of students and prepared a follow up activity for them.  Students were sent a google form with pictures of all the book covers so they could choose the one they wanted to hear, and during the last hour of the day they switched to the classroom where that book was being read.  Teachers weren’t limited to only reading Dr. Seuss books, although many of them did.

  I chose the book The Monstore by Tara Lazar.  I thought it had a bit of a Dr. Seuss feel to it, since he was known for his imaginary creatures, it works with multiple ages, and I had a great idea for a follow-up activity that I knew the students would enjoy.  After all, who can resist designing and creating their own monster!

As the kids came into the library, they were each given three tickets to save for later.  Before sharing the book with them I asked who had younger brothers or sisters (most did) and we discussed how pesky they can be.  After the story – which they thoroughly enjoyed – the kids all sat down at a table while I explained that I had a Monstore set up for them to visit.  At my Monstore they could use one ticket for a piece of colored card stock, and with the remaining two tickets they could purchase “monster parts” for an original creation.

Choices included googly eyes, pipe cleaners, yarn, glitter, fancy-edged scissors, etc.  Each table was also given a caddy with regular scissors, markers, and glue.

As I expected, the students were wildly inventive with their monster ideas, and by limiting the number of add-on’s they could purchase we avoided copycat creations.  I realized afterwards that this would also be a great Makerspace or Learning Center activity for students.

Library bulletin board featuring our Monstore monsters. Click to enlarge.

If you’d like to use The Monstore in your library or classroom, visit the book’s official homepage for a free teacher’s guide, as well as additional ideas and links.  If you have other suggestions for sharing this book, please leave a comment!

 

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Read Across America Student Bulletin Boards and Door Decorations

  Our school held a bulletin board or door decorating contest for all teachers and students in honor or Read Across America Day last Friday.  We were given 3 hours that morning to create and put up our best Dr. Seuss idea featuring student work.

I shared the book Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss with my morning classes, and we discussed how books can take you to different places, time periods, or situations that you might not be able to experience in real life.  Then the students used construction paper, markers, and yarn to create a hot air balloon that included the name of a favorite book and a sentence explaining why.

Here are pictures of what some of the other classes did:

              

  

Please share your Dr. Seuss door and bulletin board ideas with me on Twitter @LibraryLoriJune

 

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Flip Flop Book Swap for Read Across America Day

  We have lots of activities planned for Read Across America Day on March 2, but my personal favorite is the Flip Flop Book Swap I’m hosting in the library!  Students are bringing books from home that they no longer read so they can swap them for books that other kids are bring in.  Students must have their parents permission of course, and their books should be in good condition.  Students receive one ticket for each book they bring in, and on Friday they can trade their tickets for books.  We also have some extra books that have been donated to the swap so that everyone has a good selection from which to choose.

Updated to add a photo and some statistics:

Students traded 95 books during our Seuss Swap! We also had an additional 15 books donated to the swap to provide more choice for students.

Has your school ever done a book swap?  Please leave a comment and share your experience!

 

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Paws for Books – Another Successful Book Fair!

I just want to give a grateful shout out to my book fair parent volunteers in appreciation for their hard work and their willingness to help get books into the hands of our students!  I couldn’t have had a successful book fair without them.

Thanks also to the parents who support our library with their purchases!  Through this fundraiser I was able to add 62 of the most popular books in the book fair to our library collection!

And thanks to the kids who warm my heart with their excitement every time the book fair comes to our school.  I love to see their enthusiasm for the books and their pride in owning copies of their favorites.

Until next year…..

 

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