Spark your students’ interest in summer reading and promote maintenance of skills with these 5 quick and easy ways to prevent summer slide in reading.
What’s the “Summer Slide”?
Summer slide is a lot less fun than it sounds. Although it may sound like a splash down a water slide, the dreaded “summer slide” actually refers to the regression of skills over the summer break from school. Without regular practice opportunities and routines, many students lose progress in reading over the summer. While the brain needs a break to get ready for new learning, students also need opportunities to review prior learning to avoid the dreaded “summer slide”. So let’s dive into 5 fun ways to prevent summer slide!
#1: Summer Reading at the Library
One of my favorite ways to prevent summer slide in reading harkens back to my own childhood. I loved the days of filling up a brown paper grocery bag at the library every two weeks, filling out my summer reading program list, and earning stamps on my reading passport. Libraries are the perfect resource for families over the summer. Not only do libraries offer extensive catalogs of free books but they also offer lots of free summer programming for children and families.
Connect your students with the library by providing your students with information about the summer reading program and a schedule of summer events at the local library. Your students will be able to catch up on reading while also earning prizes! Prefer audiobooks? Many libraries also offer audiobooks and e-books that make it easy to read on the go.
#2: Class Book Recommendations
Another one of my favorite ways to prevent summer slide and spark excitement about reading is to create a class list of recommended books. Summer is a great time to start a new book series, start a book club with friends, and read just for fun. Get your whole class or group engaged by creating a class list of reading recommendations. Provide your students with an index card or sticky note to jot down their favorite book titles with a short description of the book and a star rating. This is a great activity for the last week of school.
#3: Summer Reading Bookmarks
Prevent summer slide in reading by setting goals for summer reading. Another great way to wrap up the school year is by setting goals for summer. Model the goal-setting process for your students by setting your own summer reading goal.
Prevent Summer Slide by Setting Summer Reading Goals:
- Set a goal for the number of books you want to read by the end of the summer
- Set a goal for the number of minutes you want to read each day
- Set a goal to read a book with a friend, sibling, or parent
#4: Summer Reading Word Lists
Looking to prevent the summer slide in phonics and word recognition? Provide your students with targeted word lists for practicing phonics and word recognition skills over the summer. Include a list of ways families can practice reading these words as well as thinking questions for families to ask. For example, if giving a word list that contains one-syllable words with short vowel sounds, consonant digraphs, and consonant blends, a parent may questions such as: What digraph do you see in this word? Does this word have a beginning blend or an ending blend?
#5: Host a Summer Reading Make and Take
One of the biggest ways students experience summer slide in reading is with phonics and word recognition skills. Beat the summer slide and boost family engagement by hosting a summer make-and-take with families or by providing take-home kits with phonics centers and activities for students to continue to practice their word reading skills at home.