Today was fun! I had the opportunity to teach with a friend of mine at Rapoport Academy in Waco, Texas! It's been a few months since I've been in the classroom and it was JUST what I needed. Oh boy- it was a humid morning on the third to last day of school! So what on Earth was I going to try and TEACH on one of these last days of school you ask? Why Summer Reading Goals of course!
So if you read this blog, you know I am in love with Donalyn Miller and her new book Reading in the Wild was not a disappointment. She reminded me that we have to cultivate readers- so they will be readers outside of school! And pretty soon- these 2nd grade readers that I spent the morning with- are going to be "outside" of school for nearly three months! It is our job as teachers to do our best to ensure READING is happening outside of school and over the summer!
I sit down in front of a classroom of 40 2nd graders (two classes were part of the lesson) and I produce a large stack of books from my backpack. You can hear "Whoa!" from a few of the students as they look at my tall stack.
I ask students to turn and talk about what they are excited for this summer? Lots of answers- camping, swimming, going to the park, playing video games. We come back together as a group and I tell them that I'm excited for all of things too- but what I'm most excited about.... more than camping... more than swimming... more than playing at the park... is READING! I wait all school year to have time to read! I show them my stack of books that I will finally have time to read over the summer and I tell them that I am trying to read 75 books before it is time to come back to school! I talk about how I am going to read in the pool. I talk about how I am going to read in a tent. I talk about how I am going to read in the car on the way to the mall. What am I going to do this summer? READ!
So then I ask how many books they think they can read this summer? We agree that one is not a good number.... it should be a goal of more than one... but we also know that we are all different and that maybe we will only read two books because we know they are going to be really big/long books.
Then we talk about how hard it might be to read to 100! We agree that any goal is a good goal.
I am armed and ready with copies of Hundreds Charts. Because it seemed to be an easy way for kids to keep track of their number of books read- just color off a box for every book. I ask every student to come up to me and whisper their reading goal to me and I circle their number on the Hundreds Chart. Then each student takes their paper back to their seats to make their reading goal banner- decorating and coloring their number on the black back side!
There were some incredible goals made! Some kids said they would read 100. One student said he would read 2. Another student who first said he would read 2 changed that to 17 after a small conference with me about his number.
Here's the deal... will all students meet their reading goal? Nope. They won't. But will some of them read more this summer because of this goal? Yes. I think so. Some of these students hadn't even thought about reading over the summer! It had never crossed their mind. Maybe they didn't even know they could. I owed it to them to make sure they think about summer reading, right? I sure hope these kiddos read more this summer than they did last summer because they made a reading goal!
Do your students have summer reading goals? If you don't know- you owe them this mini-lesson. AND- decorating the reading posters/banners easily could fill up a half hour of your morning.... just sayin! :)
Be sure to attach a note to the Hundred's Chart and Reading Banner so families know the scoop. Share the website We Give Books which I have blogged about here so students won't run out of FREE reading options!
Happy Reading! And may I ask- what is YOUR summer reading goal? :)