Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to Create A Simple + Effective Summer Reading Program

I've gotta ask. How many of us just assign a summer reading book, have the kids read it, give them a little test/quiz when we get back to school, and then forget about the book for the rest of the year?

I'd say there's quite a few of us out there.

Hey. I was even guilty of doing that my first TWO years of teaching.

But then I got to thinking about how I could utilize summer reading assignments as a way to get a strong grasp on where my students stood in their writing. Yep. Using summer reading to assess students' writing. 

So here's how you can implement a strong summer reading program at your school.

1. Pick a book the kids will like. Seriously.
2. Assign an essential question (kind of like a final essay question for the book). You can read more about how to create your own essential question HERE.
3. Have your students write an essay over the summer answering this essential question.
4. Said essay is due the second day of school.

Now. Guess who gets to see where their students' writing stands before having to wait 2-3 weeks into the school year? YOU DO! Granted, some students might have had help with their essays, it still gives you a decent read on where they are.

*I'm a mean teacher, so I also like to assign an in-class essay in response to a second essential question from the summer reading book. This second writing assessment really gives me a peek into their writing skills because it's all written in the classroom.*

I've included a screenshot below to one of my past summer reading assignments, so maybe you can create something similar this summer!

Best of luck. And hang in there. You're sooooooo close!

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