No Summer Slide by Cynthia Shields, Language Arts Supervisor, NHCS

It’s summer and the Ceratopogonidae are here! What’s that? You can’t see them? Well, that’s because they are no-see-ums! As much as we love summer, we don’t like those annoying pests. We also don’t like another summer phenomenon: the loss of skills that students experience over the 2 months out of school, also known as the summer slide.

According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association, “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year…. It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”
Keeping Kids Off the Summer Slide. 2012. Reading is Fundamental. 17 June 2012
< http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/keeping-kids-off-the-summer-slide.htm>

Related research suggests that there is a way to prevent the summer slide from affecting our children…reading! Our school district recognizes how important it is for our students to have access to great books all year. For that reason, several elementary and middle schools’ libraries will be open during the summer. Please check our website, www.nhcs.net , for the summer library schedules at the following schools:

It is believed that children who read at least 4-6 books over the summer will maintain and even improve their reading skills. What should they read? Our national standards recommend that children should have regular exposure to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

As much as we all love stories, parents should encourage children to try nonfiction. The summer is a great time to explore shells, shrimp, and shipwrecks. Boys, especially, enjoy reading about bugs….your child may find information on those Ceratopogonidae and be able to recite their characteristics!

Children love to play with rhymes. Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends are beloved collections of poetry, along with books by Jack Prelutsky.

Because children are all different, there is no magic list of perfect summer reading titles. Consider interests and consult with the on-site instructor to match the appropriate reading level to your child. Below are some favorite authors, titles, and websites and even a reference for children who tell you they don’t want to read.

Kindergarten – 2nd grade

All books by Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Cynthia Rylant

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Love You Forever, Robert Munsch
Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman
The Mitten, Jan Brett

3rd grade – 5th grade

All books by Beverly Cleary, Kate DiCamillo, Roald Dahl

Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
Holes, Louis Sachar
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

6th grade – 8th grade

All books by Gary Paulson, Katherine Paterson, Lois Lowry

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle

Websites

Teachers’ choices http://www.teachersfirst.com/100books.cfm
Books by age http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/toppicks/Top_Picks.htm
Books for boys http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/toppicks/a/books_boys.htm

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