Reading Children Beat Summer Slide Kent ISD

Kids Who Read Beat the Summer Slide

In 2009, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “devastating”. Educators often refer to summer loss as “summer slide”.

It is estimated that the amount of loss a child might experience could equal one month of instruction, and the effect has a greater impact on disadvantaged children (Cooper, 1996). Researchers conclude that two-thirds of 9th grade reading achievement gaps can be explained by the accumulated summer loss they have experienced since early elementary, with nearly one-third of the gap already present when children enter Kindergarten (Alexander, Entwistle & Olsen, 2007).

Children who experience this loss come into school already behind their peers. Children who started the school year behind, never close this gap. Each summer this cycle is repeated, increasing the gap between students.The growing body of research supports the development of summer reading habits and its role in providing a foundation for academic success.

Summer Slide Kent ISD

Summer reading research identifies four elements:

  1. The impact of summer learning loss on disadvantaged youth.
  2. Access to books and time devoted to reading.
  3. The importance of successful reading and learning experiences.
  4. The impact of innovative summer reading programs.

In light of this research, there are some things each of us can do.  

Tips for Educators:

  1. SET GOALS: Set goals with each student and identify a way students can log or monitor their own progress. Help students to know when they have reached their goal.
    Barbara Heyns found that “children who read at least six books during the summer maintain or improve their reading skills, while children who didn’t read any books saw their reading skills decline by as much as one grade level.

  2. SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Provide parents with the specific skill sets each student needs to develop. Help students understand the need for them to work on these skills: how, when, where, and why.
  3. IDENTIFY READING LEVELS: Help students understand who they are as a reader and identify reading goals. (How much to read, what to read, when, and where?)  National Institute of Education (1988) concluded that “…the amount of reading done out of school is consistently related to gains in reading achievement.”
  4. PROVIDE ACCESS TO BOOKS:  Barbara Heyn (1978), found that reading was the most influential factor related to summer learning.  Further studies by Krashen (2004) simply state, “More access to books results in more reading.”

Tips for Parents and Families:

  1. ROUTINE: Establish a routine for children to engage in reading, through a book you read aloud, audio books, or read to self. Take pictures of your child’s favorite places to read  (post on twitter #KISDReads2016, please do not include names)
  2. LIBRARY: Connect with your local public libraries. Children in library programs benefit academically from story hours, arts and crafts, and other special events designed to enhance the reading experience.
  3. SET GOALS: Establish reading goals and support them with time to read. Plan for reading time, such as while riding in the car, waiting for appointments, and what to read next. Have your child recommend their book and post on twitter #KISDReads2016
  4. DISCUSS: Talk about what they are reading.  Ask questions: 
    • What is the story about? 
    • Who is the story about?
    • Do you like the character? Yes/No, why? 
    • In what ways do you connect with the character? Has that ever happened to you?
    • What do you think the author wants you to learn? 
    • How might this character compare to other characters you have read about?
  5. CREATE: Create a 1-minute book commercial or movie trailer (post on twitter #KISDReads2016)
    • TeleStory– FREE iPhone/iPad app to write, direct, and star in your own TV show with TeleStory!
  6. EXPLORE: As a family, take time each week to go to the zoo, museum, gardens, parks, beach, Muskegon Nature Center, etc. and  talk about what you each “notice”. Help your child to look at the details and name what they see. How many different ways can you describe what you see? Push their vocabulary! (Share any great locations you find on twitter #KISDReads2016)

See Spring and Summer Events List and Resources

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