Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Does summer reading matter?

If you have been reading this blog you know that we were pretty committed to making sure that our kids read this summer.  Since we were looping our class from kindergarten to first grade, we knew we would have most of the children again this year so we had a vested interest in their reading over the summer.  My co-teacher, Tracy Ruark, and I mailed postcards and letters to the students and e-mailed pictures of ourselves reading all summer (that's me reading to the grands).   My co-teacher took pictures all over NC of herself reading The Wizard of Oz (which is our school theme this year), that I enjoyed as much as the kids! We sent personal responses to children that sent us personal mail and e-mail and made sure to write when students reached milestones in their reading, also noting it on the classroom blog.  Our class logged over 26,000 minutes of summer reading!

So... here are the results of our summer reading commitment.  Twenty-four  of our kindergartners returned to us for first grade.  Three of those students went to ELL summer school for support and three of the students attended Summer Camp at our school.  In addition to those six, ten others made a commitment at home to reading by logging hours into's summer program and read for over 1500 minutes - the Principal's requirement for getting a prize when they returned to school.

Of the three who attended ELL Summer School, all maintained and two improved their end-of the year reading levels.  One jumped a single level and one jumped two levels.  It has been my experience that these students often drop back a level over the summer so this is especially encouraging.

Of the three that attended Camp at our school - a camp that made a commitment to summer reading, two maintained their levels and one jumped  three reading levels!  The student that jumped the three levels also read significantly at home, logging into Scholastic!

Of the ten that committed to reading at home, every single child jumped at least one level!  Five children jumped a single level.  Two jumped two levels; two jumped three levels and one child actually jumped FOUR reading levels! The child that jumped the four levels was also the child that won our class prize for logging the most minutes into the Scholastic system.  So... of the 16 that actively participated in summer reading - all maintained or jumped levels and some jumped significantly.  I knew the summer reading would make a difference, but we have never before had these outstanding results as we returned to school.

This is the first year ever that we haven't had a single student fall back a level over the summer, so it seems that  the Principal's summer challenge, along with,, Summer School and Summer Camp and even our correspondences with the students over the summer were the deciding  factors.  What an encouraging start to the new year!

1 comment:

Melanie Holtsman said...

That's awesome!!! Love you guys sharing your reading life with the kids too :)