May…just the mention makes a teacher’s heart sing. With the days getting longer and spring flowering around us, finding that extra spark to get us through to the end of the school year becomes just a *little* easier.
Our school year ends earlier this year than ever before. Students will be finished on May 28th, and our last work day is May 29th. I know, right? Crazy. But with almost 9 weeks total instruction lost this school year to testing, none of my 6ers made the reading growth I had hoped for or am used to. What really bothers me is that half of my class came in at the lowest reading levels I have ever taught–and I taught two years at a Welcome Center for new arrivals.
So even though school days will come to a close, I am fervently hoping their reading does not. This spirit has flavored my Pinterest pins for this linky in terms of finding lists of very beginner-level books that I can share with students to help guide their summer reading. Some of these students are in a program that takes them to the library and a few have parents who take them to the library–and I don’t want that time being wasted. I did some searching for books that would appeal to the majority of these readers in advance and am going to post these links to my class blog (though few have internet access at home, they have started using cellphones to visit the blog) as well as printing off one list per kid, customized to their favorite types of books/topics, to create a little checklist of sorts. Their reading skills and topic tastes are SO varied that to print out a basic class list would be unfair to them as readers. Taking this time might or might not lead to more reading, but not doing it guarantees no reading–not a risk I want to take.
Without further discussion, here are the pins I’ve found best for building my class reading lists for summer. Yes, you read that right above–I am focusing these on my sixth graders, but remember–I teach ESL and the majority of my class reads no higher than beginning first grade (most are still trying to nail down phonics and fluency).
33 Kids Book Lists by MeMe Tales
Here’s a terrific place to start looking for groups of books by topic and theme. For a couple of my higher level 6ers, I might even have them visit this pin during free time and let them choose one or two topics directly from the collection to make my job easier. This is also a terrific pin to keep in mind as I put together collections of books to parallel classroom readings next year. Not that I’m already planning or anything 🙂
If You Like Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Then You’ll Also Like…by Melissa at Imagination Soup
I only included the top portion of this pin because the rest of it just doesn’t look good. But if you follow through, you’ll find at least a dozen other books (many are part of a series) that your Wimpy Kid fans will like. I can’t think of a single boy in all 3 of my grade level classes who hasn’t liked the Wimpy Kid series. It may not be fine literature but if it gets them reading, it’s good in my book.
Favorite Chapter Book Series for 1st and 2nd Graders from Bern at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
For the majority of my 6ers, this is a wish list of sorts. They lack the ability to read and comprehend these on their own since most of them still struggle with preprimer picture books. Still, I want them to get comfortable with the idea of reading bigger books with more words, so I will pull several of these books out of our classroom library for them to get a feel for what they’re expected to work toward. I absolutely love the feeling of getting a reader hooked in a series. I firmly believe it’s one of the best ways to turn non-readers into readers in a fun and painless way.
Looking forward to visiting all the great posts in this linky party! Want to join up? Use the graphics below for your own post, then link up with the group at the bottom. Be sure to visit other posts in the linky for more great ideas!