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Preventing Summer Slide with Summer Reading Camp: Ocean Week

Summer reading slide is a big concern for many teachers. You've worked hard all year, and then summer hits! How can you keep students learning? In this post, I share our first week of a summer reading camp my school hosted for grades 1-4. We worked with small groups of students who might not have camp opportunities and those who needed a reading boost. Summer reading camp is lots of fun.

Preventing Summer Slide with Wild Readers Camp

As educators, we all know the value of independent reading and continued learning. During the summer, some of our most fragile learners suffer from what has become known as summer slide or summer learning loss. Kids in poverty lack quality books in their homes, lack access to public and school libraries during the summer, and typically have to drive miles to get to the nearest bookstore. Therefore, all access to reading materials is lost. No books means no reading unless they are lucky enough to have an electronic reader such as a Kindle or iPad. So what can be done to prevent this problem? My school came up with a very successful solution. 

10 Facts about Great Teachers

It is interview season, and in some of my teacher Facebook groups, interviewees have requested ideas on ways to address X issue, how to respond to Y question, and how we'd solve Z problem. It's made me pause to reflect on what makes a teacher great, and I think after 25 years in the classroom in multiple settings (classroom, technology, and reading specialist) and with the experiences I've had working with some of the greatest teachers, I can identify traits that great teachers must have. This is not to say that *I* am great (even after this many years, I still feel I have lots of areas to improve), but rather, what I have seen and admire in my colleagues.

Using Poem of the Week for More than Fluency

Many teachers and textbook companies make use of a poem of the week for building fluency, but there is much more that can be done if the right poem is selected. Students' comprehension of a poem's meaning or message, the impact of figurative language, and analysis of how a poet uses word choice to provide imagery and tone are just a few. In this post, we'll explore ways to make the most of each poem we choose.

7 Ways to Help Avoid Testing Meltdowns

State testing is just around the corner, and the pressure is building. We had the first of three math inservices today on how to help our students with the dreaded technology enhanced items, and our state has just notified us that the released items are available for us to use to practice.  I do not know about you, but just talking about all of this makes my stomach feel a little queasy.  Imagine what this means for the kiddos who are 9-10 years old?  Obviously, some practicing helps our students feel confident that, "Hey...I've seen this before. I know how to do this."  Too much practice gets boring and can create anxiety, so it's up to us to find the balance both for students and for ourselves. In this post, I thought I'd share a few tips you might use.

Five Fluency Tips Using Your Favorite Poetry Pieces

With many grade levels teaching plant concepts, this poetry set is perfect for extending across the curriculm. It includes an original poem, vocabulary cards, and three post reading comprehension activities. Check out this post for information on using poetry to build reading fluency and to download this free resource.
Of all reading skills in the early grades, building reading fluency is THE most important, and most teachers make working on fluency a top priority. However, sometimes we have children who struggle to catch on. In today's post, I'm going to use a poetry set I'm sharing with you to talk about how I work on fluency using my favorite poems and partner plays. 


This policy is valid from April 25, 2015
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. I share what has worked in my classroom and what I've learned through my reading program and from my experience. I will only endorse products or services that I have used and found beneficial, based on my expertise, which I feel are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

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