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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

FREE Book Lists, Activities, Online Resources and Apps to Support Kids' Reading During the Summer

Friday was my first official day of summer.  Woohoo!  It's been nice to relax the past few days.  I say relax in the loosest of terms, though, because it's tricky for me to really relax.  I'm a mover and a shaker.  There are always tasks to accomplish and most tasks usually involve something school related.  I have a handful of professional texts I would like to read, blog hop posts to prepare, and Back-to-School products to create.  

Why in the world have I already started preparing for the start of the school year when summer has barely started?  I ask myself this on a nightly basis.  The minute I hop into bed my mind starts racing with thoughts about professional texts I'm reading, activities to incorporate into my guided reading groups and fun projects to do with my own children at home.  I think it's because I've always been addicted to learning and teaching.  

The picture below gave me a laugh.  Toward the end of the school year, I was reading The Diary of a Wimpy Kid with one of my 3rd graders for the last 5 minutes of our time together.  It was the only book that seemed to interest him.  Even though it was a Level S, which was far from his Level J reading abilities, it was an amazing motivator.  Besides, levels aren't everything!  Anyway, now that I'm a teacher and a mother, I'm always turning things into a "teaching moment", not only with my students, but with my own children, too.  

Anyway, as I mentioned above, I'm now a parent and have my own kiddos to involve in fun reading activities throughout the summer. Which brings me to some resources I'd like to share in hopes to support and motivate kids to read throughout the next few months.  I've included leveled book lists, an online reading challenge, some summer reading activities, along with online read alouds and iPad story Apps.  Best part?  They're all FREE.

After reading Beyond Leveled Books, I have a new understanding of the purpose of leveled books.  Getting kids to progress up the guided reading levels isn't the end all be all.  It's about motivating our readers to find joy and pleasure in reading.  It's about them choosing to read even if they don't have to.  However, reading leveled books does have an important place in guiding students to become more proficient readers.  Knowing a child's independent and instructional level will help put him/her on the path to reading for enjoyment.  If a child is appropriately matched with texts, meaning he/she does not read books that are not too easy or too difficult, reading can become something pleasurable.

Because of this, I've added a resource I stumbled upon when viewing another school's website.  It contains a lists of books categorized by Levels A through Z to help parents seek out titles within their child's reading level(s). 

Books Arranged by Guided Reading Levels A-Z
Are you looking to have children participate in an online reading program?  Look no further!  Check out Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge with options for students, educators and parents.  This is an annual challenge, so check back each summer. :) 
FREE Online Reading Program for Kids
If you're on the hunt for some fun summer reading activities, Reading Is Fundamental has some choices for you.

Are you seeking various read alouds children can listen to via the Internet?  Check out Storyline Online and Mrs. P's Stories.  They have a plethora of books to enjoy.  
Storyline Online- FREE Stories Read Aloud
Do you prefer using an iPad?  Check out the Apps below for some stories to read with your kids.  My own kids certainly love them. 
Booksy App (Free Version)

Before I go, I want to say thank you to EduClips for the cute clip art of the kids with books up above in this post.  I hope the resources I provided are useful to you this summer.  If you have other resources, please share them in the comments.  I'm always looking for more. :)  

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