Many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they've learned or slip out of practice during the summer months. Try these strategies to help your reader improve her reading during the summer and beyond:
Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing. When choosing the six, be sure that they are just right — not too hard and not too easy. Take advantage of your local library. Ask for help selecting books that match your child's age, interests, and abilities. Libraries often run summer reading programs that motivate kids to read, so find out what's available in your area. Also check our book lists for recommendations.
Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read. Find them throughout the day:
Morning: The newspaper — even if it is just the comics or today's weather.
Daytime: Schedules, TV guides, magazines, online resources, etc. For example, if your daughter likes the food channel, help her look for a recipe on the network's Web site — then cook it together for more reading practice.
Evening: End the day by having your child read to you from the book he is currently reading (one of the six books, above). Have him rehearse a paragraph, page, or chapter before reading to you. Rereading will help him be more fluent — able to read at an appropriate speed, correctly, and with nice expression.
Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle. One benefit is that you can read books your child can't, so she will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books. This will increase her knowledge and expand her experience with text, so that she will do better when she reads on her own.
It's hard to keep up a reading routine in a season packed with distractions and diversions. These suggestions will fit into a busy schedule and make reading fun!
Your child received a screen name and password to log in reading minutes in the Scholastic Reading Challenge this summer. Click below for information about our Summer Reading Challenge and then click the link below that for the login page. NOTE: The login page will only work in Google Chrome.
Thank you for supporting our BOGO Book Fair. We were able to get plenty of books in the hands of your children last week at a great price. Set them on their way to reading every day this summer and have them log in their minutes on the Scholastic Reading Challenge web page. Go to:
Your child has been given his/her Screen name and password during a lesson a few weeks ago. Have your child log in minutes to prevent the "summer slide"...and add up those minutes for our school in the national program to read, read, read this summer!
Our great media center mural painted by Scott McIntyre back in 2007 is a tribute to students who have attended Shallowford Falls. Students who were here then paid $20 to have their names hidden in the mural as a lasting gift to the school and to leave their name behind as a momento. We would like to offer that opportunity to any student who would like to have his or her name added to the mural. What a great gift to a graduating fifth grader! Just send in cash or a check (made out toShallowford Falls) to the media center using the form below showing us how you'd like the name to appear on the mural.
Would you like to recognize your child's birthday by donating a book to our media center? Fill out the form below and send in a check for $10. A few weeks before your child's birthday, we'll bring him/her to the media center to pick out a book from a selection of brand new books from a recent book order. We'll place a Birthday Book Club bookplate inside the front cover honoring your child on his/her birthday. Then, your child will be given the opportunity to present his/her new book to the media center on our local Fox5 Shallowford Falls morning broadcast. All proceeds will be used to purchase new books and materials for our media center. We appreciate all you do to support our program.
Let's face it: We have all played on our phone while with our kids. Whether it's a quick text or a social media post, it can be difficult put the electronics down. I'm guilty of it, and most parents are guilty of it. But in reality, our email and Facebook can wait – especially if it means setting a good example for our children and protecting their health, since increased screen time is associated with higher rates of childhood obesity, behavior problems, ADHD, poor sleep quality, poor physical activity and poor school performance.
Multiple studies have shown that as parents increase their screen time (whether it be smart phones, TV, computers, video games), their children do the same. Our children are constantly learning from us and following in our footsteps. When we focus on a screen instead of our child, we are sending a message that says, "My phone or the TV is more interesting than you." Parents in my office often ask me why kids are so interested in our smartphones and tablets, and it's because from the day they're born, they see us glued to these devices. In turn, children are fascinated by electronics and want to use them, too.
In addition, a recent studyfound that as parents increased usage of electronic devices while sitting at a playground with their children, the children were more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Although the study wasn't able to dissect why children were more risky, it may be because the kids were trying to get a parent's attention. This is definitely something to think about!
In my office, I've met with some parents who are worse than their teenagers when it comes to electronic media. They refuse to stop playing video games or scrolling through social media during medical visits. Often times, I have to repeatedly ask the parent to put the phone away.
It's time that we set an example for our children and put down the devices. Here are some tips that will help you and your kids slowly unplug:
Remove the TV from the bedroom. Take the TV out of your room and your child's room. Screen time at bedtime has been shown to influence sleep patterns and lead to less sleep and increased behavior problems.
Ban electronics from the dinner table. Make mealtime an electronics-free zone – no TV, no smartphone, no tablet on the table. Eating with screens on makes you more likely to consume more calories and less likely to have a conversation with your child. Take the time to find out what happened in your child's day instead of reading posts about what's happening in other people's lives.
Put limitations on screen time. Limit as much screen time as possible – ideally no more than one hour per day. The more our children use electronics, the less physical activity they do. Fight the boredom by making a list of things to do to keep the kids occupied.
Set aside play time. Show your child he or she is more important than the screen, and do things the old-fashioned way. Play with your kids, and let their imaginations run wild. Take them to the park, a museum or help them build a fort in the living room.
Get interactive with your children. There are times when screens are OK, but if you're going to use electronics, use them together as a family in an interactive way.
This summer, make a resolution to unplug as much as possible. By doing so, you'll not only create more memories with your children, you'll also help improve your family's well-being.