Tuesday, June 22, 2010

summer reading & a free book

Border's summer reading program - Double Dog Dare - gives a child under 12 a free book for reading ten books. Check out the link for the details. The free book is restricted to certain titles, but its still a free book! All you have to do is fill out a form you download from the website, read ten books, bring your completed form back to a Border's, and get your free book. Sounds like a great incentive for summer reading!

Monday, June 21, 2010

a window & mirror

I've started a class on multicultural literacy and the analogy used for its importance is a window and a mirror. This analogy, referring to exposing children to literature that reflects back an essence of themselves (a mirror) and provides a safe haven for exploring other cultures (a window) epitomizes why educators ought to search out the best books to engage young readers.

Think back to the first time you remember loving a book. Was it a window and/or a mirror? I would bet so. To really ignite a passion for books, we need to expose readers to those books that are worth being passionate. For an assignment in this class my colleges and I will be compiling a website highlighting some of these books we would like to share with students in the future. We will include both children's and YA lit from 5 regions as well as a sampling from the "new" multicultural categories including religion, gender/sexuality, ability, etc.

I've found a few sites which list some samplings of multicultural literature that might speak well to your student(s) or child.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity through Children's Literature

How to choose the best multicultural books, includes lists for different categories

Lists of books evaluated for the use of urban educators

50 multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

kick-off to summer reading

Research has shown over and over how important summer reading is to maintaining progress from year to year. Some schools have gone to year round school in order to shorten the time students are away from the classroom. This is one, but certainly not the only approach to maintaining the skills your child worked so hard to refine during the school year. 

I remember spending my summers playing kick- the-can until dark and riding my bike throughout the neighborhood with a sack lunch looking for an adventure. I also remember I had a friend who lived on the corner of my street that was forced to spend hours of each summer day studying. I would wave to her in her bedroom window as I raced by on my bike. Thankfully, there are simple solutions, beyond year-round school and studying all summer, to keeping reading and writing skills sharp during the three month hiatus.

In fact, the best thing you can do for your child is simply to keep them reading. Let your child choose the material they want to read (that is on their level) and encourage time spent reading. There are many programs that offer incentives. One of which is the make a splash -- READ! program put on by the summit county public library.

overview of the program:
runs from June 7 - July 31, 2010

1. go to your local branch of the summit county public library and fill out a card to join the program
2. each week let your child check out a book
3. your child, with or without your assistance, reads the book
4. return the book and fill out a slip to be entered to win a prize each week
* visit the library 4 out of the 8 weeks the program runs and receive a free McDonald's coupon*