The Summer Reading Challenge
Model your summer reading plans. Let students know what you plan to read, show them how they can keep track of your reading with a blog or following you on Twitter. Put your money where your mouth is. I currently have 2-3 professional books and 5 and growing "for fun" books in the TBR. I am saving them for summer. I love to sit out and read in the sun with my coconut tanning oil nearby.
Make sure your students have access. A library card, send them home with books, or as I am planning, let them know a day a week or every two weeks that you will be at the school. I plan to let my students know when I will be there so that they can pop in if they need some summer reading material. If they follow my blog or twitter they will be coming in to see what I am reading and if I finished it yet. An hour out of the week to book talk is nothing if it gets books in a few more students hands.
Choice. You want kids to read over the summer? Let them choose what they want to read. I spent the summer reading comics books as a kid, I spend summers reading comics now. If we are telling students what to read it becomes a task if we are encouraging them to discover a new book, to discover themselves as readers we are showing them we trust them. We are telling our students that reading is important but so is the choice in how they spend their time because it is their time. I plan to ask my students to read over the summer. When they return I will ask them what they read and if they will share with their peers but that is where my "program" will end. An invitation to discover new books and share with their peers. Sounds a lot better than 89.99 for 400+ "fun" comprehension entries and a reading log...