Message to Parents & Resources

Message to Parents of Elementary Age Students:

Students who take a ‘vacation’ from reading during the summer often lose crucial ground they may have gained during the school year. Over the summer, reading achievement typically declines an average of three months if students don’t read. Studies suggest that children who read as few as six books over the summer maintain the level of reading skills they achieved during the preceding school year. Summer reading should be relaxing and enjoyable for elementary aged children.

Help your children choose books that are easy to read, are from a series with recurring characters, or address topics they are interested in. Whether you are reading to your child or your child is reading to you or reading independently, be sure to talk about the book after finishing it. Ask about what they learned, who the characters were, what were the problems they faced, the challenges they overcame or the lessons they learned.

Message to Parents of Intermediate Age Students:

All students are encouraged to read throughout the summer. We are continuing to develop our reading community across all grade levels and all schools, within CCISD! While we want students to read many, many books of their choosing, we will award extra credit for responses to summer reading, up to 3 points added onto the student’s 9-week average. To receive an extra-credit point, students will answer at least 3 of the 7 questions for each book (up to three books for extra credit), and include relevant text evidence that supports answers. These questions can be seen on the question/reflection guide for students found under the Student Resources. Students may submit their answers as a handwritten document, journal, Word document, PowerPoint, digital blog, video, or some other form that allows them to communicate their answers.

You will also find a list of student recommendations and teacher/librarian recommendations under Student Resources to assist with choices, but anything a child wishes to read, with their parents’ approval, will be acceptable for the extra-credit assignment. Please see the list of conversation starters, below, for parents wishing to support their children with books that they, themselves, do not know.

Please note that as our students grow up, so too, does some of the content in books that are designed to meet their reading interests. Some Young Adult novels contain an increased amount of mature themes, language, and imagery. Additionally, several Young Adult authors also publish other books within the high school and adult fiction genre. With this in mind, please consider supporting your student’s book selection by reviewing the summary/blurb on the back cover, as well as skimming through the text. We want your child’s reading experience to be pleasant and motivating. At school, we discuss this with the students, reminding them to, “…choose books that are just right for them, and for their family.”

Message to Parents of High School Age Students:

Here are some reading suggestions for the summer time. Make a Plan Early! In CCISD, it is our goal and expectation that all students continue to read a wide variety of books throughout the summer months. Maintaining a reading habit will engage students in the thinking and practice necessary for success in the next school year, while helping avoid the well-documented “summer slide” many students traditionally experience.

Please note that as our students grow up, so too does some of the content in the books that are designed to meet their reading interests. Some literature contains an increased amount of mature themes, language, and imagery. Additionally, some of these novels were originally published with adults as the target audience. With this in mind, please consider supporting your student’s book selection by reviewing the summary/blurb on the back cover or online, as well as by skimming through the text. We want your child’s reading experience to be pleasant and motivating. At school, we discuss this with students, reminding them to, “…choose books that are just right for them and for their family.”

 

For more information about the CCISD Summer Reading plan, please feel free to reach us at (281) 284-0000:

Laura Adlis, Coordinator of Elementary Language Arts
Marny Doepken, Coordinator of Intermediate Language Arts
William Eastman, Coordinator of High School Language Arts
Glenda Holder, Director of Advanced Academics and Gifted and Talented Program
Dr. Susan Silva, Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction

You may find online booklists supportive in helping your student find something interesting to read this summer. Here are a few helpful websites:


Great Teen Picks –

http://www.penguinteen.com/category/shelf-goals/ | http://bookriot.com/read/

American Library Association Awards –

http://www.ala.org/yalsa/alex-awards | http://www.alan-ya.org/awards/alan-award/

State Awards –

http://cynthialeitichsmith.com/lit-resources/read/awards/stateawards/


Article for Parents:

How to Discuss Books with Your Kids (Even When You Haven’t Read Them!)

Questions to Support Conversations About Books at Home

Experienced readers increasingly apply metacognitive skills before, during, and after reading, especially when reading independently. To facilitate and build critical thinking and analytical skills, below are example questions for students and parents to utilize as they reflect on summer reading.

What is your book about, so far?

What is the conflict? What makes you think that?

What are the main characters like? How do you know?

What do they say & think that helps you know? How do they act that helps you know?

What is the setting, and how does it impact the characters, the conflict, and possibly, the resolution?

Who is the narrator of this story?  What special insight does that provide the reader?  What would you understand differently if the narrator had been another character?

What is a theme you are finding throughout this book?  Where do you find evidence of that?

Are you making any connections between this book and anything else you’ve read?  Any connections to your own life?  How do those connections help you understand this book, more deeply?

Would you recommend this book to me, your brother/sister?  Why, or why not?

Describe the author’s use of language – what makes it effective or ineffective?

What is one social issue that is addressed? How does the author seek to bring the author into agreement with her?

What are the most important questions or concerns about the topic that this book leaves you with? Why are they important?

How is our sense of right and wrong, our morality, reflected in each of the texts that you have read?

Explain the author’s purpose – as a reader why is it important to understand an author’s purpose?

What ideas from the text seem threatening or wrong because they challenge what you think or feel? What ideas from the text confirm what you think or feel?

What are the major obstacles the protagonist faces? Explain why the obstacles are critical to the development of the character.

How does this novel deal with questions of identity and self-discovery?

How does this novel help you develop empathy for others?

What similarities or differences in theme did you notice in the books you read?


 

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