Links to Helpful Resources on the Web

 
Reading is Fundemental
"Nation's largest children's literacy program.."
Advice and tipes, articles, activities for kids, lesson plans.
 
New York State Summer Reading Program
Lots of links for kids, teachers and parents.
 
Kids Reads
Book lists for kids of all ages. Reviews.
 
Oregon Reading First Center
Review of Comprehensive Reading Programs. Nine programs evaluated.
Reading First
Enhancing Reading Instruction in Grades K–3, New York City Dept. of Education

The Essential Components of Reading Instruction

The Reading First initiative is a nationwide effort to enable all students to become successful early readers. It builds on findings that were compiled by the National Reading Panel from years of scientifically based reading research. These findings identified five essential components of effective reading instruction. To ensure that children learn to read well, explicit and systematic instruction must be provided in these five areas:

Phonemic awareness: Phonemic awareness is the understanding that the sounds of spoken language work together to make words.

Phonics: Phonics refers to the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between the sounds of spoken language, and the letters and spellings that represent those sounds in written language.

Vocabulary development: To develop vocabulary means to store information about the meanings and pronunciation of words necessary for communication.

Reading fluency, including oral reading skills: Fluency is the ability to read text accurately and quickly. It provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers recognize words and comprehend at the same time.

Reading comprehension strategies: Purposeful, active readers use comprehension strategies to make sense of text. These are sets of steps for understanding, remembering, and communicating with others about what has been read.

 

Building Effective Programs for Summer Learning by Peter Johnson

"Although summertime may mean a vacation from the classroom, it should never be a break in any child's intellectual development. Fortunately, many children have abundant opportunities for summer learning in their homes and communities, and as a result most kids gain points on standardized tests from June to September, even if they haven't entered a school or opened a textbook the during the months in between. This summer learning comes from reading books, singing songs, playing games, listening to stories, taking trips, and all kinds of other fun activities that kids rarely realize are actually good for them." - Peter Johnson

Scholastic Instructor

Bridging the Summer Reading Gap
A break from books can mean big losses for at-risk readers, but schools can help keep pages turning and minds sharp.
By Anne McGill-Franzen and Richard Allington 

June is fast approaching — you can feel the heat of summer in the hallways. Days are longer, attention spans are growing shorter, and everyone is ready for a break. Teachers are planning for their vacation time. Children are ready to shrug off the mantle of "student" for the three-month break, along with the backpacks, the math homework, and the quizzes and tests. But just because school is out, it doesn't mean that reading and learning should stop. Teachers know that many children can't afford to take such a long break. Young readers who don't continue to read over the summer — especially those who are reluctant or at-risk — are likely to lose crucial ground. One summer off can sometimes mean a whole school year of struggling academic performance.

... Children need to read outside of school. Research clearly shows that the key to stemming summer reading loss is finding novel ways to get books into the hands of children during the summer break.

 

Floating Bookmobile
By Elizabeth Manning

Few kids around Bethel used to read while they were helping their parents and grandparents catch, clean and dry salmon at fish camp. But starting three summers ago, books can now be found in summer camps up and down the Kuskokwim River.

What made the difference? The Kusko Book Express, a floating library sponsored by the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The Book Express, now two skiffs strong, travels up and down the river, handing out books to students.

 

Kids' Reading Programs

Lots of links for free printable teaching materials.

Starfall

" Primarily designed for first grade, Starfall is also useful for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and second grade."

 

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