This is a guest post by Lyssa Sahadevan of Marietta, GA. She writes a blog called My Mommy Reads, which is about motherhood and teaching-related topics.
My first graders are readers. They love books, stories, magazine articles, graphic novels, e-books, and so on. When it came to summer reading though, I knew I had to be creative. I want them to have an amazing summer filled with playing outside and spending time with their families. I also want them to READ!
I had seen several reading challenges on Twitter and decided to discuss the possibilities with my class. Could first graders come up with categories to support their own summer reading? Yes! There was much debate and then a bit of voting. They decided to go with favorites, community, and award winners. Favorites included any books they already loved. The community category was centered on learning more about our world—the people and places. As our class has really celebrated award-winning books this year, I was thrilled with their third category: award winners of all kinds. My students even had the idea to make a challenge for their friends. We decided to create bookmarks so they could check off the books as they read them over the summer.
Once the challenge was in place and the bookmarks were made, we needed to discuss each category in detail. Hands quickly went up. Joy Cowley Collection books were especially popular. One reader wanted to borrow the Mr. Tang set because there are three books and they are his favorites. Another reader wanted a Mrs. Wishy-Washy book because she has always wanted to live on a farm. The lists were growing, and this teacher could not have been happier.
While I do want my students to read over the summer, I want their reading to be personal and full of choice. I want them to broaden their horizons. I want them to continue to love reading. I want them to know their teacher will be taking the challenge, too! Will you join us? Download our reading challenge bookmarks below!
For more information on the books mentioned in this blog post, click the series highlights images on the left below or click this link to visit our webpage for the Joy Cowley Collection series. To download the reading challenge bookmarks, click the image to the right.