There’s no doubt that summer reading is good for students—there’s evidence of the importance of summer reading everywhere, including some recent findings from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. But picking up a good book isn’t only for kids. Stop your own summer slide by checking out this summer reading list made especially for teachers (and other grown-ups too).
I know my friend Rob wrote to tell you about International Thank You Day yesterday, but I just wanted to let you know about another fun holiday that’s happening right now. It’s National Letter Writing Week! Yep, that’s write right—a whole week devoted to epistles, missives, notes, and messages.
It’s the perfect excuse to make someone’s mailbox a little brighter. So write some fan mail to your favorite author, drop a line to your best friend, or send a postcard to your long-lost cousin Irving. Long or short, typed or handwritten, everyone loves a letter!
Wishing you the very best,
PS: If you do send a letter this week, I’d love to hear about it. Just leave me a message in the comments section.
So winter break is here, and you’ve just settled down for a much-deserved long winter’s nap—or at least a little rest and relaxation. You have some great book recommendations (both educational and just for fun), and you have a list of great Imagine This! posts to catch up on. What else do you need? More educational resources? Some news resources so you can catch up on what’s going on around the world? Maybe a few fun time-wasters? Then this is the post for you, my friend. Here are a few of my personal favorite websites, with plenty to keep you occupied until school is back in session. You might even get some good ideas for lesson plans in the coming new year!
My dad looked like the proudest grandpa in the world as he told my mom and me about spending the afternoon with my seven-year-old niece. He told us about how she had completely wowed him by teaching him something new about orca whales— specifically, the methods they use to hunt. “I just don’t know how she knew all of that,” my dad said. And then my mom revealed the secret to my niece’s whale knowledge: my sister had assigned her children book reports over the summer to keep them school-ready for the coming year. As a seven-year-old, I probably would have considered this idea cruel and unusual punishment. As an adult and education advocate, all I could think was, “My sister is a genius!”
And my niece isn’t the only proof that summer reading programs are working. School Library Journal recently released some interesting results about the proven effects of summer reading.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for the abbreviation-lovers out there. Every November, writers all over the world take on the challenge of writing a 50,000-word draft of a novel. Yes, you read that right: 50,000 words in 30 days. Crazy, I know, but last year, nearly 170,000 people participated in the event, writing a total of more than 2.4 billion words.
Your students or children might not be to the novel-writing stage yet, but this is a wonderful time to introduce them to the joys of creative writing. After all, each one of those 170,000 people had to start somewhere. For me, my start was in the second grade when I wrote the book pictured here. It wasn’t exactly a best-seller, trust me. But no matter how rough their first efforts are, it’s never too early to get your young learners ready to become the next great novelist. Here are some tips and starting points for getting them writing.