SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT: GRADES 2–5
In order to help students maintain the skills they have gained in reading this year and to encourage good reading habits, Westmark requires all rising Lower School students to complete a Summer Reading Log. The completed log will be collected the first week of school in the fall.
Summer reading routines should mirror how reading homework was conducted throughout the school year. Each of the tasks below are important to the development of your child's reading skills.
KEEPING A SUMMER READING LOG
Each student is responsible for reading (on average) one hour per week for ten weeks with a proficient reader and recording their reading in a log. Please feel free to adjust weekly reading times to work around your family schedule to maintain an average of one hour per week. At the end of the summer, your student should have recorded at least ten hours of reading. Click the button below to download an editable PDF of the Summer Reading Log.
FINDING "RIGHT FIT" BOOKS
A "right fit" book is a book that your child can enjoy reading on their own. Reading "right fit" books helps your child develop as a reader. To find a book that is the right fit for your child, or try using the Five Finger Test as follows:
- STEP 1: Turn to a page in the middle of the book.
- STEP 2: As your child reads, hold up a finger for every word they do not know.
- STEP 3: Use the following guidelines to determine whether the book is a "right fit":
- One finger: This book is easy for your child to read.
- Two fingers: This book is a good choice for your child.
- Three fingers: This book is still a good choice for your child, but they may need help reading it.
- Four fingers: This book may be too difficult for your child to read and understand. You may need to help.
- Five fingers: This book is probably too difficult for your child to read on their own.
If you need additional help determining which books are at your child's reading level, watch the video "Choosing Books for Kids Who Struggle with Reading," made by the organization Understood.
MAINTAINING SIGHT WORD PRACTICE AT HOME
Sight word practice is an important aspect of your child's summer reading routine. Remember to practice regularly, following the steps below with your child:
- STEP 1: Select about ten to twenty words from your child’s sight word box (from all sections, including grads) and ask your child to read them aloud to you.
- STEP 2: If the word is read correctly, move on to the next word. If the word is read incorrectly, read the word to your child. Ask them to "take a picture" of the word in their mind and then cover the word once they have done so.
- STEP 3: Ask them to "air write" the word, saying each of the letters out loud.
- STEP 4: Then ask them to say the word aloud without looking at the card. You can also ask letter placement questions: for example, "What is the first letter you picture?" or "What is the last letter you picture?” Then, ask them to tell you all of the letters in order and say the word again.
- STEP 5: If they can’t picture all of the letters, show the card again and repeat the process (prompt them to "take a picture" and "air write" the word again). If they repeat all the letters correctly, show them the card again and ask them to read the word one more time. If correct, you can move on. If it is a tricky word, please read it for your child and make a conscious effort to practice the word multiple times until it is easily identified.
- STEP 6: Keep revisiting challenging words throughout the summer.
SUPPORTING COMPREHENSION THROUGH CONCEPT IMAGERY
Encouraging your child to develop strong concept imagery will help them understand and engage with the books they read.
- STEP 1: After your child has read about a page out of the book, ask them, "What do you picture is happening right now?" Hopefully, they will be able to give you a summary of what they just read. If they give you a complete (or fairly complete) word summary then they are making strong concept imagery. If they struggle with doing so, then they need help building images. If this is the case, you can modify the length of how much they are reading. A lot of students struggle with the amount of language, so maybe check their comprehension every half page rather than every whole page. However, if you feel that they can read more than a page, then increase the amount of language they are reading and processing.
- STEP 2: To help build imagery, ask your child about the concrete aspects of their images. Question them about the "what"—the main object(s), colors, size, movement, and background of their imagery. For example, if your child reads the sentence, "The dog is in front of the house," you would ask your child how they see the dog and the house. You may also ask, "What color is the dog?" "What color is the house?" or "Where in front of the house do you picture the dog?" These types of questions help the brain to conceptualize and comprehend—in other words, they help us make imagery!
- STEP 3: If your child is still struggling with making imagery, re-read the challenging part of the story to them and then repeat your questioning from Step 2.
READING TO YOUR CHILD
In addition to students reading books at their just-right level, we encourage parents and guardians to read books at a higher level to their children throughout the summer. Reading aloud together helps students experience the joy of a story, and it's an opportunity to enjoy quality time together. Moreover, parents and guardians model fluent reading; students build background knowledge and enrich their vocabularies; and discussions about the story or topic promote oral language development and comprehension.
Students are also encouraged to use Learning Ally or other digital resources to listen to books at a higher reading level than they can easily access on their own.
If you need additional assistance, please contact Robyn Bridges, Reading and Assessment Coordinator, Literacy Instructional Coach (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Marissa DeSiena, Curriculum and Special Projects Coordinator (email@example.com).