Spotlight on Reading Fluency: Preventing Summer Slide!

School's out for summer! And after the dreaded 100 days of May, we know that teachers need the summer break more than anyone. But there is something heartbreaking about watching the student who's worked all year to make progress in reading and writing leave your classroom for the summer.

Although there is little you can do as a teacher to help your students keep their skills up during the break, you can tell their parents about some great tools available to them that can help them keep their skills up over the summer. Here are a few great free or low-cost resources to suggest for your students and their families:

  • Get to the library! Libraries in across the country have free summer reading programs that offer prizes for summer reading. You may need to support your students in getting a library card if they do not already have one. 

  • E-books & Audiobooks: If students have access to a computer or other device, many libraries have partnerships with Overdrive.com which allows members to check out ebooks or audiobooks to read on a Kindle or the Kindle app on your portable devices. If you have an updated device that has Amazon’s Alexa App on it, you can ask Alexa to read the kindle book out loud. Say, “Alexa, read my kindle book!” and she will ;).

  • Read Naturally's One-Minute Reader App: Many students work on building their reading fluency and one convenient way to keep the progress going by downloading the One-Minute Reader app. There is a free version that gives you a few stories per level and a full version for $20 which includes a complete set of books.

  • ReadTheory.org and ReadWorks.org: These are two great free websites for reading fluency and comprehension.

  • Newsela.com: This is a great website that offers free news stories written at student grade levels. It’s a fun way to keep up on current events and practice reading in the process.

  • Nessy's Summer Slide Pack: Nessy creates an Orton-Gillingham based intervention program. Their Summer Slide Pack is a relatively low-cost solution for summer break. For $30, this bundle includes 1 student license for three months for three of their intervention programs: Nessy Reading and Spelling, Nessy's Writing Beach, and Nessy's Numbers. This is a fun, research-proven way for students to keep up their progress and will take the pressure off parents.

These are some great ideas, but we know you have even more. Feel free to add some of your favorite summer slide prevention tools in the comments below.

Enjoy your hard-earned summer!