We always tell our students we want them to read over the summer; we know it's good for them to keep their skills honed during the long vacation months. In the past, I've made summer homework calendars for students to track the number of minutes read and promised them some grand reward if they brought it back to me in the fall. Well, needless to say not many have ever brought it back in September... (Actually the number is two out of seven years of teaching...)
As a result of our technology "infusion" of the 3rd grade curriculum this year, we had a few chances to use blogs as a way to respond to literature. It dawned on me that most of my students travel during the summer and a blog would be a great way for us all to stay connected. (It's been a great year, and I guess I didn't want it to end just yet!) So, instead of the usual reading calender, I decided to set up a Summer Reading Book Club using kidblog.org as a way for my students and I to share what we are reading over the summer. The students suggested potential book titles, and a short synopsis of the books we wanted to read. Then we voted. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my students choose to read On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingles Wilder, the sequel to Little House on the Prairie that we just finished a few days ago at the conclusion of our Apple Valley Simulation. I didn't even suggest it! So that is the book we are reading first, and I hope it will be a rewarding experience for all of us!