Jump, slide & dive into an adventure this summer with Book Creator!

David HotlerBlog, Creativity, Equity, Literacy

Our Independent Reading Journal not only combats learning loss, but actually reinforces higher level knowledge-building skills.

As the school year comes to a close and summer break approaches, educators and parents alike often worry about the "summer slide" – the decline in students' academic skills over the extended break.

Particularly, literacy skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening can suffer if not consistently practiced weekly. However, there are innovative tools available to combat this decline, and at Book Creator, we are beyond excited to share our very first Summer Independent Reading Journal for students in grades K-12!

In this post, we'll jump into the importance of sustaining literacy skills over the summer and what the research tells us. Then we will slide over into how Book Creator, coupled with online digital reading resources, can make a significant difference in student learning. Lastly, we will dive into our Independent Reading Journal, built in partnership with Book Creator Ambassador, Stevie Frank.

Our journal not only combats learning loss, but actually reinforces higher level knowledge-building skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and student engagement!

What the research tells us

Research consistently expresses the importance of students having continuous engagement with literacy activities to maintain and even enhance these skills over extended breaks. According to the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose up to two months of reading achievement over the summer if they don't engage in educational activities. This phenomenon unfortunately affects students from low-income families the most, which ultimately exacerbates the achievement gaps.

kids who read beat summer slide
Source: https://kclinc.org/news/2014/1/27/community-achieves-summer-reading-results

However, engaging in regular reading activities can mitigate these losses and has even shown to lead to gains in reading proficiency. A study by Jimmy Kim (2009) published in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk found that students who read even 4 or 5 books over the summer experienced minimal or no decline in reading achievement scores and is potentially large enough of an effect to prevent a decline in reaching achievement scores from the Spring to the Fall.

Let’s check out our digital reading partners

Integrating the Summer Independent Reading Journal into any summer learning initiative is relatively straightforward. Educators provide students with access to online book platforms (or physical books) and encourage them to select and read books independently.

Teachers also have the ability to completely edit a student template and add in reading resources that students have accessed throughout the school year or prepare them for the following year. We’d like to highlight some of our favorites for you this summer season!

Epic is a digital library platform designed specifically for children. It offers thousands of high-quality books, audiobooks, and educational videos for children aged 12 and under. With a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles, Epic! aims to foster a love of reading and learning among young readers.
Lightbox Learning provides interactive digital textbooks and resources for K-12 education. Their platform combines multimedia elements such as videos, audio clips, and interactive activities with traditional text to engage students and enhance learning experiences across various subjects.
sora overdrive logo
Overdrive Sora is an app that provides access to ebooks and audiobooks from public libraries and schools. It allows users to borrow digital materials seamlessly, providing a convenient way to access a vast collection of titles on various devices.
libby logo
Libby is another app developed by Overdrive, designed for public library users to borrow and read ebooks and audiobooks. It offers a user-friendly interface and features such as customizable reading settings and syncing across multiple devices.
storyline logo
Storyline Online is a website and app that features videos of well-known actors reading children's books aloud. These engaging read-alouds are accompanied by animations, making them suitable for children of all ages and abilities.
Readworks is an online platform that provides curated reading materials and comprehension resources for educators. It offers a vast collection of fiction and non-fiction texts, along with tools for assessing and tracking students' reading comprehension skills.
unite for literacy logo
Unite for Literacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free digital books for young children. Their digital library offers a diverse selection of picture books in multiple languages, aiming to promote early literacy and language development.
project gutenburg logo
Project Gutenberg is a digital library that offers over 60,000 free ebooks, including many classic literary works that are in the public domain. Founded in 1971, Project Gutenberg is one of the oldest and largest digital libraries, providing access to a wide range of literature for readers of all ages.

Deep dive into our summer journal

Independent reading journals are incredibly valuable tools for both students and teachers. They give students a chance to reflect on what they're reading, express their thoughts, and keep track of their progress.

This helps them think more deeply about what they read and become better readers overall. Plus, it encourages them to take charge of their own learning, which is important for building independence and motivation, and developing a lifelong love of literacy!

Summer Reading Journal cover

Using Book Creator's Summer Independent Reading Journal, students are provided with engaging opportunities to continue their literacy development during the summer break. With the ability for teachers to completely edit every page, these journals can be tailored for each student, classroom, or grade level to support differentiated learning and success all summer long.

Students are able to choose from a variety of academically focused tasks that accompany each reading session they may have. The fun, summer-themed pages, plus the accessibility and equity of Book Creator, offer an engaging and motivating resource for all students to participate in this summer.

By incorporating regular reading habits and reflective practices, educators and parents can empower students to maintain their reading achievement scores and embark on an adventure of learning and exploration this summer!


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