Summer Reading Opportunities

Christine Zandstra, July 2018
Summer Reading Opportunities

It’s here! At this writing, there are only a couple days left (for some) before the alarm clocks be damned. Teachers look forward to summer for many reasons: a time to reflect and rejuvenate, a time to spend with family, a time for travel, and, if you’re like me and most of my teacher peeps, a time to read. A lot. For hours at a time. By the pool. On the beach. In the air. Curled up on the sofa. Wherever. And if you’re like me, you probably already have a stack of titles either listed in the notes app on your phone, or an actual physical stack that has been keeping your Amazon Prime account and your mail carrier busy. But while reading by yourself is certainly fulfilling, some of us miss the social aspects of reading together with others.

So for our last blog post of the school year, I thought it would be fitting to suggest some digital summer reading “clubs” where you can join other educators in online book discussions, as well as share ideas about how to include these texts in your classroom.

New York State English Council
We will be hosting our first Facebook group discussion for NYSEC members only. This summer featuring three books:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (June 25 – July 15)
Reading for Their Life by Alfred Tatum (July 16 – August 5)
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (August 6 – August 26)

Members can join our Facebook group to participate in online discussions.

The Book Love Foundation
The second annual summer book club started by Penny Kittle that helps her charitable organization fund classroom libraries. Although the deadline for the swag has already passed, readers can still join the Facebook group and participate in the Goodreads Group discussion. This year, the club is reading:

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (now through 6/17)
180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle (6/18-7/8)
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (7/9-7/22)
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (7/23-8/10)

National Council of Teachers of English
The second summer of NCTE Reads has chosen Reading Challenging Texts: Layering Literacies Through the Arts by James S. Chisholm and Kathryn F. Whitmore for a month long book club that began June 1. Go to NCTE Reads to sign up for the club and some freebies.

Kwame Alexander
A summer reading group of his bestseller Solo. Visit Kwame Alexander’s website to sign up and receive videos, educator guides and a Facebook community reading discussion.

In addition to summer reading groups, which are a great way to connect with educators from across the country, I’d also like to highlight some new professional books that you may want to enjoy this summer as you plan for the upcoming year.

180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle

How do English teachers fit it all in? This book highlights a year-long collaboration between two teachers across the country (Kelly in southern California and Penny in northern New Hampshire). In this book they share with readers how they planned, collaborated and implemented a year of reading and writing instruction. Watch their recent Facebook Live event.

A Novel Approach by Kate Roberts

This exciting new book merges the reading/writing workshop model with whole-class texts and book clubs to give teachers a balanced approach to reading experiences. She shows teachers how to manage whole-class novels and how to avoid common pitfalls that diminish student motivation and learning. Listen to the Heinemann Podcast here.

Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning by Ellin Keene

This new book explores how to build children’s intrinsic motivation and engagement
to propel them in their own learning. You can listen to a Podcast from the Heinemann website with Ellin Keene and Tom Newkirk.

Regardless of where you find your inspiration, we at NYSEC wish you a joyful, restful, rejuvenating, and reading-filled summer!

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