With school ending for the summer months, children believe they are facing weeks of “lesson free” time. Today’s blog is to accentuate the fact that learning doesn’t always take place in the months between August and June. Summer activities differ than those experienced the rest of the year, but they should still provide the opportunity for mind and creativity stimulation. As parents, we have the responsibility to instill a lifetime love of reading. Through reading, the world of discovery is endless. The standards listed in CCSS;
, does not present reading lists and yet they depend on the flexibility and decision making of teachers to create a rich and satisfying assortment of reading material that will accomplish the goal that a variety of reading material will promote literacy in, not only reading, but additionally, in writing and research. Although CCSS is written as though the teacher is responsible for standards of child learning, parents must assume the same responsibility. One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to do this is reading.
As I so often do in my blogs, I promote the use of your public library. Every library in the country has a summer reading program. These programs are simple, free and rewarding! Check it out! That being said, the rest of this blog entry is meant as a summer reading diving platform for 3rd grade students. Everyone enjoys a refreshing dip in a pool during the summer. Reading is as stimulating as the splash of cold water on hot feet as they first touch the glimmering ripples! Although you can search the Internet for a 3rd grade reading list, I’m going to present three books, all totally different, for you and your child to enjoy. Yes, I did say “you.” Reading is something that I have always enjoyed with my son and now with my three grandchildren. Although usually a singular endeavor, it takes on a different vibe when done together. The books below will be great to share. Each day carve out a special time for cuddling up with a book and your child. Plan on a chapter a day, but don’t be surprised if your child asks you to keep reading!
Let’s begin with a little fun, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater. Amazon.com has the book available right now for an incredible price of $3.55, and it can be delivered in two days if you have Amazon Prime. I have a love of Newberry Honor winners; they take the guesswork out of “Hmmm, will this book be good?” Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a tale of adventure and dreams that takes the reader from the frigid cold of the Arctic to the live stage. This book of a poor painter and his family was published in 1938, but don’t let the date scare you away. This is a classic that has reigned supreme for almost 100 years. After reading it, would be fun to continue the theme of “cold” and learning. Have your child list as many ice cream flavors as she can. Write each on a 3X5 card, then have her put them in ABC order before you head to the store or an ice cream shop, to buy her favorite. Or, you could freeze some lemonade in ice cube trays and then grind the cubes in the blender for an icy reading activity treat!
My next suggestion is Poppy, a book of courage and determination by Newberry winning author Avi. The book is full of suspense and danger as little Poppy, a door mouse who loves to dance tries to outwit the terrible owl, Mr. Orcax who believes all creatures are his subjects! Again, this book can be purchased through Amazon for $3.32 and delivered quickly via Prime. This is a perfect book to read together and although it is fiction, it illustrates nature in real life since owls do prey upon smaller creatures. Using the theme of nature, an activity that might follow the reading might be as simple as a blanket in the backyard as you and your child discuss cloud shapes as they morph or a gathering of flowers and leaves that can be pressed into pages of books and then later used as a starting idea for a creative picture or card.
The last suggestion I am posting is What Are You Figuring Now? A Story About Benjamin Banneker, by Jeri Ferris, available from Amazon for $8.95. Unlike the other two, this is a true story; the biography of an African American farmer who taught himself math and ultimately became part of the team that planned the Capitol building in Washington D.C. This inspiring story is a glimpse into history that can be used to jumpstart a lifelong journey into determination, discovery and self-reliance as well as respect for the skills necessary to plan out and construct structures from your home to the White House. With any luck, you and your child will be inspired to journey into other biographies of women and men from history. A fun activity to work your child’s mathematic’s side could be achieved by a stack of toothpicks and some small gumdrops. Using these two ingredients to make multiple triangles, an extremely strong structure can be created. After that, have your child notice how many structures she sees that have the strong triangle design, perhaps those electrical towers on the sides of roads, a playground jungle gym or even the structure of your child’s bike frame.