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Reading Rockets News

June 2015 Newsletter

  • In Focus: Read. Talk. Explore … All summer long
  • Books & Authors: Our 2015 Big Summer Booklist | Our favorite audio books | Video interview with Marla Frazee | Books about oceans | Favorite characters in children's literature
  • Ideas for Educators: Summer learning opportunities for teachers from Reading Rockets, Edutopia, and AFT's Share My Lesson
  • Ideas for Parents: Bug hunts and bee books | Fluent kids | Supercharge summer learning for kids with LD
  • Research & News: Accessible Playgrounds, Laundromats Focus of Early-Literacy Effort | Study: The serious value of reading for fun | Out of the Classroom and Into the Woods | Try reading this font and you'll better understand what dyslexia is like

In Focus: Read. Talk. Explore. Write … All Summer Long

Summer Science

Parents and summer program staff: looking for ways to bring more science into your summer learning activities? We've got some cool ideas for warm summer days. Browse our science-themed activity packs that combine great books with easy hands-on activities — plus recommendations for kid-friendly websites and awesome apps to extend the learning. Ready to print and go!
See activities >

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Literacy in STEM

Help your child learn to think like a scientist while reading, exploring and engaging in simple hands-on activities. We've created 18 tip sheets (in English and Spanish) to inspire scientific exploration!
Learn more >

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Reading Adventure Packs

Dinosaurs, rocks, weather, stars, farms, flight, robots and many more themes. Our adventure packs combine fiction and nonfiction books with hands-on activities.
Browse the adventure pack library >

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Summer Writing

Give kids a chance to exercise different kinds of writing muscles this summer — from poetry to nature journals to persuasive writing. These kid-tested writing activities are perfect for at home or as a group activity with camp friends or neighbors.
See writing activities >

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Find many more awesome summer resources for parents, teachers, and librarians in our Summer Reading section

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#KeepKidsLearning

The National Summer Learning Association is asking everyone — programs, families, schools, educators, policymakers, businesses — to make summer a season of learning by pledging to #KeepKidsLearning on their interactive map.
Get involved >

 
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Books & Authors

New! Our 2015 Big Summer Booklist

Take a summer reading journey to Paris, Provence, Zimbabwe, the beach, Market Street and more! Our children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, carefully chose each book — to keep your child reading (and listening) all summer long. The age-leveled lists are ready to print and take to your local library or bookstore.
Big Summer Booklist >

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Listen Up: Best Audio Books for Kids

Dozens of our favorite audio books, perfect for car trips and hot, lazy summer days. Grab a cool lemonade and a comfortable listening nook …
See audio books >

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Where the Pages Turn: Our Interview with Marla Frazee Video icon

Author and illustrator Marla Frazee creates her wonderfully whimsical picture books in a cozy backyard studio shaded by an avocado tree. She's wanted to be a children's book illustrator since she was a little kid and first discovered the incredible magic of the page turn (thank you, Maurice Sendak). Meet the artist who imagined Clementine, invited us on a thrilling roller coaster ride, and gave us a funny, true look at the best summer vacation ever.
Watch interview >

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A Sea of Books

Explore the ocean ecosystem, the magical qualities of water, and the fantastic variety of sea creatures in the pages of these picture books. Dive into stories about sea monsters, a family day at the beach, creatures that call the ocean "home" and more.
See booklist >

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Poll: Favorite Characters in Children's Literature

From the Nerdy Book Club:

"If you read enough books, you are guaranteed to find characters who are going to leave their mark on you. We think about the things they have done and said. We wonder about them. And they never really leave us. Who are the characters that have stayed with you? Share your answer with us in the comments!"
See favorites >

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Ideas for Educators

Watch & Learn: On the Go Video icon

Teachers: This summer, refresh your knowledge about reading instruction anywhere, anytime with our Watch & Learn podcasts. The video podcasts feature 'best-of' excerpts from our award-winning PBS Launching Young Readers series, covering a wide range of topics: print awareness, spelling patterns, fluency, comprehension, writing, and more.
Download podcasts from iTunes >

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More Summer Learning Opportunities

Ideas for Parents

We're Going on a Bug Hunt!

Join our parent blogger Carol Shen and her kids Addie and Taylor as they explore the amazing world of bugs. All you need is a net, a bug-catching jar, plenty of curiosity (and bug books, of course).
See blog post >

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Bee Aware

Did you know that June 15-21 is National Pollinator Week? Celebrate the bees, birds, butterflies, and bats that keep our ecosystems healthy.

5 Things Kids Can Do to Help Pollinators (and more fun stuff) >

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Bee-Themed Reading Adventure Pack >

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How Bees Make Honey (a sequencing book) >

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Fluent Kids

Summer is a great time to practice fluency skills — while having fun. Try "buddy" reading with your child, or round up some neighborhood kids and stage a Reader's Theater event. And don't forget the audio books — a great way to expose kids to beautifully fluent reading. We even have a few ideas for how to create your own audio books.
Fluent kids >

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Supercharge Summer Learning

From our partner, Understood.org

Summer is just around the corner, and that means a well-deserved break from school for your child with learning and attention issues. But as your family enjoys the time off, be aware of the "summer slide" the one to three months of learning some kids lose over the summer. From tech tips to summer camp advice to book lists, we've got the best resources to keep learning alive and fun for your child this summer.

See summer resources >

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Our Literacy Blogs

Dr. Joanne Meier
Dr. Joanne Meier
February 14, 2014
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx