Make Reading a Part of Vacation: 3 Ways to Let Books Join Your Break

To quote a famous holiday song, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  For many of us, there are variant reasons why this might be true.  Perhaps for some of us, we are celebrating a religious holiday around this time.  For others, it is a time to reconnect with family and friends, touching base through special visits, phone calls, or even digital media.  And for still others it is appreciating the fact that we FINALLY have some down time to rest and read some great books we have been meaning to start reading!  
For our middle school readers, this final point is worthy of consideration.  Reading is a skill learned in use.  So therefore, it is important that our young adult readers have a plan to continue to read over holiday vacations.  Here are a few suggestions from my colleague Katie Gordon on how to develop a plan for vacation reading:
Share your own reading plans-  As I have written about previously, when kids see adults who value reading, that matters.  As my colleague Katie wrote, “We are model readers and our smaller readers look up to us.”  Adults who have a plan for reading over an extended break, or at least can be seen reading, send a message that reading is important and it is worth doing.  Personally, I am looking forward to getting back to my Nutmeg Nominee pile of books that I have been neglecting (curse you, graduate courses!).
Pack your vacation books – If you are traveling this holiday season, be sure to include books as part of the overall experience.  Even twenty minutes a day can make a huge difference in the lives of our readers!  Check out teacher and author Penny Kittle’s infographic entitled, “Why Can’t I Skip My 20 Minutes of Reading Tonight?”.
Make plans to be “sneaky readers” – Sneaky readers are the kinds of readers who, as Katie writes, “…sneak in a few minutes of reading wherever they are.  Waiting in line…in the cafeteria…stuck in traffic.”  Author, teacher, and speaker Kristin Ziemke wrote the following guest blog for Scholastic on this topic.  Check it out here!
However you spend your time off from school, I wish you a peaceful season of gratitude and renewal.  Happy Reading!
Note:  Thanks to my colleague Katie Gordon for the ideas and inspiration for this post. 

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 23 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy and reading consultant in Northwestern Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on Twitter @LannyBall, as well as his literacy blog: lannyball.com or lannyball.blog.

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