School is out but we all know that if your students don’t “use it” they will “lose it” – their reading skills – that is. As parents, we also are familiar with those “I don’t know what to do with myself” summer blues. Listening to audio books may just be the answer. If you student is looking for a relaxing way to spend some time this summer, have him or her check out www.audiobooksync.com. This website holds a multitude of books for students and families to listen to in audio mode. This is great for the student who needs to enhance their vocabulary, English skills or who just want to build their background knowledge of classic books to better prepare themselves for College. During the summer months from May 5th to August 17th, SYNC will be giving away 2 audiobook downloads a week based on weekly themes. There is also a section for teachers with additional resources on the site. This is a great way to help students enjoy reading, learn new vocabulary and keep those reading and comprehension skills razor sharp.
While most high school students can tell you all about the latest movies they have seen, most of our students cannot tell you about great books that they have read recently. Since kids like to spend time on social networking sites, capitalize on this love by introducing your students to some online reading social networking sites. One of these is www.goodreads.com. At this site, readers can find out what their friends are reading and read reviews of popular books for adolescent readers. At www.shelfari.com by Amazon, students can create a shelf of books to show what they are reading and what you have finished reading. You can also recommend books for other readers. At www.bookcrossing.com, readers can track books when they leave them for strangers to pick up in cafes, train stations and parks. As people find your book, you will get comments from the readers who have “found” your book as it travels all around the world. Another site to check out is www.bookmooch.com. This site is a type of lending library where you can lend your own books and receive books in the mail from others who participate in the site. The only cost is the postage to send your books on to someone who requests your book. Sharing books with others is a great way to get adolescents interested in reading and sharing books with not only their friends but the world.