APS Summer Reading…

Frequently Asked Questions
1.What are the benefits of Summer Reading? Research tells us that students who read over the summer show improved reading comprehension, increased vocabulary, and enhanced independent learning skills. While helping students prepare for the upcoming school year, summer reading also prevents “summer slide” the regression of skills that takes place during the summer months while students are not in school.
2.What is the objective of the School’s Out: Reading is In! summer reading program? APS wants students to develop enhanced reading skills. When they return to school, students will be able to discuss books that their fellow students will also have read. In addition, we want to expose students to great books that they may not otherwise read during the school year.
3.When will schools receive the books? All traditional and nontraditional APS schools will receive books during the week of May 11th.
4.How will we distribute the books? Each student in grades K-11 will receive four (4) books. Each grade level has a designated booklist. Current 6-11th grade students will receive books that are aligned with the upcoming school year. For example, current 5th graders will receive the rising 6th grade level books. The books will not be collected. These books are for the students to keep.
5.How will we keep track of the books? Each school will develop a Summer Reading Checkout Form, which will include a list of books and the student, parent, or guardian’s signature that the books were received. Each school has identified a contact person for summer reading to oversee this the Summer Reading Kick-off Process and Book Checkout Forms. The contact person will send a scanned copy of the completed Checkout Form to the Summer Reading Program Committee by June 1. (More information to come.)
6.How will students transferring in from other school districts have access to the books? Students transferring from other APS traditional schools will receive their books from their previous school. New students or students transferring from other districts, will need to secure a copy of the books prior to the new school year. Schools will provide the summer reading booklist to incoming transfer students upon registration and link the summer reading web address (www.atlantapublicschools.us/summerreading) to the school’s webpage. In addition, teachers should include the summer reading list in their syllabus.
7.How will we assess the summer reading books? In their Summer Reading backpack, students will receive a Summer Reading Journal and ThinkSheets for each book. Each student must read and complete assignments for at least two (2) books. Students will turn their summer reading assignments in to their English Language Arts homeroom teacher by Friday, August 14, 2015. The Office of Literacy will work in collaboration with each school’s ELA department to provide certificates of completion for each student.
In order to satisfy the summer reading program requirement, all students must complete two summer reading assignments. The school-based instructional leadership team will decide the type of credit or incentives students for which students are eligible.
All students will be assessed on an on-demand writing assignment within the first few weeks of school. The assessment will be passage-based and may include an excerpt from one of the four summer reading books.
Students will participate in regular discussions of the assigned work(s) in their English class throughout the school year.
Teacher developed projects, tests, quizzes, and homework assignments throughout the year will ask students to draw on their summer reading experience and make connections to works being studied in class.
8.Are there incentives to encourage students to read during the summer? There are a number of incentive programs to encourage summer reading. Help spread the word about the following list of incentives to encourage students to read over the summer:
Pizza Hut Book It Program http://www.bookitprogram.com/
Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program is called Imagination’s Destination. The free booklet is available in English and Spanish, and includes activities related to books. Readers who read and record eight (8) books can choose one from a list to receive for free.
Scholastic’s Summer Challenge asks kids to log their reading minutes to earn rewards. The challenge is to beat last year’s 64,213,141 reading minutes and set a new world record! The 20 schools with the most minutes will be featured in Scholastic’s Book of World Records.
Book Adventure from Sylvan helps kids find books, offers quizzes on what they have read and enables kids to earn prizes for their reading success. The online site includes sections for kids, teachers and parents.
Chuck E. Cheese:https://www.chuckecheese.com/_content_assets/files/pdf/Rewards%20Calendars%201.2.14/ReadingRewards_RC_1213.pdf
Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/summerreading
Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge: http://freebies.about.com/od/summer-reading-program/p/pottery-barn-summer-reading-challenge.htm
Half Priced Books: http://hpb.com/fyb/started/

Georgia DOE Summer Reading…

Research studies show that —

-reading loss occurs for most children when they are not in a formal learning environment or not engaged in any form of educational activities during the summer.

-students can have up to a 2-3 month loss in reading ability over summer.

-lower income students may suffer most due to lack of books in the home and transportation access to public libraries.

-rural area students also lack easy access.

-innovative partnering of schools, publishers, and public libraries has great promise for solving the summer reading loss dilemma


myON Reader has partnered with the Get Georgia Reading Campaign to provide every child in Georgia FREE access anytime, anywhere to a library of more than 8,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports — over the entire summer!

These digital books really bring stories to life and provide audio support that creates a truly magical experience for kids and teens, making the joy of reading fun for all!

Go to: http://thefutureinreading.myon.com/GetGAREADING

Login information:

School Name: Get Georgia Reading
Username and password: read​

Maddie McLennan goes to Washington!

Congratulations are in order for 8th grader Madeline McLennan who was named Atlanta Public Schools’ “Do the Write Thing” National Ambassador at Friday’s annual Writers’ Recognition Dinner held at the Center for Learning and Leadership.

Maddie and I will join other middle school students and teachers from around the country in Washington, DC in July for a week-long conference sponsored by the National Campaign to Stop Violence. Maddie will get the opportunity to participate in round-table discussions, visit Senator John Lewis’ office, experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the Supreme Court and Congress, have dinner with the Kuwaiti Ambassador, and tour DC historical sights.

Maddie’s essay will be printed in the “2015 Do the Write Thing” Anthology and housed in the Library of Congress.

VFW Essay Winners!

Congratulations to Gifted ELA 8 (Lloyd) students Lila Ward (1st place) and Ethan Roman (2nd place) whose essays were selected among hundreds of other entries in the local Veterans of Foreign Wars’ essay contest. This year’s theme was “Why I Appreciate Veterans.” In addition to receiving a cash award ($300–1st place & $200–2nd place), Lila and Ethan will be honored at a VFW luncheon on March 14, 2015, and their essays will advance to the VFW’s state and national competitions. State and national winners will compete for a $10,000 savings bond.

Sutton’s Gifted Teachers receive over $14,000 in Donors Choose Funding

Donors Choose

Through generous donations from supporters, Sutton Middle School’s Gifted Teachers pictured above—Dan Lloyd, Billie Edwards, Renee Pitchford, Julie Cory, Megan Bland, Kaywana Stewart, and Jerry Willard—received full funding for their Donors Choose projects for first semester 2014. The Gifted Teachers’ Donors Choose fundraising projects ranged from basic school supplies, to supplies for Science experiments, to 21st Century technological tools like MacBook Pros and Chromebooks. The funding of our Donors Choose projects will enhance instruction, foster better reading and analysis skills, promote research and writing on real-world events, as well as afford more opportunities for our Gifted students to collaborate creatively and scholarly with their peers.

Literary License Plates

My 8th grade Gifted ELA students did a fantastic job on their Literary License Plates inspired by their favorite novel from their summer reading. Exemplary License Plates include those by Thomas Contis, Billie Summerour, Addie Brahana, Jenna Campbell, Katherine Atkinson, and Corinna Alting!

Inspired by  Summer Reading

Inspired by
Summer Reading

My Students Win VFW Essay Contest!

Congratulations to Gifted ELA 8 (Lloyd) students Akyra Cox whose essay was selected among hundreds of others as the First Place Winner and Jack Butler (3rd place) in the local Veterans of Foreign Wars’ essay contest. This year’s theme was “What Patriotism Means to Me.” In addition to receiving $300 & $100 respectively, Akyra and Jack will be honored at a VFW luncheon, and their essays will advance to the VFW’s state & national competitions. State and national writers will be competing for a $10,000 savings bond.

Congratulations Sidney Hines!

Lloyd & HinesCongratulations are in order for Gifted English Language Arts 8 (Lloyd) student Sidney Hines whose post card was selected as a 3rd Place Winner in the Peanuts: Our World in a Nutshell Art Post Card Contest sponsored by The Peanut Institute and the Jimmy Carter NHS Education Program. There were over 13, 730 entries from K-12th grade students from across the state. The winning cards will be enlarged and on display at the Peanut Festival and then will be on permanent display at Plains High School Museum.

Sidney has been invited to Plains, Georgia to receive her certificate from President Jimmy Carter in a special program on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

Just another example of how differentiation and enrichment lead to success in Gifted ELA 8!

Important Dates:

Due Friday, 09/06/13, The Pigman Independent Novel Project.
Due Monday, 09/10/13, Fahrenheit 451, Should have read the first section (pages 1-68) and completed reading guide. Expect comprehension quiz.
Due Wednesday, 09/11/13, Fahrenheit 451 Journals due.

Welcome to the 2013-2014 School Year!

Welcome to a new school year in our new building! It is going to be a wonderful year. Here are the novels we will read first semester–one novel every three weeks. I prefer you get your own personal copy of the novel so you may annotate appropriately. Novels–The Pigman, Zindel; 1984, Orwell; Fahrenheit 451, Bradbuy; The Pearl, Steinbeck; Timeless Tales of Gods & Heroes, Hamilton; Chains, Anderson.

And remember, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” -Mark Twain