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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Summer Reading for Youngsters Using Common Core Standards

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Motivating your young child to read during the summer can be a challenge. Here are 3 easy ideas to keep your child reading all summer, while subtly reinforcing the Common Core reading standards.

  • Connect reading to projects or crafts: Encourage your child to read Two Blue Jays by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey.  This is an engaging story about students observing blue jays building a nest outside their classroom window. Then, help her make a simple birdhouse to hang in a tree in your backyard.  Or, have him read Maisy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Cousins, and help him set up a lemonade stand.


  •  Connect reading to family travel or other family interests: Together read Punky Goes Fishing by Sally G. Ward, before going on a fishing trip. Or, read The Little Airplane by Lois Leski before going on an airplane trip.


  • Set a Summer Reading Goal: Challenge your child to read 5 books a week.  Keep a reading sticker chart, and for each book read, add a sticker. When there are 15 stickers on the chart have a special reward for your good reader, such as an ice cream sundae or new beach toy.


 Other Fun Ways to Focus on Common Core Reading Standard:

• Have her tell you key details in the story.

• Have him retell the story to demonstrate understanding of its main idea.

• Talk about characters, setting, and events in the story.

• Compare and contrast adventures and experiences of the characters in the story.

Make meaningful reading part of your family’s summertime fun!


Editor's note: Another fun way to read with your child—while combining a fun activity—is to read the recipe for these Lemonade Cookies, which are easy to make, or choose other recipes to make with children from our Recipe Share.

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?