Summer is a great time to refresh your skills or expand them. Annenberg Foundation has a great selection of free classes for teachers such as Learning how to help students in grades 3-5 engage with literature; expand writing skills in grades 9-12 or how to improve your teaching of reading. For those of you who teach other content areas in addition to literacy, there are also excellent choices in other content areas as well. You can view the workshops using their VoD technology and be ready to apply your new skills when you return to school in the fall. Check out their classes at Annenberg Foundation . If you need college credits, for a fee you can also earn college credits as well. These are informative and nicely designed classes that can definitely add to your professional knowledge over the summer.
Kids love using technology so why not capitalize on technology to build student reading skills especially for English Language Learners and struggling readers? The Lit2Go website (see link below) has some great books that you can download to your classroom computers or iPods. Students can listen to the stories while reading the text or simply listen to build vocabulary and strengthen background knowledge. There are many applications that can be downloaded that can be of benefit too such as Native Language to English Dictionaries, the Buzz Aldrin portal to Science, many books both audio and visual, and tons of other useful aps that can help children improve their reading and learning.