Public Library to the Rescue!

Filling my classroom with books was quite a challenge until I started going to my public library.

Being a first year teacher, I don't have a large class library built up. I started over the summer buying books from teachers on craig's list; read more about that here. But it wasn't enough for an entire class library.

Also my classroom this year used to be a resource room so it didn't come with anything. No books either!

Our school library is very limited since my class only goes there once a week. Students can go on their own to check out new books but it is also very unaccommodating (ours is actually during our math time so it is hard to send students at that time).

Point is, my students needed more books to practice with!

I know how essential it is to surround students with engaging books and reading material. This is something really important to me. I want my students to develop a love of reading.

Hardly any of my students have books at home so I have a lot of making up to do in the classroom!

Plus the only way my students will become better readers is if they practice, practice, practice.

My public library has been my saving grace. I'm allowed to check out up to 50 books which is more than enough. I couldn't carry any more than that anyway!

The library also puts the AR levels on the backs of the books so my students know what level book their reading. Love this feature!! AR is really big at my school. They can take tests on them just as they do with their AR books from the school library. If your public library doesn't do this to their books then you can go to this website to see the books levels if students want to take a test on them.

I go to the library about every week or two weeks and get about 20-30 new AR books for my class library. I also get about 10-20 books about our special topic we are learning about (like bears, insects, etc) since students love reading more about the topics we are learning about in class. Talk about having tons of connections!

Sometimes I get books on our science concepts, math concept, blends (books on th, ch, sh, etc), grammar skill (they have books on nouns, verbs, etc), and anything else I could see connecting to our essential questions.

My students know how to take care of the books and know they aren't allowed to take them home or even put them in their cubbies. No books lost all year and all have been returned in great condition. Makes me a happy teacher!

I love how I'm setting a good example by getting books from the library. I hope this somewhat rubs off onto my students so they go to the library when they get older. We talk about the library all the time!

It seems like a lot of work to head to the library every two weeks with over 30 heavy books but it has been well worth it. I've made friends with all of the librarians and children books are the best to look through so it really isn't a chore.

Normally teachers switch out their books for the class library every few months to retain some excitement and I do that too with the books I do have. Switching them every two weeks sure gives my students tons of practice reading!

My students are always so excited about books, they love headed to our class library for one of their workstations. It is basically read to self from the daily five but I kind of have a hybrid system of daily 5 and workstations.

Do you use your public library? How do you get your books for your class?


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