Like I mentioned in my previous post, I am teaching 6th grade language arts at a magnet school. As an avid reader myself, the first thing I thought of after accepting my teaching position is accumulating enough books to have a large classroom library. Most of the photos I’ve seen online are of elementary school classrooms, which have a different set up than what I would like to do in my own class.
One of my friends whose own blog: http://squirrellearnstoteach.blogspot.com/ shares a lot of what I’m about to say myself. She gave me the great idea of self-laminating my books so that they stay in better shape longer. Anyone who is around kids enough, or even remembers being a student themselves, can remember that when picking up books at school, most of the book was falling apart in your hands. Some of the books I’m bringing are my own personal copies that I love and don’t want to see get damaged, but would love to see used. Self-laminating strips are not that expensive, and you are adding years onto the life of your books by doing so. I was a little skeptical as to how easy it would be to laminate my book covers, but it couldn’t have been simpler. Feel the laminating sheet, place on book. Cut left overs and fold in. Simple and they look very nice.
I am still working out exactly how I plan on setting up my classroom library. I do plan on listing my books by author, and providing a check-out binder on or near the bookcase for them to fill out before taking a book off the shelf. This helps me keep track of who has books, and hopefully I won’t end up losing any. I also plan on having students have me sign off on them returning the book. Again, this just helps keep track of where everything is. With so many students it is hard to remember who turned in what without just being organized and setting an efficient way to keep track of everything.
Right now I have about 50 books for my library, and I hope to gain more through my own purchasing, as well as asking friends, and neighbors if they have any young adult literature they would like to donate. If anything, people usually have Twilight, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games: three of the most popular Young Adult Literature series that I would love to have multiple copies of. I’m sure the school library will have copies of most if not all the books that will be available in my classroom, but this way they do not have to wait for a book to be in to read it. If I have an available copy it is another way to get these kids reading. I wish nothing more than for all of my students to become life-long readers.
“In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read.” -S. I. Hayakawa