Call me crazy...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by kcjo13, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2010

    ...but I am thinking of donating my classroom books to the library.

    For 5 years, I have maintained a huge shelf of books, most of which I inherited, most of which were published roughly around 1982. I had added quite a few through Scholastic freebies, but the majority seem to be castoffs that landed in my room before I did. I have posted about how I despise keeping up with the general organization and upkeep of the shelves.

    Plus, my students NEVER select a book from my shelf. We have a very nice library, and they have library class once a week.

    I am wondering if it is worth it to take up the space in my room when they just use the library anyway? It seems somewhat sacrilegious for a teacher to not want books in the classroom.

    ETA: Please don't think that I don't encourage my students to read. I am probably one of the biggest advocates in my school of self-selected reading time, and I make it a daily priority. But when space is at a premium, and everything we need is right down the hall...WDYT?
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jul 22, 2010

    I'm struggling with this as well. I've had up to 2,000 books in my classroom before. Obviously I love them. But my room this year is very small. I thought about just walking the kids down to the public library a few blocks away once a week-we have a room in the school for books, but they are all picture books for the little ones as we haven't really had an upper elementary program before. I settled on one long bookshelf. I know it will fill up quickly, so then I'll have to figure out what to do from there. But I can see your point, kc. It's painful for me to even THINK about not having all my books... but maybe it will be necessary.
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2010

    The reason kids probably aren't choosing books from your library isn't necessarily the fact that the library is right down the hall. It could be the selection of the books. I have read over and over this summer in my professional reading about the importance of a classroom library (and with over 800 titles in mine, I am a firm believer) in increasing the frequency of kids reading. Having books that appeal to kids, displayed in an attractive way is key to getting kids to use a classroom library.

    Chances are, if the books are 20 years old, your school library probably wouldn't want them either. Most libraries weed books that are old and worn.

    Good luck making your decision.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2010

    Oh, I'm sure that the reason is the selection. I wouldn't want to read half of these books either. I am leaning towards weeding through, keeping what I know will get read and putting them on a smaller bookshelf I have that fits on the counter. The rest, the old, probably donate to the town library. That way, it's easier to sort and display the good stuff, even though there's not as much. Quality, not quantity, KWIM?
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2010

    I've "freecycled" 6 boxes of books so far this week, and more will follow. Many were my cast-offs, but there will be 2 or 3 boxes of kids' books going as well. When I down-sized from a classroom to a my Special Ed office 4 years ago, everything went into boxes--that are still unopened in my basement. I probably still have 400-500 books in my office that kids can borrow. Most everything that has been boxed up is going to go--someone might as well be getting some use out of it.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2010

    By the way, the smaller bookshelf would be at eye level, and will fit my book crates I bought 2 years ago.
     
  8. TeachingTy2010

    TeachingTy2010 Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2010

    I'll take your books!
     
  9. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jul 22, 2010

    Move 'em out, I'm all about analyzing what I HAVE to have in my room. I haven't used it in two years or a kid hasn't shown interest in a book... it's gone.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Care to take a road trip to Ontario to pick up a few boxes? :p
     
  11. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Jul 22, 2010

    I think weeding through them is a good idea. Maybe get rid of half that you feel certain haven't been read in the past few years. I go through my children's bookshelves 2-3 times per year and make their former teachers very happy with book donations. Most are Scholastic and quite possibly ones they already have, but goodness knows those Scholastic books don't hold up that great in a classroom library so an additional copy is never a bad thing. Anyway, my point is that I love the feeling of cleaning out the space at home and making it easier for my children to locate the books they actually want to read. I'm guessing the same would go for your students. And aren't you mainly math this year? Seems like the perfect time for a nice clean up job.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I'm sorting books now! I would love to give them away, but trust me, these are books that no kid...or adult for that matter...would read. I'll post a few choice titles later...
     
  13. kidsr#1

    kidsr#1 Companion

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    Our library discards books each year "due to copyright sensitivity". Basically if a book is over 12 years old, it is given away. I'm not sure our library would take any castoffs. You could save them and give them to a charity or see if students want them when school starts.
     
  14. mrsburf

    mrsburf Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    When I was student teaching, I asked the kids to circle some books that they would read from the Scholastic flyer. I bought most of them, and some that my niece and nephew recommended. This way, my library would have what kids want, mixed with what I would like to see them read. We'll see if it works
     
  15. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I am the writing and language teacher now, and will be retiring in 5 years (if my knees make it that long!). I had boxes and boxes of books. Two years I pulled out all the AR books and put them on my shelf. Then, I pulled out some that had outstanding writing, and put those aside. Finally, at the end of the last two years, I let the kids take any books they wanted to. Some of the kids who are avid readers were so excited to go through my boxes of books. I like the idea of my beloved books going into the hands of kids who wanted them. I've still got 3 and1/2 boxes to go. If a teacher really wanted them, I'd give them to her or him, but right now, they are diminishing nicely.
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    That's what I have planned should. Or something like that. I am going to put out a display at open house and see how many I can send home. Then I'll decide what to do with the rest.
     
  17. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I, too, want to go through my classroom library. I love the idea of giving away the books I no longer want/need. My students are from such low economic circumstances that I often hear "I don't have any books at home," so I think I will make them one of my "rewards" in my conduct system.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 27, 2010

    As long as you're positive you won't use them, go ahead & donate them!
     
  19. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 27, 2010

    If these truly are old and outdated then I would not keep them in my library, but I don't think I could not have a library. I do agree with quality over quantity.
     
  20. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 27, 2010

    I just wanted to say that I'm jealous! Probably because I left behind a lot of my chapter books when I left 3rd grade...and now I'm back. UGH! This is why I am a pack rat. :D
     
  21. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2010

    Weeding out is absolutely appropriate and necessary...but I think every classroom should have SOME sort of classroom library. It's expected here - even in middle school math classes! But, yes, an old book, a torn book, a book that just isn't interesting to kids should GO.

    We have two very good local charities that take old books. Books for International Goodwill (BIG) mails books to libraries and schools in Africa and India. And our local Association for University Women has a used book sale once a year to raise money for local scholarships. They do a book drive all summer every year. I give many old books to both organizations every year.

    However, I also want to say that not all "old" books are bad. I just bought 3 books for my 11 year old last night at Goodwill - was there to buy costumes for her drama camp - and the original price on them was $1.75....they were OLD. But the titles were great and she immediately snatched them up and took them to her room - I got "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret," and "Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself," and a Nancy Drew book. OLD books, she's loving.
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2010

    Kim, we actually just donated our old reading series to that (or maybe a similar) organization.
     
  23. ms. yi

    ms. yi Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2010

    I donated a bunch of my books last year and I couldn't be happier. I think having too many choices can be overwhelming for kids. I know one teacher who has a ton of books but they're all so squished together on shelves that it's hard to browse through them.

    To increase interest, I'm thinking of making some of my personal books available to the kiddos (I know - scary!) but only for a limited time. Gonna steal Disney's vault idea and hopefully that will stimulate more interest.
     
  24. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I do that, too...I must own 5000 books (not an overstatement), but I only put out 20-30 at a time and try to rotate them weekly. There are many that never get put out, and that's why I started weeding them out before summer started. I do try to put theme-related ones and topically related ones (holidays, seasons, etc) as they are appropriate.
     
  25. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    This is EXACTLY what I want to do! Get my books purged down to where I only have books that I know and like, and display them better and make them more appealing. I'd like to have a book spotlight, which is something I did my first year, but then never again for some reason. I guess I would rather have 100 really good, really fun to read books, than 1000 mediocre ones, with the 100 good ones lost in the shuffle.
     
  26. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 27, 2010

    I agree about going through them and prioritizing. I would never get rid of all the books because there is probably some great quality literature in there you can promote.

    Eventually, I will encounter a day like this when my library gets outdated, so I understand.

    Jem, perhaps you can set up a library in one of the parts of your school, seeing you have so many books.

    Our public library is a five minute drive away... we went there once last year. It may be beneficial to bring my students there a few times this coming year. They really loved seeing the vast selection.
     
  27. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    Jul 27, 2010

    I am a hoarder of books. I used to have a TON in my bedroom, when I got married and downsized into an apartment (funny that moving from room-mates to being part of a 4 person family leads to downsizing!) most are in the garage in boxes. ( :( )

    My classroom is another story. I have TONS of books, and like the pps', I have OLD books, new books, good books, bad books... some books that somehow ended up in my room that are totally inappropriate (middle/hs books)

    I go through them pretty often, and I keep the kids in charge of the library... sometimes I close it when they cant keep it clean. The boxes are organized by genre. I am hoping to "highlight" books this year, epecially the older books that have the "1980's" cover... they're still a good story! Dont judge a book by its cover!

    However, I do need to purge...
     
  28. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2010

    When I get rid of books I often let my students choose some to take home to keep. Any that are left are put in the teacher's lounge for a few days and then recycled.
     

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