Classroom Library cost estimate?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeachCafe, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2015

    Ballpark number....how much should I expect to pay in all and per books/sets of books.


    I checked my room and I have a few books but not a lot and one of my teammates gave me some local places to get books. I'm glad I saw the books because now I'm like "Ohhhh 4th graders read RL Stine and the like" my sped kids were in picture books.

    I've seen a few craigslist ads but I don't want to wear out my budget on not good deals. I saved a lot of money this past year so I'm allotting myself a back to school budget. Thankfully all supplies like markers, crayons, posts etc will be provided.

    One craigslist ad had 10 books for $20. Is that a good deal? I saw a few classrooms with TONS of books so to me that doesn't seem like a good deal becasue that's just barely scratching the surface and if I do that and get 50 that's $100 when the libraries I saw had hundreds of books so that seems like a money waste/not good deal.
     
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  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I don't want to estimate how much my library has cost... :blush: Honestly, I really couldn't. It's something I never stop adding to.

    To build up my library quickly at the beginning, I went to library sales and got a lot of used books for cheap. Scholastic has some library building sets - 25 books for $25, etc. I got a couple of their sets. Scholastic also has books that are $1-$5. You can actually search "dollar books" on there. I had some success on eBay when I taught primary - search for lots, because those end up being cheaper than buying individual books on eBay usually.

    Is there a Scholastic Warehouse sale near you? That's a great place to get deals.

    At the beginning, I was all about quantity, though I did look for quality as well. Now as I'm building more slowly, I'm pickier and also will spend more on individual books. I like to get new books.

    I will say, my library is definitely the single biggest cost in my classroom. I've spent far more on that than on anything else, and continue to do so.
     
  4. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    I bought the bulk of my books off of ebay. They had gently used lots so I got a set for $45 which had tons of great titles in it. I also got a bunch donated from an Amazon distributor.
     
  5. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Visit yard sales as much as possible. You'd be amazed at how often books are being sold and a lot of times, if you tell them you're a teacher, they'll give you an even better deal. At least that was my experience. I have 30 dish tub book bins full of books this way. I also purchased books using my bonus points from Scholastic book orders. A lot of those were for literature circle sets, as well as books that were popular with the kids at that time. Since you're spending money to build up your library, make sure that you establish some sort of checkout system with your kids. I lost so many books my first year because I let them take books and return them as needed. Now I have an index card file with number dividers and one student is responsibly for checking books in/out. He/she writes the title of the book under their number and they cannot check out another book until they have returned the previous one.
     
  6. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    I also get a lot of books sending home Scholastic book orders. Parents will order books and I get the points so I but a LOT of books that way. I am not sure it is the cheapest way but I love getting new books.

    I would say on average, and I am a book LOVER, I probably spend about $20 a month on books during the school year. I love the Scholastic flyers!
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Depends! I grew my library last year (first year) from about 50-100 to probably now somewhere nearing 1000 or at least the upper 3 digits. Out of pocket, I probably spent $40-$50. I had a lot of teachers donate some books to me, got a TON from Scholastic, and have also done some yard sale-ing (picked up about 15 more books yesterday for about $5 total - that included 6 almost brand new "Who Was" nonfiction books that are hard to find below full price). Others have mentioned it well - yard sales, library sales, Scholastic, ask friends/family for old childhood books they might not use, and more yard sales! :).
    Also, if.you have Scholastic warehouse sales near you, contact them and see if they want volunteers. Supposedly you get $10 in free books for each hour you help out! I still am trying to find one that I can help out with.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    What I have found is that a classroom library with 75 books with 50 popular books is far better than a classroom library with 600 books and 15 of them popular. Goodwill, Savers, Garage Sales, Library sales, or any place you can actually pick out the quality books for cheap the better. My classroom library is now far more popular with my students with 200 books with lots of popular books then when I had 600 books years ago with few popular books. Always choose quality over quantity or the books will just sit there.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Wow! You're good!
     
  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Good point! I specifically pulled some of the more "popular" series or standalone books to a separate shelf to drive that interest, though I like having a wide range of other books available for kids to still look through. Once you have a good enough base..focusing on finding high interest and high quality (award winning, classics, etc...) is important.

    What worked really well in the last two book orders I did (once every 2 months) was to actually have the kids name books that they wanted to see in our classroom library -- they were checking out books like crazy when the order came in! 90% of the books I got in the latter part of the year were from those requests, and most of the rest was focused around just adding some other books here and there to provide more choices or because there was a good book to add (ie in the garage sale, I picked up 6 NF "who was" books since they're high interest and I don't have a huge set of NF books, and another 7-8 historical fiction books, since my collection there is smaller)
     
  11. Lainy2121

    Lainy2121 Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Ditto to what everyone has said. In the beginning, I used eBay to build my library quickly without spending a lot. Search for "chapter book lots" or "picture book lots" and you'll usually find huge boxes of books for less than $20. I get a lot of books from Scholastic and I volunteer at all the Warehouse sales. You earn $10 an hour in books and they'll let you work for a long as you want. Definitely worth it in my opinion. Other than that yard sales, thrift stores, and library sales are the best to hit up.
     
  12. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Sometimes Scholastic does a 50 books for $50 before school starts.
     
  13. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    I've spent several hundred dollars on my library. Like others said, I searched on Craigslist and local used bookstores at the beginning. Now I add to it every year at the Scholastic Warehouse sale.
     
  14. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Thanks guys!

    I'm browsing eBay cautiously fr book lots. This has been a ridiculous summer for me and eBay. In 5 different items, I've had 4 get "lost" in the mail and a month shipping wait for something 4-5 days shipping traditionally so I'm limited on location (not the East/West Coast mostly) on where I'm willing to buy from at least for the rest of the summer.

    Thanks! This system makes sense...sort of. So one student goes around marking off who has what book? Rather than each student checking out their own books?

    I'm searching Pinterest and getting a :confused: look on my face with all these cutesy walls of pocket sleeves of book checkouts for 25 books when the shelves are lined with 100s of books.

    I'm guessing only those 25 are important and the rest can get lost, kept, etc with no cards or file for checking them in and out?
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Through their book orders, teacher store, or warehouse sales?
     
  16. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Everyone already gave the answers I was going to. My aunt said join Scholastic and yard sales. I have a good sized first year library though since I was a reading para one year and the retiring specialist I worked closely with left tubs of books for me to take.
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Other than Scholastic, I haven't been a bargain shopper. I've probably spent upwards of 5k but I do have an awesome library.:p

    If I had a set budget for my first year, I'd probably set aside 40% of my budget for my library. Then if I had any money left over :rolleyes:, I'd put that into my library too.
     
  18. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    My guess is that there are 25 students. I used to use a checkout system like this and then gave up. There was a card in each book, and the students would put the card from their book into their pocket on the chart.
     
  19. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    :eek: Okay, that makes sense.

    What made you give up? Was it too much?

    I've been in PD central the past few weeks so tomorrow I'm pounding the pavement on getting books.
     
  20. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Look into area libraries and ask when they have book sales for items they are retiring. Thrift stores - have to make the rounds. Let them know you are a teacher, and some will mark down their insanely low prices even further. By the way, check those same thrift stores for other little goodies - I have found stickers, pencils, office supplies, storage containers, etc. It doesn't all have to be new and shiny. This year I bought pencils online, and I think that I have 300 misprints, and 500 top name brand, all for only $23, and that included the shipping. If purchased out of my allotted funds from their distributor, it would have taken $80 out of my budget. I will share the wealth with other teachers, as we are always in the same boat with the walking pencils. Last year I was given some pencils from a store where the erasers had gotten hard. The eraser caps fixed the problem, and I even put each student in charge of hanging on to "their" eraser cap, taking it from class to class. I got multi-colored ones, and the kids used my pen to "tag" the inside. Not the way I would have described it, but they were very happy and took pride of ownership. Who knew this could make them so proud?

    If you find board games, card decks, dominos, legos, Knexs, lincoln logs, marbles, puzzles, Brain Quest trivia decks, travel games that are self contained, riddle books (the sillier the better), etc., grab them for a steal. Abstract puzzles can sometimes be cut down to eliminate missing pieces, board games can get new cards or dice, legos - well, there is too much to say about them, Knexs get donated because pieces are missing, but if you find multiple sets, who cares? The little travel games, Rubric's cubes, stress balls, etc, work really well to focus some students - expensive to buy new, a steal at thrift stores or garage sales. ALWAYS tell people you are a teacher, tell them the school or district, and many will cut you a deal or donate it. I try to drop off a dozen cookies to the kindest of the lot, just to let them know they not only helped me, but my students.

    Hope this helps. If you only knew how much goes to land-fills because people can't be bothered to invest a little time and effort.

    And yes, books can be found in these places as well. Just don't limit yourself to one item when you may find a wealth of riches besides your designated goal.

    Have fun! ;)
     
  21. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    It was hard to keep up with, and I felt there was little payoff. Books still went missing anyway. I got frustrated with having to get library pockets and cards for every single book. I used it in 1st, though, not in 5th.
     
  22. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    One student "opens" up the library and students come see him/her to return books or check out new ones. That student is responsible for crossing off the books that were returned and writing down the date/titles of books that are checked out. I have one responsible student in charge of the library to ensure books are accounted for. I don't let the students check out books themselves because I feel like books will go missing then.
     
  23. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't do a check out system, but require students to leave their library books in their book baskets or on top of the desk. They are not allowed to take books home. Since I made a detailed inventory list eight years ago, I've only lost one book and the student who stole it did so on a day I had a sub.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    :eek:I don't even want to think about how much money I've spent on books for my classroom over the past 15 years. For me, though, every penny has been worth it. Some years my classroom library is used a lot, other years, not as much. As others have said, focus on quality in the beginning; there's no sense having baskets full of books that no one reads.

    I don't do any kind of check out system; I've tried various things in the past, but it always took more time and effort than it was worth. The exception is the books I use for Literature Circles--these are numbered and assigned to students and they are responsible for returning or replacing them.
     
  25. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    I think it is through the teacher store.
     
  26. themilocat

    themilocat Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I never buy used kids books that cost more than $.50, unless they're hardcover!

    I bought most of my books at the St. Louis Book Fair, which is just a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE used book sale put on by the Catholic Charities of St. Louis. Check around and see if a local library is having a sale soon, or if another organization is. The Y, Boys and Girls Club, and private schools around here have big book sales yearly.

    Also, check out garage sales. Scan the ads in the newspaper or on Craigslist for sales mentioning books or toys. This is where you'll find books for cheap prices!

    Check on Facebook to see if your area has a teacher trading group. I see lots of retired teachers and teachers who move grade levels that sell their classroom libraries.

    Once school starts back up, make sure to sign up for Scholastic's book orders (called Reading Club, now). They always have $1 books in the flyers, and you can even search using the term "$1" on their website. I've created MANY reading circle sets for under $10 through Scholastic.

    When I started out, I searched on ebay for book lots, but the shipping is nearly as much as the books! I wouldn't recommend that!
     
  27. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2015

    Most of my books have come from places that have already been suggested - Scholastic points, thrift stores, garage sales and library sales. It takes time to accumulate a decent sized library so don't try to do it all before school starts. As you learn your students' interests and get a better handle on your curriculum you can use that to guide your purchasing.

    I've never used a check out system. I keep the more expensive read alouds out of my classroom library so those can't get wrecked and I know where they are when I need them.

    I expect to lose a few books every year, books fall apart, but since I've spent less than a $1.00 on each book I don't worry about it too much. Bottom line, I want my kids READING and if they can't take home another book because they've lost one then that gets shut down pretty quickly. So I let them take books as they need them and hope for the best. I always get a few back in late fall from former students who found my books at home over the summer, too.
     
  28. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I am on Team Let it Grow and Look for Deals. I'm on Amazon Vine so I can find free books for the classroom.

    I also try to regularly cull.
     
  29. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    I found some books through craigslist. Most were lower grades but I picked up 25 that are 3-4th grade on the guided reading leveling system.

    I checked out my local Salvation Army on half price Wed and the book section was pitiful. Barely even a few cookbooks.

    I need to do more Scholastic looking around because at easy glance Scholastic is high. My kiddos will be pretty low economically disadvantaged so I imagine moms and dads buying a few books but the majority won' be buying to rack up points to purchase a lot so I don't know how I'll "rack up" points to buy books and that's not something in my mind right now until I see.
     
  30. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Jul 18, 2015

    I volunteered at a Scholastic Warehouse sale and earned Scholastic dollars toward books. I mostly focused on the build a box area because, starting from nothing I was slightly more interested in quantity than quality. (Though, the book are new and most are not old titles.) I spent about $80 out of pocket, plus $140 in Scholastic credit, and ended up with 350-400 books. As a rule of thumb I don't like to spend more than $1 for book that aren't really popular.

    I also hit up some of the Goodwill/Rescued treasures stores. One store close to me does sales each week .50 for book with a certain colored sticker on them. That's a good way to build, too.

    Oh, and if you're on facebook--- put a message out on there, "Hey friends, if you're cleaning out your kids' rooms and find books you'd like to get rid of I'd gladly take them off your hands. I promise I will put them to good use in my classroom."

    And as far as a check out system, I'll be using the "Book Retriever" app on my ipad. It was a simple interface--- students scan the book and select their name.
     
  31. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2015

    I thought about Facebook but due to our ages all of my friends have children 6 and under so those aren't books I can use. I know I'll have some picture books just for quick reads but I'll get those from the campus and library.

    The ones who have chapters books those books are long gone.

    I ended up finding a great eBay seller and bought tons a books Saturday. I just asked if I could pick up local, took my dad and we hauled off lots of book. I went though and picked out good ones not just being anxious to have books and books. I' really happy I got a lot of Scholastic biography/historical books.

    I have about 150 now and 20 more coming in the mail so that's a good start.

    Now just organizing them :dizzy:
     

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