Classroom library- necessary?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by giraffe326, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I will be teaching 6th grade math and social studies in a K-6 building. There are only two of us (6th grade teachers). So I will have my homeroom in the morning and the other teacher's homeroom in the afternoon. My classroom is an old science lab (this school used to be the middle school), so it has a ton of built in cabinets (and about 6 sinks :rolleyes:).

    I'm trying to decide if I need to have a classroom library or not. I will not be teaching reading/ELA, but when I taught 5th grade science and social studies, I had a classroom library.
    My main dilemmas are:
    A. I have no bookshelves.
    B. I don't even have much room to put bookshelves in because of all the built-ins.
    C. Plus, I feel silly requesting bookshelves when I have more storage than I could possibly need.
    D. They could always use the school's library. And I'm assuming the other 6th grade teacher will have books.
    E. When I taught three sections of science/ss, I had a lot of books walk away, and it was pretty much impossible to find them.

    I just love books, and sharing books, so I can't decide if a lack of books will make me go crazy. I haven't been able to talk to my new teammate, but I love The Book Whisperer and I hope she has read it and feels the same way I do about independent reading.

    I try to think of myself as a 'middle school' teacher, and I can't remember any of my middle school math teachers having books in their rooms!

    And, the lazy part of me would like to leave all of my books in storage. I will already be moving all of my things into my new classroom and my personal belongings into an apartment this summer. Leaving heavy boxes of books where they are sounds appealing.

    Opinions? (Honestly, I can't tell if I'm talking myself into bringing my books in or into leaving them.)
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    This past year I taught math and science. I took my class library home but kept any books I would use for lessons. I also kept a few sets of books that had to do with science, just in case.
     
  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I am a middle school math teacher and have a row of books on a back table which students can browse if they finish a test early. They stay in the room though. Can the built-in cabinets house some books? Are the doors solid wood or windowed? If wood maybe a corner one could have the door removed?
     
  5. ECE ABC

    ECE ABC Comrade

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    giraffe, I wish I could add to your thread but I have only had PreK & Kindergarten classrooms to run :):):)
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Some do have windows. Maybe I will just grab a handful and stick them in a windowed cabinet. Good idea.

    I wish I taught US History, because I have several class sets that I could incorporate (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Bud, Not Buddy;, etc...)
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    It used to be required that LA teachers had a classroom library... it seems to have fallen to the wayside in the last few years at my school.

    I don't have enough bookshelves, and we aren't allowed to bring in furniture (and we can't request furniture), so I bought some mini-crates and created a bookcase on my counter. Still not enough room for all of my books, but it's working.
     
  8. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    This is what my classroom looks like- http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showpost.php?p=1683833&postcount=32 and you can see where I've put books in my classroom in the pictures (and I don't have ANY bookshelves either).

    I do highly recommend having books in your classroom! Students at my school constantly have a fiction book in their tote bag, which is great, but I'm encouraging them to think about taking out a science book instead. Sometimes the only time they will pick up a science book to read is in my classroom, so I try to change the books once every month. (I don't have enough space to have all of my science books out to read at the same time.)

    I usually keep the books on the cubby area where they put away their tote bags, so the kids get to see them as they are packing up. I've also purchased book ends for each table and will put books that we might use during lessons on the side-counters for students to use.

    But I do hope you choose to have a library in your class geared to the subjects you will be teaching :)
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I missed your post about getting a new job, so congrats first! :). I would have some books in one of the cabinets. If you don't want to move all of them perhaps just grab the nonfiction ones.
     
  10. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    I would have a library with math and science books. Overall, I like the message it sends. Plus, if someone finishes early they can read.

    I created a mini bookshelf by taking four milk crates and stacking them two high by two wide. I used zip ties to tie them together so they function as one piece. My crates and zip ties are black so you can't even see the zip ties.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Thanks :)
     
  12. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I love having a classroom library for social studies. Not only do they use it for reference and research during projects they use it for "sponge" time when they finish an assignment early. If your library is high-interest enough it is more than just classroom management - it is a motivator.
     
  13. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Yes, please have books in your classroom! As a former language arts teacher and current Ph.D. student in literacy, it is so important for all teachers to have a classroom library. Besides all the obvious reasons (making books available to students, etc.) it also shows that you, as a teacher, value literacy and that reading isn't just something that happens in the language arts classroom. (I could go on and on, but I'll stop there before my soapbox gets too high.) :)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Topic baskets, picture books related to content themes, Informational texts, biographies, books for research would all be great in your classroom. I've never been a 'by the plan teacher'...I love being able to gab a book spontaneously from my library to complement a lesson, answer a question, inspire thinking...
     
  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Oh, please keep the books! It reinforces the message that reading happens in all subjects. And you never know when you're going to need emergency DEAR time. :) Doesn't really work without books!
     
  16. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Congrats on your new job!!! Could you take some of the cabinet doors off and put the books on the shelves in baskets?
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Thanks :)

    I will have to ask. Most of the cabinets are low (due to a huge BB running on one side of the room). I may just have to put baskets of books on the countertops.

    I guess I really need to go back and take pictures so I can plan accurately in my head ;)
     
  18. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I would consider a classroom library an absolute necessity! Research strongly supports maintaining a classroom library. If you are short on books, you can ask the librarian to check out 30 books to you each week and keep your classroom library fresh.

    If a student gets into a book, you can dismiss that student early to take the book to the library to check it out in his or her name.

    Congrats on the new job! I loved teaching 6th.
     
  19. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    If you don't need all of the BB space, could you set a book shelf on the counter for your library?
     
  20. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I have always had a class library, but hit the point quite rapidly that if a book walked, it was because the child really wanted it, or that it would eventually land with another reader. Otherwise I'd go crazy. A few disappear every year, though I had over 40 walk one year - lots of stuff walked from all our classes that year. The only time I get upset is if I find out someone found one of my books in the garbage can or toilet at school (that has happened too). My books have my name, room number and the school initials. If they make it back to me (some have over the years) that's great. Most of my books are the result of clawing through the shelves at Goodwill. As a matter of fact I have a box with 15 or so books from Goodwill sitting in my car right now waiting for me to get them to school!
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I have excellent access to our school library in 4th grade. I do not have a classroom library, waste of time and space.

    I think it just comes down to how well your access is to your school library.
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have a bookshelf filled with science magazines I enjoy reading. Unfortunately they don't get used often. I've offered to students but they would rather do other things.

    It seems that they're just not that interested in non-fiction. I need to get some good science related novels up there.
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I would maybe put a few books out if you have them (maybe just a crate's worth or something) but I wouldn't worry about having a whole "library." I spent a lot of money my first years teaching getting cheap books for my library, and now it's never used because the kids have i pads and they have programs which have thousands of books available right there leveled for them. Now I really wish I wouldn't have spent money on books! I still have them in my room, but seriously maybe 3 "real" books ever got picked up in my room during the year.
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    How often would the kids use the books? If you'd forsee them actually borrowing books from your or having time to read them in your class then it would be pretty useless. Maybe if you have any or want to purchase any- just a small shelf with some math related books?
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Alright, I stopped in and took some pictures. I will bring some books, but probably not all my books. For some reason I didn't take a picture of one of the walls. It has a chalkboard, an office door, and some more cabinets with a sink. I only got a close up of the demonstration table.

    I didn't see the tall glass doored cabinet the other day. Probably because of the giant metal cabinet that was in front of it. That will be going. Why have a big, ugly metal cabinet when there is soooo much storage?! There is another rolling cabinet in the office/storage closet that I share with the teacher next door. That will be going as well!! As well as at least 2 of the 4 filing cabinets.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  26. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oh- anyone know if that giant metal thing in the second picture (next to the door) is an air conditioner? Or just heat?
     
  27. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    So I'm guessing it's officially official with a signed contract? Did they honor your 5 years?

    I'm not sure if that's an AC but since there's a fan it seems unlikely. Was this classroom an old science lab?
     
  28. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    No contract until the 15th. They were only working a 1/2 day today and are off until the 14th, so the secretary has to get everything together.
    Yes to the 5 years, so yay! (I have 7, but most districts around here won't give more than 5.) I figure between gas and rent savings, plus the raise, I will have about $600 more per month than I did have before. So yay again! Plus, now I have another excuse to quit my job- the commute AND a $9000 raise.

    And, yes, again, this was an old science lab. The sinks are not ideal, but I love the storage! The current elementary is the old middle school. So there are 2 or 3 science labs. They could use a paint job, but I'm not sure if that is allowed. And I really don't want to do it, so I will try to dress everything else up so it is less noticeable.
     
  29. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Do you even need all those sinks? I'd cover them with a giant slab of something and put crates on top (facing forward) with some books.
     
  30. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    That's great! So you still have about 2 weeks just in case a better offer comes along. Either way I know you'll be happy. A $9,000 raise and shorter commute is definitely a plus! I'm in the same boat wondering how many years I'll be credited it's a $10,000 difference.

    Did you start to feel at home walking in your classroom?

    I would love the storage my previous classroom didn't have any. No closets or anything. Just two sad little shelves on the wall and bookcases.
     
  31. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sure don't. I think the faucet bothers me as much/more than the sink.
     
  32. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I bet you could take the faucets off fairly easily and nobody would notice! :whistle:
     
  33. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I don't feel at home at all. I have to come up with a plan, but it is hard since I didn't set up a room last year and I can't remember how much/what I purged before moving.

    My classrooms in my 1st and 6th year had quite a bit of storage. My 2nd-4th years were in a room with a teeny tiny closet. And there was a shelf above the backpack hooks.

    I'm pretty OCD about storing things. I label and alphabetize, and sort by size, or color. Something. I have to sort. So I will have to get out my label maker for all these drawers and stuff!!
     
  34. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Don't think it hasn't crossed my mind. :lol: If I taught science, great. Since I don't, well, they are silly! There are 7 of them!!!
     
  35. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Aww. I do hope you start to feel at home once you put a personal touch in your room.

    7 sinks? Wow! :eek: that seems excessive even for a lab class.
     
  36. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I've been assured the gas has been turned off :tired:

    I would feel better if it was removed, because I think the shut off is in my room. Unless they used a different shut off.
     
  37. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Could it be some sort of vent?
     
  38. StarsofTommorow

    StarsofTommorow Companion

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    I think a classroom library would be a must! I know for many upcoming and vet teachers $$$ is an issue. I already have a variety of books from many different genres that I want in my future classroom. Without reading, hard to succeed in school and life. I am going to look into strategies for donations, saving, parents, etc to donate books. I also need to look into budgeting for books.
     

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