How many books in your class library?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by dumbdiety, Aug 27, 2007.

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  1. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Hey all,
    Quick question for you. How many books do you have in your classroom library? After making a list of all my books in my class library I'm at 373 (not including Non-Fiction or Great Illustrated Classics). For me, this is nothing. This is more of a starting library. Other teachers, however, have nearly none! How is it that we're supposed to be teaching reading if you don't have a good selection of books for your kids to choose from?
    Anyway, this question comes from this: I was talking with a teacher today and we got to talking about reading. My view is if the kid has an interest in the subject, they'll read it. Thus, a large collection of as many subjects as I can. Her view was to use the reading programs that the school has bought to bring scores up because "they are tested and proven to work". Kicker is, 75% of my kids went up a level on the state tests last year, and I barely use those programs while only 45% of her kids went up! Then she told me I was teaching reading wrong by using so many novels and fiction!
    Sorry, nothing to do with the original question...kinda turned into a rant.
    Anyway, I'm curious. How many books are in your classroom library?
     
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  3. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    hundreds. I have hundreds in my class library, then hundreds more that I pull out for groups, units etc. I too feel that if a kid is interested in something they will seek it out and want to read more and more. Just today I had a struggling reading (still trying to figure out those number words) asking for a book on sharks...you bet we dug those out! You just never know what might pique their interest and make it worth the effort to them.
     
  4. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    At last count, after listing them on an Excel spreadsheet, I was just short of 800. :eek: But, that was last year. I've added (many) more since then. I keep telling myself, no more, no more, but I can't help myself. I LOVE books (thank goodness for Scholastic bonus points and warehouse sales!) and not a month goes by when I don't buy at least a half dozen books. :)
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I actually had to do an inventory a few years ago for insurance purposes. I had about 2,000 books in my classroom! I have certain ones for the class library, certain ones for reading groups, and certain ones for themes, and certain ones for our nightly reading homework. I get books on everything I can think of, even books on the Pony Express, Volcanoes, the Arctic, that are way beyond their reading level because they love the pictures and will read some of the words.

    I completely disagree with your teacher friend. I have specifically gone searching on ebay for books for certain students who were struggling. As soon as they were offered books that held their interest, their reading ability went way up because they were motivated. I've seen it happen again and again. Just believe in yourself and go with your intuition. Your methods are well respected in the education world.
     
  6. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    700+ Hoping to be around a 1000 by the time school starts next year.
     
  7. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    Thanks for starting this thread. I'm a new teacher who doesn't have as many books as everyone (who has already replied so far) has, but I'm on my way. I have nearly 200 books and am working to find more.
     
  8. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Not quite sure, I never counted!!
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I had about 700 last count, but probably bought about 100 more this summer. I have more books than anyone else at the school-- but our library is huge and amazing. The kids go there ANY TIME and check out books constantly. I go to the library during my lunch and may bring back 20 books on a topic if it comes up in the a.m. I actually think I could do with less books in the classroom because of our library, but I like to have them for myself, as much as for the kids.
     
  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I can't believe she said that you were teaching reading wrong by using books!!!!!! I'm so disgusted by her comment. I 100% agree with you that teaching reading by surrounding the kids with books they are interested is a great way to teach reading!!!

    I am a first year 5th grade teacher (after having taught kinder), so I dont' really have a lot of upper grade books.

    I have about 1000 novels. Okay, maybe I do have a good amount. Hee hee. I have been going through all of my books, labeling and organizing them. Right now, I'm at 865. This does not include my multiple copy books or all of my non fiction books. If I included these, then I would be around 1000 books. This does NOT include my picture books that I have. Picture books is around 200+.
     
  11. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    And I was all impressed with my collection! :lol:
     
  12. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I only have about 283. It looks like nothing on my bookshelves! But another teacher at my school got switched last week from first to third grade and she doesn't have ANY books at all! Not even any first grade books!
     
  13. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    I have never counted but probably should do an inventory of my books. If I had to guess, I would say at least 1500???
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    If there is a program your school bought you may have to use it but you should supplement with the books your classroom as well. They should be reading at their LEVEL, however, not just books on topics that interest them. My district does 'reading workshop'...all of our reading is done in leveled trade books.
     
  15. heymrsp

    heymrsp Rookie

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    I would venture a guess and say around 1200 in the class library - about half of them are mine. I came into a classroom last year as a first year teacher with a nice, but small library collection that the teacher I replaced left with me. I added all of the additional ones
    through purchases at book fairs, the scholastic warehouse book sales, garage sales and a lot of really nice donations from people I or my family come into contact with. I actually get the majority of them from a nurse who is in charge of the dialysis center my father goes to and she has gotten to know our family. She has several kids and they are all in grades 3 - 6, which works out really well for me. :)

    I would like to try to use some of my scholastic points to get the box of books this year, but am always hesitant that what I may recieve will be junky. Has anyone done this?
     
  16. Teri22G

    Teri22G Rookie

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    I have close to 5000. I believe children should be exposed to as much literature as they can. Plus, I want each child to enjoy reading and by having lots of books, they have a better chance of finding something that will spark their interest.
     
  17. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I actually inherited a lot of the books in my room from the former teachers. Lots of them were junky or old looking and I have slowly weeded them out. I have bought books through Scholastic, Amazon, ebay, garage sales, thrift stores, etc. My second year teaching, a group of parents who were also teachers/reading specialists asked the entire school to bring in books that the children had outgrown for the first grade library. Then they leveled each book and got me organized with a nightly reading program, so the kids ever since have had books at their level for their nightly reading. I provide all kinds of books for quiet or independent reading in the classroom. There are some times they choose for themselves what they want to read or look at. I think even looking at books that are intended for high school or adults, with great photos, will encourage the kids' desire to read.

    Isn't it great? If you are a new teacher, you will be amazed at how quickly your library grows. Ask everyone you know to help you find books. And seriously consider a school wide used book drive for your class. Plenty of parents take those great children's books to the thrift store and donate them when they clean out their child's room - why not give them to a new teacher instead?
     
  18. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I honestly don't know how many I have. Probably at least 500. I know I am a kdg teacher and most of my kids can't read at all, but at least they are exposed to all kinds of books and learn to be curious and excited about reading. I also have lots of leveled books with our reading series. I also make an effort to trade books with teachers and trade books into a used book store and get other books to replace them. Like this year I have some trade in money at the book store and I am going to use some of it to get a few more dinosaur books for my boys that are fascinated by them. To me, I feel like you can never have enough books! For a teacher to rely soley on the reading series it is at a real disservice to the students.
     
  19. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I have about 300 books that I have leveled and have put into a spread sheet. I've got more books then that, but I'm trying to organize those before I add any more from my cabinet.
     
  20. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Thanks for the response guys. I peeked in her room today and she has about 2 dozen books. That's it. Anyway, I've also put mine into a spreadsheet. I'm trying to decide the best way to mark them. Originally I had a big sticker that I put on the inside front cover, but that didn't really work out. I'd like to print out a spine sticker that has color codes for Lexile and AR as well as the first three letters of whatever it needs to be shelved under (I'm currently going by book series or title). But I know nothing of the AR program! Anyone know of a good web resource where I can look up AR levels?
     
  21. roamer

    roamer Companion

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  22. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks roamer!
     
  23. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I only have about 200. The issue is that my kids check out two books from the school library every week. So they don't use the ones in my classroom. I want to get more because I think it shows a value of reading but is anyone in my situation? That the kids read only their library books and not the ones in class?
     
  24. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    I only have about 200 now. I am building a library for this level from scratch so it will take some time:).
     
  25. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    This may be a bit weird, but aren't you worried about them taking your books? I am kinda attached some of my books, i guess i could just not put them out there, but they are really good books. Also do you catagorize them by theme or levelized?
     
  26. ruralneteach

    ruralneteach Rookie

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    I finally invested in a library program and I am now barcoding my collection to make for easier check-out and tracking. So far I have 6,821 books with about a dozen boxes to still enter into my program and barcode.

    We have more books in our classroom than our library does! I agree with the original poster that kids have to have books in their hands to read. I have 32 students and we do an overnight book program. They each take a book home to read for a minimum of thirty minutes. Except now they are begging to take home two a night and three to four on the week-ends. Yeah, twist my arm kids. They each take a tote of 50-75 books home for the summer.

    My books are categorized and placed into baskets, crates or else onto a revolving bookrack. Some titles I have 5 or 6 copies that we can use with small groups in guided reading. They each have a bar code with the name of the category to which they belong. This makes putting them away easier .... which is a classroom responsibility that rotates from table to table each week. (Once they have had to put books away, they are much more careful to do it correctly.) I also try to level each book. I probably have about 40% of the collection leveled.

    Right now I'm trying to secure insurance as our school policy does not cover any personal property at school. All of our local agencies require an appraisal, which I have no problem with .... except that there is no one that does such. I had ignorantly thought that providing them with a print-out of the collection which includes the purchase price would essentially be the same thing. So I'm still searching for coverage.

    If I ever win the lottery I want to start a bookmobile.
     
  27. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    ruralneteach. which software do you use? I've been looking for something, and I found a free one that is web based, but I've been having problems getting it going.
     
  28. 4evrteacher

    4evrteacher New Member

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    you guys are very fortunate-- I am a new teacher and teach language arts (6th grade) and I have only about 30 books (none donated, all purchased by me from used book stores, goodwill etc.)

    I feel bad for the kids when they do silent reading because I don't have enough nor a good variety-- but I hope to amass a great library with all genres of writing and literature!
     
  29. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Your library will grow. Make an effort to hit Goodwill, garage sales or any used book store at least once a month and get a few books each time. Take a survey from the kids to see kinds of books they love and then you can at least search for those. That way you know they will have something that interests them. Also put together a wish list. Ask parents to bring in used books on the kids' level. I did this and books are already coming in! Acquiring books is a task. It takes lots of creativity, persistence, but it doesn't have to take lots of money. Good luck!
     
  30. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    This is my 4th year teaching and I have over 3,000. I must admit I am a book addict. I can't go in a book store and not buy at least 3! I'm also horrible with the Scholastic book orders. If my kids don't order enough to get the free shipping, it's not a big deal. My order is always enough. :O Anywho....
    About half of my books have come from flea markets and garage sales. Every single book has been purchased by me, even my 30 big books that I use to teach with.
     
  31. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    4evrteacher, don't worry, you will! I'm only second year, so as you can see it grows (up to 700+ after adding my small reading group sets to my Excel sheet!)
     
  32. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    I agree with you totally. Surrounding kids with books is a great strategy to get them excited about reading! they WILL be with exciting choices from class libraries. Did anyone hear about that book FREAKONOMICS where 2 math guru researchers debunked so called research or old wives tales or just the way we've always believed things to be? One chapter in there is very enlightening. They did research on kids that had parents read to them versus kids that had just lots of books at home. Kids with books at home were actually the winners in the better readers debate using real research not just surveys. Surround kids with good literature, that's really important.
    I have so many books peer teachers make fun of me. I believe I have about 1,000. I have over 40 bins full of books. It is ridiculous. I probably buy 20 to 30 more books a year with book points from Scholastic. That's a great way to get started all you new teachers.
     
  33. ruralneteach

    ruralneteach Rookie

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    I looked at several freeware programs and a couple of shareware and they just weren't what I had in mind. I use Small Library Organizer Pro which is sold by PrimaSoft for $245. It sounds like a lot of money, but it really isn't. I priced out the Follett and Winnebago systems and they were $1500 + for just the program and they offer the same basic format. Follett uses MARC records so if you buy from a distributor you can import files, but most teachers that I know don't do this. They pick them up at Goodwill, the used book stores, garage sales, etc. and there are no such files available.

    I use Avery 5180 address labels for my bar codes and I bought a barcode scanner for $29.34 from a guy in Hong Kong off of e-bay. It works like a charm and has cut the time in half that it takes to check my kids out and now I know exactly where my books are. I haven't put the clear plastic labels over the top of the bar code. I thought I'd wait and see how these hold up. The clear labels are extremely expensive. I priced them at Highsmith and they were $75 for 3000 labels. I can buy an awful lot of books for that amount of money. Staples is supposed to carry clear address labels under their name that are much cheaper than the Avery ones but I haven't priced them out.

    After reading this thread I decided to do the same for my personal library. My administrator has two buildings that she is responsible for and she is forever borrowing and delivering books to teachers at the other school. Now I'll know where they are as well.

    The other aspect that I like is that I can filter records and sort out categories. I just ran a filter for my poetry category for a class I'm taking. Instantly I knew that I had 153 books with 76 different titles. We do poetry readings every Friday so I have been amassing multiple copies. 49 of my poetry books are currently checked out.

    There is also a field for entering series names which is nice. That makes it much easier to run a search and see what is available in any series. It takes longer to do the data entry when you use the extra fields, but I think it will pay off in the long run.
     
  34. ruralneteach

    ruralneteach Rookie

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    Has anyone ever run an ad in their local paper asking for donations of "outgrown" books? I've been pondering this for the last year and a half, but I haven't gotten around to doing it. I'm afraid that the response would be incredible, but that I'd have a lot of books that weren't really suitable for the classroom.
     
  35. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    It seems that the younger grades need more books in the classroom. The older kids will read longer books. True?

    As for the kids taking the books, I don't let them take many home. We have a lot of books for nightly reading, and they are required to read one book a night. They soon start requesting 2 or 3 books a night, and last year one little boy BEGGED me to send him "at least 10 books a night." This was hard because the kids in each level have to share the books, but I tried to keep up with his request. Yes, he read about 10 little books each night! His mom said they could not get him to turn off the light at night and quit reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, these books come back each day. They can't have another book until they return the one they have out. I check each day.

    I also send home a note at the beginning of the year about our reading program, and tell them that a lost book will cost $5.00, which is cheap when you think about it. I have never had to charge anyone for a lost book!

    Pattie, I think I also have over 40 bins of books. I think that is just how a first grade class looks. Our class is all about reading - the other stuff is covered, but we are about reading.
     
  36. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    That's when you go through the books and give those that are too high or too low for your classroom to appropriate classrooms. I went through all my books this summer and found several that were too old (content wise) for my students. I donated them to a new teacher who teaches at the middle school.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007
  37. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    so how do you organize them? theme or levelized?
     
  38. teachertime

    teachertime Companion

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    I'm so excited I have to share my news!! WARNING: this is a long post, but I think it's worth the read.

    Last week when I responded to the thread, I had just acquired about 185 books. But it was how I got them---that's the exciting part. I was at a local used bookstore where I have an account.

    Earlier that morning I went to a yard sale where I purchased a laundry basket of adult books ---mostly mystery, some romance, mostly the variety you find at Wal-Mart--- for $10. I then took them to the used bookstore for trade. They give me half-price from the purchased price on account. The store's policy is that I can then purchase used books from a quarter (these are marked by a tiny scissor cut on the top right corner) to 30% off the price they have tagged on the book. This is standard for any of the books in the store.

    I was shopping in the children's books section because I wanted to get my class library started in my room and I was asking the salesclerk if she knew some of the authors or books I was looking at on the shelves. A lady comes around the corner on the other side and says to me that she had overheard my conversation with the clerk and wanted to help me.

    She went on to say she was a retired school teacher and had an account with the store; to find as many books as I wanted to get and to use her account (because she had so much credit on it, she would not be able to use all of it even if she tried). My mouth dropped to the floor. I was amazed this stranger would help me. She even came over a while later and helped me pick out some quality picture books in addition to some literature books on the shelves.

    I spent out of pocket money about $85, but her "on account" money, it was close to double that. I came home so excited. Two of the books were (1) about 9/11--stories of before, during, and afterward and (2) Crop Circles --both are picture books with accompanying stories and features.

    Then today, I had another cool opportunity. I've been perusing Ebay for good deals and lost out to one last week. The seller had a "lot" of books (70 books) for sale to the highest bidder. I bid up to $130, which included shipping, and I lost. I was disappointed but knew I could watch Ebay and wait for the next opportunity.

    So this morning, I---just for fun--- decided to check Craig's List on the internet for books for sale in my home area. There was an ad for 70 books for $45. I called the person and asked if she still had the books. She did. I told her that I was a teacher looking for books for my class library. After a few minutes of talking with her, she said she would sell me all she had almost 300 books for $100. That's like 3 books for a $1. Needless to say, I met up with her before she could change her mind. Her book selection was AWESOME.

    I hope you all don't mind, but I have to share her story.

    She, the mother, was from India and her children (raised here in USA since birth) were lagging behind in school (as far as being able to read) when they were younger and in second grade. A teacher suggested she get her children into reading books. So she began to collect books--She bought most of the books at Borders or Barnes and Noble and many of them are what we teachers only dream of getting our hands on.

    Today her children are in high school and one of them took the SAT this past summer and scored a perfect score on the Language portion of the test. She was so surprised that her children could go from being so far behind in the second grade to achieving a perfect score on the SAT. She believes reading helped her children.
    I am soooo excited. Now I have a little over 500 books for my class to start this next week with (and I'm introducing the 100 pages a week reading starting on Tuesday).

    I just had to share my news. Sorry this was so long.
     
  39. jellokites

    jellokites Rookie

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    Same here! I can guess about 200-300...but not really sure. I do not keep inventory...and probably should!:whistle:
     
  40. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    teachertime, NICE! That was a major stroke of luck! Good going!
     
  41. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    wow that is a great story!
     
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