Ideally Sized Classroom Library

Discussion in 'General Education' started by a_apple_z_zebra, May 2, 2008.

  1. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    Quick question: How many books are too many books?
     
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  3. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    LOL Don't ask me. I have several hundred. I count on about 20 walking away and not returning every year, but I am always bargain hunting to add more.
     
  4. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    Yes; but it's too easy to "re-stock," isn't it?

    It's just like a "kid in a candy store," everything looks so colorful and interesting.
     
  5. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    If you ever think there are too many, just start rotations of book :D.
     
  6. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Here are a few things to think about to help you determine the appropriate amount of books:
    What grade level do you teach?
    Do kids have all acess to the books?
    Are they organized? How?
    Is your space adequate?
    If the book has a purpose, then it should be in your classroom. If you feel like you have too many books, than rotate the books, or split of the books into different areas of the room.

    There are times when I think that I have too many books available for my kids to use, but then when I am teaching certan units I am defenitely lacking literature as a support. I probably have one of the largest libraries on my grade level, but I really think that early readers need to see the importance of books and have a wide variety of options.

    I have walked into 4th and 5th grade classes that have less than 100 books and the students are really deprived of good literature. On the other side, I've seen teachers who have HUGE libraries. Some are organized and are stocked with quality books, yet others are disorganized, aren't utilized to the fullest, and are not taken care of.

    Long story short....there is no magic number of how many to have.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I don't think that there can be such a thing. :D
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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  9. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I don't teach younger kids, so having the older ones (junior high school and Grade 10) I can have more books on a wide variety of topics. I love my classroom space this year. I have plenty of shelves. I have the books organized by genre and I still have space! I don't know what I'll do next year... maybe not teach English...

    Unlikely though, I've taught at least one English class a year, and I'm Social Studies and PE.
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I also think a library CAN have too many books. If it is overwhelming, disorganized or not easy to access, it's not going to be easy for the kids to find the books they need. I rotate through my collection frequently, and even move books around in their baskets, so new ones are in the front.
     
  11. allyd

    allyd Rookie

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    Each year at the end of the year, I have a book trade with my students to support and encourage summer reading. The students can bring a book from home to trade with each other and I give them a book from me. I have purchased most of my books either through Scholastic with points or at Church sales for next to nothing, which is how I can afford to do that. This will eliminate around 25 titles from my libary. I usually choose books from my library that are multiple copies or that have been ignored. (Not because they are not quality but because we read so many Literature Circle books that we tend not to have time to read otherwise.) The kids love walking away with 2 "free" books and I make some much needed room in my library, not to mention making room for new titles next year!
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    When I got too many to keep out decently, I sorted them into 9groups...one for each month. I pull out a new bunch each month. The kids get excited for the new batch.
     
  13. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I do this now. I have a full bookcase, part of a bookcase for my oversized books, and three tubs on the floor. I hate it. I wish I could display them all and put the tubs on the storage shelves. It is such a pain climbing over and around them and digging to find what I'm looking for. It also makes the reading area uninviting and looks messy/disorganized.
     
  14. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    I really like that idea; I, too, purchase my books inexpensively, and would really like to try that. Thanks for the idea!
     
  15. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    Speaking of library organization, I'm looking for a way to make checking out books and re-shelving more systematic. I'm thinking of having a re-shelving crate, where students place books that they're done using, and my weekly student helper could re-shelf them during morning acclimation time or during free times. Have any of you found a system that keeps things organized, but doesn't take up a lot of time?
     
  16. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I'm going to do the same thing next year! We do clean up at the end of every day, but the library person just straightens pillows. I think if they do some every day it will be ok. It also may depend on the age you teach. The younger kids will need more books and go through more books than kids reading Harry Potter.
     
  17. a_apple_z_zebra

    a_apple_z_zebra Rookie

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    That's true Miss Froggy.
     
  18. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I got a bunch of paint sticks (I've found that Wal-Mart and Lowes will both give them to you for free if you tell them that they're for a classroom) Each one has a student's number on it. They put the stick where the book came from, and then when they are done with the book, they remove their stick. Another teacher I know had the kids decorate their own paint sticks as a first day of school art project.
     
  19. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    In my room I have 100's of books out. They are in several areas of the room and in all the centers. I really feel like if a kid likes a book enough to take it, fine. I'd rather they take books to read then... I don't know what.

    When you walk into my room, you pretty much just see books!

    Kelly :)
     
  20. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I provided some photos of my library. I have over 1000 books. Fiction in one area and non fiction in another area. I then broke down fiction and non-fiction into categories.

    Theses pictures were from the beginning of the school year and I've since added more books and tubs.

    [​IMG]
    Fiction books

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Non fiction books- My non-fiction books has grown a lot since this photo.

    [​IMG]


    So, you can have as many books as you would like. They just need to be orgnized and maintained. I do plan on weeding out a ton of books when I pack up my classroom. I plan to just put them in a box marked free and let my students take what they want.
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Great pictures! Are you able to display more books in baskets rather than the traditional way? I have some in baskets and some just on the shelves, but if baskets really do organize/display more books, they would be worth the trip to Walmart.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    you can never have TOO many books.
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I think so. Plus, it's easier to keep organized. Each book bin has a sticker with a genre letter (F for fantasy, M for mystery, etc) and a bin number underneath. Each book in that bin has the same letter and number. This way, my students can put the books away in its proper bin.
     
  24. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Peachyness, I love the pictures! How does your book check out work? What is the process for that?
    Those books are just so super neat and organized! I cannot wait to do that with my books- mostly picture books for prek-2- this is great inspiration!
     
  25. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    What, what, what?? Too many books? I would rather buy books than anything else in the world. Just the thought of a new book makes me quiver. I'll admit-I'm greedy with books. I think I have over 3.000 now. And they are all in storage at the moment-sob.

    I find the BEST way to store thick books in the classroom is on a rolling book cart. My last school had these, and I kept hoarding them until I had enough for my library. They had shelves on both sides, were just tall enough for the students to feel comfortable looking at the books, and they roll out into the hall when you need the space for parties or large activities.

    The best way to store picture books is in magazine holders, although I do not recommend the kind with holes on the side, as the covers will catch on the holes when students pull them out, and the covers will get tattered. Get smooth sided magazine holders (you can get cheap wooden ones that you can paint at IKEA-that's what I'm doing this year).

    Check out my pictures here:

    http://www.realclassroomideas.com/79.html
     
  26. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    May 13, 2008

    You can never have to many books.

    We are an AR school. Our books are all leveled and labeled. We use baskets in K-2 and shelves for the upper grades.

    Each basket has the same level of books in it, then different topics (animals, and etc.)
     

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