Teaching books that the kids can't take home

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ifightaliens, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2008

    So my school district is hurting for supplies. We have enough books for a class, but not enough to send them home. Most of the kids would refuse or not be able to buy the books or even get them from a library (and at that, there would likely be less than enough copies). Any ideas on how to approach this? We're doing To Kill A Mockingbird and Animal Farm this year. (We would be doing Of Mice and Men, but apparently all the copies "disappeared" over the summer.)
     
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  3. Bella_Lahnna

    Bella_Lahnna New Member

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    Dec 16, 2008

    Donations from parents of students? Partnering with a bookstore like Borders, B&N, or another store for institutional and educational discounts. Perhaps purchasing a copy of an anthology of poetry or short stories and then photocopying selected works could help. You can also download short stories from the internet. The Necklace (Maupassant), The Horse Dealer's Daughter (Lawrence), The Lottery (Jackson), Poe stories, and Bradbury stories are all popular.

    You simply can't be expected to teach the kids without providing some kind of material for them to read and reference, especially if it is an English course or subject.

    Good luck with this.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Dec 16, 2008

    I have class sets of novels ... the novels stay in my classroom, we proceed through them as a class (I do almost all of the reading outloud ... yep, even to my juniors and seniors). It means moving slower than I'd like through a novel. But, it does allow for a ton of discussion and clarification.

    To 2nd Bella's idea ... you'd be surprised at what is "published" online, entire novels ... worth a google.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2008

    Are you the only high school in the district? If not, could the two schools pool supplies, and just alternate use of the books?

    If so, could you possibly partner with a neighboring district?
     
  6. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Dec 16, 2008

    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Pagehttp://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page is a site which offers free books -- some "free of charge" and some "free as in freedom". It doesn't have either of those books, but it's probably a good resource to be aware of.

     
  7. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2008

    I have taught groups of students who, although they had copies of the books, basically didn't read on their own. I think you can teach a whole book in class. I actually don't read aloud to them. I have them work in cooperative groups. They have activities to do througout the book. That said, we had some money so I used books that the kids really LOVED. I read "The Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Good Looking) Hero" and "Out of Focus" from Kids Can Press
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Dec 16, 2008

    I agree; you can read an entire novel together as a class. Do a lot of reading to your students - model good, expressive reading. Having them read aloud is really not that valuable. You might be able to find a book on tape of your novel and play that while they follow in their books. Give time for silent reading as well.

    One organizational note: to try to hang on to your class set, number your desks with stickers, number the books with super-sticky Post-its, and make sure every book is on the corresponding desk every period of every day. I had 38 personal desk copies of Macbeth when we started a month ago, and now I'm down to 24 because I didn't bother to do this. (Fortunately, they were Dover Thrift Editions that only cost $2 each, and I got them on sale.)
     
  9. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Dec 26, 2008

  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Dec 31, 2008

    I hate teaching novels (gasp! Yes I do!) because there are NEVER enough copies and the kids get so restless spending 4-6 weeks reading aloud in class.

    You can go a couple of routes:
    1. There are donation websites out there where you sign up for someone to donate specific items to your classroom. This is nice, because they become "your" books - ie, they move with you if you go to another school.
    2. You can do Literature Circles (but you have to have enough books) where groups of 5-ish in each class are reading a different book, doing independent projects, and taking independent tests. The kids can then take the books home. I like this approach because cooperative learning is so important and who has 120 copies of a book, anyway? My mentor did this and bought (crazy woman) 30 copies of about 20 different books to use. plus, they get a lot more reading in each year rather than having to do everything as a class.
    3. I do a "Murder Mystery" project with Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" - they get a project packet, have to take notes while listening to the book on CD, and turn in a report at the end detailing who they think did it and why. I'm not losing my voice reading aloud every day, they are involved in something they like (murder! we have to figure out who dunnit while hitting 9,674 benchmarks!)
    4. Pick only 2 books to do a year, then fill in with short stories. There are a lot of great shorts out there and no one will *really* notice that you've made copies of copyrighted material.
    5. In the "golden" days, we were required to buy our own copies of books. I still have all of mine from school and thinks it's kind of sad we can't do this anymore.
     
  11. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Dec 31, 2008

    This is really great advice. I have never thought of numbering the desks as well as books; I usually count all the books when they are returned at the end of class. Inevitably, it leads to me saying, "Ok, we're missing one book! Check your desks, someone didn't hand in a book!" Ughh, what a disaster!

    I also second the idea of finding an audio recording. Many of my students claim that it makes them sleepy, so I usually mix it up between the recording, me reading, and the students reading aloud.
     
  12. randomdrama

    randomdrama New Member

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    Jan 1, 2009

    speeding up in class reading and sharing resources

    I have found that often even when students can take books home they may not read the pages that were assigned anyway. I think covering all of the novel in class is the safest way to go about reading especially if there is assessment attached. When pressed for time, or resources, I find that putting students in small groups of 3-5 and assigning them a chapter to read and summarise as a group speeds up reading. Each group then reports back to the class what has happened in the chapter they have read. This covers students reading out loud to each other, public speaking when reporting back, groupwork and refining summarising skills all while getting the story read.

    When using this method I usually provide students with a booklet that has specific spaces assigned for them to write about each chapter so that at the end they have the entire book summary in one place for them to refer to.

    Hope this is helpful :)
     

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