I’m always buying books for our classroom. Last week I bought eight books at a “withdrawn from circulation” sale at the library. They were only a quarter each! This week I ordered some books from Scholastic book clubs. My biggest difficulty in buying books is to remember to buy books I need, not just ones that I like. I buy too many science books and not enough holiday books. I have more than enough ABC books, but can’t resist a new one!
I try to buy seven basic categories of books:
1. Books for holidays, especially the minor ones like Johnny Appleseed’s birthday or the 100th day of school.
2. Books related to themes I teach, such as “forest animals”, “vegetables”, “healthy heart”, “leaders and heroes”.
3. Books about math. I really need some more about measuring! My favorite is Twelve Snails to One Lizard by Susan Hightower and Matt Novak.
4. Books about ABCs and words.
5. Books about character traits such as honesty, trustworthiness, and generosity.
6. Books that just tell a great story, like The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed and Jim Lamarche.
7. Books that help my children enjoy learning to read. These are “little readers” that are also entertaining or enlightening.
The next time I order books I need to keep my list handy!
Of course I failed to mention my absolute weakness in any category- pop-up books. I LOVE those things. They are fascinating. I have several in my personal collection and I read one each Friday. They are the only books in my room that I don’t allow the children to read independently. I do however, have several “lift the flap” books for them and they find those almost as entertaining.
I hope your classroom library is growing and changing each year. If your budget is tight don’t forget library sales, yard sales, and retiring teachers. Happy reading!