Tag Archives: Classroom Libraries

Blog Tour: It’s All About the Books


Screenshot 2018-04-29 at 5.40.51 AM.pngAdapted from “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
“Because you know I’m all about the books,
‘Bout the books, everywhere
I’m all ’bout books, in the bookroom, and classroom

I’m all ’bout books, in the bookroom, and classroom

I’m all ’bout reading, ’bout the books,

Because you know I’m all about reading,
‘Bout the books, Read Alouds too
I’m all ’bout independent reading, ’bout book sets.
I’m all ’bout book clubs, ’bout, partners too
I’m all ’bout the books (books)
I’m all ’bout learning, all about growing,
I’m all ’bout poetry, all about the series,
I’m all about adventure, and mystery
We gon’ read fantasy, historical fiction, and nonfiction too.
We know that books save lives
We know they make you feel
We know they take you places
We know they open up the world
We know they are a must
We know that readers have to read
We know…”
This book is a treasure trove of ideas to help teachers, buildings and districts increase student access to books and ultimately with the generosity of the authors to fund elementary and middle school classroom libraries through Penny Kittle’s #BookLove foundation.  I’ve already written about the book here before I’d finished reading the book and here after the #G2Great Twitter Chat (and when I was done reading the book).  This week, posts are also available at the sites listed above.  In the book the color pictures from classrooms and bookrooms are so detailed that you can immediately begin to think of new ways to reorganize your own book collections. Tammy and Clare talk about the need to have school libraries, classroom libraries and a bookroom.

Do you have a bookroom? 

What is the purpose of your bookroom?

There is no “ONE” right way to set up a bookroom.  Tammy and Clare suggest that you can use a closet, a room, a portion of the school library for a bookroom or “book annex”.  The initial step is to inventory your books and the forms that are available from the Heinemann Publishing online resources.

 

Screenshot 2018-04-29 at 3.25.36 PM.png

Mulligan & Landrigan. It’s All About the Books. (p. 41)

 

I’ve been reviewing these bullets as I’ve studied book rooms ever since reading this book (p. 37- 54).  Is your bookroom essentially a “guided reading library” or is it a bookroom in the sense that Tammy and Clare refer to?  Access is a key.  Easy access is even more important.  Design involves the physical aspects of the bookroom space: shelves, baskets, labels, and location as well as the uses of the books. How accessible are your books?

Do all students have enough books to read (volume) to both grow and be inspired to be a life-long reader?

Students need daily access to more books than they can read so they can have choice.  If students are to be reading independently for 30 minutes each day, they need choices from a “limitless pool” of books.  That’s the purpose of the bookroom.  Choice involves considering a redesign or redeployment of current book inventories.  Considering how to meet multiple instructional needs may require changes:  some books in six packs for guided reading/small group instruction, some books as singles for independent reading and some books in 2s/3s for book clubs.  All.without.purchasing.more.books.at.this.time!

Live dangerously.  Check out your bookroom.  Are there some books that are starting to collect dust because they haven’t been read recently?

If those are six packs of books in zip-lock baggies, Tammy and Clare suggest that you may want to consider having them redistributed as singles for independent reading.  This is especially true for the beginning levels where students will need a high volume of books to read daily.  To Consider:  Maybe not all of the books need to be in sets of six in the bookroom.  Is that a novel thought?

What are some other possibilities?

What are the key topics that your students are interested in?  If it’s animals and you are a kindergarten teacher, you may want some A and B books in a basket labeled “Animals”. The label will NOT say A/B  This may even be a basket with a mixture of fiction and nonfiction books (my thinking).  If your first grade students like animals, you may need an E/F basket of animal books or  an I/J basket of animal books.  Again, the label will be the topic. The labels might be topics, authors, or general like “Laugh Out Loud”. Think of how easy it might be to “use” these books in your classroom if the books are already organized into baskets of approximately 20 books that you would be ready to check out and go!

What books do you need more of in your classroom?  Books for independent reading?  Books for book clubs?  Books for small group instruction?  Your classroom needs and student interests can help you figure out additional ways to organize books that may include your science and social studies curricula support as well. Sharing and redistributing books will keep the dust off and provide more reading for more students! What if you were able to reorganize your bookroom with a variety of combinations of books in order to enhance the readerly lives of your students?

If students are going to read a lot and become readers who love to read, they need access to books.  A lot of books. Single books for independent reading are needed in many classrooms because “rereading” the guided reading books are boring after awhile as are the Xeroxed books at the low levels, and perhaps FEWER books are needed for guided reading, especially after Level K.  (Moving to “strategy groups” for instruction allows the teacher to use the same mini-lesson for all students and provide practice in a text that shows they fully understand the strategy.) Practice, practice, practice in texts allows the student to build confidence and a skilled teacher can also consider how to close the gap for striving students.  That means fewer books will really need to be stored in groups of six.  Instead, baskets of books could be set up in the bookroom so teachers are able to rotate baskets to provide “new” titles for classroom libraries without depleting the school library. Independent student reading books can be refreshed and reinvigorated for immediate access in the classroom. (And it books are reassigned, perhaps the school book budget can now include some “new” purchases as new titles are published!)

Check out this April 29, 2018 Facebook Live session with Tammy and Clare here.

What ideas about bookrooms have intrigued you? 

What books could maybe be read more often if some changes were made in your current book collections?

Are you using your books in the most productive ways for students?




Heinemann has graciously donated a copy of It’s All About the Books for each stop on the blog tour. To enter, comment below and either post a picture of some part of your classroom library or your bookroom with the link in a comment or write about your thinking or your questions about bookrooms.  At the end of the week (Friday after 8 pm),  a random winner will be chosen to receive a copy of this fabulous new book!

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 21 – Books


puzzled

So, yeah!

I have this problem.

This one teeny-tiny little problem.

I like books.

I like books a lot.

I have had summer jobs for over 10 20 30 years just to pay for my book habit.

In fact, I would not be stepping out on a limb here if I said,

“I LOVE BOOKS.”

So when I heard that TCRWP was going to develop lists of books for classroom libraries,

one side of me said,

“YAY, now I will know what the top of the line BEST books are!”

while the more frugal side of me said,

“Darn, I’ll need another job because this is really going to hurt my book budget!”

90th Saturday FREE Reunion – Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

trumpet circle

So here is what I think I heard in Session 4.  Get the Latest Scoop on Books and on the To-Die-For-Classroom Library Project

Lucy Calkins, Shana Frazin, Norah Mallaney. Molly Picardi and Heather Michael were all gathered in 136 Thompson to explain progress with the #TCRWP Classroom Library Project. (If you have not heard about the classroom project, you can read about it here on the TCRWP website. Read it now and then come back!)

Goals / Process:

  • Develop a state of the art classroom library that students will want to and will be able to read.
  • Make sure every word of every book is read so no surprise language exists anywhere.
  • Represent the diverse culture we see in our current world.

Lists were solicited from teachers and other TCRWP literacy aficionados.   However, approximately  50% of the books on the lists were picture books. The review team has searched for chapter books, when appropriate by level, to increase the volume of print as well as continued to monitor a balance of fiction and nonfiction.  Book levels were also a concern as Lucy said, “Levels need to be accurate. We want the right books in kids’ hands; books they can and do read!”

Here are pictures of book covers of some of the books recommended for the libraries of students in grades 3 – 5.

And then for students in grades K 2:

  • Rigby’s Where does Food Come From?
  • Hammerray – Mrs. Wishy Washy

The group shared some of the things they had learned before a quick guided tour of the book review work.

  • Titles for book bins do matter so the labels will be preprinted.
  • Curating a collection of books that will sustain students’ interest is hard.
  • High-low books are not all equal for middle school readers and finding age-appropriate and conceptually appropriate leveled books for MS students is tough.

Lucy reiterated that these would NOT just be your favorite books and few picture books would be included in classroom libraries.  Why? Because 4 student chapter books could be bought for the price of one picture book. The few that are included will be in the brief “Read Aloud” section of the shelf!

What books do you know?

What books look interesting to you?



Process:

I ordered (10 books) and saved copies of those book covers during the session (to my “blog pictures” folder on my desktop).  Ten was my limit! I read through my notes on Sunday and pulled the pictures of the remaining book covers and spent time perusing Hameray and other book publisher sites.  A.lot.of.time! (Remember I said I had a book problem. Did you really think I could click without stopping to read?  I had to look up Joy Cowley and then I was interested in her woodworking and then back to just how many Mrs. Wishy Washy books are there?  Wonder  .  .  .  I created the opening, defined my categories, added the tags and then pasted in my notes from my Word Document.  I did have to reload all the pictures into WordPress, but I had put the names into my doc so it went quickly.


slice of life 2016

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum Coffee

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from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

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elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

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