Keep Track of the Books We Need

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The second day of school was so much fun. It was our first full day, and time moved at warp speed. During independent reading I had the opportunity to chat with a handful of my readers. It was fun to talk to one of my readers about his passion for manga. His cousin introduced him to it a few months ago, and he is all in. He’s hoping to create manga for a living when he grows up. How cool is that? Had another great conversation with a kid reading Janet and Jake Tashijan’s My Life as a Ninja. He informed me that I was missing some of the books in the series. He was right!

In my lesson plan notebook, I keep a list of all the books I need to buy for my classroom library. It seemed like each kid I talked to today, gave me ideas for books I needed to purchase for our library. Our district gives us $250 a year for our classroom library. Most of that money will go towards purchasing books on this list. If I was just starting out with my classroom library, I would probably use the money before the kids came, but with all the books we have, I am lucky enough to be able to wait to see what the kids want before purchasing books. The list also comes in handy during our book fair, when I am ordering books through Scholastic Reading Club, and when I find myself in an independent bookstore.

Kids are much more likely to read when they are surrounded by the books they want to read. The best way to get these books into their hands is to talk to them, get to know them, notice what they are reading, notice what they aren’t reading, and just flat out ask them what books they need in their classroom library.

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One thing that I just realized is that I haven’t been writing down which kid helped me decide that we needed each book. I’ll add that when I get to school. It will be weeks or even months until I get some of these books. I want to make sure that I get it into the hands of the reader that encouraged me to buy the book.

I hope this post is helpful. If you have any classroom library questions, please shoot them my way. I may not have the answer, but working through classroom library problems is so much fun!

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