Last year the ASD-W Literacy team asked literacy teachers of grades 6-12 to complete a reading volume survey. That survey provided our team a multitude of valuable information. One piece of data that resonated with me was the fact that 80 of the 84 respondents shared that they use personal funds to purchase books for their classroom library. We know that classroom libraries are recommended to include 20-30 books per student and that these titles need to appeal to a diverse audience and include selections accessible for all students. This need for books can creates a financial burden for many teachers who want to provide students with rich reading experiences .
Given this reality for teachers, may I suggest a strategy to stretch both personal and school funds. The recently published, Intervention Reinvention by Harvey et al suggests that teachers share books with colleagues to “maximize classroom library resources and ensure that every student has access to a range of appealing and varied texts” p. 144.
- By knowing your own library well, you can decide which topics, genres, or formats are needed to rotate to supplement your own library.
- Connect with colleagues in your building and reach out to see if they are willing to collaborate and rotate books.
- Identify rotating books with a sticker on the back or inside cover.
- Organize rotating books in bins or a separate shelf.
- Check out the school book room. If titles are available here, ask the administrator if these can be part of a rotating collection.
- Finally, don’t forget to borrow from the school and the public library.
Curating a diverse well stocked classroom library is a huge challenge. Working with colleagues can stretch and strengthen your resources and knowledge of texts.
To learn more about Intervention Reinvention and other reading volume intervention strategies click here.