I am an avid reader-I love books. I love the feel of books, the smell of books, the texture of books. I love that each time I open a book a new adventure awaits.
This is what I strive to install into my students, a love of reading.
When I first came to my classroom this year, silent reading was a bit of a struggle for them. Some appeared to enjoy reading but others clearly didn't. You could see clearly that in the past, reading hadn't always been made a priority.
Now to defend the school and the teachers, books are extremely expensive. Our librarian admitted that the majority of books in the school library were over 11 years old and that she hadn't had any control in a while over what novels were purchased. Kids needs books available-but not just any books. They need books available that readily interest them, that challenge them, and want to make them learn more.
I've done what I can with bringing some books into the classroom-in the 2+ months I've been there, I have introduced over 50 books into our classroom library. But I was still at a disadvantage. The books I knew that would interest my students the most, were expensive and I simply couldn't afford to buy them.
I decided to do something risky. I ordered a whole bunch of books from my public library. Most of the books I ordered are graphic novels-various levels, but all engaging. Our library is connected to multiple libraries so you can order any book in from any library. I knew I was taking a chance as if one book goes missing, it's up to me to pay for it. I brought the books into the classroom and gave a big speech about them-about the risk, cost, etc. I've had them now in my classroom for nearly three weeks and all has been going great. We check up on the books each week, and I take some back each week. Silent reading is now unbelievable. Students are reading, they are asking for books, and their attitude has changed so much. I love it!
So, I'm not telling you to Not buy a book...but seriously, we're all living on limited budgets in this economy-think about using your library more to enrich your life or your child's!