For the rest of the semester, I have the opportunity to create my own reading goal. I am excited to take what I’ve learned in this class thus far and apply it to books that interest me. I decided to take this opportunity to start building my own classroom library! When I think back, some of my favorite teachers were ones that had shelves of books in their room. There’s something very inviting about this (at least to me!) and I want to be the same way. I figure if I start actively picking up books now, by the time I’m ready to teach, I should have a decent collection. Plus, this way there isn’t as big of an immediate cost later on. I’ve found some pretty great websites that sell used books, many for under $5 each!
Ultimately, I would like to teach upper elementary (3rd-5th) so I’m going to be looking for books in that level range, some below, and a few above. I think the key to a good classroom library is having a wide enough selection that a student at any reading level or interest could find a book.
I am glad that the time requirements for our reading is a little more flexible now. I use edge time to do a lot of my reading, and for me, it becomes overwhelming to time exactly when I started, ended, and remember what I read. From my experiences these past few weeks, I’ve learned that I can read about 400 pages of children’s literature in four hours. So, moving forward, my plan is to select books at the beginning of the week that contain around that many pages and make it my goal to read those.
I feel like my biggest challenge will be to make this my classroom library, not my library. I’ve read quite a few books, many that would be perfect for this collection. However, I need to make sure to branch out and read books that don’t appeal to me, because they may be exactly what someone else loves. Thankfully, there are some great websites with book suggestions, and I plan to use those to help. Another aspect of my goal will be to read one book that is new to me, and one Newberry or Caldecott book each week. These could be two separate books, or the same one, depending on what I find. Newberry and Caldecott winners generally appeal to many different readers, are quality books, and would be great additions to my collection.
Rereading this post, it seems like a lot to accomplish. However, I’ve got plenty of time, and am excited to pursue this goal. If you made it to the end of this lengthy post, congratulations! What are your goals this semester?