Saturday, October 17, 2015

Full Circle

Back when I started teaching one of my first priorities was to build a classroom library. The research clearly said that kids who chose their own books read more, and I wanted those choices to be convenient for my students. I didn't have a lot of money, though, and so I had to be strategic in my acquisitions. It was a no-brainer to buy books that I knew my students liked, and in those days the most popular choices were books in Ann Martin's Baby Sitter Club series and R.L Stine's Goosebumps collection. Even though those volumes accounted for less than 20% of my little library, they were checked out almost all the time, with a waiting list.

Twenty-three years later and that caboodle has grown to fill several six-foot shelves, and along the way, Martin and Stine were eclipsed by Riordan, Rowling, Roth, and Patterson. AND, in addition to my own library, this year our district language arts department provided every teacher with over three hundred high-interest books for students to borrow. As I unpacked these latest additions to our classroom library, despite not knowing exactly where they will go I was gratified to find that I actually owned quite a few of the titles already, and that whoever had selected them had chosen a nice variety of books that the students like to read.

Even so, I know that many of them will spend most of their time in the bins they came with or on the shelf, because this year the books that every sixth grader is waiting to borrow are...

the new graphic version of The Baby Sitters Club and, because of the recent movie, R.L. Stine's Goosebumps.

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