Wednesday, August 16, 2017

If I Was Teaching 4th grade...

A colleague asked me to help her weed and replenish her classroom library. I don't think she was prepared for the weeding part.

I'm ruthless.

We went through each book in her classroom library one at a time. If the cover was torn, soiled, stained, or just dated-looking, we removed the book from her library. By the time we were finished, we had boxed up at least two boxes of 'unwanted' books and dramatically reduced the number of books in her library.

Some might argue that the information inside the books is still good. And while I would agree, when the books don't have 'curb appeal', students are unlikely to pick up the book to read it. No matter how much we try to convince the students that the story is great, if the cover isn't appealing, they aren't going to pick up the book to begin with.

Once we were done weeding, my colleague was left with quite a few less books, but the ones she does have are appealing to students. 

We can now work towards curating an appealing, diverse collection that represents the students and their interests.

Below are my suggestions of books she should be sure to stock in her library. I've narrowed it to 10, knowing that funds are an issue. There are many, many more titles I could suggest, but we shall start here.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Flying Lessons and Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers by James Gulliver Hancock

Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals by Animal Planet

Two Truths and a Lie by Ammi-Joan Paquette