Parents get ready for school by buying school supplies, on sale if they can, and helping their children name-label and organize everything.
Teachers get ready for school by buying school supplies, on sale if they can, and name-labeling and organizing everything.
I didn’t buy books for my classroom this year, but I cleaned the basement and found four boxes of books I could use. Since we teach a Readers’ Workshop format along with a formal textbook in our school, more books means more reading. I then spent several hours changing the way I organize and use those I already owned and had stored at school.
Step 1: Figure out the reading level for each book. This helps me match books with students. It was a long, tedious process, but I know I’ll find it well worth the time investment.
Step 2: Stamp my name inside each book’s cover, front and back. I use a stamp because, frankly, I have a long name and it would take me weeks to write it by hand in every book.
Step 3: Use clear packaging tape to reinforce bindings and mend ripped covers. The cost of tape really adds up; I haven’t decided if it’s really worth the money to tape older books. It definitely makes the new ones last longer.
Step 4: Pack up today’s load and bring it back to school to exchange for a new batch!
Step 5: Repeat five times or until done.
I did most of this outside on our picnic table and our deck table in order to let the books air out and let myself relax. The basement books were a little musty, and so were some of my classroom books. They needed to sit out and absorb the scents of outdoor air. La Petite recommended a fabric softener sheet for any that still retain a little “basement” in their pages. I’ll try it; no children will have to open their books and wrinkle their noses.
The next step will be increasing my stock of cheap plastic baskets for organizing and displaying books on the shelves. I’m still looking for the best deal; Dollar Tree, here I come!