Here's a cute picture of my adorable little girls. So you'll understand that reading is extremely important to me and for students to have access to.
#1 Our fifth grade classes are departmentalized. That means, I teach Social Studies and Non-Fiction reading through Social Studies activities. We do partner work, word work, simulations, and a multitude of activities that involve reading. We don't have a lot of room in our schedule for students to do a bunch of free reading. Do they free read, ABSOLUTELY! The early bird kiddos get anywhere between 10-30 minutes first thing in the morning. When we have crazy schedules because of assemblies, 1/2 days, etc. it provides the perfect time to curl up with a great book or do an off the wall read aloud.
#2 Our Librarian is so fan-flippin-tastic I can't compete. She stays up to date and lures kids to their reading death! I can't compete with that. Kids can locate so many similar books when they find an author or series they absolutely LOVE! I can't maintain up to date books and magazines while keeping classics in stock.
#3 Students need to stretch their legs. It's a nice little walk to the library. Think about it. Some kids try to get out of class to go to the bathroom. I'd much rather them ask to leave to go get a book.
#4 Back to our Librarian, did I mention she is the bomb-diggity? When I let her know what our next big Social Studies topic is, she gladly pulls every book I could possibly use. I keep all the ones I want to use for mini-lessons or read aloud and display the rest on the board. When students finish early, they can select books they are interested in reading surrounding out general topic. This is also an opportunity for me to display books I have purchased in the past for student use.
#5 I have surrendered my book sets to other homeroom classes. Thanks to The Book Whisperer and Readacide. I believe if I go back to teaching reading, it will be totally renovated by all the new Daily 5 and reading workshop ideas that are out there.
#6 They walk away. That's right. I'm not accusing students of keeping books or taking them home and never returning them. Nope, the books literally get up off my shelf and walk away. Never to return again. I've always assumed they were in the wrong grade level and hitched a ride to 6th grade, they wanted to go back to fourth grade, or meandered into math class where they could relax and party on the shelf. Whatever the reason, the books felt my room was too uncomfortable for their liking.
Actually, one time a parent returned 15 books at the end of the school year, Her daughter had been collecting them in her bedroom all year.
#7 I could never find a correct system for shelving them that worked for checking books out. By author, by genre, by Title.... Even with all the Pinterest ideas out there. Therefore the books felt they could walk away because they weren't being properly cataloged. So you see, they walked away because I couldn't make them feel organized and at home.
#8 Our reading teacher is a Book Whisperer! I mean it! Our most reluctant readers are readers! This reason should actually go right along side reason #2. Kids will bring their free reading books into all their classes and try to steal away to their mystery story, comic adventure, or far away island. Let's just say, if student enthusiasm was part of our standard 6 these two ladies would have mastered their goals. These kids are reading because they enjoy reading. How many kids walk away saying that?
#9 I love that the kids go to the library.
I love that the kids know how to use the library.
I love that the kids love the librarian.
I love that the kids want to check out multiple books.
I love that kids want to read, read, and read!!!!!
#10 Students are responsible for the books they check out. That's right. They are locked in to the students' name and school account. You betcha hot dollar they will return them.
#11 I still love and incorporate book projects. Recently we broke off into Revolutionary War Projects. Lots of reading and lots of Librarian LOVE!
#12 No worries for me, laminate a hall pass and let them read!
Now that you have endured my grammatically challenged thoughts.
Free Library Passes!!!!