Sunday, September 29, 2013

Know Your Students, Know Your Books

I scored a tremendous treasure at the used book store, The Last Word. I bought 68 books for my classroom library and paid $100.  I added up the original publisher's price and the books would've cost $478! So I am going to celebrate this incredible deal with you by explaining why I bought these specific books.

Teachers not only match their students to books using reading levels, we match them up by interest. My students love the funny Dan Gutman series, My Weird School.
I found 12 of them for only $1 each!

I was excited to find a book to use for teaching. I am familiar with Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, but I did not know that the author, Eleanor Coerr, had written a picture version of the story for younger readers. I look forward to developing a lesson incorporating these two books.

I bought this book because it was a lower level historical fiction book. These can be hard to find.

I have a few students in my class who have low self-esteem. They realize their reading levels are low and are sometimes embarrassed by it. I chose this book because it is about a boy who always strikes out in baseball and how he overcomes his embarrassment. I think books are a great way for students to connect with characters who have similar problems or obstacles.

I bought 10 of these books this summer and I was stoked to find they had 6 more in stock!

I have a VERY talkative class this year, so this book was an obvious choice!

This series is written by the same author as The Bailey School Kids. My students like the Goosebumps books in our classroom library, but those books have too high of a level for some of my readers. These ghostly books are a lower level and less scary (in my opinion).

Girls and science...

There are lots of football and baseball books in my classroom library, but the boys said they would like to read more basketball books.

I love this graphic novel series. I mentioned it in class one day and my students never heard of excuse now!

A book about the Titanic AND a dog?! Perfect for my third graders. These two topics were at the top of several interest lists.

I was reorganizing the classroom library this year and I noticed that I was on the weak side of literature with male lead characters. I picked up these 3 books because they looked fun and exciting for boys.

More books for my boys.
Yes, I know there are girls that may enjoy reading them, too. 

More male lead characters. The Hank Zipzer books are written by Henry Winkler.

Dogs, penguins, and sharks are the top animals my students enjoy reading about. They were also yelling Marco Polo on the swings during recess the other day, so that was a bonus interest match.

I can never resist legends from other cultures. I found a Cuban, a Japanese, and two Native American books.

This book is stunning. I have never heard of it before, but now I cannot wait to use it in a lesson. It will be perfect for a genre discussion because students might think it is nonfiction, or realistic fiction, or even poetry. This book will be great to launch a genre discussion. The vocabulary is high level and colorful, so it can also be used in a writing lesson.

My current copy of this book is torn and taped. I HAD to buy a new one.

Who can resist Seymour Simon?

The Usborne Discovery books all contain internet links throughout the text so that students can do further research. I think this book will be a useful addition to our classroom since students can now bring their own technology devices to school. 

Fractured fairy tales are always a hit!

I have never read this historical fiction tale.

I consider this book to fall into the category of complex text due to the author's style of writing and organization. It also has some serious themes in it. I plan on using it for a lesson on point of view.

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