Josh Sternberg for Current - The number of homeless children in the United States is at its highest levels in the nation’s history, according to a study released last week from the National Center on Family Homelessness. 1 out of every 45 children is homeless. That’s a staggering number; a majority of them are under 7.
I met with my principal, AP, and a few others at my new school today. More than anything else, they encouraged me to start building my classroom library. They suggested the Scholastic Warehouse (there’s one really close to me) as a way to get books at a very reduced price. I’m getting a little overwhelmed, because while I know that my principal in no way expects me to have a classroom library that’s equivalent to a master teacher’s, I want to provide my students with a well-maintained and well-stocked classroom library. Though I am not starting off with absolutely nothing (I collected some books throughout college), I in no way am prepared for a complete classroom library.
How did you start and build up your classroom library? Likewise, how did you organize it?
Garage sales, scholastic warehouse sales, e-bay (lot purchases), the store from Half-Priced Books, an amazon wish-list posted on Tumblr and facebook, library sales, free cycles, better world books (great website for used books), and just generally asking people if they want to unload anything on me.
I use foil stickers to organize my books (they are also numbered on the inside cover so I can keep track of authors, book titles, and who has checked out what).
Red star (with scotch tape over it for it so it doesn’t fall off) are books I use for specific lessons or are special to me. Depending on the class they either stay on my teacher book shelf and never go home with students, or are on the book shelves for students but just don’t go home.
Green Star - Science
Blue - Social Studies
Silver - Reference / I Spy / Where’s Waldo
Gold - General Books
Smiley faces - Character books (Clifford, Elmo, Dora, Arthur, etc.)
According to the New York Department of Education’s Web site, students may access the Internet for limited educational purposes. The Department of Education grants access to the Internet for relevant learning activities both in school and at home, for career development, and communication between teachers and students.
Students may use social media networks only for educational and current school activities. Therefore, popular Web sites like Facebook and Tumblr are blocked in New York schools.
Web sites containing what is deemed inappropriate information are often monitored. The New York Department of Education will ban Web sites deemed unsuitable for students.
New York schools do not like the use of electronic devices like cell phones because officials view them as irrelevant to the academic mission of schools.
However, not all educational leaders in other school systems feel the same way. In New Jersey, Eric Sheninger, the principal at New Milford High School in Bergen County, has different views about the use of technology in school.
“We had a meeting with the student and his mom,” the dean tells me. “We suspended him for three days. His mom wants him to pay for the phone. But when we tried to follow up with a plan, they seemed…uncooperative. We recommend you press charges.”
“Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students not only how to be students, but how to live. He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.
In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori.
He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.
Toshiro is an amazing example of what all teachers across the world should be like. He truly understands what teaching children is all about and certainly made a positive difference in the lives of these 10 year olds.”
The documentary can be watched for free at this link.
The staff at my school just started a Salad Club for one lunch a week. The teachers that sign up are each responsible for bringing one ingredient for the salad bar and then those that participate are able to make up a nice healthy salad for lunch. We have dishes and forks and stuff in our staff…