Monday, March 7, 2011

Classroom Library

I thought I'd share the collection of books in my secondary English classroom. I teach in an English school situated in a very Francophone town. In town, there's no bookstores that sell books for youth and the town library has very few young adult books and they are quite outdated. So, the collection of books in my classroom is essential for my students.

I cannot take full credit for the great collection of young adult literature in my classroom. Although I have continually added to this library over the past three years, the previous teacher was a wonderful collector and lover of young adult literature. She is the main reason for this great collection.

This blog post may be useful to English teachers that need to start building their classroom library or for teachers thinking about expanding their current collection. Within this post you'll find links to a variety of books, publishers, and authors. I've included some pictures to this blog but I should mention that I am mid-year and many of the books I refer to are signed out. At the end of the year when all the books are returned I don't have enough shelf space for all the books. Enjoy.

Section #1: Animals Novels, Poetry, and Fantasy.

Animal Novels: My favorite series are the Crow Chronicles by Clem Martini and The Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky

Poetry: I can't seem to keep Ellen Hopkins poetry books on the shelf. She wrote Crank, Glass, Impulse, Burned, and others.

Fantasy: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is a great series in this section. There's also Eragon by Paolini, the recent Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and the Inkheart Triology by Funke.

Section #2: Anything that is dark like vampires, ghosts, and werewolves goes on these shelves.

Vampire: I have enough vampire books to keep any Twilight fan happy for years. I have the Twilight series, House of Night series, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, and even some Buffy's.

Zombies: I highly recommend some zombie books because they will attract some of the most reluctant readers. I like the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks.

I also shelf Harry Potter here. There are still students that really enjoy that series. I also have another large series among these shelves is A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Section #3: These are mostly what I refer to as drama novels. They are typically novels about teenage life. I also shelf my hi-lo books here.

Drama: There aren't any series here but some fantastic authors. Some of the authors on these selves are Lauren Myracle, Gordon Korman, Sarah Weeks, Jerry Spinelli, Sarah Dessen, Jodi Picoult, and Nicolas Sparks.

Hi-Lo: The brightly coloured books on the top left are hi-los, which means high interest, low reading level. I describe the hi-lo books by coomparing them to regular novels and say, "A regular novel is like a full-length movie, well hi-lo books are like television episodes. They are shorter and get into the story quicker" Orca Publishing has a host of hi-lo books that are effective.

Section #4: These selves have my mystery books, non-fiction, outdoors/adventure books, comics, and the graphic novels. I'll get to the graphic novels and comics in the next pictures.

Mystery: In this section, I have The Missing series, some Rex Zero novels, and The Cathy Vickers Trilogy. The 39 Clues books are a low reading level but they definitely get some students into reading. I also have Marlene Perez's trilogy beginning with Dead is the New Black. The 39 Clues books and The Cathy Vickers Trilogy have websites that students can visit to further explore the mysteries from the books.

Non-fiction: This is the weakest part of my collection and I am hoping to build it up over the next year.

Outdoor/Adventure books: Grade 7 and 8 students are typically interested in survival books. I have a number of Gary Paulsen books which many students explore because I have a class set of Hatchet.

My graphic novel collection is continually expanding. Don't be fooled by the empty space on the shelf; most of the graphic novels are signed out and are being read. Some of the graphic novels here are Maus, Resistance, Children of the Sea, Amulet, Smile, Maximum Ride, Life Sucks, et cetera.
I'm not a fan of the Bone series but the students tend to love them.

The history teacher at my high school is a comic-phile. He donated two huge boxes of comic books. They are filled with Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, etc. Believe it or not, these are the least read books in my room. They are really interesting, well-written books, but the students just don't seem interested.

Section #5: Action, historical fiction, elementary books, and my "battle" books.

Action books: There are a number of action series for students like Tunnels, Hunger Games, Artemis Fowl, and Kidnapped by Gordon Korman.

Historical fiction: Two really great historical fiction books are Book Thief and I am the Messenger

Elementary books: I have some younger books for my modified students integrated in my library. Novels like the Fudge books are on these selves.

The empty shelves on the top right of the bookshelves are for Battle of the Books. Read about Battle of the Books below.

This year I am in the midst of running a reading competition with the students. I am doing the competition with a class of secondary 1-2 students and using four novels. I have six copies each of Drugs, Girls, and Dangerous Pie; The Invention of Hugo Cabret; The Last Invisible Boy; and Word Nerd.

Here's how the competition works. Students are in groups of 5 students. Each group is responsible for reading the four books. Some students will read only one book, where as others may read all four. In a month or so students will compete in a quiz show about the novels.

There are so many books that it's hard for the students to know which books to read. I can't even get through them all. This wall just helps students share the titles of books they really enjoyed.

Magazines: My students read magazines during particular units. During silent reading time, the students who pick up the magazines often just glance at the pictures. For that reason, I've discouraged students from "reading". However, I read a lot of magazines and when I come across an interesting article I share it with students that I think would enjoy it.

Here's a picture of my class sets of novels. These shelves are overflowing, and I also have a book room that is full. Some of my favorites are Holes, Hatchet, Flowers for Algernon, and The Outsiders.

1 comment:

  1. A fabulous classroom library, with a little something for everyone!