Nothing beats books to enhance what is being taught in the classroom. As we begin the school year, our teachers…and we even…feel like our heads are spinning. Long lists fill up our work day; we need a way to reach out to teachers when grade level meetings are filled up with other “stuff”.
The most powerful way I’ve begun reaching out is a weekly email to teachers. I send a short, weekly email asking what topics are being covered, offering to pull books, big books, books on CD, DVDs, playaways, magazines, etc. Some teachers send an email back with just topics, some of them give me more specifics of what they are needing.
I love what happened today….it was one of those days that one would think “I really am meeting the needs”. A teacher wanted books describing adjectives. I pulled a ton of books…some will be used as read alouds, some as a center, some as read alones. When I used the online catalog, a Capstone ebook came up that they could use on the Smartboard with the whole class. Another favorite, new resource came up, too. Last year, we purchased grade level sets from Scholastic of books that meet math standards. Marilyn Burns pulled together a list of about 25 books for each grade and each book title has 5 copies and a teaching guide. Guess what…the math set came up, also!
I may not be available to go to each grade level meeting, but I’m sure to make time to pull resources. It’s helped me see what is being taught, how it relates to what I teach, and topics I need to find when purchasing books. It has been a real eye-opener and has changed my relationships with some of the teachers in my building. They know I’m in their corner and willing to help meet the needs of their students.