As we all know, every precious minute counts in the classroom! This is why I knew I needed to find a way to put an end to the professional book browsing that was getting in the way of real reading during reading workshop. You’ve seen it before, right? Those kids that have made “pretend reading” an art form and who can be on the hunt for the perfect book for just about the entire time devoted to independent reading during workshop? I was bound and determined to find a solution to this daily problem!
I decided to create student book racks out of a couple revolving racks I had in my classroom library. I was lucky enough to find one of these racks at the local library used furniture sale one year, and the other one I was able to snag from the teacher’s lounge, as it wasn’t really being used. I am always on the look out for more book racks like these at garage sales or consignment shops when I hit them over the summer. Each student has a designated spot on the rack to keep the books that they plan to read next.
I started my career teaching fifth graders, and here I am 25 years later still at it! I knew right away that I had lucked out and been hired to teach the perfect age. Fifth graders are still young enough to love their teacher and want to please you, and they are old enough to give you some peace and quiet when you need it! I said long ago that I would retire as that teacher who taught fifth grade forever. I am currently teaching reading and writing along with another of my favorite things: early American history in Social Studies. Now that my own two kids are all grown up, I get to spend more time doing something I truly enjoy: creating classroom materials and always with my sweet Labradoodle, Emmitt, laying at my feet!