Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New K-3 Libraries; How are They Working at Your School?

This article appeared in Monday's PI about the new mini-libraries in every K-2 classroom in Seattle. The plan is to extend it to 3, 4, and 5th grades. This from the article:

"The libraries aren't intended to replace regular school libraries but complement them. The hope is that students' interest in reading will be sparked by the classroom libraries and, in turn, circulation at school libraries will get a boost, Coles said."

A couple of things I had wondered about:

-from the article: "Thanks to new libraries installed in each Seattle kindergarten, first- and second-grade classroom this fall, Meisner and her peers have instant access to hundreds of books, each labeled with a letter from A to Z to indicate its level of difficulty."

Who determines an "R" versus an "S"? Isn't that a pretty detailed level of difficulty? What staff member has this job and who labels all the books?

- I hadn't heard about it being extended to 3, 4 and 5th. Where is this money coming from? And, where does this leave librarians? Have you spoken to your school's librarian? Is it complementing what they do?

Don't get me wrong; getting all kids onboard reading with good strong skills is vital. But with the new weighted staff formula might this not encourage a principal to get rid (or go to parttime) for a higher cost librarian with the reasoning that each classroom already has its own library?

(One last note; going through schools for closure and consolidation and checking out a variety of libraries was sobering. All school libraries are not equal and I was shocked at how understocked some libraries were as well as the dismal conditions of some of the rooms.)


Anonymous said...

In regard to reading level---

The program Accelerated Reader that gives kids quizzes on books they read has reading difficulty levels assigned to most popular childrens books. Perhaps SPS is using Accelerated Reader levels for their levels.

Anonymous said...

I remember labeling books in my son's first-grade classroom. The A to Z classifications (I think those are Fountas and Pinnell? not sure) were available for most of the books in a standard bibliography. I don't think it took me more than a morning or two to do the labeling.

Helen Schinske