Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thriftable Thursday!

It's Thursday and that means two things are happening.

Tomorrow is Friday!! Woo!

It's Thriftable Thursday. Woo Hoo!!

Today I'm highlighting something I'm very proud of and it's ever-growing.  I'm constantly adding to this thriftable whenever I can. I'm not the only one who benefits from it either.  My students love this thriftable and other teachers in my school often ask to borrow it.  So? Have you guessed what it is yet?

It's my classroom library! I've built my classroom library slowly but surely over the last 4 years.  When I got out of college I knew I wanted a big library available to my students, so I started buying books from book fairs, Barnes and Noble and Borders.  Needless to say I was spending a small fortune and I wanted to find a way to buy lots of books and not go broke.

My home town has a huge book sale every year where everyone in town donates their unwanted books and the library organizes it like a book tag sale.  One year I was looking through all the books and it hit me - buy used books!  Duh!

I started looking everywhere for good deals on books.  I researched paper back exchanges in my area (who knew there were so many in existence!), I hit up every town book sale I could find and I found stores that sell the good books for cheap.  For example, The Christmas Tree Shop sells Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones for 2 bucks each!  Big thrift stores like Goodwill and Savers are really good too. 

I've added and added over time and I have close to 400 books in my collection. I let my kids check them out by signing them out of my lending library binder.  Here's a look at my sign out form:

The kids are responsible for signing out with the title of the book, their name and the date.  Then when they bring it back they write the sign in date and I check it off.

And because my kids know they are my books and I'm letting them borrow them, they are super careful with them.  They take extra care to make sure they come back and are still in good condition.  In four years, I've only had a few books get lost. Which I think is a pretty good record.

If you decide you want to build up your classroom library and want to check out some of these resources my favorites are the thrift stores and the book sales.  At book sales I find a lot of groups of books because so many people are donating and they all tend to have the same books.  Popular books like Magic Tree House have tons of copies available, which is awesome because I can get enough copies to use them with a reading group.  But beware....the popular ones go really fast so get there early!

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