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Below is a message from a colleague in my district who just found out that
the language arts department not only wants us to label books on the spine
with lexile numbers (ain't happenin') but also wants to start classroom
libraries. Are you starting to get (or have you already gotten) this kind
of drift from language arts departments?

We've really been working on getting more students to read, have beefed up
our fiction collection, my colleague has done double- and triple-fold books
talks, I've been a big booster of the literary society both in the media
center and on the Web page - but our district feels too many students do
not (cannot) read and this process of  classroom libraries with teacher's
guides seems to me absolutely the wrong direction. I would rather buy
(some) duplicate copies of books and circulate them through the media
center if that is what it would take for us to remain in this reading loop.

Thoughts or suggestions? Floyd

[Below is an edited version of the original

All, The language arts department chair just approached me about a
conversation the district level Language Arts department is having about
independent reading and lexile levels.  The chair  would love to see in the
secondary school LMCs, what the elementary LMCs do, which is label books
with certain lexile levels.  She asked if that would be a possibility. . .
I explained to her why, from a librarian's perspective, that would be
horrible.  She understood and asked if we could brainstorm.

>From my five minute conversation with her, I surmised that the chair wants
to get away from teaching whole class novels and encouraging more
independent choice.  The hitch is that there should be a common
theme/topic/element/something and the kids would be restricted to a  lexile

Here's what her ideal would be; to have multiple sets of five copies per
title with a teacher resource guide per title.  These would be kept in the
classroom.  Here's what I suggested we could do; create book lists that
would be based around a common whatever and the lexile range which they
request.  She thought that would be good, but wanted to make sure there
would be at least 40 titles per book list.

Here's where the brainstorming comes in; she'd like to hear what other
ideas we have in answer to this problem and she would also like to know
what commonalities we could come up with such as theme, topic, etc.  I
offered to meet with the group the next time they got together and the
department chair was very receptive to that. Please send any suggestions my
way and I'll share them with the group.

Floyd Pentlin, Library Media Specialist
Lee's Summit North HS, 901 Douglas, Lee's Summit, MO 64086
VOICE 816.986.3027 - FAX 816.986.3171
"Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake
when you make it again."

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