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Floyd Pentlin wrote:

>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?

Our Language arts department consists of two teachers, both of whom are
heavy library users. The one who teaches the freshmen and sophomore
classes has a few dozen popular books that she keeps in her room. We use
Reading Counts, and all of her books have RC quizzes.

I do put lexile numbers on a spine label as I have time. New books
purchased from Follett come preprocessed with RC information on the
spine label, so all I have to do is verify that we actually have the
quiz installed. I then put a red dot on the spine label, so that it is
easy to see which books have quizzes. Existing books get checked against
the RC quizzes as they are returned, and I type a label with the lexile
and points IF the quiz is installed. If I ever get time with nothing
else to do then I'll go pull a few books from the shelf and check them
against the database. (That has actually happened once or twice in the
past four years.)

>I would rather buy (some) duplicate copies of books and circulate them through the 
>center if that is what it would take for us to remain in this reading loop.
>Thoughts or suggestions? Floyd

I think you are on the right track. If I get duplicate copies of RC
books given to me I'll pass the extras on to classroom teachers just to
get them out of my way, but deliberately buying books for classrooms
just for free reading seems a waste of time and money.

>[Below is an edited version of the original
>>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
It seems to me that you shouldn't be in an either-or situation, but
both-and. There is a place for teaching a novel to the entire class,
just as there is a place for giving some limited choice. How many kids
would pick up some of the great literature by themselves, but go for
more after being "forced" to study one of an author's works?

>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.

I like the booklist idea. In fact, I would guess that most automation
systems would let you search by subject and lexile, which means that the
list would be constantly updated.

David Lininger, kb0zke,
MS/HS librarian
Hickory County R-1 Schools
Urbana, MO 65767
tss003 at

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