I love money. I love, love money. I have never had a lot of it, but I just love it. Like most teachers, most of money goes right back into my classroom. (Don’t tell my husband) My absolute favorite words to hear from any administrator is, “there is a little bit of money…” I don’t ever even hear the last part. I am already spending money in my head. I don’t care how much; the money will be spent..in full..and to the last penny.
Today we were told that we could get books for our library. Even just thinking about that makes me happy! 90% of my library is mine. I personally own it. 30 years of scrounging, book orders, book fairs, book drives,
begging, stealing, Christmas gifts, end of the year gifts, more of my own money I care to admit etc. I am very proud of my library. It is big! It is well organized. The students love it. However, I will never say it is complete. EVER. You can never have too many books. Each year brings a different crop of students, with different interest. I lose books, students don’t return them, they break. I ALWAYS need new books. Also new books add a renewed sense of energy to the library. So to hear there is money, I have already spent it. It took less than an hour.
About two months ago, I applied for a grant for diverse books; mostly series. Hoping that I get that grant, today, I spent money on graphic novels. What are graphic novels you non educators want to know? These delicious, amazing fabulous nuggets of literature turn nonreaders into readers. They settle students with attention problems and captive even the most reluctant student. What are they? They are the 2017 version of a comic book. Archie and the gang. Remember them? I do! I remember spending my whole $2 allowance to buy them. I would want until we had to go on a long car ride and I would buy them. Then to my dismay, it would take me all of 20 minutes to read one. UGH!
Today’s graphic novels are pure genius. Complex story lines and detailed illustrations are the perfect recipe for captivating young minds. Most of my students have read every single one of the graphic
novels in my class. I have about 2 or 3 buckets of them. Truth be told, graphic novels disappear (and don’t return) quicker than any other book category in my library. Students follow Baby Mouse as she goes on her sassy adventures. In Smile, they empathize
with Raina as she gets braces. In Roller Girl, they learn about the sport of roller derby and what it means to never give up and always try your hardest. El Deafo follows the life of a hearing impaired girl as she deals with a hearing aid. The list goes on and on.
As a teacher, I am so thankful for the incredible authors that write graphic novels for the middle grade years. When students hit third grade, they all feel like they should be in chapter books. It is almost like thick books are a status symbol to them. While they love picture books, they don’t tend to read them during independent reading time. (again, I wonder..status symbol?) However, readers of all levels flock to the graphic novels. While vocabulary and comprehension may be complex, the illustrations scaffold the skills to help promote understanding. These high interest books have created many readers in my classroom. They are the first place I will look when a student says, “Can you help me find a book?” If you haven’t looked at a
comic book graphic novel lately, I suggest you try some out.
Oh, and that money, spent..all of it. I will turn it tomorrow so the order can be processed. After all, I have readers waiting!