Friday, November 6, 2009

Libraries...Not Just for Language Arts

I didn't realize until I became a teacher, how much money is spent out of pocket for things in our classrooms. A lot of the really fun math lessons we have in class require supplies that are not covered in school budgets, so many days on the way home from work I find myself stopping at the store to pick up stuff for "tomorrow's lesson."

Two years ago I went to the National Middle School Conference, which was my first conference as a teacher. They had workshops all day that you could go to for your specific subject areas, and while you weren't learning, they had a place reserved to shop for stuff from vendors. Finding fun, new ideas in math can be challenging at times, but at the junior high level it becomes even more difficult. I would say only about 5% of the vendors that day had anything related to math at the 8th grade level. But, I did find a fabulous table that caught my interest that day and stuck with me two years later.

A company called Mainstay Math had a booth set up, which sold literacy libraries with over 20 fun books that are aligned with everything we teach at the junior high level, with cute titles like Zachary Zormer Shape Transformer, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, and Twizzlers Percentages Book (where you use twizzlers to teach the lesson).

Each kit is a little over $200, which isn't bad for the amount of books you receive and the amount of use you will get out of them year after year, but still exceeded the out-of-pocket amount I am willing to spend.

The great thing about the district I work for is our Education Foundation, which donates thousands of dollars each year in scholarships to graduates AND thousands of dollars to teachers who write grants. This year was my first grant writing experience, and with help from my fellow veteran teachers and research from the company themselves (who were very friendly and accommodating), I eloquently begged for my literacy libraries!

Yesterday was the big day where winners were announced. The "Prize Patrol" paraded around our school with noise-makers and awarded GIANT checks (think: Publishers Clearinghouse) to all the grant recipients. I kept my fingers crossed as they came on the speaker to announce their arrival...

I GOT MY GRANT!!! I was THRILLED and so were my students!
I am so blessed to work in a school district/community that does so much for their teachers! I can't wait to get the books in my classroom and start using them!

1 comment:

The Norman Family said...

That is SO AWESOME! Congrats girl!