How We Use Books   — Latest version as of 2010-04-17 17:58:44

How We Use Books

Each class has a rich, large library of fiction and non-fiction books and books written by children. Each library contains a variety of age-and interest-appropriate books. Fiction selections include such genres as: mystery, adventure, humor, science fiction, historical novel, myth, legends and folk tales. History, science, poetry, math concept books, biographies and reference books at a wide range of reading levels are also available. We take care to acquire books that positively portray both females and males in diverse families and characters of different ethnicities, religions, races and backgrounds, both rural and urban. Atlases, encyclopedias and other factual materials are available when a child needs to look something up.

We want children to be comfortable with using books for research and for pleasure. For both purposes we use trade books. Through trade books, primary sources and articles, we teach children to become fluent readers, to make wise choices in selecting books, to appreciate good writing and make personal connections to that which they read. By using trade books for information, children learn to be investigators and thinkers. As children gather information from several sources and compare facts, we can teach children to be independent researchers and learners.

In math, we use professional books as well as textbooks as resources. We also look at the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Math and work with colleagues and consultants to devise curriculum. We give children real, authentic experiences in math in which they can explore different ways to solve problems, learn from each other and use math. The point is to communicate, find things out, understand and explain the world and gain insight, not to go through the page until finished.

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