Extra Money at Your School? No Extra Money at Your School? How to USE or GET Funds for Your ELA Classroom

sniptestWith in-service happening the next few weeks, consider asking around about what funds there are to put toward books and ELA-ness.  Here are some ideas for how you could spend district funds:
  1. Order a year’s subscription to SCOPE Magazine (grades 6-8), New York Times UPFRONT Magazine (9-12), or Scholastic ACTION Magazine (6-12, struggling readers).
    • These magazines arrive to your home or school every 2 weeks, and they have such relevant texts and issues for students to read, talk about, and write about.
    • You can add back issues to your classroom library to encourage news-reading.
  2. Order more independent reading books for your classroom library.  Many companies sell bundles of books for cheaper.  Here are some options:
  3. Order class sets of novels for the future.  Remember, we likely don’t want to teach novels in the 1st 9 weeks because kids deserve the chance to read from many different authors and many different genres at the beginning of the year in order to whet their appetites for independent reading.
    • Plan to teach a novel or a play sometime after the 1st 9 weeks, and make sure that you have read the text in its entirety before starting to teach it.  Also, co-plan!  Solo-planning a novel is exhausting.
    • Consult Appendix B of the Common Core to find lots of recommended longer text including plays for each grade level band.
If you learn that your school has no money for ELA-ness, then you can still access the above for your students if you get creative:
  1. Ask a local business or a business from your hometown to sponsor a subscription to any of the above periodicals.  A law firm from my hometown bought the subscription for my classroom. (Franzen, ’07)
  2. Order books from First Book!  They are free or very, very cheap.
  3. Build a relationship with the local newspaper to get free copies of the newspaper for your classroom library.

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