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24 August 2013 @ 06:30 pm
Please get off the train now before it is too late  
A friend and colleague pointed me to this post about how to host a leveling party for your classroom library: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/host-book-leveling-party.

This is just as bad as school libraries arranged according to AR level or lexile. It is just plain wrong. Why? I am tempted to give a list of 10 reasons but given David Coleman's list of 10 from yesterday, I think maybe a shorter list of reasons will suffice (and more on Coleman in a future post).

1. Labels are fine for soup cans but not for books. The more labels we place on books, especially level labels, the narrower and narrower the choices are for kids.

2. Scientific formulae of any kind are not accurate measurements of creative products 9like books). Remember the scene from DEAD POET'S SOCIETY where Robin Williams rips into the graph used to determoione the quality of a poem? He likens it to a rating of a song on the old Dick Clark BANDSTAND (some of you will have to go look up this arcane reference; go ahead, I will wait here).

3. How can we ask kids to select a book with a label when that same selection labels THEM?

Could I suggest an alternative? Order Donalyn Miller's READING IN THE WILD now and then read her suggestions about classroom libraries and how to curate them so that kids will actually be able to find books and read them and tell others about them.

OK, off to compose my posting about Mr. Coleman and his 10 suggestions to teachers (in his Rip Van Winkle view of education).
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