Looking ahead towards my first year out in the field often gives me some stress and anxiety about the time commitment around all the things I am going to have to prepare when I finally get that key to my first classroom! Not only is this part of teaching so time consuming but like many things it can get EXPENSIVE $$$. I have been searching and arming myself with resources and a nest egg of books for my classroom library to cut down on this huge expense in advance! I highly suggest any current students or job seekers to go for it when they see a book deal and make your first year much easier. Check out some ways I have already begun to stash some books for my very FIRST classroom library. And if you want some advice on choosing books for your classroom check out this post
One of my biggest pieces of advice is to hunt down yard sales! I am not even into my own classroom yet but have already scored at many yard sales. I often search teacher sales on craigslist to score not only great book deals but also classroom storage and decor at a HUGE discount. Recently I found a sale 40 bucks for 200+ books. This was to great to pass up so I sent my sister to pick this awesome deal up for me since it was near my hometown! Now I have all these great books waiting in my basement until the day I have my very own kiddos to dive in and explore them.
Book sale finder
This site is awesome for finding sales in your area. These can turn into really cheap finds from libraries with quality books. I have gotten some great books from some of these sales and always keep an eye out for sales in my area. You just click on this link: http://www.booksalefinder.com/ then click your state. This will pull up a list of cities hopefully you can find one nearby and check out some awesome cheap books! Here is a lot I recently snagged through a search on this site. I spent 5 dollars total on all of these books.
Another top resource of mine is Scholastic. You can visit the site and purchase books while building points for the classroom teacher. This means if you are lucky enough to be in your classroom already that you can set this up for parents to buy books and you earn points towards free books! In my eyes this is a win win because your students are getting quality books from your classroom order and from what their parents purchase for them. Most schools I have been using this program for many years so it's a great options which has become more and more popular with the addition of online ordering. Parents and teachers alike seem to prefer the online store. Even if you don't yet have that first class full of kiddos or your kids happen to not earn many points in a specific month there are always awesome deals, with very low out of pocket costs. As I finish up my student teaching experience making very little income I can still afford to snag a deal through scholastic each month.
Usborne Books and More
I am also a huge believer in purchasing at least a small amount of very quality books and Usborne is a great place to do this. I know it's so hard to put those 25 dollar books out for your students to dog ear and shove in their DISASTER of a desk. I often bring these books in as an extra surprise and the students get so excited to read them! We always discuss treating them with respect and I have had no problems. My favorites from Usborne are the non fiction selections which are great resources for research projects or just to appeal to students individual interests. Usborne provides some quality engaging and interactive books to use in this way. I use to sell these books and loved the company but am currently taking a break while putting work into my blog. If you don’t know a consultant I would be happy to set you up with some great ladies. There are many many ways to get a deal on these books especiall if you are interested in hosting your own party. No matter where you live you can get some great deals through a Facebook party where you earn free books. This is the great thing about our tech central world!
Last but not least, utilize those free resources until you feel you have enough options for your students. We want to be sure our students have a wide variety to choose from to encourage a love of reading but that can be hard in these first few years out in the field. Ask your school librarian or take advantage of the teacher library card at your local public library. Every time I have ever asked for help from a school or public librarian to pull books they are ecstatic. Librarians are book LOVERS people! They want to help you pass their love of books on to your students so take advantage of it. For a recent research project with my second graders I called the public library asking about one book and the awesome librarian had pulled a huge stack for me by the time I got there. The teacher card often allows you to check out more books for a longer period of time which can cut down on your trips to the library. Switch books out often to spark a new and exciting interest in reading for each of your students. Even once you have built up your library I think this is a great option for circulating books about seasons or holidays throughout the year.