10 days ago: I was volunteering in the deaf-education classroom of a teacher I really admire and mentioned that while her students all read a book (almost) every day, it often seemed to be above their level and thus wasn’t doing them a lot of good. She agreed, and said she’s tried to have a system in place but the kids don’t follow her system and she didn’t know what else to do nor have the time to implement a new system. I suggested a computer program which uses trade books but ranks them by level, and then lets the kids take a test on what they read. She was excited and asked me to look into it. I was excited and did as soon as I got home.
10 days ago…a few hours later: I e-mailed her with a free system I had found like I described, but I didn’t think it was the big one I was familiar with. After another hour of searching I e-mailed her again when I found the big one I was familiar with: Accelerated Reader. (I know it’s not a perfect system, but in her situation for her kids it seemed like it would be helpful). She e-mailed back she had heard of it and would look into if her school had it available.
7 days ago: I spent all weekend bouncing up and down with the prospect of reorganizing books! Using numbers! Books! Organizing! Numbers! Dream come freaking true!
5 days ago: I e-mailed again to ask if her school had the AR system, and
beg her to let me ask if she would like to use their ranking system, even if she couldn’t use their tests, to level her books. She replied they didn’t but she’d love to implement the leveling system if I was up for it. I threw a happy party.
4 days ago: I went out of my way to go to Staples to select the perfect labels for the project. I then spent much of the evening guesstimating how many of each number I would need, aligning a printing template perfectly and testing out fonts and sizes, and printing out labels.
3 days ago: I showed up bright and early and worked with the kids….and then when they went for group work rather than observing and helping I grabbed bins of books and started joyfully labeling them. After labeling about 300 or so I pulled them from their bins and reorganized them all by number. I re-sorted them into bins, made new labels for the bins to identify which numbers were in each bin, and made personalized cards for the students telling each of them which levels of books they were allowed to read (based on reading tests they had recently been given). I stayed almost the full school day (instead of leaving at lunch like I normally do) gleefully doing this. I then went home because I had not eaten all day and baby was not. happy. about this. After eating I fretted the rest of the evening because I had not brought any books home to continue working on them and I could not get the darn books out of my mind.
2 days ago: I obsessed all day about the dang books. I decided to go back on Friday to work in the room and pick up books for the weekend.
1 day ago: After loading 4 reuseable bags with books (Note: heavy!) and hauling them out to my car I hurried through my homework so I could spend the rest of the evening labeling books.
Today: Still joyfully labeling books. This is the best. Project. Ever.
I have a problem.
That problem is named Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.