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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 2 Number 1

This month Harry Wong sings the praises of the intrepid, forever under-appreciated classroom teacher.
Effective Teaching by Harry Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Alfie Kohn Article
Jan Fisher Column
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
BCL Classroom by Kim Tracy
Handle with Care
Parents' Eyeview
30 Years After Man Stepped On the Moon
Advanced Educational Technology
Attention Deficit Disorder
Benefits of the Sight Impaired in Your Class
Musical Plays for Timid Teachers
NBPTS: Portfolio Thoughts
Sources for Cheap Books
Interview: Nancy Salsman
Cardboard Houses to Curricular Concepts
New Teacher Induction Workshop
Web News & Events
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Back Issues
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About Jay Davidson...
Jay Davidson is a first grade teacher in San Francisco, California. He is the author of Teach Your Children Well: A First Grade Teacher's Advice for Parents, which is available for $12.95 at

Visit Jay's website:

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Teacher Feature...
Sources for Cheap Books
by Jay Davidson

When I talk to groups of parents about the importance of having books in the home, many of them become concerned as they project that this can be a very expensive proposition. It needn't be. Here are some free or inexpensive ways to increase the number of books in your home.

The library is free. Pick one day a week and make it a habit to go to the library every week on that day. Check out the maximum number of books to take home.

Library sales
Many public libraries sell their older books and books that community members donate for that purpose. You can get lots of books for ten cents, twenty-five cents, or a dollar. Check with your local library to see when they have their sales.

Garage sales, yard sales, and estate sales
You'll find rock-bottom prices at these events. Stock up!

Used book stores
Head right to the children's section in the used bookstore. They will usually have a great selection and reasonable prices.

Thrift shops
Many thrift shops have books in addition to their clothing and household items.

Classroom book clubs
Many teachers subscribe to commercial book clubs that offer very inexpensive books to children. In my experience, there are almost always books for less than a dollar.

School fundraising book sales
These are frequently in conjunction with a company that also has book clubs. You will usually find several bargain prices.

Are you concerned with the excess of toys that your child has collected? When a gift-giving occasion is coming up, speak frankly with your relatives or friends who will be purchasing gifts for your child. Request that the gifts be books . Book exchanges

Round up your kids' friends, invite them all to your home, ask them to bring five books that they don't want any more, and conduct a book exchange among the kids. Or suggest to the teacher that s/he do this with the entire class. It's a good way to get new-to-you books flowing through your home.

Children's book clubs in the mail
Check your mailbox. Introductory offers very reasonable.

Jay Davidson the Speaker...
(From Jay Davidson's website....)

Once a teacher, always a teacher! Jay doesn't have to have a classroom full of wiggly first-graders to get on his soap-box. Their parents will do just as well - and usually pay better attention.

Following are examples of his topics:

  • Easy ways to boost literacy in your family The need for greater parent involvement in education
  • Creating a family mission statement
  • Kindergarten readiness
  • First grade readiness
  • Parent-school relations
  • Developing a sense of responsibility in children
  • Time management and organizing at home
  • The organized classroom - presentation for elementary school teachers

Comments from participants at Jay's workshops

  • "Very inspirational and thought-provoking."
  • "What a magnificent teacher!"
  • "Clear presentation; an enthusiastic, caring speaker. I bet he is a great teacher - the kind we hope stay in the profession."
  • "Great insight, motivating."
  • "Well put-together - prepared with lots of thought and delivered with lots of heart."

Jay has made presentations to:

  • California Reading Association
  • National Association of Professional Organizers -San Francisco Bay Area chapter
  • California Agricultural Teachers Association
  • Parenting groups in San Francisco Unified School District and San Mateo-Foster City School District

Visit for more information about Jay Davidson.