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Clean Books


At the start of the second semester, my freshmen and juniors engage in lengthy novel studies. Usually, the novels either do not appear in the adopted anthologies or are included in abridged forms; therefore, I have purchased with hard-to-get funds the needed unabridged novels. Before giving them out to students, however, I ask each student to bring in a large, heavy-duty freezer bag. I show them how to fold the bag so that the zipper portion of the bag opens on the outside of their binders and then how to press the plastic onto the rings of the binders. Then, and only then, I issue the precious novel. Students are expected to keep their novels in the plastic bags to protect them from wear and also to ensure that each student has the novel in class when needed. It helps to number each novel and keep a master list of who has been issued which novel. I have used this procedure for the past five years and have found it effective for 95% of my students, especially freshmen. At the freshman level, the bag goes on to serve as a receptacle for the following unit's book. I have been able to keep track and receive almost all my novels back using this procedure.

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