With the New Year here, many teachers are looking to create resolutions related to their teaching and personal lives. If I may make a suggestion, I think one of those resolutions should be to update and improve the classroom libraries which students have access to everyday. It is my belief that for children to see reading as important and worthwhile, all elementary school teachers, as well as all middle and high school Language Arts teachers, need to have vast, organized, and updated classroom libraries. Visitors should immediately get a sense that reading is important to all who ‘live’ in that classroom.
Today’s post helps to show how important books are in the lives of a few teachers and their lucky students. The following classroom libraries all have their own unique features that will provide new and veteran teachers alike plenty to think about for improving their classroom libraries or for establishing a classroom library in the New Year (it’s never too late!). Thanks to everyone who opened their classrooms and contributed to my “Places for Reading” posts! Without further ado…
Amber (who writes about children’s books at Miss Reedy Reads) is a 4th grade teacher who this year has adjusted the types of books in her library and the way she organizes the books:
On the spine [of each book] is a label that says, “This book belongs to Miss Reedy”; below that is the genre. On the shelves or baskets are matching labels. In the “Pinterest” crates (I made on our week off from MLIT) I store my picture book read alouds. On the tall shelf are informational texts, Bluestem/Rebecca Caudill Nominees, books I check out from the public library, and special books, like the Harry Potter collection.
I have my kids write down the books they check out and write the date when they return them. I go through the list with the class periodically for inventory.
Lori is a teacher who has many layers of organization to her library:
My library consists of multiple levels of books. The picture books are organized by g
enre and topic (i.e. animal fiction, people fiction, biographies, poems, jokes and riddles, nonfiction animals, nonfiction science, etc. ). The chapter books are also in bins and they are organized by series if possible (i.e. Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, Horrible Harry). I have three small bins labeled Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 for students who are struggling readers to help them choose a just-right book at the start of the school year.
Each student has a book box (a plastic bin with his or her name on it) in which to keep three books that are being read. I encourage them to have different genres in the bin. They may switch books out at any time.
My reading area used to consist of a couch and even some bean bag chairs (kids loved this!) but due to recent outbreaks of lice, we now just have a rug. The students do get comfy on the rug, but I sure miss the bean bag chairs.
Amy, a kindergarten teacher, provided the following picture of her classroom library. It looks like a great place for a young student to get a book and then read comfortably!
Stay tuned for two additional posts in this series dedicated to classroom libraries. If you have a photo or description of your own classroom library, please feel free to provide a link in the comments section below this post. I would love to see it!