Does Your Classroom Library Need a Makeover?

Posted by Amanda Miller on

It’s that time of year! It’s time to set up your classroom.  A great classroom design provides a variety of learning spaces depending upon the type of work to be done: whole group, small group, or independent work.  Similarly, your classroom library should be organized so that students have choice in the kind of reading work they want to accomplish.

Here are a few tips to help you set up your classroom library:

LEVEL:
Levels are important, but it’s not how we select books in real life. We don’t walk into the public library and ask the librarian to point us to the “Level G” section.  Levels are helpful for students to find the books they know work well for them. However, levels are really for teachers to help instruct and coach the reader. Create a section for levels, but be cautious that it isn’t the whole library.

Looking for additions? Visit Kaeden Collections.

GENRE:
You may have your reading instruction for the year mapped out by genre.  If so, you will want to have a couple of bins to match each one. You also might read aloud certain genres to your students across the year.  They will inherently have favorites. Is it mystery? Realistic Fiction? Fantasy?  Listen to your students. They will tell you what genres they love.  Consider having bins to represent their interests. 

Looking for additions? Individual books are here. Collections are here.

SERIES:
Babysitter’s Club, Hardy Boys, The Chronicles of Narnia...  When we think back on our early reading years, series books probably stick out in our minds the most!  We read one book and get hooked!  New, popular series pop up every year.  Grab a fresh bin or two and give your library a boost!  

Looking for additions? Visit our pages for:
Abby and the Book Bunch
Ghost Detectors
Alex
Carla
Sammy

TOPIC:
There are so many kinds of topics out there and no shortage of curiosity from our students. You might give your students a survey at the beginning of the year to learn about their interests. Also, consider your science and social studies content.

Looking for additions? Visit Kaeden Nonfiction.

READ ALOUD:
You know how this goes. You read a book aloud with your class, and they fall in love with it immediately! They want to read it over and over and over again. Consider making a bin for these beloved books.

Looking for additions? Visit Kaeden Read Alouds.

AUTHOR:
A well-rounded library should have a few bins of featured authors.  Including biographies of those authors gives students background knowledge as well.

 

STUDENT WRITING:
Celebrate your students’ writing by placing their pieces in the classroom library. This is a great way to help your writers think about audience.  Also, if they wish to, readers can ask the student-authors questions about their works.

 

 


 

Get Your Students Excited!

After spending time carefully designing your library, be sure to build excitement around it! As you get to know your students during the first week or two of school, consider keeping the library closed. When it is time to open it, have a ribbon-cutting ceremony or some other sort of celebration.  That way, excitement and community is built around this critical piece of real estate in your classroom.  

What are other ways you have organized your libraries? Let us know! Tweet a picture to us @Kaeden_Books or on Facebook!

 
 


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