In a previous post I discussed how to find and sort your books for your classroom library. (If you need a refresher click here). Today we are going to discuss the components of a welcoming classroom library and how to make use of it everyday!
Within a classroom library the most important part is obviously the books. But just placing books on some shelves hardly invites students to read and dig deeper into texts. As a teacher you have to create a library that entices students and makes them want to read. Dare I say, you have to make your library magical.
Organization is the key first step in any magical endeavor in the classroom. Since we have that out of way, let’s look at the components of a magical classroom library:
A soft, cozy rug invites students into your library and encourages them to stick around. You don’t have to buy a fancy “classroom” rug. Carpet remnants are a great option. I was able to get my 8×10 rug for only 30 dollars!
My first year I did not have pillows in my library. It was an unnecessary expense at the time. I recently added some to my library this year, and I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, my children love to use them and read. However, I have had issues with lice this year and keep having to put them away or wash them. So while I think they add coziness and design to the classroom library, I urge you to make sure your pillows have removable casings so that you can wash them with ease!
Adding green to your classroom brings the outside in. Especially if you do not have windows in your classroom, adding plants can remind students of the world outside the classroom.
Sparkling lights are not only adorable, but they provide less glare for students as they read. Harsh fluorescent lights strain student eyes, making warm lighting a must. Lamps and twinkling lights give a warm glow to the classroom library as it encourages student reading as well.
Small pieces of decor may seem frivolous and unnecessary, but they show students you genuinely care about the library. They add dimension to the space and make in more fun for students. They don’t need to be expensive, Dollar Spot at Target is a teacher’s best friend! P.S. I like to glue my accessories down just in case;)
These genre posters from Teachers Pay Teachers help students classify books and better understand their genres. You could also add quotes or photos of authors; make the library your own and inspire students with your own love for literature!
If you plan on doing any read-alouds for students, an easel is a must. Chart paper and markers give students a way to organize their thoughts after listening to a story. I love to create anchor charts/graphic organizers after reading a text. An easel is a vital part of any classroom library as it adds practicality and usability.
How do you make your library magical? Share your ideas and tips below, I would love to hear them!