Teachers, get inspired to maximize your elementary school classroom library with these 8 simple tips. Learn to love your library and watch it come to life! These are simple tips that I use everyday in my fifth grade classroom. I am not about being fussy or making more work for myself! These ideas are simple and easy to implement right away. It may just be a matter of changing the way you think about your classroom library.
- Add visual appeal by storing your books in bins. This way students can see the first book in each bin and you can easily change which book is featured in that spot.
- Read aloud a synopsis of any new book you add to your library. This creates a buzz and heightened student interest.
- Create a section of recommended books. These books can be peer recommendations, teacher recommendations, or both! (I will be adding this to my library soon)
- Whenever possible, have multiple copies of books available so friends can read together. To encourage independent reading accountability, I have my students complete a short summary when they complete an independent reading book.
- Let your students know it’s okay to read the first chapter of a book and then PUT IT BACK if it’s not something that interests them. Some kids struggle with the idea of not completing a book and this can be stressful! I know, because I was one of those kids. Give your students permission to TRY a book and let them know that abandoning a book is okay!
- Have a well curated library. Get rid of old books that are in bad shape. Add new books regularly and change out the front books to create interest in something new. You do not have to “throw” every book you have into your classroom library! Just because a thoughtful neighbor donated a few dozen books, doesn’t mean they all belong in your library. Sometimes less is more! You want your library to be appealing to students! Don’t let your classroom library become a graveyard of forgotten books. It should be, (and easily could be!) a living, breathing, collection of fresh ideas and adventures!
- Strive to make your library come to life by fostering discussions around the books being read. Make time to celebrate what you and your students are currently reading! I like to post the books we are currently reading. I simply use sticky notes and a cute organizer I designed!
- However you decide to organize your library (by genre, etc.) make it easy for yourself and your students to maintain. If it becomes a nuisance your library will lose its magic. Concentrate on having an organized and well curated selection of books that you and your students can readily access, read, and discuss! Aim for simplicity!
I hope you are inspired to love your classroom library and encourage your students to love it, too! Thanks for stopping by!