Over the last few years, I’ve developed a system that works beautifully for keeping our classroom library organized, and I am excited to share it with you today!
It’s so important to create a warm and inviting classroom library for children, especially in the primary grades. The more contact children have with books, the better readers they will become. As a first grade teacher, I promote better reading performance by reading to my students several times throughout the day, as well as having a large classroom library for my students to browse. Every day, I allot 30 minutes of un-interrupted quiet reading time for my students. During this time, students are allowed to read books that they chose themselves from our classroom library. They keep their books in gallon-size Ziploc bags. I believe there is a lot of value in having students select their own books, as it serves as great motivation for learning to read. Think about it this way–would you rather read a book that someone tells you to read, or would you rather read a book that you chose on your own? Being in a book club, I can totally relate to this!
Each Friday, my students go “book shopping.” I call one table group at a time, and students take the books they’ve been reading throughout the week over to the library. They look inside the covers of their books for the label that will show them where they originally found the books. They can quickly find the buckets with the matching pictures and place their books back in the proper place. Once their books are put away, students can select new books for their bags. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of each year with procedures and rules for our library. Because of this, the students really take accountability for keeping the library in order.
Below are some pictures of my classroom library. I’ve been collecting books for many, many years (even before I was teaching!). Having a wide variety of books at various levels is important for developing readers. I keep all of my books out all year because I have the space to do so, but you could easily revolve your collection based on upcoming holidays or units you are studying.
As mentioned above, I keep my library very organized with picture sticker labels and matching bucket labels. You can view the labels I use in my classroom here. Thanks for reading!
My name is Megan Wheeler (aka Mrs. Wheeler), and I have been teaching first grade for 11 years. I’ve been blogging for four years. In my free time, I enjoy creating, working out, traveling, reading, and shopping. I am married to my best friend, Mr. Wheeler. I would love it if you would stop by and visit my blog, Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade!