This is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall that originally ran in April 2014. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Kickin' It in Kindergarten, for more of her writing, or you can click here to see her other contributions to our blog!
When I was in fourth grade, I remember my teacher having the best classroom library. She had pillows, a colorful rug, and a loft filled with books. If we finished our work, she would let us crawl up to the loft with a book and read. I’ve taken that reading memory with me into my own classroom. I am not able to have a loft (fire code!) but I have found ways to make our library inviting and accessible for my students.
My thought is every classroom library should have these four things: leveled books, thematic books, books by author and books for Reader’s Workshop.
I know that is a lot to think about. If you can level organize your library so that you can find a way to incorporate all of these components, it will make your life so much easier! I have my classroom library sectioned off into a big corner by a bright, large window. Since I can’t have a loft, I’ve put a beanbag and pillows under the counter so it seems like a little nook. My parents had a sofa that they no longer wanted, so I was able to use that in my classroom library as well.
The library is organized with the leveled library being the closest to my reading table. Students shop for leveled books each week to bring back and forth from school to home. In the yellow baskets, they can find books that are by topic. For example, I have a basket on sports. If they want to read a basketball story, then they know to look in that basket. The white baskets are organized by author. I also was intentional with putting my word wall above my library this year. It used to be clear across the room and now I feel like they are actually able to use it as a resource!
Maybe you just want a little facelift for your library or maybe you are a new teacher and you are looking for ways to make your library a space where students can curl up to read. You can pull the basket cards off the internet, or you can make your own. Find a space in your room that is dedicated just for reading!
This is my fifth year as a kindergarten teacher. The best part of kindergarten is watching a child fall in love with reading. It has become my passion to show children the possibilities and amazing adventures literature can offer. I love watching their eyes light up when they tell me they can read their favorite book, or they can’t wait to go back to the library! I have the best job in the world!
I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support system in and out of school. My family lives close and I get to spend a lot of time with them! While I am not at school, I enjoy running, teaching spin class, swimming, playing kickball, spending time with my husband, and traveling. I also have a sheltie named Maggie, which is spoiled rotten. I am married to the best guy in the world, work with wonderful people, and have fabulous students!
We're pleased to offer ready-made classroom libraries to supplement your collection! Click here to see them on our website, or click the image below to download a brochure!