Organizing Your Library
Prior to getting out the books for my library, I find a way to first house them all. To me, organization and eye appeal are essential. This area of my classroom must be inviting and enticing. I want my students to gravitate to this section of the room. This is where I want them to feel most at home at. I want this to be their safe place.
I use a ton of Ikea furniture in my room. It holds up well to older elementary, the price is affordable, and it is easy to organize. Here is a link to my favorite pieces: Small Cube Shelves and Tall Cube Shelves.
Finding the Right Books for Your Kids
Student voice is very important to me. One of the first things I do at the start of the year is ask my students to complete a Google Form with their list of 10 (maximum 20) books that they want to read. I ask them to think about books they wanted to check-out last year but couldn't because it was so popular, is unavailable in our school library, is a new book, or something else. These are the books I want in my library. I then use this to check and see if I have these in my classroom library. If not, I want to find a way to add these to my library this year.
Next, when the scholastic flyer comes out each month, I ask my students to create a top 3 list of the books they want. I again, look to my library to see if we have these. If not, I pick the top 3 for our class and order them as a fun surprise.
Lastly, I have a book request card on my bulletin board. Here, students can request a book we do not currently have that they would like in our library. I look at these often to see what else we can add. My library is always growing as a result. We have about 300 books currently and our goal is to have at least 500!
Diversifying Your Classroom Library
My students help me with diversifying our library with their requests. They often ask for books that reflect themselves and their interests but I want to do more! Here are some resources for you to use to help diversify your own libraries.
Do you have any other ways to help you build a better classroom library?
Until Next Time,
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Hi! My name is Misty. I am a 6th Grade ELA Teacher, Mama of 5, and author of The Path to Passionate Teaching.