Classroom Library

Classroom Library

Last year as a first-year teacher, I was desperate to find books! How on Earth would I teach kids who love to read without having a suitable classroom library?

Some places that I found the best books:
  • Libraries (look in the used book section! Also, some libraries will give you a bag for $5 during book sales and you can take as many as can fit in the bag)
  • Garage sales
  • Other teachers
It's funny, I constantly give away books now. I find free ones I like more in my school library or through my Scholastic points. It is strange to imagine that just two years ago I was pining for books like they were crack.

I adore the Dollar Tree. I find most dollar stores sad and without a good selection, but the Dollar Tree is surprisingly high-quality for the dollar. They have some great deals in the bin/basket section. In the picture above, I color-coded all these cute bins. And only a dollar a piece! I find that summer in June is the best time for these bins. All the ones in the photo above are from there!

Each bin has a fun label on it that I got off Teachers Pay Teachers. The labels were laminated then hot glued onto each box. Inside each book I put a label that corresponds with the book bin. It makes it easy for kids to put back and gives them less of an excuse to just throw the book anywhere.

I want the kids to be accountable for my books. I spent money on these... I don't want them lost or destroyed. My number one rule to my kids is that they cannot bring my library books home! I have two kids without home support and no books at their house, so I make an exception for them.

There are many ways to make your kids accountable. Some teachers do a binder as a record keeping book. There are also some neat apps that can be used with iPhones or iPads.

I bought a whole bunch of library pockets on Amazon. Then I took a piece of poster board and then peel and stuck each of the pocket onto it. The kids' numbers are on each pocket. The link to the ones above are here. I tell the kids to write down the names of the books and the date on an index card then stick them in the pocket. Honestly, I've never once looked at these. But the kids believe I check these daily and make sure all my books are there.

My classroom library is my favorite spot in the classroom. I picked up a rug at Ikea for $20 (how cute is it?!). It's lasted two years already and still looks great. I have a bunch of colorful cushions from an old apartment that I rotate out with the kids. For example, each day a different set of tables gets them (tables 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6).

How do you organize your library? What other tips or ideas do you have?

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