By Teachers, For Teachers
If you are looking for a great way to encourage a love of reading for your students, then a classroom library is the way to go. Like Rome, it cannot be built in one day, but over the years you can slowly build a dynamic library. Here are a few valuable pointers to help you build and create an amazing classroom library.
Building on a Budget
Building your classroom library does not mean you have to break the bank. Here are a few inexpensive sources to help you start adding quality literature to your library.
Solicit Donations from Parents
In the beginning of the school year, send home a wish list of books that you would like for the classroom. Ask students to search their home and look for any books that they may have outgrown and would like to donate to the class. Encourage students to ask their grandparents if they still have any childrens’ books stashed away in the attic. I know that my mother saved all of my Sweet Valley High series books and now they can be donated for others to read.
Join a Book Club
When you join a book club such as Scholastic, they offer free book incentives for the class and bonus points to help you build your classroom library. If you encourage parents and grandparents to buy monthly, you can easily generate hundreds of books and bonus points for your classroom.
Visit a Garage Sale
During the summer months, garage sales and flea markets offer an abundance of childrens’ books. Try and visit as many as you can to stock up on cheap books to help build your library. Sometimes if you say you are a teacher and need them for you class, people will give them to you for free or cut you a deal.
The website Donorschoose.org was created to help teachers who are in need of classroom supplies get what they need for free. All you have to do is sign up and write that you are looking for donations to help build your classroom library. Once your proposal is funded, you are sent your supplies. All you have to do in return is take pictures of your students reading the books and send them to the website. It's easy and free!
Creating Your Library
Once you have a significance amount of books it is now time to physically create your classroom library. Here are ten tips to help you organize, label, catalog and sort your books.
Do you have any tips on how to build and create your classroom library? Please share with us in the comment section below!
Janelle Cox is an education writer who draws on her 15 years of professional experience in the education system. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, where she provides educational information and lesson plans for teachers around the globe.