Teacher Tips: Tips For a Special Classroom Library

Here are some great tips for turning your classroom library into a popular learning space!

By Susan A. Miller EdD
  • Grades: Early Childhood, PreK–K, 1–2

1 Set the stage. Design an inviting reading space. For cozy shared stories, offer a soft couch or bean bag pillows.

2 Display it! Use low, sturdy racks. Place books facing out so that children can easily look at the covers and make their selections.

3 Feature it! Draw attention to special books with colorful publisher's or child-- illustrated posters. Motivate children to "read more about it" with flannel board cutouts or intriguing dioramas. Team up books with story character puppets.

4 Meet children's changing needs. A librarian can help you quickly find special books about requested topics. Keep certain books on hand to put out as "teachable moments" arise, such as A Baby's Coming to Your House! by Shelley Moore Thomas (Albert Whitman, 2001; $15.95). Keep nature magazines and current catalogues in the book collection.

5 Have regular rotations. Exchange theme-related books with another Teacher Make sure you always have a few copies of the children's old favorites on hand to be read again and again!

6 Add crafty, creative experiences. Keep print-making materials (markers, pencils, crayons, and various types of paper) on a table. Encourage children to dictate, write, or draw their own books and design bookmarks for friends.

7 Visit a community book center. Take a field trip to your local library, bookstore, or bookmobile. Add some of the special features the children liked about these environments (mobiles, little table lamps, padded benches).

8 Create a librarian's station. Encourage children to design their own library cards. Provide rubber date stamps and ink pads to add authenticity.

9 Personalize the process. Use photos as bookmarks in library books so children can see who's read the stories. Children can ask classmates for book reviews.

10 Seek donations. Alert parents that you'll gladly accept used books in good condition. Children's magazines are always welcome.

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    Classroom Management, Literacy, Literature, Literature Appreciation, Early Reading, Early Writing, New Teacher Resources, Teacher Tips and Strategies
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