Saturday, 28 March 2015

My Classroom Library - a peek inside!

As I was doing my end-of-the-week tidy up yesterday afternoon I snapped a few photos of my classroom library to share with you all.  Hopefully you'll find a few easy ideas that you can use to organise yours or to help your kidlets become excited about reading!

First up, let's talk about how I organise my books.  I know it's not perfect, but I wanted there to be some order so that kidlets could make informed decisions about the books they choose for their book box - and I wanted to scaffold their choice of a 'best fit' text. 

One shelf holds our levelled readers, organised into baskets of 2 levels.  For this term, I have been choosing these books for kidlets - explaining that I'm giving them 1 book at their level, 1 that's easy practise and 1 that's more of a challenge.  Next term they will have control over these choices.  I was undecided as to whether or not I should display the levels... I didn't want reading to become a competitive sport.  Luckily enough, my Preppies have always been happy to choose their level and not worry what their friends' levels are. :) As these are all school books I can't really re-sticker them with colours etc. so the levels are the easiest for organisation at the moment.

Two other shelves hold our picture books and non-fiction texts. The left shelf has baskets organised by author - Mem Fox, Dr. Seuss, Pamela Allen and Jez Alborough - as well as two baskets of non-fiction.  On the top are pink baskets with Grug and Little Golden Books.  We also have a returns box. Children can choose whichever books they like from here.  It took a few weeks, but they are getting pretty good at leafing through to check and see whether a book is one that interests them rather than grabbing random ones.

Now on to the fun stuff! I have a little collection of tools that my kidlets can choose any time they are reading to help them engage with a book.  Our 'Reading Glasses' are just dollar store sunglasses with the lenses popped out.

'Sight Word Stars' are the newest addition to our library.  I typed our sight words onto some star clipart, laminated and cut them before taping them onto a giant straw (from Ikea!).  Kidlets use these to search for sight words they know in 'tricky' picture books.

We have a variety of pointers to use as well, these really help to ensure that kidlets attend to the text they're reading - particularly in Guided Reading groups.  At the moment I've only got the googly eye sticks out, but now that my clever Preppies are using these responsibly I'll add some new ones next term.  I get everything from the dollar store!

Googly eyes glued to craft sticks.

Magic wand party favours.

Plastic magnifying glasses.


Two big containers hold our 'Reading Buddies' and 'Whisper Phones'.  Buddies are available any time kidlets want to read their book aloud.  They never interrupt and are nice to cuddle. :)  I asked parents last year if anyone knew a plumber who could get me cheaper plastic pipes to make Whisper Phones, and was so appreciative when one of my little girl's uncles just went ahead and made them as a donation!  They're two pieces glued together, and I just decorated them with colourful duct tape.

Lucky last - our Book Boxes!!

I used the 100 Scrappy Kids set that Mel (Graphics from the Pond) made to personalise each label.  I chose the scrappy kid that most looked like each kidlet, and we also use the same graphics for desk labels.  Each week we change our books (3 levelled texts and 4-5 other books) to keep for our independent reading time.  At this stage of the year my class can read for 10-15 minutes in silence, which I think is pretty good for Term 1 Preppies! :)

That's all from me today!  Easter holidays are coming up so hopefully I'll have some extra time and energy to post a little more - I have lots of photos of fun activities we've been doing but end of term exhaustion has just kicked my butt.  I really hope you found an idea or two today that you can use, and I promise to be back soon!!


  1. Oh. My, Goodness! Your library is soooooo inviting! What a special place you have created for your very lucky students! It warms my heart to think my little scrappy kids make their way into beautiful classrooms like yours! Thank you so much for the shout-out! :)

  2. I second Mel! What a beautiful area you've made. I really love the idea of the Reading Buddies, it gives everyone someone to read to!


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