Friday, July 18, 2014

A Cozy Classroom Library

I'm joining in on the Reading in the Wild Book Study today to talk about one of my favorite things, my classroom library!  It is by far my favorite part of my classroom and definitely the area that takes me the longest to put together at back to school time.  Last year my library was really a year long endeavor!

I love seeing my library fill up with readers in September!

I started leveling my library last year, which took me months to finish!  You can read more about that whole process here.  The end result was this.

I've thought a lot about the pros and cons of leveling my books and organizing them this way, and in the long run I feel it was worth it.  My below level readers finished more books by knowing where to look for books that were just right for them, and I still saw students challenging themselves by choosing a harder book now and then.  

One of my favorite additions to the library last year was the sign my father-in-law helped me make to go on top of my student book racks.  

On the first day of school I talk to my students about how reading can take you anywhere you want to go.  My sign has some of my favorite places to go in a book like Hogwarts...the Misty Mountains...Panem.  It's fun to listen to my students try to figure out what books those places are from.  My kids use these book racks to house the next few books they want to read.  

That way when they finish a book during workshop time, they just go grab another one off their rack instead of spending valuable reading time browsing for books. 

In the back of my reading area is my Recommended Reads section.  Throughout the year I suggest my favorite books to students and house them here.  

Below that on the bulletin board is the pocket chart where students place the cards for the library books they have checked out.  This pocket chart was one of my best garage sale finds last summer!  

Next to this is the bulletin board where I keep track of how many books students have read.  

We set four milestone markers on the way to reaching that goal and each time we hit a milestone, we had a reading celebration!

I'm very excited about my new finds this summer for my library!  I found these last week and couldn't resist them.  They even have wheels on the bottom!

I know it's not the best idea to buy stuff like this when I have to start packing to move, but can't you just see the potential?!  These will be my makeover projects for the summer.  Make sure you stop by Being Ladylike to take a peek at all the other great classroom libraries!


  1. Your classroom looks huge! I have a teeny tiny room. I have no room for a reading center this year. Your reading center is awesome. :)


  2. You have a ton of room! Maybe someday for me... :)

  3. Where did you get your rotating book racks?? I have been looking for them everywhere, and I am desperate!! Love you library!

  4. Where did you get your new furniture? You know already how very envious I am of your library. I just love it and want to live in. I could find myself "going" to many places just sitting in such an inviting space! LOVE...LOVE...LOVE!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  5. I love the shelves! I am totally jealous of them!!!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

  6. I just wanted to tell you that I'm also a Michigan 5th grade teacher and LOVE and appreciate all your units on TPT that deal with the Oakland Schools reading and writing curriculum. My question is though--Where did you get your Peanuts bulletin board set? Also, how do the students mark off how many books they've read on the Peanut paper?