There’s nothing better than a classroom library that is welcoming, inviting, and helps promote student interest in reading. I was lucky enough that this library I put together for my 5th graders cost me next to nothing this year, as everything was hand-me-downs or leftover items I had from our move up to Northern California.
The couches were donated to my classroom from my great-aunt, who actually used to be a middle school teacher as well! The popasan was my little brother’s, and he no longer had space for it (white isn’t ideal for a classroom, but when it’s free, you take it!). I did purchase this little low-pile, grey rug from IKEA, but the library would have been fine without it.
Since this was my first year teaching 5th grade after moving down from high school and 7th and 8th grade ELA, I’m starting from square one with building my library up. I’m constantly working on getting donations, which is why my shelves look so empty!
Our book check-out system is quite easy. Students simply write the date when they checked the book out, their name, and the title of the book. When they return it, they erase their name from the board. No need to make it too complicated.
We also use the Accelerated Reader program at my school, so I have this AR Percentage of Goal Reached chart, and I have students use clothespins to track their progress. I purchased this chart from Teacher Tools and Time Savers.
I really wanted to promote a love of reading in my classroom this year, so inspired by Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6, I created these “bookshelves” with book spines for students to fill out whenever they finish reading a book.
The book spines are in this basket on my bookshelf, and students just grab one and fill it out whenever they finish a book. Once they complete the book spine, they place it on a designated spot on my desk, and then the book spines get stapled up! I’ve seen some other people print these out on astrobrights, which look really cute, too! You can grab these book spines for free by clicking here.
A close-up of some of the book spines. I’ll add that I also kind of “bribe” students that if we can reach a certain goal of books read within a certain time frame as a class, we will get 5 minutes of extra recess (which they LOVE and really motivates them to read!). I know this isn’t something that would work with all classes and in all schools, so use your best judgement for what works well with your students 🙂
Last but not least, I also made these cute “READING” buntings using this Editable Bunting Template from Number Two Pencils – a free download! I printed them out on color card stock and laminated them so I could easily use them again next year. I think they turned out really cute!
Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!