As educators, one of our biggest hurdles is how to get our kiddos engaged and interested in reading. Well, I have some news — we, as educators, have to show children that reading is an experience that can be rewarding and exciting, not a laborious task.
Reading can be exciting and fun as long as we create the perfect ambiance for students to engage in reading. This experience should feel similar to them walking into their favorite trampoline place — okay, maybe I went too far. Children should experience the joy of reading at school, and it can be right in their very own classroom with some of these amazing classroom library ideas! This does not include assigned reading and comprehension worksheets — the reading experience in your classroom library should be voluntary and fun.
Amazing Classroom Library Ideas – Keep the Organization Simple
Let’s start at the drawing board, why don’t we? In order to create this experience, first we need to create an amazing classroom library for our students. This includes a comfortable space with cozy furniture, stuffed animals, puppets, decor, bulletin boards, and, of course, books!
Instead of searching for the perfect bookshelf at your favorite thrift store, or hunting down an unused bookshelf in your school building, there are some amazing classroom library storage ideas. These durable book and binder holders are some of my favorites when it comes to classroom library book bins. This is a great way to label your books by genres and reading levels since each bin includes a self-adhesive label. These classroom library book bins come in 18 fantastic colors to match any classroom decor, and they are easy to wipe and clean. You will get all the bang for your buck here… besides, we have enough furniture in our classrooms!
However, if you’re in the mood to splurge, here’s one of my favorite classroom bookshelves that includes wheels for easy moving. And why not add these awesome colorful book dividers to keep your classroom bookshelves organized? You’ll be clutter-free, and your kiddos will enjoy the organization of your classroom library.
Classroom Library Ideas – Keep It Cozy!
Okay, now that we have the books in order, let’s get to the cozy furniture and decor. Have your kiddos add their personal touches to the classroom library by having your students donate a stuffed animal. You’d be surprised at how excited your students will get about this idea. Imagine your students bringing in their very own stuffed animals to share with their classmates, as well as their favorite books!
Please, let’s not have them in yet another hard-bottomed chair reading as if they’ve been summoned to another worksheet or assignment. Instead, your kiddos can sit or rest on something like this comfy resting mat. Or, try some flexible seating that will encourage them to experience how reading can be a relaxing hobby. Of course, we all love bean bags. Add this perfect 2 pack of bean bags chairs for some great partner reading. This will show students how reading can be a social experience as well. Now, they have stuffed animals, cozy seats, and friends to read to or with them!
Classroom Library Ideas – Fun Decor
Now, let’s decorate with some of your kiddos’ favorite book characters. Check out this cool and customizable Pete the Cat Classroom Bundle! I find that children are more intrinsically motivated to read when their space is inviting and colorful. Try to stick to including the same colors you’ve included in your classroom decor. You can go for pastels, bright colors, or even colors in nature. Either way, you can’t go wrong with using color to keep children motivated.
Classroom Library Ideas – What Books to Add
Now, it’s time to add your favorite books to the bins or shelves! We love picture books, nonfiction, fiction, and concept books. Have you ever thought about adding some personal development or self-help books for children? Here are some amazing I Can Manage and Set Goals books that support social-emotional learning. Last but not least, add these cool reader strips to help students track their reading. Now, we have an amazing classroom library for all students to enjoy. Happy reading!
By Candice Williams, M.Ed
Compensation was provided for this blog post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Candice Williams, M.Ed, is a certified Reading Specialist in Michigan. She is also the Founder and CEO of Urby Education, LLC an education consulting company that specializes in helping children in grades K-5 become confident readers and writers. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Elementary Education and Reading from Wayne State University. Her education experience includes six years as a third through fifth grade teacher and six years as a Reading Specialist. She opened her first learning center for Urby Education, LLC in metro Detroit. As a full-time entrepreneur, she develops and coordinates hands-on, phonics-based after-school enrichment programs, workshops, professional developments, and after- school tutoring programs.