“There is no such thing as a child who doesn’t like to read, they just haven’t found the right book” – Frank Serafini
These days, traditional libraries within schools are being pulled in other directions and ‘replicated’ in other places.
In this post, we share some 7 tips to creating the perfect classroom library – as suggested by Reading Australia.
1. Choosing your books!
The first step to creating the perfect classroom library is choosing the right kinds of books.
Fill it with books students want to read. Sounds obvious, right? None of your students are going to go near the library unless there are books there that interest them. But how do you find out what books they like to read?
Simply ask them.
Make the classroom library project one your students can be a part of.
Make the classroom library project one your students can be a part of. Have a classroom discussion about favourite genres, make a list of your student’s most-read authors or host a ‘Bring your Favourite Book to School Day’.
Encourage ‘book swapping’ and book donations! If your students have any books at home that they want to donate to each other/your classroom library, encourage them to bring them in.
Also, consider including Aussie books. Many authors have spoken about the importance of Australian kids seeing themselves represented in books, as well as learning about how others imagine what it means to be Australian. Include books set in both cities and regional locations, books by multicultural and diverse voices, and books that feature strong female protagonists.
2. Everything in moderation!
A balanced library is one that has Australian books, books by international authors, different genres and different reading levels. Students in primary school are still figuring out their reading tastes, so it’s important to provide them with as much variety as possible to help them discover new favourites.
3. Create a ‘book space’
Make the classroom library a sought-after destination by clearly differentiating it from the rest of the classroom.
Next, turn the library corner into a place that students want to explore and spend time in. Coloured rugs, comfortable places to sit and read, interesting displays will all contribute to raising interest. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage collaboration amongst classmates – encourage your class to design and decorate together.
4. Change it up!
Changing things up means the library always feels new. Regularly change the featured titles on the recommended shelf, use the library space to celebrate special events like Book Week, and when you study a particular subject, turn the space into a visual exploration of that topic.
5. Create a ‘book culture’
According to the Reading Hour, ‘Reading for pleasure is the most important indicator of the future success of a child, more important than their family’s socioeconomic status’.
Teachers are essential in shaping the way students think about reading and books.
6. Make reading a part of everyday
Create the time for daily silent reading – encourage group discussions where students get the chance to talk about books and reward good behaviour with reading time to help demonstrate its value.
7. Invite writers to visit your classroom
Special guests like writers and illustrators are a great way for students to connect directly with the creators of their favourite books.
Workshops conducted by writers or illustrators can also inspire young people to create their own stories.
Speak with your fellow educators and find out how they approach the task of building or maintaining their own class libraries.
Thanks to Reading Australia – readingaustralia.com.au for the tips. It takes time to build the perfect library for your students, and with each student being so different from the next, it’s important that your classroom library feels communal and is culturally inclusive.
Have any tips you’d like to share on creating a library for your classroom? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your photos of your own classroom library via social, #modernteachingaids – @modernteachingaids