Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back To School Series: Classroom Library

With Common Core coming out, many teachers are moving away from the reading anthology and moving into a workshop type structure to teach reading.  If you have read anything about Reading Workshop you know that the cornerstone of this structure is a well stocked classroom library.  When I first began reading about the Reading Workshop over 5 years ago, I found my idol, Beth Newingham.  Am I the only one who loves her!?!?!?!? When I saw her expansive collection of books I was a little sad that I didn't have the same amount.  Many of you might be feeling that same way, but I have some tips and hints to help bulk up your library.

1. Yard Sales:  I have been able to find lightly used books at yard sales for 25cents!
2. Consignment Sales: I was shopping at a consignment sale for the twins last spring and discovered the book table!  I was able to score 15 books for under $7!
3. Goodwill: I love going in my local Goodwill and bargain hunting for classroom books.
4. Scholastic: Many of you probably already use Scholastic points you have to purchase classroom books.  I also like to purchase book sets when they have the $1 books.

When I buy books for under $1 I don't mind putting it in my classroom library as much as spending $5 on a book!

Once you have your books, you need to decide how you will label them.  I had a stamp made with my name on it at a local teacher store in town.  I stamp my name inside all the books I buy before putting them in the classroom library.  This proved very helpful this past year when I had to separate my books from those that belonged to the school.

The next big decision you have to make about your library is how you will organize your books.  After reading Fountas and Pinnell's Guiding Reader's and Writer's I decided to organize my library in 3 different ways, genre, author, and book series.  Rather than create my own classroom labels, I used those that Beth Newingham created.  I also had Print Shop and was able to use her format to create more as my library expanded.  Once I made the library labels, I created stickers to go inside each of my books to help my kiddos keep the library organized.

Here are some samples of book labels I made in previous years.  Click on the picture to download.

What helpful hints do you have for setting up a classroom library for Reading Workshop?  Do you have book labels you want to share?  Link up below and share what your doing!


  1. I posted a little tour of my library on Friday - I'll link up too! I love back to school posts!

  2. What a great idea, Elisabeth. I love your organization.

  3. Hi Elisabeth,

    I am having a similar yet quite different linky over on my blog. I'd love to have you link up with this post or something different!

    My Life as a Third Grade Teacher


Twins, Teaching and Tacos


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