Monday, 31 August 2015

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library

How do you set up your classroom library? 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library Clever Classroom
Photo by Kelli Walker Olson

There's a lot to think about!  I mean it has to be inviting and aesthetically pleasing.   Do you go with a theme, a color or just what goes? Then it has to be functional, systematic, and well just super organized. How do you source the books? What furnishing do you put in the space?  Do you set it up in a corner, on the side of the room.  How big can you have it?

With the help of our fabulous Facebook fans, I have organized the set up of your classroom library into seven systematic and easy to follow steps.  



Step 1: Library Location

Decide on where your library will fit in your room. 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo from Diane Woodman LaCasse Diane has a beachy theme for her third grade classroom. She has used the corner of her room to set up her classroom library. 

I like to set mine in a corner if I can.  It makes it a quieter space for students. I try to ensure there is a power outlet close by for my CD player. 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Jessica Eitzen

Jessica says she has limited room and makes use of the shelving to divide spaces effectively. 


Step 2:  Furnishings, seating and other 'stuff''. 

What furnishings do you already have and what do you need? Will you provide seating or will children sit on the floor? What other things could you add?

Add pillows, bath mats, mats or rugs, stools (IKEA ones are perfect), small tables, beanbags, carpet, crates with pillows, old buckets with round pillows, a lamp, material to drape, shelf to highlight books, space for a CD player or docking system, teddy bears, dolls and puppets and a mirror to read to. 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Christina O'Connor Ciolino  Christina says that she uses the shelf to display the weekly themed books. She says she switches out the themed books each week so there is something new. 


I have seen teachers use a few fluffy bath mats in their classroom library.  You know the ones with grip that stay in place. 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Laura Erwin Coyne

Laura allows space for book buddies and props to read to and with. 


7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
 Photo by Teaching Style UK

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Teaching Style UK


Step 3: Library Functions. 

What will the library be used for and how will this impact where you place your furnishings, shelves, books and other stuff?

Will you use your library for Daily 5, reading groups, listening centers, buddy reading, interventions, small group work, pair reading or something else? 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Teaching Style UK

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Angelica Amador

Angelica says, "I use IKEA magazine boxes for organization. The bench was made with 2 crates and the extra shelf wrapped in fabric. The kids love to hang out here! So do I. "


7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Dorine Weaver- Jabai

Step 4: Sourcing Books. 

 What books do you already have?  Can your school provide books or do you have to purchase them? 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library

Finding second hand books at yard sales (offer to buy the whole lot for a discounted price) or thrift store can be much cheaper than buying them brand new.  Sometimes library's might have older, unwanted books at library sales.  Can you ask parents to donate unused books? 

  Scholastic book fairs and book clubs have cheaper options for new books. You could also apply through Donor's Choose for classroom books or furnishings. 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library


Step Five: Class theme. 

Do you have a classroom theme that can carry over to your library?  Do you need to color-code book boxes? 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library

Step 6:  Organizing and categorizing.

How are you going to organize your books? 

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Photo by Sheri Engstrom

Sheri says, "I have over 3,000 books that I organize by series. Nonfiction ones are in crates mainly or sorted by people & animal labels!"

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library
Sheri likes to use mobile carts for book series.  She says, "Carts are helpful if you run out of room!"

Setting up your classroom library with a workable and practical system will help your students find, use and return their books. What system do you use?  Do you label your shelves or book boxes alphabetically, numerically, by theme, fictional and non-fictional?  Could you organize your books by series or level?

Using book labels to categorize different types of books for the younger grades will help them find and return books. It also teaches them that we can categorize books and these books teach us about different topics. 


Book bin labels

Book bin labels

Click here to see the book bin labels. 

You could categorize books them by level, numerically or alphabetical.

These round alphabet labels will do the job.

Alphabet labels for the classroom library or word wall

Alphabet labels for the classroom library or word wall

I have used the alphabet labels for our word wall too.

Alphabet labels for the classroom library or word wall


Click here to add your image to our Facebook post. 


Step 7: Step up expectations. 

Model, discuss, praise, revisit what reading in the classroom looks like, sounds likes, feel like. Take photos of students reading.

7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library

Revisit how to treat books and brainstorm do's and don''ts.

Discuss model, praise and revisit how to find and then put books back in their correct place.

Tip: You could place round color dots on the books and have them correspond with the book bin label by placing the same color dot on it.



I hope these steps and tips help you get your library up and going.

Thanks for dropping by.

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7 Steps to Set up your Classroom Library








Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Never Ending Sight Words!

I am so excited to share with you that I have finally gotten around to putting all my sight word resources into one HUMONGOUS file!  

Sight word never ending bundle stock up for a lifetime

Well this is exciting stuff because not only does it included every sight word bundle I have made but, any sight word resources that I make from now on, will be added to this file.  

This means that once it's yours, you can log back in a re-download the file and grab what ever I have added FOR FREE. 


It's kind of like a lifetime membership to all things sight words by Clever Classroom! 

I love creating literacy resources and I especially adore making sight word activities that are a bit different and also hands-on. 


Never Ending Sight Words!


Here's what's included in this HUGE, NEVER ENDING bundle. 

Sight word resources from Clever Classroom

At the moment, there are 28 files included in this ONE FILE

By clicking on the images in the Quick Find Menu (within the file), you will be taken to that file, within the huge file.  

Sight word centers, assessment and hands-on games and activities

The resources included in the file are fun and or hands-on and interactive.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin quote


I know that children learn best when highly engaged and motivated.

Sight word resources to last the whole year.


Fully EDITABLE word spots for ABSOLUTELY ANY WORD LIST.

Fully EDITABLE word spots for ABSOLUTELY ANY WORD LIST.

Word Spots for active learner.  Use this with any word list.


Assessing sight word FLUENCY while children are playing, GENIUS!

Fluency and word work IN ONE PAGE.

Sight word printables with a twist for Pre-Primer through Grade Two

Sight word strips as centers or in black and white as printable booklets.  STUDENTS LOVE USING THEM AS BOOKLETS.

Interactive prompts to practice ANY WORD LIST

Interactive reading

Dolch word walls in color and black and white

Dolch word walls in color and black and white

Dolch word walls in color and black and white

The files included aim to have children physically active and involved. 

I have included a range of resources that will help assess sight fluency, engage students to read sight words in different voices, use gross-motor muscles to practice words, as well as fun ways to write their words and also interact with games in small groups. 

Sight word centers sorted with these FUN, center games.

Sight word record sheets for snakes and ladders game.

Track sight words by assessing them with games, SO MUCH FUN

Never Ending Sight Words!

This file IS the ultimate sight word file. 

I will be adding sight word resources regularly.  To see my most recent files, click here

To see this bundle, click here

Never Ending Sight Words!



If you have any questions, please drop me a message via my TpT store


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Thanks for dropping by.