When students are placed into a self-contained classroom for most of the day, generally in grades kindergarten through sixth grade, that classroom is their everything.
Of course, they may go to classes such as Art or Music once a week as well, but if you are a teacher and your students are with you all day long, you better make sure your classroom is up to the task of supplying them everything they need.
With that said, there are many classroom teachers out there that fail to have the best classroom library that they could. Sometimes we mistakenly think that our students will find suitable books at the library so they won’t need to check out our books. If we are their only teacher holding them accountable, don’t count on all of the students searching for independent books on their own.
Take it from a certified Reading Specialist; there are tricks to ensuring that your classroom library will be one of the best in school!
Shop for Deals
The number one reason most teachers do not have a substantial classroom library is that they will cost too much. However, with a little searching on social media and other online platforms such as eBay, you can find sets of inexpensive books. I know retired teachers who have sold their entire classroom library for pennies on the dollar once they decided to hang it up. For instance, I bought a couple hundred children’s books on eBay for about $30 back in the day. Put in some work, and you will be able to land these deals as well.
Instead of having the actual physical book available on your shelf, some numerous websites and apps offer free books by the thousands. Create a classroom login and password, and your students can gain access to more books than you can probably fit in your room.
Ask for Donations
Every year around the holidays, ask parents to donate their favorite book to your classroom library. The parents could present the reader to the students and detail why it is indeed their favorite book of all time. This will get the students extra excited about reading the book later on in the year.
Have Books of All Reading Levels to Match Your Students’ Skills
Don’t just have books in your library for the one grade level you teach. Not all students are on the same reading level. Mix it up and have some books for the struggling readers and the advanced.
Ask Administration for Help
I learned early and often that the administration does not always offer up information unless you ask. As an example, once I joined a new district, it took a veteran teacher to inform me that I get $100 from the school district every year for classroom supplies. It was too bad I learned about this extra funding during my fourth year there. Ask the administration if there is any funding available to build out your classroom library.
If you are an educator that could use a little bit more help in making sure your classroom is as good as it can be, iAchieve might be able to help. In the past, we have offered professional development for educators and can undoubtedly assist teachers in all education facets.