Student Designed Libraries

Dear Teachers,

Are you wondering about how to get your students involved in setting up the classroom library? It may seem overwhelming. We get it. Here’s a way to do it without dismantling the library that you have already set up:

  • Gather the students around the library. (We understand that this is tricky depending on the guidelines that are in place.)  Ask the students what they notice about how the library is already set up.  Put their ideas on a chart. 
  • Explain that you put the library together by thinking about what books they would want to read and that you wanted to make it easy for them to find those books. Tell them now it is their turn to set up the library in a way that makes sense to them.
  • Spread some new books  on the floor. Ask the students to think about how they would put the books together. Would these books go in baskets that are already in the library? Do we need to make and label some new baskets?
  • You can repeat this process for an entire week; it can take 10 minutes a day, in small groups and with partners. By the end of the week, you will have a number of new baskets, the students will have a sense of ownership over the classroom, and the energy for Independent Reading will go up as they pick books from the library that they created. 

Here are some examples to inspire you. So go ahead and get started! What’s the best that could happen?

Jen & Hannah

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