It has been famously said that a reader lives a thousand lives, and how true is this. One of the most important things a teacher can do is inculcate a reading habit in their students. It is a teaching that will benefit them for a lifetime. And one of the best ways to get a student to read and explore books is to build a classroom library. But this is no meek task. Here we will explore some tips and suggestions so that a teacher can build a classroom library with minimum cost and efforts.
Uses of Classroom Library for Students
To encourage students of all ages to read more more and build a reading habit, teachers can build a classroom library. An engaging and dynamic library will incite and excite the kids to explore more books and widen their horizons.
But building a classroom library can be quite an effort. It is expensive to gather the books and build the infrastructure. Also it is a time-consuming task as well. Teachers can employ the following useful tips to build a great library for the benefit of their students.
How to Acquire the Books for Classroom Library?
We cannot call it a library until there are enough books of all genres and reading levels. The students should have a variety of choice to capture their attention and interest. So building a collection of books may take considerable time and effort. Hopefully these tips will be helpful,
- Visit second-hand book stores, book fairs and garage sales. These are a great source of books available on the cheap. And if you scour, you can find some pretty rare books that the children will love.
- Get the parents to donate books. They will be inclined to do so since it benefits their own children. You can also encourage the parents to organize donation drives for this purpose.
- Convince students to donate their own personal books that they have finished reading. Also encourages the healthy habit of sharing.
- Get in touch with school alumni and solicit donations for the sake of the library.
- And finally, teachers can arrange an exchange system with other classrooms and their libraries. Periodically exchanging books will be beneficial for both the classrooms.
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Setting up the Classroom Library
Once you have enough books, you have to actually build the library. It is important to keep the following points in mind to build a successful and thriving classroom library.
- Choose your spot wisely. There must be enough space to properly stack and display all the books. Also, keep some comfortable chairs and tables so children can browse at ease. Make the color scheme vibrant and inviting.
- Color code the books according to genres or reading levels. Use clearly visible stickers or labels to do so. And make your students aware of this coding system.
- Label each shelf or basket clearly. ‘Fiction”, ‘Non-Fiction”, “Comics’, ‘Reading Level-6’, ‘Books about Animals’ etc.
- Make a sign-out sheet. So each student can clearly mark the book they are signing out.
- Teach the students to return the books to the correct shelf as per their color codes. Or have them return it to a general shelf/basket. They assign a library monitor to stack the books correctly.
- Establish clear punishments for students that do not return the books on time or mistreat the books. Also, make parents aware that they will need to replace any lost or damaged books.
- Mark the new books so the students are made aware of them.
Other than these, teachers can implement their own creative ideas to encourage more students to read. Helping them connect to the books and the library will go a long way in their education and also their personality development.