Classroom Library Makeover

Classroom Library Makeover


“5…4…3…2…1…0…Open for business!” Schuylerville third graders in Beth
Sanders’ class just cut the ribbon on their brand-new classroom library.
“I just go…Wow I mean we have so many books that I never knew we had
before.” While the books in the library haven’t
changed, the look of it certainly has. “The classroom library makeover project was
inspired by a literacy coaching group that I’m a part of. We read a book about
passionate readers by pernil rep and in hearing and talking about the way she
organized her library kind of inspired us to actually try this out. So, we had a
contest and teachers applied and then this group of coaches selected a class
that were to receive this library.” Ms. Sanders’ class won the contest and they
got right to work. Over the course of several weeks students met with Ms.
Senatore to figure out all the details. “My students were the ones who took
the most active role. They had say in how they wanted their library to
be organized, they worked with Ms. Senatore to break the books into
categories and to make it work for them.” “When we had lunch bunch for two weeks we worked on all the labels and all the decorations and putting the book by the
kind of book it is…like instead of the levels, now, like girl power, boy power.”
“They decided how to organize the bins. They were very inventive by choosing
things like laugh out loud, lol, boy power, girl power, sensational
series, creepy tales…they came up with all of that.” Students say the new library
allows them to explore new books. “It’s just been a really big improvement from
what we did with levels. Now, we have a lot more and it’s way easier to find books.” “Instead of just having like numbers for
the labels like to show you what level they were, we have like the labels for like
what kind of books they are.” Along the way, other teachers were invited to check out
the process. “Libraries have been a big discussion as we made a transition to
reading workshop, they’re so essential for its run successfully. And you know it
was one thing, we’ve read about libraries, we’ve looked at pictures of libraries, we
visited other schools, but to walk in this room and to have the students
themselves express that great pride in their library and tell them about it was
really powerful and I think many of them are now inspired to go back to their own
rooms and try this out.” Students say they enjoyed working
together and feel proud when they look at their new colorful library. “I feel
excited and encouraged to read more.”

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