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Organizing the Classroom Library to Promote Reading

A classroom library is arguably one of the most important parts of your classroom, so it makes sense to let students assist in organizing it. As a teacher earning an online master’s degree in education, you can apply what you are learning directly in your classroom, including the benefits of allowing students to become involved in the grouping and organizing of the classroom library.

What Skills Are Built When Students Organize the Classroom Library?

Teachers have little control over how students process information, perform on tests, or retain information after the end of the year, but environment can be a helpful teaching tool that teachers can help control. Sometimes teachers take this to mean that they should do everything themselves, but one thing you’ll learn while working toward a master’s degree in education is that inviting students to help set up the environment is another valuable teaching tool. When students cooperate to organize the classroom library, they build organizational skills, a sense of classroom community, and an awareness of the classroom as a safe place to disagree and compromise. It encourages both speaking and listening, as well as decision making. They also learn about genres, the variety of books they have access to, and how to make a to-be-read list, which will help in the weeks ahead.

How to Have Students Organize the Classroom Library

  • Build excitement by setting aside a special day to organize
  • Sort and categorize by using small groups and partners
  • Organize by creating labels and deciding where book baskets should be placed
  • Celebrate by letting students read and then show they know where books are put away

Make Your Classroom Library Part of Your Lessons

Weave your classroom library into your lessons so that students become very familiar with how to find the books they want. Create scavenger hunts or pull ten books and have students identify where those books get returned. Other great lesson ideas include

  • Have the students figure out who said which great line in a book
  • Have the students write reviews inviting other students to read a book
  • Give students back of the book blurbs and see if they can find the book

When you make the classroom library community-organized and -owned, you help develop responsibility and love for the books in the classroom. Students who learn from teachers who value learning tend to view learning as a lifelong skill. Sharing with your students that you are earning an online master’s degree in education helps them understand the value of continuing education.

Learn about the LSUS M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy online program.


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