Ideas for Classroom Libraries and
Here are some great ideas for January bulletin boards submitted by ProTeacher visitors!
Click on the photos at left for larger views and descriptions! See below for more ideas!
More Ideas from ProTeacher Visitors!
I have my bookshelves color coded by season. I cover the bottom of the shelf with colored construction paper that is covered with contact paper. I label the books with a color circle sticker on the binder and tape over it so that it will stay.
My green shelf is for books I use at the very beginning of the year. Orange is Fall stuff. Red has winter books, green has spring/summer stuff.
The stickers allow my students to return the book to the correct spot where I can hopefully find it when I need it.
I have a large tag board by reading station with library card envelopes glued to it. One for each student labeled with their names. Each classroom library book has a library pocket on the back inside cover with an index card with the name of the book, author and color code written on it.
When a child selects a book they remove the card from the book and place it in their name pocket. They are allowed to check out a book every day as long as they have returned the book they have out.
I assist with checkout and check in time for a week or two but they get the hang of it quickly.
By the way I also send home a parent/child form at the beginning of the school year explaining how it works and they both must sign a contract wherein they promise to be careful and responsible with the books and understand that lost books must be paid for. I usually let one lost book slide but the second I request a fee. This has happened once in the four years I have been doing this. Overall it works very well.
Parents can also be used to do the cards and pockets. It is time consuming.
My books are separated into baskets by categories. I'll try to name some...
There's lots more. I chose these categories because that is where most of my books fell. I also stick a colored sticker to the label of the basket and to the book for easy returns. I model this heavily at the beginning of the year.
I have sorted my books by themes. I labeled each basket with a sign that includes the theme name and a clip art picture. Inside each book is a sticker (return address label) that matches the basket label.
Books will become 'well loved' and damaged through no deliberate fault of most children. I have a sign out sheet as the kids walk out the door. I've purchased some library tape to reinforce the bindings and covers. All books have my name on the front and inside. Before the children take home any books, I ask parents to sign a form (as does our library) that the family will be liable for any lost or damaged books. For the little ones, I used plastic Ziploc bags to protect the books. Each quarter I send home a note asking parents to help their children search their home libraries for my books, also for any donations (books or funding) they'd be willing to give. When a book does not come back, I just think of the joy I hope it gives the child in reading and rereading.
What about "Garden of Readin'" (although that would not be grammatically correct- Garden of Reading would be better, but doesn't sound like Eden then).
For the grass you could buy some cheap indoor/outdoor turf at Lowe's or Home Depot (it's not very expensive even if you want a large rug sized portion) and to keep the edges from fraying you could hot glue cute ribbon as the border (use low-melt glue sticks that won't melt the plastic turf carpet).
For your pickets buy some poster board and cut out the pickets, then cut straight pieces to use as the cross bars. You could staple, hot glue, or tape that to the wall. It would be cheap (you could laminate it to last) and not permanent.
I have seen cheap artificial trees and that would be cute and cozy in the corner. You could put decorations on the tree for each season (the kids could make those). Apples for back to school, pumpkins in Oct., turkeys in Nov., pine trees in Dec. etc...
I put together a classroom library three years ago. I sorted my books into piles. This is what I ended up with...
There were a few more. I then put a label on the tub with a colored sticker (garage sale dots) Every book in that tub had a sticker, so that the students knew which tub to return it to. This has worked great for the last three years. But now, I have accumulated so many books that my tubs are overflowing. I'm thinking about reorganizing it.
You can buy cardboard fences at the teacher supply. I bought a white picket fence and a (cardboard) wooden rail fence. I think they were around $8-9.00 each. My friend had a reading corner and put a metal bathtub with plastic pillows in it. Another friend has a loveseat in her room. How about a small picnic table and you could put all kinds of insects and silk flowers around it. I have lots of plastic covered pillows in my room for them to throw on the floor and read. Our nurse recommended plastic instead of cloth because of lice.
reading center vs. reading corner
The reading corner is a place where you can read aloud a book to your students or they can just go and read silently or with a buddy. Reading centers are centers based upon the concepts you are teaching in reading class. Such as cause and effect, character analysis, inferences, etc. The center is a place for added practice where you don't have to teach them directly, but they can still learn from what you have taught them already. I hope this helps clarify any confusion.
My sister and I are starting the new year with the western theme. My wonderful crafty husband constructed a reading corral and cacti out of plastic PVC pipe. The corral has a swinging gate and an archway with a sign hanging from the top "Reading Corral." To secure the corral, we inserted the corral posts into sand filled coffee cans. Of course, we spray painted the corral, cacti, and cans.
Also, to make border for our bulletin boards, we purchased rope for 10 cents a foot at the local hardware store. It looks really nice. Yee-Hah!
I found a couple of comfy chairs at a garage sale and threw fabric over them to make a cheap slip cover. The kids love to sit and read in these. A while ago someone had a creative idea where they made their reading corner a garden and had an archway that students would enter through and potted plants and garden chairs. It sounded wonderful, but it must've been a gigantic room.
My theme is EveryBUNNY Loves To Read! I have a small park bench with pillows and lots of stuffed bunnies. On the wall are pictures of bunnies reading and a small shelf that also has tiny stuffed bunnies. I introduce my reading corner with a bunny puppet named Honey Bunny that explains the rules for reading with the bunnies-- soft, quiet reading.