Do your students love to go to your classroom library? Is it easily accessed and maintained by your students? Do you have a wide range of genres available?
If you want your students to read more, you need to have an ample assortment of books in your classroom library for them to choose from. Richard Allington and Patricia Cunningham, authors of Classrooms That Work: They Can ALL Read and Write (2007) suggest that primary classroom libraries have 700-750 books! Children learn to read by actually reading, and the amount of time that students spend reading directly influences reading achievement. The more books you have in your classroom library, the more they will read.
The set-up of your classroom library is also an important aspect to consider. Classroom libraries should be spaces that are inviting and encourage students to get comfy and read. They should be organized, easily accessible and labeled. Having two different colored bins, one for your fiction and one for nonfiction collection, is a great way to help students notice the different genres. If your classroom library is in one corner of the room, then the area may become overly congested when students go browsing for new books. Try incorporating some of your library collection into the content areas of your room. For example, if you have an area for your science materials, put your science book bins in that area. In this way, students see that reading is something they will come across in everything they do. Don’t forget to put some of your math related literature in your math area, too!
Take a look at the different types genres you currently have in your library. Do you have a good representation of them? The list below can help you decide what specific genres you might need to add to your existing collection to entice all of your students.
You can also have tubs of books with author sets. Here are a few your students may enjoy:
Having a well-stocked and organized classroom library can have a direct influence on the amount of reading students do. Happy reading!
Allington, R. & Cunningham. P. (2007). Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write. 3rd ed. Boston, MA. Person.