Tips For Creating A Dream Classroom Library

As promised in my Classroom Reveal post last week, I am here to give you a closer look at my classroom library. This cozy little corner of my classroom is a favorite for all of us because it really feels like a home away from home. My students take great pride in their library. They are thrilled when they receive the job of classroom librarian because they get to spend a few extra minutes in this sanctuary at the end of the day.
Core Inspiration Classroom Library

Interested in creating a classroom library like this one? Here are a few tips for making this reading dream a reality.


LABEL YOUR BOOK BINS AND SHELVES

Core Inspiration library bin labeling kit.
Organize books according to genre in brightly-colored book bins (for nonfiction texts and picture books) and on spacious shelves (for chapter books). Attach labels that include images and words so readers at every level and language proficiency can browse successfully.

Core Inspiration classroom library labeling kit.


LABEL EVERY BOOK

Core Inspiration classroom library labeling kit book cover labels.
Label every book in your library with a full-color label that corresponds to the labels attached to your bins and shelves. Once again, students at all reading and language levels will be empowered. The days of misplaced books are long gone.

RESERVE SPACE FOR FEATURED BOOKS

Core Inspiration classroom library book display area.

Select books that correlate with current units of study and give them room to breath. When there are a few featured books with their covers proudly showing, kids can’t resist taking a closer look.


SPLURGE ON A COZY RUG

Core Inspiration classroom library shaggy rug.

Traditional classroom rugs aren’t nearly as inviting as this little beauty. A rug you wouldn’t mind having in your own home is the ticket for making young readers feel at home. A comfortable reader is more likely to maintain focus or take risks.


ADD DECORATIVE TOUCHES

Core Inspiration classroom library wall decor tips.

A few extras like plants, a leaf canopy, and fun wall décor emphasize how special this nook truly is. Kids appreciate these little touches…they will even invite their friends for an after school library tour…trust me.

Core Inspiration classroom library with Ikea Lova leaf canopy.

TOP IT OFF WITH AN INVITING CHAIR

Core Inspiration cozy read aloud chair.
A fancy chair is the perfect tool for making read alouds special. Every student will long to curl up with their favorite book … perhaps you might want to reserve that privilege for special occasions or personal reading celebrations.
I would love to see these tips in action in your classroom. Snap a photo of your classroom library and tag me @coreinspiration on Instagram so I can take a peek.
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38 Responses

    1. That's wonderful. I imagine the kids learn so much and are so well cared for by you. We have 25 kids /1 teacher. When I taught third it felt a lot more manageable than it does with second graders. 🙂

  1. My kids are aged 2-4, so they still need quite a lot of help in solving conflicts, getting dressed, etc.
    In Romania I used to have 18/1 teacher (2-6 y.o) and that's considered a small group in a private kindergarten. 🙂

  2. Where, where, where did you get those giant leafs? I'm a preservice teacher and your classroom is so inspiring! I'd love to do a similar theme, but I cannot find those anywhere!

  3. Hello, such a gorgeous and welcoming classroom which has been well thought out. I also love the giant leaves you have in the library and interested to know where i can get them.

    1. Thank you Patricia! Most of my books are from Scholastic Reading Club. I really encourage my students to order books for their home libraries through their website so we get bonus points that allow us to order free books for our classroom library. I don't have a tracking system, I use the honor system. 🙂

  4. I brought my class library home for the summer to get serious about organizing it! Your suggestions are just what I am looking for, thank you so much. My space is smaller but I think I can make it work, thanks again, Paula @ educating children with disabilities.blogspot.com

  5. LOVE your library! I purchased the same leaves but had difficulty hanging them. How did you do it? Mine keep falling.

      1. I tried to find the leaves you used but the link just takes me to IKEAs main website. Please let me know where you found them because they are EXACTLY what I am looking for to use in my first grade classroom!

  6. Absolutely love your blog! Your library is an inspiration. Im jumping up next year from 1st to 3rd and looking to revamp my new classroom to make it more “mature” and 3rd grade friendly. I love the paper flowers you have in your library, did you make those yourself or did you purchase them from Michael’s? I tried the link but it was no longer available 🙁
    I would love to make some for my new room!
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Meghan,
      Thank you! You are going to LOVE third! It looks like Michael’s discontinued the paper flowers I have in my library. Luckily, they sell them on Amazon now! You can find them here. I also used a paper craft kit that is still sold at Michael’s here. Thank you for letting me know, I was able to update the link. 🙂
      Enjoy decorating your room!
      Laura

  7. I would love to see a glimpse of books you have in each category! Working on sorting my books into different categories. I’m also a new teacher so would love some ideas of great books I’m not aware of yet. Just an idea 🙂

    1. Hi Amber, thank you for taking the time to comment. I do several Instagram stories about my classroom library and how it is organized. I also have a list of my favorite books in this blog post, which may be helpful in getting you started. 🙂

  8. Hi Laura! I am going to be a teacher a year from now. How did you build your classroom library? Did you buy all of your own books? How did you know what books to get? Thanks!

    1. Hi Morgan, my classroom library started with donated books from the swim team I coached. From there, I started adding more books through the Scholastic Book Club program (their points systems can get you tons of free books). If classroom parents ever asked what I wanted as a gift, I’d ask for books or Amazon gift cards so I could buy books. I also wrote letters to classroom parents during my first years encouraging them to donate “outgrown” books to our classroom library. I used my school librarian as a resource for which books to gather, and then started getting a really clear idea of where to go from there based on what I saw my students reading most frequently from the local and school libraries. I have a list of my top recommended books included in this post.
      Wishing you all the best as you begin your teaching journey. 🙂
      Warmly,
      Laura

  9. I love the color on the bulletin board above your reading area. Would you please share the color with me. Also is this paper or fabric. Thanks!

I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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