Professional Development

August 15, 2019

How to Set Up a Classroom Library and Include Kids Easily

In this post you will learn how to easily allow your students to help set up your classroom library.

My first year in the classroom my kids rarely touched my books. I had books that I would share with them every month or few weeks, but I guarded SO many books with my life. What? Give their sticky, lunch covered fingers my books?

No way!

I was SO naive. I had so much to learn. When I peeked inside other classroom I wasn’t seeing other teaches releasing all of their books to their kids. I thought that was the way it was supposed to be.

Until I learned better. I knew I needed to let my kids use my books. I wanted them to enjoy them. I desired for them to own them, too. Part of owning them meant helping to organize them and create a system for them.

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It’s simple to include them! 

Gather several books that are alike in some way. Stick to two topics–space and human body. 

Have the students sort them and identify two topics. 

Allow a student to use a notecard and illustrate the topic and write the word. This is the book tub label. 

Do this several times and then go back to a set of books and ask kids if they think they need to be divided even more! For example, ocean animals and farm animals! 

Tips when students are helping to set up a classroom library

  • Start small! Just 4 different topics on day one is great!
  • Be sure to let the students decide the labels
  • As you, or the students, see fit, let them break down the topics even more!
  • Some may want to read them to make sure of the topic. That’s great! Let them!
  • Step back and let them own it! When they decide together how to organize them, they will take better care of them!
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If you are looking for more tips on how to set up a classroom library or book shopping, you may like THIS post or THIS post!

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? Thisย FREEย guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your studentsย loveย and that areย easy to implementย for teachers.ย ย Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, youโ€™ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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