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8 Great Ways to Use a Classroom Library

  • Are you looking for better ways to use your Classroom Library?
  • Learn about eight great ways to achieve this


  • Each book you Read Aloud to the class (or big books used in Shared Reading) can be placed in a special tub/basket at the front of the classroom. Students will flock to these books during Independent Reading. Label it with your name e.g.: 'Mr C's  favourite books'
  • Make some small copies of any enlarged books you make together as a class in Shared Writing, students will love reading these over and over again, especially since you all wrote the story together and know and love it so well!
  • To optimise the time spent during Independent Reading, ask each student to pre-select a variety of texts from the Classroom Library, and place them on their desk for easy access during the session. Students can easily switch between books if they are having trouble matching to a text.
  • Have a Book Box for each student and ask them to keep a range of Classroom Library books in there. Most should be 'Just Right' but there can be challenging and easy reading there too. If you have room, keep the Home Reading folder in there too. This can travel between home and school every day!
  • Confer with your students individually during Independent Reading time. Monitor their reading more closely, giving them feedback and helping them set goals. You'll know so much more about your students and what materials you need to find more of to enrich the Classroom Library.  Try these Reading Conference Toolkits to help you!
  • Student voice is so important, and what better way to achieve this than having a Sharing Session each day at the end of (or during) Independent Reading. Let students talk in pairs (Turn and Talk) as it's a really efficient way to do it. Select a couple to share to the whole class - especially students you have been noticing are on track. Over the year, students will grow in their confidence as talkers and they will all be getting to know the family of books in the Classroom Library
  • Make a Reading Journal for each student (or have students create them) and let them make a great cover or title page for it. Students can write or draw about a text they have read or heard - probably once a week is enough. Students will have so much more to write or draw about because they have been absorbed in great content! Use Reading Prompts to help stimulate their thinking even more! See Candace (Year 4/5/6) talk about how Reading Journals work in her classroom.
  • Group together in one basket texts you have used to model reading or writing strategies (mentor texts), and let the students access these at anytime. Also have a basket of books published by students on display. Allow students to make constructive, positive comments in the back of each other's books.

Phil and Sharon

Go to this link for the professional reading: 'Establishing and Using Classroom Libraries.'

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