Recent studies on literacy confirm that a child’s reading skills are important to their success in personal development, school life and work later on in life. Reading is not only beneficial to the education and development of children but it can also be a lot of fun for them. It can be an imaginative activity which opens doors to all kinds of new sounds, words and phrases for them to communicate and express themselves in a better way.
Reading should be promoted and encouraged through every stage of a child’s school life, from pre-school right through to secondary school. During school, it is vital that teachers actively promote reading both independently and in groups.
In order to maximise the success of pupils, every classroom should be equipped with a designated reading area and reading should be a fundamental part of each school day.
Creating a classroom library will enable teachers to provide a source of books for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to indulge in reading. A classroom library also facilitates teachers with the resources to set reading-based homework which will actively encourage children to read at home.
How to create your classroom library or book corner
A library should provide age appropriate books from a wide range of genres.
Children all learn in different ways and at different paces so allowing them to explore different genres will give them the opportunity to find out what genre of reading they enjoy most and reap the benefits that reading brings.
Creating a classroom library does not mean breaking the school bank. Here are a few inexpensive methods to get your classroom library started:
- Ask parents and governors for book donations because most children will have books stacked away in boxes that they no longer read and would be happy to donate them for good use.
- Library book sales are a good way of getting books at a cheap price. Local libraries often have book trolleys filled with a wide range of books which have been donated for them to sell.
- Ask for donations. There are lots of companies who make regular donations to schools and colleges, often just by receiving donation request letters. It is good PR for companies and means your school will receive free books – win win for everybody!
- Ebay and Amazon are good online retailers for sourcing well priced books.
- Charity shops are also a good place to find books for your classroom library as often parents donate early years books when their children grow older.
Organising your classroom library
Once you have a significant amount of books, it’s time to start organising, labelling and sorting your books.
- Combine books which are similar in genre or categories – animals, fiction, non-fiction etc.
- Label every book so that it is clear that they belong to the school so that when children take books home, they are not mistaken as personal books and lost in the process.
- Colour code books or label them with dotted stickers dependent on genre, theme or reading ability. For example, blue sticker for non-fiction and red sticker for fiction books.
- Create a sign-out sheet or a monitor system to monitor which books are being taken home and by whom.
Having a wide selection of books is important in a classroom library but they also need to be easily accessible to children.
To give reading time positive and fun connotations, books in your classroom library need to be displayed in an inviting manner so children have a positive experience and are not overwhelmed by towering shelves and untidy boxes of books.
If your library space is limited then book spinners are great as they don’t require much space and they have the ability to hold and display books neatly and can be easily accessed by children. Our book spinners come in a variety of colours, sizes and styles and our Bubblegum Swivel Storage Tower in particular gives a vibrant look to any classroom library.
Kinderboxes work really well when organising picture books of different shapes and sizes in classrooms and reading corners. Our Kinderboxes are vibrant in colour and come in a range of different sizes. They can hold a large number of books which children can view and access easily.
Some classrooms may not have the space to have a designated reading corner so our book trolleys are a great alternative. They are ideal for holding books and storing books that may be shared between different classrooms. Book trolleys are extremely handy and versatile as they are mobile and each book trolley can hold plenty of books.
For larger reading corners or classroom libraries, our crocodileand elephant shaped book browsers offer an exciting reading experience for children and make reading time fun and inviting. They bring libraries to life and as well as offering storage for plenty of books.
No matter the size of your library or reading corner, there is a solution for providing books in an organised and enticing way.
Here at Early Learning Furniture we understand the importance of reading within the early years’ foundation stages and we provide you with the equipment you need to create a stimulating and exciting reading environment. View our full range of library furniture here.
At ELF we are experts in early years’ educational resources and supply classroom furniture, library furniture, equipment to primary schools, pre-schools, nurseries and playgroups. For more information about our library furniture or any of our products please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511121.