Monday, September 20, 2010


Last year my partner-and-crime and I decided to try something new to open our classroom library. We wrapped up all our books in large boxes with fancy wrapping paper and let the kids open the "presents to the classroom". It was the most amazing activity I've ever done in school.

This year we repeated it and enjoyed every moment of their book discoveries. Some immediately settled down with books they wanted to read, ignoring all of their friends and teachers and diving straight into whatever world they'd chosen, while others poured through the titles and loudly announcing the types of books they found as though they were sports-casters"Letter books!" "Animal books!"

One little one sat down with Clifford and refused to get up unless it was for another Clifford book.

Eventually we had everyone put their books into baskets that went into our classroom library and we've slowly examined each basket of books more closely- dividing the library into "True Books" and "Story Books" (Oh, and one Clifford basket since we have one friend totally in love with the series).

Since that day anytime someone mentions 'books' or 'reading' the whole class seems to become energized- when we give them time to browse books they devour the basket in front of them like we've given them the ice cream truck. I love the energy and excitement this lesson creates!


MKreul said...

This is such a great way to introduce your classroom library to young readers. I am going to share your blog post with my primary grade colleagues. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Jill Fisch said...

I love this idea. I am so awed that you had them sort your entire library. I finally tried to do this at the beginning of this school year but I only did part of the classroom library. That way we had a few established bins that we could add to and that helped the process not feel so huge to me. The kids did look so excited in your photos. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I did this a few years ago and it was golden..I did have one student melt down b/c he couldn't handle all the possibilities..he later became identified as my perfectionist of the year!