Leap Into Literacy Grade 3

October/November 2018

Reading Workshop - Still Organizing Your Classroom Library?

A well-organized, inviting classroom library is essential to setting students up to read with independence and to develop a reading life (Guthrie 2008; Worthy and Roser 2010; Mulligan and Landrigan 2018). By organizing your library, you can ensure that students are able to find immediately books that are appropriate for them in terms of interest and readability; this way, students spend more time actually reading the books than they do choosing them.

Follow these steps

Organizing books into categories can be more helpful to the development of your students´ reading identities. This way, when students approach the classroom library their first thoughts are "Who am I as a reader?" & "What are my interests?" rather than "What level book can I read?"

An interest survey, can be helpful with sorting books. Organizing your books in categories based on student interest reflects their identities in the classroom library. For example, if you have a class with many athletes you may want to title a bin ¨Athletes Who Will Inspire You¨. Also consider if/then labels, i.e. ¨If You Loved Wimpy Kid, You´ll Love...¨. Don forget, students are your greatest resource! Have the students come up with suggestions for the bins. Start a bin by putting a label on an empty basket. Then, when kids finish a book that they think fits the category, they can add it to the new bin. Other sample labels may include...

  • Strong Girl Characters
  • Before Justin Bieber, These Guys Were Cool
  • As Magical as Harry Potter
  • Class 2A´s Favorites
  • Out of This World (Science Fiction)

Writing Strategies for the Reluctant Writer

These strategies can help students build writing stamina and allow them to have a more positive attitude toward independent writing time. They are from the Jen Seravallo Writing Strategies Book.