Analyzing Your Classroom Library

analyzing classroom library

Your library is the heartbeat of your classroom. It is the area where students get to explore their own interests. Additionally, it is where students get to relax and see how exciting books are. Honestly, this is the single most important area of the classroom. Therefore, you must spend time analyzing your classroom library. It is crucial to make sure that books are appropriate for students while showing them how magical books are. 

analyzing classroom library

Student Opinions Toward Reading 

Your emphasis on your library can indirectly impact students’ attitudes toward reading. If you are not excited about it, your students will likely not be excited. Similarly, if you do not show pride in your library or want to spend time in it, neither will your students. Honestly, we have a significant impact on student opinions toward reading. You need to show students how amazing it is when you get time to pick out a book and sit down and explore the pages. 

Strong Classroom Library 

Classroom libraries are hard to build. Teachers should not have to spend their own money on books for the classroom. However, having a solid classroom library is essential. If students do not have choices to meet their different interests, they will think books do not apply to what they like. This is absolutely not the case! There are books out there for every interest, hobby, and topic! So, search garage sales, library sales, FB group donations, and Scholastic book clubs for sales. These are great options for buying lots of books at reasonable prices. 

Work-a-Round to a Classroom Library 

Sadly, some teachers are unable to create their own library. This may be a school policy or due to a limited budget. However, this should not stop students from reading books. Instead, the school library needs to become your best friend. You MUST make it a priority to take students to the library. They need ample opportunities to go throughout the week to find books. This time will prove to them how excellent books are. 

Aspects to Consider 

Does having lots of books mean a strong classroom library? Not necessarily! There are other aspects you want to consider when building and analyzing your classroom library. 

1. Old versus New 

You want to have a balance of new versus older published books. This means there are various topics, writing styles, and illustrations. Essentially, you are offering students tons of choices. 

2. Variety of Genres 

Every student has different interests. However, they may have only explored fiction and nonfiction books. So, it is crucial to offer a variety of genres, such as poetry, historical, and graphic novels. 

While students may say they prefer fiction or nonfiction, chances are they have not explored other genres. Thankfully, the Genre Activities to Find the Magic in Reading will help students explore other options! These print-and-go activities help motivate students to dive into different genres! Students will love to showcase their learning through this exploration. 

3. Organization

Organization is critical when analyzing your classroom library! You want students to quickly find the books they are looking for. Organizational ideas include genre, topic, author, and series. These are great ways to help students see all the books they want to read. Honestly, it is also so helpful when putting books away! 

4. Representation of ALL students 

Do you have representation of ALL of your students in your classroom? If not, now is the time to update with more diversity. Your library needs to reflect the population of your students. In other words, the books must represent ALL students. It is helpful to use the analyzing chart when performing a quick audit. This is a great way to ensure you have the needed representation.

While analyzing your classroom library, you can also get rid of unwanted books to make room for new ones. You may donate ones you no longer want or set them aside to rotate them throughout the years. Either way, students must find books that reflect who they are. 

5. Showcasing Select Books 

How do you highlight special books throughout the year? How are you getting students excited about your library and drawing them in? For instance, do you have a spot where you showcase books based on an upcoming holiday or special day? If not, now is the perfect time to create this spot! Students will be eager to see the new options in the showcase spot.

Honestly, the classroom library is one of the most impactful areas of the classroom. It allows students to learn more about themselves, their community, and upcoming events. Additionally, it is the perfect way to motivate students to become independent readers while showing them their growth. Be sure to check out Perfecting Independent Reading when analyzing your classroom library. It will help ensure students see the magic and adventure behind each book. 

If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will also receive a literary analysis FREEBIE for blog exclusive subscribers!

analyzing classroom library

Becoming the Best Reading Teacher

reading teacher

Do you teach the subject you always dreamed of teaching? If you do, I am so happy for you! If you don’t, I understand how painful this can be. It can be frustrating to see the teacher who teaches the subject or grade you want every day. Or, it can be overwhelming to teach a subject you do not feel totally confident about. However, we have to remain positive when this happens and keep our focus on students. They deserve to have happy teachers who love to get to know them and plan amazing lessons. So, let’s dive into becoming the best reading teacher whether you love or hate the subject! 

reading teacher

#1: Fake It Until You Make It 

I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before! However, it is relevant to so many situations! Even if you hate your current placement, you can still focus on becoming the best reading teacher. Now, are you wondering how you do this? I have a simple yet profound answer. You show enthusiasm every single day! Yes, your enthusiasm HAS to be there! You can’t be crazy about math or science, and your spirit suddenly disappears when it is time to teach reading. Your persona, vibe, and passion will show to your students. They will pick up on how you are feeling! So, if you are bored or upset, they will feel the same. You must be enthusiastic and excited to draw students into lessons. Ultimately, your mindset and tone have a massive impact on students. 

If you are feeling discouraged because you’ve already started the year and students are noticing a negative vibe, it’s okay! Make the needed changes, and students will notice and do the same. Honestly, this happened to me when I taught writing. It was amazing to see how students became stronger and happier writers when their teacher showed excitement about the subject. 

#2: Make It Fun! 

No one looks forward to being bored for 8 hours. So, when focusing on becoming the best reading teacher, make lessons fun! If you’re having fun, your students will have fun. Yes, this even includes your most reluctant learners or ones who do not want to smile. How do you do this? Break out of the boring worksheet and basal reader and get kids’ hands into the material. They are the ones learning and should be using resources! Put those school supplies to use and allow students to use color coding, scissors, and glue. They can sort different content, complete group work, and work on projects! Honestly, they will love reading lessons when they become hands-on. You will also love seeing a class full of students who are eager and excited to learn! 

Are you struggling with becoming the best reading teacher because you’re unsure how to make reading fun? I understand that! Thankfully, there are so many incredible resources out there to help. For instance, these Building Comprehension Units include educational activities students will love! They will work on making connections, analyzing sources, comparing and contrasting, and fact and opinion among many other skills! 

reading teacher

#3: Honest Insight for a Reading Teacher 

It is helpful to figure out why you hate teaching reading when working on becoming the best reading teacher. For instance, is it a lack of confidence? Or, is it you don’t understand the standards? Do you not understand the phonics portion or the vocabulary portion? What is it about reading that you dislike? Maybe it is something you went through in reading class as a student. I promise that once you pinpoint the issue, you can make a plan to do something about it! Planning and teaching reading will become exciting as your mindset changes about the subject! 

If you dislike teaching reading because students seem bored, think about why this is. Honestly, students do not just dislike reading. Something happened to cause this. Maybe you even use some of these techniques that actually Kill the Love of Reading. With honest insight, you can make the needed changes to ensure you and your student see how fantastic reading is!

#4: Keep Learning! 

Teachers are just as much students as they are teachers. They are always learning new teaching strategies, tools, and techniques. This is essential as students and their needs change each year. When students need extra help, teachers can pull various resources out of their toolboxes. Honestly, this could very well be the case for you if you hate teaching reading. In other words, if you do not love to teach reading, there is something ‘not right.’ Maybe it is due to a confusion level about certain material. Or, it could be a struggle to make the learning relatable. Whatever it is, the best thing you can do for yourself and your students is to continue learning.  Find some free webinars online to register for or attend some paid workshops or conferences. It’s our job to be confident in what we teach. We can’t settle if we are not. We must work through our obstacles to provide the best education for students. 

#5: Observe Another Reading Teacher 

Teachers understand how demanding the profession is. So, many are more than willing to open their doors and help other teachers. Do you know someone who loves to teach reading? Or, have you heard about a great reading teacher in your building or a district close to you? Maybe they can help spark some inspiration in you! If you can, take some time during your prep period to go and observe a few reading teachers. Or, talk to your administrator about your feelings and get a sub to go and observe. This is an incredible way to help get some new ideas flowing and give you some motivation to make becoming the best reading teacher a reality. While teachers never like to be away from their classroom, your students will only benefit when their teacher finds ways to make the subject enjoyable. 

#6: Read to Your Students 

Every. Single. Day! Students love to be read to no matter their age. So, this is essential to do even if a love of reading or teaching reading isn’t in your blood. We cannot let the students suffer because we don’t like something. Even if you have a lower confidence level in your instruction, make it a priority to read to your class daily. At the very least – this is one of the BEST things you can do for your students to ensure THEY fall in love with reading. Hopefully, it will also help you fall more in love!

After reading these tips, you may be overwhelmed about becoming the best reading teacher. Honestly, that means you care and want to be the best teacher for your students. They will appreciate that you are taking the time to explore why you dislike reading and how to find enjoyment. Since this won’t happen overnight, check out the Adventures of Teaching Facebook Support Group! This group offers amazing collaboration among teachers to share tips, tricks, and strategies to make learning fun! 

 If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will also receive freebies for blog exclusive subscribers!