20 Min. Makeover for Classroom Library

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.21.07 PMAt this point in the school year, my classroom library needs a little sprucing up. Without making major changes, I want to make a some changes. My hope is that these changes will make the library inviting, cheerful, and enticing for my young readers. I love those makeover shows when they show the BEFORE and AFTER pictures, so I thought it would be fun if I did the same thing in this post.

In the BEFORE picture of my shelves (first picture of shelves), you can see that things are in a bit of disarray. I have some half empty bins, books are falling over, and everything looks drab and dull.

I timed myself while I did this quick makeover, and here are the 3 changes I made in order to transform the space in 20 minutes:

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.21.26 PM1. “Move the Bins”- Do you ever go into the grocery store or Target and they’ve changed where everything is? Aisle 10 now holds all the products from Aisle 3?  Or the shoe department is now located where the sporting goods used to be? Stores do this so their customers have to switch it up and change their shopping routines. They must take a new route and explore new parts of the store. I applied this shopping strategy to my library. I switched the locations of the bins. For example, I switched the mystery book bins with fantasy fiction book bins. I also tidied up the bins. (This took about 8 mins and my trusty desk wheely chair.)

2. “Sell it with Sticky Notes” I used sticky notes in fun shapes and colors to write messages. Our fabulous school librarian does this, and I always love the spark of color and warmth it brings to the shelves. I wrote new categories like “The Mother-Daughter Book Club” and “I Survived Series.” I also wrote some stickies that said, “Try a new title today!” and “A Class Favorite!” (8 mins.) Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.21.41 PM

3. “Display Books”- I created a display on top of the shelf. I set up some Lisa Graff books and made a sign advertising her upcoming visit to our school (4 mins.)

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.45.11 PM

Voila! A classroom library mini makeover in 20 minutes. It’s not a huge change from how it looked before, but I think my students will like it. I think these small changes freshen up the feel of the library. I’d do anything to make the books as enticing as possible. Hopefully I have a lot of happy book shoppers in class today! Here’s the AFTER picture.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.23.19 PM

Originally from Pennsylvania, Dana Johansen is hoping that Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow on Feb. 2 and there will be an early spring. In the meantime, she spends her time teaching fifth grade in wintery Connecticut, sitting with her yellow lab on the couch reading YA Lit, and watching the tv show, The Big Bang Theory. She has taught elementary and middle school for fourteen years. Dana is a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University where she studies blended learning in reading and writing workshop. She is the co-author of the books Teaching Interpretation and Flip Your Writing Workshop. 

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