How much money have you invested in your classroom library? If you are like most teachers, the answer isn’t one you really want to reveal…. 😉 Also, if you are like most teachers, you cringe every time you find one of your books crammed in the back of a student’s desk or returned with a torn cover.
A couple of years ago, as I looked at my fifth grade classroom library shelves stuffed with well-worn books in random, haphazard order, I realized how truly pathetic it was. How was my library even inviting students to be readers? Was I even modeling to my students how to value books? The answer was a sad, embarrassing “No.”
With that honest discovery, I began a summer-long project. Every one of the novels in my classroom worth keeping (mostly untorn, all pages still there) was taken home for the project. The rest of the mangled books were given to students at the end of the school year. Contact Paper and scissors were my companions during the evenings while watching TV, and every novel was covered. I scored big at the Dollar Store with enough bins to house the newly covered books. I created labels showing the level of books in each bin and adhered it to the front with wide, clear tape. I loved, loved, loved the result. My students love the ease of finding a book at their own AR Reading Level, too! Since the books have been covered, not one has met an early death! They all are still nicely covered and intact.