Classroom Libraries Developed by Laura Robb for Grades 3 through 9
“I’ve read every book that’s in these libraries and chosen titles I believe students will enjoy.” – Laura Robb
Seven Compelling Reasons for Having Classroom Libraries
1. Easy access to books is as important for students in grades 3 to 9 as it is from preschool and primary children. By continually building your classroom library you provide students with access to books they want to read right there in your classroom!
2. Students who read more gain the practice that enlarges their vocabulary, builds their background experiences and knowledge, and develops stamina, the ability to focus and concentrate on their reading.
3. Research points out that volume in reading matters. That means your students, whether struggling or proficient should read 35 to 50 books each year. Imagine that each student in your class has a reading odometer. Our challenge is to help students build up those reading miles. So make sure that they do independent reading 30 minutes a day at school and 30 minutes a day at home.
4. The NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) reports (2002) shows a strong correlation between reading achievement and children who read widely and choose to read over other activities. The 2002 NAEP report studied fourth graders’ reading habits across the country. Every fourth grader who read a minimum of 11 pages per day consistently outperformed peers who read fewer or no pages daily.
5. Choice, allowing students to choose books and materials they WANT to read motivates them and enables them to develop reading tastes such as favorite genres, authors, magazines, etc.
6. Encourage students to choose easy, enjoyable texts for independent reading. That’s why these libraries include a range of readability levels as well as a variety of nonfiction and fiction. Think about the books you choose to read in your spare time or on vacation. You certainly avoid struggling through a textbook that’s tough to comprehend. You’re more apt to choose a favorite author or genre that’s fun, easy, and relaxing. It’s the same for our students.
7. Set aside time for your students to discuss their reading. Through paired discussions, students can further develop their thinking and understanding of text structures, themes, and big ideas. That’s why I’ve included two copies of each of the 50 different books in a library. i want students to talk about their shared book, point to great parts, and make personal connections.