After nearly six weeks of classes, I am proud to say we will have our Grand Opening of the classroom library on Monday! We had been using the books combined from the two 3rd grade classrooms last year all jumbled together on three little shelves (still better than the one shelf I had last year for my class!). We had to wait for a shelf to be ordered because the original request had been lost. The bookshelf did not turn out to be what I asked for so Resources had to add another shelf and will still need to put in side panels so that the books do not fall off. We are making progress! The students have been very patient, but also very excited. A couple students asked me nearly every day when the new book shelf was coming because I had told them they would be able to check out books after the new shelf came. One student told me he had had a dream that the shelf came. They are so expectant!
This past week, I cleaned all of the books (old and new) and made sure they were all labeled and had a sticker to show their level. I think I will have the students clean the books around Christmas. Maybe that will motivate them to keep them clean when they see how dirty they can get! This weekend, I arranged the books on our new shelf, researched some management systems for class libraries, and made classroom decorations to celebrate the grand opening. It looks so good!
Our class theme this year is Guardians of the Earth. We are learning about taking care of the earth God has given us and not being wasteful. The bulletin board used all recycled paper and magazines. The background and edging were up from last year and I used them again. I made a paper chain out recycled newspaper and magazines instead of buying streamers. It looks pretty cool and yes, I will probably use it again. We also will have some cookies and punch (we will wash and recycle the cups and bottles) to celebrate before the students get to browse through the new books. You can also see me small group table in this picture.
I have kept about a dozen or so books back that I will add in throughout the rest of the year and I still have some books back at my house I will try to bring back with me after Christmas. I would really love to get them more updated non-fiction books and magazines. We will see how empty I can make suitcase coming back and how much I can fill it up again with books.
We also finally got the remaining chairs for our small group table about a week and a half ago and the students love using it when they do Work on Writing or Word Work. This week, I will meet with my guided reading groups for the first time. We are still waiting for leveled readers to be ordered, so I will have to be more creative with resources in the meanwhile.
I am so thankful to finally see everything coming together as I had envisioned it. Here is the picture that I took coming in the door in August, two days before classes started and here is the picture I took today. All photos are my own.