Have you ever considered creating a lending library in your classroom? They can be an especially great resource for bilingual students and their families. When students see books in their home languages, it can be comforting and a source of pride, and can encourage acceptance of diversity in all of your students. A classroom lending library can inspire a love of reading in students, and increase parental involvement.
In the past, we’ve written posts about the increasing need for multicultural libraries in diverse communities, and the importance of building a comprehensive personal library at home. Below, we offer some helpful tips when building your classroom lending library.
It’s OK to Start Small
A complete classroom lending library may consist of a few hundred books, but don’t feel intimidated by that number! It’s OK to start small and slowly build your collection over time. You may also want to ask parents to donate books to the classroom library.
Mix it Up! Offer a Variety
An effective lending library is one that appeals to students with varied interests and reading levels. A general guideline to follow is to make sure that about 25% of the books are one or two reading levels below the current grade, and another 25% are one or two reading levels above. Offer a balanced selection of fiction and nonfiction, in topics your students are enthusiastic about: food, animals, sports, or TV and movie characters.
Spread the Word – Get Families Involved!
Once students know about the lending library, you want to inform parents as well. An email or letter sent home can introduce the library’s purpose, explain the rules for its use, invite book donations, and encourage family members to borrow books. Bilingual families will also appreciate knowing that you have books in diverse languages, so be sure to include that in your letter.
Have you seen an outstanding classroom library? Comment below and share your ideas!
“Reading Helps Your Mind Bloom” by Enokson via Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/7YDJem
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