How to Run an Effective Library Center

Thursday, June 16, 2016

It may seem that the library center is a place that kids go to play in Kindergarten. Here's how my library center used to go:

Student spends 5 minutes going through books.
Student gets reading buddy.
Student finds a place to sit.
Student flips through book.
Student plays with reading buddy and whoever is in center with them.
Student goes to get another book.
Starts all over again.

Now, this isn't very effective and the students aren't really reading. What I decided to do was implement some accountability into this centers. I am a big proponent of recording sheets. All my centers have some type of accountability with them now. My tubs that are full of clip cards, puzzles, and matching games have recording sheets at the beginning of the year. Later in the year, I just use blank paper and show them how to record properly. Some teachers use journals and that is good too. My suggestion is to use a guided sheet for the library center. My answer is a book report.

They students must turn in this sheet before they get their next book. I also do the same thing with the listening center although, they are truly engaged during that center.

As far as the talking goes, that is bane of every teachers life but I have found that if I let the responsible kids read to each other, it motivates the rest of the class to ditch their "stuffed animal" reading buddy and upgrade to "read to a friend." So this is an incentive to do well in the library center and has worked well so far!

I also mentioned that students would spend 5 minutes picking out a book and leave a huge mess on my bookshelf when putting the books back. I decided to change up my library from a bookshelf to something much more kindergarten friendly. 

First, I bought these magazine holders from Ikea.

They were fairly cheap considering the colored ones from teacher stores cost me 14.99 for a pack of like 6! RIDICULOUS. These were on sale at the time for like 4.99 a pack. I bought a ton!

Next I labeled my holders with these labels and also labeled every single book in my library. This probably took the longest of everything. Partially because I didn't realize I need to print the book labels on avery labels. I cut them out and taped them on. It took FOREVER. Lesson learned. GET AVERY LABELS if you plan on labeling your books.

I looked on the seller's TpT site and it doesn't look like these are for sale anymore. Not sure why because I've enjoyed them thoroughly! I may change it up in the future just so I have a different and  more modern theme but not for a whiiiile because this takes a HOT MINUTE!!!

The seller is Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten so if you are interested in these you may be able to contact her. Here they are in action:

I also saved space by putting these on top of my math center storage. Perfect for making the most out of my space. 

I used to dread when students went to this center and now it's wonderful. My class chooses this center often. I will be doing a post on how I manage centers in the future. My room is modeled after Greg Smedley of The Kindergarten Smorgasbord. I 100% believe in giving students choice in their centers as the primary means of engagement. 

So there it is... how to keep students accountable and your library organized. This combination makes for an effective libary center.

Any tips that you may have for keeping your library center running effectively, please comment below!
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