Classroom Tour 2019: The Power of a Classroom Library

If You Have Nothing Planned for Today, Why Not Just Be Amazing?

classroom decor

My classroom is all set to begin the 2019-2020 school year. As per usual, I can make this space as cute and as functional as I want, but it really needs to the kids to make it complete. I have done some minor additions to the layout this year, but I wanted to include some of my important areas just in case anyone needed ideas for their own setup. If you want to check out last year’s setup to see any changes, feel free to head over to that tour. My mission this year was not to get sucked down the rabbit hole of classroom design, but I wanted to improve the small details of my room that I struggled with last year.

Theme: Rainbow with Chalkboard/Black Paper

Table Setup: Collaborative Groups of 6

Classroom Library

I love the changes we made to the classroom library! It is not all the way complete as of the date of publishing for this post, but it has come such a long way. I have decided to sort books by genre. Some books do still have levels discretely by covers, but now students can find the books that they want in the classroom by interest, genre, and book categories. Our general library is also going to move to the genre format as the year progresses. Here are some of my areas of fiction:

  • Realistic Fiction

  • Historical Fiction

  • Fantasy

  • Overcoming Obstacles

  • Shakespeare

  • Sharon G. Flake

  • Jacqueline Woodson

  • Graphic Novels

  • Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

  • Friendship

I have also added baskets on tables for students to grab, and I have added two other areas for books to belong throughout the year. Now, all I need to do is add more books to my library!

Added Book Storage

As mentioned above, I added a small bookshelf by the homework bulletin board, and I also added storage in the front of the room. The cart at the front of the room will house my weekly mentor texts and also my current favorite picks for students. This is featured on the small rolling cart to the right of the table.

Read Alouds

This year we are doing picture book read alouds on Wednesdays and on each day to start the first two weeks of the school year. This is until we can get into the library to start our independent reading routines on week two. Here are some of the read alouds from the table, and the comprehensive list of the ones I plan on using to start the year off right!

Teacher Desk/Agenda Area

I do keep pencils on my desk. I have bounced back and forth with having these in the student work area, and they just work better with me. Also, I have my personal bookshelf, my teacher books on my desk, my basket of materials (this basket makes sub organization really easy), and I have added the red crates for weekly copies. I do have a file folder organizer in the student work area, but I wanted one closer to me to allow for easy access for that current week. The yellow crate houses my weekly checklists that mark student reading conferences, participation, and bathroom passes for the week. On the board, I have our unit essential questions and norms.

No Name Window Wall

The windows house all of our no name papers! The clips make this easy to recycle papers after each marking period. They also make it so the papers are out of the way from the day-to-day business of class.

Student Binders/Journals

I have space along the wall for each hour’s class journals in the crates and their binders. They keep the binder for passed back work, and they use their journals for writing into the day, quick-writes, and Friday free writes.

Homework Board

Students can easily access their Article of the Week homework and see a quality example. I moved it from Monday due Friday to Tuesday due Tuesday to allow for more grading time on my end, and I wanted to give students the weekend to work on the homework in case they have outside school activities.


Trimester Incentive Bulletin Board

My goal is to put an incentive for each trimester on the back bulletin board! We are talking about library action habits for trimester 1. We go to the library every week. It is important that students learn how to checkout, renew, and return the books from the library. We want them to take ACTION while they are in the library. Each time we go, we want them to:




If they do at least ONE of these actions at the library each week, they will get a point on your class’s chart! The reward will be a class-decided reward. They will also help outline the rules and parameters to allow for buy-in for the incentive.


Writing Mindset Reflection: What adjustments did you make to your room this year? What is helping the flow or organization?