Building your classroom library can be VERY overwhelming and is something that will take time!! When I got hired for my first teaching job EVER I had ZERO books and walked into a classroom with 20 books (most of them were not very interesting). Over the four months of my first teaching job I did collect some books. It wasn’t until I jumped back into my teaching career in 2018 that I began seriously scouring for books!
Here are my five tips for building your classroom library! These are tips for BOTH new teachers and current teachers!
1. Donations – Ask for donations from your friends and family. Chances are they have a few kids books around that their children have outgrown. If you don’t have friends with kids you can always set up an Amazon wishlist to share on your social media with books you would like so that friends and family can purchase them for you!
2. Looks for deals – Go to garage sales, thrift stores, and glue your eyes to Facebook Marketplace! I have scores BOXES of books for $10 or $15 a box with a wide range of topics! I also have a local thrift store that will have 50% off books every few weeks – GO TO THOSE!!
3. Discount Websites – firstbook.com or thriftbooks.com are great resources to fill in those missing books in a series or if you are looking for specific anchor texts. Firstbooks.com offers a GREAT discount to those teachers who teach at qualifying schools.
4. Set up your Scholastic class – Make sure you get a class code with Scholastic so that your children can purchase books and you can earn points towards FREE books! The kids get really excited about the book flyers that will get mailed to your school. I would set up a “class order” about once a month to maximize points!
5. End of the Year Book Challenge – This is my FAVORITE way to grow my classroom library because it is 100% FREE and you are going to get books that kids love reading! Watch my Youtube video below to learn more about how this works in my classroom:
Growing your library will take TIME! I encourage you to be patient and ask for help!! You do not have to purchase every book in your classroom library at full price by yourself! I hope these tips help you!