Kids who have access to great books become readers. There is simply nothing that makes teaching reading easier, that gets kids reading with tremendous volume, or that lifts reading skills higher than a collection of truly fabulous books.
The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has developed state-of-the-art classroom libraries for each grade level, K–8. Curated by Lucy Calkins and TCRWP colleagues along with a team of literacy leaders and children’s literature experts, these libraries contain 400–700 leveled books at each grade level—all organized into collections, shelves, and bins based on level, genre, topic, and available in versions for students reading both at and below benchmark.
As the TCRWP team worked to develop these libraries, several key ideas guided the selection process:
The following videos and links to other resources contain responses from Lucy and her TCRWP colleagues addressing key frequently asked questions. Watch the videos below to see what Lucy has to say about these special libraries and learn how best to use the libraries to create successful, lifelong readers.
Included with each complete library or available for separate purchase (with a minimum of two Individual Library Shelves) are box sets of TCRWP Tools and Resources. These invaluable resources will help you use your library more effectively to lift the level of student achievement and engage kids.
In the Guide, you’ll find detailed discussions on topics including:
The Tools and Resources pack includes miniature level labels designed to match the illustrated level bin cards. Reshelving of books then becomes a job that students can take on as part of their book shopping routines or you might specifically assign a team of “classroom librarians” or “bibliographers” to head up this aspect of library maintenance.
Book Bin Label Cards help teachers arrange and categorize books by reading levels and also in a variety of other ways that support teaching and learning.
Once readers have learned to select books that are within reach, teachers won’t want their baskets to be titled with levels only. Students will be drawn to select books from baskets with labels such as “Kids in Charge,” stuffed with books like The Stories Julian Tells, Flat Stanley, and Judy Moody. If kids like a book in a basket labeled “Misunderstood,” they’ll probably read the whole basket. By choosing just one book, kids will not only get more reading done—they’ll be drawn into the deeper reading and cross-text thinking they’ll be asked to do throughout the reading workshop
A collection of Sticky-Note Pads supports students as they read and think, acting as lenses to promote close, active reading. The Sticky Notes support a variety of reading strategies and help kids read with extra alertness, jotting details, noticing things they wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Readers will use Sticky Notes as a “quick jot” to flag favorites and call out “must-reads” for others, or most importantly, as a way to remind themselves to return to certain pages during their partner conversations to support their thinking, talking, and writing about the book. Readers will also decide to leave some of the Sticky Notes in a book as tips for future readers.