I learned to love reading in the classroom. I remember my third-grade teacher reading books aloud while sucking on Werther’s Caramel candies. It’s ingrained in my brain, but for some reason, whenever I read, I crave those candies. She created an inviting atmosphere for literacy and reading; I credit her for my love of books. She also had an attractive reading corner in the classroom where we could enjoy our independent reading in cozy chairs and cushions.
If you’re like me and want your kids to love reading, a cozy reading corner and fun read-alouds are a must. Not sure where to start when setting up a reading corner? I’m here to help!
Why is A Reading Corner in the Classroom Important?
Imagine you are trying to read a lovely book while sitting on a hard wooden chair with a straight back. Sure, you can sit there for a while, but you quickly start to notice your bottom hurting or your back aching. You wish you had a place to rest your head so you could relax a little more. You’re so busy thinking about how your body feels that you can’t focus on the words on the page.
Now imagine you are cuddled up on a soft cushion with your head back and your feet up. Your body is comfortable and warm, and you are fully emerged in the book in your hands. Instead of thinking about your body, your brain gets lost in the story, and you’re taken to another world. That’s the experience a reading corner in the classroom can provide!
Use Comfortable Seating
Aside from the books, the most crucial feature of your reading corner or reading nook should be the comfort it provides students. You can add a few things to the reading area so students want to cuddle up with a good book.
- Bean Bag Chairs
- Fluffy Pillows
- A Rug
- Bucket Chairs
- Flexible Seating (Wobble Stools, etc.)
- Curtain if Allowed
- Plush Animals
- Repurposed Couch Cushions
Teachers have also found small futons or couches that work perfectly in larger classrooms. Some classrooms don’t have the space for fancy shelves and furniture, but kids love cushy pillows and mats just the same! The plush animals are great for story retelling as well. You can find many character plushies online that kids will love.
Organize Your Books in Bins
Most of your classroom books will likely be housed in this area to give students optimal access. Instead of throwing them on the shelves willy-nilly, consider organizing them in bins with appropriate labels. Teachers collect their books in many different ways. Some organize them alphabetically, others sort them by genre, and others place them in bins based on famous authors or subjects. Regardless of how you sort your bins, show students this method so they know how to find books when they search.
Try these Boho Rainbow Library Book Bin Labels if you want to use a rainbow theme in your classroom library. There are 123 pre-made levels to choose from and print. So there’s a little of something for everyone!!
Celebrate Read Across America
If you are midway through the school year and see no point in setting up a reading corner until the new school year, think again. Any time of year is the perfect time to set up a reading corner. Read Across America is celebrated every March and can efficiently serve as an excellent reminder for students to read, read, read!
The initiative started in 1998 and celebrates all types of reading, from textbooks to chapter books to magazines and even newspapers. Any reading being done is excellent reading! So please set up your reading corner in the classroom and invite students to read their little hearts out.
Providing students with an inviting reading corner in the classroom will encourage their love of reading. It’s more fun to read on comfy furniture and pillows than it is to sit on hard desk chairs and stools. So give them a space they can enjoy when it’s their turn, and have fun reading!
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