Reading "Bookshelf"

Today's post is going to be short and sweet (I know, I know...so unlike me!)  Anyway, I just wanted to share with you my little "Bookshelf" door that I have put up in my room.  I tried my hardest this year to instill a love of reading in my students and wanted them to have a place to record their reading.  In the past I have done "What Are You Reading Now?" book rings.  While I feel like they were a good place for the kids to write down their reading, they just weren't visual enough.  So this year, taking inspiration from this pin, I put up some butcher paper and was on my way.

This was VERY easy to put up in my classroom.  I just covered one door with brown butcher paper, painted some brown lines to look like a bookshelf, and was done.  I added a "plant" to the top and the READ letters, just to give it some dimension.  And that was it.

Using a book spine clip art I found for free on the web (I just typed in "Book Spine Clip Art" and it was the first one that popped up), I instructed my students to write any books that they finish this fifth grade year on the spine.  In their reading journals, I had them copy the requirements for the spine.  Basically, they put the book title and author.  Then, on the little bottom portion, they wrote their own name.  After that, the students just need to tape up the book spine to add to our collection.

The students complete these when they walk into class each morning during silent reading time.  If they have no book to add, they don't do one.  It is that simple.  The system worked out splendidly.  The kids love seeing the bookshelf fill up and they are so proud when they can contribute a book spine to the wall.

By mid year, it looked like this.

I also had a place to record the exact number of books that we had read.


At the end of the year, I did notice that most of the spines had come from the same few kids, so next year, I am going to have to think of a way to combat that it bit better.  Not sure what yet, but something will change slightly to make sure that everyone is getting up a lot to add book spines.

What is something you do to help foster a community of readers in your classroom?


18 comments

  1. I love this idea! But I have a couple of questions- were the student just reading chapter books or were they a.lowed to read picture books also? How did you keep them from putting up books they did not read? Thanks in advance for answering.

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    1. Perhaps you could ask them a few questions from the book to make sure that they've read the book.

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    2. The students were allowed to read any books they chose, as long as the books were at their reading level. Most did chose chapter books. As for not putting up books they didn't read, it was an honor code thing. I just trusted that they wouldn't...and really, I don't think anyone did put up books that they didn't read. There was no competition, no public "he read the most" type things, so there wasn't much incentive to put up a spine for a book they didn't read.

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  2. Dear Stephanie

    I love your idea too! I think that it's a great way to get students reading. I am an English teacher in Spain, so what I think I'll do to try and motivate them as I want them to put on there only English books, is that they'll also get a stamp or a sticker in their agendas as an extra sign of their achievement. Another motivating factor is that when their parents/family come to the school open day they'll be able to show them the books that they have read.

    Best regards,

    Rosemary.

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    1. I like the stamp/sticker idea a lot! Thanks for sharing that!

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  3. Hi! I love the visual way to show the class reading accomplishments. Something I did last year was have students write title, author, their name, and a 1-5 star rating on a quarter sheet form for each book they completed. rwch genre had a different color sheet. The forms were then posted alongside their corresponding genre information poster on my classroom library wall. Students reported that they used these mini-recommendations to find books they wanted to read. It was satisfying to see the wall fill up throughout the year, too.

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  4. I was thinking about doing something similar, but finding a way to differentiate genres. Maybe different shelves? Or all fantasy spines are purple, all sports spines are red, that sort of thing. I'm trying to find ways to encourage reading across the genres this coming year.

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    1. Color coding the spines is a great idea!

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  5. Can you email me the book spine clipart you used? I couldn't find one of just one book.

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    1. I didn't use one that had only one book. I used a clipart I found with about 5 books and just cut them apart.

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  6. Stephanie, I'm interested in the book spine clip-art as well. I'm willing to purchase it if you have a TPT store? Also, the link in the article to the pin you refer to isn't working. Can I get that from you? Thanks!

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    1. I just typed in "book spine clipart" into my browser and a free clipart of about 5 book spines came up. I didn't make it, so I don't have it in my store. It looks like that clipart I used was down, so I will have to find a new one for next year too.

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  7. Hello! I have been wanting to implement this idea since I first saw this blog post, but I have just not been able to find a good book spine template. I can't seem to find any that have just the spine and only have one book. If you could share the link that you found those, that would be wonderful! My email is MissMartinsClassroom@yahoo.com. Thank you!

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    1. I didn't use one that was a single spine clipart either. I just typed in "book spine clipart" and used one of those I found that was free. It had about 5 spines and I just cut them apart for the kid to use.

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  8. I can't help but notice all of the framed reading quotes that you are using to decorate. I love them! Where did you find them or how did you make them? Thanks!

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  9. Could I get a copy of your template of the reading book count that you kept track of books read in class? My email is tstortzum@yahoo.com. thanks!

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  10. Could I get a copy of your template of the reading book count that you kept track of books read in class?
    thanks!

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