You may have read previous posts here, about how the school I work in is currently raising funds to refurbish and restock our new library space.
Each classroom however, also has its own reading corner, with books, picked by the teacher as suitable for the age range being taught, and regularly changed by the teacher to make sure the children don’t get bored with what they are offered. The KS2 children have at least fifteen minutes of silent reading per day in class, and if they’ve finished a book, but haven’t got time to go to the main library and browse, the reading corner is a really valuable resource.
Year Four have pulled all the stops out this year with their reading corner, taking inspiration from Pinterest, which I’ve also blogged about on here as a brilliant tool for inspiring you in your reading, or literacy projects, both at home and at school.
Space, in our school, is at a premium. A Reading Corner is exactly that, a tiny slice of classroom, often crammed into a strange shaped part of the room where nothing else will fit. It is important to maximise every inch of space if you want to use it effectively – and that’s just what Year Four have done.
You can see the small amount of space the teacher and classroom assistant have to work with from this photograph.
I think they’ve done wonders.
On the left edge of the photo there is a simple, colourful chart which shows the teachers and the children which reading groups they are in. As they move from group to group, their names, on pegs, can simply be pegged onto the relevant section of the chart.
On the door, in the middle of the photo are two displays. The first is a laminated poster which tells the children what book their teacher is currently reading. This can be wiped off and rewritten as the teacher goes on to new material. I love this. It’s so simple, yet so effective, because it lets the children know that their teacher reads as well, and it’s not just them doing it because school says they have to.
Next to the this poster is the second display, a larger, iPhone inspired poster. There is an app space for each child in the class. They have been set homework to bring in a photograph of them reading. As they bring it in, each photo is cut to fit the app frame and mounted. I love the way it mixes simple craft with the idea of new technology that will appeal to the children, and also makes their experience part of the wider, reading experience. What child doesn’t love seeing pictures of themselves?
The piece de resistance of the whole area for me, are these fantastic display shelves made of simple offcuts of household guttering. They lift the books off the floor, where they were previously stored in boxes. They bring them to the children’s eye line and reach. They allow the children to browse clearly what they can read, and free up the floor for bean bags and cushions for the times they are allowed to read in comfort rather than at their desks.
All around the walls of the reading corner are cheerful, colourful posters which encourage reading and engage the children.
This is a brilliant use of materials and imagination to make a previously awkward space into a fantastic, inspiring part of a working classroom.
I love it.