Classroom Library on a Budget

Hey everyone! Here’s an oldie that I’d thought I’d bring out that was shared on my friend Denise’s Blog.  In this post, I discuss building a classroom library on a budget for teachers! Teachers are always scrambling to find good resources for their classroom library and I thought I’d share some budget friendly tips I’ve used over the years.

classroom library

I don’t know about y’all but my classroom library is always growing! My classroom library is like a hobby for me. In my free time, I love going out and searching for nice books! The trick is, finding a deal and using the resources that you already have!
One way I’ve grown an extensive library is using  Scholastic Book Clubs.  I use the online ordering system and parents can order books directly from the website. I tell my parents that it really helps our classroom when they purchase from Scholastic and typically it is less expensive than going to the big box stores.

Different Kinds of Print for Classroom Library

 I love using different kinds of text in the classroom so the children are exposed to anything and everything. For example,  I like for my students to be able to recognize text in the real world and WANT to read it.

There are several ways to do this. I have started making Printable Books to use in the classroom. These are books I can use as interactive read alouds to introduce or review a subject.
My  printable Graphs book was a huge hit this year in my classroom. Before we started our Graphs unit, I used this book as a read aloud. Then I put in my math book bin!
printable math read alouds
Here are a few more pictures of my Printable Math Books
printable books on counting coins
 One of my printable Science Books
In this  interactive read aloud, students learn weather standards and how weather affects the way we live.
 I have a large collection of magazines, brochures and menus as well in my classroom. These offer students the exposure to real world text. I received a lot of my magazines by going around to different libraries and asking to look through their discard pile. They usually throw out magazines after a few years!! This strategy is super helpful with building a classroom library on a budget!
Another trick is that I always save the books that come from kids meals! These are a great addition to the classroom library! This helps me with my diet as well! I always order kids meals if I am forced to eat at a fast food place. The toys go straight into the treasure box and the books into my library! I also ask my family and neighbors to save these books. They also go great for the treasure box!
One thing that I do is purchase high text coloring books. I usually find them at the dollar store.  I do this especially for those students who we are trying to get  to WANT to read, read ANYTHING. They do often ask to color them, but if you set the routine from the beginning and discuss that we do not color in these, you  should be fine. My first year of doing this it was hard, but I didn’t set the routine. Now that my routines are in place, it’s fine.  Some teachers let them color in them as a reward. I am thinking about trying that this year. It does actually work and you can get the students engaged in the reading process through high text coloring books. The purpose of this is to reach those students that have absolutely NO interest in reading.  These books make it fun for the students and they look forward to reading them (and let’s be real-coloring them!).
classroom library ideas
classroom-library on a budget
Another tip, I  check out our local Goodwill. They typically have books  3 for a $1.00! I only purchase books that are in great condition and am always finding great deals at Goodwill! My husband laughs at me for this..until I tell him I *could* go by them brand new for $8.00 a pop 😉 That gets him every time haha! I also go to garage sales, look on FB sale group sites and watch for teachers who are leaving the classroom.
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