Gradual Release of the Classroom Library

Course Details

Is there any work more joyful than sorting through books and imagining the pleasure they will bring to your students?

Yet creating a beautiful library design is just the beginning. The most lovely classroom library in the world is only the starting point for getting books in the hands of students. Some children will eagerly browse books in the classroom library from day one. Others struggle to find books they will enjoy, or rapidly take and discard books without even skimming through them.

How can you ensure all students thrive when it comes to browsing and selecting books in the library? Library design matters. But just as crucial is teaching students how to use the library in the early days and weeks of school, through carefully designed minilessons, book browsing activities, and individual conferences that help students learn how to sort and select appropriate books on their own.

This self-paced course will help teachers and literacy coaches with some of the most challenging questions they face when it comes to the classroom library. You’ll learn how to:

  • design a classroom library that is inviting,
  • “gradually release” books and bins to build interest and scaffold learning,
  • enlist students in organizing and maintaining the library,
  • highlight nonfiction texts in creative ways,
  • weed books before the school year begins, and
  • add and delete books and bins throughout the year as you tailor the library to student needs.

Bonus segments highlight ways to:

  • organize libraries for kindergartners,
  • design libraries that support struggling readers, and
  • build a classroom library with a limited budget.

The course includes many videos and print features on best practices in classroom library design, minilessons for early in the year, conferences with students about books and the library, and much more.

Your instructor Bitsy Parks will take you into her primary classroom in Beaverton, Oregon for a close-up look at how she organizes and then gradually releases the library to students over days, weeks, and months. She’ll provide lesson tips, strategies, and templates to help you plan and makes choices about when to introduce bins and browsing skills. You’ll end the course with the information and resources you need to integrate instruction on how to use the library into your daily minilesson and conferring routines.

You’ll be learning from some of the most respected teacher authors in literacy education today through the print and video components of the class. These authors include Stephanie Affinito, Ann Marie Corgill, Shari Frost, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan, Debbie Miller, Mandy Robek, Franki Sibberson, Andrea Smith, and many others.

Because the course content is so extensive, participants will have access to the course and all materials for an additional two months beyond the course end date. A three-month trial Literacy Leadership membership is included in the course fee, enabling participants to receive new and updated resources delivered weekly to their inboxes through the Big Fresh newsletter.

A thoughtful library plan and gradual release to students fosters independence all year long. Join us and learn how to have your most successful library launch ever.

Course Curriculum

Part 1: Classroom Library Design
Part 2: Involving Students with Minilessons
Part 3: What About Nonfiction?
Part 4: Refining, Weeding, and Reassessing Throughout the Year

Meet Your Instructor

Bitsy Parks

I am a first-grade teacher in Beaverton, Oregon. I am also an adjunct instructor for reading assessment and comprehension classes at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I have taught grades 1-6 (except for grade 4!) in my 22 years in the classroom. I write articles for Choice Literacy about my classroom when I’m not chasing after my four children and Black Lab Duke with my husband Charlie.

My fun fact? I I once rowed in a two-person boat down the inside passage that runs between Skagway, Alaska and Seattle, Washington. I only rowed the Skagway to Juneau portion of the trip, but my soon-to-be husband rowed the entire passage.

Enrollment Options

Denotes discounted member pricing

Course Only

This purchase includes all course materials with access for two months, as well as a three-month trial Literacy Leadership subscription.

$179.00 Add to Cart
Gradual Release of the Classroom Library + Annual Membership

Access to course for two months plus a one-year Literacy Leadership membership, a savings of $50 over individual purchases.

$279.00 Add to Cart