Gradual Release of the Primary Classroom Library


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 into 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 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.

What You’ll Learn

  • 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.
  • Add and delete books and bins throughout the year as you tailor the library to student needs.

What You’ll Get

  • four keynote sessions
  • access to 30+ site articles and videos to deepen your learning about classroom design, minilessons for using the classroom library, conferences with students about books and the library, and much more
  • PDFs to guide you in the gradual release of your classroom library with your students
  • a Certificate of Completion indicating five hours of professional learning
  • Bonus segments highlight ways to
    • organize libraries for kindergartners,
    • design libraries that support struggling readers, and
    • build a classroom library with a limited budget.

More Details

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 make 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 course. 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.

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.

This course is included with Classic Classroom, Literacy Leadership and Literacy Team memberships.

Course Curriculum

Classroom Library Design

Bitsy shares some basic principles for designing your classroom library with an eye toward gradual release to students.

Involving Students with Minilessons

Bitsy shares how she scaffolds student understanding of the library with minilessons and gradual introduction over the first days, weeks, and months of school.

What About Nonfiction?

Bitsy explores the place of nonfiction in classroom libraries.

Refining, Weeding, and Reassessing Throughout the Year

Bitsy shares how teachers can build assessment of the library and ongoing change into their plans all year long.

Meet Your Instructor

Bitsy Parks

Bitsy Parks has been an elementary school teacher for more than 20 years. She is a first-grade teacher in Beaverton, Oregon, where she finds joy in nurturing young students to discover their reading and writing identities and build a foundation for a love of learning. Bitsy has degrees from Colorado College and Lewis and Clark College. She is an adjunct instructor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$59.00 Purchase Access

Get access to all book guides and Choice Literacy courses with membership.

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