Aug 28 2008

Reading Corner

This year, since I am teaching English, I decided to try to put together a fully fledged reading corner and classroom library for the first time in my teaching career. I have documented my efforts in gathering books from various locations this summer already, but last week has really been the week that everything came together.

I started the week with this:

books

(The whole library, arranged in stacks alphabetically)

and this:

RC1

(The sad, lifeless, small reading corner area)

I had two main tasks:

1. Label all of the books

2. Set up the reading corner physically (shelves, etc.)

I decided not to just label the books with my name and let it go. The two books in my stack with “Mrs. Moseley” (my 8th grade teacher) written on the side testify to how well that works. Oops. Sorry Mrs. Moseley.

I decided to print out labels, instead. They look like this:

label 1 label 2

label 3 label 4
Mostly the kids won’t mess with or take things that they know to be mine personally (rather than the school’s in general), so I figure that tie-ing each book directly to me can’t hurt my chances of getting them back eventually. We’ll see how well that works.

As you can imagine, writing all of the labels took a long time. I did it in spurts, finishing the last chunk on Friday. On Saturday another box of books arrived from my mom. Thanks mom, but aargh! ;)
Meanwhile, back in construction land, I had gotten myself in deep with another bright idea. A former roommate of mine had done wonderful things in her classroom and her school with rain gutter shelves. They’re cheap, and they’re a great way to display books outward, which encourages reading. I thought that they sounded like a great solution for the odd shelving requirements of the area I was working with.

Chris and I went to Lowes and picked up two 10 ft lengths of vinyl rain gutter and some cutters. (We then had to cut the gutters right there in the Lowes parking lot to get them to fit into the car. Nice planning, eh?)

I measured out the lengths I wanted
gutter 1

and started cutting

gutter 2

gutter 3

The resultant shelves looked fairly nice. The tricky part proved to be affixing them to the walls. The original plan was to install on two separate walls and a door. Cool. A trip to Lowes for drywall anchors and screws.

Hmm… the “self penetrating” (hee hee) drywall anchors don’t seem to be working. Time to borrow a friend’s drill! Also, back to Lowes for the appropriate size drill bit.

drilldrilldrilldrill….

Hey look! A stud!

drilldrilldrilldrill…

One wall complete!

drilldri– *horrible skreetching noise*

Ooookay… the other wall appears to be drywall over concrete. Never give up; never surrender! Back to Lowes for “Concrete blasters” and another drill bit.

drill… *whine*

drill… *whine*

drill… *whine*

Maybe I should just put the shelves on one wall and the door. There’s the ticket.

hammerhammerhammer *curse* hammerhammerhammer…

Ok, shelves on one wall and one shelf on the door. Sheesh.

The finished product:

RC 1

RC 2

RC 3

There you have it.

3 Responses

  1. chrisb

    That’s great. I love it. Wish I had the time to do those kinds of things.

  2. wow.

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