I teamed up with Oriental Trading to makeover a reading corner. I had to come up with a theme. At first, I was not sure how to make it inviting. And then.... I saw their circus/carnival theme!
I am in LOVE with this new reading corner!!! I know that students will need to learn some rules and procedures to using THIS center, like any other. The good news is that it will not be a boring reading corner anymore and students will look forward to reading.
TentI used a red and white striped table cloth to create the tent swoop and some mint lanterns for a splash of color.
Bulletin BoardYou can add an awning. Well, it's not really and awning, but it's a good way to decorate the wall space on top of the bulletin board. Just use a red and white striped table skirt to create the look. Then, add a multi-color pennant banner on the bottom of the bulletin board.
Circus Ring LeaderThe stand-up poster invites the children to the reading corner. I used the "Come One- Come All" message, but you can use whatever works for you.
Reading Center SignThis cardboard stand-up sign includes individual signs for the different areas of the carnival. I replaced the second sign with the word READ. I am thinking that the other signs can be replaced with other fun reading words. Another option can be to add words that point the students to different areas of the classroom (restroom, Math Center, Teacher, Writing Center, etc.)
Big Top Directional Sign
SeatingThe carnival theme alone is FUN. But I want students to take this center seriously and added a table and chairs where students can read their favorite books. A small piece of the table cloth was also used to cover this table. As a bonus, I added the Carnival Inflatable Body Bopper. It comes as a set of two. I'm only using one as a lounging chair. It looks like so much fun! Hmmm. How can students take turns using this lounging chair? Some students will not have trouble sharing. Others may need a little more structure. So if you need to, you can assign students to rotate by either using a timer or setting a schedule. To set a schedule, you just assign one student to the chair about once a week. So, if student A sits in the fun chair on Monday, student B will sit in it the next time that they visit the reading center. This is assuming that you assign students to groups when they rotate centers.
PrizesThe reading table has a popcorn box full of yellow ducks. They can be used in a couple of ways. One would be to pick a baby chick for every book that they read. Another would be to actually give them a little prize like that for EVERY book that they read on the first week of each month, or so. A huge bag of tiny ducks was already in this classroom but Oriental trading has many little prizes like these that can be used as rewards.
Bowling Sight WordsHow about using this giant inflatable bowling set for sight words? Just add the sight words of the week to the bowling pins. The pins are so large that I decided to only use three for now. Students can roll the bowling ball WHEN they are able to read ALL three words.
I hope that this reading corner gave you a little inspiration. You can only see one book shelf in these pictures, but there will be more around the perimeter of this center. Now, go browse the Oriental Trading website and see which theme you would like to use. Here's a link to their Reading Corners page :)