When I had my own classroom, I spent a lot of time, money, and energy trying to create a classroom that was engaging and motivating for my students.
As a language arts teacher, I focus a lot on my classroom library. I strive to make an inviting space full of books my students actually want to read! I am proud of my several bookshelves overflowing with books, and regularly purchase (even now) new novels for my classroom. I was fortunate to work in a district where the Home and School Association provided LA teachers with copies of the Rebecca Caudill books each year. When I have a classroom, I promote the Scholastic Book Clubs and used the bonus points to purchase new novels. When I decided to start book clubs, I visit the Scholastic Warehouse Sale and purchased multiple copies of the books I know they love to read so they could have multiple options at their fingertips.
I purchased big pillows, bean bag chairs, and a rug to make the space inviting and comfortable for my students as they sprawl across the floor with books in their hands. I decorated the walls with 3-D lollipops advertising the titles of suggested novels, creating a visual book recommendation list. I also kept a binder of student recommendations that my students browsed through regularly. Posters of reading strategies hung on my walls to guide my struggling readers.