A new bookshelf in my preschool classroom

My indoor classroom does not have a lot of space so I have been working on ways to try and provide the centers/environment I really want my kids to enjoy and at the same time, not make things too crowded…

One of the changes I made was to remove a large, but very nice bookshelf, out of the classroom and add this “book shelf” on my wall…

I borrowed this idea from Corner House Blog and even followed her suggestion to go to Home Depot to get the materials and have them cut the Vinyl guttering into the right size for me. Funny thing was, when I asked if they could cut the guttering into three pieces for me (I gave them the lengths I needed) – they said that the guttering could not be cut – that it would splinter or possibly shatter if they ran it through the saw.   So I whipped out my Iphone and logged into Corner House Blog and said, “well this Home Depot didn’t have a problem!”  After looking at the blog post, they miraculously cut the guttering for me! I was so excited!!

My husband attached the guttering on the wall so it wouldn’t fall off (which is what would have happened if I put it up).  The guttering is light weight – so my students and I had a little chat about how to take care of the shelves and set some rules.  We haven’t had a problem and my students love it…

By |2012-01-11T23:29:47+00:00January 11th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Amy M January 12, 2012 at 12:20 am - Reply

    I did not read your blog for quite a while and I think I missed something… DId you start your own preschool? Sorry for being nosy but just had to ask. 😉

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 12, 2012 at 7:50 am - Reply

      Yes, I started my own preschool just this year:)

      • Amy M January 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        That is wonderful!! I am happy for you. 🙂

  2. Trisha January 12, 2012 at 12:42 am - Reply

    Neat idea! So did Home Depot use a hack saw or the electric kind?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 12, 2012 at 7:48 am - Reply

      Electric saw:)

  3. Leeanne A January 12, 2012 at 7:08 am - Reply

    I just love this idea – one of my favorites!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 12, 2012 at 7:50 am - Reply

      Thank you Leeanne:)

  4. Vanessa @Pre-K Pages January 12, 2012 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Your new bookshelves look lovely Deborah! I have had plastic gutter shelves for many years, my husband used tin snips to cut them to size in the parking lot of Home Depot so we could fit them into our sedan 🙂 I first heard about this idea from Jim Trelease, author of The Read Aloud Handbook. Here’s a picture of a few of my shelves https://www.pre-kpages.com/classroom_photos/

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      I didn’t realize you have been using them too Vanessa! I absolutely love them!!

  5. Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam January 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! I think bookshelves that have the books facing out are best for younger children. It makes it so much easier for them to find a book they would like to read.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      It is true – my kids are reading books they hadn’t noticed before. It is so much more pleasing than books all jumbled up on a floor shelf:) I think because they are on the wall, I tend to pay more attention to how they are organized and presented too!

  6. Rockabye Butterfly January 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Awesome! I love the part where you whipped out your iPhone and proved that another person did it! haha! You got what you wanted , good for you! These are awesome shelves, I love this idea of a “book wall”. Takes up less space than a chunky bookcase that jets out, and creates more light by taking out a piece of furniture. Plus, the kids get to see all the front of the books, making it easier to find their story! Love it!! :))

  7. Joan January 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    What a great idea, Deborah and what determination, too! LOL!!!! I would love to see more ideas about utilizing space in a very small classroom which I also have!!!

  8. Gabby Turner January 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Great Idea. Love it!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Thank you Gabby:)

  9. ATITEBI F.B January 13, 2012 at 6:02 am - Reply

    This will enable me to make my classroom appears more neater and beautiful.T HANKS for bringing light into my business

  10. lisa March 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    are the corners sharp?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      You can purchase pieces that fit over the ends to make the ends smooth in the same place you would buy the guttering.

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