Sunday, July 26, 2015

Organizing Your Classroom Library





This summer is about to come to an end for many of us.  Like you, I had many "classroom tasks" that I wanted to complete before the new year started.  One thing on my list was to tackle my classroom library.  Before now, my books were just randomly placed bookshelves and had no organization to them AT ALL!  People who know me well would find this out of character for me.  Organization is my middle name!  Anyway, my biggest dilemma was.....how do I want to organize my books- by reading level, subject, author, or genre?  I mean there are a million ways to organize a classroom library!  After much debate, I decided to organize my books by genre. Why?  Because I use a Reader's Workshop approach in my classroom, and I spend a lot of time teaching the students the characteristics of genres and encourage them to read across genres.

Here is a look at how I organized my library using clear baskets from Oriental Trading.















My book baskets are all labeled by genre.  I still have to put the finishing touches on my library before school starts. I plan to make labels to put on the books so the students will know what basket a book belongs in. ****If you would like to download a template of my labels, click here.


I don't know about you, but I have some books that I just use for instruction.  When I first started teaching, I placed all my books on the shelves for my students to checkout.  Unfortunately, I found that many of the books went missing, and I had to replace them.  Lesson learned!  For the books that I use as mentor texts or for literacy stations, I organized them by subject...on a different shelf.  :) 

To help the students learn more about the classroom library organization and about genres, I plan to use the first few weeks of school exposing my students to the different books from all the genres.  As a class, we will complete notes on each genre's characteristics (focusing on the plots, characters, and settings) of fiction.  For poetry and nonfiction books, we will look at structural elements and text features.  I will start by using my Reader's Workshop Folder resource the first week of school.  This file contains all of the genre note templates, as well as all the materials my students will need to track the genres they are reading throughout the school year.  Visit my TpT store for a closer look at this resource.

I am excited and ready for school to start!  I already feel like the school year has started out so smoothly.....and the students haven't even stepped foot in the classroom!  LOL!!!  For those of you that already have an organized classroom library, I applaud you.  You were already onto something!  If you haven't organized your library or if you don't like your current system, maybe this post will inspire you!

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16 comments:

  1. I just saw where you're from Benton! I am from Symsonia!

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    1. How cool is that? We are practically neighbors! :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Wow! I am your 500th follower on your blog. Time to celebrate! Your classroom library looks amazing. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your giveaway!

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    1. Woohoo!!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  3. Thanks for the ideas. I like your labels~

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  4. This helped motivate me to get organizing my library! Thanks!! rebeccasweeney81@yahoo.com

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  5. I just downloaded the editable library labels and I love them!!! I will definitely be using them in my classroom this year. Thank you so much.

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    1. YAY!!! I am so glad that you like them! :)

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  6. Oh my gosh! You have no idea how happy you have made me! I have been searching and searching for just the right editable labels for my book bins, and now I have found them. Thank you so much. Deb

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    1. You have no idea how happy this makes me! I am always so happy to hear that other teachers are able to use my materials in their classrooms. I hope your book bins look amazing!

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  7. Great organization! I love that you organized by genre. I read/ heard/ learned once that we are teaching our kids to be lifelong readers. When they grow-up and go to the library or bookstore, books would be labeled by level but by genre. It makes sense to introduce the idea to them from the beginning!

    My Bright Blue House

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  8. I teach first grade in Ohio. My personal classroom goal for this year is to organize my classroom library. I really like how you organized your's and maybe that will motivate me to get moving on mine (since the year is more than halfway over yikes!!!) My niece and nephew live in Benton. Did you, by chance, know two kids with the last name of Tack?

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    1. Hi Dianne,

      Yes, I THINK I know your niece and nephew! I coached your nephew when he was on the academic team in elementary school, I had your niece for Science in 4th grade, and they are my neighbors. ;) We live in the same subdivision. It is definitely a small world!

      Good luck organizing your library and thanks for stopping by! :)

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  9. What font is used for "organize" & "library"? Thanks

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    1. It's a lettering set purchased from TpT. It isn't a font because each individual letter is a graphic.

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    2. How do I get it? It's adorable.

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