Organizing My Classroom Library

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cjw4ua, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. cjw4ua

    cjw4ua Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2011

    I need help! I have hundreds, at least, trade books for my students that I have collected over my 14 years of teaching. My problem is that I have never found a great way to organize them. I've used AR levels. I've rotated them in and out according to topic. I've placed them in baskets by picture book, chapter book, etc. Can you help me out? Space is limited!

    Thanks,
    Cara:help:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I usually organize the series into baskets by series. Then the rest of my books I organize by genre. I used to use baskets for all my books, but now I just put them on bookshelves labeled by genre (each shelf is labeled a different genre). I put some books into baskets, but these are the books that I rotate out.
     
  4. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    I went through the same thing year after year, and I finally settled on genre. I still put the series books together too, and everything else goes by genre.
     
  5. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I switched to genre last year and love it! Of course, every few weeks I have to go through them and re-sort them, but it's not too bad; my kids know that if the library is left a mess, it closes until I can clean it. They hate that - I am always really busy!
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I love closing the library until I can clean it! What a way to make them keep it clean.
     
  7. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    It really works. I also have to "reorganize" the game cabinet if I find pieces left out after indoor recess so that "everything fits in there." That one kills them; I rarely have time for such an extensive project!
     
  8. janney

    janney Cohort

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    :lol: I'm going to have to try this next year! :thanks:
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Stupid rookie teacher question-How do you know where each book fits regardless of whether or not you use genre/themes/etc? Did you really go through and read them all? Or is there a magical list somewhere that I am missing out on? I have hundreds of books to sort somehow, and outside of keeping a series together, I have no idea how to start. :help:
     
  10. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    Jul 5, 2011

    I didn't read all of the books. I just took an educated guess based on the author, the title, the pictures, and the blurb on the back. Many books fit into more than one category, so I don't worry about it too much. One or two books that I couldn't decide on, I asked the librarian.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I too took an educated guess about where the books fit. They really could fit into multiple places. When stuck or needing more information I use: the book wizard by scholastic. It lists a lot about the book that you might need.

    In a pinch, I ask the librarian or my kids what they think. By the end of the year, they can organize my library for me.

    By the way, I love the game cabinet too!
     
  12. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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  13. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I honestly didn't put a whole lot of thought into categories... I had fairy tales, poetry, animal non-fiction, non-fiction, some series of novels, favourite authors, and then with all my other books, I just put coloured stickers on them... I didn't "level" them, but I did put yellow on the easier books, and red and blue... my problem was, I forgot which colour was hardest, and I'm pretty sure halfway through the year when I got a big shipment of books in from Scholastic, I switched which colour I gave to which level of difficulty.
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Ditto to everything mopar said!
     
  15. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jul 6, 2011

    This past year I leveled mine by genres as well in baskets on a book shelf, and then my nonfiction books were sorted into categories in other baskets that sat on the floor around the library area (yep, ran out of shelf space.) My picture books went on a large display shelf (the kind that magazines might sit on in the library) in no particular order. I chose two kids to be my librarians and all the "go backs" went into a bin for them to handle because they generally knew where everything belonged. Sure every once in a while I'd find a few books out of place, but overall I was really impressed with the responsibility that these second graders had in taking care of our library (and it saved me a TON of time.) This year, I'm thinking about Lexile leveling my books. Yes, I know a lot of you are against leveling books and letting kids choose what they want to read, however, we used a NWEA assessment and it tells us exactly what level each student is in. I think this would alleviate a lot of the trips to the library corner to trade books... you know the kids, pick one up, flip through it or "read" a whole chapter book in a day... I'm not really sure how to take it on and I'm kind of dreading the work that I'll have to put into it, but I think it'll be beneficial long term..... Thoughts...?
     
  16. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    I have two library areas - fiction and nonfiction.

    The children then decide what labels need to go on the bins and they get used to them.

    The library is truly my students' area - not mine. I don't care how they are organized... I just want the kids to be able to find what they are looking for! :)

    Each year I end up with some similar bins: animals, Clifford, plants.

    Other years I get some funny bins they decide on: Books to read on the floor (HUGE coffee table books), Just funny books, Gross stuff.

    I feel like this gives the kids a reason to dig through the books.
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That's a neat idea...I know that is what the sisters recommend doing, as well.

    I don't think I could give up that much control! I have so many books that it would be overwhelming for the kids to organize.
     
  18. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I think with young kids it would be beneficial for them to organize the books. With my older ones, they need to start to learn about genres of books so that's why I organize this way.

    I also lexile level my books---it's a big task, but I just started with one basket at a time. I do not organize by lexile level though. They are just there to let the kids know about what level the book is that they are reading.
     
  19. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Last time I counted I had well over 1,500 books in my room.

    They can do it. But... you really do have to dedicate a few days to it and give up a lot of control. :)
     
  20. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Ahhhhh, I don't think I could do that! Someday I think I may...Baby steps. ;)
     
  21. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Jul 6, 2011

    I've organized my library by genre and I have also numbered all my baskets. All the books in each basket have a circle sticker with the number of the basket where it belongs. It makes it easy for the kids to keep the library organized.
     

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