Organizing your books

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Miss Kirby, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    How are the books in your classroom library organized? I have a variety of books, fiction and nonfiction but mostly fiction, leveled in tubs for the kids to choose from. I also have a bunch of nonfiction books that I have on my teacher shelf organized by themes. I really want to have those books available for kids next year. Maybe pull out the books I'm going to use for read alouds to make sure they don't get lost or ruined. What are some ways you organize your books? I was thinking for my nonfiction books:

    Animals and Habitats
    Ocean
    Insects and Spiders
    Space
    Weather
    Earth
    US History
    World History
    Biographies

    And then I was thinking about having tubs for folk tales/fairy tales, poetry, holidays, etc.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    About 35% of my library is leveled fiction. The rest is in author baskets, genre baskets (fairy tales, poetry, etc), non-fiction topic baskets...
     
  4. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I pretty much have all my books sorted - except for the leveled books. So it should be easy to put together once I get bins and more bookshelves. Hey, how do you label your books also, so the kids know where to put them back?
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The leveled books in my room all have the letter of their level on them (you can use colored dots, labels, or just marker it on...) The other books don't really have any identification on them (although I have colleagues that label every book with stickers- one makes special labels on the computer!) - I count on the kids knowing where they took the book from! Occasionally we have library basket clean out day where we re-organize!!
     
  6. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I do the same with my leveled books. I guess it should be OBVIOUS where to return a book in the other tubs. Like, if you are reading a book about penguins then of course you are going to put it in the animal tub! However I don't think some of my first graders now would be able to even do that. Haha.
     
  7. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I just found my book bins on Ikea's website! I got them at a dollar store for double the price.... fancy that.

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/57192396

    I have the blue ones. Maybe I can have my fiction books and leveled books in blue bins, and my nonfiction books in red bins. Hmm. I'm itching to organize.
     
  8. mrsmoore

    mrsmoore Rookie

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    To help my kids put the books back in the right spot, I use round stickers (like the garage sale stickers). For my animal books, they are labeled in the upper left hand corner with ANI. Then, I put the label the basket they are located. It helps go through a basket quickly to make sure all the books are in the right spot. I tried doing color coding, but I had too many different sections and not enough colors!
     
  9. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    That is a good idea to use the colored dots with a "code" for the bin the book goes in. I think I'll do that!
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Can't believe how inexpensive the IKEA bins are!! Nice size, too!
     
  11. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    I have nonfiction tubs like you listed (science, animals, history, etc) but then I also have colored tubs that divide chapter books (beginning chapter, chapter books, advanced chapter books). I also have a bin for each letter of the alphabet to put books by the first name in their title for the ones that don't fit into a category (ex: No David No, Miss Mary Mack-books of that level). If I have a lot of book by an author or series they have their own bin (Junie B Jones, Cam Jensen, Magic Tree House, Beverly Clearly, etc).

    I have them labeled with a file folder sticker along the binding that matches the label on the bin they belong in.
     
  12. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Yeah I can fit TONS of books in there! I see a trip to Ikea in my future this summer. :)
     
  13. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Good idea, I have a lot of different chapter book series too. I should get smaller bins for the chapter books. Even though I have them leveled it would be nice if the series were together.

    I'm so excited!
     
  14. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I had my first trip to IKEA a few months ago. They built a new one in Orlando. The kids section is awesome!

    I did however find cute blue and red bins from walmart. They are fabric and have a clear label holder. The labels are a little smaller than a business card.
     
  15. mrsmoore

    mrsmoore Rookie

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    I organize mine by series also. It really helps motivate those kids that only want to read Boxcar books or Arthur books. It also helps me know where to buy more books. I know I am low on sports books for boys!
     
  16. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I organize my library by genre, series books, authors, non-fiction topics etc. But the majority of my library is leveled by independent reading levels or "just right books". Every student in my class knows their independent reading level and they read books from those levels. For example, if I am a J-K Fountas & Pinnell level reader, I know to choose books that are in the J-K basket. Every J-K book is labeled with a "black dot". Therefore, I know these books with the black dot on them are my "just right" books.
    I have alot of baskets that are leveled by independent reading levels from levels C-D all the way up to M-N. My readers' levels vary that much. So we have to have tons of books for them to read.
    Let me tell you, it took alot of colored dots to put on every book, but it was well worth it because my kids are very independent and they choose their own books to "book shop" for the week. And they choose their "just right" books to take home.:)
     
  17. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I'd like to find out the specific reading levels of books I already have in my classroom, that are not labeled with a reading level. Is there a place to look for that info?
     
  18. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Most of my books I can level through this website: http://src.scholastic.com/ecatalog/default.asp?UID=E42E4DCF302D41E8AB70BD53EA6AC882&subt=0&Test=NA

    Young Teacher, I organize my leveled books similar to you! I feel pretty good about how things are going there. I just need to figure out all my other books.

    Are kids required to take a certain amount of just right books? I tell my kids to take five just right books, and a couple easy or challenges. What about books out of the other tubs? How many can they take?
     
  19. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I get all of my levels from the Fountas & Pinnell book "Matching Books To Readers". It gives you titles of thousands of books along with the levels. I also use the Scholastic website mentioned. I've even used this leveling system on A to Z.
     
  20. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Thanks YoungTeacher! I'll have to invest in this book, or maybe see if I can borrow it.
     
  21. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    My kids are required to "book shop" for at least 10 books on their level which they keep in their personal book baskets. I do this so that they have enough books to last them for the week. They only "book shop" once a week. They are also welcome to choose "Look Books" to keep in their baskets. "Look Books" are books that they can read for free reading, DEAR time etc. only. Not during Reading Workshop. So they can take up to 3 "Look Books" from other baskets. They also have Literacy Work Stations which gives them time to read books that may not necessarily be on their independent reading levels, but they may have an interest in like non-fiction books, series books etc.
     
  22. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Mine are organized and labeled into baskets based on theme or author. I have a basket of ABC books, Mercer Mayer, Easy Readers, etc. Then I have my own books I use for read alouds organized by time of year/theme I use them. These are in crates. Depending on the book I do put them on our theme bookshelf (one of those wooden open-faced shelves). I also check out library books to put on that shelf. They stay up for as long as we are studying the theme. Next year I do plan on adding more books to the classroom library but that is more of a summer project! :)
     
  23. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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  24. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oh woe is me . . . .

    I am terrible at organizing my books. Once I get them organized, the kids destroy the organization! Right now my whole room is in a big mess because we have to rearrange everything for some repairs. I hope to learn from all of you some great things. Thanks for asking this question!
     
  25. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I wish we had a kids day off so teachers can do some "spring cleaning" and reorganizing! Now is a time when my room gets so disorganized! It's pretty much full of "organized messes". Oy.
     
  26. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    My room is what you would call "lived in." :lol:
     

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