I’m a teacher. I love books. My students love books. We have lots of books in our classroom. For the past 5 years, I have fought the clutter that was our classroom library. Books were crowding the shelves, and all that was visible was the spines. Students had no idea what variety of books was available, and they constantly left books on the floor because it didn’t seem as though there was room to replace them on the shelves. But no more. After months of work, I can finally say that my new classroom library is organized!
I originally thought about using one of the fancy online resources to level my books and do a leveled library. That didn’t work because many of my books are too old to have a bar code, so I couldn’t scan them and would have to enter every bit of information by hand. My time is too scarce a commodity for that to be profitable.
So here is what I did do, with the help of some students and a teacher’s aid.
I got rid of trash. The books that were incomplete all went out the door.
We repaired any books that needed to be mended.
I bought a BUNCH of baskets at the dollar store. They were two for a dollar, but it was worth the cost for the final product!
I printed these labels from Mrs. Freshwater’s Class. I personalized them with the following categories.
Biographies & Autobiographies Classics Fairy Tales & Legends
Jokes & Poetry Mysteries Quick Reads
Picture Books Faraway Lands Animals
Historical Fiction Bible Books Science
Science Picture Books Newberry Dogs & Cats
Teacher’s Favorites Horses Magazines
History Chapter Books by Author alphabetically
Each basket was labeled with a sticker. We sorted the books by category and labeled each with the appropriate sticker. Now the students can easily replace each book in the correct basket with little effort.
One of my super organized 4th graders took the time to carefully fill each basket. Any extras that don’t fit in baskets are put away and I will rotate them throughout the year.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT!
So far, the students have done a great job of keeping books in the correct baskets. They say it is much easier to choose books because it is easier to see the covers. I have heard numerous comments about the “new” books they have discovered. How happy it makes my teacher’s heart to see them happily reading books that they never knew were right there in our reading corner!