So I have spent the last 2 summers trying to organize my classroom library (this is very important since I teach reading to almost 60 kids and they need to find the latest Wimpy Kid book NOW!). Last school year I labeled my bins but didn't do the books. BIG MISTAKE!!! I can't believe I actually expected my kids to remember what genre a book was!!! I couldn't stand the constant questions!
Old Library with unlabeled books.
This picture was for my masters class. They are really good at pretending aren't they?
I spent all summer sorting and labeling books by genre and level. Each book has the DRA2 level and the Reading A-Z level on it. You can get both (more both books) on the
Scholastic Book Wizard here: http://www.scholastic.com/bookwizard/.
If I couldn't find the book level there I went to the Lexile Website http://www.lexile.com.
My school gave me a handy cheat card (that I forgot to take a picture of at work today) that corresponds all the different leveling methods so as long as I can find one, I have them all! I even made a spreadsheet so that when I get new books I can easily remember what other books I have and when I get doubles of popular books everything is already done for me. My 3rd graders this year (who I had as 2nd graders last year) quickly told me how much better the new system was. The smarites even asked "why didn't I do it this way last year"....if only.
This is my new and improved library...you also get a close up of the labels I made. Each book has a smaller version of the picture that matches the label. It also lists the genre and reading level.
So here is my new problem that I need to tackle this summer:
Non-Fiction books and Buddy Reading Books.
1. I didn't sort them last summer because I ran out of time/ got tired of sorting and labeling. So the kids know that books without labels are non-fiction. I have some Non-Fiction books that I don't want kids to put in their book bins. The books are tooo big and then there is a fight to put bins on the top shelf because, as you can see in the picture, an overfull book bin won't fit in the tiny cubby. So, do I just put them on a new shelf where you can't take those books (like I do dictionaries...which often mysteriously end up in book bins, no one puts them there, they just walk right it on their own). OR do I put special labels on them?
That shelf is my non-fiction shelf. It is usually a big mess. I think I had good librarians that week.
See what I mean about the tiny book bins. Funny thing is that Gorilla book he has in his hand is on the "do not put in book bin list". Also, you know that kid who has a really high reading level and his only goal in life is to find gross things in non-ficiton books and then share them with their teacher who is easily grossed out.....no you don't have a kid like that? Well I do and thats him.
2. My lovely 2nd and 3rd graders can't seem to understand the concept of putting two identical books back on the shelf right next to each other. Our buddy reading books have their own shelf that I forgot to take a picture of. I need some way to keep multiple copes of books together. Come to think of it those also mysteriously end up in book bins, there must be a book party in my room at night.