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postheadericon Organizing Your Classroom Library (Part 1)

 

It's back to school time and time to get the classroom organized! One of the most important parts of the classroom is it's library, rich with literature with lively characters and stories that can take our student's imaginations anywhere. 

How is your library organized? Where do I get books to put into the library? Let's explore how to create a great classroom library. 

I attended a FREE webinar hosted by Really Good Stuff, on how to organize a classroom library. It was a great webinar!  If you decide to attend this FREE webinar, you may want to take notes. She shares some great apps and websites for books and leveling the classroom library books.  She also shares some great resources for the classroom library, as well as how and where to get books for your classroom library. 

 

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Let's Get Started! 
 

1.Decide on a space

Where will the library be? Where will the shelving and books fit? Where can students sit and read independantly or with a partner? 

 

2. Make it accessible and welcoming to all students

When you set your classroom library, make sure the library is easily accessible to all students. With the little ones, you don't want to use shelving that they can't reach (or can climb). 

We also want this space to be welcoming to all our students. Perhaps, put a rug there, bean bag chairs, or just simple mats for them to sit on while they read.

Perhaps, decorate the space, so that it is a warm and welcoming place in the classroom. 

Provide book displays that are themed around a topic. 

 

 

3. Books, books, and more books! 

Now, that you have the space thought out and you have the shelving for your books, it's time to put the books in the library. You want to keep in mind, the students in your class read at different levels. Some may be reading picture books, while others are reading chapter books. They are all at different independant reading levels. So, make sure there are books accessible for all the different reading levels you may have in your classroom.

 

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Where can I get books?

 As teachers, we are always on the hunt for the perfect book. Books to use with your seasonal theme,books to promote character, books to use as part of your science/math/history units. Let's face it, classrooms NEED lots and lots of books. 

 

 

There are some great resources for books: 

 

1. Scholastic Book Clubs and Warehouse Sales

 

If you aren't already a member of the Scholastic Book Clubs, sign up!  As your students purchase books, the teacher accrues points to purchase free books for the classroom. Throughout the year, they have some great offerers on free books. 

 

2. Check your local library

Libraries often have book sales. You can get great books for just cents at the library. 

 

3. Goodwill, Dollar Store, consignment sales and thrift stores

You can get some great deals at thrift and consignment stores. You can get books for 50 cents. Last year, at the Dollar Store, I bought Olivia books for a dollar. So, as you are out and about, stop at a thrift store or a second hand store and see what treasures you can find. 

 

4. How do I sort the books in my library?

Most libraries use bins. Bins help keep books sorted and organized. 

 

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There are so many different ways to sort books. It's really whatever works for you and your students. 

In younger grades, some may sort books by season, some may sort books by author. Some may sort by topic, while others simply sort by reading level. 

In our school, we sort by reading level. We have Accelerated Reader in our building. Each book has a small colored circle sticker on it. The color designates the reading level of the book. In this library, there are 5 different levels of books. The students know what color the are reading and go to that bin to take books to read, which are at the reading level. 

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This library is sorted by authors, topics, and titles. 

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There are many ways to sort books:

fiction/nonfiction

biography/autobiography

seasonal

Caldecott and Newbery

by author

sciences

history

poetry

by reading level

And…Don't forget a bin for Class Made Books! 

 

 

5. Labeling

There are so many ways to label bins and books. A colleague had these labels in her library. I loved her labels! She used binder rings to attach the labels to the bins. This is great because she can easily take the labels on and off and re-use the bins if needed. 

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This teacher, used index cards to label her bins. 

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Five easy steps to organize a clasroom libary! How do you organize your library? Educator Station would love to hear from you! Share your ideas and comments by clicking on the red  "Contact Us" tab on the top of the page. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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