Thursday, July 31, 2014

Livening up the Classroom Library

Ten years ago when I was just starting my third year of teaching I decided to take on the daunting task of organizing my classroom library. I will never forget the endless hours I spent buried in piles of books.  First, I should mention that my classroom library collection was huge for a fairly new teacher. Second, this had little to do with me and a lot to do with the fact that I "inherited" a classroom full of books when I was first hired in my school. I was very excited about this but with no organization system it was IMPOSSIBLE to even use my library. Needless to say it was 100 percent necessary that I sorted them out.
Fast forward 10 years.. My classroom library is a fully organized and functional system.  I spend a few lessons at the start of the school year teaching the students all about the classroom library, how to borrow books, return books, etc in an effort to keep it together.  This year I am going to assign two or three students to be "Librarians."  Their classroom job will be to help any students with the borrowing/returning process. I'm hoping that if they are watching each other they will be less likely to "stick" a book where ever they please. Fingers crossed...

This year I decided I am going to liven up my classroom library a bit.  First, I stopped in the dollar tree and was excited when I found 30 perfectly sized bins all in the SAME COLOR!! That is so rare especially at this time of the year when teachers are raiding all the local Dollar Spots for storage and organization purposes.  I guess this was my lucky day.  I'm using the white bins for my library and I haven't decided yet on the other colored bins but they seemed like they were the perfect size for something??

This year I am transforming my space into a Polka Dot Themed Classroom. To go along with that I have made Polka Dot themed Classroom Library Labels.  In my room I level the books by Guided Reading Levels A-Z and then into genres and categories as well.  Here is a preview of my Classroom Library Labels. You can download them from my TpT store.  I included 55 category/genre labels. I really racked my brain to think of as many as I could but in case I missed something that you have in your classroom, I included a blank page as well for you to fill in yourself.  

And here are my book bins ready and waiting to be filled with books. I haven't been into my classroom yet to begin setting up. We have a full month left of summer vacation and I don't want to rush it away too quickly.

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