Saturday, May 7, 2011

Project Organization Phase 11: Class Library

There are a thousand websites out there that will help you organize your classroom library.  Most resource room teachers are in a tiny room and have a fairly small library to choose from.  I have a few group sets of books which I keep together on one bookshelf.  These are books that I use with whole groups and they are usually off limits for students to read on their own (in case I use it with their group later on).  I also have a collection of picture books which I use to introduce topics and teach strategies.  These books are also off limits to my students and they are kept on a shelf behind my desk. 

I have another collection of picture books, chapter books, magazines, and reading a to z books that my students can read whenever they have time.  My group sets and these books are organized by Fountas and Pinnell levels.  My students know their reading level and if they forget, they ask.  They want to read in their level.  I showed my students how to look up their books on scholastic's book wizard.  Back to the library organization...the printable reading a to z books are kept in baskets labeled with the level.  Series books are also kept in baskets (magic tree house, junie b jones, time warp trio etc...).  Any book that isn't in a labeled basket has the reading level written inside the front cover.  They are grouped together.  I cut long strips of construction paper and wrote a reading level at the end of it to mark where each level is.  

I know many teachers have their books organized by topic and genre but since I work with k-5 and I want my students reading at or around their level I chose to organize by reading level.  If you like the idea of using baskets, look at your local dollar store. 

If you are going to tackle this project you need to have a few hours to work.  You will need a computer, a sharpie, and baskets if you choose to use them.  You will also need some way to mark the shelves/baskets with reading levels.

1. Put all your books into piles around your book shelves. 
2. Make your labels - I chose to buy alphabet stickers and made a label for all 26 levels. Make it as creative and complicated or as simple as you want.
3.  Start looking up each book on scholastic.com/bookwizard.  When you find the level, mark it on the book and set it on the shelf with it's level label.
4.  Continue to do that until all your books are leveled.  Of course, some books will not be found on scholastic's website.  That's fine, leave those in a pile until you are done. 
5.  Now that most of your books are labeled and leveled, align them neatly on the shelves.  Make sure the shelves are clearly marked for your students. 
6.  Use Fountas and Pinnells books or google to find the levels for your remaining books.  Add them to your shelves as you find them. 
7.  As you buy new books, make it a rule that you level it before it goes on the shelf. 

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