Monday, August 27, 2012

Classroom Library & Book Shopping

One of the most time consuming things about setting up your classroom can be organizing your classroom library.  This is how I manage it in my classroom. My handy mom and I (OK, she was the one who really did most of the work) built the shelves pictured above.  I have quite a few of them (on wheels!) and they have been perfect for my classroom.  I use plastic bins to house my books and have created labels for each bin to help keep things organized.   This being my 15th year teaching, I have acquired A LOT of books over my career (and I'm sure Amazon and Scholastic are thrilled that I keep adding to that number).
 In first grade, it is really important that students practice reading in "Just Right" books.  The top of my bookshelves are categorized by DRA level. The bottom shelves all have blue labels on them (that I made in Publisher) and are organized by category. The top shelf books all have a number written on the front cover (upper right corner) for easy re-shelving and for the books on the bottom shelves, I made stickers that have the same name as a bin they belong in (those stickers go on the back of the books at the bottom).
At the beginning of the year, I give each student their own white book box.  Ikea sells the best kind (5 for $1.99!!). You will need to reinforce the bottom with packing tape. I like the white because they can decorate them.  They use the box every day for Reader's Workshop and take the box home with them at the end of the year.

Once a week my students go "Book Shopping" so I make them a "Shopping List" laminated with their name.  Each week, I write the number of the (yellow) bin that I want them to shop from and they get to choose 3 books from the blue bins (they can read the pictures in these books, retell the story... etc). The laminating not only keeps these Shopping Lists (that double as bookmarks) nice all year, you can also write on them each week (I prefer using Vis a-Vis markers. They erase better than Expo on lamination).
Leveling your library will take a loooong time! I still have books I need to shelf but haven't had the time... I use Scholastic Book Wizard to help me level the books.  It is easy to use.  You just type in the book title (cross your fingers), hit 'search' and if they have the title, it will give you the level.  If you'd like to check it out, HERE is a direct link.

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