Thursday, February 16, 2012

Classroom Library

Organizing a classroom library is no small task.  There are so many ways it can be done; you just have to choose a way that works for you.  It is suggested that 1/3 of your library is organized by level and the other 2/3 is organized by topic or genre.  Here is my library.  
The first shelf is for my leveled tubs.  I have marked each book on the inside cover with the F&P reading level and my name.  I've put a sticker on the spine of each book that is color coded to each tub.  A-I are pink, J-L purple, M-O blue, P-R green, S-U yellow, V-W orange, X-Z red.  The books in these tubs are my fiction chapter books (Although I also have pulled some of the fiction chapter books to go in my topic tubs).  
The second shelf holds my magazines (also organized) and some of my topic tubs: Poetry, History, Space, Science, Tales, Animals, Biomes/Geography, and Fiction (picture books).  They have a range of reading levels and not necessarily marked with the levels.  Students are taught to select just-right books on their own, just like they'll have to do as an adult.
The third shelf holds dictionaries, thesauruses, and the rest of my topic/genre tubs: Various Non-fiction, Revolutionary War, holidays, sports, biographies, jobs, Mrs. O's favorites, Principal's Picks, Math &Language, Historical Fiction, and Books in a Series.  These tubs may change throughout the year based on what we are studying, and students can play a role in this decision.  
The tubs across the top of the shelves are for book clubs/research groups, etc.  When we did a unit on Nonfiction, the students picked topics and formed research groups.  My minilessons revolved around non-fiction and they were able to practice with their group's research books.  We then did a study on historical fiction, so they were put into historical fiction book clubs.  Each tub held the books and binder for the group.  We will soon be embarking on a Fantasy study.  Students are very excited to get started in the books they've chosen!

However you choose to organize your library, the important thing is to do it in a way that makes finding an interesting and good-fit book easy for the students.  

Read on! 

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