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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Classroom Library Organization

I am linking up with Jen over at Teacher by the Beach for her Monday Motivation.

This week is all about how you organize your classroom library.  I have a large classroom library.  I also don't have a lot of time. If you know me, you know I am a bit over the top with most things...for sure with organization.  But, I don't over organize my library.  Shocking, I know. 
I organize just enough so that I know where to find a book and so that the kids know where to return it when they have librarian job that week.  
I teach first grade, and that means I need a lot of different topics and levels of books.

I use baskets and themed stickers on the spine of the book that match the tags on the baskets.  I got the labeling product from Christina Mauro at A Tale of Two K Teachers.  Although, I can not find her product on the TPT site anymore, she has other great items.  

I DO NOT organize by level!!!  I do not even label levels either.  I teach my kids the 5 Finger Rule- Pick your book, turn to a random page and start reading.  For each mistake or struggle you have, put up a finger.  I tell them that if they get to 4 struggles, it may be too hard.  If no fingers go up, the book is probably too easy.  I do not tell them they can or can't read a book based on that rule though.  If there is a book they want to have in their bin, I let them go for it.  Why not!?  

I use leveled readers during our small group meetings and at other times of the day.  I assign those reads and that is when they get to practice reading on-level books.  They can also come to me and ask for me to give them some specific on-level books (which a few kids choose to do) for their bin.  The books they choose to be interested in, I feel, needs to be completely their choice.  I have book levels ranging from pre-k to about 7th grade.  I have a good amount of science books (as I teach at a STEM school) and those are super hard and full of tough vocab but have really cool and inspiring pictures.  I wouldn't want to tell a child reading at a kinder level that they aren't allowed to read/look through a science book because the text is too hard.  Who knows, maybe they will become the next Bill Gates because of the love of STEM that they grow starting with that cool book!

There are several others who posted along with Jen, Teacher by the Beach.  Go check out some of the other ways people organize their classroom library.  Each one has a different perspective.  Check them out!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I don't organize by level either. I DO have a lot of mine leveled from when our school did A.R. but now I don't really worry about it... my school now doesn't do A.R.

    1. Jen, it's crazy how schools are like that. I have learned so many different reading programs due to the switches they go through. I like that your class library is set up like a real library. Very neat. Thanks for commenting and for beginning this fun link up. :)