Monday, 19 June 2017

Monday Motivation - Classroom Library Organization and Tips

Hey folks! I'm here to link up with Teacher by the Beach for her weekly Monday Motivation link up. Today is all about classroom library organization!

I am currently finishing up my mat leave so all I have for pictures is my classroom library from last year. The organization itself will stay the same, but I am moving into a new, bigger classroom (it used to be a kindergarten classroom) and getting some new furniture, so the look will be a bit different. Once I get it all set up in August I will share some new pictures!

My principal has given me permission to buy three shelving units for my new classroom, so I'll be getting these three IKEA Kallax shelves to hold most of my library. (I might end up getting another one or two of the smaller ones to fit all my book bins.)

Here's what my classroom library area looked like last year. Cozy carpet with pillows, small table with stools, basket of holiday/theme books. My organization system came from Ladybug's Teacher Files. I found her blog when I first started teaching first grade. I loved her organization and colour-coding. It was just amazing. I used her idea of numbering the baskets of books. (She mentions that she heard about that idea from the Daily 5 book.)

My books are organized by topics, series, and authors. I have about 50 different baskets of books. I used the Sterilite Ultra Medium Baskets. I got them from Canadian Tire, but you can find them on Amazon too. I've had them for six years now and they are still going strong. They are super durable and a perfect size.

Each of my labels has a title, a picture, and a number. The title tells what series/author/topic is in the basket, the picture corresponds to it, and the number just orders my baskets. Each book has a matching sticker with the number of the basket and the picture that matches the basket. So if students have an Elephant & Piggie book like the one below, they can look for the basket with the matching pigeon image or they can look in order for the number 32. The numbers help, plus it builds a bit of number sense too while they are putting their books away! "This is 32... it's not at the beginning and it's before 50... it's sort of in the middle!" 

The labels actually wrap around the spine of the book and the back of the labels have my class, my name, and the reading level. (Half my books still have my maiden name on it. lol. Oh well! That's what I get for changing my name. But Ross is soooooo much easier to spell and say. Haha!) The reading level is more just info for me--I don't make the students choose based on their levels. They have free range in choosing the books they wish to read. Interest + Choice = Engagement. 

I do have a leveled section that I use for home reading. Students take a book home from here each night (I tell them what letter to choose from), they read it and record it in a log, and then change the book the next day. This is not my favourite system--I dislike students knowing their "level" and having to choose from there, but I haven't quite figured another way to handle that yet... Any thoughts on home reading?

Each student has a book box where they keep their poetry folder, sight word practice, and independent reading books. I let them keep five books from the classroom library in here. They may exchange them at any time. I don't do "shopping days". Some kids will keep a book forever, others may change their books ten times a day. As long as they are reading, it doesn't bother me in the least.

I have a large collection of character stuffies (even more that aren't on display here...). Last year they were on a high shelf (I was in an old Science lab), but next year I will display them on top of the tall IKEA shelf.

I have always wanted a couch in my classroom library area and ever since I saw Schoolgirl Style's room I knew I wanted the IKEA Klippan. It's the perfect shape and I love how low it is. Perfect for firsties. Plus bonus the cover is removable so I can just throw it in the wash anytime I need. I kept my eyes open on Kijiji and found one for a decent price. My awesome parents even picked it up for me and delivered it to my house. So now it is just sitting in my garage until I can move it to school in a few weeks! Woo hoo!

Then I found this Poang Children's Chair in the clearance section for 30% off in great condition, so I got it for my reading corner too. (Yes, my classroom is like 90% IKEA. So what? lol)

As much as I don't want my time at home to be over, I am soooo excited to go and set up my new classroom! :) Don't forget to stop by Teacher by the Beach for more library organization ideas!

1 comment:

  1. I SO wish I could have a couch!! I can barely even fit myself into my room and I love those Ikea shelves! I might have to get them. My shelves are getting all bendy! I wonder how many of my bins I could fit ... hmmm