Thursday, July 14, 2011

Organizing your classroom library

Is your classroom library difficult for your students to organize? If they are not able to keep it organized, it needs to be simplified. You have too much work to also be organizing the classroom library! Your time is much better spent creating engaging lessons for your students.

So, how to make a system that is easy enough for your students to organize?

It will take about an hour on your part. And that hour will be the last time your organize your books! Find a time when you have some students who want to help you. It might be lunch or after school one day.

Take all of your books and start putting them in piles. Sort non-fiction and fiction. Then, start taking the groups and sorting them into smaller and smaller groups. If you have a bunch of titles from an author, make that a group.

Once you finish with your groups, you should have about 5 to 15 books in most piles. You are now ready to use your student helpers.

Take some of the colored dots and hand them out to each student helper. They are to write the same number on the dot 20 times. (20 #1's, 20 #2's etc.) You then assign a number to each pile. The number does not matter!

Show the students exactly where you want the number placed on each book. They then place the number on the books for each pile. Place each completed pile in its own basket. Label the basket with the number and the topic.

You also should have the students share their basket with the class. Why? Because they are not very invested that those books stay organized!

I have the students place them cover facing forward in book bins. I use book bins so the cover of the books are facing out. I do this for the same reason cereals face out in the grocery store- it sells the book!

Now the bins each have the number and the topic. It is now easy for the books to stay organized!

This is just one simple thing that you learn in my class on The Daily 5 and Cafe! If you want to learn more, I would love to have you as a student. You will earn 3 graduate credits through the course.

If you just want to earn some credits without doing any thinking, then you might want to look elsewhere. The classes are not busywork, but applying what you learn to your own classroom.

Click here to learn more about these classes: The Daily 5 and Cafe.

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