Saturday, August 15, 2009

Classroom Library Make Over

Spent a lot of time today thinking, organizing, reorganizing my classroom library. At the end of the school year, I had packed up all my chapter books and harder biographies. When I looked at my carpet today, I knew it was still too many books. Debbie Miller, Reading with Intention encourages teachers to have things spread out within a classroom, including books. I kept this in mind as I worked today. After looking at my math standards I tackled this grouping of books first. Packing more up to come home for my girls and created five tubs of picture books related to our math curriculum. These are located right with my tubs of manipulatives for the children to use. Next to my pet turtle and guinea pig there are tubs about each of the animals, both fiction and nonfiction. I have a great collection of poetry books but I think they are too difficult for kdg. students but I wanted them available to me so I put them on the top shelf of a five shelf with spines showing in alphabetical order. I then decided my song tub and ABC tub would good to stay as is. Then I wasn't sure where to start fiction or nonfiction and I chose nonfiction, the stack was smaller. Beyond Leveled Books by Sibberson, Szymusiak, and Koch has a wonderful addition in their second edition about setting up a classroom library for K - 1st grade. I also found More Than Guided Reading by Mere very helpful. I've read only the chapters applicable to organizing classroom libraries and implemented these ideas. I prefer clear plastic tubs to house all of my books in groups so the children can view the covers more easily. I grouped similar books together by author, topic, theme. I tried to pull out some animal books that I had several of for that topic to make an interest tub. I had a collection of easier biographies and I made a collection of people books. I'm labeling the books with titles I think five year olds will be able to read easier; for example bugs for insects, spiders for arachnid. Tomorrow I'm going to return to finish up the fiction tubs also and then I will be making lots of labels. I'm trying to decide how I will or if I should sticker these books in tubs in a way to help the children put them back where they go. Third graders easily put their books back, anticipating kdg. could be different.


  1. Wow! Lots of great thinking on your part. Someone who does a lot of works with tubs as well is Katie DiCesare at Creative Literacy.

    Best of luck in your new adventure this year!

  2. Ok...I am ready to see some pictures of your space!! Mandy I am very sure it is fabulous. We can learn from you!!

  3. There is so much to think about when organizing books isn't there? Even though this is my third year in first grade, I still found myself looking through my books and making some new baskets as I've aquired more books. Good luck this year with your kindergarten class!