Thursday, August 4, 2016

How to Manage Your Classroom Library

I love books.  Seriously, LOVE books...and if they are children's books, then I am a bit nutty. I might be a hoarder.  When it comes to books, it is all possible!

Over the ten plus years that I taught, I amassed a pretty large collection of books for my classroom library. So let's chat about how I managed the madness!

Here are a few pictures of how I organized my classroom library over several different years.

I had a very loose classroom management system for my library. Each of my students had a book box.  I reused these year to year.  Each box had a number on it that correlated to the student's classroom number. I ordered mine from Really Good Stuff and I highly recommend them.  They had GREAT customer service.  However, if price is an issue, Wal-Mart is selling similar sets of 4 boxes for about $10.

The student stored their book boxes on a large shelf in my classroom.  One year I purchased a shelf because there was not one available in the school.  Another year, I was able to snag a district  provided books shelf and they fit wonderfully!

I always set my classroom up into 4-5 table groups. Then, each table was assigned a day.  Table 1 was Monday, Table 2 was Tuesday and so on.  On each table's day, they were able to do special things like sit around the room on the cushions and beanbags during workshop time, always were called to line up first, and were able to "shop for books."

Students "shopped for books" after they finished morning work or first thing in the morning. I did NOT allow students to take my books home or out of the classroom without special permission.   This rule alone prevented kids from losing my books.  I did send home books, but I sent home printable books, so I wasn't as concerned if they got lost.  Books also had to be kept in the book box when they were not in use. Students were not allowed to keep books from my library in their desk or on the corner of their desk.

I also explicitly taught students how to care for books.  This video that mimics Mo Willems' pigeon books is ADORABLE!

Wouldn't it be a great way to engage students before discussing how to are for books!?!?

For the most part, my classroom library pretty much ran itself.  I would do random checks to make sure students were reading appropriately leveled books AFTER I taught the lessons by The Sisters about book choice. I DID NOT choose to level my books because I feel student choice it VERY important and can hugely impact kids' reading abilities. Instead, I organized my books by topic,genre, or author.


If you would like to read more about how I organized my library and want a step by step guide, check out this blog post!  I helped a friend organize her library and blogged all about our progress!

There are a million ways to manage your classroom library.  Some will be much more strict than I ever was, and that is okay, too! How do you manage your classroom library?

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