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Out With the Old, In With the New

Since the new year is upon me, I’ve taken stock of many things in my life. I’ve set personal and reading goals and then decided to set a goal for my classroom. My classroom library has been organized the same way for 4 years. I’ve liked it that way. It’s worked for me. However, many of the literacy books I read say that when students help organize the classroom library, they become more invested in using it. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone today and let my students help me rearrange our classroom library. I have over 700 titles (mostly purchased myself or with Bonus Points from Scholastic) so I knew this might take a while. We discussed the merits of having the library organized by Lexile and by genre. We thought genre was the way to go, so we dug in and started. First we had to get all the bins off the shelf and get all the books out and displayed. We then perused all the books deciding on what would go where. We began to notice a pattern of several books by the same authors. So the students suggested we have some author sets. We also noticed groups like easy readers, early chapter books, etc. So we began to sort and label. (See below)

This was just one table of books.
Another table of books!

As we worked through the afternoon, we had discussions about what Newberry Award books were. We discovered that I already had several in our library. We discussed what historical fiction was, fantasy, and many others. Students were generally interested in knowing the exact components of each genre. I think they may have learned a thing or two. 🙂 I heard several students talking to each other during this project. The comment I heard most often was, “I want to read that book next.” Yeah!! After everything is put back together our bookshelf will be new and improved AND my students will be proud of the part they played in making that happen. And if it helped them add a few books to their “to be read” pile, that’s even better!


3 Responses

  1. Let me know how the genre layout goes… I have my class library by lexile but was thinking of reorganizing it! One of the classroom jobs is keeping the book bins organized. I’ve noticed a lot of kids finding books they want to read when they fix the bins 🙂

    • It’s worked out really well. We have some genre bins and many author set bins. I will post new pictures soon. Being the uber picky person that I am, I also had them write inside the cover a key word that told them which bin to place the book back in. I got so tired of books losing their homes. 🙂

      • Oh nice! How long did it take you guys to get it organized and put into the right bins?

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