17 July 2011

Library Organization

So I've been meaning to post this, but I couldn't get my labels finished. I just kept avoiding them. For the past 2 years I've struggled to find a way to organize my library that I really loved. I combined a bunch of different ideas I saw all over until I found one I really loved and that worked for my kiddos. Now 3rd graders I'm sure have a bit more of an ability to sort books than my firsties did, but I'm still going to keep my system.

I have the shoe box size bins from Walmart. I have this OCD likeness about me, so the idea of having different bins bugged me too much. These are oober cheap (especially when you find a deal on PT to get them for under a dollar)! 
 
The labels have the chapter series/theme of that bin, a picture of a book that would fit into that category, and a number. Here's one of the labels:


Now each book has a thin label wrapped around the spin on the bottom left of the book. On the front is the number that matches with the corresponding bin as well as the level on the back. I will not level my books. I think it is key that students figure out how to find "just right" books. Students get so fixated on levels that they'll start competing and focusing on the level. The level is a way that they can check themselves later, or if a student is really having trouble finding a just right book. I've seen a very similar system to this. Here's what the spine looks like:


So that's pretty much it. It's actually the most simple I've ever encountered too. It does help that I had to buy 99% of my books this summer because I needed chapter books. I have most of the major chapter series in their own bins... I combined anything I didn't have a lot of or expect to collect a lot more of. I do plan on having a dozen or so bins of picture books. 



I have to also say that I've had a lot of people outside of my school to tell me to keep the picture books out, but by the end of first grade a good majority of our kids are already reading Magic Tree House and starting to phase out of most chapter books. I talked to one of my future team members and she gave me suggestions based off of what she saw her kiddos doing these past 2 years, that's why the majority of my picture books will be hidden away in storage (with hopes of returning to a firsty library one day).


DOT Book Bin Labels

They're obviously very specific to my library, but if anyone has any interest I'd definitely consider making a generic set for more primary levels.

14 comments:

Charlotte said...

I just bought the same bins for my classroom library. I love your labels!Did you make similar ones for your first graders?

Rhiannon DeBaylo said...

I LOVE these! I was a first year teacher last year, so my library was constantly growing and changing, but I always tried to keep my bins organized! Wanting to make labels for my kinders this year (as it even takes them a month to get how to put them back on the shelf, there's no way the books would wind up in the right spot if they weren't in bins!) These are so precious! I think You've inspired me to buy cutesy bordered labels like these, and just decided what categories I need!

Ashley said...

I love your labels (of course because I love it all) and also can't wait to buy your "games" off of your website on Monday!!!! If possible, could you make the same labels in polka dot? Thanks!!! If not, no big deal at all.. I may just have to do polkadot and zebra!

LoveLiveLaugh said...

Love your blog! I'm a second year teacher this year coming from Kg to 2nd grade. I have a question, where did you get the days of the week organizer basket that you show in your classroom photos? I love it!

Christie said...

I'm glad I could inspire everyone! I wasn't sure anyone would care much, because everyone seems to have their own system. I didn't make these exact ones for firsties, but I'm thinking about making them because I have the clip art I could use, and friends that could use them.

I did make polka dot ones, I'm currently waiting on Scribd to change it's grumpy mood and actually let me upload :-P When it does they'll be here!!

The M-F Cart is from Lowe's. It was the big thing last year on Proteacher. It was near impossible to find last summer, so I'm not sure if they'd still have them. It's really a kids clothing cart, so it's by the kids organizing tools. Good luck :)

MLTeach said...

I would LOVE a set made for firsties. This is the first book organization idea I've seen that doesn't completely overwhelm me! : )

HHAUGEN said...

I LOVE your polka dots! I'm using black and white polka dots in my room this year and it is turning out really cute. :)

Jennifer said...

For the M-F cart: If you call Lowe's customer service and ask them to see if any stores have the "monday to friday rolling organization cart" they can look up which stores have it and have them ship it to you. My mom knew how much I wanted it in my classroom this year, since it's my first year teaching, so she called and they found one in a little town in Indiana and they shipped it to her. It only took 2 days to get it and was only $21 dollars total. The actual cart is on clearance for $7.48 and shipping was $12 but the guy at lowe's said they sold it last year for around $80 so we are getting a heck of a deal! Hope you can find one!

Christie said...

That is a deal... $80 though?!? Either they were ripping people off, or he was lying to you ;-) There's no way I woulda bought that thing for $80. I think mine was like $30 or something. You'll love it!!

Tiffany said...

Hi! Love all your work! I bought some clear containers yesterday and plan to start organizing my library tomorrow!! :) Quick question about the blank cards you have at the end. How do I customize it to make it my own? (or is there a way?) Thanks so much!!

MegHart said...

Hi! Love your stuff! I was wondering would you be willing to make a set of library labels without numbers/zebra print (maybe just a solid color around the outside). I am soooo OCD that I know if I don't have books for one of the labels the missing bucket will bother me. I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks.

Christie said...

Meg,

Check out the link for my store on the side of my blog. There is a set there without numbers, but you can also order a customized set on there if there's a different style you're looking for :)

Christie

megandj said...

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http://thisandthat-megandj.blogspot.com/

I don't think my profile is linked to my blog!

Amy said...

How can we customize the blank book bin labels that are at the end? I absolutely love them!