Oh, the classroom library! It is one of those things that I’ve changed and tweaked many times throughout my career. And I am VERY sure I will continue to change and tweak as the years go on. I’ve sorted them by guided reading level, by genre, by author, by topic or theme, etc. I have frequently resorted them depending on the current trend in reading. I’m sure I’ll continue to do so in the years to come! Nevertheless, it is important to have a leveled library to use for reading instruction regardless of how you organize and manage the bulk of your books. In this post I’ll share tips and ideas for how to organize your leveled classroom library for guided reading. Read all about it down below!
8 Steps for How to Organize Your Classroom Library
Below are directions for how to organize your classroom library in 8 quick and easy steps.
1. Repair or Recycle Damaged Books
Do a quick scan of all the books in your leveled classroom library to see if there are any that should be tossed because of their damaged condition. Also identify which ones just need a quick repair and make the repairs.
2. Survey Your Class
Next, work with your class to weed out your current collection of books for the upcoming year. Invite students to offer lots of input about which books they were most interested in and why others were never selected. This will help you to also select new books to purchase when using Scholastic Bonus Points.
3. Level All of the Books
Level the remaining books using an online leveling site. You could have students help you with this during indoor recess.
4. Purchase Baskets
Now that you know how many books that you have, you can determine how many baskets you need and what size. Take measurements of the bookcases or shelving units that the baskets will go into to make sure they fit.
5. Sort the Books
Sort the books into the baskets you purchased.
6. Download the Free Printable Library Labels
Download the free printable library labels from my Clutter-Free Classroom Teachers Pay Teachers store.
7. Print and Laminate the Free Printable Library Labels
Print the free printable library labels on card stock and laminate them to increase durability, so you won’t have to replace them year after year.
8. Stick the New Labels on the Baskets
Add the new labels to the baskets that you purchased.
3 Tips for Your Leveled Classroom Library
Below are simple tips for organizing your leveled classroom library.
1. Purposefully Choose the Location of Your Leveled Library
The books need to be easily accessed by you and your students during reader’s workshop and reading conferences. You may find that you want to keep them near your small group instruction area.
2. Refrain from Putting All of Your Books Out at Once
Consider rotating some of your books. Kids devour books that are brought in temporarily to go with a current topic of study or seasonal event.
3. Purchase White or Black Baskets
You may want to consider purchasing white, black, or neutral colored baskets so that they are versatile and can go with any classroom theme you decide to do in the future.
In closing, we hope you found these tips and ideas for how to organize your leveled classroom library for guided reading helpful. If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:
- How to Create an Ideal Class Meeting Area for Read Alouds
- Back to School Read Alouds for Elementary Teachers
- How to Set Up Your Elementary Classroom