Friday, September 9, 2011

Reorganizing the classroom library

This is the first week in a while that I have my lesson plans done by Friday! Usually, I'm sitting at home on the weekend writing lesson plans. I know, yuck, right? This was one of my goals this year, I just hadn't gotten there yet. So I was very excited thinking that I was really going to just relax this weekend. Yeah, right. We've been in school just about 4 weeks now and I really am not feeling my class library organization. I have always organized by theme and AR level. This was allright, but the kids had trouble getting the books back in the right AR tubs. I only had (previously) only 8 tubs for AR books, so they were labeled, for example, 0.0-0.9, 1.0-1.5, etc. The kids really couldn't "get" where to put the numbers that came "in the middle". I tried different labels and cute stickers, but with only 8 tubs, it really wasn''t working. So this summer, I decided to try leveling my books based on their guided reading level and see if that worked better. I mean, it had to. A, B, C is definitely easier than 0.0 - 0.9, right. What I didn't realize is that guided reading and AR are completely different, so my A,B,C bins had a very wide range of AR levels. The kids who were looking for AR books on their level couldn't find one. So, attempt #1 = FAIL. So, this weekend (remember the relaxing one that was supposed to belong only to me?) will be spent reorganizing and rearranging my classroom library. I thought I'd start this afternoon and asked my daughter to pull out all of the AR books while I was speaking to another teacher. Now, my daughter is in 5th grade and is very smart (in the gifted program at our school), so I thought she could take care of this in just a few minutes and, in my mind, they would be neatly stacked in piles for me to organize later. Here's what I found when I came back:
Seriously?  So, the next 10 min. or so were spent putting them into piles so I can go back and spend my Saturday rearranging.  I think I'm going to just put them back arranged by AR level.  I should have enough bins now (I got some new ones over the summer) and I won't put out all of the higher level ones right away.  I think I'll go now and make some cute AR labels.  Check back - I'll post them when I'm done. 

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