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classroom library
Old 07-06-2018, 03:12 PM
 
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Need desperate help in organizing the classroom library. I've tried baskets and bookcases. I've tried to organize them by alphabetizing the titles, organizing by genre, author, most popularect...

I really don't have a lot of time to get it set up and trying something new each year is getting old.

The students struggle with putting the books away in the correct spots or even back in baskets. I find them sitting on top of the baskets or beside them.

What do you do? Should I minimize the library to newer books and purge all the older ones?


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Old 07-06-2018, 03:18 PM
 
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As long as they are on a shelf, Iím happy. I gave up the battle.
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Old 07-06-2018, 03:23 PM
 
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Iím seriously thinking about ditching my bins and organizing them alphabetically like theyíd find in a library and just letting it go. The bins make me crazy.
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Laundry Basket
Old 07-06-2018, 04:06 PM
 
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I have used a laundry basket as a book drop. The kids leave the books that they are finished with in the laundry basket. Then the class "librarians" (mostly me) drop the books in the appropriate genre bins. It's not perfect, but it is doable.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:37 PM
 
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I have yellow bins for fiction books and green bins for non fiction. Very simple.


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Success depends on the kids
Old 07-06-2018, 04:48 PM
 
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I have color coded labels on mine - and there are only 4 different colors of baskets so it's not hard at all to get my books where they need to go, and my 3rd graders still can't/won't/don't care about doing it. I also give up. I organize it all at the beginning of the year and go over the system for the first few weeks. It's really very easy. From then on, it's up to the class to keep it in order. If they don't, well, then they can't find what they're looking for.

Usually twice per year I'll have an 'organize the classroom' hour where we list all the things that need to be put back in order and they break into groups and get it done. I just refuse to keep doing the organizing or nagging about it.

Honestly, I'm positive the success of so many classrooms isn't at all dependent on the teacher/systems/or teaching. It's about the kids. I used to have no problems with students keeping things organized, but our community has changed so much in the past 10 years now it's a whole different ballgame. The kids are completely different in many ways. You can either keep fighting it or relax a bit.
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I would use genre
Old 07-06-2018, 06:15 PM
 
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Label each book on the inside cover. But teach students to read the cover and back flap to determine what genre it is before checking the inside cover before putting away. Practice this skill by unshelving books and reshelving them as a center activity, first guided by you and then independently.

Have class librarians as a rotating job to check the library each afternoon before dismissal to straighten the library. They should put away stray books and spot check different genres each day. If they find a book in the wrong genre they can correctly shelve it for the class.

Have a "celebration" once in a while to celebrate a well kept library when students are putting books away correctly. Not only will you have an organized library you will have students who know there genres.

Good luck!
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I'm with beagles2
Old 07-06-2018, 06:31 PM
 
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I have color coded my huge library, and it seems so easy to me. . . red books on the red shelf, yellow on the yellow, etc. I work at the beginning of every year to teach the routines of putting books back on the shelf. I show them how to match the colors and what the colors mean, I show them how to put the books on the shelf with the spines facing out, and I show them how to move books over to make room so that book covers and pages don't get torn or folded. But the kids just don't seem to be able to do that, no matter how much I nag. So I don't. Periodically I will do a quick sweep myself, and I also have students work on clean-up every grading period or so. As long as they are using the books, I figure that is good enough.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:20 PM
 
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I went to a lot of time and effort to color code my book bins the books are sorted according to Lexile. Books had a colored sticker on the front that book went into a corresponding basket that had the same colored sticker on it. I hoped that books would get taken care of and it would be easier to find a just right book.

Well they have never been put back correctly. They also get stacked on top of the self and on the shelves between the bins and on the floor near the shelf and in every other incorrect way. I'm over it. I cant keep fighting a loosing battle. They will just not put the books away correctly. Instead they jam too many book in where they dont fit and end up bending the covers and and leave pages to get ripped out. I wish they took better care of the class books
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Class library
Old 07-07-2018, 02:39 AM
 
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I have a Book Return basket. I teach them to return the book to it's spot IF they remember where they got it. If not, put it in the Book Return. I have helpers to tidy the library. I have sections of fiction in baskets, a few leveled texts, authors baskets, and whole other sections of nonfiction.


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I have them put a numbered paint stick
Old 07-07-2018, 03:51 AM
 
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in where they pull out a book. When returning it, they just have to find their numbered stick, insert the book, and pull out the stick. Our librarian uses a similar system when they're looking at books, so it's something they're used to doing. It's not perfect, but it works okay. Mine are labeled and organized by AR level with colored stickers.
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:18 AM
 
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I pretty much gave up the battle, too. If there is a book they want, they are going to have to look for it.

I have done all types of methods, too. Most kids don't care to help.

I watched a webinar recently where the teacher put hers in bins and whatever she marked on the bin, she printed off on address size labels that she put on the back of the book. That way they just have to look at the label on the book and match it with a bin.

Not sure if I am going that far, but I am printing off new labels for my bins this year. Truthfully, it is the least of my worries, and not a determining factor of how well kids do in the class, so why bother spending time on it?
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Books
Old 07-07-2018, 06:31 AM
 
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I do my library by genre, character, author, or series. I keep them in tubs. I number the tubs and each book in that tub gets numbered. They just match the numbers and place the book in it.

Iíve had very little problems with them not keeping the library organized. We practice over and over again at the beginning of the year. Iím right there the first few times they put books back. After that they are on their own. If someone has a book that they donít know where it goes (maybe the number fell off) I have a book hospital. They place it in there and the class librarian takes care of it at the end of the week.

Iíve tried so many different systems and this one has worked the best for me. There were times I would be so frustrated with the class library I would shut it down. Iíve used this method for several years and havenít shut it down once. Yes, there are a few misplaced books, but the students are good about finding those and putting them where they go without making a big deal of it.
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:24 AM
 
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It took a whole summer several years back but the label on the bin matches a small label on each book. Makes it easy for the kiddos to put it back in the right place. Once a month I have a classroom volunteer go through and check/fix.
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:51 AM
 
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I've tried the baskets, no baskets, colored labels, etc.

I'm ditching the baskets for the chapter books.

The picture books will be in larger baskets.

I give up the battle. I do have two helpers weekly to clean up the library.

I love those pictures on Pinterest of the perfect classroom library. Let's see what it looks like by November.
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i organized by level and genre
Old 07-07-2018, 12:22 PM
 
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Each level was assigned a color. I taught fourth and I generally had levels N through T. There was a colored sticker on the front of each book denoting the level. I wrote the genre on each sticker- RF realistic fiction, HF historical fiction, SF science fiction.....

I had shoe box bins that also had colored labels and the corresponding symbol HF and the words Historical Fiction. Most kids were able to put the books back correctly. We did practice at the beginning of the year.

It was easy to see if a yellow book was in a green bin. Students would make corrections if they found that someone had placed a book in the wrong bin.

To be honest, there were genres such as science fiction where I did not have many titles. Those were put in a genre bin, but the books still had a sticker denoting level.
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library
Old 07-07-2018, 12:32 PM
 
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I have mine sorted by AR level and on the shelf with the bindings out the way the school library does. They don't have to go back in an exact spot that way - just somewhere on the shelf in that section (2's, 3's, etc...). I also have a section for non-AR books - just one shelf. If you don't use AR, this may not be an option for you.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:46 PM
 
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Best thing I ever did was this. After I had they organized by genre, I placed them in bins. Then I numbered the bin and put the corresponding number on the books that were in the bin. This helped from overcrowding the bins. When I got rid of a book I would replace it with one from the same genre. The genres were really to help me but they also helped the kids. It was also easy for students to be librarians as they were just checking that the numbers matched.
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
It took a whole summer several years back but the label on the bin matches a small label on each book. Makes it easy for the kiddos to put it back in the right place. .
This is what I am doing. I’m allowing several baskets for each AR level, and then baskets with popular series, topics, authors etc. I bought a set of basket and book labels off of TPT that covered everything under the sun and that are also editable. I’m hoping it works as nothing else ever has.
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I've tried a few things
Old 07-07-2018, 03:58 PM
 
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I tried bins one summer after reading about them here. Spent hours sorting by genre and putting a colored numbered label on the book and the matching bin. No one every put them where they belonged and they took up so much more space. I put them back on the shelves. Then when we went to guided reading levels, I spent weeks trying to level my books (along with a wonderful student teacher who spent hours on it with me). I have fiction books by level and nonfiction by subject (animals, space, biography). They are in bins because the district bought us carts with bins which I have to use. Kids still don't always put them where they belong. I also have a a full books shelf and part of another one with no level. Some are old books and some are newer but I can't find the level. But in the real world, like libraries and bookstores, books don't Fountas and Pinnell levels on them.
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Shelves
Old 07-07-2018, 05:40 PM
 
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Bins and baskets drove me nuts and ruined the books because students would inedibly try to jam a too-large book into a too-large bin.

I have a cabinet with shelves. I printed out mailing address labels and labeled the lip of each shelf with A.R. levels. I keep the top shelves empty since the students aren't tall enough to reach. I put decorative items there.
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:46 PM
 
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I organize mine three ways:
Picture books by genre
Little readers by level
Chapter books by series

I love having baskets because it makes it easier for kids to flip through the books to see the covers.

I find that books get put back in the right baskets when you use color dot stickers. It makes it easy enough for even my first graders to do correctly.
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Thanks!
Old 07-08-2018, 02:53 PM
 
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I thought it was just my 5th graders or something I did wrong! I also have the color dot on the spine and teach them the procedure in the beg. of the year (again 5th GRADERS!); and remind them, not to shove them if they don't fit in a basket or on a shelf etc.


Constantly, I find the books laying on shelves/in-between baskets, blue dots in red baskets, yellow with red etc.


It infuriates me ALL the time...I think I am going to try to see if I can't find a spot and have them "return the books" to and then every 2-3 days have the librarians put them away...


Thanks to all who said that!
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