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J.Elaine
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Classroom Library
Old 05-28-2009, 07:40 AM
  #1

I can't resist starting with the sunny smilie. Here in MO it has rained day after day after day and has been all gloomy day after day after day. Well, I guess you get the point!!!!!

Today I am working on leveling my books for our classroom library. I loop with my students, and I want my 4th graders who just left to come back in 5th grade to a whole new and improved library. We've always organized the fiction books by authors' last names, but now I'd like to organize by genre.

Since we have tons of books, I'm finding the job more than a little challenging. I pulled out some books I thought would fit into a category I'm calling "Mysteries/Ghosts." But then I thought, some are scary ghost stories like Wait till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn and others are light mysteries like the Encyclopedia Brown series. I wondered, do I classify those as the same genre? And if I don't lump them together, won't I come up with way to many little meaningless categories? So, now I'm thinking I'll start with books I'll call "Adventure/Survival". That genre could include the Hatchet and all it's sequels, the Everest trilogy, and others like My Side of the Mountain.

The sorting by genre process does not come easily, but the leveling part is going well. We started leveling during the school year. I had students looking up book levels (according to an AR website). They would write the reading level and AR test point value inside the cover of each book. Then I could do a few at a time, putting colored stars and small labels (with book level and AR test points) on each book's spine. The stars and labels make the books look very nice, neat, and organized when they are placed on the bookshelf. My plan is to bring home a stack to do, return the finished books to school, and pick up another stack all summer long until all the books are ready!!!!!! Labeling is a mindless, brainless task that can be done while watching TV or listening to audio books, so I don't mind doing a few at a time.

I'm making some other changes in my classroom that I think will make our library more inviting. I'm still thinking all that through, and I'm hoping that blogging will help me organize my plans. I'm also hoping someone else might share what they're doing or have already done with their classroom libraries.

More Later . . .
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MrsCroak
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:05 PM
  #2

I used Beth Newingham's library labels. She has a ton available to download on her website and there were only a few I did not use. I also think I added one or two categories.

Doing this just plain helped. I did not have to organize and reorganize, and my students can easily facilitate their way through my library.

I have a description of my set up here: http://www.mrscroak.com/literacyinstructionphotos.html

but, you can also look at beth newingham's website (google her name)
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J.Elaine
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Genre Labels
Old 05-28-2009, 06:46 PM
  #3

Mrs. Croak,
Thank you so much for sharing. I love the way you've set up your library! By the way, I didn't have to google Beth Newingham's website because you have a link to her page on your page. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
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Toni
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It's a chore!
Old 05-30-2009, 08:09 AM
  #4

I have started tagging my books with a label as to what basket they live in, along with a smaller tag that gives the book's F&P level. I try to put the easier books at one side of the shelf, with the harder ones on the other side. Since I don't put out the books I am constantly buying until they are tagged, I always have a stack of them on my desk, ready to tag, level & put out on the shelf.
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mes
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:19 AM
  #5

where did you buy your baskets for the books? Have you found them to be sturdy enough? Thanks for your time and help.
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MrsCroak
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:47 AM
  #6

mes,

not sure if your question is directed at me, but i got my bins at the dollar tree. they usually have them available around july or august. i bought about 15 extra because i wanted to be able to expand, and wanted a couple extra in case of breakage. in two years i'vd had two handles snap, but that was because the bins were lifted by the handles and filled with books. i'm just going to hot glue those problems in the future if i run out of bins.
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lifelonglrnr
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Mrs. Croak...
Old 05-31-2009, 12:57 PM
  #7

How do you have the tags on those baskets? Are those zip ties?? I have used your website for inspiration for the daily 5. I am starting it next year. It is nice to see it implemented in an upper grade.
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MrsCroak
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:07 PM
  #8

yes I drilled holesand used zip ties but that was before I thought about the fact that I could have just used hot glue
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mes
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:19 PM
  #9

MrsCroak,
Yes, I was asking you. Thanks for the info. I'm always fearful of investing in baskets and then have them not last a week. Your info is helpful. I also like the idea of hot gluing the labels to the baskets.

Thanks again for all of the wonderful ideas you so willingly share. You are an inspiration!
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:30 PM
  #10

i believe the bin was actually called a locker bin or locker box. last year they had the same item, although it was a bit "updated" -- i think it was a little taller and possibly not as long, but i can't be sure. it is good that i have seen them two years in a row, though, because that means they are more likely to continue selling them at back to school time.
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J.Elaine
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lifelonglrnr
Old 06-01-2009, 03:42 PM
  #11

Hey, I'm going to do Daily 5 with my 5th graders in the fall. Actually, I'm trying bits of it with my summer school students -- practicing on them. I need to visit the website you say you go to for inspiration. Can you send me the web address?
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MrsCroak
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:59 PM
  #12

mes,

if you have an ikea near you they have a great type of bin for 1.50. they are a little bigger than the bins i have from the dollar tree and they are available in blue and red. they are technically in the children's section (usually upstairs at the end of the displays).

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/57192396
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