Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Classroom Library

I mention on a post lately how I spent a lot of time organizing my classroom library. This post will share with you some of the things that have worked. I would love to hear from anyone to add ideas. I have a lot of books in my room. I do put some away but I don't have a lot of storage space. I try to clean like crazy before vacation on Friday! I have a busy class that does not like to clean, which makes this challenging!!

I put all of my books on Library Things it's a site that has a database of all your books. A lifetime membership was twenty dollars. I have not tagged in years but I do update this list when I add books to my classroom. I also have it posted on my classroom blog which gives kids the option of looking up a book they may want to read.
I love labels and my MUST HAVE ones are the Avery 5408 you can feed these right into your printer. I started using these to label my library, but you can use them for everything!!!!! You can find them at Staples.
 I recently watched a video by the Sisters and they were helping a teacher with organizing her classroom. The tip was to have a list of all your books hanging on the wall in your classroom. My list is below. Give each book bucket a number and put the number on the back of each book. You can see above the 39 on the book and a 39 on the bucket. Make time during the week to have kids take buckets out and check for numbers!!!
 You can download the book list  below

 These are what I call Dot Books. They are leveled and I often suggested for kids you should go shopping in the yellow dot, blue dot etc. The books are stored in ice cube containers, you can find these at dollar stores and sometimes Target.  I pull these down from the shelf. I also slide them under the low tables.

This is my nonfiction shelf and math books at the bottom. You can see that I used the ice cube trays here too!! This shelf is not in ABC order.
These are author buckets  in ABC order. I have the author's name on the corner of the book.

The theme buckets start with A and stay in ABC order until I hit the nonfiction shelf.
For themes and authors that I have a ton of I use these buckets from IKEA. Ikea has the best buckets for everything!!!! Great prices too.

This is an example of the labels I use for the big buckets and author labels too.

Student Book Buckets. My goal is for the kids to put books they read with me and Just Right Books. I also let them put Look Books...I find that the Look Books can get out of control!!!!!  I need to revisit rules on book buckets.

I try to pull books I know I am going to use for mini lessons

I went to a workshop years ago by Ellen Thompson she shared how to make these flower boxes to store books on the top of your shelves. I went crazy and made a ton one summer! I go back and forth, now I am back to putting books in buckets.  If you're interested in making them click HERE.

Just to show what it looks like on the top of the shelf. She also had directions to make one long one which is the size of the two above.

Long List for Library.cwk (DR) Book List Two ABC.cwk (DR)


  1. I love the wooden boxes, genius!! I need to get the hubby to make me some :) Your entire library looks wonderful!

  2. Hi,
    Your labels are so clear and fresh looking. I was wondering what font you used. Thanks very much - I love your website and think your students must have the best time! You have given me many ideas for my K's.
    Thanks again,

  3. the font is called smiley monster you can download it free from Kevin and Amanda's font site!


  4. I really like the student book buckets-flat and don't take up too much room. Great organization!
    Conversations in Literacy

  5. Thanks for linking up!!!! I am loving looking through all of the amazing libraries for ideas. Your library is AMAZING!!!! Anyone that walks into your room knows how much you love reading, children's literature. : )

    Thanks again!


  6. Thank you for including me!! Have a great weekend Amy! Melissa

  7. I'm so late to this linky party but I am sooo glad I found your post! I am in the middle of re vamping my library for next year and I love your organization! WOW! Great job! And I follow you on Pinterest!


    MOORE Fun In Kindergarten

  8. Thanks Mandi! Organizing the class library feels like it never ends! Melissa

  9. I just found this post and I love it! I could really use some shelves. I have a ton of books that I want to bring to school to share with the kiddos, but I have no place to put them-no shelving and very little space. Where did you get the shelf with your students' book tubs? I really like that idea rather than using Ziploc baggies which I have to since I don't have any other way for them to keep their read-to-self books.

  10. Hi Lee Ann, I got that shelf a long time ago...I think it was School Specialty. This year I have a shelf that I put aside and store all of my author's in abc order. You can sometimes find inexpensive shelves at IKEA . Thanks for your comment. Melissa


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