Classroom Library Organization

Here are some ideas on how I plan to organize my classroom library.
A few years ago I went on a hunt for cheap baskets I could use to organize my library. I visited Family Dollar, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and 99 Cent Stuff in search for various size and colorful baskets. Once I gathered my baskets, I began to brainstorm how I would use the various colors to organize my books by genre. I then came up with this idea to start with:
  • White Baskets = Math Books
  • Silver Baskets = Favorite Authors
  • Black Baskets = Fiction – Picture Books
  • Orange Baskets = Fiction – Chapter Books in Series
  • Yellow Baskets = Fiction – Chapter Books not in Series
  • Aqua Baskets = Non-Fiction
  • Green Baskets = Poetry

Again, this is just preliminary while I begin to organize my books. At least this is a start. I’m also going to level each book with a colored dot. I’m going to use the color labeling system that Beth Newingham uses in her class because it makes sense to me.

I began by using a modified version of the Excel spreadsheet Mrs. Newingham uses in her class. I just downloaded her spreadsheet, cleared off the information, made a few tweaks, and began cataloguing my books.

I’m also cataloguing my books online using Library Thing which is an online tool you can use. Library Thing allows you to catalogue up to 200 books free. But if you are like me and have more than 200 books to catalog, you may want to upgrade with just $25 one-time fee for lifetime access. Check out my library catalog on Library Thing:

You can choose to view the books by Cover or by List. If you choose the “List View” you will see that I have added comments to each book which include the Genre, GRL, Lexile, Reading Level, AR Level, and Class Level. I’m really happy with how this is turning out.

I purchased colored dots (red, yellow, blue, and green) and address labels to write the genre of the book and where to find it in the library.

By the way, here is the list of websites I have been using to level my books:

Scholastic Reading Counts! e-Catalog
Renaissance Learning – AR Quiz Store
The Lexile Framework for Reading

I do, of course, get the occasional book that doesn’t show up in these sites, so what I do is I look into the contents of the book and determine the approximate level based on the text. If I can at least come up with a general grade level, I can then come up with the corresponding GRL, Lexile, and AR Level using the chart found on this website:

Leveling Books for Guided Reading

I look forward to continuing to organize my classroom library.


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