Boks are one of the most important things you can have in your classroom. Why? Because having books in your classroom promotes reading to your students! This is especially true if you let them check out the books from your classroom library. However, it can be a frustrating area of your classroom if you are constantly trying to clean up. That’s why I created these 5 tips for organizing your classroom library.
1: Get Bins to Organize Your Classroom Library
The first thing you need when you are organizing your classroom library is a great set of bins! One of the best investments I ever made when it came to organizing my classroom was getting bins that would last! This is true for organizing my classroom library as well. About six years ago, I got these amazing bins from Steps To Literacy. Now, I will admit they were a bit spendy. However, they are super durable! You can organize your classroom library with these colorful bins and they will last. In the six years I have had them, they haven’t cracked or anything!
2: Organize Your Classroom Library by Genre or Author
After you have your bins in your classroom, you need to find a system to organize everything. I have some books that are organized into a genre like diversity or spring. However, some of my books are organized by author as well. You just need to decide what is going to work best for you! Once you have an organizing method down for your library, you need to clearly label each bin to ensure your classroom library stays organized.
3: Utilize Visuals for Easy Organization
If you teach younger students like I do, you will know even if you label each bin with what is supposed to go in there it won’t matter. This is where using visual tools comes into play. To help my students know where their books go, I put a sticker on each of the bins along with the label. In addition to putting a sticker on the bin, I put the same stickers on all the books that go in that bin as well. Because I have this done, my students know exactly where everything goes.
4: Have a Specific Check Out Day
Beyond having an organizing system for your classroom library, you want to have an organized schedule. For example, you don’t want students checking in and out books left and right. When this happens, your books are bound to get all disorganized again even if you have the stickers together. It’s easy for students to get distracted or sometimes a bit lazy and just put the books back without thinking about it.
In my classroom, my students get to pick out two books every Monday. These go in their book bins under their desk and they read them, look at the pictures, and share them with friends. However, they only get those two books. This keeps my classroom library organized because there aren’t too many books out at once.
5: Have a Specific Check In Day
In addition to having a check out day, you also want to have a check in day. This gives your students a specific time they need to put their books back. By keeping the amount of books and the amount of traffic in your classroom library to a minimum, you will see fewer books ending up in the wrong spots.
In my classroom, we do this on Friday. So, when Friday comes around, the two books my students checked out go back into the bins they belong to. You can do this in pods so you can watch your students a bit better to maintain an organized library. This can also be a whole class activity depending on your preference and schedule.
Reading is such an important part of students’ education. Therefore, having a classroom library is a must! To help you keep your inventory and sanity good, you need to organize your classroom library so it’s easy to find exactly what you need when you do read alouds. Organizing your classroom library is also great for students when they want a specific type of story. So, get that classroom library organized and ready with these five easy tips to start your school year.