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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Library Makeover

I teach at a small school which means that we have lots of volunteers that help out with certain specials like P.E., library, and art.  {And we appreciate our volunteers more than anyone can imagine!}  Because we don't have teachers dedicated to just those subjects however, the rooms they are held in can become rather messy.  

So every summer, I try to think of a cleaning or organizing project I can do that would benefit the students or teachers in some way.  This summer, I decided to tackle reorganizing our library.
Our library had been beautifully organized in the past.  But it was a long time ago, the books had been put back in no order whatsoever, and no one seemed to know how it had been organized any more.

{In case you are wondering why I chose the library this summer, I had recently read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.  I was inspired to encourage my students to love reading, and I wanted them to have a clean place to be able to find and choose books.} 

It took me several weeks, but I took all the books off the shelves, sorted them, cleaned the shelves, and replaced the books.  I put lots of thought into how I wanted to organize the books, but I finally decided to sort them by genre.  I was already planning to start the school year by teaching the differences between the genres to my upper elementary reading classes.  I figured this would help reinforce the different genres every time my students went to library.

I found some super cute free book bin labels on TPT that I used to label all the shelves.  I also printed out these bright colored genre posters to hang on the library wall.  I especially like that the posters define the genre and give a fun picture to go along with it.

Finally, I put up a new bulletin board and hid reading monsters throughout the shelves of the library.  

I also bought a few white bins from Target to hold extra library supplies and magazine boxes to hold some Highlights and Zoobooks. 

I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  And I have noticed that they students aren't fighting over the same three books this year.  They can easily find more than one book that they are interested in reading.  All in all, I think it was a successful makeover.

 How do you organize your classroom library and why?

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