Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Stacey Hamrick, Mar 17, 2018.
Mar 17, 2018
Do you sort your books by level or by genre?
I'm retired now, but I used to have at least 1,200 books in my classroom library and I sorted by genre.
I taught grade 1 and I always sorted by genre.
Mar 27, 2018
Both. I have a lot of "little readers" that are organized by level. My trade books are organized by genre with a general level dot stickers (green-easy, yellow-med, red-hard).
Right now, I am in the process of putting an F&P level label on the back cover of all of the books that are organized by genre.
I like to have my books in baskets with covers showing so students can easily flip through the books.
I have it sorted a few different ways:
Quite a few series are separate from the single books, somewhat grouped by general topic (i.e. fairy tale related, mythology, adventure, humorous, etc...)
The rest of the books are by genre, and very very loosely by "level" (though I pay little attention to that)
Some books are grouped by author (Kate DiCamillo, Gary Paulsen, Rick Riordan, Dan Gutman, Roald Dahl, etc...)
Some groups/series of books that are more anthology-like and only have a small serialized nature (i.e. Boxcar Children, I Survived, Goosebumps, Magic Tree House, etc...) are in tubs -- the rest of all the books are spine-faced much like a regular library.
I'm constantly in communication with my students and we're working together on making the library best fit what would help them best find books: the arrangement may move around a bunch in the upcoming months as they give suggestions to what would help them better.
Apr 13, 2018
I teach Pre-K, and have a very large library. I am expected to keep several books propped up on top of cabinets, in every center, on shelves and a standing book rack. My kids are tearing the books to shreds, sliding on the carpet with them, and hitting each other with them as well. I talked to my class over and over again, but the books are still getting ripped. I can't put any books away, because NAEYC and ECERS insist I need a zillion books out at all times. I throw away damaged books, and 25 or more are quickly added to my collection. Is there a special, heavy-duty tape that works well for book repairs? What are some techniques and strategies I can use to convince my kids to take care of their books? Does anyone else have any book management suggestions??
Apr 14, 2018 at 11:30 AM
Mostly by genre/series with a few baskets dedicated to certain authors mixed in. We do have conversations about picking a "just right" book - the reading levels in my room are pretty wide so the levels of books in the library are too - but I also don't want kids to feel like they can't look at a book because it's not at the right reading level. My students each have a book bin with books from our book room that are at their independent level so I tend to not be so level-heavy when it comes to the class library.
Apr 14, 2018 at 12:22 PM
I like the idea of having books organized by genre but also tagged with their reading level as well. I feel like it's kind of lame to have books sorted by level because that can /does limit the students really exploring different types of books. We all know that a student on level A can't independently read level way beyond that, but do we HAVE to say to the child "Oh, you can ONLY pick books from the "A" shelves.'' To me that's a bummer. But if the child is exploring the library that is sorted by genre and happens to pick up a book that is a level above his, you could say "You may have trouble reading this by yourself'' but in my opinion they may want to select it and read with a buddy or parent... so let him. I think teaching students about selecting "just right'' books is GREAT and it's what we should do, but we shouldn't limit them to just those books. As a reading specialist my goal is to get students to want to even check out the classroom (or school) library and really browse for some great finds. But if they know that they'll only ever get to read the "kiddie books'' associated with their reading level, then some may not even bother. I want my classroom library to be accessible to everyone and if it means that we have a mix of reading levels on the "science fiction'' shelf, then so be it.
Read on, readers!
BTW: The Lit Leveler app is FANTASTIC for both scanning, leveling and searching for books! Just for those who didn't know about it.
Apr 14, 2018 at 12:26 PM
Apr 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM
To take it a step further, I would for you all to post pictures of your classroom library. I'm a huge nerd and want to see how teachers both organize and present their books. I've seen some really great ideas and then I've also seen books shoved on a shelf way in the back of the room where it's pretty much out of reach of students.
The classroom library should be (one of) the focus(es) of the room!
Apr 15, 2018 at 3:22 PM
I think I’ll take a few minutes at the end of the day and start working on my library. I’ll pull out the damaged ones and salvage what I can. My co-teacher has books in tubs by genre, but I may go a step further by adding stickers to color code them too. Perhaps if I introduce this plan, my kids will start putting them back in the right tubs.
Apr 15, 2018 at 4:07 PM
Thank you all for the replies. Master Pre-K I think that is my plan also. I ordered colored dot stickers yesterday on amazon. 11 different colors. So I will first sort them into genres/subjects/authors. Then within each tub they can look for their level which I will mark with the dots.
I have a high school helper that I think I might have start organizing tomorrow.
Apr 15, 2018 at 6:22 PM
Sounds good Stacey. Volunteers are a big help. I might start a ‘book hospital’ and get a parent or two to help me patch them up. Maybe that child will take some ownership in books after seeing his parent fixing them.
Apr 15, 2018 at 7:41 PM
The label on each of of the baskets in my library has one of those little white stickers with a number on it. On the back of each book in the basket is a matching sticker/number. It's simple enough that all the kids can handle it and it's helped immensely with keeping the library organized. A couple of them still shove the books wherever but most of them will squawk if they see that happening.
Apr 15, 2018 at 7:46 PM
Here's an Instagram post from earlier this year with some photos of my classroom library. There are 6 or 7 photos here so make sure to arrow through all of them. (Hover over the right hand side of the photo and eventually a little arrow will pop up.) You can see how I have the baskets numbered there.
Apr 16, 2018 at 6:22 AM
For free reading, I prefer organizing by genre, and not restricting students by reading level. Interest level and reading level seem to coincide. Students, on their own, explore according to their interests and find books that match their current level, but also, at an elementary age, their ability level will increase during free reading even without direct instruction. The languaging of their brains is constantly comparing new experiences with prior experiences and using all the brains tools to decode. The stronger the interest, the stronger the deciphering. Often students will later revisit previously difficult pages or books with enhanced comprehension. This is due to an autonomous process occurring during brain rest or sleep. Direct instruction within the students' working level increases the brain's ability to further its own instruction during the free reading time.
Apr 16, 2018 at 6:49 AM
I also found this post from the archives...
"I do know that I am recommended to have 15 books out per child, so maybe that is to get the higher ECERS score. I will definitely need to introduce my multicultural, Spanish Language, and disabilities books soon. I have about 8 bins available now, so I know I can use 3 of those for those topics in the next 2-3 weeks. Also, we are starting our birthday chart on Friday, so I could get those books out also in a bin.
Do you think a shape cutout, laminated and contact-papered to the back of the book, as well as the side of the bin, might work? For example, a picture of a wheelchair for all the books about disabilities? a picture of a birthday cake for all the birthday books?
I do also have out bins for each Center - books about art in the Art Center, books & magazines about domestic life in the Dramatic Play Center, books & magazines about counting, bugs, dinosaurs in the Math/Science Center and books about transportation and tools in the Block Center."
So 15 books per child = 300 books, that seems like a lot to me in my little space. If it were up to me, I'd have 25-50! Kids treat books like table toys. In my experience, having too many materials for the children becomes overwhelming. As a result, they are easily destroyed. One director told the teachers that she would start charging US for damaged books! It's crazy!! Some of the kids are still into the 'dumping' behavior of two year-olds. They just love to see piles of stuff, and your reaction when they do it, and watching YOU scoop them all up.
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