Saturday, February 12, 2011

Classroom Libraries: Organizing Books and Resources

There are so many ways to organize the books in your classroom.  Some teachers use the DRA levels, and others use the Fountas and Pinnell A-Z levels, which correlate to each other (see chart at the end of this post).  In addition to leveling your classroom library, it is important to sort your books around a genre, topic or theme, connected to something you are studying as well as to the interests of the class.

Donna and Wendy have many different ways of organizing their books, using different bins and different places in their room.  The key is that the books are accessible by the students, students know where they are and how they are organized and they are in places where they can reach them.  Using shelves and cubbies is one way, and another is having them on the floor, against a wall.  

In addition to the organization aspect, students also need to be taught what books are at their levels and how they are to use the books.  Wendy and Donna thread these skills into their reading program, whether during their read alouds, in guided reading or during independent reading, so students are able to practise at school and at home.

In addition to a system to organize the books in their room, Wendy and Donna use file boxes to organize their students' notebooks and papers:

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