Monday, July 18, 2011

Classroom Library Organization

Since I thought I was meant to teach primary grades forever, I had spent lots of money years collecting oodles of picture books. However, last year when I moved to fifth grade, I had to go on a chapter book buying frenzy. I visited tons of yard sales and thrift stores to fill up my classroom library. Between that and some generous donations from friends and family, I was able to fill up my classroom library pretty nicely.

I knew right away that I wanted to find some cute and sturdy containers to house my books. I found these inexpensive baskets last summer and L-O-V-E them! The dot cutouts are adorable and go well with other dotted items in my room. They are sturdy and the perfect size. I bought several of them in each color. These colors sort of developed into a theme after that. I found two rugs with the same colors and bought storage containers in the same lime green and blues. It worked to create unity in my room.

I chose to organize my books by genre or topic because it has been my personal experience {not saying this is always true. at. all.} that my students tend to choose books by interest. I stumbled across Beth Newingham's awesome website! I printed her labels (view them here), laminated them, and hot glued them to the front of the baskets to make it easy for students to find books they enjoy. I do have some picture books set out, but I don't have nearly enough room for them all. Sigh. All I know is that my future children {personal kiddos, that is} will have plenty of books to read one day! :)

Anyhow, I will try to post some pics of my library once I return to my classroom to get to work. How do you organize your classroom library?


  1. We use Accelerated Reader at our school, so most of my books are according to reading level. I do have special baskets for my fav authors...Sharon Creech, Andrew Clement, Avi, Beverly Cleary. And then I do have baskets of historical fiction, biographies, etc. Happy sorting.

    A Time to Share & Create


    Fabulous 4th Grade

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog today! I am not a follower of yours! :) I have those exact same baskets in my room. So did the hot glue hold your labels? I need to try that, because I've tried basically every type of tape possible and nothing holds well.

  3. Casey - Thanks for following me! :) How cool that we have the same baskets! I had that problem when I tried to attach the labels using tape. No matter what I did, they always fell off. Finally turned to my BFF, the hot glue gun and haven't had any problems ever since. Worked like a charm and made me wish I had tried it sooner.

  4. I just bought those baskets yesterday and I LOVE them! they are SO SUPER sturdy. I think they are WAY better than the ones form really good stuff. I bought some from RGS, and now i am replacing them with the dollar store ones! I wish I had known before spending all that money.

    I have never been able to organize my books in a way that I like until now. I organize my picture books my theme (i also put a number on the basket and the book, so students can return them easily). I organize my chapter books by series or topic (mystery, realistic fiction, etc.) I also found a bunch of leveled readers at a yard sale, so I have a leveled section as well.

    I would love to see your pictures once you get them up :)

  5. I reorganized my classroom library this summer. I have my baskets by genre, author, and series. Even though I teach 4th grade I still keep out a good amount of picture books too. Everyone loves picture books haha! Can't wait to see pictures!
    Once Upon A Teaching Blog

  6. I have seen so many classrooms that use these baskets. Would you mind telling me where you got them?