Saturday, September 14, 2013

Organizing the Chaos

Books are an essential part to the classroom. They are also one of the most challenging things to organize because there are so many of them and so many ways to organize them.

I have finally found a system that works for me and my kiddos and I'm super excited to share it.

I blogged about my individual book bins a little this summer. I didn't have access to my classroom so I had to improvise. I thought I'd revisit this topic now that I have real life pictures to share.

First off, I start by putting leveled books from our school library in the reading center:

Each basket contains one level of books and is tagged with the letter. There is also a letter in front of it to help kids put them back in the right spot.

So far, the kids have done great with keeping this area organized. The books that come from the library have a small circle label with the letter on it. This helps them put them back in the right basket.

Each kid gets their own book basket that stays in their cubby.

The book bin has their number on it as does their cubby. This helps them keep track of where the bins belong. You'll notice I used number words for the cubbies and numerals for the book bins. I did this on purpose to encourage them to match the numerals with their number words.

Each child gets to pick three books out at the beginning of the day from our reading center. They can do this during morning work. Then, when they have free time after working, they are able to get their book bin to read silently at their table.

We'll be adding reading beanie buddies soon to these bins and I'm sure that will excite them greatly.

The bins are simply ice tubs that I bought at Wal-Mart for about $2 each. I've used them for three years now and gave them a face lift over the summer with ribbon, hot glue, and card stock. They look great in the room now! These bins are super sturdy and have held up to the wear and tear of kids.

How do you tackle book organizing in your classroom?


  1. This year for the purposes of common core, I separated my fiction and non-fiction libraries. What a job! It took me days to do. Every book had to be sorted and categorized!!It isn't perfect either because I didn't want to redo all the stickers on each and every book, so there really is no numerical order that makes any sense. Maybe next summer.

    1. I love the idea of separating fiction and nonfiction. I do also have theme bins that hold science, social studies, and math related books. I didn't showcase those because they are not quite ready yet as I've slowly been introducing them.

      I do like the idea of separating fiction & nonfiction though. I may have to consider that for next year! It sounds like a big project.

      - Pam