Friday, June 28, 2013

Daily 5 Leveled Library

Blogging intimidates me.  I hope that's explanation enough for my very long hiatus!

But, I did want to share the triumph of our grade-level-wide Daily 5 Leveled Library.  It was a lot of work, but we LOVE it!

For me, the scariest, (ok, one of the scariest) parts of launching the Daily 5 was not having enough supplies.  Those early readers are short, and in order for our little peanuts to sustain reading for up to 15-20 minutes I knew I needed to have a LOT of books.  Luckily, I work with an AMAZING team of Kindergarten Queens.  I wish everyone could have a team like mine.  No one is in it for themselves.  No one is competitive.  No one is sneaky, or snotty, or self-serving.  It doesn't get any better!  Together, we decided to write a grant and combine supplies to give our students the very best leveled literature.

In order for all six Kindergartens to utilize the library, it needed to be in a central place.  Luckily, we had an unused classroom with plenty of shelving. 

Here's the before:

Oh yeah, and documentation of the clock.  10:15 over Christmas break.  Because we teachers are always off on vacation. ;)

 In order to keep the books organized by our little ones, we used a whole lot of color-coding.  In our grant, we made sure to include that we wanted supplies to hold all of these books.  We picked up clear shoe boxes from Dollar Tree ($1 each) and labeled them with a cardstock die-cut.

The die-cut color corresponds to a sticker on the book so kids will know where to get the books as well as where to put them away.  We purchased Avery labels and Angie, the queen of Naier, had several pages of stickers she had received from Naier a few years ago.  We had enough colors for Fountas and Pinnell levels A-H before we had to repeat.  We added the letters to the I-M stickers.

The next step was to level ALLLLLL of those books.  New books, old books, cute books, weird books...they all needed to be organized and labeled.  We used's Book Wizardthis website, and our own best guesses by comparing levels we knew.  We also found a lot of success by looking at the publishers of different series, Googling their website, and finding the levels of the books there.  Fountas and Pinnell (our leveling system) also has a website that will tell you the level of books, but you need a subscription, and we were being cheap!  If you are writing a similar grant, consider adding that in your costs!
Angie hard at work!

Lynne, Carissa, and Angie leveling away!

Teri grabbing more books from the closet.  So glad that these books are being used!

Once we found the level of a book, we firmly stuck a sticker on it and put it in its color-coded box.

After a few hours, we (I) needed a little break.

Comfort food in its purest form.

Once we had leveled all we could level, we organized the boxes so they began with level A and worked right to level M.  We had 3 shelves and stacked the same level vertically.

Handy-girl Teri removing the sliding doors to give us more shelving.

Easy enough, but incredibly time-consuming!

And now....drumroll, please....the after!

What do you think?  How do you level and organize your books?

Happy Leveling,

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