Sunday, August 11, 2013

An Organized Library

Last summer Carissa and Lynne organized their classroom libraries by genre.  I could completely see the value in it, but oh the time commitment of getting it done!  But, I did it, and here's how:

I started by cutting out these genre cards.  I got them from another teacher last summer, so I don't remember where they are from, sorry!

Ok, that's a lie.  I started the day by being a chatty Cathy.  Then I cut out the genre cards.

Next, I took it basket by basket and sorted and sorted and sorted.  I used a post-it to mark genres that I didn't have a card for.

Here is phase 1:

Here is phase 2:

In phase 2, many books bit the dust.  Weird books, age-inappropriate books, and over-loved books got boxed up to be donated.

After that came the mind puzzle of putting 26 baskets where 6 used to live.  I checked the size of my genres by testing them in the baskets I wanted to use and used those empty baskets to measure the amount of space they would take
on the shelves.

I also wanted to keep my blocks and trucks by the carpet.  It became the biggest game of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, which led to another big purge in my math center in order to utilize this box.

I also ended up combining a few genres so that the shelves only needed to house 21 baskets.  Later, I went to the Dollar Tree to stock up on 15 more baskets.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the color that I previously had, so I ended up buying 21 baskets so they would all match.  I really think a space looks more visually pleasing (and much less stimulating) when your containers match.

It took me a bit to figure out how I wanted the labels to work, but eventually I came up with these:

I used to create them.  If you EVER need cute clipart, promise me that you will make this your first stop!  The clipart is adorable, they are all free, and she even allows teachers to use her work on teachers pay teachers without having to purchase a separate license, which is huge for small sellers like me.  PLUS, I couldn't figure out how to use the backgrounds for my labels and Laura emailed with me to help me learn how to use it.  Amazing!

You can save yourself some work by downloading my labels free from TpT here
or find 4 blank labels that you can type and put your own clipart on here.  You won't find some of the labels I used, like "Dr. Seuss Books" and "Clifford Books" because I try to be careful about copyright.  For classroom use, I simply went to Google images and copy/pasted a picture of Clifford right onto my blank labels.

To attach, I used Lynne's method of hot gluing the laminated labels directly to the plastic basket.

 Just one dot in each corner will do.  (Sorry for the terrible picture!  It's supposed show the dot of glue in each corner...if you squint and stand on your head you can see it!)
 Then quickly, before the glue cools, stick that puppy to the basket.

Here's the after.  Too bad I forgot the before! 

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