Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Evolution of a Classroom Library–Part 2

I took pictures of my progress – but frankly it’s hard to see the progress.  Somehow when organizing I make a bigger mess as I go…

Today I continued to narrow down my book categories and sort accordingly.  As I mentioned in my previous Evolution post, I used a mixture of labels from different sets I’d found online to help inspire my categories.

Today while sorting I had a very difficult time following these categories.  I have about 1,000,000,000,000 books with animal characters, and 12 mysteries at my kids levels.  Realistic Fiction isn’t so hard to find, but some books just “don’t want to be labeled”…after wasting some time visiting with my future teammate in her classroom I decided to once again follow the sage advice of Candis at I Teach Dual Language.  (If you haven’t visited her blog – you should, she knows a lot and she shares her knowledge! Teachers are great like that!)

Candis commented on my last post (apparently sensing my mounting hysteria at the thought of organizing all my fiction by category) “One idea for your miscellaneous fictions books is to group them in baskets by the author's last name. You could have a basket for Authors A-E, F-L, etc. Just tell your kids that if it is fiction and is not from one of the class's favorite authors or from a theme basket, then they have to look at the author's last name.”

So, that’s what I’ve decided to do.  I have some fiction categories that just fit with my classroom library.  Here are some of my categories for fiction:
  • Easy Readers – Realistic Fiction
  • Easy Readers – Fiction
  • Fiction – Bears
  • Fiction – Farm Animals
  • Fiction – Cats & Dogs
  • Early Chapter Books
  • Chapter Books Mysteries
  • Chapter Books Mix
Then I began organizing by last name.  It was eye-opening.  Obviously I was familiar with most of the books, but I’ll be honest and say details aren’t my thing.  While sorting the books I discovered that many of my favorite authors have written books that I didn’t immediately recognize as theirs.  I can’t think of any examples right now – but it was cool!  So often I limit my vision of an author to one famous book or character – but the best ones are able to transcend the pigeon hole and write other original pieces.

I’m looking forward to:
1. My students learning how to use the classroom library  - by keeping my library as similar as possible to the average library my students will be able to transfer their knowledge to other libraries!

2. My students discovering new authors and old authors just like I was today!  By organizing my fiction books alphabetically my students will be forced to familiarize themselves with authors names and styles!

I’m currently working on creating some labels that fit my library’s needs.  There are so many book bin labels online already but as I’m sure you’ve experienced, they have a lot of the labels you need but not all of them, or you would like to combine two of them, or split one, etc.  So, I’m working on my own set.  I’ll share them when they’re done…and you can do with them what you will.  :)

*TIP*: If you do decide to create your own bins think before you start.  I just started merrily creating mine before thinking how I would display them.  I’ve seen the labels displayed lots of different ways…I know I want mine to be durable, visible, and versatile (lots of different bin styles and sizes).

After already starting and nearly finishing the labels it occurred to me to consider this detail.  AND, would you believe it I had to redo them all because I decided I wanted to use a plastic sleeve to display them and the sleeve is 3x5 and horizontal, whereas my labels were 4x5 and vertical.  So, learn from my mistake and think before you begin working.

I want to use these self-adhesive index card pockets to display my labels:
Have you used something similar?  Any recommendations?

Here are my favorite two labels so far (labels do not include blue and red writing or arrow).  One with my favorites that I want to share.  And another with my favorites that I do not want to share. 

Happy 4th of July!  Today is my husband’s birthday – it’s like he was meant to live in this country!!!!!!!!!  We’re off to celebrate!

Mrs. Castro
Pin It


  1. Thanks for sharing the progress of your classroom library organization. I am now inspired to tackle this project next week. I was thinking I wouldn't go into my room for another week or so but I think I need to tackle this project. I've been thinking about how to display the labels. I was thinking of putting them on cardstock and laminating them and then putting them on rings. So much to think about.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

    1. Good luck!! I know it's worth it in the end, but it's not a lot of fun at least in the initial stages. Now that I'm getting closer to seeing the final product I'm excited!

      I wanted to use rings too, but I'm going to have to wait until I get my books in bins. Some of my bins are holeless and that's why I'm leaning towards the sleeves. On proteacher I saw that some people just hot glued the laminated label on the bins too.

      Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

  2. I think I found your page a while back and I'm not sure if I left you a comment or not, but thanks for becoming my follower. :) It's nice to have another bilingual buddy in the blog world!


  3. I organized my books two years ago, but not extremely well. I was so tired of finding my books mangled and in all sorts of places so I sorted half of them by themes and the other half is just in buckets. The one's that are organized get used waaay more. I can't wait to go back in class and organize all of it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I have tried reorganizing my books many times.
    Fiction books are really hard. I am going to try that authors idea. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I truly appreciate it!! I tried responding to you via email, but unfortunately your blog isn't set up to do that :( if you need help to change that I just blogged about it :)


    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    I hope that you'll join me for my giveaway ♥

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Some people always follow the rule of copy pasting while writing their assignments which not only impose bad impression to the readers but also cause low grades in the students. To kick away this get paper writing service from this site and write upon any topic freely. Some people consider that it require high prices but this is totally odd as our services charges are very cheap.

  8. In the photos I see the greatest possible informal education atmosphere. paper writing service specialists also work in an unusual atmosphere. For the development of creative qualities of humanity representatives we need to create special conditions.

  9. Good article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Vietnam Visa Thank you :

  10. I found a lot of information here to create this actually best for all newbie here. Thank you for this information.
    run 2 game | super mechs | wingsio | run 2 | wingsio play | supermechs

  11. I like to get up early to go out and breathe fresh air. I feel that it is good for health and a good habit

  12. Great post. I m pleased to read your post. Thank you For sharing this information.
    Fixingblog is one of the best Tech Blog. Here you will get all kind of solution like Setup, Installation, Connection issue etc related to Routers, Range Extender, Windows, Printer etc.
    Norton setup

  13. Pogo Techs Support contains the pogo game technical information which provides to the user to get resolve their pogo game technical issues. Pogo support

  14. Great post full of useful tips! If you didn’t understand something that was discussed.So bring it up and comment us by visiting
    Norton Setup and Get clarification.

  15. We are here to discuss the latest trending Device Netgear wireless router. So, how exactly fix this Netgear wireless router setup/Reset/troubleshooting and activation function. Let me take you through this. Netgear wireless router was introduced as the world's fastest grip on the device. For more details kindly visit