Classroom Library

Last Fall I was fortunate enough to have a Student Teacher.  It was great to be able to be a part of a future teacher's experience, but it was also a great time for ME!  I had a "to-do" list before she arrived.  I have never been so organized.  My biggest project was organizing my classroom library.  It was a mess and difficult for the students to find the books they were searching for.  
My Classroom Library

I started by closing the library I already had in place and making sure I had all of my books.  I then taped a piece of cardstock to the inside of the back cover of EVERY book and made a corresponding library card.  This was probably the most time consuming part.  It could have been easier if I had purchased the pre-made library cards and pockets, but that wasn't in the budget.  

Pocket in the back of the books

Then I organized books into different categories.  I am sure there are many different opinions on how to categorize them, so just do what makes sense to you.  For the most part they are organized by series, so I have a basket for Magic Tree House, Clifford, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.  For the miscellaneous books I leveled them, so I have a 1st grade level up to 4th grade.  Once I determined the categories, I made tags to stick to the basket the books belonged in.  After I had them organized, I assigned a sticker to each series and placed that on the outside front cover and on the coordinating tag for the basket.

Each basket has a tag and coordinating sticker to book.

My system to keep the cards organized.
Once the library was complete I went into GREAT detail with the students on how they were to treat the library and how they were to get books.   Every Friday after they have taken their reading test I allow them to return and check-out 5 new books for their book boxes.  I have a library card check out system at my desk.  It is made of index cards with student numbers on them.  I put their 5 library cards behind their number.  So simple!  I give them their cards.  They put them back in the books and return them to the "Return Bin".  Then they are able to go shop in the library for their 5 new books.  Later I  put the books back into the correct basket.  Sometimes as the year goes on I find a responsible student to take over the job.  
They store their boxes here and have access to them all day.

This system has dramatically increased the amount of reading happening in my classroom.  Instead of them wasting time searching for a book they already have 5 waiting to go!  I love it!  The book  bins keep the kiddos organized and my books in better shape.

I also find the book boxes extremely helpful when I do Daily 5- "Read to Self" or "Read to Someone".  They are able to grab their book boxes and get started right away! 

 I LOVE my classroom library!  I hope you do  too!


  1. Very cool Stacey, this is exactly what I needed to read to get my library organized! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Mr. G
    Teaching 3rd with Mr. G

  2. Good luck! It is definitely an undertaking, but SO worth it. I did go buy the pockets with the sticky on them later this year. It is the way to go for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Stacey!! I really like the idea of letting them check out 5 books for the week! I don't have room for a book box for each student so I have a bin for about 5 kids each so I need to think of some good ideas for storage! :) I'm definitely going to try this! I'm also a 2nd grade teacher so I love hearing how it would work with that age group! Feel free to stop by my blog anytime! :) Thank you!!

    All Things Apple in 2nd

    1. OHH, I'm your newest follower as well! :)

  4. I have been trying to brainstorm ideas about your storage issue. Maybe keep the bin system you have and give them each their own gallon size ziploc. Or if they have cubbies in the classroom where they keep their backpacks and stuff maybe you could buy some reusable bags and hang them in their cubbies. I saw some really cute Dr. Seuss bags at Target today in the dollar section. Thanks for following!


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