Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our School Library

After finding this haul of books at the local thrift shop, I decided it was high time I reorganize our little "library" of children's books and learning books.

My first job was to separate our books into piles by subject. James and Juliet helped. : )

Next, I used dot stickers to visual discriminate each subject. I couldn't find inexpensive dots in the variety of colors I needed, so I purchased some plain white dots and colored them with markers.

I created this legend to help James find what he needs. For example, for homework each night, James must read a book to his father. I tell him to go to the classroom and select any one of his readers, which are the green group. He knows where to get them and, most importantly, where to return them!

After a lot of thought, I decided to use one of the bookcases in our classroom. I know this seems like an obvious choice for school books, but I actually had a hard time giving up two of our Montessori shelves. That is, until I determined our new routine and realized we'll be using less of our shelves for tray work.

There are a couple of baskets to hold the smaller collections of books, such as our Nat Geo's for kids.

Our reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries,etc.), my teaching books and manuals, and any other textbooks are on a bookcase just outside the classroom. James has lots of non-school type books and all of those are on the bookcase in his bedroom.

At the moment, I have no desire (read: energy) to catalog our all of books. I know there are a variety of awesome online resources that would help me do this, but our selection is still relatively small and quite manageable. :)

~Thank you for your comments!~

32 comments:

LeeanneA said...

Oh how I dream of getting mine organized one day - you did a great job!

Charlene said...

what a great idea...I love this.

adoreabubbles said...

WOW such a fabulous collection and I love the sticker system so simple and effective. great job and thank you for sharing with us x

Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

Oh wow, love the organization! I had books organized like that when I was teaching, but here at home we have many of the same books, yet chaos rules. The colored sticky dot seems like a great system!

Embrace31 said...

I love it! We have tons of books too. With a husband who loves to read and 5 boys who equally enjoy books I have often considered trying to make a library for our home. I love how you organized yours and the dots are genius! THank you for sharing. I feel inspired!

Rachel Kaylynn said...

Love how you organized these. Our house Is starting to be taken over by children's books :). I've been brainstorning ways to keep them all inorder & the stickers are a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing!

Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

I love the color coding! I did the same thing with my teaching books at home! Some of the books have more than one color though because they fit more than one category. That was the hardest part - deciding which category to place each book!!

Carter Clan said...

Very cute idea!

Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

I love the colored dots to organize books by subject. Right now we're using homemade magazine file boxes for each subject but I'm sure we'll outgrow that system as our (school) book selection grows. Here's what our system looks like now: http://a-heart4home.blogspot.com/2011/09/tri-moms-lesson-planning-organizing.html

I'm pinning your idea for down the road, thanks!

Lindsay said...

Love the organization.. I need to do ours better.. but first I need to work with Sammy on how to properly return a book to a bookshelf! Great to see a post from you! :-)

Alicia said...

Oh I love this!! What a great idea. I love books & am hoarding kids reference/school type books already....for my 2 year old! But she already enjoys looking at the pictures & we talk about it. Can't wait for her to read her first story to me. Chills!

Dawn said...

Ugg! I should do that too. However, there are so many books on our house. It would be a huge chore. It turned out great.
Blessings,
Dawn

colleen banman said...

ooh! looks great and manageable. You inspire me:)

Jen said...

This I genius I tell you!! Unfortunately my daughter is graduating high school this year but...I have my 4 yr old that will soon need this and I AM SO EXCITED TO TRY IT!!!! I just love new ideas but this is ingenious!!!
Thank younger sharing this!!
Hugs
Jen @beachmonkeys.blogspot.com

Montessori Print Shop said...

Great job! Keeping the books organized in our home library was always an issue when the children were younger. Sometimes they'd take 'forever' to find a particular book ... your system would have been most helpful back then. Shared your post on Twitter so others can use your system too!

Jo said...

This is a great idea and totally easy to continue with new books.

Hannah said...

This is the best system I've seen so far. I have been trying to organize our books all year, but with such a large group I kept getting discouraged. This looks promising! TFS!

rainbowmummy said...

I LOVE THIS!!!!! So many books, so orgnaized! I would have loved this when I was a kid!!! Heck, I'd love it now ;)

The only thing I would do differently is take the books from James' room and add them to the collection. I would then provide James with a basket so he can "shop" for books from the school room. Of course this is only what I would do!

Happy reading Master James!

S. Parker said...

I am awarding you a Sunshine Award. I found your blog last year at a time when I needed help for my special needs student. Your use of sensory play helped me tremendously. As a result, you truly were a "ray of light" in my teaching life. Stop by my blog to pick up your award.

www.learningwithmrsparker.blogspot.com

Kristin Moul said...

I teach first grade and have used your blog for some sensory resources for my ese students I work with.

I have my huge classroom library divided by subject just like you did. I also use Scholastic Book Wizard to put a sticker on the back of each book which lists the reading level. This way I can tell what the instructional level for each child is. I rotate the books out regularly but this system makes it so easy.

I also have an IntelliScanner that I use to scan all of my books and then I have a catalog. It's really easy, you just scan the barcode and it catalogs for you.

My Captivating Images said...

I really need to do this! My collection is not small and manageable though, which is even more reason to do this. I am blessed that it keeps growing though! :)

Karen said...

Thanks for this Lovely Idea!!! You're a star!!! I Love it!! Thank you my friend!!! by the way I LOVE THE PIC OF YOUR LITTLE HELPERs!!! Big Hugs!!

Christina said...

I love your blog and miss the frequent posts! I have given you the VERSATILE BLOG AWARD http://worldgoneblue.blogspot.com/2011/11/versatile-blog-award.html
Christina- The Only Thing Pink

acandletobelit said...

You are woman after my own heart!!! Most of our books have similarly coded stickers on them from my days in the classroom, but the new ones I have bought do not have them yet. I also do not have sign up. Yet another thing to add to my list!

Lovingmama said...

Great system! Are your dots staying? I found that my colored dots do not stay on books or paper well and have been wondering if it is all dots or just the ones I bought?

Levi's Mommy said...

Love the book organizing, I tried it though (with far more categories), and it just got insane because we have hundreds of books. I think I'd need a whole bookshelf for each subject!

So instead, I pull out a stack of books that relate to whatever theme is going on at the time. For example last month I had all the holiday books and winter books out, next month I'll pull out anything relating to the human body... and I put all of those in a big basket in our homeschool space. The rest of the books live in the hall on a giant shelf, in the guest room, and fill a whole closet in the garage!

Vive...rie...ama said...

What a great blog- I found it via pinterest and (happily) got sucked in:). I can't wait to read more!!!! Thanks for your generous sharing of incredible ideas.

Sharon-shutterbug said...

I have the same question as lovin'mama - when I tried to do the same thing several years ago, I had a hard time getting my dots to stick. Did you experience that at all?

Sarah said...

I have a question for you: First, a little background. I have three children, 5, 3, and 8 mos. I love having educational toys and centers. I make a lot of montessori-type things for my kids and they handle playing with them and putting them away really well. And then we have friends over. How do you protect your classroom during a play date? I feel like such a stingy mom to make certain things "off limits", but I get so irritated when something gets broken or pieces get strewn about and inevitably lost. Do you have any suggestions?

Counting Coconuts said...

I've not had any trouble with the dots - they're sticking just fine! I wonder if they'll fall off during the summer though... it's gets pretty humid here! :)

@Sarah: I know just what you're talking about. For us, it's easy to keep the classroom off limits - we just shut the door to the room. I explain to the kids that this room is for school time only, and that they're not to play in there. Before we had a designated classroom, however, we had our school materials out in the playroom on shelves. Before friends came over I'd remove anything I didn't want touched. I won't deny that it was a tedious effort - removing and replacing - but it was worth it to me. I'm like you, I'd get irritated if something wasn't handled properly.

HTH!

rachel whetzel said...

THIS!! THIS IS WHAT MY SHELVES HAVE BEEN MISSING!! I have sorted our books ever since I can remember... but the part where my KIDS put books back where I PUT THEM... this is the KEY!! I love you so much right now, I could hug you.

cereal said...

Beautiful! I did exactly the same thing with our homeschool bookshelf. I don't know if I'm happy to see that someone else had the same idea or disappointed that I'm not so brilliantly creative after all, having merely reinvented the wheel.
Love your blog. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

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