Today, Growing Kinders asked:
How do you organize your books?
I love this question, because I struggled with it for years. For so long, I treated my books like they were priceless treasures. I read them to my class, but wouldn't put them out in my classroom library. I was afraid they would get ripped, or bent, or smudged with little fingerprints. I stocked my classroom library with rejects--hand-me-downs or books I picked up at garage sales. Hardly what I would call quality literature.
Then I started reading people like Debbie Miller. I fell in love with Reading Workshop, and all of the sudden, I wanted my kids to READ. Not just the crap books I put out, but rich, deep, engaging literature. I wanted the kids to love reading as much as I do, and I wanted them to fall in love with books. So away went the crappy books and out went my favorites.
Now I don't have to store a lot of books, because most of my books are out for the kids to read and put in their book boxes. I have books of every genre out--fiction, fairy tales, leveled readers, magazines, author collections...This year, I set up a whole non-fiction section in another part of my classroom. My classroom library keeps expanding and expanding, like a living, growing thing.
There are some books, mostly holiday books or seasonal books, that only come out for part of the year. They go on this book stand. This picture was taken at the beginning of the year, so all of the back-to-school books are out.
When they're not out, I store those books on my bookshelves, but as you can see, there are not that many.
By the way, even though I spend a lot of time establishing expectations for how to treat books (read here), they still get ripped and bent and smudged with little fingerprints. But they get READ!
They are well-loved.
Besides, there's nothing a little packing tape can't fix!
Next year, I'm moving to a new school and will have a new classroom. I can't wait to set up my classroom library and will post pictures as soon as I can. In the meantime--get those books off your teacher shelf and out where the kids can READ them!