Thursday, August 6, 2015

Classroom Tools Linky

I am linking up with a fabulous classroom tool that I use in my classroom. Its an AWESOME way to organize your classroom library. In order to see how the system works, I need to tell you a little bit about how my library is used first. My classroom library is made up of two different "shopping areas". The Leveled Library (Our Dinner Books) and the Themed Library (Our Dessert Books). The system in a nutshell is:
1) I give a reading assessment to each kiddo and provide them with a level on a Shopping card.
2) Each kiddo can search for 2 below level books, 2 on level books, 2 above level books, and 1-2 desert books (depending on their level-for example, I am not going to give a level B reader in August 2 desert books because I primarily want them reading the levels on or close to their level)
3) Kiddos shop for books by teams on a different day of the week. (Ex. Team 1 on Monday, Team 2 on Tuesday) This happens during Morning Announcements every morning.
4) Each week as kiddos go to the classroom library to shop, they put their "old" books into a book return bin. Then shop for their "new" books.
5) The classroom helper called the "Librarian" returns all the books to the proper book baskets at the end of each day.

So how did I reorganize to create a better system and clean house? I spread everything out and went through EACH. AND. EXERY. BOOK! (Of course older grades probably don’t have to deal with this but for us younger grades, OH.MY.WORD!!! Talk about a mess!!) Trying to find more different colored dots, stars, shapes stickers to color code books so kiddos know which bin to put them back in.....TOTAL NIGHTMARE!!! As I mentioned above, my books were getting WWWAAAAAYYYYYY out of hand.  This year I noticed that my previous system of writing the levels for the leveled library on the back cover and the themed number for the themed library on the front of each book was confusing (jeez I am even confused just writing that--what in the heck made me think the littles could do it (although they did and it worked for YEARS) but I wanted something less confusing.  Here is a pic of how I organized in the waste of time and effort because the system was too confusing for the kiddos to grasp quickly. I ended up reteaching how to put books away and get new books much to often.
So I have developed a better system to keep the library looking great and help books get to the correctspot. I can show you how to Organize a system like this if you choose to do it.
The organization went like this:
1) I kept my two separate leveled (Dinner) and themed (Dessert) libraries but instead of putting them in two separate spots in the classroom, it is all in one area. With the leveled books going across the top shelf.
2) I developed classroom basket labels for the categories (that I have seen my kiddos go to year after year the most) that has words and pictures describing the books that belong in that basket. I also created matching stickers to place on each book within that basket. So NO MORE searching for matching stickers, just print, cut, stick and go!

3) I went through each and every book and separated them into their appropriate category and placed a small sticker in the upper right hand corner.  On this sticker is a word and a picture of the corresponding book basket that the book should go inside.  There are stickers for the leveled library and the themed/genre library
4) I made sure that each book basket had the corresponding word/picture sticker placed on the front/center of the basket.

Now it looks like this:

SO MUCH BETTER (and cute too!)
I am not going to lie, this process was time consuming but WELL worth it. If you are interested in this system, you can get these Classroom Library Labels for $8.50 in my store.

If you would like to get this product for free, just enter the rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope your school year gets off to a great start! You know because as of right now, I actually only finished 1 thing from my summer to do list!
Happy organizing!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

What August Brings.....

August brings school supply shopping, excited kiddos and teachers, nervous parents, and BEST OF ALL the site wide TpT sale!  August 3-4 everything in my store is up to 28% off using the code BTS15 at check out.  But if you happen to miss those days, my store will still be on sale for 20% off of everything on August 5th!  I am so excited to snag some of my wish list items!! How about you??

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