Setting Up My Classroom Library

Happy 2020, teacher friends!

This year I’m heading back to Foundation and moving classrooms meant moving  my (rather large) classroom library. Again. I have to say, moving books is hard. They’re heavy, for one. And they always end up in a different order to however you’d set them up before.

Because I was headed back into the junior grades I thought it was important this year to set everything up with a system that would help my young students to be able to put books back where they belong. I did this a few years ago (with varying success) but I wanted to streamline the process a bit this year.

I don’t have a ‘reading corner’ this year (mostly because I took the only ‘corner’ space in the classroom for my teacher bookshelf and desk area so I wasn’t in the way of the students). Rather, I have a reading wall, with two bookshelves of books for my students.

One shelf has a collection of Australian authors and Australian picture books, because I believe in the importance of letting my students know which books have been written by people from our country – and this shelf includes books sorted by authors (at the top, Aussie authors I have multiple books by) and then other Australian authors who I might only have one or two books by. There’s also a collection of Indigenous titles in there, too, and I may separate those out later in the year so students can find them specifically.

Below that I have series titles and also books with multiple copies about the same author – these include Dr. Seuss titles, Little Golden Books, the Mr Men/Little Miss series, Pete the Cat, Splat the Cat, and more.

The second bookshelf holds all the nonfiction titles at the top, traditional tales, superhero and Star Wars books and at the bottom, the rest of the picture books that my students can access.

You’ll note that each tub has a title and below it a picture and label.

Every book in my collection now has a coordinating sticker with the picture/label that corresponds with the shelf or tub it belongs to and I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that this will ensure most things go back where they belong. I’m also going to bring back my Lost Books tub when I get a chance so I can train up some classroom library helpers to assist their peers in returning books.

I won’t lie, this took a long time and many hours to get looking the way that I wanted it to. I moved bookshelves into different configurations, tried to match books up into categories then had to go through and make labels and stick them on to books. But I’m so happy I did it before the year and that I can start 2020 with a good system in place.

(And a HUGE thanks to my Mum who came in and lined all the books up neatly, because she wanted the shelves to look good on the first day – I don’t know what I’d do without here!)

Do you have a classroom library system? Let me know your method in the comments!

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