Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Blog Party - Week 1 Read to Self/Book Organization

I am linking up with
for her "Summer Blog party!"
This week we are focusing on "read to self" and book organization.

Library Organization
I have to say that I LOVE my classroom library!  Unfortunately with being on summer break, I do not have any pictures.  I have thousands of books, thanks to my parents who kept all of mine, plus many library and garage sale finds over the years:)  My school provides some books as well.  All books are leveled with F&P leveled color ranges as follows:
A-C red
D-E yellow
F-G dark green
H-I blue
J-M orange
N+ light green
The levels are posted with either a sticker or a crayon in the inside back cover of the book so reading levels are kept as private as possible.  I have two sections in my library: fiction and non-fiction (each have multiple sets of bookshelves).

In the fiction section I have several author bins in the author/book series study section (ex. Magic Tree House, Laura Numeroff).  Other than that, the fiction book are divided into bookshelves/bins by color (all red in one bin).

The non-fiction section is made up with about 20 bins depending on topic (ex. weather, biographies, animals, etc.).  I have the colors mixed up in here so that if they are looking for a weather book, they can find one that is their leveled book color.

Read to Self
I divide my students up throughout the week so that only a handful of students choose their books each day (they choose the following day if they are absent on their day).  This allows me to have a few minutes each morning to help kids to find appropriate books that they are interested in.  They have their seat sacks to hold their books so that they can easily read them if they have an extra minute or two and they don't have to go across the room to a book box.
Students choose 7 books that are at "their independent level" and 1 book of their choice.  I find that having the extra book can help really engage students with books, even if it is above their reading level.  I do however require that they read their leveled books first.  I try to have them have about 1/2 fiction, and 1/2 non-fiction.

During "read to self" time, students are able to get a pillow, or a stuffed animal from my stuffed animal collection to read with. I have many book characters too.  The kids love this!  They know that whatever they choose, they have to have by the time I finish counting down or they don't get anything for that round.  You can read more about how I keep things fair with my It's My Turn! post.
In addition, some years I have cozy places to read.  For several year I had a pool that was filled with blue pillows which the kids loved!  When I had a camping themed classroom, I had a 1 person tent that the child of the day got to read inside of during reading time.

Happy reading!  :)


  1. I love it! Thanks for stopping by. I love the idea of stuffed animals for the kids to read with and 1 free book. The chair bags are a great alternative to the boxes :)

    1. I am glad that you found it useful! Thank you for hosting this summer long linky party! I used book boxes my first couple years but found that kids would be up and down like popcorn if they had a few extra minutes to go and get them. The "free choice" book is a privilege that they know they can lose if they are only looking at that one.

  2. We think very similar! I also have seat sacks and love them. That is where my students keep their books too. AND along with my couch and pillows, the students also can read with a stuffed animal but I only have about 7 so I need to figure out a way to share the love. I will need to read your post about "It's My Turn". Thanks for visiting my blog and I am your newest follower. :)

    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

    1. Glad to be of help:) I am your newest follower. Garage/yard sales are a great place to get stuffed animals. I even got many for free if the person knew I was a teacher (their offer after a friend I was with told them).

  3. Just found your blog! Thanks for sharing your Read to Self ideas:)I have never used stuffed animals, but am thinking a reading buddy might be fun:)

    The Resourceful Apple

    1. They especially love when they are reading with a character in the book that they are reading:) I am your newest follower:)