I sort with a mix by topic (space, dogs and cats, etc.), genre (poetry or kids realistic fiction), and sometimes author. I also make bins of "wordless books", " starting off books", "songs", "weekly reads" (reading series stories), and "great beginning books" so that my lower readers can always find something. I try to highlight different bins when I read aloud. I also have a "new books" bin for new Scholastic purchases. Happy sorting!!
sorted by authors and topics. I made labels, laminated, and attached with a glue gun. Each bin has a number and then I wrote the same number on the back of each book with permanent marker. It makes it easy for the children to return to the correct bin.
Book Hospital I marked on bin as the book hospital with a picture of an ambulance. The student learned to put books with a ripped page or loose cover into the Hospital Bin. Then I can give the bin to a parent volunteer or fix it the books when I have time.
I have 2 ways. I level one part of it but use books that are from companies like Rigby and Pioneer Valley. The other books are sorted by genre, author, topic. I put letters on the "other books" and letters on the leveled books.
If you are going to have Independent Reading as a significant portion of your ELA block, then I would STRONGLY recommend developing a leveling system. You can teach about picking just right books until you're blue in the face, but 6-7 year olds are rarely going to be picking books at their proper independent reading level. I started leveling a few years ago- I use colored dots on the cover- and I will never go back. The kids are so much more engaged, and reading conferences are so much more effective because kids have the proper books in their hands. My kids started growing a LOT more. Kids are also allowed separate choice time reading, so they also get time to read any book from our library.
My kids aren't competitive about it. They know that readers grow at different paces. We say that reading is not a race...everyone gets to (level) Z eventually!
Lucy Calkins has a lot to say on why to level your library. She can say it better than I ever could!
I have my nonfiction by subject (animals, science, around the world, math, maps and globes, holidays, etc.) and my fiction by guided reading level using the Scholastic Book Wizard. I find the same thing as ACRteach: I teach, teach, teach 'good fit' books, but my students are generally only exposed to books at school, and so they're so enthusiastic that they dive in and decide everything is a 'good fit,' even if they're a B and the book is an N. I do have a few bins that are not leveled, like Curious George, ABC books, song books, etc. When they choose for their book boxes or for a take-home book daily, they choose from their leveled bin (some will special-request a specific book outside their bin and that is almost always granted). This way the parents don't get frustrated by helping a C kid try to battle through an H book. Their book boxes may include 5 from their level and 2 from any bin in the library, so they have access to high-interest books as well as on-level books. They are allowed to switch book box books any morning during morning work as they trickle into the room over 15 minutes to prevent boredom. I also find that they're not competitive. When a child moves up, the others get excited for them, and when they're reading in buddies, sometimes a higher reader will purposely choose a lower book from their partner's bin without me saying anything.
DO what makes sense for you, because you'll be maintaining it!
I need to have them reading just-right books during reading workshop, and they take the books home to retread for HW. I let them look one level up and one down, but even then, they have a distorted view of what they can really read. They think being able to decode most words in a book means they can read it when they haven't a clue what's going on, or can't infer character motives or understand phrases. In my school, no matter what we do, reading level is a status symbol. Sigh! Other than that, I love the reading workshop approach.
for the majority of the books I sort by genre and other variety of sorting ideas (songs, poetry), wordless books, big books etc. Then I have a section where the students choose from levelled books, especially for home reading. As they get more proficient in reading (DRA levels 12, 14, 16) they start to discover they can read some of the genre books and take them for home reading because they have had them in their reading bins and are able to read them. All the books have a number on the back which corresponds to the number on the bin.
Yes, don't forget to number and have corresponding numbers on the bins! It is a lifesaver! :-) All firsties can put them back in the correct spot when they match the number bin to the number on the book.
I teach Kinders and I sort by topic (bear stories, pet stories, farm animals, people stories, Curious George ect).
I bought green and purple baskets-green for non fiction and purple for fiction. I coded them with the little shapes from Word, maybe a square centimeter each. For example, I put a little purple square on all the Clifford books and the Clifford basket.
It took a few weeks to learn the system really well, but my kids have it down now! When I start finding messy baskets I just have them all sit on their spots on the rug, give them a basket and let them go through it to find the wrong books, then they put all the books where they really go. This will last for a month or so before I start finding a few lazy books traveling around.
This year I will be putting a gold star on my "you can read" books (the ones with CVC words and sight words we will cover during the year). I will also be putting a colored dot on all the books that are in spanish (I teach primarily ESL kids) because some of the kids can read those before most English books since they are phonetic and don't have all those nasty sight words in them. I've found that with my littles, playing to their desire to read in spanish encourages them to start reading in English as well.