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Classroom Library *mind blown*

Reading | Literature 


Senior Member
I feel so good about this, but i can't tell my grade level team as they will either think I'm an idiot for not figuring this out or make more suggestions that will make me start all over. Can i just share this happy dance?
I have always hated my classroom library. Not only was it uninspired, but disorganized from the giddy-up. Along with our Superkids leveled libraries we also get donations from other schools, including their leveled readers from their reading series. I always find myself sitting on the floor trying to remember that a red star=1=A. I'd eventually give up and just shove a bunch of books in bins, especially since the storybooks don't really have levels.
Then I did the best thing ever: I sat in the middle of my library and Googled.
I came across an article that said that leveling is not necessary for a good library. Just group them by interest so the kids can read (or try to read) what they like, then use the series leveled readers for decoding practice. I came up with 10 great categories, stored one extra small box of books and put the rest of those suckers in the hall!
Why had I never thought of this before?!


Senior Member
Yep, genre all the way. This is also the way that book stores and libraries are organized so you're giving more real life skills than simply leveling readers would do for a kid.


Full Member
I have a fiction library, a non fiction library and a leveled library in my room. There are not many picture books in the leveled library. Mostly things like pm readers, rigby books, wright group books, phonic readers, frog and triad, etc I works great and the kids understand the purpose of three library areas.


Senior Member

I have never leveled my library, until last year, and I only caved and did it because I teach four different grade levels of GT pullout and I have books from PK (for some of my ELLs who prefer easier books in English) to HS level. Before that, with a single grade level, I always just set them up fiction, nonfiction and biography - just like the library did.

I have them leveled (based on AR levels since the rest of the school uses that), but students are allowed to read from any books they choose. The only thing I ask is that they not go too low or too high, so there are sufficient books for the students who actually NEED that level of book.


Full Member
Classroom library

I have leveled books for guided reading. I keep those just for that purpose.
Then there are seasonal books that come out during the year; mixed fiction and nonfiction. These are kept in big tubs. They usually are used in morning on arrival or any free time. Often kids read with partner because they are higher levels.

My kids keep a box of 8 to 10 just right or good fit books. They should be read without help. They shop for books once a week from various baskets. I use 3 colors. Green stickers indicate easier books, red sticker about grade level (early chapter books), and blue stickers higher levels like chapter books (magic Tree House, Junie B., etc or higher). There are several levels in each color but not labeled with level.

Kids are taught how to find books that they can read independently. In beginning I guide by saying "look for some green label books." It takes a while to get all on board but it works. Eventually (later in year) they can read to themselves for 20-30 min. And all the easier books are back in closet.

Finally, I keep lots of science/social studies and math books in separate baskets. Kids can take when they have time. Big books are in big wheelie thing.