Today I went to my classroom for a few hours before a doctor's appointment. This was the view that greeted me from the door.
Since my school has tile floors and little built in storage, we have to pack up everything that sits on the floor during the school year. Which means unpacking/getting ready for the new school year takes longer for me than it did at my previous school that had built in cubbies and storage. When it comes to getting my room ready, I like to go in for a few hours at a time in July and get it done, because my husband usually takes a few days off in early August for our anniversary. :)
Today my objective was to start organizing and purging my classroom library. Most of my classroom library is in these six blue totes.
When I first started teaching, I focused more on quantity of books rather than quality. I'd go to thrift stores every payday and buy any book I thought might have a Reading Counts test. I'd also ask for gift cards to book stores at Christmas, went to a used bookstore after church each week, and sent home book orders. This certainly allowed me to accumulate A LOT of books throughout the years. However, there are also A LOT of books that my students just simply aren't reading.
Donalyn Miller points out in Reading in the Wild that we should discard of books in our libraries that are: MUSTIE;" Misleading, Ugly,Superseded, Trivial, Irrelevant or Elsewhere.
That's what I focused on today. I started looking through my books as I was unpacking them today with MUSTIE in mind.
This summer I want to totally revamp how my classroom library is set up. Previously, it was by level with a separate section for popular chapter books. Which made it really difficult for my avid readers last year to find books that interest them.
I polled last years students on how I should organize my library and they overwhelmingly chose by genre/book series.
With my new organization method in mind, I started creating piles of related books/genre piles around my room. I put all MUSTIE books in a big pile as well. For me, MUSTIE books are any books I've NEVER seen a child read since I bought it, books that aren't relevant to my age group (Clifford, Franklin, Easy Readers, etc.), or in need of serious repair. I plan on donating all MUSTIE books to a teacher who could use them. :)
Since I have so many books, it was a bit of an overwhelming task. I was able to unpack three of my totes before I had to leave to go to the eye doctor.
As you can see, it's quite a mess BUT this messy process is helping me weed out those MUSTIE books and giving me a good idea of what categories and genres to use when organizing my library for my students.
After my eye doctor's appointment, I headed to Dollar Tree and Big Lots to look for possible book bins.
Previously, I used these GLES boxes from Ikea. Which I really liked but all mine are blue and red and really don't go with my classroom color scheme, which is bright pink, blue, and green with black accents. They do come in bright green now, which could work.
The clear bin is from Big Lots and the green and pink ones are from Dollar Tree. I only bought one of each and will try them out in my classroom the next time I head in to see which one will work best. :)
I'll continue to check in as my room starts to come together.
Before I go, let's chat! How do you organize your classroom library? Is it easy for you to part with books from your classroom library?