This was the case with my classroom library, or Literacy Lounge, as I like to call it. It's funny how the students picked up on it and began using the name as well. So, naturally, I had to define the space formally as the "Literacy Lounge". A commercially produced banner from Party City worked like a charm.
They love being in the space to browse the library or to sit and read a chosen book.
Setting up the library so that it's user-friendly for students and easy to manage for teachers is the key to a successful experience. Arrangement of the books is a personal decision. How are you going to categorize the titles? Will they be classified by author, alphabetically, by reading level, or by genre? I thought about this and it seemed like genre was the ticket for my classroom this year. I teach an inclusive classroom. I love working with students with disabilities...but that is another topic! I didn't want my fragile-readers to feel like they had to comply to reading a pre-selected group of books. The books are multi-level, but are assorted by genre or "topic".
The topics are displayed on a poster. Each topic on the poster has a number. The library is comprised of baskets with corresponding numbers. Each book is labeled with a number for which basket it should be housed and returned. Every time I go over to check on the baskets or to add some new titles, it's organized! Every book is in the correct basket. I'm just shocked at how well this system is working. I've barely had to do anything, except the original set up, to keep it organized. I keep extra labels in a file folder for any new books.
The students are really enjoying the Literacy Lounge. I'm enjoying that my efforts are paying off. Now...on to the next organizational task. Where am I going to keep all of the diagnostic assessments the students have been taking this year? How am I going to efficiently organized them so I can find one quickly when needed? Ugh! Off to Michaels, Target, Staples, & Dollar Tree. I'm hoping to find something on the cheap to assist in my organizing efforts!
More to follow...