In the past, I hated my classroom library. I invested a lot in books and took the time every year to organize the books into different bins, only for all the books to end up being mixed up and misplaced a few days later. I think we hope that if we explain to students how our library is organized at the beginning of the year that they will understand right away and sort classroom books efficiently. Shortly afterwards, our students remind us that they are in 5, 6, 7.... years old.
This year, at the beginning of the year, I took the time to sort my books again, but this time I organized myself differently. I made labels for each bin, as organized teachers usually do. However, I realized that to help students return books to the correct bins, they need visual cues. To provide these cues to them, I printed the same images that I have on my book bin labels onto stickers labels and put them on the back of each book.
When students have finished reading a book, they flip it over, look at the image I've stuck to the back of the book, and they proceed by putting the book back in the correct bin.
|This is what my classroom library looks like.|
|This is one of my library bins and books that belong in it, all clearly labelled.|