Saturday, August 3, 2013

Teacher Library

At the end of the school year in June, I cleared all of the shelves above the counter and sink in my classroom. I created piles of books that were related to the Lucy Calkins reading workshop themes. I pulled out my teacher resource books that I actually use--not the ones that have nine inches of dust on them! I created piles of my books that were subject-specific.
One shelf contains only teacher resource materials directly related to Balanced Literacy. Books that I have not looked at for years were posted and sold on Amazon or given to Goodwill.

One shelf houses all of the books for series book clubs. They are leveled and grouped in sets.

Another shelf contains mystery book club sets and single mysteries. I do not put these out in the classroom library until the mystery unit of study because if they have been out for months, then the students are not as excited to read them. Students get motivated to read books that are new to the library.

I labeled one shelf with books that are related to PBIS (our discipline system). It is important to use books in all areas of teaching, not just reading instruction. I only have a small collection of books for the social issues unit of study. This small stack of books is a great visual to remind me that I need to expand my collection of books for that unit. Now when the Literacy Facilitator at my school, or a parent, asks me what kinds of books I need I already know how to answer the question. I also put the materials for our writing program on this shelf. Being a Writer provides all of the actual books to use as anchors for the writing lessons, but I also have some of my own books that I add to the lessons.

I am a literacy teacher, but I still have great Math materials that I use with my students on rainy days when we can't go outside. This also will make it easy for me to share books with my Math teammates when they are looking for a literacy link in their lessons.
This is my nonfiction shelf. There are books with Social Studies links. There is a section of books that are nonfiction about animals since that is a huge writing unit for third grade. These are books that do not have Fountas and Pinnell levels, but still contain wonderful, grade level material. The final section is my collection of biographies. Just like mysteries, I do not put these books in the classroom library until we are studying that unit.

The final shelf holds books that support the beginning units of the year--Building a Reading Life and Characters into Meaning. It doesn't look like I have very many books for these two units, but I make sure I use strong literature for these two units--quality, not quantity.


  1. Thanks for adding the pictures. Organization is ALWAYS an issue so your visuals will be helpful!

    Have a great year! I am already anticipating your picture in the spring after you have added to your collections all year!

  2. Thank you for the encouragement, Fran. I have several other posts on my blog that show how I organize books and materials in my classroom. I hope you find them useful, too.