Thursday, August 21, 2014

Library Reveal



My masterpiece is complete(ish)! I am in love.  My library area is adjacent to my desk, and I get a little thrill every time I look over there (not sure what this says about the level of excitement in my life...).  So here's the rundown of how I created my library:

Books: I bought 750 used books from a friend from my teacher program who was switching grade levels.  I went through them a couple days a week after summer school and probably ended up getting rid of a third or more of them.  I threw out any that were torn beyond repair or outright racist (helloooo offensive portrayals of Native Americans), and then gave away ones that were too high for my kids or I knew they wouldn't like (Babysitter's Club). I was also able to get a ton of new, high quality books from First Book, an organization that provides books for free or at discounted rates to classrooms at Title 1 schools. These books are really the gems of my library.  And then of course I've bought some books piecemeal that I thought my kids just had to have.

Organization: I used Ladybug's Teacher Files' Ready 2 Number Library Labels. I LOVE these labels and they were so worth the $10.  I ended up having to heavily edit them because I grouped my books slightly differently.  However, they still give my library a cohesive look and I do love the images and colors. Here are my categories:
Nonfiction/Topics (Green Bins): Animals, Weather/Natural Disasters/Plants/Habitats, Science/Space, Numbers/Math/Language, History, Biography, African American History & Biographies, Advanced African American History & Biographies, Artist Biographies.
Nonfiction/Topics (Black Bins): Countries/Cultures, Transportation, Jobs, Sports, Dinosaurs, Holidays, Marine Life, Dual Language, Social Skills/Helping
Fiction (Green Bins): Realistic Fiction (2), Animal Stories (2), Favorite Characters, Fantasy, Scary/Funny, Historical Fiction, Fairy Tales/Folk Tales
Fiction (White Bins): Mystery (2), Sports Fiction, Goosebumps, Assorted Series, Berenstain Bears, Magic School Bus/Dr. Seuss, School Stories, Poetry, Reading A-Z Decodables

Materials/Decorations: The green bins are from IKEA and are something like $1.60 each. They're kind of awkwardly big for most shelves, but they don't look too bad if you have a whole shelf full of them.  The smaller black bins/boxes are from the Target Dollar Spot-- my favorite place after IKEA! The white bins/baskets came as a set from Amazon (Sterlite brand). The ladybug and colorful pillows are from IKEA.  The bench, beanbag, carpet, and blue pillows were hand-me-downs.  The colorful strand of diamonds came from the Target party section.  And I made that Hogwarts castle last year for a bulletin board when I was teaching Harry Potter!

This was such a satisfying project for me.  It was pretty labor intensive, but I'm so proud of it and I know it was a good investment in my students as readers. 

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