Wonders All Around

Learning Alongside My 5th Grade Wonders


#SOL19 Day 14: Resorting Book Baskets

My students LOVE to read! We have independent reading, read alouds, book talks, book discussions, book clubs, and book-a-day readings. We read a lot of books. We always seem to be in search of more books.

All of this book action takes a toll on our classroom library. Another teacher asked me the other day if I had a copy of The Lost Hero that a student could borrow. “I do…” I replied hesitantly.

She mistook my tone to mean that I didn’t want to lend it out. “It’s not a big deal,” she said as she turned to go search elsewhere for the book.

“No, that’s not it,” I replied. “I’m just not sure I’ll be able to find it for you.”

Last week, I searched for my copy of Louisiana’s Way Home. Couldn’t find it. A couple of days ago I had the same problem with The Youngest Marcher. To make matters worse, as I was searching, I found backwards books, upside-down books, and even books-within-books! Grrr! No wonder students are always asking me if they can go to the school library to check out a book! Clearly, this isn’t working for anyone.

No more putting it off…today we would take on reorganizing our picture books!

We pulled all the picture book baskets off the shelves and moved them onto desks. One to three students took over the books in a basket and starting organizing them. Soon the whiteboard was covered with book categories: talking animals, biographies, favorites from when we were younger. Patricia Polacco (I have a TON of her books!), poetry, Revolutionary War, etc.

After we noticed popular categories, we gathered the books that belonged together and put them in a labeled basket. A couple of baskets, such as history and science, needed to be further refined and split into multiple baskets. We also ended up with a small pile of books that haven’t been placed yet, but there will be at someone, maybe even me, who will take care of those soon.

It took about 45 minutes, but it was so worth it! The whole time, students were having great conversations about book categories. Even better, many books that hadn’t been read all year ended up in students’ individual totes. I even had a couple of students who asked if they could wash the dust off of all the shelves!

Our picture books are ready to be loved again; however, our novels are totally jealous and are demanding that they get the same treatment soon!


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