Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Classroom Library-Some Photos and My Thinking Behind Them

Lots of my time this summer has been in the classroom thinking through my classroom library. It is not how I want it and I think I will be reorganizing through the first few weeks of school. But here is where I am right now. I am still working on the picture book section but that might come along with the kids once we start the year.  I'm not thrilled with where they are and how they fit on the shelves so I'm not sure how they'll work yet.  But the other sections seem to be coming along slowly. I always forget what a big job this is!

I had to do a lot of weeding moving from 4th grade to 3rd grade. Many of my books were just too complex to take up space and I needed to make room for more transitional books. I think I still have more to weed but will wait til I spend a few weeks getting to know the kids.

I have a large built in shelf that I am using for fiction--mostly series, favorite authors and chapter books.  There is a good variety and this is the largest part of the classroom library and the first thing you see when you walk in.  (5 of these across). This age is critical when it comes to finding authors, characters and series you love so this space is dedicated to that.

I've created baskets of authors who have both picture books and chapter books.  I am hoping students will find authors they love from primary grades. I also want to let them know that level doesn't matter --when you love an author, you love their work, regardless of level.  Doreen Cronin is funny whether they are picture books or chapter books. An important message at this age,  I think.

The Nonfiction section of the library is near our meeting area. It takes up a corner of the room. The books are organized into baskets by topic, series and author. There are also some random baskets/sections and a whole area of picture book biographies.

I've been working this year to find more nonfiction authors that I love and that my third graders will love. I am trying to create author baskets so that we come to know and love nonfiction authors in the same way we love fiction authors. There are so many great nonfiction authors I don't know well--so glad to be discovering them!

I've also spent time thinking about nonfiction series books that might be good for 3rd grade.  I know how important fiction series are for transitional readers. I am thinking the same is true for nonfiction when it comes to understanding text structures, organization. I have discovered so many great nonfiction series and am trying to make them visible to kids in the classroom.


13 comments:

  1. I LOVE the attention you put into your classroom library(ies!) The photo of the author is a nice touch. We were just talking about moving our home picture book library/collection--it is rather large. Your classroom ideas are motivation for me to think about our current spaces for books in our home. Thank you for sharing.

    Lisa
    www.stepsandstaircases.tumblr.com

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  2. I love everything about this post! Great work at organizing the all-important classroom library! I agree - I also love non-fiction, and those baskets make me want to dive in! Good job!

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  3. For nonfiction, do you have some of Deborah Hopkinson's books? I love her books, particularly Maria's Comet about Maria Mitchell.

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    1. I do have hers--but I think I have them in the picture book biography basket. I need to relook at that basket. May be some authors to highlight. Thanks!

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  4. I'm doing this move in reverse right now! I'm moving from third to fourth and will need to bring out some more complex books as the year goes by. Agreed, that getting to know the children will help determine next steps. I'm sure you have lots of Nicola Davies. I've really liked her informational text for its content (some off-beat, like POOP and WHAT'S EATING YOU?) as well as for it's poetic language.

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    1. I don't know What's Eating You? I might be afraid to look! I will check it out!

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  5. I am interested in what nonfiction series you have found. The Face to Face series by National Geographic looks incredible. Would you consider having a post on NF authors/series?

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    1. Face to Face is good but a bit hard. I am working on an article for Choice Literacy about NF series. I think they are hard for 3rd. Eye on the Wild is one, Scientists in the Field for older elementary and MS, Diana Hutts books, the new National Geographic Kids Everything series. Those are a few I've highlighted. Hope that helps!

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    2. Thank you. You were very helpful. Looking forward to your article for Choice Literacy. I taught a summer reading club and next summer I am looking to include more NF (third-fourth graders).

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  6. As always, I love, love, love stepping into your classroom (and your mind). So smart! Our third graders last year loved a nonfiction series called WHO WOULD WIN by Jerry Pallota. You probably know it, but just in case…

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    1. I don't know that series--thanks!

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  7. Oh Franki, your post has inspired me to no end. I remember reading about how you set up your room last year. I adore how you put the picture of the author on the baskets. This year I've decided to start growing my library slowly as the year moves forward. I find First Graders get overwhelmed by too many books. So I plan to introduce themes and authors in my read alouds and then offer up new sections. We shall see.

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  8. Love this! Franki--what are some of your other favorite NF authors for this age? I can think of a lot for 4th/5th grade (You wouldn't want to be series, Who was series, etc. Love some of the new AV readers.

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