Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Baskets for Our 3rd Grade Classroom Library

We should be curators of our libraries, not just collectors.
  Offering students an engaging, diverse classroom library requires more than buying books and putting them on bookshelves….Managing a classroom library requires curation-selecting the best most current materials for both curriculum needs and student interests.

  Donalyn Miller , Reading in the Wild  p. 80

I love this quote from Donalyn Miller's new book Reading in the Wild. It reminds me how important it is to be thoughtful about the books we put in our classroom libraries. When I first started teaching, I just collected books. My goal was to fill the shelves. I still love to collect books but I am a bit pickier about what goes in the classroom library and each year I reflect and revise.

It's that time of year when I begin to think about baskets of books that were not really used by students and new baskets that are needed.  Most of the fiction section of the classroom library are organized by series and author.  I find that this organization supports readers.

I am thinking about new baskets I'll add to our library this year.  Some of these are new series or series I didn't know about last fall.

We LOVED The Quirks (and author Erin Soderberg) in our classroom this year. Even though there are only 2 books out in this series, the third is due out in December and with 3 books in a series we love, we must have a basket!  This is a great series for 3rd and 4th graders and I am excited that it is becoming a series. I definitely want to highlight this one next year.

The third book in the series by Julie Sternberg was just released this spring. I Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie as a stand alone book. But I was thrilled when the author continued the story with Like Bug Juice on a Burger and Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. I love the characters in the story and the problems are perfect for 3rd graders. I am thinking lots of kids will read this once they see it is a series.

The Magic Bone series -Be Careful What You Sniff For #1 (Magic Bone) was a huge hit in my classroom this year. One of my George Brown, Class Clown (Super Burp! #1 (George Brown, Class Clown) fans discovered it (same author) and shared it. The series definitely made its rounds in the classroom and was a definite favorite. This is also a fairly new series as the 5th one was released last week.

Two series I have not yet read but am confident they will have baskets in the fall are The Sasquatch Escape (The Imaginary Veterinary) series and Andy Griffith's series The 13-Story Treehouse. They are on my stack to read soon but I have heard from so many people that they are both perfect for 3rd graders, I imagine I'll be adding these as baskets too.


  1. Love the quote and love these ideas for library baskets --teachers will love this post!
    Clare and Tammy

  2. My students loved the Imaginary Veterinary series - I ended up reading all three aloud! (Book 4 comes out this summer.) 13-Story Treehouse and 26-Story Treehouse rarely stayed on the shelf in my classroom. Plan to "budget" for all six! Enjoy!

  3. Fun post. I'm a former 3rd grade teacher (I had reading bins) and my son just finished third grade. Love the new recommendations!!


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