Thursday, June 27, 2013

Books, Books, Books: Read to Self and Book Organization

I am thrilled to link up with Cara at The First Grade Parade for a Throwback Thursday Linky Party!

This is a post from December 2011!  It focuses on how I organize Read to Self.

I recently changed out my student book boxes because they were taking up sooo much room. I am trying to open up the room a bit and to consolidate some materials.  I went back to my old magazine file boxes.  My kiddos last year actually preferred them to the plastic baskets. I labeled the back with “Book Box” and put their names on the front.  I ordered them from an educational catalog, but can’t remember which one.  The fronts look similar to the second picture.  I have had this set for 5 years and they have held up pretty well.  They will probably be retired after this year.  I wish I live near an IKEA to pick up some of their beautiful boxes.  They would be cheap enough for the students to get their own to decorate. 


A teacher I worked with had the kids bring in a cereal box to decorate and use for a book boxes.  I am just way to OCD about how things look and want the boxes to be all neat and the same size.

In their boxes they have 5 just right (leveled books) and 2 library books.  They change them out as part of their read to self center every Monday.  They also have their journals, school magazines, and when I did poetry journals, they put those in here too. 



Click on the picture above to find out more about my leveled books.

My students take book bags home every night with their reading log, sight word ring (when I get around to doing them), spelling notebook, and a nightly book from their guided reading group.  When the kids come in, they store their book bags in the baskets on the shelf.  The baskets are labeled with the group colors.  When it is time for a group, the kids grab their bags and come to the table.

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This is the shelf behind my reading table (on my beautiful contact papered counter!).  The basket on the top shelf is for the extra books from the guided reading sets.  When the students bring their bags back, they hand in their old book and I fish out the set from the basket.  They are rubber banded together and put in a basket by the door for a helper to return to the library.  Our library has a pretty amazing book room and our sets are checked out and returned there.  I check out about a week’s worth of books at a time.  Usually I check out on Friday – I know most people just want to go home, but it is when I get jazzed up about the next week.

The barrel holds my reading buddies.  They are mini beanie babies that I bought in a lot on Ebay.  For a few bucks, my kids have a buddy to do a second reading with.  I rarely have complaints about rereading a book because of these little guys. 

The chimes signal a switch in centers. The four containers hold the books for the groups to read. 

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I have an acrylic sign frame thingy next to them that I   use as a table-top easel during groups.  On the end of the bottom shelf, is my running record binder. I keep track of students conferences and pieces of assessment in there, including sight words. It is a system that has worked pretty well for me. The blue boxy thing next to the white shelf is where I keep any response sheets or game that I want to use in groups that week.

On another note, I am dying to make two purchases for my classroom.  I just need to really justify them to myself!  I saw these on two  blogs and decided they needed to be in my classroom!  Merry Christmas to me!

Product Details

(I bought these two items!  The Talk Spots were soooo worth it!  The story cubes are okay.  I actually created some story dice that my students enjoy way more – they are cute and colorful.  Visit my TPT to check them out!)medium-643297-1Story Dice Center

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