Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Steps Towards Organizing our Classroom Library

After reading "I know that book's here somewhere!"  How to Organize Your Classroom Library by Hollie Brooke I have taken a few more steps towards organizing all the books in my fifth grade classroom.

At this point I already have bins of books organized by genre however, Hollie suggests and I agree, that creating a database of all the books in a classroom will prove to be an incredibly useful tool for students when selecting books.  

So, the students and I are typing in the title, author and genre of each book in a Google Spreadsheet. I will print off 2 or 3 copies of this list and have it in the classroom for a reference for students to use.

Because it's Google, I will also be able to share this database in a variety of digital formats.  Once it's complete I will post a link on our classroom wiki and even be able to send the link to parents and students in an email.

I do have high hopes of creating hyperlinks of each book where kids can click the book title and quickly get a glimpse of what the cover looks like, read a summary of the book and even possible read reviews.

Another advantage is the ability to sort any of the columns alphabetically.  This will allow me to get a sense of the different genres and authors I already have and identify any gaps in our classroom library.

For instance, when I sort the genre column alphabetically I can quickly see that I have over 100 biographies but hardly any autobiographies.  So, now I have identified a gap and can begin fillin' it. 

The kids are actually pretty excited about helping create this database and are especially interested to see the number of books continue to grow.  We are currently at 350ish and only about half way through. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I am enjoying using the website Goodreads to keep track of all the books that I have been reading.  It's also been a great way to get book recommendations and to see what others have been reading.

Like most websites these days, there is a social component where you can "make friends" or share what you're reading on your facebook page.

There is also a "Group" section that I have yet to really delve into but when time permits, perhaps over the summer I will see what that's all about.

Another neat feature that I have started using is the ability to create book shelves.  So for instance, I have my fifth grade reading books separated from my own adult interest books.

The final point that I will mention is that Goodreads has developed a "goal setting" feature.  So, my goal, which is separate from the reading goal I made with my students in September, is to read 50 books this year.

What are you reading these days?