November 09, 2011

Leveled Library Help!!

Okay people, I need your help! I have a huge classroom library. Like many of you I am slightly seriously addicted to books.  My books have always been organized by genre, topic, and author or series.  After seeing all the blog posts about leveling classroom libraries, I was planning on doing this next summer.

HOWEVER...yesterday I got a wild hair up my rear when I saw the mess my kiddos have made of the classroom library and instead of just putting it back the way it was, I began leveling books using the Scholastic book wizard.  Holy crappin-apolis!  What a mess!  There is no turning back!

Here is where you come in.  I'm giving away free airline tickets to the first five people willing to come finish the job for me!  I wish!  At my school, we use DRA levels.  So although my kiddos are all leveled, I've never made a big deal with them about their level number.  Do I put numbers on my new leveled boxes?  Will kids get wacko about their numbers?  Bragging, whining, etc.  I could be worrying about nothing and I know the kids know who are the great readers and all.  But, I'm still unsure.  Please give me your opinion.  Be honest.

Also, how do you level a book that isn't on the Scholastic book wizard?  I have a LOT that aren't!

Tomorrow afternoon I have a sub so I can attend a math curriculum meeting and right now I should be  torching organizing my room because I have piles of books everywhere.  The kids today were literally climbing over piles to get behind my desk.  What was I thinking??  The end result will be worth it, I know.  The kids are excited about what I am doing (as if all the books are suddenly new) even though they don't know what exactly I am doing.

PLEASE help if you can!!


  1. I have a DRA leveled library of books I use for our reading homework. I haven't run into the problem of kids bragging or whining with picking those books. I usually tell students some of us are good readers, some of us are good at math, some good at writing or art. So if they are "low" they just need some extra practice and help--That's how I say it. If they pick a hard book from the school library, I may intervene and say it's too hard, pick something else. I do that for all my kiddos--sometimes they are picking 6th grade level books. Our Librarian has also tried to teach them a rule, open a page and read it and if you miss 5 words or more it's too hard. (doubt some of them think they miss any words) :) Also if you teach them to find a book that's just right for them, not too hard and not too easy. I know many times students think they can read higher (and parents may say they can too) but do they know what they are reading and comprehend?? So I try to point that out to kiddos too.

    As for the ones that aren't on book wizard, I did some guessing with some. I'd look at how many words were on each page, how hard the words seemed on the pages, if it seemed similar to another book and just put a level on it. It's not perfect science but I didn't know what to do with books that weren't on there either, especially science type books. I know I'm not tons of help so I won't be getting those plane tickets :) he he....but that's how I did it.
    Good luck!

  2. We use A.R. and 100 Book Challenge at our school (and I do level each and every book that enters my classroom to stay - ahhh!!). I have had my classroom library organized for years now - the same way....and I've conferred with my school's media specialist each year because I LOVE to rearrange! (Her name is Sharon, and she's a good friend of mine, but don't you DARE call her a librarian! lol). She has always been against organizing by levels. And her reasoning is this: when the kids go to the school library or the public library, they are not arranged by levels. They are arranged by authors and then the Dewey system. So I have kept my books arranged that way. BUT, I do have my series separated (like my Junie B., Magic tree house, black lagoon, a to z mystery...etc). and my nonfiction isn't by the Dewey decimal, but I do have them organized according to subject.
    BUT, I do have my monthly books separated, like all my holidays. But, after much deliberating, with Sharon, she has said that if the book in the monthly books section belongs to a set of books that I have a lot of (like dePaola or Cronin or whoever), then to put it in with the authors.....because the goal is to make it easiest for the kids, not for me! (I have to be reminded of this a lot! lol)
    One way that my shelves remain organized (somewhat) is that I have painters' sticks with my students' numbers on them and they use their stick and put it in the spot where they find the book so they know where to put it back.

  3. Hi! Well I would keep going with your system. For the books that don't have a level, I would group them by author or genre etc. I have some books that I just didn't level. I have them in tubs with some sort of sticker that shows the students they belong in that particular tub like De paola books etc.. You can do the colored dot system instead of numbers....then just keep a colored dot number key for you so you know what the colored dots mean!!!I did the alphabet and to me A is 1, B is 2 etc. but for the kids it hasn't been obvious. :) You are So brave to do this mid year...I desperately just need to reorganize the books that have all been thrown in the wrong tubs. Thanks so much for taking part in my giveaway!!! :)


Thanks for filling my bucket!


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