Monday, October 21, 2013

Leveled Classroom Library

I think it’s imperative that students are reading JR books.  If they aren't, they won’t grow as readers.  So, how do you ensure that the students are reading JR books?  You level your classroom library. When I first started leveling my books, I made the mistake of putting the level on the book.  Please don’t take offense if this is something you do. What works for one teacher doesn’t always work for another.  The students I teach tend to be very competitive and will pull books that are well above their independent reading level because they want to “show off”.  

So, enter my new leveling system.  I wish I could claim this as my idea, but I’m not that smart.  I was lucky enough to have Becky Koesel visit our school for a day.  Do you know Becky Koesel?  If not, you should!!  I love, love, love her!  Not only is she a fab teacher, but funny as H.E.double hockey sticks!  If you live in Texas, she holds several summer workshops in the Houston & San Antonio area. Even if you have to pay for the workshop yourself, it’s totally worth it…I promise!  Check out her website here!

Ok, back to my leveling system.  I use colored dots and decide which color represents the level.  Take a look at my “cheat sheet”…

Next, I look up the level of the book and put the colored dot on the spine of the books (I suggest securing it with some tape too).  Take a look at my leveled library…

Also, here’s a few websites to help match the level to a book.  Or you can just google it! Scholastic Book Wizard, Fountas & Pinnell, Beaverton School District

But, HOLY COW, I have a lot of books!  How do you expect me to level all those books?  Do you have parent volunteers who are just begging to help you in the classroom?  Send home a couple of book baskets with a list of websites and before long…it’s done!  If you aren’t lucky enough to have parents stalk help you, then take home a bag/cart full every other night (or once a week) and before long it will be done. 

Do you level your library?  If so, how do you do it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts & ideas!

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