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  • Writer's pictureSaresha Zentner

How to Set Up your Classroom Library so it Manages Itself!

How do you organize your classroom library? Most people who responded to this question on my Instagram story said by genre or by reading level. I’m going to share an organizational method that has worked for me for over 3 years now. This method can work when organized by Reading Level, but I organize my classroom library by genres. It may take some time, but this system manages itself!

There are three steps to setting up your library this way:

Step One: Separate your books based on genre. This does take some time, but I promise you it is worth it in the end!

Step Two: Use Washi tape to label books. I picked up my Washi tape a few years ago and it has held up! Make sure you have a distinct tape color/design for each genre. I just put a small piece of Washi tape near the bottom of each book.

Step Three: Find a way to display your organizational system so students can use it effectively. I have made up genre posters. You can find my black and white genre posters here and my watercolor pastel genre posters here. You can purchase my plant themed genre posters here! I put a piece of tape on each poster so students know which section of books are that genre.

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to set up these genre posters!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do you get students to keep the books in order?

A: Besides the tape, I do not have a specific order. When I am explaining the system at the beginning of the year, students know that I expect them to return books by their same tape. I also have a student whose job is “Bookshelf Organizer.” They double check that all the books are in the correct spot. You can check out my classroom jobs product here.

Q: Does the tape fall off?

A: Rarely. Every once in a while, the tape will start to come off a book. The student who notices the tape coming off will tell me and I’ll replace it.

Q: Does it take a lot of time?

A: The part of the project that took the most time was organizing it by genre. If you have this done already, then it shouldn’t take you too long! Putting the tape on goes fast.

Do you have any other questions? Comment below to let me know!

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