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  • Writer's pictureAlways Upper Elementary

Classroom Library Organization Hack!

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

I have watched so many sweet teacher friends spend HOURS reorganizing their classroom libraries after students haphazardly shoved books back into random places on the shelves.


One item that should absolutely NOT be on your to-do list is reorganizing your classroom library every day after the kids leave!


As teachers, we are always short on time because there is so much we need to get done… So, let's take that item off of your to-do list by using this classroom library system instead! This system is easy to implement and it will save you time in the long run.


Say goodbye to messy book bins and spending hours reorganizing your library... and say hello to a simple organization system that students can do INDEPENDENTLY!

Here’s the system:

  • Separate your books into broad categories

    • Don’t use categories like: funny, animals, famous people etc.

    • Use categories like: realistic fiction, nonfiction, & fantasy

    • Too many categories creates more work for you, makes things unnecessarily complicated, and doesn’t mimic a real library

  • Designate a duct tape color for each genre

    • Here are mine to give you some inspiration:

  • I recommend using this brand of duck tape. It is the only kind I will use because it's durable, vibrant, and actually STICKS! Click on the picture to get it for yourself!

  • Cut a piece of duct tape in the correct genre color and place it on the base of the spine of the book

    • Tip #1: Use an exacto knife to cut the duct tape in a clean, straight line! It works much better than scissors!

    • Tip #2: Use half of the overall width of the duct tape to make your strips—see the picture below for a visual!

    • Tip #3: I put an additional silver piece of duct tape directly above the colored piece of tape on the books that I personally own. That way, I know which books are mine and which are my district's. If I have to move classrooms (God forbid!), the process for packing up the books that are mine will be super fast and easy!

  • Place the taped books on your bookshelves by duct tape color/genre

This strategy is awesome because…

  • you will never need to reorganize your books again!

  • students can clearly see where books belong

  • students put books back in the correct spot because the color system is easy for ALL kids to understand

  • your bookshelves look neat and organized

  • all of the spines are showing, so students can easily look for a book

  • you don't need to mess around with any messy bin system! Thank goodness!!

  • you can easily keep track of the books you personally own

  • adding a little piece of duct tape is a mindless task--you can do it while watching tv or enjoying a beverage on your deck! You could even give this task to a classroom volunteer to complete for you!

This organizational system has saved me SO much time and energy!


What are your thoughts about this strategy? Let me know what you think by sending me a message over on Instagram @always.upper.elementary or tagging me in your posts! I would love to hear how you want to organize your classroom library! :)


Also, make sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers at this link! You will be the first to know about my sales, freebies, and newest products.


Happy teaching!


Natalie



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