Tuesday, May 26, 2015

{book room help} #sol15

The Slice of Life is
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 

I'm having a hard time today with writing a slice of life.  I start writing.  Then delete.  I write more.  And then delete.  The stories are just not ready to be shared.  I'm still finding the moments, the words, and the messages.

My brain is full of so much more.  You know what I'm talking about.  There is a lot going on during the end of the year.   End of the year benchmarking.  Team meetings.  Documentation of instruction and learning.  Celebrations.  To do lists.  All the while I try not to count down the days.

And then exciting news .... every school in my district is being blessed with a book room.

Late in the game, but the teachers are excited ... resources and leveled books at their fingertips.

Add it to my overflowing to do list.  Creating a plan.  Thinking about organization.  Book bins.  Shelves.  Collecting books to start the book room.  New books ordered for the fall.  This is one item of business that is consuming my brain.

It's a BIG undertaking for my friend and colleague, Karen.  But we are ready for this challenge!  And we want it done right.

So ... can we ask for your help?  

Feel free to leave a comment here, or share your thoughts or even a picture or two with me (@litlearningzone) on Twitter using the hashtag #FrostBookRoom.

Tell us about your school leveled book room.
What do you LOVE about your book room?
What would you change about your book room?
How is it organized?
How do you check out books?
How do you keep it organized?
Tell us your book room celebrations!
Tell us your book room struggles!

We want to hear it all!  Thank you for your book room help!

Perhaps this will open space in my brain so that next Tuesday I can share a true slice of life.


  1. Book Room = exciting news. More work of course at first but envision the end result. I'm sorry I can't help. Our school doesn't have a book room. Good questions from you and I hope to read the answers from other people.

  2. If you have access to an IKEA take a field trip as part of your planning! Congratulations. Besides well organized and accessible I find that ease of use to be the most important. If the check out/in process is too complicated either the books won't get used or they won't be tracked. Good luck.

  3. I do know what you're talking about! My brain is full too. Holy moly. :0)

    Will try to get back and share about our book room! :0) What a great idea! I love how we can ask questions and get suggestions from each other.

  4. My school has a great book room. There are lots of books at every level..well, up to about N, then the supply starts to dwindle unfortunately. We have a computer and scanner like the library for checkouts. Every book is bar coded. There is a professional book section, big books, and games like sight word Bingo, & Reading Rods that we can all share.

    Our problem is a minor one: people take the books and keep them too long. It limits the supply.

  5. We have a book room. Ours is organized by level, English on one side, Spanish on the other. Within the levels, it's organized alphabetically, fiction and nonfiction mixed. Teachers use a super simple clothespin system to check out stuff. Right now, it's keeping me up nights- our district bought a whole bunch of new books and the whole room needs to be shifted (NOTE: Leave some space to add new titles!). I can't find time to do it and it feels like I could be there all summer. One thing that has helped-- periodically, once a quarter, or trimester, have each grade level meet you in the bookroom. Make them responsible for the levels that their grade level most frequently uses and have them check the titles, add new rubberbands to sets, realphabetize, etc.

  6. This sounds like a great adventure and opportunity. I'm sure you & Karen will figure it out and the kids & teachers will love it and utilize it. Good luck. Love ya, Mom

  7. Book rooms are a wonderful resource, but they are usually a nightmare to manage. In my school we had a bookcase per level with books in magazine holders. At the lower levels you could put two titles in a box. The box had a label on the outside with the titles listed. The books were in alphabetical order. Teachers had cards with their names on them. When they took a set, they dropped that card in the box. When they returned them, they pulled their card out. Just be prepared that books will be lost, especially if you allow students to take them home to read. It's not a bad idea to have double sets of favorite books. Just lots and lots of books are needed because you don't want to have to return them every week. Some need to be in kids book boxes for a bit. Good luck and have fun.

  8. Michelle, congratulations on the addition of a literacy book room in your schools. First of all, since the initial start-up is a daunting task take your time. Book rooms are evolving additions. The latest research is showing that we need to concentrate on building students' ability to build knowledge of the world (content), vocabulary, and fluency. Immersing students in a topic at different levels allows students access to the information and vocabulary to interact with text, thus building fluency. Besides leveling text and creating genre book bins, it would be nice to create a bibliography of titles with lexile and Fountas & Pinnell levels . Good luck.

  9. Sounds like a great opportunity for you. My last school had a book room. It was difficult to manage and keep control of the in and out flow of books. My current school does have a book room but it's far away from the classrooms and it is filled with many more things than books. We check out books using a bar code system. This year my school is going to be beefing up our classroom libraries, which I am really excited about. Good luck!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.