Several years ago, I decided to group my current classroom titles by theme. I made cute labels and sorted my little heart out...only to have complete disorder by Christmas break. :( What did I think would happen when I let the "little gremlins" loose with my books and baskets?!? They had no routine, directions or reminders for how to keep the library in working order!!! Totally my fault :( So...I closed our library for a makeover. This time, I decided to use a leveling system to organize our books. Surely that will be the answer!!! Right??? Uh..no...it was not. Ugh! Once again, I had not spent near enough time going over the importance of putting books back in the correct basket, shelf, etc.
Three years later and I am ready to get it right this time! I plan to use BOTH systems this year and actually have TWO library sections in my room. One will be theme related and the other will be Guided Reading leveled. I have so many titles that I haven't been able to find in any leveling system database and I surely am not about to count the words to find the readability level of over 500 books!!! We are ability grouping for our literacy block this year and I will be working with one of the lower groups of students. Having a leveled library and an interest library, I hope to be able to assign each library to students as they are ready for them. I'm thinking that most of the time my literacy block will use the leveled library and this will leave the theme related books for my homeroom to use. I will create procedures AND teach the heck out of them!! Sounds good in theory, so we shall see!