Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Classroom Library

I was recently asked to be a guest teacher at my university, Abilene Christian University.  I was asked to teach about the Daily 5 and how I utilize this method of classroom management in my Kindergarten classroom.  I LOVE the Daily 5!
I strongly believe that you need an organized classroom library in order to help your Daily 5 go smoothly.  One component of Daily 5 is Read to Self.  During Read to Self, students read books on their level that they choose to keep in their book box.  When your library is in order, this component of Daily 5 can be enjoyable for the students and the teacher.  Here is a picture of some of my kinder cuties' book boxes.

I purchased them from IKEA and allowed students to decorate them.

Now onto the library organization.  When I started organizing my library, I organized my books by topic.  I just sorted them based on what books I already owned.  I didn't go off a recommended list since I may not have had books that fit into those recommended categories.  Then I divided each category into book bins I purchased from Lakeshore.  Then I created a label for the book bins with a picture to match the label.  I also added a number to the label.

I printed a second copy of the label and attached it to the bookshelf where the book bins stay.  This helps my cuties know where the book bin goes once they have finished searching through it.

Then I take colored circle labels and attach them to the back of each book.  I write the number on the circle labels that matches the book bin the book will go into.

Now students can choose books by topic and know where to return them when they are finished enjoying them.  Here are two pictures of my library.

I also have a leveled library so my cuties can search for books that are more readable (is that a word?) to them.  I purchased these book bins from Calloway House because they have three compartments inside of them.  I use two of the them, so that allows me six compartments to hold six different levels of books.  I divided my emergent readers by level and then placed them into the six different compartments.  I also place a different colored circle sticker on each compartment of the book bins.

I then placed the matching colored sticker onto each book in each compartment.  

Now students can choose books on their level and know where to return them. 


  1. Thank you so much! I love your blog, by the way and cannot wait go the Expo on Saturday!!!!!!!

  2. The numbers inside the dot labels are such a good idea to organize genres. I was running out of colors and going crazy. Thanks for sharing your books organization system. I am a new follower, love your blog!

    "Kindergarten Kel

  3. Great idea of having the matching label on the bookshelf so the kids know where to put back the basket!
    Conversations in Literacy

  4. Thank you so much for linking up! You have SO many great ideas! Love your organization and all of the blue bins. Looks great! We love the Daily 5 too!! The students really cling onto the books in the book boxes. : )


  5. Hi Erica. Amazing organization! I just started reading up on the daily 5 and I'm a 2nd year K teacher. If children are only allowed to "shop" from a specific leveled book tub, what do I do with my other 300 books in my library?!? I have so many book tubs! ex. Clifford books, Franklin the Turtle, Arthur books, Animal books etc. Is it still ok to have children have at least one of these books in their "good fit" book boxes to look look at and "read the pictures" knowing that they can't read the words? I wouldn't want by books to go to waste. Please help! :-)

    1. Hi Mrs. J! I am glad you are interested in Daily 5. My students can have up to 8 books in their book boxes (mainly because the boxes can't hold much more than that). These eight books can definitely be a mix of the picture books and the leveled books. I like them to have both so that they can practice reading the words and reading the pictures. I think having tons of both (emergent and picture) is VERY important in a class library. Good luck!

  6. I am a second year Kindergarten teacher and am interested in starting the Daily 5 in my classroom. I do not have a wide selection of emergent reader text. And most of what have I use in my guided reading groups. Do you have a separate guided reading library you choose from or do you pick from your student leveled library? I hope that makes sense! lol I guess what I am asking is: Is it okay to have books that they have read in guided reading in their read to self boxes?
    I have so many questions about the Daily 5 and can;t wait to read all your posts about it! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Lora,

      You can definitely use books from guided reading groups. I happen to have a separate library for my guided reading groups. These are provided by the district. The ones in my classroom library are my personal ones. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.


  7. Erica,

    I just found your blog. I am in the middle of taking a class on the Daily 5. Next year will be my first year as a Kindergarten teacher. I taught ESL to K and preK students for seven years using a push-in/pull-out model so this will be my first experience as a classroom teacher. I am not sure I will be ready to implement the Daily 5 during my first year but I am thinking about it. My question for you is what kind of books you used to fill the students' book boxes at the very beginning of the school year. Did you include picture books that might be too difficult to read (such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar) but are high interest anticipating that they will "read the pictures"? Any suggestions for initial books to use would be helpful.



    1. I include picture books that you can read the words and emergent readers. When selecting the picture books, I selcet books that I feel will interest each child. Parent fill out a form at back to school night and I use the info n that to know a little better what each child may like to read before they have the option of choosing their own books.

  8. Hi!! I love your blog and I'm a new follower!! I was wondering what your definition of emergent readers are. If I want to buy some, do I just type emergent readers? How do I level them? Do you use the scholastic book wizard? Thanks!

    1. Hi rasha,
      Emergent readers are leveled readers. They are in DRA levels by A, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6. You can get any book leveled on the Book Wizard. It's just to help your students have books that are on their reading level.

    2. Thanks so much Erica! This is very helpful. I started organizing my library using your system and I love it!!!

  9. Erica, I just found out about your blog from a friend and fellow coworkers. Thank you so much for the very helpful tips and for breaking up the stages of implementing the Daily 5. Also LUV you use of pillow pets! We have four at home that I can now put to good use :)

    1. I am glad that you are enjoying my little blog! Aren't pillow pets the best?!?!

  10. Erica, what size are the clear adhesive pockets attached to your book bins? And where did you find them? Thanks!

  11. Erica, I love your blog! These are great ideas for organizing my library. Would it be possible for you to post the labels you made for your book bins and shelves? They are wonderful and I would love to use them in my own class!


  12. Love your library! I was wondering how you decide which books you organize by level and which books you organize by theme. I have about 1500 books right now and I am hoping to find an elementary teaching job for this fall. Thanks :)

  13. This is my 12th year teaching, and I feel like I'm just now getting things organized how I've always wanted them. Implementing Daily 5 is my goal for the year. Your breakdown of how you introduced it has been my bible the past few weeks. :-) Thank you! To kick off the year, I'm having a Daily 5 linky party on my blog. You have so many resources that can be used , and it would be great if you could post some of them. Thanks again!

    1. Thank yo for the sweet comments! I would love to link up!

  14. Thank you so much for your ideas! I've been trying to find a simpler way to organize my library that even my kinders can access and this is great!

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