July 29, 2014

Leveling Your Classroom Library

Books, books, and more books.
I didn't think I had that many books in my classroom library. I mean I've only been teaching for 3 years.
Well, that was until I took on the task of leveling each and every last book that consumed 18 book bins.

Here's my journey:
When I started off I was excited!
Last year I decided I had it with students picking books they couldn't read...and pretending to read them.
Fake reading. I knew the perfect solution would be leveling my class library by DRA level.

So I emptied my library (picture above) and hauled the books home basket at a time.
Note: this took several trips! Eek!

My first challenge was finding a database to search for each title.

I turned to IG and found some great ideas, some from you!
I ended up using 2 main sources.

Scholastic Book Wizard (app and website)
Level It (app)

The scanning adventure began.

I successfully unsuccessfully found almost every book.
And this is when I began to get frustrated and tired.
 I may have started guessing since not every book was in either database. 
Yes, I did "guesstimate" levels for maybe one-fourth of my class library.
I also started to make categories for similar books that were either too hard or did not show up.
Example categories:
Animal Characters
Dr. Seuss

Once all sorted out into levels or categories, each got a corresponding sticker on the front cover.
This is how the students will tell where to return the book when they are book shopping.

To finish off this massive overhaul, I relabeled each book bin with the DRA levels...

... put the books inside...

...and BOOM, done!

It may have taken all summer but I am one excited teacher again!


  1. I love how you've put both theme baskets and leveled baskets together....This really inspires me to get started on my own library! Thank you!

  2. Congratulations!!!! I just finished leveling my books as well and it is QUITE a task! I also had a lot of books that I couldn't find levels for. Some I guessed. Some I put a question mark sticker on and am going to have a question mark basket for kids to put them in. I tried to think of a cutesy name for the basket, but by the end of the leveling process, my brain we kind of fried! =)

    Kindergarten Teacher at the Wheel

  3. Where did you get your bins? I just moved schools and I have a TON of leveled books, but the bins I used at my old school weren't mine. Looking for something inexpensive, but not junk.