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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Organization ~ Read Alouds By Month & Author!

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Organized By Month & Then By "Left Over" Authors
Judy Blume Section
Easter Read Alouds & Listening Center
Organization is the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher!
It is the difference between a great teacher and an excellent teacher because you are not wasting your time & energy looking for things!
Here is how I store my Read Alouds & I hope my system helps you too!
Some people have great big closets and/or lots of shelves. I am NOT one of those lucky teachers! I have a wonderful portable here in Florida & I'm just so happy to have a job in my hometown that NOTHING about my portable bothers me!
When I first started teaching I wasted so much time trying to find my own personal books in the classroom library. I wanted the students to have access to ALL my books, but then I would waste so much time looking for "The Velveteen Rabbit" when Easter was approaching! Some years I would have to waste more time going to the Public library when the book I wanted to read was missing from my classroom! I have wised up with age! My classroom library DOES NOT NEED each book I own & there is nothing wrong with keeping my Read Alouds separate from the rest of the books.
My pictures do not show that many books because I've "LEFT" teaching three times {never say never} and every time I would leave I would have a massive classroom garage sale! Duh!!! I left teaching twice to stay at home when each child was born to try the Stay~At~Home~Mom~Thing & then the third time was when we moved back to Florida from Texas. I followed my long-term dream to be a Real Estate Agent!
OK~Stop Laughing!
I took the classes, passed the tests and went on interviews. Prayed to God for the agency across the street to hire me & He told me to go back to teaching! No joke! The very next day at 8:00am I was sitting in my daughter's orthodontist office & got a phone call about returning to teaching in my very desired hometown district! Never mess with God's Plan ;) Anyhooooo, back to the books!

Steps:
  • Label your folders, one for each month & one for each holiday.
  • Label your folders, one for each author you like or that you "collect" in your grade level.
  • Organize them by school year, August to July. If there is a certain author that you like during a certain month, put their folder behind that month. For example: I adore Tedd Arnold and I read his Huggly series & his Parts series at the beginning of the year. They are slap-stick funny and it helps to build a relationship between me, the students and how books can be read JUST FOR PLEASURE! :)
  • Put the rest of your authors behind July in alphabetical order.
Now when you are preparing for Thanksgiving, BAM! just pull out all of your books. I like to keep them in a basket by my "Teacher's Reading Chair" at the front of my gathering area and I also let the boys and girls read them, I just "train" them to put them back into the basket. Another nice feature about keeping your seasonal books together is when you start to get more than one copy of a book, the students can EEKK {Elbow, Elbow, Knee, Knee partner reading from the Daily Five} read with them. This way wastes very little student time while that try to look for the matching books! :)

I receive many emails and requests asking for a list of what books I have in this collection. As of October 2013 this post has been viewed over 125,000 times and pinned over 10,000, so I'm going to start listing my collection month by month and then author by author. I hope this helps, especially all the new teachers that are contacting me! 
Good, good, good, great luck to you! ;) 
Fern Smith's Personal October Book Collection for Elementary Aged Children!  
I hope this helps! Enjoy! :)
photo of: Classroom Organization of Materials brought to you by RainbowsWithinReach
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30 comments:

  1. I love your book organization idea. I just started loving Pinterest as well. Pinned your book organization. Thanks for the great ideas.

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  2. Thank you so much! Glad you can use it!
    ~Fern

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  3. This is how I do it -- makes it so easy! I'm in a portable too!

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  4. Fern, I love your idea! LOVE. I was thinking of something similar-ish recently and may try it. What especially got me excited about your blog is that you also teach in Florida! I teach fourth grade in Brooksville. I am now super stoked to be following you! I am new to Blogspot.

    Victoria
    love4thgrade.blogspot.com and teachingvision.org

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  5. Hi Mrs. M/Portable Pal! :)
    Ms. Jasztal, you made my night! I spent 4th - 6th grade straight across the State of Florida in Pine Hills, just outside of Orlando!
    I ran right over to follow your blog & saw your post about your tweetup {which I had to then run right to Google 'cause I'm old & had NO IDEA what it was!} so congratulations! You will LOVE being at NASA, I had two summers of training there in the early 2000s when I was a Network Admin. and loved everything about it and about Cocoa Beach!! I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut, but toooo late, I was already in my early 30s! Enjoy every minute of it & I look forward to your posts about it!
    ~Fern

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  6. This is a wonderful idea for organizing read alouds. I have tried making lists before, but I never follow them and can't find the books when I do! I love the idea of keeping all read aloud books separate! Thanks!

    Teaching in the Early Years by Shelley Gray

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  7. Thanks so much Shelley, glad you liked it!
    ~Fern

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  8. I recently posted about my classroom library and organization. Check it out.

    http://msvs3rdgradeclass.blogspot.com/search/label/classroom%20library

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  9. Great idea. I was wondering if you posted the books you were doing for which months somewhere too.

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  10. Holly,
    That's a great idea! Looks like a summer blog post idea! I'll send you an email when I do, seriously a great idea!
    Thanks,
    Fern

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    Replies
    1. Would you send the list to me also? :)
      lcaldwell@boswellschools.org

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  11. I just discovered your blog through Pinterest! I love it. I'm your newest follower and can't wait to explore it. Come check out my blog Sweet Seconds.

    Brittany
    Sweet Seconds

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for following Brittany,
      I am your 12th TPT follower and your 33rd blog follower. Your blog is terrific. Your updates will now show up on my side bar, hopefully that will bring you some more followers!
      ~Fern

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  12. Well, you have inspired me! I know what I'm doing this summer. My sister-in-law is retiring and is giving me a linear file cabinet that will be perfect. I know what you mean about searching high and low for a book only to discover it in someone's desk a month later.

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  13. I just packed up all of my read-aloud books (that I have always kept separate from my independent reading library!) . I look at them and constantly wonder how I can organize them better. I am always wondering where a book went, if I read it earlier in the year (Doh!) and how I could better connect them. I LOVE YOU! Thank you for solving this HUGE problem I've been having. Now, to find a massive amount of file folders and an available filing cabinet.

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  14. Thanks for sharing how you handle your read-aloud books. I will be getting organized this summer.
    Alyce

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

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  15. love your organizing idea, and lmbo about giving up realestate...why else would I have 11 adopted children if I didn't understand...but when I decided to get my teaching certificate and leave for a few hours a week as a substitute, i purposely didn't ask. I need a break!!

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  16. i love this idea. This has always been a big issue for me as well. I usually wind up at the library as well. Can't wait to do this in my classroom this year. Thank you!

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  17. Do you have a printable list of the book titles you include in your folders?

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    Replies
    1. Not yet, but that was what I was going to do this week to update this post! :)
      ~Fern

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  18. FERN!! Thanks so much for linking your article to my blog hop on all things 'organizational.' You are an inspiration to many -- as evidenced in your supportive comments!!!

    I hope that you'll have some new readers as a result of your linking up. All the best with your summer sunshine!!

    Debbie Clement
    Rainbows Within Reach

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  19. Have you had a chance to do the printable list yet?

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    Replies
    1. I've started doing a post per month..
      Here is October,
      October Book List! November is almost done!
      ~Fern

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  20. Aaaaaahhhhh I need to do this! Like yesterday! I am now a follower! Come check me out!
    Amber
    Www.laueslittles.blogspot.com

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  21. Your site is amazing! I'm a teacher.... was.... is... a teacher is always a teacher. I'm preparing to open my own preschool and I've started collecting links on my pinterest. Happy to follow! I think I'm going to make a new area on my blog for all my preschool STUFF!

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations! I'm you newest follower!
      ~Fern

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  22. I do this with my stickers why didn't I think to do it with my read alouds!? LOVE it! Thank you for sharing your ideas!!
    :)Kim

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, so glad you like the idea!
      ~Fern

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  23. "My classroom library DOES NOT NEED each book I own & there is nothing wrong with keeping my Read Alouds separate from the rest of the books."

    I am a first year teacher and recently came to the same conclusion! Go figure! I will be working on this during the summer! Thanks for updating with your personal book lists!

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