Friday, January 20, 2012

Leveled Library Launch

Finally, after six months of planning, ordering, cataloging, and shelving, our Lower School Leveled Library is open for business!  For several years we have been using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System to assess our students' reading levels, organize them into guided reading groups, and help match students to their just-right books.  Many teachers took time to level some of the books in their classroom libraries and teachers found resources on Reading A-Z to use with their students during guided reading instruction.  We also invested in a RAZ Kids account so students could practice reading at their level from home or in school.  But we did not create a large resource collection of leveled books...until now.  It has only been "open" for one week but it has already been used as a resource to pull books at various levels for an upcoming mystery unit and a historical fiction unit and as a great place to find new books for students' independent reading book baggies.

It's time for a new sign!
So here's how it went down.  We received permission from the Lower School director, Sheena Hall, to empty a storage closet (this was a major production that could have earned us a special on Clean House). 

Then we purchased mountains of books from all kinds of places including Scholastic and my personal favorite, Booksource.  We also collected books from classroom libraries that were not being used frequently.  With major help from Glynis Miller,  Michelle Plaut, parent volunteers, and most especially Guni Cambata, we leveled, labeled, cataloged, and organized over 1,000 books.  Now our storage closet is a fledgling leveled collection that will allow our teachers to offer a wider array of choices to our young readers from A-Z.
A peek into the closet

Our wonderful team of librarians created a new collection in our library database, so now teachers are able to check the books out.  We are still working through the best way for teachers to do this (a portable scanner that can fit into their iPads?) out and then process them when they are returned.  If you have any suggestions, please share them!

Third graders exploring the new bins of books

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