Today we had our Book Sorting Party! It went better than I had planned for it to :-).
Yesterday I went through my entire classroom library and sorted out my nonfiction and fiction books. I left the fiction books in my classroom library and collected the nonfiction books in a HUGE tub. I counted 104 nonfiction books. Whereas I felt this would be plenty for our unit and nonfiction library, (or as we will call it, our “Nonfiction Nook”) I wasn’t thrilled with its variety. I stopped by my favorite used books store last night and was able to stock up on 30 more nonfiction books (I only spend $21 on ALL 30)!!!
I began the book sorting “party” today by sitting my kids down on the carpet and showing them my (very large, very heavy) tub filled with 134 books. I showed a few of the books to them and then asked the what they all had in common. They all shouted, “THEY’RE ALL NONFICTION.” I explained how I removed all of the nonfiction books from our classroom library and put them in the big tub. I asked them what they liked about nonfiction books and what we use them for. After some discussion, I told them we were blessed to have all of the books but that they were WAY TOO UNORGANIZED! I asked for suggestions on how we could organize them. After many attempts from several students, one little girl finally said, “we could put them in stacks…like the ones that are the same,” I knew she was on the right track, but I wanted her to elaborate some her classmates would understand what she meant…she went on to say “like, we could put the dinosaur books in one stack, the butterfly books in one stack…” I said, “oh, what a wonderful idea, it just so happens I bought 10 new baskets from the Dollar Tree last night!” One little boy shouted out “WE COULD PUT THE DIFFERENT BOOKS IN EACH OF THE BASKETS!!” I said, “oh, could we?…could you guys help me with that?” In unison, they all shouted, “YES!!!!”
I explained how each table would get several books and that I wanted them to sort the books they had within their tables. They (naturally) conversed with other tables and combined books all around the room, which was fine. Once they had some sort of sorting worked out amongst themselves. I lined the baskets up at the front of the room. Together, we decided what the 10 baskets should labeled as. I put temporary labels on each basket (with sticky notes) and one by one I called out each category so a “representative” could bring up those titles.
After school, I made the more aesthetically-pleasing labels (as pictured). I decided not to have my kids design the labels as I am “OCD” when it comes to labels and documents 🙂 — We did however come up with the label NAMES together.
We created the NONFICTION NOOK which I will begin using a center during literacy centers/guided reading/word sorting time. The students will also have access to these materials during nonfiction writing and other times throughout the day. I am excited to have this new addition to my classroom.
PS–my kinders want to call our “new classroom library” our FICTION FACTORY. So, now in room 103, we have a NONFICTION NOOK and a FICTION FACTORY. They are very creative! 🙂