Organize Books, level books, and freebies

Do you have a system to organize your books? The longer you teach, the more books you collect, which makes it harder to find a specific book when you need it. I have tried different ways through the year. My current way is to organize my books using multiple systems.

Leveled Books

Some of the books that I use with small group lessons are leveled.  I use the Level It app or Book Wizard  to find the reading level.  I shared tips for leveling books plus freebie on my Leveled Books tips post.

Authors of the Month

There are so many children's book authors and never enough time to read all of their wonderful books.  Set up an authors' birthday reading station for free choice time.  The choice of books will change each month.  You can read more about this and grab a free copy of the birthday center.

Build Community with Books

One way to build a sense of community with your class is to take an inventory of your book collection.  Put your books in groups or communities that you students might identify with:
Add the books to the lessons that you teach throughout the year.  Students who relate to the characters in the books are more engaged and connected with the lessons.  You will love the excitement you see with your students when you take the time to do this.  "He looks like me!"  "She lives with her Grandma like me!"

Friendship - Idea #1

Friendship is a theme that can be taught at any time of the year.  

The Sandwich Swap is a story written Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah.  Salma and Lily were best friends until they shared their opinions about their peanut butter sandwich and hummus and pita sandwich.  It is a wonderful story about looking at something from a different point of view.

My Buddy by Audrey Osofsky is a story about a boy with muscular dystrophy and his friend, a service dog named Buddy.  The story shares all of the ways that a service dog helps his owner.  

Fluency Passages

The Fluency Check file in the picture above include passages about the special needs community.
  • Guide Dogs
  • Henry Wrinkler - author and actor - dyslexia
  • Rick Riordan - former teacher and author - son has ADHD and dyslexia
  • Dav Pilkey - author - ADHD
  • Dr. Helen Taussig - dyslexia and hearing
  • Sneha Verma - Special Olympic swimmer - Down Syndrome
  • Patricia Polacco - author and illustrator - dyslexia
  • Tourette's Syndrome 
  • Clay Marzo - surfer - ADHD

Writing Letters: Morning Messages - Idea #2

Morning messages are a wonderful way to begin the school day.  It is also an easy way to teach letter writing format to your class.  You can add stories about writing letters or the post office to your plans.

Dear Juno by Soyung Pak is a story about a boy writing (drawing pictures) to his grandmother in Korea.  Children who do not live near their grandparents will be able to relate to this story.

A letter of Amy by Ezra Jack Keats is a story about a boy named Peter.  He is going to have a birthday party.  He wants to invite his special friend, Amy, to the party so he writes her a letter.  He has a problem when he is on his way to mail the letter.

Delivering your mail by Ann Owen is a quick read about mail carriers.  The book shows different types of mail carriers in different types of neighborhoods.  Facts about mail, the history, and links to learn more are shared at the end.

Morning Messages - options

It can be time consuming to write a morning message each day.  Have you tried Easy Morning Messages?  

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