If you are a preschool teacher like me you probably have a mix of books in your classroom; some belong to your school and some belong to you. It can be hard to keep track and books aren’t cheap, losing a good book that you use over and over is frustrating and costly. I would love to take books back and forth in a cute little book bag but that’s just not realistic! Organization in general is a chore for me, but organizing my books is overwhelming. Thank goodness I have an amazing co-teacher who is the orderly one. Still I needed help with my books and over the years these were the simple classroom organization strategies I used to keep track of my personal books in my classroom. For a more indepth look at how to organize a full classroom library check out this detailed post. If all you need are some simple solutions for keeping track of your own books vs. school property books check out my tips below.
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- Designated shelf. Give yourself one shelf in your classroom JUST for your books. This worked well for me until I ran out of room. Still, if you have an extra shelf in your classroom to pop your books from home that is an easy solution. The trouble comes when you want to make the books accessible to your students but also keep track of them. This is a great and free solution if you have a few minutes every day to sort through and return books to the right place.
- A Book Crate You can rotate your books keeping only a few in the crate at a time. Take a photo with your phone of the titles in the crate and you have a record of what books are in the crate. Your students can even help you make it.
- Book App – there are lots of great book organizing apps out there, I tried but I got bored after adding in about 20 of my 500+ children’s books. If you really love to organize and stay on top of it, you’ll love these. Me, not so much.
- Book Labels This is my #1 choice for realistic and easy book organization. I love these labels from Mabel’s Labels. I designed them myself, and they even have a bumblebee which is my classroom’s name. They are strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of a preschool class and they are pretty hard for little fingers to pick off. What I like about labeling the books is that I don’t worry about keeping track of them day to day. As I take a new book to school I pop a label on the back cover, write the title down in a note on my phone and that’s it. This is also great if a child takes the book home since so many of these books could possibly also be part of my student’s at home library. This way we know, that copy of Brown Bear Brown Bear belongs to me. At the end of the year, I gather mine up, check the note on my phone and take inventory.
How do you keep track of your personal books in your classroom?
Martha Moore says
Thank you for the shout out. 🙂
I stick a large blue sticker on the top right hand corner of all my books. That way at least all the staff (& sometimes the kids)
know that it’s one of mine, and they (usually) keep it separate from preschool/library books and they make their way back to me.
It also means I can identify them quickly and easily.
I bought a roll of address labels from the Value Pack coupon envelope you get in the mail. instead of putting an address, customize your message. Mine said “This belongs to Mrs. Croy,
Please return it when finished.”