Remember last year when we worked on organizing our classroom library? You might not, because I couldn’t find it on the blog….:( Maybe the post I thought I wrote got lost in the “it-has-to-be-finished-and-perfect” list I told you about yesterday. Well, since my pledge is to tell all the stories, not just the finished ones, I’ll share the parts of this story that we have finished (and that I have pictures of!).
We left at the end of 1st grade with a (mostly) organized library, which we had worked on together little-by-little last year. We packed it away in that same way, which always helps when I put the classroom back together the next fall. We figured out, though, that we had never gotten the boxes fully labeled, and so as we started using the books again this year, they got all mixed up. We decided we should probably just start over; I was the only one who knew what most of the categories were supposed to be.
We started by pairing up, and first going through the boxes we already had established. I gave each pair a box, and their job was 1) to figure out what their books had in common, 2) decide if they had any that didn’t match that category, 3) and then make a label that matched their newly decided-upon category. All of the extras got piled up in the middle of the room for later.
The second year together has been a great learning process in many ways. Of course, for many reasons, we’re doing many things differently, but there are also some things that are the same that they are doing differently. This is a perfect example. The understanding they have of genre and the difference between fiction/non-fiction, as well as the ability to see similarities and differences is deeper than when they did the library sort as first graders, so the same activity is even more meaningful than the first time. Even the way they “get” why we did it, why we did it together (as opposed to just having ME take care of it), and why we should keep it organized is different than last year.