Genrefication – Final results!

I just realized I never finished up and talked about my final results!!!

So, it took me roughly a week to relabel everything.  Then, came the moving.  THAT was probably one of the most difficult things to do… and made more interesting by the fact that I was collaborating with one of the ELA teachers on book speed dating!

It actually helped that we had the speed dating right around the same time that I was genrefying.  First, it helped students to see that there were changes being made.  It also helped students discover what genres interested them.  Finally, it allowed me to start the shuffle of books!  That was the best part I think.

I have seen most people easily shift their books on their carts.  But, as I stated in an earlier post, I had a previous librarian shelve books by title…. so the best thing for me was to take the books all down, one genre or so at a time, empty some shelves, and then re-alphabetize them.  Was it a pain…. um, yes.  But, in a lot of ways it was good because I was able to actually touch, assess, and really look at my collection.

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The shift took me another few days, but the end result = awesome!

My students have been very happy with the result.  I have heard many many times how much “easier” it is to find things that they want to read.  I’ve had students ask me for suggestions in their “genres,” students go right to the colored section they know they’ll enjoy, and it really is so much easier to direct people!

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It’s done!  A panoramic view

But wait.  What about the catalog???  Well, I did what many people did: I changed the sublocation in Destiny to the genre. Of course when I want to, I can’t find the directions I used, and so I’ll have to save that for another post (I’m thinking I’m going to be busy at break!)

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Reflections on Reading Nominees

So, it is just about February.  My book nominees should be just about read by now, and I should be getting close to gearing up students to vote.  And while that will happen, I realize I will need to change the way I do things for the younger readers next year.

I think the Building Block award nominees are the most difficult.  Not for text complexity or anything, but the fact that they have to be completely read and voted on by the end of December.  That leaves very few months to get Kindergarteners learning how the library works, how storytime works, and basically overall how to act like the young students they are.

With the Show-Me nominees, I have until the beginning of March.  That is 1st-3rd graders, so that does allow both more time and more comprehension of text overall.

Here’s what I found.  If I don’t read the same book all week to each class, my plans get all messy and discombobulated.

So, first thing I need to do next year is start off with a plan.  I have a chart on my wall, thank goodness, where I know what I’ve read to which class, but I have a sincere feeling that it is incomplete.  If I actually allowed myself the time to plan properly, I would know exactly what I read to each class as I would have it planned out beforehand.  The chart is great for everyone else to see, but not so much if I’m trying to honestly keep track, as I’m not always remembering to put the stickers on (and the fact I started the chart way after I started reading, so there’s that…).

Secondly, I think I will only read these nominees during full weeks.  When we have days off and half-days, they just throw the schedule off.  Now, there is the obvious snow/bad weather day that ends up in a day off that cannot really be planned for, but if I know weather is coming the weekend before, I can change things around.

I think I want a full-out plan for when I’m reading what next year.  I have read each Show-Me, as I was a reader-selector, but I think to really plan it out better would be best.  I don’t know what Building Block books are selected just yet, as they haven’t been announced, but I think a big master calendar with what I’m reading when would be best.  That way it will be planned out much clearer, and I will also be able to plan around short weeks.  Then, maybe my poor lesson plans won’t be all crazy looking and I will actually have an idea of what I’m reading and doing.  Does anyone else do things like that?