Monday, July 6, 2015

Buying Books for a Leveled Library

How do you decide which books to buy for your leveled classroom library?  Every summer, I try to buy some books to add to my classroom library.

Here is a photo (sorry for the poor quality.  I need a new camera!) of my classroom library taken on our 100th day of school. You can tell that it's months into the school year because our library is a bit messy. ;)  I have a pretty good selection of leveled books, but I always think I need more! ;)

Usually I buy a variety of book levels.  This summer, I am buying books targeted to my incoming students. Our school, like many others, is data driven.  In this case, that's a good thing!  We know that our incoming students are, overall, lower readers.

At the end of the year, as I was packing up my library, I realized my library is a bit lacking in the easy reader area.  I need lots of books for these students to be able to choose from when they are book shopping.  So, how do I choose my books so I know they are at the "just right" reading level for my students?  I go to www.  My school uses Accelerated Reader from Renaissance Place, so I use this leveling system.

Here's how I start my book ordering process:  First, I go to the website.  This is the first screen you will see.

Once you click on one of the choices, you will go to this screen. I click on Advanced Search.

On the Advanced Search tab, I click my choice on the quiz released box and the quiz type. Then I click on my choice for interest level and book levels.  Finally, I choose to sort the results by book level.

I go through the results and pick out books that I think my students will like.  Today, I noticed something new:  a Buy from Amazon button.  What!!??!! I've never noticed this before so I don't know if it's new...or just new to me.  Either way, it has made my book ordering process so much easier.  No more clicking between tabs, typing in the titles in the search on amazon. Whew! The things that make this teacher heart happy. ;)

I ordered books between the 0.5 and 1.2 levels.  My choices were predominantly non fiction because I find my students are much more engaged in non fiction books.  

So, how do you decide which books to order?