Books glorious books! While we want our kids reading a variety of great literature to themselves, there are also books we hoard to use as read alouds and mentor texts. Today I am going to share tips and strategies for organizing and storing those titles that we like to read out loud to the class.

I have a collection of chapter books that I read each year (The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, Frindle, Muggie Maggie, James and the Giant Peach, and more). I store those in a basket from Dollar Tree on a shelf out of reach.

The picture books that go with my thematic units are stored with those thematic units. I print labels for the covers to signal that they are read alouds and don’t display them with the other thematic books until after I have read them to the class.

Mentor texts that I select to model specific writing strategies are housed together by the trait I use them to teach. I keep these in dishpans on a shelf out of reach. After I read the book I put it into circulation in the class library in a special basket labeled, “Mentor Texts.” Because they are viewed as “special” they become favorites for the students to reread throughout the remainder of the year. Since they were selected because they are mentor texts, I love that the kids enjoy rereading them so often. At the end of the year they all go back into their respective dishpans.

Alternatively, if you have a smaller collection of books, you could use magazine files or ice cube bins to hold them.

Another option is to simply keep a running list of titles you enjoy reading aloud to the class (either thematically, seasonally, or as mentor texts) and borrow them from the library as needed each year. This saves space and money.

Store books in a plastic tub that are sorted with labeled card stock dividers.

Dedicate a shelf to read alouds that are divided neatly with smaller containers.

Using clips allows flexibility in labeling the baskets.

Not only has this teacher neatly sorted and organized her books, but the bins are also color coded.
This is a great example of finding the perfect containers to fit your space.

I'm not a fan of using filing cabinets for their intended purpose of housing papers as
they often get forgotten so I love that this cabinet has been repurposed to hold books.
Keeping a running inventory of books is a great idea.
To save space this could be stored on a computer or iPad too.
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