Monday, July 19, 2010

Organizing Picture Books

I'm now unpacking bag after bag of picture books and I've decided to take this opportunity to put them in alphabetical order. Now this is loose ABC order. We are keeping it simple, as in all the books with an author whose name begins with B are in the B section, not Beskow comes before Brown but after Balderdash. To help my girls with this, I am putting dividers between each letter grouping of books.

I got 25 wooden paint stirrers from my local Walmart (cost - FREE). Next I will label them on both sides. A on one side of the stick, B on the other. Then the next stick is B on the left hand side, C on the right hand side. It is like a sandwich.

The dividers look like this if you are facing the shelf:


All the books by Elsa Beskow go between the B labels. The letters on either side are the bread and the books are the jelly, so it's easy for kids to find or to put away a favorite book. Why 25 paint stirrers instead of 26? To make 26 sections you need 25 dividing lines. Same as if you need three sections of brownies you only make two cuts. Anyway, I don't recommend marker to write your letters; Sharpie tends to bleed on paint sticks because the wood is so cheap so I spent $1.00 (also at Walmart) on alphabet stickers from the scrapbooking section. Now I just need to label my paint sticks with my alphabet stickers and I can put the books into sections as I put them away on the shelves. This should save me many hours when I'm searching for the perfect picture book for a teaching lesson... a book which I know we have but which I can't find for the life of me. This is an easy project which kids can do, and you could always put a coat of matte mod-podge over the stickers if your kids are prone to peeling things off.

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