Even though it has been 6 years, I remember opening up my READ 180 boxes to set up my classroom, like it was yesterday. As a special education and reading recovery teacher, I literally scrounged the building for resources and purchased this and that, here and there to serve my students. Having the posters, teaching resources, rBooks, LBooks, and all those paperbacks was like going from eating fast food to five star dining! I was absolutely in heaven with my READ 180 classroom materials. Over the years I have purchased extra sets of books, my district has purchased extra libraries that HMH offers, and I was able to order several extra libraries when I had a student that won the All Star (180) Award for Stage B in 2012. Last year, I realized that in order to have all the student materials for modeled and independent reading accessible, I needed to rearrange a bit.
One of my favorite things is getting awesome ideas from other READ 180 teachers and they never disappoint with the cool ideas. When I visited the classroom of another teacher in the district, she had her paperbacks in small crates on a book shelf. It was exactly what I needed to merge some of my libraries. My teacher friend got her crates at a local Dollar Tree, however I found a variety of neon ones at Wal-Mart for an incredibly reasonable price. The school nurse, who was retiring, gifted me with a decent book shelf, and I was ready for the transition. I primarily used the Lexile to sort the books, but I did use the Level on a few that were NP. At first I just put the Lexile ranges of the books in each crate, but I found that my students were really struggling to put the books back in the correct place. That's when I typed up a list of what books were in each crate. I laminated the lists for longevity and then taped them all on the front of the crates. In a cruel irony, the next day, all the lists had fallen off. However, persistence paid off when I got the glue gun out and they are now adhered nicely.
Combining some of my libraries gave me a little more functional room in my class, and helped to create a fresh new look. I'd love to hear about some of the creative ways that you have rearranged your modeled and independent reading libraries. Please share your ideas in the comments because you never know if you have the solution to a challenge another teacher is working on.