Monday, August 29, 2016

TTT: Back To School

This week's top ten topic is  "Back To School Freebie -- anything "back to school" related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher." There are so many things I could do with this!  I suspect this will be one of those weeks I love, where everyone's list is unique, so head on over to our hosts at The Broke and the Bookish to see lots of great titles and themes.  

As I said, all of the suggestions above are inspiring, but let's get real.  I was back at work last week for inservice, and this is the first week with students.  So I don't have a bunch of extra time to build a really creative list, and I have some very current, very school related things to say.

My list, then, is of the  Areas I Established in my New Classroom Library.

1.  Fantasy/Sci Fi.
2.  Suspense (mysteries, horror, supernatural)
3.  Realistic Fiction
4.  Life Stories (memoir, biography, and autobiography)
5.  General nonfiction (mostly science, technology, medicine, environment, and some how-to)
6.  War (fiction and nonfiction)
7.  History (fiction and nonfiction)
8. Sports (fiction and nonfiction)
9.  Immigration (fiction and nonfiction)
10.  Space (fiction and nonfiction) --mostly because our school is named after a space explorer
12.  Poetry, novels in verse, and short stories
13.  Graphic Novels, picture books, and illustrated books (e.g. Diary of a Wimpy Kid).
14. PG-13 
15.  Mrs. Gassaway's Heart Books (I guess that would be a good list in and of itself!)
16.  Rotating display, which currently has award winning books on it.

It's hard to know with some books where to put them.  Does Smile go with memoirs, or graphic novels?  Is Unwind sci fi or suspense?  Does a cozy mystery written for adults go on the PG-13 shelf or not?  

And can I just say how proud I am that I have enough sports related books to fill half a shelf and claim their own section?  If I only considered my own taste, Chris Crutcher and David James Duncan are the only sports-focused authors I'd include.  I also tried really hard to beef up the scary section.  

The breakdown, in case you're curious--Fantasy/Sci Fi takes up one large bookcase, with a bunch of extras stacked on top.  Two shelves are series. three are not.  Suspense takes up another bookcase, but fits onto it.  Two rows are for series here also.  Realistic Fiction took over the largest bookshelf of all, and spills over quite a bit.  Only one row of series, most of which are pretty light (Dork Diaries and Jenny Hann, mostly).  Life stories is one very full shelf on the nonfiction bookcase, which as two more shelves for the science type stuff.  War and History share two rows of shelving.  The other "topics" get about half a shelf each.  The illustrated books take up a small bookcase, as do my personal favorites.  PG-13 is currently about half of a large bookcase.  

If I get organized, I'll add some photos.  


  1. I'd love to see photos of your setup. I think if I was a teacher I would probably spend WAY too much time fiddling w/ the bookshelves, lol. Sounds like you have it pretty well thought out though. If I was in your class I'd probably be veering towards the fantasy/ SF or the graphic novels. :)

  2. Wow! This is an impressive list. I love that you're introducing your students to so many different genres.

  3. When I was in middle school, I would have loved it if my teachers had huge, well-organized bookshelves. I remember my creative writing teacher had a whole shelf of different dictionaries, but not many teachers had libraries in their classrooms.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I rearranged my chapter books into genres last week. I don't know if I buy "Funny" books over anything else, but we had twelve shelves full of them!

    Here's my Wordless Wednesday!

  5. Ohhh yes it'd be great to see photos of your shelves! Sorting into genres would be so hard.😂 That's why I just colour-code. (Although books with multi-coloured spines KILL ME hahah. ahem.)


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