Classroom Library: Leveled Bins

January 20, 2011

Classroom Library: Leveled Bins

January 20, 2011
Yesterday I posted about the Leveled Labels in our classroom library. Today I wanted to share how I set up the leveled bins for this section of our library. I’m also going to attach some labels for bins, at the end of the post.

This image shows one section of our library…I have six shelving units in total. They are plastic shelves I purchased about two years ago. They’re really great because you can easily dismantle them to store them over the summer. I also like how easy they are to clean…and I think they’re kind of pretty for plastic. 🙂

The buckets are clear plastic shoe boxes I found at Walmart. I chose them because they were under a dollar (I think they were only about $0.90?).

Oh, and I also chose clear because of this absolutely gorgeous classroom–I love how her labels stand out on the clear bins. Plus, clear goes with any color scheme! Ok, sorry for the tangent. So…

the labels for the bins were made to match the stickers, as described in the Leveled Labels post.

I also have a numbering system, since this is part of the entire library. All bins are numbered…an idea I learned about from the sisters on the Daily Cafe.

I use a color-coding system in addition to the number system. The purple background is for our leveled books. I use blue and green for the genre section of the library, to designate fiction and nonfiction (more about coming soon!). I also backed them on black (please don’t think I’m crazy!) to make them uniform throughout the library…plus I back everything in the classroom on black, to make posters and charts stand out.

These labels have made it really easy for the students to take ownership and keep the library organized.

Even my newest English Language Learners are able to match the labels to the bins with ease–which saves me a lot of time in fixing up the library!

We even have a way of remembering how to position the books (yes, I am that maniacal!). We keep all bindings facing the doors in our classroom. Sounds silly, but it does help the kids keep the books in order.

Since this is such a large part of our room and kind of the main focus when you walk in, I like it really neat! Not to say we don’t have our days though…sigh.

Here are the labels for the bins…they should fit on a shoe box-sized container. I may be adding more letters to our library later this week and will let you know if I do.

They are in sets of 4…





I still have a few more posts coming up on our classroom library…stay tuned! Hope your week is going by fast! 🙂


  • smorss99 January 20, 2011 at 12:41 am

    LOVE your labels!!! I leveled all my books last year, but I don't have them separated by level just yet…still by theme.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Abby January 20, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Totally going to refer our ESL teacher to your site! Love it!

  • Ms.M January 20, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I was just passing on your word of the day activity today. I do love how you organize your library. I think I will redo my whole unorganized mess of a library just like yours but don't know when. I guess I have to find some tubs.

    Ms. M

  • Anonymous January 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Oh my! I want to re-organize my whole classroom now after reading this post! 🙂 Thanks for the great ideas! By the way, I responded to your comment on my blog ( It's kind of long…I couldn't fin an e-mail address for you. Laurie 🙂

  • Claire March 20, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Amazing blog! Just love your ideas and wish I could send my kids to your school. 🙂

  • Ladybug Teacher March 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Polka Dot, Please don't feel silly…I only know because this is how my district levels. You can actually see the levels on Scholastic Wizard as you mentioned…you just have to click "Guided Reading" in the top menu and this will display the levels. Thanks for your kind words, I hope this was of help!

  • Love, Polka Dot March 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you sooo much!!! I just learned all about it by watching a Scholastic Wizard tutorial. I am so excited to begin leveling my books! I hope it looks as fabulous as yours…thank you so much again for everything! 🙂

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