Finally Here and What a Difference It Makes!

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#sol18- August 21, 2108

AT 2:34 Friday afternoon, just after dismissal I got the message I had been waiting for:

“Dear Ms. Erika,

I got the green light to deliver your shipments. Can we set tomorrow at 10 am to deliver box 36-72 to ISPP and 3 pm to deliver the rest of the boxes to your residence?”

Wahoo- now what/ I hurried off to ask my principal what I had to do to schoolwise to allow the movers in. She sent me off to the head of facilities (never my first choice to meet someone for the first time when I was asking for something, but luckily he was kind and made it seem like no problem).

I had trouble sleeping that night I was so excited! The next morning I was at school early and the wonderful men brought all those boxes to my room and at my request dumped the contents on the tables.



There were a lot more books that you can not see in this picture, but you get the idea!

As I had to meet the movers at my apartment for the home shipment I basically just threw books into the plastic bins I use to store them in and headed home. Just before I left the principal came up to check out my room- she may have shrieked (I prefer to think it was in excitement at seeing all the books, but it may have been due to the ridiculous mess and the fact that she is super neat and tidy and this scene was definitely not).

At home, the same process was repeated (only there were not as many books). I then hurried back to school to get a few hours of sorting in so that the room was inhabitable come Monday.

Monday morning there were many excited students popping in for a quick peek before their morning play time. There may have been a few shocked faces when they saw the books everywhere. After Morning Meeting I presented the challenge. Because it is “our room” not “my room” I wanted their input as to how we started organizing the books. They voted to start with fiction picture books. Luckily we have a big open space (the grade 3 piazza) next to our room, so we lugged all the red boxes out there to get started. We agreed to sort them in bins by the authors last name and dug in.


Amazingly that part got done before snack recess. Later in the day, we began another section- the not picture books. We brainstormed categories and then students had lots of decisions to make about which book belonged where. We got a lot done, but there was still more to do. Every child was excited to borrow a book for the night.

Today we completed that section and then knocked out the nonfiction picture books. Unfortunately, I forgot to take an “after” picture. Then we reflected on our work and I asked the students to make posters about the challenge. As it happens our unit of inquiry right now is within “How We Organize Ourselves” and focuses on how we make decisions and how they can impact others- what a perfect, real-life project!

Today as we were getting ready to leave, L. remarked, “It looks so different. The classroom is really looking like it is ours now.”

Ah, the books are finally here and what a difference it makes.  I feel more at peace for sure!

Slice from a former student.

4 thoughts on “Finally Here and What a Difference It Makes!

  1. franmcveigh

    YAY! Of course, I celebrate more boxes of books at school than boxes at home because you have all the wonderful students to help sort out the boxes of books! What a fun way to think about the books they will be able to access! ❤

  2. beetsyg

    I think in another life I was a librarian. Organizing piles of books is one of my favorite things to do… Congratulations on getting such a collection for your classroom and on involving the students in the organizational process!

  3. Jennifer Laffin

    I LOVE all of the books and I love (even more) that you invested into the ideas of your students to help organize them. You are building a community that cares! Have a great year, Erika!!

  4. Brian Rozinsky

    That picture of you among the just unpacked books — an awesome embodiment of reader enthusiasm unleashed, hitting home even harder with your students’ subsequent efforts to organize that trove.


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