New Year, New Organization

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As I cleaned up from Christmas and tucked away the last of the decorations, gears began spinning for new organization of old spaces. I have quite a few ideas for small pockets of space which are currently under utilized.

One such spot is in our kitchen area, where Mon Cœur (MC) currently has an activity table and bookshelf. I absolutely love the bookcase because I can use totes to stash toys, stuffed animals, and dolls and I can also keep some of her books.

Originally, I was just putting books wherever, with no organization method other than French books, top right. I hated that there wasn’t much organization and that I had separated the French books just because. As I thought more and more, I decided I wanted to group toys and books into themes.

5 Reasons I grouped books by theme:

  • By grouping books and toys by theme, it allows MC to build background knowledge through repeated exposure to the same vocabulary and similar illustrations of those themes
  • Exposure to and building of vocabulary is crucial and the more exposure that MC has to the same words in a variety of contexts the better
  • It’s easier to organize and rotate books and toys in and out
  • It provides a common theme for making crafts, reading stories, and play
  • Research shows that by reading widely about one topic greatly boosts one’s vocabulary

The idea is that by hearing … words in one context again and again, students will attach deeper meaning to them and be able to use them in other contexts.

edweek.org

So during naps for a couple of days I completely emptied the bookshelf and began organizing books by theme: ABCs, numbers, colors, gardening, seasons, miscellaneous life, farm, forest, and underwater animals. I boxed some books to bring out later, and I started restocking the shelves.

Then I found corresponding toys or stuffed animals that went with those themes and stuffed them in the totes.

So far, it’s been amazing to watch MC grab two or three of the same theme books and bring them to me to read. She is getting the repetition without me feeling like I’ve read the same book three times and without her getting bored, because they are all different while exploring the same idea.

It also gives me good ideas for corresponding craft ideas and play – more on this later!

How do you organize your bookshelf?

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