Listy Lister-stein, Part Deux
I think I may have actually topped myself in organizational nerdiness. I know, I KNOW. You thought it couldn’t be done. You thought to yourself, “Self, this Mrs. Mimi truly is an organizational goddess.” And then you read about this. And you thought again. And maybe you closed your eyes and tried to imagine the glory.
It is that good.
Before you begin to wonder if I am, yet again, pushing you to buy yet another fancy pen, notebook or pad, let me stop you. My office supplies pimping days are not over, however, this is a bit of what I like to think of Recession Genius. With less cash in my pocket, I am finding that I am (slightly) less likely to impulsively purchase a fabulously stylish binder, and am instead encouraged to find more frugal ways to further organize my…well, my everything. (Seriously, everything. You should peek underneath my bathroom sinks right now – it’s awe inspiring AND color coded. Sha-zam!) (However, I will have you note that the Recession has not crimped my desire for bi-monthly pedicures and Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Lattes.) (Or anything Sharpie.) (A girl has needs.)
Where to start, where to start? Well, I have a lot of books. One might even call me a children’s book whore (although the idea of putting the word “children’s” and “whore” in the same sentence makes me cringe a little, I think you can take it.) As I have said before, I have a bit of an obsession with Barnsey (that’s Barnes and Noble to the rest of you) and purchasing shiny, meaty, amazing books for my classroom. The problem is (if you can call it a real problem) that I have SO MANY books that I am unable to use them to the best of their abilities. For example, I will be teaching a unit on non-fiction. We will be discussing the wonder that is the caption, and I will have examples, BUT two weeks later I come across the PERFECT book for that. OR…we’re trying to reduce the number of complaints (read: bitching) after recess – seriously, the first fifteen minutes after recess can be FILLED with some serious 8 year old bitching and moaning – and although we have a productive class meeting, I find the MOST AMAZING BOOK about that in my closet at the end of the year.
Sigh. While I have figured out how to organize, access and integrate my many, many, MANY high heels, I have not found the best way to deal with all my books.
At the end of the year, on a whim, I packed ’em all up, and brought them home. You’re probably thinking I’m insane, but I thought that somehow over the summer, I would plow my way through each and every one of them and come up with something.
And, after a mere 96 hours in my garage, I’ve done it.
I have organized my ass off. And it feels so right.
You see, I created the most amazing, glorious and useful spreadsheet you have ever seen. In this masterpiece, I painstakingly typed in each book’s title and author. Then I read each book. THEN (because there’s more), I listed the approximate reading level when appropriate AS WELL AS the potential purposes each book may serve in my classroom. These purposes can include key words such as “tattling” or “small moment”. I also tagged books as “great use of dialogue”, “example of captions”, and “beautiful collage.”
So…all I need to do is open up the old spreadsheet, search for the correct key word, title or subject area and BINGO! a list of books are at my disposal. As they are all arranged alphabetically, they are quite easy to find as well.