I started to run out of space for these books, but luckily my classroom was being moved downstairs. My 14 years of teaching put me at the top of the tenure list, so I had first choice of rooms, and would you have expected me to pick any room other than the biggest one available?!
I decided that the foldable wall between my classroom and my neighbor's was never going to open again, because I designed and built the permanent bookshelves that you see in the photo on the left!
Since my children are not eight feet tall, I decided to use the top shelves for storage. I also decided to use the bottom one for storage, because who wants to bend over to pick up a book?!
I purposely made the bookshelves 3 feet apart, so I could fit two paper boxes side by side length-wise, or three paper boxes side by side sticking out.
The books on the top two shelves are non-fiction. These books are often larger than fiction books, so these shelves are adjusted for such. Fiction books take up the bottom three shelves.
I use a color dot system to classify books and help my students keep them organized. Two dots on the spine of a book signify a non-fiction book, while one means fiction. The dots are color-coded, so students can refer to a chart that shows which genres are represented so they can easily find books they need or want, and put them back in the right spot as well. I also have a student whose "job" is "Librarian." He makes sure that the books are in their correct spots, and puts dots on new books as I buy them.
I strung a metal wire across the top from wall to wall in order to hang posters. The wire has no slack and keeps posters near the ceiling. The posters generally only block the boxes, and not many of the books.
On one end, I installed a bulletin board that I change several times per year. On the other end, I installed a white board for students to use when working in small groups or that I can use when working with a small handful of students.
I also use the far end to store our over-sized pillows that my students like to use when working on the floor or watching a video. The entire classroom library is "shielded" from the classroom by my lateral file cabinets that hold my lessons and curricular materials.