Organizing Your Classroom Library
When you commit to using the Lexile framework to differentiate in reading, it is important that you organize your classroom library by Lexile reading levels in order to best support the students in their free reading choices. There are a number of ways to do this, but first you must determine the correct Lexile measure for each text. Read this article for more details on how to find Lexile measures.
Once you have the correct measures, many teachers add colored stickers to the spines of their books which have the corresponding Lexile reading levels for that text, and order them numerically on book shelves. These stickers are often best used if they are color coordinated. For instance, books with Lexile measures in the 500s are green, texts with Lexile reading levels in the 600s are purple, and so on. This helps give students a visual recognition of the level of book they are looking for. The color you choose does not really matter, but if you adopt the Lexile Framework for Reading across all the classrooms in your school, a degree of consistency is advised. That way, when students move between classes or grades, the system they are used to is familiar regardless of the classroom. If you are running out of colors, a useful tip is to give the two extremes of your Lexile reading levels the same color, (e.g. 100s and 900s), as they are unlikely to be present in the same class.
Other teachers prefer to sort their books by boxes or storage bins. The advantage of this method is that you can group together books in a given range, e.g. 200s - 400s. Students need not look along a shelf for the right number of book, they just go to the storage bin that they have been allocated. This works best for younger students, and also operates well when color coordinated. For instance, you can assign some students to the red box of books, and others to the blue box, and so on.