First, let me start this post by stating that state testing is finally over (I have read tests aloud four days in a row for some of our students who have this accommodation, and I've only seen four of my speech groups total in the past three school days- yikes!- but that is the way it happens when you are a test administrator for small group testing)!
Second, let me be honest and say I am getting older, I'm always tired, and I can't remember half the time what I own, what I still want, or what is in my therapy room.
Any-hoo, I started thinking yesterday about what I wanted to do with my students next week when we are back to a somewhat regular schedule, and I just couldn't picture if I had a certain book in my library. My Type-A, perfectionistic self decided I was going to stay after school and bite the bullet on organizing all of my books because I just can't take the mess that is my book collection anymore.
So, I started with my picture books! Here is a sample of my titles in a visual format:
Now, I don't know about you, but I have tried many ways to organize my books in the past from a spreadsheet in Excel to a fancy app on the iPhone that reads ISBN codes and organizes your library. The problem with these are:
1) I am visual and like to see the covers, and
2) The storage for the app ate up memory and I had to look up pictures for some of the books and ISBN numbers that wouldn't be read correctly so I quit that after ten minutes.
Instead, I grabbed a handful of my books from the shelf, went to Amazon.com, and began entering the title in their search engine. The great thing about Amazon is it begins to fill in titles for you so most of the time, you don't have to enter the whole title in there- check out what I mean below:
So while I am typing out scaredy, titles begin to appear and then I just go down and click on the book "Scaredy Squirrel". That picture comes up and I right click on the picture and then chose "Save as Picture". I then type in the title of the book, and save it in a folder I have on my travel drive labeled "Picture Book Pics".
In order to see the picture and title in that folder, I simply open the folder up, and then right click anywhere inside it until the option for "view" comes up like below:
Then I click on large icons, and there is my library- in a visual format I can see even without my reading glasses! Now I am able to quickly scroll through and see just which "There Was An Old Lady Who...." and "Night Before..." books I have and which ones I need. I can also hit print screen and paste the screen pictures into a word document or Publisher file and print it out to have a paper copy as well. I also added the file to my dropbox account so if I am out and about shopping, I can open it up and see if I need a book or if I already own it. Seriously, I am really bad about remembering which "Old Lady" books I still need!
Why didn't I do this before??? It is so easy, and Amazon found a picture of every book in my library- and I had some really out of print books. Now I can group them by category or holiday as well. So over the moon with this project. In all honesty, this took me just under two hours by myself to catalogue almost four hundred books. Not too bad!
So I started doing the same thing with my games!
Again, Amazon was my go to place for this. They also carry many of the Super Duper products I use, and some LinguiSystem ones. Now I have the beginning of a game inventory as well! I have also created folders for pictures of my Super Duper products (I went to their site and entered product names for the things I already own):
I have made picture files for TPT Purchases (just look under the "My Purchases" tab and you can right click to "Save as picture" for each thing you have purchased), LinguiSystem items, Speech Corner items, and various speech materials.
I now have a visual library of my materials I can access from anywhere, and I have these pictures available for me when I start making visual lesson plans like the ones posted by Jenna Rayburn and Super Power Speech using the materials I own.
Hope this idea might help you as well! Thanks for stopping by!