book checkout system

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Lynnnn725, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Aug 3, 2011

    I have used a different system every year and I'm just not sold on one yet.

    For those of you who send books home with your kiddos to read, how do you manage and keep track of who brought back books and which books were read?
     
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  3. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    Aug 3, 2011

    I've never worried about this, and I'm always amazed when teachers have 'check out' rules. I allow my students to take home any books they want any time.

    I put my name in all my books (thanks VP!!) so every once in a while I'll get a book back after years that mom found when she was cleaning house.

    The way I figure it: if a child has an attachment to a book and wants to keep it forever, who am I to say no.

    I don't know how many books I've lost over the year, but I always buy new ones each year anyway.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 3, 2011

    This is exactly what I do. I also loan out books to students in other classes--I have a huge classroom library (the biggest in the school) and students are often at my door asking to borrow a book. I'd say, over the past 10 years, I've lost fewer than 15 books.
     
  5. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    Aug 3, 2011

    This was my approach, too, but I think there's probably a difference between my secondary classroom and a primary classroom, where there's more focus on teaching "responsibility" (and where students are more likely to forget things, and can benefit from reminders and perhaps some carrots and sticks).

    The issue is then setting up a "credible" classroom-library checkout system that can be efficiently managed without draining the teacher's time.

    A student's "attachment" to a book is rarely the issue, but instead it's their inability or unwillingness to actually stay attached to the book until it's returned. Books may end up on the floor (or on a bookshelf) in another teacher's classroom, or in the cafeteria, etc. Many students leave trails of lost property in their wakes; many students kick books under their beds or into closets (never to be seen again) when asked to clean their bedrooms. (Of course, parents and primary teachers also know how educational it can be to excavate a student's backpack.)

    For my 9th/10th grade classroom library, I had a "sign-out sheet" which I told students they must use when borrowing or returning a book, and I told them that I'd check it periodically, but I actually never looked at it, ever.

    I was very aggressive in marking the books that I owned (I brought many hundreds of books to my classroom library): I had two self-inking stamps (one large, one smaller) so I could mark ALL THREE EDGES of each book "MR. WELCH" (curl the book edge so the pages spread out enough to fit the stamp). This made it very easy for students, parents, and staff to identify my books.

    A related issue is, "how do you acquire books for your classroom library?" If you're paying retail price (or even half) for all your classroom-library books, you can't afford to lose very many books per year. But if you get many books from library book sales (especially on $5-per-bag day), from yard sales, from parent/student donations, and from trades with other teachers, you'll suffer less if (when) books disappear.
     
  6. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Aug 3, 2011

    I'm trying a new to me system this year. In the past years I have let kids borrow willy nilly and never had a problem. But the particular school I am at has the most voracious readers I have ever come across. I actually had kids last school year that would hoard books from my library and not give them back. I'm talking these kids would have like 5-6 chapter books stuffed in their desk at a time. Which would prevent other kids from enjoying them. So my system is more about limiting them to two books at a time.

    I just spent a few hours at school putting it all together today. I put a library pocket in each book. Inside the pocket I put an index card with the title of the book written on it. I have a pocket chart next to my library where the kids each have a pocket. So when they check out the book they just move the card to their pocket. When they check it back in, they put the card back in the book. I have a class job (librarian) that is going to keep things neat and police the pocket chart for me. All my books are labeled with my name on them. Hopefully it will work out.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2011

    I bought the library card pocket thingys. (Can't think of the appropriate name at 3am.) One a child borrows one of my books they take the card, put their name on it and put it in a pocket chart that is labeled with their name. So if Mary has "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" the card for that book is in her pocket.

    I'm not as concerned with the kids bringing the books back as I am with a) making sure they have books to bring home, which I can see easily w/ the pocket chart b) making sure the books are shared. Diary of a Wimpy kid was an extremely popular one and even though I had like 2 copies of each book, the card system helped me make sure everyone who wanted to read got a chance and one kid wasn't reading the same book over and over or hoarding like 4 popular books at once when they can obviously only read 1 at a time.

    We also do "book shopping." They have a certain day that they are allowed to visit the library and take a few books. (Since its 4th grade they don't really need more than 1-3 per week.) This keeps them from spending an entire independent reading period pretending to browse the library. Obviously if someone finished all their books or didn't like them and wanted to exchange I'd let them do it at the end of the day but there is no book shopping during actual reading time.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2011

    I use a calendar system in MS (and I, too, have a problem with books that mysteriously go missing!)

    Kids bring me their book. They can check it out for two weeks, like a regular library system. I write their name & book title on the calendar (the date it's due). If they aren't finished reading it, they can keep checking it out until they're done or the school year is over.

    As for lost books - the same ones go missing every year, and they are always books that were not "checked out" by me.
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 10, 2011

    The calendar idea is good. I saw on here I think, a teacher who just kept a word doc on the desktop of her comport and had a template with a class list on it. When kids wanted a book she'd just type the title by their name. When it was returned she would delete it or replace it with the new book. That seemed easier than a library cars system to me. That has been too much work in my experience.... Not checking them out but making new cards as I get new books sine I get busy, overwhelmed and things drop to the bottom of my to-do list.
     
  10. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2011

    I often have some of the responsible students organize the library as well as label/place the cards into new books as I buy them. That's definitely at the bottom of my to-do list but also simple enough that I can get a 4th grader to help me out with it. I'd say even a 3rd grader or extra responsible 2nd grader would be able to help with this. It does save me a lot of time! They also periodically check to make sure the cards are in the right books, cards aren't missing, etc.
     

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