Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How I run my classroom library

I have so much to do so that I'm ready for the start of school.  I've started working in my room a lot this week.  Since I'm in the same room I was in last year and teaching the same grade and subject, a lot of what I did last year is going to work again this year.  That's great because all I have to do is pull it back out or put it back up on the wall and I'm ready to go.  

Here's some of what I've gotten finished....

Book buckets are out, labeled and filled.  

I put up my calendar and silently cried that summer is so close to being over.  It seems like just yesterday we were telling our students bye.  

Excuse the dark photo but I got new blinds and with that, my sweet mother in law made me six new curtains.  It has really freshened up my little old room!

One of the things that worked so well for me last year was my classroom library.  In the year's past, I've had library book buckets and plenty of books for the students to choose from but I was afraid terrified of losing my collection to a student who was a bit forgetful.  You know the sweet ones who bring book after book home and you never see them again.  No, they don't mean to take all of your books but they just forget that they have one and they get a second, a third, a fourth, your.whole.stinkin.library.......

Out of my fear, I did not allow my students to take home my books and therefore, I found that most times, my chapter books were not being used.  Remember, I'm in a departmentalized third grade so if they can't take the book with them, they only have a few minutes in my class to read it.  This was not working so.....

Last year, after much searching, I found an online program that helps me keep track of my books and prevents sweet Suzy from taking them all home.  

Here's how my library works -

When we have free time, a student goes to the shelf and picks a book in their AR level.  Once they chosen their book, they head over to the laptops and log into Booksource Classroom Organizer.  Using this program they can check out their favorite book and take it home!  When they are finished reading and have taken their AR test on the book, they go back to the laptops and return the book through the computer.  This frees up the book and their name so that they can get another one.  Until they return it on the computer they can not get a new one.  Once their book is returned, they place their book in the bucket that is CLEARLY marked in our room as book return.

At the end of the day, my class librarian will place the books that are in the book return back into their correct buckets.  

In the state of Louisiana we can not put students' full names and other identifying info online or into any unapproved program.  I use my student's id numbers instead so that my students can use those to log in.  

So what system works for you?  Do you use an online program for your library as well?  I'm always looking for new ideas if you want to share in the comments.

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