I’m dogsitting my parents’ two dogs this weekend and I found a stack of old children’s books from their attic from when we were kids. Most of them were in a good condition albeit some 20 years old. Because it’s sad that books are stored away and not read like they should be, I decided to adopt them to my classroom library. Since next semester will be my first full teaching year, I’ve had no classroom library before and I’m considering these books to be the foundation of what will someday be an impressive collection of children’s literature.
Now, we have a school library too, but with budget cuts, it’s hardly been a priority for a while and it’s always nice to have a classroom library so the students have always books around them. I’ve purchased some cheap books too, from recycling centers and thrift stores because I feel the class library is something that travels with me to whatever school I end up after this year. Although seriously, I feel like some teachers (me included) sometimes spend too much of their own money, but maybe that’s a different post/rant altogether!
I thought about a lot how the kids could borrow the books (even take them home) without losing/forgetting them without me or them having to write down the name of the book in a notebook somewhere. I know 1st graders can’t write yet and I simply don’t think I have the time to check out books for the kids.
So the system is very simple. On the back of each book is a pocket (made from an envelope) and a card that has the title and author of the book. Once the student wants to borrow the book, he simply takes the card from the pocket and puts in into a filing system, where he has a unique pocket with his name on it. Then when he’s done with the book, he takes the card and puts it back in the book’s pocket and puts the book back into the shelf. That’s it. Done.
If a book is missing, I can simply go over the student pockets to see who is responsible for it. It really doesn’t take too much time to tape on the pocket and a card to each of the book, at least if you only have a few books like I do right now. When I introduce new books, I’ll just add the back pocket and make a card for it.
**The students’ filing system is an old cd storage box I found the other day when cleaning my closets. It’s just a box with 30 colored hanging sleeves that fit a cd or a dvd (similar one here). As it happens the colors matched the color groups I’m going to have in my classroom and it had 30 sleeves and I have 30 students, so coincidence? I think not.