Friday, March 3, 2017
At the end of the week, kids often check out a book from the media center or our classroom library. I expect kids to read two books a month. They have reading homework five days a week for a half an hour a day. How I monitor that reading is the stuff of another post. Today I'm thinking of how books walk out of the room. When kids borrow books from our classroom, the process currently goes like this:
"Hey, Spillane..." Kyle holds up a book.
I nod or maybe do a quick chin lift sort of thing.
Kyle adds, "I finished this one, so can I take this one home over the weekend?" He holds up The Alchemist and The Last Lecture.
"Yep. Got it." Thinking, hmmm... those two titles are quite different. That's quite the range. I keep my thoughts to myself as I'm mid-stride doing something else in another part of the room as is. Then I take a quick picture.
I need a better process. What we have is working. Books are walking out of the room at a regular clip, but they are not always finding their ways back.
I have had students sign out books on a clip board. Having the sign out sheet handy, in a spot where students are responsible for checking books in and out works well once you build it into a classroom routine or reading community.
I have used the Classroom Organizer app. I love that app from Book Source! I love using the barcode scanner feature to add books to the library and track inventory. I am not as good at taking books out of the inventory once they are missing though. Making time to track down titles or check up on readers who have not returned titles is something I struggle with. I still have 47 books checkout to last year's students! These are all books I purchased and paid for with my own money, so at least these are not school materials I'm allowing students to take.
Record keeping is all about routine. I know I need to re-establish some routines when it comes to returning and checking books out of our classroom library. Once things get rolling it's tough to keep up. I lose books, every year. Sometimes that frustrates me (especially when I know a just right next title for a new reader), but more often than not, I'm glad that books find travelers to take them away. After all, books take us places.