Providing students with books to read in the classroom and at home is very important to me. In the past I have sent home book bags (HERE), set up my classroom library (HERE), and had student book bins (HERE). Now that I am an intervention teacher, I have to look at everything a little differently. I see my 4th and 5th graders for 30 minutes each day which doesn’t leave enough time for independent reading. However, I have a HUGE collection of books that is just dying to be used more! I decided to put together a system that allows my students to check out books to read at home.
Here are the things I used: labels, pockets, index cards, and clear Duck tape (my favorite brand of packing tape!!) You can find all of these materials HERE!
I decided to pull together all of my chapter books that would interest 4th and 5th graders. I use my picture books a lot in the classroom, so I don’t want to lend those out (just my personal preference… to each their own!). First, I typed up all of the titles on labels and stuck those onto index cards.
Then it was time to slide each index card into a library pocket. This is 100% old school, but sometimes a good idea just doesn’t need to be changed 🙂 I taped the library pocket inside of the back cover. You can also buy pockets with an adhesive back, but I’m not sure I want this to be a permanent thing. I only did this with about 120 books for now, so it didn’t take too long.
Here’s a little look at a few of my book baskets. I wanted them to be easy to move and look through. Normally I just grab them all, scatter the bins across the table, and let the students browse for a few minutes.
Now, what do they do with the cards? Once they have chosen a book, students take out the index card and place it inside of their pocket. I have a cell phone pocket chart that I use to store the borrowed book cards, classroom tickets, and materials we may need for an activity. Each pocket is labeled with their name, but those have been covered for the blog post.
As soon as they return the book, they place the card back inside of the book. I also give a ticket for returned books so that motivates the students to actually bring back the books they borrow from me :). Eventually the pockets may come off, but I’m not too worried about it. If it doesn’t work, I’ll come up with a new solution. But, we have been doing this for two weeks and so far… so good!
All of the items I used for my check-out system can be found on my Amazon Storefront HERE.
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