At the start of the year, each student gets a take-home binder that hold all of the important communication items. Think FROG, BEE, MOOSE, and a bunch of other acronyms that mean: this stuff needs to come back and forth EVERY day. In one of the plastic pouches, I allow students to borrow a "just right" leveled book to read at home. Many families do not have leveled books in their home or access to a public library that has lower levels. As the multiple labels in the binder, books, and notes indicate..... books are to come back to school every day. Ummm.... not so much any more. Many have been lost, left and are otherwise un-located. This drives me nuts. Not just a little, but down-right chapped! I get it. Things happen. Even my own son has needed to pay the school for a lost library book. (Notice I made my son pay for it, as I was not the one reading it on the way to baseball.)
This was my note (I was very careful to be nice and encouraging):
Each day, your child has the opportunity to borrow a classroom book to practice reading at home. However, many of our books are missing and/or not being returned to our classroom in the FROG binder. Although I believe in sending books home with students at their level, I also must be a good steward of our school (and my personal) resources. Each book costs about $5 each. A majority of them are only available to be purchased through school supply manufacturers. If each child in our room lost (or failed to return) just one book, that would be a loss of over $100 in books this year. Currently, I only allow students to get an new book if they bring one back that day. This isn’t working, as I’ve noticed that many students just are not bringing them back. I encourage you to help your child find any missing books and return them to school EVERY DAY so we can continue this program. Thank you for you support!
Not too bad, right? That was until only 10 out of my 21 students brought back a book the next day. Ouch! I resent my message in an email and retrieved 3 more. (Insert sad face here!). I collected all of the books and explained to my students the issue. They were generally saddened by these developments. I decided that a formal check-out process was needed, so I went to the Apple App Store and found this:
My next plan is to go old-school on my sweeties. That's right... library pockets with cards inside. When a child takes the book, the will place the book's card into the designated pocket (with their name on it). When/if it returns, the card goes back in the book. This clearly isn't earth-shattering or new. My teaching partner does it this way and even our staff uses this method for the leveled book room.
I ordered the book pockets from Amazon because they were less expensive (than the cute teacher- supply style).
|500 pockets for $21.95 at Amazon.com|
I will just use regular 3X5 cards with the book title on it for the card.
Here are some photos of my new set-up: