I carry about 60 students on my Title 1 roster, so I need my classroom library organized and easy for me to see who has what checked out and for how long. The grade span for me is K-5 so I also need a way to keep books organized and easier for students to find that “just right” book. So the books in my room have to be leveled. I use Fountas and Pinnell’s way of leveling books.
On the front of each book is a sticker indicating which basket it belongs in on the shelf.
Inside of each book is a envelope glued to the back. Inside the envelope is an index card listing the name, author and level of the book. Students write their name and date on the card when checking it out. You can see in the photo below where I still have AR leveling in my books from when we used AR. We have decided this year not to use AR and if you would like you can read about it here.
After the card is signed, students place it in the chart. The card stays there until they bring the book back. I can see at a glance who has a book checked out and who does not or has not been checking out books.
Also inside the envelopes on the chart are colored strips of paper listing the baskets students are able to check out books from. I like to give the students a range to choose from. As the school year goes along and students improve these levels will get changed. By changing levels students are reading within their range and getting new choices that keeps it interesting for them!
This system works great for me, simple as it is. I especially like the visual of being able to just glance at the chart and see who is not checking out books to read and then I can get to remedying that. I have had thoughts of going to an electronic check out system. Do you use one? Is it simple to use for younger students? I would love to hear about it if you do! 🙂