Classroom libraries are a wonderful thing! Children can’t wait to get to the books and discover new and exciting worlds in the pages. But managing all those books and who has them can be a challenge!
I have used this system now for several years and it works really well for me. Each student has a pocket in the Check Out chart.
Inside the pockets are what makes the system work! My students’ reading levels are all over the range of A-Z using the Fountas and Pinnell leveling system. I needed a way to make choosing a just right book a bit easier and more manageable for the students.
Each student gets a blue construction paper card listing the basket levels from which they can choose books. I give them a range of baskets to choose from and these basket levels change over the year as their independent reading levels change and improve. The blue card stays in the pocket. An index card with the name and level of the book also goes into the pocket after the student checks out the book by writing their name and date on the front.
On the front of each book, we have a sticker listing the level so students know what basket it goes into.
Each book gets a library pocket (or envelope cut in half) glued into the back of the book. An index card with the title and level of the book listed on the front is placed into the pocket in the back of the book.
After the book is read and enjoyed at home, students bring it back, remove the check out card from their pocket, put the card back into the book and then the book goes back into the correct basket. I train the students at the beginning of the year how to do this. It is quite easy for them and makes it easy for me to see who has a book out just by glancing at the Check Out chart.
I use Fountas & Pinnell leveling because I have found that it tends to be accurate for my needs. They have a book out to help you level books and you can also use Book Wizard on Scholastic.com to look up books.