The first step is to determine what system you’d like to use for leveling. I asked my readers, and I got wonderful feedback and very helpful advice as well as many who tagged the conversation for future reading. If you’re interested in reading what my readers suggested, you can locate that thread [here]. The responses overwhelmingly suggested using Scholastic Book Wizard, but because the app was not available in the Google Play store, I chose to go with Classroom Organizer from Book Source.com. Below are the steps you need to follow to do the same in your classroom.
Step #1-Download the app you choose from Google Play or I-Tunes
Step #2-Set up your Classroom Library with your computer using Book Source
When you log in, you select either teacher or student page. If you are a student, you are prompted to log in.Teachers have a secure login as well which accesses the database of books.
|This shows the teacher the set up tab and library tab.|
Teachers set up the rules for student check out, and students can use both a computer or phone that has been set up. I believe an I-pod would work as well which is something I will be exploring since we have a class set of them.
|This shows the information that I wanted to pull into the spreadsheet. I narrowed the list just to keep things manageable for me.|
This is what the database looks like as you add to it. Notice the blue lines in the third columns. These say “Add to Cart”. If a book is lost, the teacher can replace it through Book Source and access the price to share with the student and parent.
Step #3-Scan books and sort according to the level you believe they will end up.
As I scanned my books, I began sorting them by level. Once I complete scanning and enter manually those that were not in the database, then I’ll print the spreadsheet for the organizing part.
Step#4-Organize the books in bins according to level, genre, series or topic.
Step #5-Train your students on how to check out and return books.
Last spring, I got the privilege of hearing Donalyn Miller speak, and I loved hearing her tips on how she helps students select and manage their books. She picks a few very organized students to be the library managers. They receive in the returns, check them in, and shelve them. With this system, I hope that it will be an efficient process that will help me avoid having our librarians miss instruction. That is my only concern with check outs and returns, but I guess in time I’ll know. Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet and test the water, right??