I am testing a new classroom library book checkout system this school year. I printed fun bookmarks with student faces the first week of school. We have been using the system for about a month now. Students slide their bookmark into the empty space when they borrow a book from my classroom library shelf. The bookmark shows me the specific student who has a book, and the students know exactly where the book needs to be returned. There have been a variety of book checkout systems in my classroom through the years. Originally, I had sign out cards. Then, I instituted a personal file card system. Last year, I asked students to write the book name on a board in the back of the classroom.
When I assessed my library checkout system for this year, I realized I only cared about two things. I wanted to know which students had a book. And, I wanted students to put the book back in the exact same spot where it started. When I started reviewing my classroom organization for the school year, I wanted to try something new with my library. The students can handle the bookmarks independently. Plus, it is fun to see the little faces peaking out of the bookshelves.
Classroom Library Bookmarks
- Take individual student pictures. Each student poses with a favorite book.
- Insert the pictures into a bookmark template. Visit my original BLOG POST HERE to grab my template. Each slide has three rectangles to serve as the base of the bookmark. The photos are positioned across the end of the rectangle and cropped to fit the width of the bookmark template.
- Print the bookmarks on cardstock or heavier paper.
- Using a paper cutter, separate the bookmarks on each page along the black outlines of the rectangles. Let students cut around their heads at the top of the bookmarks. You can also do this step yourself if you don’t trust your students not to cut their heads off! Another option is to add a label with the student’s name or have students sign their name in the white space below the photo.
- Laminate the cut bookmarks for added durability.
- Keep the finished bookmarks in a cup for easy student access. For my sixth graders, I added a strip of MAGNET TAPE to the back, and the bookmarks hang on a magnetic white board in the back of the classroom. When a student wants to borrow a book, the student pulls the bookmark and slides it into the book space on the shelf. Having the personalized bookmarks in view helps me see who has a book and who does not. I’m more likely to ask about their reading status when I see the bookmark reminders.
If you have a new classroom organization system that you are trying this year, I would love to hear about it.