Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Techy Tuesday - Book Checkouts Made Easy

My kids check out books from my classroom library, because I can't think of better reading "homework" than . . . well, reading.  Do I lose a few here and there?  Sure.  But as Richard Allington says, I'm way more concerned with losing students than losing books.

Or he says something like that.


The only big rule I have about checking out books is that they have to show it to me every morning.  They don't have to turn it back in, but I want to at least see if it's in their possession.  And, over the years, I have tried many different methods of checking out books.  I've let kids write their book titles on index cards (took way too long).  I've kept a checklist (worked okay, but still kind of time consuming).  I've let my class librarians keep a checklist (okay until it got to where I couldn't read their writing).

Nothing was convenient enough; every solution had too many moving parts to be efficient.  I thought about getting one of those fancy shmancy bar code scanners (which really appealed to the OCD side of my that, deep down, always wanted to be a librarian so I could spend my days organizing books, straightening shelves, and hearing the satisfying blip of the bar code scanner).

But then I ran across this idea!!  Disclaimer:  I found it.  I did not think of it.

Materials needed:

  • books
  • kids
  • iPhone, iPad, etc.
  • Assign this job to your classroom librarian.  Gotta love student ownership!
  • Let them use a class iPad or (as in my case) an old iPhone you have left over after upgrading your daughter's phone.
  • In the afternoon, each kid holds up the book they want to check out.  Make sure they are holding it up where the librarian can see their face AND the book cover.
  • Your librarians snap a picture.
  • The next morning, your librarians go around the room checking for books.  (See the need to have the face AND cover in the picture?  If not, you don't know who's checked out the book).  If the kid has it, their picture is deleted.  If not, the picture is left in the camera roll, and they don't check out again until it is brought back.
There are just no words for how fantastically simple and smooth this process is now.  I have been sitting here trying to think of words, but there just are none.

But I will use this procedure for book check outs forever.

If you are the one who thought of this idea, please contact me so that I can recognize you in some way.  You know . . . flowers, gift card, national day of recognition.  

The usual.

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