Specifically, do you allow students to “check out” books? The current system I have going is not working.
Right now, I have 3 shelves of books that students are allowed to borrow both in class and to take home. Most of these are fiction and nonfiction book for SSR and reading logs. Then I have another 3 shelves of reference books that must stay in my room. In my first 3 years, I never once had a problem. With the middle school kids I teach, I have given them the responsibility of signing books in/out on a clipboard I hang by the take out shelves. Until this past year I have had very few problems with this system.
The reference books are great - the kiddos are awesome when it comes to them. However, with the novels, they are terrible! I have a sign out sheet to “borrow” them. Some students are really great about borrowing and bringing them back. However, most don’t notify me or cross themselves off when they return the list. Then when the books are missing, they say “Oh I brought that back” or “Well I gave it to ______, but they forgot to bring it in.” The books are coming back in terrible shape and I am missing a lot of books. It makes it hard to have logical consequences or allow books to go home. I want to preserve my classroom library!
Do you allow students to take books home? How do you organize your “check out” system? I know whatever I do, they are going to have to sign in and out with me. Do you have “check out” cards or is that more trouble than it’s worth? Is there an easy (aka cheap) way to do that?