You asked how my students check out books and how we keep them organized. When I first organized my classroom library, I made the students check out the books. I had a pocket chart with each student's name, and they were required to write the name of the books they had in their book box on an index card each time they put new books in their box. However, this became a very time-consuming and laborious task for the students and began to take time away from their actual reading of the books. For this reason, I did away with a check-out system. I now trust my students to put books in their book box and then exchange them for new books when necessary.
The key to organization is the labels on my library baskets and the corresponding labels on the books. As you can see in my post, each book has a small label on the back that indicates the book's location in the class library. Students use the labels to ensure that they are returning their books to the correct baskets in the class library.
To make sure that my students understand the labeling system, I devote multiple mini-lessons at the beginning of the school year to teaching my students how the library is organized and how to properly return books to their correct location.
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