Thursday, July 30, 2015

Library Shopping Cards

Howdy ya'll!!
Get those summer brains ready to turn to the off position because ready or year is almost here!!

I am linking up in honor of the the #TexasSizeLinkUp hosted by The Little LadyBug Shop and Planet Happy Smiles!!

This week is about a BTS product! There are SO many things to do and think about with the first day, first week, first month....whole year!!

If you teach reading at all and have a classroom library I am sure you have struggled at some point with setting up your library, kids checking out books, how will that work? etc...
I can tell you my first year I was all over the place trying different strategies.
Well 8 years later, lo and behold, I have found something that has worked consistently for me and my kiddos! I don't always go based off the first year I try something new because it could go disastrous the very next year. I usually give it a bit to sink in, work out any kinks found early on, and let a few classes rotate through my doors to make sure I want to stick with that particular plan.

Once I finally got my library organized and labeled and found that system to have worked well I then moved on to the "how" my kids would check out books. Being the OCD  crazy person diva I am I wanted something that would not only help me keep up, but give some responsibility to my kids in an organized, manageable way. I did not want the class library to take control over our every waking minutes since there are many other important things to accomplish during the year.

Enter the Library Shopping Cards!

An easy way to manage their checkout time. They are simple simple to use, even a caveman can do it!
1. Print on cardstock and laminate for durability.
2. Use a wet erase or even a sharpie to fill out once you know your kids reading levels and what their "just right books" would be.
3. Kids can keep them at their desks, in a book bag, or even stored in a jewelry hanger.

You fill in the information based off of what you want them to get when they visit the library.
As you teach them how to do it, they really take ownership of searching for the correct books without feeling smothered but also gaining some ownership in their choices, even with some teacher parameters. They also get the opportunity to choose "free choice" books as well.
The wonderful thing is you can simply erase their info as they move up reading levels and the amount of books they can check out. It also divides them up during the week for their specific shopping days so they aren't all going at the same time.
Typically I have 3-4 kids on the same shopping day.

The levels I have on the cards are aligned to Fountas and Pinnell, however, I am more than happy to try to align it specifically for you in another way if you contact me.

On a side note- I have two carts of books in my library. Blue is the leveled books and Green is the free choice. I have written the level on the book in the top right corner of the books on the blue cart since these are the "just right books" they choose from. For the green cart in free choice I have written a number in the corner so they know what tub to put that specific book back in so there are no tubs overflowing.

 Unfortunately I do not have a picture yet of the green tubs. You can see them slightly in the picture. The labels on each bucket are like these below, but just with a number correlating to the number on the book. They are also divided up even further OCD  into categories:
-hard picture books
-soft picture books
-science (animals)
-science (earth) 
-SS (people)
-SS (land)
etc and so forth..

This has made it a ton easier to inventory when needed or when looking for a specific book. 

I really hope you find these helpful. Like I said, it has worked consistently for first graders!!
Oh I also have a "Library Expert" who goes once or twice a week to check the bins and turn the books to spines out as needed. Takes the pressure off of me having to do this as well!

You can find the cards HERE!

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. " 
John 6:37

I love knowing this holds true! What comfort! No matter how my day is, the slips and falls I have in this flesh HE loves me! I accept HIM and he never will cast me out! Now that is some unconditional love that is insurmountable!!

Have a BLESSED weekend! 


  1. LOVE LOVE this!!! Great stuff!!! Thanks so much for linking up!!!!

    1. Yay! Glad you liked!!! :) Thanks for hosting and answering my emails haha.

  2. This is such a time saver and can help students find exactly what they need. Smart idea!

    1. It has saved me time!! Thank you for stopping by!!

  3. Super Shopping Cards! Someone is going to be very happy when they win it! Thanks so much for linking up with us!
    Planet Happy Smiles

    1. Thank you!! I hope they are happy when they win and find it useful!! Thank you for hosting as well!!

  4. Hi Ashley! I enjoyed getting to know you through the Texas link up. I am happy to read about your cute ideas and to see that you love Jesus Christ as well! Julie ( Green Apple Lessons)

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you so much for stopping by!! I appreciate your feedback!

  5. I needed to read that!!!! I'll be teaching reading next year for the first time! Thanks for the great ideas!!!

    1. Oh Cassie I am so glad it helped!! Let me know if you need anything else!!!

    2. AND I WON!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!!!!

  6. Seriously in love with this idea! I spent my summer labeling my entire classroom library! Awesome product!!

    1. Allison, thanks for stopping by and reading! You will be so happy to have everything labeled too. :)