Are you ready of the end-of-year library book round up? It’s almost time to get all those books back
in the barn on the shelves and ready for another year of learning. I’ve lassoed five great ideas to make this annual event more fun and motivating for your school!
Give Students Their Library Card
As you know, I use a punch card system in our school library. Students get a punch or stamp each week when they return or recheck their books. When they get to the star, they get a prize from the treasure box (pencil, eraser, or bookmark).
When our students reach the very last star, they’ll earn one more visit to the treasure box, then I’ll give them their card, with an emoji sticker to put on it! A roll of 100 emoji stickers is $2.49 at Oriental Trading. Out students love to have their library cards as a souvenir of their school year, and if they have no late or overdue books all year long, they’ll get to keep their card.
Give Students A String
In March, storyteller Sue Kuentz visited us, and used a cat’s cradle string to illustrate the stories she told. My students hadn’t seen one before and were fascinated! When they turn in all of their library books at the end of the year, I’ll give them a string so they can learn how to do this themselves. I’ve bought yarn from Walmart, and I’ll make yard-long loops for them to choose from.
I’ll print out a QR code for this video playlist, which shows many step-by-step string tricks. Our students can watch the videos on one of our iPad minis, and follow along with their own yarn loop. I know they’ll enjoy doing this “string makerspace” for the last few weeks of school!
Give Students a Game
I can’t remember where I saw this to give credit, but one librarian suggested putting up a poster of Darth Vader (or another bad guy), and giving students a sticker when they return their last library books. Students will put their sticker on the poster, trying to defeat Darth Vader by completely covering him with stickers.
Image from Chronicle Books
Instead, you can give each student a plastic cup or a Lego brick to add to a group structure when they return that last library book. Students will be able to see what a huge creation they can build when they work together!
Give Students a Ticket
You can give students who return all of their library books a ticket for a prize drawing for books, book fair posters, lunch in the library, time as a library helper, or any other motivating prize. My students love to be helpers at the book fair and to be on morning announcements, and I like those no-cost options. Just buy a roll of tickets at Walmart or an office supply store, have students write their name and teacher name on the back and voila! You’ve got a prize drawing! Easy peasy!
I found this genius idea on the I’ve Got Class Blog: use a free-standing toilet paper roll holder to dispense tickets easily!
Give Teachers a Prize
Thank you Wendy Howk for sharing in our Learning Librarians Facebook group the idea of giving teachers a gift of time in the library when every single student in the class has returned their books. Students can work in makerspaces, read, or have computer time, for 30-45 minutes with you while the teacher catches up on her year-end tasks. This will REALLY motivate your teachers to help you get those books back!
If you don’t have time in your schedule for extra class visits, you can at least recognize those teachers on a poster, bulletin board, and/or morning announcements. They’re tired too, and when they help you get all those books returned, the recognition will be a great pick-me-up for them!
What about you, Pardner?
Do you have a fun way to get those books rounded up at the end of the school year? I’d love to hear from you in a comment!