Jawsome Readers

Hi friends!

I stole borrowed an idea from our music teacher, and I love it!

You know that I’m always looking for a good way to encourage students to return their books, right? And I don’t want to spend a lot of money, because I’d rather spend our budget on MORE BOOKS.

So, here’s what’s working for me…

When a class comes to the library for their weekly checkout, and every single student has either returned or renewed their books, we do a cheer and put a sign outside their classroom door. I chose “this class is jawsome” because my students are shark-crazy, and it matches our ocean theme.

I write the teacher’s name and the date on this card with my trusty black Sharpie, and the teacher posts it in the hall, by the classroom door. It’s not fancy at all! But it gets the attention of other students and teachers, and the competitive spirit kicks in!

When the class earns this award, we line up, we chant “our class is jawsome,” and we make three big chomping motions (like the Florida Gator chomp) with our arms.

Here’s what it sounds like:

(I couldn’t video this because of student privacy. So you’ll hear us doing our chant, but all you’ll see is the jawsome sign.)

Of course I’ll give you my sign for free, right here from my Google Drive. You can change it up to match your theme, or whatever your students particularly love. The fun part is celebrating together!

Our music teacher has an award like this that says “This class rocks” that she provides for excellent behavior in music class. When I saw how excited the teachers and students were about posting their music awards, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a library award.

This whole-class-reward is in addition to the shelf marker/library card/punch cards that reward individual responsibility. Our punch cards are still going strong, and even the fifth graders have been excited to earn a trip to the treasure chest to get a free pencil, eraser or bookmark!

I hope you are finding ways to make responsibility rewarding in your library! If you’ve found something that works, please share it in a comment!

  • Cari Signature

    Similar Posts


    1. How do you manage the 5th grade when they only come every other week as a class? Or do you keep the cards out somewhere? Cause we only use them when it’s the entire class at once. Super helpful then (cause we check the cards before we put them out … no card? You’ve got something overdue!) but no older kids have managed a trip to a treasure box cause it takes so long.
      I have a Reading is Jawsome shirt from Busted Tees. It’s one of my favorites.

      1. Angie,
        Our fifth grade classes come every week for checkout, like all grades starting with preK. So we had our first treasure box visits last week.
        We only punch their card on a whole class visit. Otherwise some of them would try to visit every day to get their card punched!
        And we keep 2 clear file boxes out on a shelf with a file folder for each teacher. One box has second and third grade; the other has fourth and fifth grade. The file folders are a different color for each grade, and the colors match the library cards. Even second graders can find their own cards in their teacher’s folder. We keep first grade cards behind the desk. It doesn’t seem like they could handle the file folder system.
        When a whole class is coming for a visit, we do the same thing you do–scan all the cards right before they come in. If students can’t check out, their card isn’t out on the desk, and we have a little talk about where their books might be.
        Why do fifth graders come every other week? It seems like they would be reading and checking out the most.
        (And I really need to get that T-shirt!)

      2. I love it, and I hope you don’t mind if I steal/borrow this from you. I’ll change “jawsome”. Our mascot is a bulldog and our motto is …PAWSibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing.

      3. That’s a challenge….”Who returned all their library books? We did!” (with an owl in a tree) then the kids could flap their wings and say “who, who, who!” Or “This class is on fire!” with a campfire picture, and they could fan their faces like they’re too hot…Or “you MOOSE admire our class!” and they could make antlers with their fingers. They’re all silly, but that’s part of the fun!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.