Want a way to manage your classroom library? Need an easy way to track which students have borrowed which books? Want students to share reviews of books from your classroom?
Oh, have I got a (FREE!) tool for you!
Recently, a teacher approached me and asked if I had heard of an app that will enable you to scan and document details about books you have in your classroom library. A short time later, after a search for an app with this functionality, I came across this site:
Watch this short video to see how Classroom Organizer works and/or read my tutorial below (with screenshots) to help you get started.
Create a free Teacher account. Note that the Classroom name and Password will need to be shared with your students in order for them to log in for check in/out. There is a separate area later to set the teacher admin password.
The Teacher Page is the dashboard for setting up your “classroom library rules,” adding/editing/deleting books and students, and viewing reports.
Here is a screenshot to show where I added my daughter as a student. I was able to enter a reading group name (if desired), and even an image. You will need a unique ID for each student. (You can import your students from Excel, but you will have to enter the data into the Excel template.)
Here is a screenshot to show where I added a book to my library. I manually entered the ISBN number. The remaining data populated automatically (including the image of the book).
The reports available are great for tracking the types of books you have in your classroom as well as the checkout history of your students.
When you log in with your classroom login on the main site: http://classroom.booksource.com/, you will be able to choose whether you want to enter the teacher or student area. (You will have to enter the teacher admin password to access the teacher area.)
When a student clicks “STUDENTS,” this is the screen he/she will see:
The student can then click “Find Me” to find and click his/her name.
Then the student can type in the ISBN number or type in a keyword, then “GO” to find the book. The student can then click the “Checkout” link to log the book as checked out to him/her. (The process for checking in the book is similar.)
Login, then begin scanning in titles by clicking the “Scan” button. (If you want to log your books by “location” in your room, click “Manage Classroom” first and set up your locations.)
I began scanning the barcode on the back of library books in an elementary school library to test the app. I found that about half of the books I tried to scan could “not be found,” but it sure could save a lot of manual entry even if it only recognizes some of your books.
You can select the location (if you set up locations) and then “Add to Library.” When you log back in to the website, your library data will be updated.
This just seems like a great, easy, free tool for managing your classroom library. If you use it, let me know what you (and your students) think about it!