Monday, December 5, 2011

Library Cards

Student library cards are as unique as the schools and librarians that create them. Some schools use plastic student ID badges for all circulation purposes, and others merely use them to help remember the children's names.

The card I have designed (using Publisher) is incredibly simplistic but is a very important tool for helping students use the library.

At the beginning of the year, I print these cards (8 per sheet) on a unique color of card stock. Last year my cards were white. This year my color was orange, to the flagrant disgust of the rabid Bama fans in the building. :)

After they are printed, I print patron barcodes using Atriuum (Patrons>Print Patron Barcodes>Filter for one class at a time) onto sheets of 30 mailing labels. Remember even if you end up with partial sheets, you can program your barcode printing menu to start at whatever column/row you need to maximize those label sheets.

After printing the labels, I attach them to the open area on each card, laminate them, and record the teacher's name below the barcode with a permanent marker. Even though my school is not fortunate enough to have a machine that creates the more durable student ID badges, I do the best I can with what I have. 

After the cards are prepared, the classroom teachers and I administer the STAR test to determine the kids' ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development...AKA "reading ranges"). Every teacher has different goals and expectations for their students' book selections, and I do my best to honor their preferences, but many of them prefer that their children read at least one book they can take a quiz on. The quiz scores are not included in their reading grades whatsoever...this is just a measure to verify how closely the students are reading and to reward them for their success. 

Once the STAR test has been completed, I record each individual's ZPD on the line for 1st Quarter. We retest each nine weeks, and I reward my sweet babies whose levels increase even slightly with a sticker on their card. They love it...yes, even the big and bad 5th graders! 

These cards also have students' Study Island login information and Renaissance login information printed on the back, which enables the students to access these resources without frustration.

An added bonus is that these cards help facilitate self checkout, which is a fun post for another day!

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