Sunday, September 30, 2012

Browsing Sticks With Bar Codes

We call them Browsing Sticks, but you may know them as Shelf Markers.  The idea to put the students' bar codes on them came from Mrs. B at 180 Views from the Library Desk.  Cari from The Centered School Library highlighted a comment that Mrs. B made in a post.  The Browsing sticks have been a hit in our library with teachers as well as students.  We still need to work on how to use the sticks to mark their place, but it will come with practice.
Ignore the books to the left.

I had several Pringle's cans from previous projects, but I still needed donations.  I decorated each teacher can differently so the students could recognize their can at a glance.  The cans are stored on a book cart, so it can be moved when we have staff meetings or get-togethers. The cans are divided by grade levels.  Since this picture was taken, directions for using the sticks are posted on the side of the cart and in front of the cart. 
Decorated Cans and Sticks

A good friend got the paint stirrers for us.  She is an angel.  We let the students decorate their sticks with crayons and markers.  We encouraged them to make their stick an original, so they can tell their stick apart from their peers' sticks.  They wrote their name on the back, and we put the bar codes on the handle of the stick. The students will keep their stick as long as they attend our school.  The fifth graders will take their sticks home as souvenirs, when they graduate from elementary school.  I am holding on to the the sticks of the students who have left, because our school history has shown that many students return eventually.  We have extra sticks for new students.  In the future, only kindergarten students and new students to our school will need to decorate a stick. 
An Original

We practiced using the Browsing Sticks, and plan to make a video for the future and for review.  The teachers like the sticks because they often forget to bring the cards with the bar codes.  The sticks make checking out books faster.
This Is How We Use the Browsing Stick

When I was in the classroom, I had a can with the students' names on craft sticks.  I used the sticks to call on students for games, responses, making random cooperative groups, etc. It made it fair and kept the students alert because they did not know when their stick would be pulled.  Recently I discovered that I could use the Browsing sticks for the same purpose.

I can't thank Mrs. B and Cari enough for sharing this brilliant idea.