Thursday, October 2, 2014

BookSource Classroom Organizer

Have you been looking for a way to organize (and keep up with) all of your classroom library books?

Have you been losing sleep over finding a kid-friendly way to let your students check out library books? (Goodness, I hope not!)

Have you wished you could quickly and easily teach your students how to check out their own books?

Well, look no more!  This app is stinkin' amazing!  (Actually, I don't know about that check-out-their-own-books thing... I haven't tried to teach my first graders this yet.  We shall see... *fingers crossed*)

I found this app/website combo a few years ago. I intended to use it with my fourth graders, but I was so overwhelmed by my classroom library that I decided against using it. I'm a little ashamed of that decision now. 

BookSource Classroom Organizer is a website with an app component. (You must have an account with the website before you can use the app.) No worries, though. It's completely free!

When you go to the website and set up your account, you can download the app.  There's an app for both iPhone and Android.  You will use the same account login information that you used on the website.

Your classroom library book list will sync between the app and website instantaneously as you scan books with your phone or tablet and/or upload the books online.

The only downside that I found to setting up my library within the system was that it is fairly time-consuming.  It took me two hours to scan and upload 208 books.

Something to consider, though...

If I remember correctly, the system is designed to be growing and updated often.  If you scan a barcode for a book that other teachers have scanned, the information should come up and you only need to click "Add to Library."  If the book has not been previously uploaded, you will need to add the title at least (you may add the rest of the identifying information if you would like) before adding the title to your online library.

I have not played with all of the features of this website yet, but it looks like students and parents can view the titles that you have in the classroom using the student page.  How convenient!  It also seems that the students can see the availability of the books.  The more I look into this system, the more I like it!  I hope you find it just as useful!  If you have a website/app that you like for organizing the classroom library, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

FREE rubber stamp from VistaPrint

I found an offer years ago for a free return address stamp from VistaPrint.  This was back when I still lived in the Lower 48 and shipping was cheap.  (The stamp is free, but you still pay shipping.  It's not expensive, though.)  Anyway.   I was reminded about a conundrum that I am currently experiencing when I saw a VistaPrint commercial just a few minutes ago.  I lost the stamp some time between the end of last school year and now, so I had to cross my fingers in hopes that the offer was still available.

Good news!  They still offer the promotion!!

I was so relieved.  I loved my stamp.  It made labeling my books (yes, labeling my books) so much easier!

VistaPrint allows three lines of text (name, address line 1, and address line 2).  You obviously can customize the text on the stamp.  I chose to use the following text:

Line 1:  This book belongs to:
Line 2:  Ms. Dawley
Line 3:  Please return if found.

Stamping my books for my classroom library is so much faster than handwriting my name in every one and so much cheaper than printing labels for all of the books.

Here's how you can get yours:

1.  Go to the VistaPrint website and find the Free Rubber Stamp Trial Offer! (or just click here).
2.  Feel free to review the information, but just know that any other size or any other color ink is not free.
3.  Click Get Started.
4.  Enter your text, choose your design, and click next to go through the steps.

All you have to do is pay shipping!

Here's to making sure you get your classroom library books back when your tiny friends leave them in the lunch room!