I started thinking this might be a good way to handle classroom management in the library as well. So I wanted to share some ideas on how this might work.
I would start by purchasing or seeing if a volunteer could make a Shelf Elf doll to keep in the library. There are many ideas on Etsy. Here are a couple I liked -
I would read The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins and discuss what Skoob does to be a good library student and take care of the books.
I would introduce the students to our shelf elf and explain that he would be making appearances throughout the year to check in on us. He will be watching to make sure we are being
- Respectful - following instructions - listening to teacher and other students when teaching or sharing
- Responsible - returning books back on time and materials to class - getting assignments done well and on time -being on time for class
- Have good Relationships - helping classmates - listening to other opinions
- Being Safe - using library materials properly (including electronics) - online safety
(These are the words we drill into our students as part of PBIS so I wanted to keep the terms, but they could be adjusted to fit your school.)
Throughout the year the shelf elf would show up and give coins to students who are 'caught' following these expectations.
Students could turn the coins in for prizes at different times of the year. Prizes could be almost anything, here are some I thought of -\
- Homework pass
- Lunch in the library (with friends or for a personal pan pizza)
- Guest appearance on morning announcements
- Extra Credit or Add 10 points to an assignment score
- Extra technology time
You could even have The Shelf Elf come out to help promote new books, award homerooms with having no overdues, contests for reading minutes, and like the Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time he could show up and do some silly things throughout the year like -
- Rearrange some books on the shelf (kids could help put them back for practice)
- Take selfies with the kids and favorite books to post on library website
- Spell out messages in books (or chalk, scrabble tiles, candy, shaving cream)
- Set up a scavenger hunt for books
- Leave a note in books at random for prizes
- Change screen saver on computer to a picture of him
- Get stuck in display case, between books, magazine boxes, computer monitor, kleenex box, ect
The ideas are endless and could be a lot of fun depending on time you have to spend, which we all know can be sparse depending on how many fixed classes you teach or libraries you cover in your district.
I even found a tutorial on how to make an elf coat from recycled sweaters on Etsy. Which could be fun to wear if you are helping the elf.
I sometimes like to take an idea and make it my own, so instead of the Shelf Elf you could find any stuffed animal to live on the shelves in your library and watch the students. For example my former school's mascot was a hawk so maybe he could use his keen hawk vision to keep an eye on the students in the library. I think he could even be used in the classroom if needed.
Before you close the page - What are your ideas for classroom management in the library?