School Librarians & Teachers discussion


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message 1: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin | 4 comments I am a second year elementary school librarian at a lower income school. There have been so many budget cuts that I am unable to purchase book marks for my students (I barely have enough to cover be award winner books). I was wondering if any of you knew of a way to get free bookmarks. I have been making bookmarks for the kiddos but I am slowly losing my mind with how much work it takes when I have 650 students that I see weekly. Trust me they go through them so fast! Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy Hayes (ahayes) | 1 comments Can you either have the kids make them or make some and photocopy them?

message 3: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Cross (carrie-cross) | 3 comments Having the kids make their own is a great idea, Amy! Extra scraps of construction paper and ribbon, a little felt pen, VOILA! New bookmarks and no out-of-pocket expense. And an art project to boot.

message 4: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin | 4 comments Only problem is there is not really enough time. The students have 30 minutes for me to teach a lesson, for them to decide on books, and then check them all out. And that isn't counting the number of times I have to tell them to be quiet.

message 5: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Cross (carrie-cross) | 3 comments Homework art project? Winner of most creative bookmark gets a gold star?

message 6: by Libby (new)

Libby | 1 comments We used to have a work area with cut up bond paper and supplies. Called it "do it yourself" bookmarks. the kids loved making and swapping them.

message 7: by Emily (new)

Emily (mshungerford) I like the make it yourself station--you didn't bring back your books, make a bookmark. Also, talk with everyone you meet/know. Your Scholastic rep, the local bookstore owner, the grocery store manager. You never know who will step up and help out. I've been at Title 1 schools the past 6 years (and volunteered 2 more)--feel free to friend/message me for other ideas. There are resources out there.

message 8: by Tina (new)

Tina (kmpierce) | 1 comments We just cut up strips of construction paper. There was tons left from the person before me! If it's too fancy, it takes them forever to pick one!

message 9: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 1 comments I've also used cereal, snack boxes in the past. This way you don't even have to buy the cardstock and kids can even practice reading their bookmarks!

message 10: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (suz_c) | 4 comments I have students that help make the bookmarks. I bring in stickers from home (usually pictures I have clipped off of the free address labels sent out by charities) . The kids put the stickers on slips of paper that are left behind when teachers use the paper cutter in the workroom. So everything is free, even the labor. Some students even bring me stickers to use.

message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Simpson (mrs_simpson) | 2 comments We have a bookmark station. Sometimes it has plain construction paper and crayons, and sometimes something different. Every so often I copy seasonal bookmarks to color. Some kids are excited for even a change from crayons to colored pencils or markers for a week. Many go to the station just to see what's there. I also copied some bookmarks with genre information on them that they color. It's a great place to reinforce skills.

message 12: by Michele (new)

Michele | 13 comments I know there is someplace that does give away free bookmarks....I have received them at my school before. They are commercial--selling legos or McDonalds or other various products, so I never re-requested them. If I can figure out where it was I'll re-post it.

message 13: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (paperheart) | 3 comments I do a lot for my students, but when it comes to bookmarks I only put them out occassionally. They don't seem to mind. Other times they have access to strips that were scraps from the paper cutter. If I have real bookmarks I share them with the kids, but don't allocate budget money for them. If you do Scholastic bookfairs, you can use scholastic dollars to get them. In fact, they have some on sale right now. In the past I have gotten free bookmarks from the Scholastic booth at a conference ( with advertising), from a teacher supply store when I mentioned I was a new librarian (from the clearance section) and from .gov freebies.

message 14: by Melinda (new)

Melinda | 2 comments You can go to the walmart, paint store, Lowe's, or Home Depot and get some of those paint swatch cards. I use them, and I punch holes through them like hearts. I cut them in half because I can get two. I use them for my classroom library. Also you might consider seeing if anyone has those decorative boarders they place around the bulletin board and cut those down to bookmarks.

message 15: by Charlyn (new)

Charlyn (chartrussell) | 1 comments You can request free booksmarks here:

or here:

or here:

I sometimes just slice the book catalogs and circulars I receive or pages from discarded picture books.

Our district has a print shop and they will print and cut bookmarks for a much lower price than any I can purchase. Pinterest has a plethora of ideas for printables.

However, the real problem seems to be that students have come to expect a new and different bookmark each time they arrive at the library. Why not turn bookmarks for everyone into a prize for everyone returning books or best behavior? Or, turn it into a contest with a prize for the student in each class who brings the bookmark back from the last session? The prize can be nothing more that letting that child be the first one up to check out books or the first in line to leave or the first one to check out a new book.

If you design your own and include a place for students to record books they've read, they could turn in a completed bookmark for a small prize or add their names to a jar for a drawing for a big prize.

Finally, consider a lesson on what a bookmark should and shouldn't be. A bookmark can be a fresh tissue, a mailing insert from a magazine, a corner of an envelope from today's mail, a discarded homework paper, etc. It should not be a dog-eared page, a crayon, pencil, or eraser, etc., or--the worst thing I ever found in a student's library book--a piece of cheese. Yes, I really did find a whole slice of cheese in a book, but I can't swear it was being used as a bookmark.

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