I got this tip from my teaching partner, Mrs. R. Use the letters of the alphabet to label the books and assign the books to each student at the beginning of the year. For every novel study the student takes the same book labeled with the same letter.
How do you assign books? For example, “Ashley….book A,” “Jimmy...book J,”
At the end of the period, the students turn the books back to the cart. I usually offer an extra credit point if someone lines them up alphabetically. Already, two weeks into reading Romeo and Juliet, book “L” is missing. Immediately, I was able to figure out who had the book. Very drama-free...The L book mysteriously reappeared today lined up exactly where it is supposed to be...in the L spot.
I highly recommend this this system. Subject areas like drama, health, music, and art could really benefit from using this organization due to the books constantly having to be returned and re-distributed. Come September I will do this again for our first novel unit and classroom textbooks.