As a new media specialist, I struggled with a good routine to use with my kinders and first graders. If I let them check out books first, they fiddled with them during story time. If we had story time first, it was hard to gauge the time needed for checking out books and I often ended up with extra time after checkout was completed.
My solution may not be the best solution, but it seemed to work. Give it a try!
1) Have students check out their books upon arrival. (My primary students were allowed one book each.)
2) As they go through the checkout line, have them write their name on a bookmark like this one.
3) Stack the books on a table during story time.
4) When the teacher arrives, you can easily redistribute the books to the proper students.
Please share your routines in the comments below.
I hope this helps you!