So, I've switched gears to talk about my book boxes. And while my August posts are supposed to be about my back-to-school organizational strategies, this one requites some "background knowledge," so pardon the preface before I get to the part about the plastic bins!
Among teachers, the word "book boxes" often refers to the personal collections of books that kids have at or bring to their desks. We don't have those in sixth grade, although we do have a "book box" on each table where the independent reading books for group of kids are stored. I'll talk about those boxes in a different post.
|Love these "Tots," available from Krista Wallden HERE at TpT|
Usually one of the rotations involves reading from a collection of books and then doing some kind of writing. Many of my book collections are non-fiction, and the tasks include note-taking skills so that students can reference the text as they engage in expository or opinion/argument writing. The books below are Time for Kids biographies. I also have collections of subject-specific books such as rain forest animals or continents or natural disasters.
Some of the book collections are genre-specific, when I try to push a group of readers to try on something new, like science fiction. And some of the books are author-specific. Here is a Shakespeare collection that I used as a prelude before some of my readers took on the challenge of a passage from William S., himself.
I think teachers are legendary for their ability to collect two things... Books. And plastic bins. I am passionate about both! My OCD tendencies push me towards having all of my bins matching. In the case of my book boxes, I have most of the books stored in the flipboxes (made by Rubbermaid) shown below. (I also have "standing baskets" for book collections that are too tall to fit in the flipboxes.) The main advantage of using the same type of bins for storage is that they stack easily. I also love these because you can affix a label to the side for easy identification.
I hate to spend too much time searching for things. I'd rather spend my time planning what to do with the items. Storing my book collections in this way has made it so much easier to find what I need in order to prepare lessons and activities. When these are used with a group of students, I often hand them the box with the directions and any other necessary materials tucked inside.
How do you store your book collections? Do you do guided reading in an upper grade classroom? What are the other kids doing while you work with a small group?