Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wonderful Idea Wednesday!

Hey guys! I'm linking up with Freebielicious yet again for Wonderful Idea Wednesday! We'll all be sharing some wonderful ideas that we have for the classroom! Make sure to hop on over to Freebielicious to check out the wonderful ideas in the link-up!
My wonderful idea really should be credited to my husband. He comes up with all the wonderful ideas for my classroom when I'm in a bind or trying to save money. Not even kidding. He's pretty resourceful! Ha!

So for the last two years, I taught 3rd grade departmentalized ELA. Which I really enjoyed. And even though I only had my kiddos for a fraction of the day, I knew I wanted to do Daily 5 (well, my own version of D5) with my kids. They just get so much out of it! I figured out how to fit everything into my schedule, I figured out how to hold my students a little more accountable, I figured out word work stations for 3rd graders, but one thing I could not figure out? Book boxes.

Oh man did I want to be able to have beautiful, hard, plastic book boxes for my kiddos all lined up in neat rows like these beauties from Mel over at Seusstastic Classroom Creations!
 Seusstastic Classroom Creations
But guess what? When you have 45 kids one year and 55 the next, these boxes just aren't happening. First of all, where would I put 55 of these babies?! Second, how on earth can I afford 55 of these at $3.50 each?! That's over $190 for some book boxes. Ain't happening, my friends. Especially when you're a first year teacher with no paycheck yet. Ha!

So I gave up my dream of having the most gorgeous book boxes ever. And sulked about it. And then turned to my husband and griped about it to him. 

His response?

Get some bags. 

What do you mean, "Get some bags?!?"

He wanted me to use Ziploc bags. I mean really? Come on now. But wait a minute. That's not a bad idea. Ziploc bags are cheap. I can get a few boxes of them and have enough for all my students! And we can get labels and the kids can decorate them and make them more personal. PERFECT!!!!

The only problem? One gallon bags don't fit picture books very well and they certainly won't fit folders and notebooks. Sad day :(
Dang it. There goes that idea. So husband and I stomped off to Wal-Mart to find an alternative. And guess what we found guys. TWO GALLON BAGS!!!! I mean, I'm not kidding when I say I heard the hallelujah chorus. 
Did y'all know that such a thing existed? Because I definitely did not. Well they do exist. And guess what? They are PERFECT for book baggies!!
We can fit everything in these babies! Students can fit their book baggie folders, reading journals, writing journals, and their independent reading books! It's perfect! 

Now I think the ones I actually used both years were these Hefty 2.5 Gallon Storage Bags with sliders but I didn't have any of those to show you. They are a little bit bigger and have a slider which is easy for kids to use. The only problem is that the slider falls off or breaks pretty early on, so you can just use whichever one you think is the best!
And the awesome thing about these bags?? They fit perfectly in a milk crate! I had a milk crate for girls and a milk crate for boys for each class and we would just line them up in the crates when we were done with them. It worked out fabulously!! You can sort of see the book baggies in the crates in the pic below. 
And the great thing about these baggies is that if you have a kiddo who is rough on his baggie, you can replace the baggie easily! We did a lot of discussing at the beginning of the year about how to respect our book baggies and how to properly hold them and carry them. Almost all 55 of my students last year made it through the year with only one bag! It was great!

Well there you have it, my friends! My wonderful idea for using two gallon Ziploc baggies for Daily 5 book baggies! Love it! I need to do a post about how I do Daily 5 in a departmentalized classroom. Look for that at some point!

Now make sure to check out the other fabulous bloggers linking up with their wonderful ideas!


  1. I didn't know they made 2 gallon sized bags. I will be getting some. I love to use bags for read to self.

  2. They are fabulous Janie!!! They can fit so much in them!