Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Boxes

Here's a quick and easy teacher tip for those who use Daily 5 or Reader's Workshop in your classroom.  At the beginning of the year all of my students get their own "book box." Inside of their book box, are all of the materials that they will use for the entire literacy block.  Since the students have everything that they need for independent work, small group, or buddy reading in one place this really saves us a lot of time!

Of course there are books 
(on their independent reading level)...  

a marker board, dry erase marker, and eraser for independent use and during small group instruction...

a making words folder and letters...

headphones for listening to reading at the computer...

and a journal for reading responses and reflections.

All of these materials are stored in boxes (from Dollar Tree).  At the beginning of the year, they just have books.  As the year progresses and I introduce new activities they get the other items.  By the mid-year point they have a book box complete with all of their literacy tools.  We call them our "literacy tool kits."  This cuts down on getting up, roaming around the room, and misplaced items!

In the next few weeks, once my students become really proficient at using the "mini-boggle" games, we'll include those in the boxes.  I'm sure there are many other reading tools we could include.

Here are a few books that I love to use at the beginning of the year to help the students think about their reading tools and to build excitement about becoming better readers and writers. 

Do you have any time saving tips 
for teachers about small group/literacy instruction?  I'd love to hear about them!


  1. Where did you get the tall boxes? The heavier books will stay in these boxes better than mine.


  2. Cheryl-they are from Dollar Tree...usually in the summer they have red, blue, yellow, and green. I've had them for several years, and they've held up well.

  3. Do you guys have problems fitting everything in?? I've been getting down on myself lately becasue I can't seem to. There's never enough time in the day! I'm always playing beat the clock. My school claims to do a reading workshop model but we still use Scot Foresman basal. I've read about The Daily Five. Does it work? Can you share your daily schedule? I'm frustrated!

  4. I love this idea! I have several kiddos for whom organization is a problem, and this would help them immensely!!!!!!
    You are brilliant.


  5. I love how you have everything in that one box! I have book boxes for read to self, it is the only element I am using from daily five right now, and they are great. I need those plastic ones! I am a sucker for dollar tree! How do you like the daily five?

  6. I love that you put the whiteboards in these boxes! I don't think my whiteboards will fit in my student's book boxes, so I'll definitely be looking for these Dollar Tree boxes this summer!

    In the past, I have used these magazine files from Ikea as book boxes. They are $2 for a package of 5.

  7. I'm interested in your Making Words folder. Is it a folder or a file folder?

  8. I love using Daily 5! I'm actually heading to a conference in April, and I'll let you know how that goes! I've heard that the sisters are excellent in seminars so I'm very excited.

    The making words folder is a folder that has two pockets inside. They are from Carson Dellosa. You can get 12 folders per set ($4.50) from this site:

    @Debbie-I know what you mean...there are so many things to do every day that sometimes I do feel like I'm racing against the clock! The best way to combat this has been to integrate as much as possible. If you send me your e-mail address, I'll be happy to send you an up to date daily schedule. I think I also have one posted on "pages" here within the bog, but I'm pretty sure there have been some adjustments.

  9. That would be great Brooke...
    You've been so helpful...
    I've read through "The Daily Five" twice. Guess I'm too chicken to jump in. Maybe next year. Looking forward to hearing about the conference. This is just my second year in first so I'm "going with the flow" for now.

  10. This is my first year trying to implement the Daily 5 and it has been a struggle and a battle all year! I just can't seem to get the hang of rotating 27 students through the activities and neither can they. Any advice? What works for you? Thanks!

  11. I LOVE the Daily 5! I've been using this system since 2005 and I would never go back on it. I love your boxes. I like how everything fits so nicely in the box. I have cubbies and I've had the kids keep everything in their cubbies, but I think I might switch over to the boxes this summer. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Could you also send me what your daily schedule for the daily 5 looks like. I would like to try it next year.

  13. I am getting things ready to implement Daily 5 in my classroom this year. Could you please send me a copy of your daily schedule? Thanks!

  14. I would love a copy of your schedule as well. thanks


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