Friday, July 25, 2014

Berry Good Book Bags

I am so excited!  My guided reading book bags came this week!
Wait, let me back up...  So two years ago, when I really delved into the Daily 5, I found large canvas tote bags on clearance at Oriental Trading Company for $1 a bag.  My students used them that year to keep their Daily 5 materials handy during guided reading time.  They were large enough to hold their self-selected books for read-to-self and read-to-someone, as well as their writing and fluency folders,  a dictionary, and anything else they may have needed during that hour.
The only problem was that their chair backs are only 24 inches from the floor.  The large bags dragged on the floor, ripping and becoming a tripping hazard.  By the end of the year many of the bags were missing one or both of their handles.  So the following summer I scoured Pinterest for ideas for keeping the students' guided reading supplies handy.  I saw that many teachers were using empty cereal boxes for storage.  Being cheap, I thought that sounded like a viable option!  It wasn't.  I didn't have shelf storage for the boxes, so we tried keeping them beside/between their desks.  They kept falling over and getting kicked.  Then we tried keeping them inside their desks but they didn't hold up well.  Also, their folders didn't fit inside the boxes without bending and if they wanted to get something out of their boxes they ended up having to get EVERYTHING out of their boxes!  End result - we tossed these before making it halfway through the year.  So this summer I decided to see if there were any sturdy bags that were large enough for all of their supplies but that wouldn't drag on the floor!  I searched the internet for cheap canvas bags, but didn't find anything that was both large and inexpensive!  Then I found a Fourth of July sale on eBay.  There were reusable nylon shopping bags with handles that were incorporated into the bag instead of being sewn on separately and the dimensions seemed to fit what I was looking for.  They came ten in a pack, so I ordered three packs so I would have spares if I needed them.  I got all 30 bags for less than 20 bucks!  And the best part, they fold up into little strawberries!  So cute!
Coming from China, these took almost a month to make it here.  I'm glad I ordered them when I did.  Yesterday I took these bags up to my classroom to try them out.  Not only do they hold all of our supplies, they don't touch the floor when they are hanging on the student chairs!  I'm hoping I have a keeper here.  I'll have to let you know as the year goes on.  Here is the link to the bags on eBay.  They are no longer on sale, but are still only $1 a bag.  But if you think you want to try these, I suggest ordering soon!  I hope they are "berry" good bags for some "berry" good kids!

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