Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Boxes:Yes or No?

I don't know about y'all (yep. I said it. Y'all. I am Southern), but at the end of the year I get in super planning mode.  I keep thinking about all the things I want to do this summer and I want to start them all RIGHT NOW.  I am trying to keep calm and focus on what I need to do-which is back up my entire classroom in preparation for my move down the hall, finish all my end of the year paperwork, and enjoy my kids. 
  That being said, I am considering doing book boxes or book bins next year for my kids.  The room I am moving to is a bit smaller (ok a lot smaller) than my current room and there will not be a lot of storage for students.  My thoughts were to get those book bins or boxes and have students keep their current reading selections in there along with their reading journal, reading folder, and perhaps writing folders.  I have never done book boxes before so I am looking for input.
  My questions to you:
  Have you used book boxes before and how did it go?
What did students keep in them?
What kind works best?  The cardboard or should I spring from the plastic ones?

  Thanks for any input you can give.  I know we are all busy and exhausted but not too much longer!!!


  1. I'm the Title I Teacher in a school that uses book boxes and I love it! The kids keep their books and daily 5 folders in there. Some teachers have plastic and some cardboard, but both work great. They're all the size of magazine files. I definitely think it's a great idea...

  2. I use book boxes and love them. I bought metal magazine files from walmart a couple years ago and they've held up well. I use luggage tags with a card inside to let each student know which file is theirs. I have a video at the beginning of last year that shows them. (

    I tried the cardboard files for a year but as expensive as they were, they didn't hold-up. I'm not sure if the plastic ones would be any better.


    A Time to Share & Create


    Fabulous 4th Grade

  3. Katie - I bought the plastic book boxes from ReallyGoodStuff for my class a couple years ago. Honestly, they're a bit pricey, but I was able to purchase them with a gift card a parent had given me one year. They are more durable than the cardboard ones you'll find. I'd also look at Walmart and Target for them too.

    As for what my students keep in them, their independent reading books, their reading notebook, and their writing notebook. I'd strongly encourage using them as they free up space inside student desks. :)

    Hope this helps!

    Mr. B's Beach Brains

  4. I purchase ice cube buckets from Walmart as my book boxes. It is an investment at first but this is my 5th year using them. I have them numbered and they are ready to go each year after a little cleaning. I prefer to store them on the floor under one of our dry erase boards as I hate to take up valuable shelf space for them.

  5. I teach first grade and love book boxes. I also use the ones from Really Good Stuff. A little pricey, but they hold up really well. My kids keep their "just right books" in there, but that's about it.

    At the beginning of the year each child picks 6 books on their level. On the second week of school, I show them how to take out the three easiest books and put them in their take-home book bag (also from Really Good Stuff). Then they choose 3 new books to put in the box. So, at all times they have 6 books in the box at school and 3 books at home that have been practiced the prior week. It works really well for me.

    I also have a tiny classroom. I've numbered all of the boxes with Sharpie on the front of the box. The kids are really good about putting them back on the bookshelf in number order. They don't take up too much space.

    Here's the only picture I could find from my blog.


  6. I did book boxes for the first time last year. I loved them organization wise.. I got them from IKEA - they were super cheap and ended up being a pain in my bottom!! Kids were pretty rough with them and I was constantly re-taping them up. So def try it- but maybe spend more on the other ones the girls have recommended.

  7. Hi Katie, I just found your blog and am now your newest follower! This was a great post because I am also considering book boxes for next school year.

  8. I believe book boxes are excellant in the primary grades. They need a lot of choice and material to read over again and again. I teach 3rd graders and for my students, I don't use them at the present.

    Over the years I've used book boxes in a couple of different ways. I have used independent book boxes that sayed in one location. I have also used clear plastic bags kept one container per table group. This box was brought to the table at the beginning of reading. They kept their bag of books with them through reading. Here is a "con" to consider for this method. Students needed their books to read when they finished doing other work throughout the day and the box was not close by, and they also had to flip through others' bags to find their own. Consider this "con" for the independent boxes left in one location... Again, kids needed books throughout the day and they tended to make a lot of trips to their boxes. A "con" for both systems that I found was this...Having several book choices tended to be a great distractor for several of my students. Books at these levels(M to U), tend to be a bit lengthier and require some sustained concentration. With so many choices available, many would never finish a book and often not get much reading down at all, as they kept switching books. I have finally come to a compromise that I feel gives them the book choices that book boxes bring, yet doesn't cause a lot of room traffic or off task behavior. We use book clubs a lot in my class, so they have their book club book, which is handed out only during reading. They have their AR book which stays inside their desk since it is a hardback book. They can put one classroom library book on the corner of their desk if they'd rather read that instead of their AR book during the day. This method works best for me. It gives them choice, takes care of the problems described above, doesn't take additional classroom space and is easily managed for the student and for me. Good luck with which ever choice you decide. Have a great summer!
    -Susan Hardin
    3rd Grade Grapevine

  9. Last year, my kids used book boxes from the Dollar Store. They were colapsible and could be stored flat. They didn't take a lot of space. This year, I used the cheap IKEA book boxes and they were a nightmare. Some students punctured it with holes and they fell apart. I pinned an idea the other day where someone used reusable grocery store bags. I think I may use that next year. They could store easily and those bags are so resilient! Oh yeah, I'm your newest follower! Come check out my blog and join my linky!

    Living A Wonderful Life

  10. I am really enthralled with your effort which you have so evidently perfected into this content. I have also liked that you have presented your own point of view with this topic, especially while making your points very much clear with this topic

    Electroplating in pakistan
    Packaging material supplier in pakistan