Friday, September 21, 2012


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The weeks are flying by and next Wednesday we will celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day.  It sure got here quickly this year.  The kiddos and I have been having a great time with Go Johnny, Go!  We've been reading the big book daily and they're doing a great job of memorizing the text.  This coming week they will get their own copy.  They've been asking for it all week. If you haven't seen it yet, you'll find it right here.

With the cost of everything on the rise and the resources to purchase them on the decline, it's tough finding materials that don't use a lot of paper and ink.  This year I thought I'd try to create teeny, tiny books for my little people using the smoosh book format.  We call them BittyBooks.  The first is a retelling of Brown Bear.  I incorporated Open Court sight words into the book and it turned out really well.  The only problem is that there weren't enough pages to print all of the characters, so I wasn't able to include the gold fish.  Even so, it works.  This week we made a book to complement Go Johnny, Go!  It's a BittyBook and it's about the life cycle of the apple tree.  It's a freebie available at TpT, so check it out here!

The children have already accumulated a large quantity of books that we've made in class.  Storage has always been an issue for me.  I have used gallon-sized zippered baggies in the past and they are such a nuisance, in my opinion.  So this year I went in search of a solution to my book storage problem.  After searching Dollar Trees and 99 Cent Stores I came upon plastic shoe boxes at Target.  They're the perfect size and they're stackable, even when loaded up with books.  At .97 cents each, the deal was sealed for me. The next thing I needed to figure out was how to label them.  I didn't want to put names on them because I'd like to be able to reuse them next year and beyond, if they hold up.  I came up with the idea of labeling them using numbers and characters from Brown Bear, Brown Bear...  In my room, the children are broken up into 4 groups.  The groups are: red birds, yellow ducks, blue horses and green frogs.  

I numbered the children in each group from 1-6, so the labels have both a picture and a number.   I printed out the labels and cut them to size.  Next I brought out my trusty Xyron sticker machine and turned the labels into stickers.

(I have a book box too, and here's a picture of my label.  :)

Finally I affixed the stickers to the boxes.

They fit beautifully on one shelf.  

Now reading is a happier time in my classroom.  No more struggling with book bags.  When it's time to read, the table managers go to the shelf and pick up the stacks of boxes.  They pass them out.  The children take out the books they need and stow the boxes under their chairs until it's time to put them away.  No more ripped bags, no more struggling to place the books back in the baggies properly. No more headaches!  I love happy endings, don't you?

Happy Friday Everyone!



  1. This is so cute! I'm hoping I can sneak in something for his b-day. No fun allowed at school now. :)

  2. :/ I don't understand how they think that punishing 5 and 6-year-olds is going to help raise scores. Enriching activities will hook them in and they'll learn much more in the long term. A few weeks ago one of my students missed a day of school. His mother told me that he cried when she told him he had to stay home that day. That little story warmed my heart.