I {heart} Student Book Bins & a Freebie

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 **This is my 3rd attempt at posting this one today. Technical difficulties, ugh. That said, I’m sorry if you’ve already seen  a similar wonky version of it this morning.**

So this post is a little bit of an ode to how much I love having individual student book bins in my room. I bought a class set as a first year teacher (At the time I had a classroom budget to spend since Lord knows I had about negative zero of my own money) and now they’re an absolute staple in my classroom! Having them really does stop *most* of my kiddos from trying to go to the library every five minutes and get new books (I stop the small percentage that still try, ha) My kids know they are allowed to shop for new books first thing in the morning when they arrive, during snack, or if they finish an assignment early– and that’s it! This year my primary team will be implementing Daily Five (more to come on this subject soon by the way) which is where I found the original idea. So book bins will again be in full swing in my classroom pretty soon!

I recently discovered a book bin alternative I wanted to share with you. Not because it’s cheaper than traditional book bins, but because if you were already looking to purchase a set, you may want to consider these instead. Don’t worry, if you’re looking for thriftier options, I’m highlighting some of those below too!!

This is a Small Multipurpose Bin from The Container Store. I keep it inside of my Thirty One Teacher Bag to transport papers and plans to and from school. I’ve never used it as a student book bin, but it dawned on me recently that it would make a really good one!

Here is one I modeled using some things from my classroom. In the past I’ve only ever had students put books into their book bins, but this year I am considering having them carry a folder or notebook for Daily Five too. They’re not as wide as traditional book bins, but they’re longer, so you can turn tall items side ways and suddenly everything fits Ez-Peezy and looks super neat and tidy.

     This is the space my kids store their book bins.

Long enough to fit things sideways so everything fits, takes up less space than traditional bins
I don’t know if they’d be AS durable as traditional book bins even though they took a good tester beating from me
Price- $3.99 each at The Container Store but you can sign up for a 10% teacher discount which brings them down to about $3.60
These are the traditional plastic book bins I own that you can find at the teacher store or from Really Good Stuff. I purchased mine four years ago and for the most part they have held up super well! A few minor chips here and there, but overall still in great condition.
The only problem I have found with them is they don’t hold too wide books or in my case, with my shelving unit, too tall books. So for example, my Rainbow Fish Books don’t fit because they’re too wide. Now that said, my kids can still fit 8-9 out of every 10 books they try to put in, which isn’t too shabby! I also like that I can get them in fun colors to match my room decor/theme.
They’re durable
Fun colored
They don’t hold all books
Price – $3.49 each if you price out a class set from Reallygoodstuff
Now onto some thrifiter options….!!
One of my favorites was when I saw a teacher use these Dr.Suess totes from the Dollar Spot at Target to house her individual student books. She attached a command hook to the back of the student chairs and that’s where they hung.  Target also usually has “traditional” book bins around this time of year in the Dollar Spot for $2.50 each. But finding a whole class set usually requires a trip to multiple locations. Not that I’m above a Target Shop Hop. In fact, I think I’m about to go on one today in search of their PURPLE pocket charts that I must have but currently can’t find.

Another excellent option with a price that really can’t be beat are these organizers from Ikea. They come in sets of 5 for a whopping $1.99. I know lots of teachers who purchase these and just replace them every year.

So you don’t need to spend big bucks to bring student book bins into your classroom!!  
Do you use some type of individual student book bins in your room??
On an entirely separate note, when I logged onto Pinterest this morning, my socks were just about blown off when I saw this picture of my Illustration Rubric Freebie pinned by THE Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade.
 {click here to snag this freebie}
I regard Cara in the same way most people regard George Clooney or twelve year old girls regard Justin Beiber…A CELEBRITY!!  So the fact that she found something of mine worth pinning made my little heart’s happy day!! It’s also gotten over 1,000 downloads on TPT along with some really great feedback so I figured I’d throw in link to it just in case you want to snag one for yourself 🙂
http://feeds.feedburner.com/ FallingIntoFirst

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Stephanie Stewart

Stephanie Stewart

Hi, I' Stephanie! I’m always looking for new ways to put a creative twist on the standards and I love helping primary teachers do the same in their classroom. Think of me as your virtual teaching partner right down the hall. I can’t wait to share new lesson ideas, teaching tips, and engaging K-2 resources with you!

8 Responses

  1. I love your new find for book boxes. I use the book boxes from Really Good Stuff and they have held up well except for having to replace the sticker I put on the front of each box. I label each box with a number and my students are all given a corresponding number. Now I do not have to change stickers each year.

    My students keep a folder in the book box for their center work or Daily 5 which I am going to incorporate this year. The problem is that the folder is tall and does seem to get ruined before the end of the year. Your book box would work better with folders.

    My students also keep chapter books for Reading Buddy time in the book box. Book boxes are so convenient because all the books are in one place and center work folders do not get mixed up with other folders in thier desk.

    When my book boxes bite the dust I will invest in your new find.

    Thanks for sharing,


  2. I use the Target bins for my book boxes. Back when I first started teaching they were only $1 and this was 5 years ago! But they have more fun colors now. Eventually I would like to get all the same colored ones. And yes, I've driven to 3 Targets to get them. 🙂

  3. Perfect timing – we just moved school buildings and my special education office has more space this year! I want to use the space to put in a library/cozy reading spot, but haven't done this before & didn't know where to begin. Awesome about being pinned – I completely know what you mean about "celebrity," I feel the same way about Cara & Co.!

  4. I came across this post by Googling (though I am now a follower, I wasn't when this was posted) and it was exactly what I needed! This will be my first year teaching and I am totally stuck about student book bins! I would love the sets from ReallyGoodStuff (we used them during my student teaching and I fell in love!) but I would also really like to pay my bills this month 🙂 Thanks for the alternative ideas! I like the bag idea a lot! I guess I can go to Target if I must… 😉

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Hi, I’ Stephanie! I’m always looking for new ways to put a creative twist on the standards and I love helping primary teachers do the same in their classroom. Think of me as your virtual teaching partner right down the hall. I can’t wait to share new lesson ideas, teaching tips, and engaging K-2 resources with you!



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