It’s in the Bag

It’s supposed to go like this.  In late April, you’re thinking about wrapping up the school year.  There are field trips, field days, year-end concerts and presentations.  The bulletin board displays that will go up will most likely be the last ones of the year, because in June it’s time to clean up, put away and close up shop.

What am I doing, now that it’s late April?  Revamping my classroom decor.

I can’t help it.  Once the inspiration hits, it’s go for broke.  Sure, I could plan, purchase and create, and then put everything away until August.  But I’m too impatient.  I’ve gotta see how it will look NOW.

Melanie at Schoolgirl Style created a new and improved Hollywood collection (see a previous post) that has literally kept me up at night.  Can you say obsessed?

 2015-04-17_0022

Once I purchased the collection, I’ve been downloading the adorable cutouts. I’ve even discovered high gloss photo paper.  Because Melanie says to, I am now adding turquoise, chevron and lanterns to my classroom, bit by bit.  By Friday it looked like this:

im1.shutterfly

After this weekend’s shopping, the transformation will continue.  So yes, in late April, I’ll be putting up NEW paper and border and pennants (oh my!).

And, since one thing ALWAYS leads to another, I started thinking about organizing, and THAT leads me to today’s post; more specifically, the BAG of the post title.

My teacher hack of the day is using Ziploc bags.  They don’t necessarily need to be the zippering kind.  I use them for everything.  I use the gallon size most often, but love the quart and sandwich size too.  Here are just a few ways:

*Book baggies.  So much better than book boxes, IMHO.  They don’t tip over and take up much less space.  Why doesn’t everyone do this?  (Ah, the eternal question).

*Bags to take books home in.  Cheap and easily replaced.

*Art smock storage.  I started using them for this when there was a lice problem years ago.  Lice are gone, but the bags remain.

*Storage of items such as dice, playing cards, puzzles, game pieces – you name it.  Boxes break and take up way too much space.

*Spelling word storage.  I display weekly spelling words on index cards in pocket charts.  Each week’s set fits in a numbered sandwich baggie.  Then they go in a bigger baggie!

*Files.  Yes, all of my files are in heavy duty gallon size bags.  I could never get the hang of hanging file folders.  They’d always come off the side rails, papers would fall out and get lost in the bottom of the file drawer – a big ol’ mess.  Now each category is in a separate plastic bag, which I can easily label.  I like to put a different colored xerox paper in the front of each bag according to category.  For example, all of my math files have a yellow paper on top, which can be seen through the plastic bag.  Makes it easier for me to find what I need.

I usually ask for donations of baggies with our back to school lists, and find I have enough to see me through most of the year.   Still have plenty left!

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