What Works for Me Wednesday #5 with a freebie!

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy, and I apologize for not posting!! Here are a few things that work for me!

1) Large Envelopes
I use brightly colored large envelopes to store all my activities!
 In the past, I used clear plastic bags, but changed for a few reasons. 
Plastic bags tend to look old and dirty, and that bothers me...and envelopes are just easier to store! 
I guess the bright colors make my visual self happy, too!!!

I print the cover sheet on regular copy paper, glue the corners of the cover to the envelope, and laminate the envelope. Then I slit the laminating film at the opening of the envelope. Easy!

My Tip for You: 
Large colorful envelopes are not cheap! You may want to use other "funds" or put these on a Wish List. Manila folders are less expensive if you don't mind the color.  I still use snack and sandwich size plastic bags for small pieces. They are just hidden inside the folders now!

UPDATE: These envelopes came from Office Depot. The brand is Wausau-Astrobright 9 x 12 envelopes. A pack of 25 is $6.59 online, but is much cheaper ordering through the school. 

They also sell 4 1/8 x 9 1/2 in packs of 50. Those are $5.99 online. Wausau has really pretty assorted copy paper, too.

2) Recycled Cardboard Boxes
I have been teaching 21 years. I have A LOT of books! 
There is simply not enough space in the classroom to keep all the books out at one time! That being said...
It helps to have them organized! HA! 
I always kept my books sorted and separated on the shelves with bright folders. Well, several years ago, I was at Walmart and saw all these great boxes full of paper folders. One of the employees was consolidating the boxes and putting the leftover boxes in a shopping cart. I asked her what she was going to do with them, and she was more than happy to turn them over to me. 

I took them home, typed some labels, and had myself some theme boxes! Yay! Now I can grab a box and go! It makes changing out baskets in the classroom so much easier!! 

A few weeks ago, one of my teammates needed books on America. I handed her my trusty cardboard box. Did I tell you they were FREE???

My Tip for You: 
Start looking at Walmart (or anywhere else that sells paper folders) when school supplies are first put on the shelves. Be prepared to make several trips. I did not collect all my boxes in one trip!

This is a very real (and messy) picture of my kids in our reading center 
where the books are being loved!

We are right in the middle of a super fun weather unit! 
The kids LOVE learning about Weather!! 
Here's a little freebie I made for us to use during our study! 
I'll be back this weekend with more Weather pics! 

Click on the pic to download!

Have a wonderful week!!