Monday, August 11, 2014

Organizing and Managing Ziploc Bags {A Teacher DIY Project}

Do you use Ziploc Bags in the classroom?

I love them. I use them as book bags for my students and they are my go to tool for organizing my math workshop.  They are such a great organization tool for teachers for many reasons:
  • They come in a whole bunch of sizes.
  • They are cheap.
  • They're clear so you can easily see the contents.
  • They have no set form/shape which means they take up little space.
  • You can label them with Sharpies.
  • They're perfect for containerizing within a larger container (i.e. putting together bags of math manipulatives for students or partners and then keeping all the bags together in a shoebox).
We typically ask parents to donate boxes in a variety of sizes at the start of the school year. 

I had dedicated a space to storing the boxes of bags, but knew there had to be a better solution. 

So I took a copy paper box and cut the lid into pieces to form dividers within the box. I used the edge of the lid to staple the dividers within the box so they were secure. And even though this box is stored out of sight in a closet, I took just a few minutes to add scrapbook paper to make it look nicer than just a box. I then added labels for the 3 different sizes of bags and dumped them all inside.

I had thought about using three baskets for this purpose, but ultimately decided against it because they would take up a bigger footprint and would waste vertical space above them.

This solution has worked great for me because it is deep and holds lots of bags. The bags are very easy to access since there is no lid. We are able to efficiently reuse bags because we can just drop them back into their spot. Best of all I do not have a collection of odd-sized boxes shoved into my closet. 

Anyhow, it's nothing fancy, but it has served its purpose well so I thought I would share. I've been reorganizing my blog over the past few sure to check out the Classroom Organization page for lots of links to ideas for other classroom storage solutions.

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