Revamping A Classroom Library and More

It's that time of year, teachers! It's time to get back into school and set up your classroom again! As for me, I had to pack almost everything away in boxes because our floor was getting redone, so there will be a ton of set up!

When we get back into the classroom, we often change things up, right? Some things we replace every year and some things we keep for as long as we can. Well, I have had the same classroom book baskets for many years. Some of them I got back when I was a new teacher- dishwashing pans from Bradlees and KMart (remember them?) and purple plastic containers from Walmart. About 8-10 years ago I got some new ones in colors like purple, brown (random, huh?), red, yellow and more,  to replace and add to what I had. So this year, when unpacking, I decided it was time to revamp my classroom library. I found these super cute neon baskets from Learn 365 by Oriental Trading Company (they have a ton of amazing teacher classroom supplies) for my books. They are almost the same style as some of the baskets I still plan to use so they were a great match, and they come in super cute bright colors!

Take a look at the baskets below after I got them out of the box! The baskets are 11" long, 8" wide and 4 1/2/" high.
I tested out a couple of the books I had at home first, and the large hardcover picture books do fit if you put them in sideways, which is what I already do with some of my current book bins.
Then as soon as I could get access to my classroom, I  headed in and found my old book bins. I took a snapshot and the moved the books into the new bins and voila.... 
I also took some close up pictures of the old and new book bins. Take a look!
Here's a shot of the old ones! Some of them are a little warped, but the colors are dated. Primary colors were stylish at the time that I got them. But that green- blah!
So check out the dishwashing bins I sometimes used for book bins! That one has some kind of emergency handwritten label.  They are sturdy and good for holding the large books, though!
And... here are the new bins! So cute and colorful! I realized I could just have some bins displayed sideways so that even when the books are large, students can still easily browse through the titles. 
I should note, they are a little smaller than the previous baskets I used, so they don't fit as many books. For example, the Joy Berry books no longer fit in one bin, so I might have to spread them out into two bins. Another option is to still use the extra large dishwashing bins or rotate books in and out during the year. 
A few books did not quite fit into the book bins. Here they are, so note if you have very wide or large books like these, you might need an alternative! 

Now, onto the next item I found! This was not something I was looking for specifically, but caught my eye. They are called Easy Clean Flat Trays and measure 16"x12"x1 and come in a bunch of fun colors. Their suggested use is for classroom crafts, projects and painting, but I immediately thought they were perfect to contain center materials during reading and math rotations! Here is a look at them fresh out of the box!
The first thing I thought of was they would work so well to corral the TOOTHY games and materials while students played, and also outside of reading and math workshop, they would be terrific to hold all of those pieces for STEM centers! I have one set of six trays but may have to go back and get another set!

Finally, check out what I found for birthdays from Learn 365 by Oriental Trading Company! I am one of those teachers who does not have a routine for student birthdays but I have done different things like given out birthday pencils, bookmarks etc. I saw these birthday medals and immediately thought - BAM! Perfect! They come in sets of a dozen and they are all bundled up nicely so they don't get tangled in transit! You get 6 blue and black ribbons with yellow and blue medals, and 6 red and black ribbons with red and blue medals, which is nice because kiddos can choose which one they want! And I know they will love wearing them proudly all day on their birthday!
The ribbons are generous in size (32" long) so they will work for taller kids and can easily be tied to a shorter length if you prefer!
So what new items are you trying in your class this fall and how do you think they will help you and your students?

Disclaimer: These products were provided to me in exchange for my honest review. I will always share my honest opinion and only will share with you products that are beneficial to teachers. For more information, please see my Disclosure page.

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