October 15, 2009

Work Boxes to Work Pockets

Last year we jumped on board with the work box craze. It worked! We accomplished more than ever before and in a shorter amount of time. Of course we made modifications to fit our family.

The 1st modification was that we used large manilla folders labeled 1 - 12 instead of plastic workboxes. These were kept in a file box, which took up less space than 12 plastic tubes would. We had one box for each child. The benenfit was that we really accomplished more work. I could get the whole weeks worth of papers and activities together and just fill the envelopes daily. I placed laminated sheets in the folders to acknowledge things like computer time, board games, snack time etc. The down-side was that it was really a hassel to take things in and out of the folders. Another con was that the folders often got out of order and I had to open them to see if they had completed what was inside. At one point I actually cut off the top flaps to make it easier. All things considering this did work for us.

The beginning of a new school year brought additional adjustments. Our 2nd modification was changing from envelopes to file folders. I purchased some with the metal clasps at the top to hold in papers. I use those folders in particular for subjects with worksheets. I can prepare all our math worksheets for the week and put them in the folder and not have to "refill" it again until the next weekend. This proved to be a great step up for us. One of the things I love about using the clasped folders is that you can have work on each side. We often have more than one activity for a subject. So both assignments are front and center in the file folder each day. For example: In the Math folder, on the right side I have MathUSee workbook pages, on the left side I have other math activites like graphing, beat the timer charts, etc. The down side here was that the files didn't stay in order, we just picked what was next and I was constantly obsessing over the file folders not hanging right in the box.

A picture of the 3rd modification is posted below. We LOVE this! The benefits are so many! First, this system takes only a small section of wall or can be hung behind a closed closet door to keep curious toddling siblings at bay. This system stays totally neat, I don't have to be restacking or rearranging to keep it looking neat. Another nice thing is that I can still use my laminated sheets that I mentioned above for things like games, snack time etc. I also still use the clasped file folders and they work wonderfully. Now here is a really great part - when we are finished with a subject, the folder or laminated sheet is turned backward so it is easy to see at a glance exactly where we have been and where we are without keeping up with cards or tabs. We are just loving this. You can purchase these at a variety of places for $14 to 18$ each. They are very affordable.

11 comments:

  1. Those are fun folder holders. I'm trying to think where I would want to use them! I am not sure I would like them as a workbox alternative though - our boxes often have books in them. Or all the supplies we need for a project - things that wouldn't fit in that little slot. How do you handle this?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, and you said they are avail at lots of stores. Any in particular? I have never seen them. (Not that I ever leave the house!) =>

    ReplyDelete
  3. The folder holder will hold books as well. They will not however hold large puzzle boxes or games. For this I have a laminated sheet that says "Board Game". We have supplies in a caddy that goes on the table. The kids just pull their folder out and go to work. I love our place holder laminated sheets, they work well for things you can't put in the pockets. For example: Math drill or snack Time or board game as mentioned above. I purchased these at www.eaieducation.com. The product here is called The space place $14.50 each. They are also at most teacher supply stores and I imagine Amazon.com as well. The ones I purchased are a canvas type material (very durable) and you could clean it with a damp cloth. They hang by 3 metal grommets at the top.

    ReplyDelete
  4. GREAT idea! :) Love the adaption!!! A girl after my own heart.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fun Pockets! Thanks for sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great modifications. I like this idea.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is the best adaptation I have seen for older students. They know where there books are but this would give a great way to sort it out. For example we copy all the Teaching Textbook pages and in they go. We do notebooks so they know exactly were to get them but they can put the papers to be checked in here!

    Thank you a ton,
    Ber

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous5/09/2010

    I am literally jumping up and down with joy! We recently dowdnsized (reduced our carbon footprint) from 4,000 sq feet to 1,440 sq feet. I have been really struggling with space issues. Your system is perfect, and so cheap! Yeah! and thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Theresa3/12/2012

    I have a binder system that I use each week. I've labeled dividers with the days of the week, and I just put worksheets in behind each divider. So my kids have all worksheet assignments that need to be completed in one spot for the day. When my kids complete their assignments they put the finished work in a "peachy folder" at the back of the binder. The next day we just pull the 3-ring binder off the shelf and go to the next day of the week. This keeps things organized, simple, and has helped my first grader to be more diligent about "getting through it all". It also does not take up much space! i use one 1" binder per child on my bookshelf to store their "to do's" in. At the end of the week I collect the completed work from the peachy folder and I store in what I call my "portfolio binder" where I keep all their completed worksheets and other written assignments, and I re-stock their work binders for the following week. (Side note: if we do any projects that create things that take up space I take pictures and store them on the computer. At the end of the year I will take the pictures and create a digital scrapbook that I 'll get printed so I can save that as part of the portfolio for the year. This way we can keep the projects around to look at for a month or so, then I throw them out without feeling guilty because we've got the "memories" in pictures!) I do like the idea of adding in laminated sheets for things that don't fit in the binder though, like games, or special projects, or reading books (I keep our books on bookshelf's, and anything we borrow from the library goes into our "library box" - that way they don't get mixed in with the stuff we own. It makes it easy to return books to the library too. I just grab the box and bring it in the car with us!) I think I'll need to get a box for "special Projects" to add to the mix so my kids will know where to look when they see the laminated sheet in their binders. And I have all the fun games and educational games on shelves in cabinets that we bought at Home Depot in the garage (our classroom). Thanks for the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also love workboxes but have six kids and found that I needed a simpler solution. This worked for me: http://amypayson.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/the-learning-room-working-the-workboxes/

    Just found your blog...will have fun reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really LOVE this idea will be giving it a try this school year! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting our blog. Feel free to leave me a comment.