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Sharing my bench idea for book baskets

Posted 08-01-2010 at 03:00 PM by liketeaching1

Sharing ideas has become a major focus here on ProTeacher. It seems that one idea that I have shared has become a favorite for asking more information.

As I begin a new year in teaching I will begin by sharing this idea with directions.

I use book baskets for my kids' to house their self selected books for reading independently and to a partner within the Reading Workshop idea of teaching reading. I have gained so many thoughts from you. I also am anal when it comes to organization within the classroom. I guess part of the reason is that there is NO closet for materials. Everything that is in the classroom is visible. Because of that--every nook and cranny (is that a Southern phrase?) is utilized. When it came to storage of the kids' baskets I have had those all over the room. A couple of years ago I began using an empty desk in the center of groups of desks. I tried lowering the empty one and using it to hold the baskets in order to not interfere with vision of shorter kids. A teacher friend of mine used a board that was zip-tied to the legs of her desks. But my desks didn't have four legs. So in order to build a shelf in the center of the kids' groups of desks I built a bench.

The directions for the benches were determined by the size of the desks. I used two desks facing two other desks. This left room on one end to place one or two additional desks. So each group could give six students a place to house their basket.

  • I used pressed wood for the top/sides. My length was four feet and the sides were two feet. I attached a strip of real wood (pine 2 x 2) to the ends of the top (on the underside)..
  • Screw the top to the wood strips.
  • Screw the sides to the "real wood" also.
  • In order to make the "bench" sturdy I then attached a 2 x 2 length to the bottom inside of the sides. This kept the bench sturdy.
  • In order to give additional support to the center I attached another 2 x 2 strip from the bottom brace to the top.
  • Paint.

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