Sprout Classrooms

Organizing Picture Books

Ah, picture books.

Most picture books have very thin spines, so reading the titles are impossible when they are just thrown on a shelf.  They slip and slide down, sometimes even falling off the shelf, causing a huge mess.  How can you remedy this?

My favorite solution is the folder box!  These boxes can be found in surplus during back-to-school sales at Staples, Office Max and Walmart.  If you need boxes mid-year, simply contact the manager and ask that they hold a few when the next shipment comes in.

Often, you can find fun designs on the outside of the box that match your classroom theme.  The following boxes were obtained by visiting over 5 different local Target stores-I love the wood grain look.  Simply print out genre or subject labels to put over the text on the box, and you’re ready to organize!

Fill your folder boxes with some of the thousands of picture books available at Sprout Classrooms. All books are fully leveled for both guided reading and grade level, and are priced at around $2 each! Shop now!

Time for a Treasure Hunt!

Posted in Education by sproutclassrooms on December 3, 2009

The Sprout Team loves a good treasure hunt. We spend all day, every day, hunting out great items for your classroom at the best prices. And while we’re certain we have the best selection and price you’ll find anywhere, there will be times when we suggest a project or idea that our store does not have in stock.

Never fear! There are many ways for you to hunt down these great materials on your own. Let’s take a quick look.

Freecycle: This is by far and away my favorite method of obtaining materials for my classroom. Freecycle is a national movement that is divided up locally through their website. Your friends and neighbors will post items through e-mails they are giving away for free, and you can reply saying you would like to pick them up. You may also send out ‘want’ requests for specific items, which makes it very handy for ideas found here. Freecycle is a very tight community, and you should make sure to balance your ‘wants’ with a few offers of your own (perhaps those very cool pants you bought on clearance and never wore…). Find your local chapter and join today!

Craigslist: This is a resource that is huge in the Bay Area, but I believed is overlooked in many other parts of the country. Check out the ‘free’ section for great materials, or post a specific item in the ‘want’ category. Not as reliable as Freecycle, but still free!

Garage Sales: Our favorite part of Sprout Classrooms is the fact that we give you garage sale prices without the hassle of driving around and haggling on one of your only days off. But if you decide to venture out on your own, we recommend using the Yard Sale Treasure Map tool to help you plan your route (thanks for the tip, Sadie!). Put on your pirate hat, grab your sword.. er, wallet, and you’re ready to go!

We’d love to hear suggestions you might have of places to get free or cheap classroom materials! E-mail us at admin [at] sproutclassrooms [dot] com, or leave a comment!