Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brainstorming Take Home Bags

This summer, I read the Book Whisperer {see my post here}.  It really got me thinking.  I wanted to do more than just Book Logs for reading homework this year.  It seemed like such a chore for the students (and parents).  I didn't want my students to dread reading!

I had heard a lot about Take Home Book Bags but was a little nervous to undertake this big project.  I did it anyways!  I asked on my Facebook page and got lots of responses on how to start!

I decided to make enough themed take-home bags for all my students.

I started by purchasing some a lot of books at my local thrift store.

(Raleigh helped)

Then I labeled them with my return address labels from VistaPrint (free!).

I plan to use these bags from Really Good Stuff as the Book Bags:

They are super durable.  I like that they velcro close and have a handle to carry.  In the front pocket, I will put the name of the bag.

I got an idea for checkout procedures from Christina Bainbridge:

Now I'm working on activities to go in each bag.

I found Monique's Book Bags Pinterest Board which had a lot of great activity ideas!

I also want to put journals in each one.  I can't decide if I want  a different prompt for each one or just a generic response.  I would like to have responses from parents and students.  

How do Take Home Book Bags work in your classroom?


  1. Currently I only have three bags going- birthday, lost tooth, and star student of the week. I will be adding the "class pet" carrier in about a month. Basically each bag has two books, one activity (bingo usually) and a journal. Easey peasy for me to manage. The start student and class pet bag will go home based on the random name generator until everyone has a chance to take them home. With Common Core in effect, I was afraid to add too many. Good luck with the take home bags. They are so much more fun.

  2. Take home bags sound like a great idea. The students at my school only get to bring home AR books.

    Learn, Play & Have Fun

  3. We have take home book bags similar to the ones you bought on Really Good Stuff. The best thing about them is they are water proof for when the drink bottle leaks or it rains! Children take home one book each night and then bring it back the next day. They have a journal they write the book in. They switch their take home books every day. We do have the problem with books going missing or a whole stack of books turning up all at once, so they have to be books that not a lot of money has gone into - I keep on top of the kids a lot so check their journals constantly, put reminders on the class blog, so it isn't too bad. I hope this helps!


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  5. I was just talking today to another teacher after school today that my weekly reading logs have became a problem. Week by week less students complete them and from that group, usually half are done carelessly. Point is, they're not helping my students become better readers. I was thinking of other ideas and take home book bags came to mind. How are yours working out? Would you mind to share some ideas that worked out the best as well as ones that didn't? Thanks for your help!

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