Are you looking for a way to keep your thematic books and book companion materials organized and stored neatly? For years I kept my thematic materials stored in file folders. It worked for a while, until my material resources started to multiply. I found myself loosing items such as sentence strips, task cards, vocabulary visuals, manipulatives, and craft samples. That's when I decided to try out plastic zipper envelopes for a few book companions. This has been an organizational transformation for my materials. I wanted to share with you what I have found to be an organizational gem.
In this post, I will show you three different ways I use plastic zipper envelopes to organize my thematic books and book companions.
1. Organize Your Thematic Books In Plastic Zipper Envelopes
Over the years, I have collected quite a few books. I use children's picture books in just about every group I see on a daily basis. I am drawn to beautiful books written by extraordinary authors. Most of my books have been 50 cent Good Will treasures. Even if I'm not sure exactly how I am going to use a book, I tend to pick it up and put it away for another year. After 25 years of practice, the books have accumulated. Like many SLPs, I have books for holidays and seasons. Some of my themed books include: Back-to-School, Fall, Pumpkins, Scarecrows, Bats, Farm, Winter, Snowmen, Valentine's, Bugs, Spring, and Plants. I think I must have 20 different books just for fall. Here are two examples of how I sort and store books by themes. Both sets of books below are related to "FALL," but I've sorted them into two groups, "APPLES" and "LEAVES." I have both fiction and non-fiction books stored together, as well as different age-level books (PK-Kinder, 1st-2nd, 3rd-5th) I use in therapy. That way, If I decide I want to do a month-long unit on "APPLES," I have my books together for all grade levels and can easily differentiate the activities based on their abilities and IEP objectives.
2. Store Book Units in Plastic Zipper Envelopes
In addition to thematic books, I have several book units, or book companions, for my mixed IEP groups. Book units are a natural way to address multiple IEP objectives with students in group therapy. When I create book units, I typically have graphic organizers, cards, craft samples, sentence strips, and visuals to store with the book. For years, I kept them in file folders stored in my filing cabinet. Those files became bulky and difficult to carry from one school to another. Plastic zipper envelopes are perfect for storing items together and transporting them home for lesson planning as well as in a therapy bag to another campus.
3. Store Your Plastic Zipper Envelopes in Crates
Purchasing and organizing my books into themes, and organizing book units has been an ongoing project. I wish I could say this was an easy task to take on. It took me an entire school year to sort and organize my books, but I am finally at a place where I know exactly where my books are. I still store my materials in the filing cabinet, but each month (or holiday) I take out the materials I am going to use, and put them in a crate for easy access throughout the month. At the end of the month, or when the holiday is over, I can put away these envelopes and pull out the next month's bundle. Below is a picture of my crate with my fall books.
If you found this post helpful, link to my other posts on the topic of Speech Room Organization for some tips and tricks I have found helpful in my practice.Organize Your Speech Room with Command Hooks
Speech Room Organization with Bins
If you are building your book companion library or need clever activities to add to an existing set of books, Link to my TPT Store to shop for additional resources.
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