During the summer I am always thinking about what I want to do next school year - what should I change, keep the same, start new, not do again, etc. One thing I started two years ago was using "book bags" with my students and they love it! This gives students a variety of books to have available at home to read independently or with someone else. I have several students every year that do not have access at home to a variety of books to read and this makes that happen for them.
So here is how it works. I have created a class set of book bags. Each bag contains 5 books with a variety of levels. I usually put at least one picture book, one chapter book, and one informational book in each bag. Be sure to label the books with either the teacher name or book bag number too.
At the beginning of the year, I send home an informational letter to the parents. It lays out what book bags are and what the expectations are for using the book bags. There is a part for the parents to sign acknowledging the expectations and stating that they understand that if a book or book bag is lost or damaged it needs to be replaced with another book (any children's book in good condition - it doesn't have to be brand new).
Each week students take home one book bag. I have a checklist to keep track of what book bags each student have taken. I love hearing them get excited when they come up to get their bag - "I got book bag #2!" or "I got the one with the Magic School Bus book!" Each book bag is labeled with a numbered tag as well. (I have added a sticker on the back with my name so if it's left in the building or on the bus the finder knows where to return it!)
I found these super cute Dr. Seuss reusable bags at the dollar spot at Target last year (love me some Target!).
If you would like your own set of book bag tags, parent information letter, and tracking sheet, I have two different files for you! Click HERE (or on the picture below) to download the free black and white version.
If you would like the colorful version, click HERE (or on the picture below) to purchase that file. The "colorful book bag tags" file contains 4 different sets of 40 book bag tags each, parent information letter, and tracking sheet.
Hope your students love this as much as mine do! Enjoy!!