About three years ago, I gave my students book boxes. I bought cheap cardboard magazine files from IKEA, let my students decorate them with their choice of colors, and expected that having this magical place to store their books would create lifelong lovers of reading.
I was wrong.
About half of the book boxes were destroyed within the first week. Book boxes across the classroom met their fate by either being trampled on the floor, since I had students keep them beside their desks, or the bottoms of the book boxes would fall out from students placing their massive reading textbook in them. After that disaster, I didn't even consider having book boxes again... until now.
And I am buying the exact same IKEA book boxes.
Doomed to repeat history? I hope not. I'm confident that I am someone who can learn from past mistakes. I have a few plans to make these book boxes work.
1. Book Boxes will be stored for my students on the counter of my classroom. They will only be taken out for reading time and the rest of the time they will sit happy (and trample free) on the side of the room. This also allows to me to do quick checks of..
2. Organization. Organization of the book box will be key. Students will keep three choice books, their reading notebook, reading record and word work folder in their book box. This way there will be no digging in desks for the required reading supplies and a textbook can't mistakenly find itself in there.
3. They will be reinforced with duck tape.
If you are interested in doing the same, you can find the magazine files I bought here.