Maybe you can relate to the following:
“Sue” is a sweet student, albeit a little more than a little scatterbrained from time to time. She is very excited to learn, but doesn’t really have organizational skills when it’s time to clean up and move on to something else.
So everything gets dumped into her desk.
Her pencils, glue, scissors, wadded up scrap paper, folders, papers (not in the folders), markers with no caps, marker caps with no markers, notebooks, books, and 5 different independent reading books from your classroom library.
Sue does have a plastic pencil case that she brought to school on the first day per her school supply list. That pencil pouch lasted all of one week before it tore and had a huge hole in it.
Perhaps it’s time to help Sue with her student organizational skills so she learns how to best keep her desk neat, which will be a good life skill to take with her forever.
How to Make Your Own Set of Binder Pouches for Students
An easy solution to ripped plastic pencil pouches that students bring to school are baggies!
Yup, simple plastic bags that can be reused over and over again – and then recycled when the school year is finished!
- Any type of plastic baggie will do, though I highly recommend extra strength baggies in a larger size than snack size; I also prefer the slider baggies so students aren’t fighting with making sure the baggie is closed all the way
- Duct Tape – I prefer patterned duct tape and definitely duct tape over packing tape as you want it to be heavy duty so it lasts
- 3-hole punch
How to Make:
- Place your duct tape around the side and bottom edges of your baggies to reinforce the sides.
- Next, use your 3-hole puncher to punch holes into the bottom edge through your baggie and the tape
- Pop the baggie into a binder and viola! A perfect “new” pencil pouch for a binder to keep any loose supplies in and from rolling around in a desk
- Optional: If you would like the student to have different supply pouches for different subjects or reasons, simply slap a label on the front with the student name and subject/supply
Items to Keep in the Binder Pouch
As I was creating the Common Core skill ring card pouch for the Common Core Student Data Binder post I did the other day, I realized that you could use the pouches for lots of different supplies!
You can also use DIY pencil pouches for storing:
- flash cards for sight words, math, spelling, or vocabulary
- art class supplies
- computer class username and passwords
- lunch money
- markers or colored pencils
- craft project small pieces that aren’t quite finished
- game pieces or other classroom manipulatives
- Student Cubbies
- DIY Mailboxes
- File Folder Game Organization
- What to do with old office furniture to maximize your storage
- Organizing tricky items such as yardsticks, building blocks, and anchor charts
- Ideas for Student Headphone Storage
There are so many different things you can show your students to organize.
And the best part is that the baggie can be stored in a 3-ring binder or even in the prongs of a 2-pocket folder for different subjects.
You might want to check out:
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Other Baggie DIYs for the Classroom
Need more baggie inspiration for the classroom? Check out some of the following additional baggie-inspired classroom make it take it projects!
So easy and easy on your teacher wallet too!
What other ways have you used baggies? Or what other supplies can you think of that students could use their new pencil pouches for in your classroom?
I’d love to hear your ideas too in the comments below!