Take Home Book Bags are one of my favorite alternatives to homework for my second graders. They give my students the opportunity to read at home if they don't have access to books, but also involves their families in the reading process. To learn more about the what and why of Take Home Book Bags, check out this post.
My students check-out Take Home Book Bags once a week. I don't know about you, but in my classroom, Mondays and Fridays were typically very busy days. So the students check out their book bag on Thursday and return them on Tuesday. That gave me a day in between to make sure the bags were in order. It also gave the students an extra day to return their bag if they forgot. The check-in/check-out process only takes about 8 minutes and I usually do this during Morning Work time.
To check books out, I randomly call students up to the Check-Out pocket chart. I hand them a card with their class number on it. They place their number next to the book bag label that they want to check out that week. They know that only one number can go next to each label. If another student had already checked it out, they can't choose that one. I encourage them to choose a new book each week, so that all students can have a turn reading each one.
I store the Take Home Book Bags on a shelf in my classroom. They easily stand up and students are able to quickly search for the bag that they want. I also place the check-out chart right next to the shelf so that everything is together. This makes the process so much easier and quicker!
I store extra copies of game pieces and worksheets in a file box.
Each folder is labeled for the bag that it belongs in. That way I always have the pieces within reach if something gets lost. The 'T' stands for Themed book bag and the 'A' stands for Author book bag.
Take Home Book Bags - The What and Why
Take Home Book Bags - The Materials