Show & Tell Tuesday - Making File Box Shelves

The school year is off and running as I try to get the year off to a smooth start!  It's always a bit overwhelming and exhausting for the first few weeks, and this year is certainly no different.  It's time to take a few minutes, though, and have a little fun with Show & Tell!

I'm lucky to have so many family members who will help out and make things for my classroom.  One of my favorite and most useful family DIY's was the file box shelf project my husband and father-in-law tackled for me a couple years ago.  This summer I had several requests for instructions on how to make them.  So, I asked my husband to take one apart and show how to put it together again!  These are the materials you need to make one file box shelf:  some 1 x 10's, 1 x 4's, and 3/8 inch plywood.  The six cutouts are 10 x 4, which was perfect for the cardboard file boxes at IKEA that are so inexpensive.  I was not happy to discover this summer that they are now making them much smaller!  They wouldn't even fit a folder or notebook anymore.  So, I had to buy some of the more expensive file boxes, and my husband had to make the openings a little bigger.  I suggest you find the kind of file boxes you want to use first, and then make the openings large enough for them.

It saves time if you paint your boards first, and then cut them to the sizes you need.  Next, you need to attach the bottom of the shelf to each leg about 2 3/4 inches below the top of the leg board.  This is the gap that will allow the file box shelves to sit down below the top shelf.   

Once both legs are on, attach the sides of the shelf.  

Then you are ready to attach the top shelf with the cutouts.  

That's it!  I require my students to keep all their folders and notebooks in their file box which makes it so much faster to pull out their materials throughout the day!  My students love all the extra room it gives them in their desks, and I love that they are more organized! 

One of the reasons that I am so overwhelmed this year is the fact that I am once again teaching math. Our district adopted the Bridges math materials and wants us to spend an hour teaching the regular math lesson and twenty minutes teaching number corner every day.  There just wasn't a way that my teammate and I could make it work in our schedule.  I have always loved math, but the materials in this program require a lot of prep before every lesson.  But we are definitely enjoying the games and hands on activities!

If you are an expert at using Bridges and have some tips to make the transition easier, I'd love to hear them!

We also had some fun on Friday with Swat the Vocab before we took our first vocabulary quiz of the year!

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