In the past I have used our bookbinding machine and had my 4th and 5th
graders design their covers on construction paper,use regular copy paper
and then supervise them while they made the book. We usually did this on
the first day of class because I've had most of them for several years
and we don't have to spend too much time on rules and procedures etc..
This year I decided to use folders with pockets and include the 3rd
grade. The PTO paid for the folders which were .15 at Walmart. I used
one color for the whole class. We can add more paper if needed and use
the pockets to store hand-outs they might get. I store the sketchbooks
in a flat box lid on their class shelf. I've found that if I have them
stack them in one pile on their table before they leave and I pick them
up , its a lot easier the next time they get passed out. I can just set
5 stacks out at the 5 table groups and they get their own. I used to
have them put them in the box as they were leaving and then the next
time we used them it took several minutes for someone to pass them out.
When you only have 45 minutes, every bit of time saved helps!