What I do with my school supplies


school_supplies, teacher tips, organizing your classroom

The things that I require my students to bring for Y5's:

  • When I started 10 years ago, our school used to provide all supplies for our students.
  • Because of budget cuts our students now have to bring their own.
  • Here's my list.
  • 24 count box of Crayola crayons,
  • yellow-pen-size highlighter,
  • 4 large  Elmet's Glue sticks,
  • 2 small size Elmer's Glue sticks.
  • I also add if they'd like to donate a box of Kleenex and a box of large or small Baggies that would be appreciated.
  • I include this list in my summer welcome letter.
  • school supplies, organizing your classroom, teacher tipsBecause I've always been able to get folders and notebooks for .10¢  or .15¢  I buy them so that I can add stickers and names in August, so I can get them done ahead of time.
  • They are all also the same color and size. Even when I told parents to bring one blue and one yellow folder they still came with a Dora folder or one that was hot pink. I'm sure that was because they were dealing with a screaming 4-year-old.
  • Currently there are only two of us teaching Y5's at our school. My co-teacher agrees with my list.
  • The K's get together and compile their list which includes markers, and colored pencils + the above.
  • I wanted to see what the other schools around here were asking for, so I checked the various lists at the office supply stores.
  • Were you aware that if your school faxes them a list, they'll make copies and put it in their displayer? Nice marketing strategy, and very helpful for parents!
NEW stuff:
  • If you're a first year teacher and wanted to add some things of your own, some of the new things I saw on lists were: a paint shirt, a plain white T-shirt, money, ( any where from a $1 and $5 all the way up to $20 to be used for additional supplies, snacks  and fieldtrips through out the year) bandaids, snacks, paper towels, napkins, dixie cups, hand discenfectant, didey wipes, box of watercolors,  2 jars of Play-Doh, and the standard box of Kleenex and various sizes of Ziploc Baggies. Lots of them also had in bold print, LABEL all your child's things, or don't
  •  label them because they will be shared as a community,  Everyone stated that they needed a LARGE backpack, and I go through this every year with my parents sending too small of a backpack that doesn't fit snowpants, and large library books, and children's art projects in, so make sure you specify that. Lots of lists had a pair of tennis shoes on them, and they stated that they would be left at school for gym class. I too had this problem with girls wearing flip flops and not being able to run when it came time for gym. Many listed dry erase markers, and anywhere from 4 up to 10 large glue sticks. And if you teach little ones you WILL go through a lot! So if this is your 1st year, and you get to create your own list, keep that in mind.
  • Plan Ahead and Save Time:

  • I ask that supplies be put in a Ziplock baggie with their child's name on it and that they can bring the supplies to Open House if they'd like.
  • I started doing that the 2nd year I taught Y5's because it took a few hours to un-do all the baggies and put the items into community tubs.
  • At 1st I thought I'd teach responsibility to the children and keep their own items in their own baggies. This did NOT work. It made more work for me to match name tags to baggies when I passed them out ahead of time and had things on the tables in the morning.  When I wanted children to get their own baggie some of them couldn't recognize their name, and took someone elses baggie and it wasted too much time, and finally once the things were out of the baggie, getting them all back in to the correct baggie was a nightmare. He took my crayon, she has my highlighter etc.
  • Now I have 4 tables. Each table has a clear plastic-shoebox size tub of crayons on it. I keep the same kind of tub filled with scissors, glue sticks, markers, colored pencils, and highlighters. The only tub that's on their table is the crayons. I pass out scissors, high lighters and glue sticks and when the children are done with them they put them in the appropriate tub on the supply table. We don't use pencils and markers everyday  so the children go and get their color choices when needed.
  • I love this system. Things stay neat and organized and clean up is a breeze.
  • When I need the tables for something else I just have children pick up the 4 tubs of crayons and stack them on the supply table.
  • I know who hasn't put their supplies away because their name card is on the table.school supplies, organizing your classroom, teacher tips
  • You need to TRAIN your little ones how to do this includig pushing in their chair.
  • I also explain to them that "Taking care of their belongings." and "Cleaning up as directed." are report card standards.
  • Even at this young age if they know what is expected of them, and what they do is important and has relevance, they are more likely to do it. I positively reinforce the behavior I want, and point it out to the children. "Thank you Kelli for cleaning up all your supplies. You were the 1st one to do that. Here's a sticker for your paper. I'm giving stickers today for everyone who does that and remembers to push in their chair!"
  • I also believe that some of my students are very used to parents cleaning up for them at home, especially if they don't do it the 1st time they are told. I often hear. "If I've told them once, I told them a 100 times." That's the 1st mistake.
  • I tell my students that I will tell them only TWICE to do something. After that there will be a consequence. Then I am CONSISTANT, and follow through with a consequence. 
  • They are not only learning in my class, they are having to un-learn poor behavior at home. This is hard for little ones because adults are sending mixed messages, because they don't follow through.
Buy Early:
  • I have a big clear plastic tub at home that I keep in the entry as I go down the basement. I throw school supplies in there all year long that I see on clearance, or pick up at garage sales. I also buy extras during the month of August, because you won't see these super-sales any other month.
  • I tap into this treasure trove through out the school year to restock my tubs especially in January when things are gone, and crayons are broken.
  • After Christmas break they come to everything all "brand new" like their 1st day of school and they think that's "way cool!"
  • Then in the afternoon I haul out the big tub of old crayons. We dump it out on brown buther block paper. Everyone fills up a bowl and they go and sort the broken crayons from the pointy crayons, and the sort of OK crayons. We put the pointy crayons back in the new tubs. I have them each peel 5 of the OK crayons, and then break them so that I have a head start on my crayon cakes for next yea'rs kids.
  • They really have fun with this.
  • Do you have some tips you can share with us of how you keep your things organized? Please comment! crayons, school supplies, organizing your classroom, teacher tips

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