The time is here! All of the Target, Walmart, and grocery store ads are beginning to feature Crayola crayons and composition notebooks on the cover. As a kid this was by far my favorite time of the year! I couldn’t wait to take my supply list to Target and pick out my fresh new supplies for the upcoming school year. I think that excitement is part of the reason I became a teacher because I still feel just as giddy when I see the first back to school ads appear on T.V. now as I did when I was a kid.
But as exciting as they may be it is very easy to go overboard buying supplies for your new classroom. As a first year teacher, I learned a lot about what to buy during those crazy sales and what’s okay to pass on.
Last year, I decided to allow my students to have their own supply boxes, and I provided some communal supplies for my students to share. I ended up strongly disliking this method by the end of the year! The students had very little respect for the communal supplies and we ran out of many things by December. This year I plan to only have community supplies and be very clear about my expectations with my students and how to treat our tools with respect.
I am excited to start my “back-to-school” shopping this year with a better idea of what I need and what I can pass on.
- Folders– I wanted my students to have color coded folders for all of their subjects so this was a “must have” for me. I found that many stores would offer them as low as 15 cents!
- Composition Notebooks– By purchasing composition books I was able to add tabs and create covers for my students’ interactive notebooks so they were ready to be used on the first day of school.
- Erasers– You can never have enough erasers in the classroom…especially come May when none of the pencils have any left! I also find that these rarely go on sale any other time of the year.
- Scissors– Many of my students did not bring scissors to school even though they were on the supply list. If you are starting your first classroom I would recommend having some to spare since scissors are one of the hardest supplies to share.
Pass for Now
- Pencils– This might sound crazy but I found that pencils are the one supply that most of my students brought to school. I decided this year I am not going to buy as many as I did in the past and rely on my parents to help me.
- Crayons– Last year I purchased a full class set, but if you are planning to do community supplies you probably do not need as many as you think. When I taught third-grade, I finished the year with 15 full boxes!