In the Trenches

Thoughts and Ideas from a Classroom Teacher

First Days of School

on August 4, 2012

Teacher workdays start in two weeks, and I am counting down the days. I am one of those people who is ready for school to start just a few days after we finish up for the year. I can’t help it! Over the summer, my family and i moved to the Greensboro area, so I’ve taken a few weeks off from the blog in order to get re-settled. As I see that isn’t happening any time soon, I figured it was as good of a time as any to get started again. Over the next days and weeks, I will spend some time blogging about the things I do to get ready for a new year and activities for the first days of school.

The first thing I do every summer is stock up on school supplies. I try not to spend a ton, but there are things that I just can’t resist. This year I’ve taken advantage of Walmart’s price matching, and I’m loving not having to run all over the place for the best deals. Here’s a brief run down of the things that I always get to start the year…

1. 3 prong, 2 pocket folders (about 100) – at $.01 each from Office Depot, I can’t complain!

2. 1 subject spiral notebooks (about 50) – I can usually find these for under $0.10 each at some point.

3. Elmer’s glue sticks (about 24) – you can get the cheap ones all year at Dollar Tree, but for craft projects, you can’t beat Elmer’s for $0.25 or less.

4. Pencils (oodles) – I hate mechanical pencils, so I make sure that I have plenty in the classroom.

5. Highlighters (20-30) – these are something else that is worth stocking up on when you can get the high quality ones for a low price. They don’t bleed through and last a long time.

6. Crayola crayons (15) – at $0.25 or so, they are worth the money for the quality. I always make sure to stock up on some Crayola ones because they are the brand that includes white crayons. We don’t use them much, but when we need them, they are impossible to find for a decent price!

7. White address labels (2-3 packs) – I can usually find these at Dollar Tree and stock up whenever they are there. They can be used for everything! I start by making a name label for each student and printing 5 of them. They are awesome and so convenient!

Truthfully, for under $30, I can make sure that my students have a lot of the things that we need for various learning projects throughout the year. I try to get things that are multi-functional and can be used as needs evolve. Obviously, I ask my students and their parents to help us out by sending in a lot of these materials, but I will never let a student go without something that he/she needs. It’s much less of an issue if I can just grab the item from my cabinet and let them “pay me back” when (and if) they can so that I can do the organizing that I want on day one!

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