Well hello! Are you ready for a quick and easy way to make your teaching life easier? Think back to the beginning of the school year. Think about Walmart and Target and all of your go-to stores for school supplies... Then think about how your school probably has a "bid list" of places you can use your allotted money for the year. Well, if your school is anything like mine, that allotted money CAN'T be spent at Walmart, Target, or any stores like it! You have to spend your $300 on overpriced, under quality stuff from some random company.
I can't stand to spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies through these companies that made my school's "bid list cut." So, at the beginning of the year, I am
very extremely particular on the school supply list for my classroom. Yes, I name drop particular brands of crayons, markers, and glue sticks. Here is why: in my classroom, there is no such thing as, "hey that's mine!" We share ALL of the supplies. I mean ALL supplies! So, I am pretty particular in the types of supplies I want because I need consistency and uniform (mostly for no arguing over who's glue stick is better!). And, well, as you know, some brands simply work better than others. Sometimes you just need to spend the extra quarter!
I then take all the supplies and organize them into groups. I put them in plastic baskets I purchased at the dollar store. Take a look:
Oh, I forgot to mention, I request plain orange pencils. It's the arguing thing and, well, the decorative pencils tear up my pencil sharpener. So anyway, I organize the supplies into groups. Then, I take an inventory of the supplies I have.
This helps me to see what I still need. I try to pick up the supplies that I am low on at my favorite school supply stores while they are throwing their back to school sales. I can save some BIG BUCKS doing it this way. I would rather spend $50 of my own money on school supplies at my stores than $250 using the big companies on our bid list.
This also helps me to stay organized throughout the year. I can see when certain supplies are running low before we are completely out. I can send a quick note home asking for donations, or be on the lookout for a sale at the local office supply store.
I store these plastic baskets in the huge plastic containers on top of my metal cabinet. It works perfectly because during the summer, those containers store important units or classroom decor. During the school year, they house my classroom supply inventory. It's a win-win, people!
If you don't already have a system adopted for school supplies in your classroom, you may want to consider turning into a slight witch about your supply list, but in the end, your kiddos and their families will thank you! It is so worth it when your supplies truly do make it to the end of the year!
To grab some more Bright Ideas, head on over to see what Caitlin has to share about organizing supplies over at Kindergarten Smiles!
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