5 Tips For School Supplies + a Freebie!

If there's one thing a teacher learns at the end of the year when cleaning out cabinets, it's that school supplies fall into 2 categories:

A) Self-replicating supplies that will seemingly never run out.
B) Supplies that don't last a quarter, let alone a year.

Here are some ideas for solving both of these problems:

1. Store all of your supplies in a single area. If you have 10 different stashes of glue sticks, chances are you won't be able to find them when you need them OR you might end up buying more when you don't need to!
Grab some Dollar Store Bins, label them, and set them out at Back To School night so parents can put the supplies into each bin, which will save you some work! If you don't organize the supplies as you get them, chances are you'll end up cramming them into whatever cabinet you can find a spot in - resulting in those 10 stashes of unfindable glue sticks! Grab the supply labels here for free!

2. Keep a list of supplies that you'll run out of - whenever someone asks if you need something for your classroom you can refer them to the wishlist - things like wipes and tissues are always needed but might not be on your mind when someone offers to get something for your classroom.
Taking pictures of the items you need (like in this pin) or attaching labels, can ensure you get the exact items you want!

3. Use, don't hoard. It can be tempting to hold off on using supplies so that you won't run out and then need them for a crucial project.
But, its much better to let your students benefit from the supplies you have, rather than hoard them until the end of the school year. If you run out, you'll make do with something else - and you might discover an even better way to complete that project!

4. Don't let the potential for mess keep you from using supplies! Students will benefit from using different media like markers, tempera paint, water color paint and colored pencils.
Sure, they can be messy, but if you set out your rules and expectations clearly, the mess will be minimal. If you can't handle it on a daily basis, consider setting aside at least one day a week for markers in Writing Center, paint in Art Center and water colors for Crayon Resist Sheets (freebie!) in Word Work Center. Chances are it will become your students' favorite day of the week!

5. Adjust your supply list. If, at the end of the year you still have a ton of glue bottles, consider marking it off your school supply list for the next year.  Most districts need the school supply list completed before the end of the school year, so again, keeping all your supplies organized in one place will help you adjust your list. If you ran out of items before the end of the year, consider asking for double next year!
If you can't adjust your supply list, at least you'll know which items to put on your Wish List or add to a Giving Tree display!

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3 Rustle Up A Response!:

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Supply bins are a must in 5th grade, too. The kids' desks are not as cluttered without glue and gluesticks rolling around. Thanks for sharing.

Chalkboard Creations said... Reply to comment

Thanks so much for this! You have some great ideas about keeping the school supplies under control. Too bad they don't have a course in college called "What to do on the first day of school with 300 boxes of Crayons on your desk"! Thanks for sharing!
Chalkboard Creations

Mary Bauer said... Reply to comment

I agree with 5th Grade Happenings. These tips aren't just for kindergarten.
Thank you,
Artistry of Education

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