Buying supplies before teaching

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by Miss Kirby, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Dec 12, 2004

    I'm a preservice teacher, about to enter my third block (semester). I've been collecting resources from other teachers, and lately I've been stocking up on children's books whenever I see good deals. I just discovered this teacher supply store, and they are actually closing down. Everything in the store is 30% off. I think this is a great deal and I should be taking advantage of this. However, I'm not sure what things I should be getting right now. I was wondering what kind of purchases any of you had made before you started teaching, or what you would recommend. Thanks!

    :love: Sara
     
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  3. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Dec 12, 2004

    I don't have any advice for you but am in the same boat. I always see something that I think I will use in my future classroom and agonize over what I should do. I always buy children's books though, my daughter loves to read and I figure I will use them one way or another.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You can just about completely stock a classroom library by shopping at thrift stores. Sometimes the price is as low as 5/$1 ! I never pay more than 79 cents. I also get good buys at Scholastic but that can wait until you get your classroom. I have more than 1200 books in my room. You need to know what grade you will be teaching, first, however. One reason I wouldn't want to change grades is because of my library. I love to shop for resources. You can always use manipulatives and geometry tools for any grade. Don't buy anything that your kids' parents will supply. You can buy things to decorate your future classroom - consider a theme. Also, soft pillows, reading chair, etc.
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 13, 2004

    Until you know your grade level, I would hold off on buying some things. When I was in college, I just KNEW that I wanted 1st or 2nd so I stocked up on all sorts of things with that in mind. Now I am in 4th, and have been for 8 years, and I love it. I had to get rid of a lot of things that were just too young.
    At this point you can stock up on some basics EZgrader, a good stapler, a 3 hole punch, stationary for notes home (the carbonless ones work GREAT!), some read aloud books (Shel Silverstein is one of my faves), and some generic bulletin board sets and motivational posters. I would suggest that you hold off on any large bulletin board sets. I bought an elaborate jobs set, laminated it, cut it all out, and I've never used it, I just don't have the space, and I don't have all the jobs in my room. If you can get a good price on them you may want to get some of the transparencies that you can print in your computer printer. Art supplies are easy to stock up on as well (glitter, paint brushes, etc).
    Good luck!!
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I would say if you could get a solid color bulletin board border or any general ie. leaves for fall. I used 2 in colors for my hallway bulletin border. I would also say some sort of stamp or stickers (if want) for your books!!! 3-ring binders are nice to have and pocket folders.

    Christy, I would have to disagree about the carbonless stationary. My mentor teacher gave me small ones (it didn't have the carbon between the shees, but had a white copy on top & yellow under)to send home when I wanted to let parents know something about the child's behavior or a meeting, the carbon copy was GREAT because I didn't have to run down and make copies of the note. Since we all know how important to document everything!!!

    Hope this helps!!!
     
  7. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Dec 13, 2004

    Thanks guys for all of your ideas. I'm pretty sure I want to teach second grade. Although I'm also thinking about Kindergarten and maybe first grade.
    I have about two boxes of books I've organized by subject. Most of them I got from Scholastic (I'm so addicted) and book sales. I've got mainly picture books (fiction and non fiction) and some chapter books. I figure most of them I can use as read alouds or the students can read them, depending on their reading level and grade level. Also, I'm sure as a second grade teacher I'm going to have some students barely reading kindergarten books and some students reading fifth grade books. So it's good to have somewhat of a variety, right?

    I also have a few other things, some paint, crafty stuff I needed to get for class projects, and I just bought a couple posters. One is "How to be a good listener," another is emotions, and the other has reading strategies. (I just love them, haha) I know all of these I can use in K-3.

    I think I want to get some bulletin boards that aren't too fancy, that I could use for various things or grade levels (they are 40% off!). There are also TONS of resource books. I might get some that have reproducables or other ideas in them that are general for K-3.

    Also, I have another question!! When you start teaching, how much stuff is the school going to provide? Does the school give you any money to buy supplies for your students? How much do parents provide? I know it varies by school, but I just want a general idea. I love teacher shopping, but it's kind of crazy that teachers hardly make any money and still have to buy all of their supplies. Thanks.

    Sara
     
  8. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Dec 13, 2004

    well, as for what the school supplies... if you get instructional money to spend, you won't get it until at least October or November when the fiscal year starts. Our school system has a supply list that parents can pick up at Walmart and buy the stuff there. I'm not sure what all they ask for, but it is a LOT. It is done by school then by grade. Since I have the only Pre-S SPE class, I make my own list up, give it to the parents of returning students at the end of the school year for the upcoming year so they can buy stuff throughout the summer instead of all at once right before school starts. I also mail it to the parents about mid-summer as a reminder.

    Thift stores are WONDERFUL for books. DIRT CHEAP!!!!! You can spend $15 and come out with 30 or so books. GREAT DEALS!! You can look at flea markets for cheap school supplies for starters... pens, pencils, rulers, etc.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Lori
     
  9. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Dec 13, 2004

    I've bought books at Garage Sales and Library Sales before - Great deals. One library sale, you got to take a plastic grocery bag for a dollar and fill it with as many books as you could fit in there. It was great!
     
  10. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 13, 2004

    One of our local libraries "sells" books (no longer in circulation or donated by patrons) for 10 cents for kids books, and a quarter for adult books... I've also done pretty well at used book stores and garage sales.
     
  11. smileyd

    smileyd Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2004

    Miss Kirby,
    I am also a student teacher and I have been ordering tons of FREE resources from various companies via the internet since this past summer. I am now the owner of untold numbers of Posters, teaching kits, etc that can be used in my class.
    One website in particular I visit is www.thecanadianteacher.com. Although I'm Canadian I find that most of these free resources are from American companies, so there should be no problem with you ordering the same ones.

    I love getting freebies in the mail.

    Also, you should join biographyclub.com and get free points towards posters and other items. You never know what you can get for your classroom.
     
  12. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2004

    Hammetts learning store and corporation is going out of business. They are having sales in their stores and on-line.
    http://www.hammett.com/
     
  13. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Dec 14, 2004

    Yes, that is the store that has everything on sale!! It's called Teaching Tools over here.

    SmileyD, I can't seem to access that website you showed me. FREE sure sounds wonderful though!!! :D
     
  14. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    SmileyD, I also can't access the page... it says it doesn't exist!
     
  15. smileyd

    smileyd Comrade

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    I don't know why it's not working, it's also not working for me, although I swear it was working yesterday!

    Maybe its just Down? Try again later I guess.
    I wish my link would work though when I try to tell people about it!
     
  16. newteacher16

    newteacher16 Companion

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    Dec 15, 2004

    It really depends on the school you're in as to how much money you'll get for instructional supplies. I'm in a Catholic school, so we dont get a certain stipend per year. We can request things and they'll be given to us as is possible, but I have spent a good deal of my own money (although, this is my first year so that comes with the territory).

    Like a few others, I would caution you against getting too many grade-appropriate things at the teacher store sale. I thought I would teach primary when I was in college, and one student teaching experience definitely changed my mind. Now I'm in fourth grade and would never dream of going lower than third. You really never know what you'll get, so you dont want to waste money on resources you'll never use.

    I would buy office supplies if they're dirt cheap, bulletin board supplies, maybe some seasonal books with activity ideas that can be used for various grades, and some posters that you can use with nearly any grade level. Other than that, you'll really benefit by waiting until you know where your assignment is.

    When I was student teaching last semester I wanted to "teacher-shop" all the time. It's addictive and fun, but can also get a little crazy. Keep stocking up on books, because you'll definitely use them (even older kids love picture books), but try to restrain yourself otherwise. :)
     
  17. granbymath5

    granbymath5 Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2004

    Sara,
    What grade levels will you be certified in? If you know what areas you will be teaching, I suggest you go in and buy the super books for those grades. You can always adjust up or down the material in the books for the students you are teaching.
    Also, buy markers, and easy grader, sentence strips and bulletin board letters and boarders. I seem to need new strips and boarder every year.
    Good luck :love:
    Amy
     
  18. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Dec 15, 2004

    Amy, what do you mean by super books?

    I'll be certified in Prek-8 (but I'm pretty sure it's changing to 5 or 6).
    I'm thinking about second grade. But K-3 would be great too. I just dont want to go over 3rd. :D

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 16, 2004

    And read or buy Mailbox magazines - primary and intermediate for 1-5.
     
  20. smileyd

    smileyd Comrade

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  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I student taught in 3rd and thought that was as high as I would ever go (I wanted 1st or 2nd) then I got "stuck" in 4th and fell in love. It is the perfect grade for me.

     
  22. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Miss Kirby,

    I also am certified K-5 and have taught all of them except for 5. I would suggest that you buy "office" type supplies such as a heavy duty stapler, sentence strips in bright colors, sharpies, and the such writing process poster, scientific method poster, and basic things you know you are going to be teaching. I'm not sure but I think for "super books" granbymath5 means the books for each grade level that are geared for review of all subject areas. I know I have the ones for 1, 2, and 3 (I currently teach second) and I use the pages as morning seatwork to review things we have already covered. Good luck and you wouldn't happen to want to teach in Georgia would you, we are growing by leaps and bounds here and have a very great need for good teachers which you sound like you are going to be :)... good luck in your career.
     
  23. gailwarrenteach

    gailwarrenteach New Member

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    Dec 27, 2004

  24. TeacherSarah81

    TeacherSarah81 New Member

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    Dec 27, 2004

    I just started teaching this fall, and I would agree with the previous posts. Stock up on more of the generic teacher items: EZ-grader, gradebook, plan book, bulletin board letters, a classroom calendar that would be versitile for the span of grades you may teach, generic desk nametags, other teacher resource books that cover a few grades. I did most of my teaching supply shopping in this summer about a month before I moved to where I teach, so I knew the grades (2nd & 3rd) I'd be teaching. It was much easier at that point to know exactly what I'd need/want for my classroom.
    I did do a lot of book shopping in college through Scholastic book orders and the yearly half-price Scholastic book sale (yes, it is addictive!). Other than that, I didn't buy a lot for my classroom before I knew the grade(s) I'd teach. I'm glad that I didn't, because I waffled between wanting to teach 1st, then 3rd, then 1st, then 2nd, and I ended up in a 2nd/3rd combo.
    The only supplies I would buy for your students are extra pencils and maybe glue and scissors. Mine are ALWAYS losing those! I don't know how many I sweep up and keep in my desk for spares. I also keep a couple extra bottles of glue in my desk, because that has had a way of disappearing.
    I hope these ideas are helpful for you! I'm new to this teaching thing, too, but I'm willing to share the limited expertise I have gained in the past 5 months of teaching!
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Many schools prefer that you use their plan book and grade book, so you may not want to get those. Very often, though, you don't get the kind of chair you want, enough file cabinets, shelving units, or anything at all decorative. If you have a theme in mind you can shop at your leisure for those things, too. I wanted Americana this year and spent all summer scouting out appropriate stuff. A number line is a must for any grade. I use fabric on my bulletin boards and leave it up all year. Small bulletin boards and white boards, maybe 24 x 36, are handy. Storage systems - baskets, bins, trays, whatever you decide upon - are often not provided. I am so glad I got a comfy rocking chair this year. Also a lovely oak filing cabinet.
     
  26. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

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    This only semi-related, but for Christmas/graduation gifts I got some "school" stuff.

    A Hundred Days of school fish bowl bulletin board set thingy
    An engraved name triangle desk thing
    A fold-up rolly-crate teacher cart! From Holcombs!
    A stamp that says Homework to stamp...well, homework, of course.
     
  27. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Dec 29, 2004

    This depends on the school and the state! We are given $75 to spend by the school (I know not much but better than nothing!!) and we get it at the end of the previous school year, new teachers get it when they come in. When you get hired, just ask. From my experience administrators like a person who is straight forward with them, rather than asking the other teachers.

    I didn't buy anything before I started teaching, but I make a lot of my things anyhow.... Not to mention I went from a student teacher on Friday to a full time teacher the next Monday, graduating on Saturday between! so there wasn't a lot of time for thinking about purchasing after I had seen my rooms and knew what levels I'd be teaching.
     
  28. teachwest

    teachwest New Member

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    I totally agree with smileyd about the freebies. I will start teaching elementary school this coming fall and have been collecting freebies for a few years now. I've been preparing for years! Try typing in variations of freebies for teachers or freebies for students in your web browser. There are thousands of sites out there waiting for your requests! Good luck!
     
  29. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    During my student teaching other teachers told me to only buy books and games. They are usefull at every grade level. Your classroom library should have a variety of reading books on various levels. but you may find that after you began teaching discounts and deals will come easy, so don't rush things. Books are great at every grade level. I can usually find great deals at garage sales for like 25 cents each I have gotten over forty books this summer for my kindergarten classroom library. I have also started making purchases that can't go wrong like bandaids, ziplock bags and cards etc... Sometimes it's the small things that really add up.
     
  30. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Freebies are awesome! I just received a complete set of modules for teaching health from K to grade 10 from 'Lungs are for Life."

    www.lungsareforlife.ca

    Also for you Canadian Teachers, the Canadian Government will send you a binder with stuff for teaching about government, plus you will get a VHS cassette also.

    To receive this free guide email CSP-PEC@pch.gc.ca
    or call 1-877-392-4243

    There is also tons of stuff you can download from the Canadian Government website, activities, etc... I think it can be accessed through here: http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca

    Also, anytime I supply teach and see handouts or materials and there are extras, I take one to add to my collection of resources.

    I now have all my resources arranged in big binders (one for each subject and divided into subject strands). Now I just need a place to use it all. :(
     
  31. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I was just checking out 'thecanadianteacher' website, mentioned in a previous post on this thread. I love it. It's not often that us Canadians are able to find good Canadian resources.
     
  32. TeachGrd1

    TeachGrd1 Rookie

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    I think it's great that you are taking an interest in getting supplies so early. I did the same thing and now that I have my own classroom for next year I am extremely grateful that I did that! I would buy things that are very inexpensive to start. We had a teaching store called classroom connections that went out of bussiness. I waited until everything was 70% a bought the stuff that I liked and could go with a variety fo age groups. I wouldn't go crazy unless things are REALLY cheap. Buy things when they are at the rate you just can't pass up. Garage Sales are a great place to start. I have 600 books and most of them came from Garage Sales. I bought every age group that way the library is diverse for all the varied reading levels. Usually the people selling books will let you make an offer for the entire box. Someone mentioned classroom money from the school, that is great if your district does that. Mine gave me $150 to spend, out of a specific catalog. I ordered pocket charts and nameplates and other disposable items. You have awhile before schools done so spend your money wisely and buy on the good deals. You will feel great entering your classroom with materials prepared.
     

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