Communal vs. Individual Supplies

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Teacher Chele, Jun 19, 2010.

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  1. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Jun 20, 2010

    At my school, we get many of the basics from the school - so we do communal supplies - I also like the idea of sharing, etc. Germs are an issue, but we do lots of hand washing/sanitizing and we also talk about keeping your fingers (and writing implements) out of your nose and mouth. :D
     
  2. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I get a good laugh out of those who worry about germs from sharing pencils. Do your students also have their own bathrooms?
     
  3. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Jun 20, 2010

    I remember that when I was a student, I hated communal supplies! I always kept my stuff nice and neat, and when I was in classes that had communal supplies, it was always kind of grungy. Plus, I would always get stuck using the RoseArt crayons instead of Crayola, and I don't care what anyone says. They're not the same! :)

    My students keep their things in their desks in a pencil pouch. If we had tables, I would probably do little baskets at each spot to keep the smaller supplies.

    I do have communal supplies of everything when I have them in groups doing a project (that way there is no arguing over somebody using another person's scissors or mixing of personal supplies). I found that I can supply communal supplies of crayons, glue, markers, scissors, and pencils for these groups and they last a looooong time (like 3-4 years!).
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jun 20, 2010

    No, they're definitely not the same! If I happen to get "outcast" crayons, they would end up in my huge tub where extras are kept. Each table has a 2 bowls of crayola crayons.


    I agree with the other poster about the germs - the pencils should be the least of the parents worries.
     
  5. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2010

    I teach kindergarten and we have community supplies. In addition to what students bring, I have duplicate items. From my experience, no student brings enough of anything to last one student for the whole year. I supplement with what I'm provided by the school and from my own personal purchases. Like someone said, asking kindergarten students to take out their pencil boxes each time they're needed is a bit much. We have seat pockets. A small number of students keep their crayons in a box. These also have been known to fall out. I prefer the crayon basket with cups in the middle of the table. I teach in a high poverty school where about 25% or less of the students bring in any supplies at the beginning of the year.
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 20, 2010

    I pick up the notebook paper and pass it out as needed. It tends to last longer that way.

    I usually pick up the white bottle glue but that is so I can store it upright.
     
  7. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 21, 2010

    That's what I was thinking, too...and the reason I don't let kids take restroom passes to the restroom!
     
  8. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2010

    Never thought about the germ thing concerning supplies. In any case, I do keep hand sanitizer handy. With the limited of textbooks & supplies, we always have to share. I do have communal supplies of everything per group table. I have one of those rolling 10-drawer organizer where these supplies are kept. Each group table is assigned a drawer for supplies. The table captain or teacher helper is in charge of taking them to the table when we are doing activities.

    Some kids like to use their own -- especially if they have fancy markers or such. I just make it clear that it's their responsibility to secure their own supplies.

    Other than reminding them to keep their hands clean, I just can't keep up with worrying about contaminated supplies. In my environment we have to share everything. There just isn't enough particularly when it comes to books.
     
  9. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2010

    Guess it depends on the community. Perhaps because I work in a Title IX school, parents understand that supplies will be shared. As a matter of fact, when we have the sneak peak night, my parents who come in with the supplies tend to ask if there's a 'common place', I want the supplies to be place.
     
  10. flowerpower31

    flowerpower31 Comrade

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    Jun 21, 2010

    I put on my supply list "#2 pencils - to be shared with class".
     
  11. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jun 21, 2010

    I think you CAN ask parents to purchase supplies and dump them in a bucket for all to use - as long as you specify that is what is going to happen. I never understood parents who get ticked at this - what would make you angry, Miss Scrimmage? As long as the teacher specifies exactly what to buy (like my daughter's list that reads "24 count Crayola crayons,"), then it's all the same. What's the difference? I could see parents getting upset if only half of the kids brought supplies, so, sometimes, your kid had to go without, even if you were the one that brought them....but in my school, that just doesn't happen. The teachers generally buy the extra to make up for those kids who don't supply anything - so there is one box of crayons per person, no matter who brought them.

    And the upside of it is that the kids who brought supplies benefit, too. Say your kid brought a box of crayons and lost his green. In a communal room, there is always another green to use. In a non-communal room, he'd have to go without, even if it was essential to the project.
     
  12. CiniMini

    CiniMini Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2010

    In my class we have both communal supplies and individual supplies. I do not tell my parents ahead of time about how supplies are shared--if they want to know they can ask. We share pencils (as another poster mentioned I send home any "fancy" pencils brought in.) We also share notebook paper, paper towels and glue. However, I let my kids keep their own crayons, notebooks, and scissors. These are the only supplies that we ask our kids to bring that vary in quality dependent on the brand.

    I had a parent my first year that wanted all her kid's supplies to be *her* kid's supplies. Even the baby wipes, paper towels, and kleenex. I politely explained that I spend most of my time with instruction and don't have time to monitor 19 sets of supplies and that I'd need another person just to do that. She shut up after that.
     
  13. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Jun 21, 2010

    I have a mix of communal and individual supplies. I was also the student who LOVED and took care of her school supplies - I still remember the day in 2nd grade when I had to dump my beautiful, brand new box of Crayolas into a class bin :( Students have an individual list of items that they keep for themselves, but I also have bins of scissors, glue sticks, elmer's glue, crayons, markers and colored pencils for those students who don't have certain items. I also do community pencils. But I tell students that there is a really special pencil they don't want to share - keep it in their own desk. This mix has worked really well for the past 3 years.
     
  14. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 21, 2010

    I always took care of my own supplies, so I understand being the kid who gets stuck with the junky stuff. That being said, however, I use communal supplies in my room... but my situation is a bit different :)

    I have special ed preschool in the mornings (just-turned-3's coming out of early intervention) and next year will have at-risk 3-5's and playgroups in the afternoon. This year, my afternoons were Kindergarten RTI and playgroups. The kids that come for playgroup don't bring supplies... they come for an hour once every week or once every other week or once a month. There's no need to keep supplies for that... the K kids already brought supplies for their own class, they'd sometimes bring theirs with them but actually prefered mine, for some reason.

    I have adapted scissors and the triangular crayons and such for a lot of my kids... so it's easier on me to just get what I want either from catalogues or on the back-to-school sales and have the school reimburse me (or not bother!!!). I just have the kids supply wipes, kleenex, baggies, extra clothes, snacks, etc. I find I can easily ask parents to suppply those materials when we're low mid-year since i haven't asked for tons at the beginning.

    Our K's did a mix this year. The kids all had an individual baggie or pencil box in a basket on their table... contained their glue stick, scissors, crayons. Other supplies were stared and passed out as necessary. Seemed to work out well.
     
  15. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2010

    I do a mix.
    Pencils, erasers, folders, notebooks, lined paper, kleenex, baby wipes/clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer are communal supplies.

    Scissors, crayons, glue sticks are not. These are usually provided by the school however, as a teacher you can get fantastic deals on these at Staples in Aug. I remember getting 1 cent folders and 1 cent crayons and the limit was 30 but then I just went to a different Staples down the road to get extras = )

    Also, on our supply list it says specifically what kind of folders (plain/no pictures) and crayons to get (24 box only) and if children bring in stuff that goes against the list, I send it home. Most of the time there isn't a problem but, you always have those parents that fail to follow directions....
     
  16. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 21, 2010

    If anyone complains to me about communal supplies, I just have that child keep theirs. I don't really feel like making a big deal about it.

    My coworker and I have talked about maybe just asking parents for a set amount of money and then purchasing everything. We bought all of the folders last year so that we could have colored folders for each subject and so we could get them ready before school started. It worked really well, but we weren't able to do it for next year. I probably won't be back, and we'll probably need a third class next year-we didn't want to have a new teacher have her kids show up and not have any folders.
     
  17. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2010

    Good point, Kimrandy, I forgot to mentioned that I supplied most of the communal property. It's come out of what I purchase mostly. The things that kids bring in for communal are mostly paper products such as cleanex, paper towels, ziplock bags, looseleaf paper, dividers, etc.

    Kids have the option of using their own supplies if they want. I just make sure that they have everything they need even if that means I buy some of it myself.
     
  18. snoopy78

    snoopy78 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2010

    I had a mix of communal/individual supplies this year also. We shared pencils and erasers. I used classroom money to buy "twistable" crayons for each table. (Which worked out great! They could use them or use their own crayons.) Students kept two pencils, glue sticks, crayons, and scissors in zipper pouch. They also had a basket for extra supplies and markers.

    Anytime a student brought in a "fancy" pencil, that was fine. They just put it in the basket for me to sharpen at the end of the day. I didn't have any parents complain and I had some very helpful parents who would send supplies when needed.

    A few years ago I had parents write their initials on everything. Any pencil they bought had their initial and that way there was noone saying It's mine. That worked for that group, but I haven't had to do it again. I think it's just what works best for you and your class.:)
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 23, 2010

    I haven't read all of the replies, so I'm just jumping here...

    I had individual supplies for about one month last year, and then I switched to communal and haven't looked back! I have a 2-cubby bin on each table that contains: scissors (these have names written on them and each child uses his/her own pair), pencils, glue sticks, and glue bottles. Each table also contains 2 baskets (the cheap white ones you can get at Walmart in the kitchen section)-one basket with crayons, one with markers.

    What I like about communal supplies:
    -Students never complain about not having a certain color crayon or marker. With individual supplies, they were always losing things.
    -Students aren't dropping those dreaded pencil boxes, spilling everything everywhere!
    -I can see if supplies are getting low, and I can refill them.

    We talk a lot about taking care of supplies and I haven't had problems. A few times I have had some "crayon breakers" so we talked as a class about why that is unacceptable. For a child who kept breaking the crayons, I kept all of the broken crayons in a bag and told him those would be his crayons to use if he didn't stop. He stopped.

    Also, we put a star next to items on the school supply list that will be shared, so parents know about this ahead of time. We are very specific on our supply list (Crayola 24 count, Fiskars, Elmers, etc.) so everything is pretty much the same. If something is different (a jumbo pack of crayons, different brand, etc.) I put those supplies in my writing and art centers.

    As for germs, my classroom has never been more sick than any other classroom...If kids are going to get sick it's going to happen even if they aren't sharing a crayon. Think of everything else they touch...
     
  20. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jun 23, 2010

    Question with putting communal supplies in the middle of their group or table: Do you ever have students playing with those supplies during inappropriate times whether it's during teaching or a time when they don't need to use the supplies during an activity?
     
  21. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 23, 2010

    Yes, and it is really annoying. They like to "organize" the crayons and markers into rows, or even just dig their hands into the baskets! That's one thing I really need to stress NOT to do this next year.
     
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